Woman’s brother faces murder charge
A WOMAN stabbed to death in her Townsville unit at the weekend has become the 10th woman in Australia to be killed in circumstances allegedly linked to domestic violence this year alone.
The death of the 49-year-old Townsville woman, just days after Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three children were brutally burned and murdered by estranged husband Rowan Baxter, has sent ripples through the community.
It has also made those working to reduce the scourge of domestic violence in Townsville and North Queensland feel as though nothing has changed despite millions of dollars being thrown at the issue.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service co-ordinator Mandy Thompson said the death of the woman, which police allege was at the hands of her 40-year-old brother, was the service's "worst nightmare come true".
Police were called to a Townsville unit on Saturday after a woman was allegedly stabbed.
A North Queensland man was later arrested and charged with murder (domestic violence offence) and is due to appear in Townsville's Magistrates Court today.
A neighbour, who had lived next door to the unit for 19 years, said police had been called to the unit complex a number of times in the past.
Ms Thompson said she became "angry and upset" when she heard about the Townsville woman's death.
She has contacted all three state MPs - Mundingburra MP Coralee O'Rourke, Townsville MP Scott Stewart, and Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper - to discuss how the community can better respond to domestic violence situations.
"What we need to do is really look at making sure that as a collective, which includes our services (NQ Domestic Violence Resource Service), police, health services and other services that are involved in domestic and family violence have a good understanding of how coercive control is perpetrated," she said.
"We need to develop a clear understanding of how difficult it is for women to leave those situations.
"We have had millions and millions of dollars thrown at domestic and family violence in Queensland and it feels like we are not making a difference.
"We need to come together at a high level and think about how we can address it (domestic violence) as a community."
The Townsville Bulletin earlier this month revealed there had been 257 breaches of domestic violence protection orders in January this year, a significant rise from the 189 breaches last February.
Ms Thompson said there was support available for domestic violence victims, and perpetrators who knew their behaviour was wrong.