By Grace Duckham, Rachel Claxton
The tragic murder of three people in Queensland this week, including a five-year-old girl, has highlighted how prevalent domestic violence is in Australian communities.
On Sunday night, Tania Simpson and her friend Antony Way were stabbed to death on Queensland’s Gold Coast by her estranged partner, Paul Rogers.
Police said he abducted his five-year-old daughter Kyla from the home.
They said Rogers then drove to northern New South Wales where police allege he murdered his daughter, as well as taking his own life.
Domestic Violence Connect CEO Dianne Mangan said it is all about the history of the relationship but in this case it is not known what that history was.
“A lot of relationships separate and the men are distraught and heartbroken,” she said.
“There are some that believe they have the right to go further and end those people’s right to continue living without them.”
Queensland Centre for Domestic Violence Research Director, Heather Nancarrow, said the State Government is making a serious attempt to prevent domestic violence before it starts.
“The Queensland Government has recently established a domestic violence desk review unit within the coroner’s office to investigate systematically domestic violence-related homicides,” she said.
“For this to work there needs to be more involvement and support from the community.”
The ‘Act as One’campaign, an initiative of the Queensland Government’s Domestic Violence Prevention month, encourages the community to respond to the impacts of domestic violence and bring the issue out from behind closed doors.
Ms Nancarrow said the community needs to get on board with the program.
“We need to act as one to prevent family and domestic violence and that is the message for this month and every month,” she said.