'She did try to leave': Grieving mother tells of murder
"IT'S something no parent should ever have happen." Linda Watson will never forget the day police officers arrived at her door to tell her that her daughter had been murdered at the hands of her former partner.
It's a story even after 10 years she struggles to tell, but she tells it for one purpose - to help make sure it never happens to anyone else's child.
Mrs Watson is expected to be at Friend Park in Barney Point tomorrow morning to unveil a plaque honouring her daughter Joelean and anyone else who has lost their life.
May is Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month.
Joelean was just 23 when her life was taken, leaving behind her two-year-old daughter.
Her then partner Shaun Andrew is serving a 25-year sentence for murder and five years on another charge, with a non-parole period of 15 years.
Mrs Watson tries to keep her composure as she talks about Joelean.
She said all of the signs were there and as much as she tried to intervene there was no getting through.
"She did try to leave a number of times, but he got her back again," Mrs Watson said.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
"You can't do a lot. You just have to be there and support them because you don't ever want to lose that touch of being with them."
Mrs Watson said the violence her daughter endured wasn't necessarily physical, but was often mental abuse.
"It happened over quite a few years of mental abuse, just manipulating, just taking her rights away from her as a person," Mrs Watson said.
"Making her feel less important then it gradually got worse and worse over time.
"At the end of the day, she still defended him.
"And that's the hardest thing - they still defend them."
Mrs Watson said she knew Joelean was watching over her daughter through the years, and would be proud.
"I think she's a very strong girl and she's out there to try and help the community and try and point out that domestic violence is not okay," she said.
"I'm very proud of what she's doing in the community."
Mrs Watson was somewhat lost for words, but at today's ceremony she will have one thing in mind.
If she can help even one person it will make it all worth it.
Anyone who requires assistance related to domestic and family violence can call DV Connect on 1800 811 811.
When: Today 7.45am for an 8am start.
Where: Friend Park, Friend St, Barney Point