OPINION: Killer of wife and children not a man or a dad
FOUR innocent people passed away after they were viciously murdered by a person they should have been able to trust.
Rowan Baxter abused his roles when he set his three children and their mother on fire.
I grew up near Camp Hill, where it happened, and a number of my friends knew Hannah personally, from her fitness classes or the neighbourhood.
Tributes flowed on social media yesterday, with people who knew her noting what a loving mother she was.
Strangers shared their utter disbelief and heartbreak over what took place, especially in such a friendly and community-focused area.
But then I discovered comments that made my stomach turn, saying Hannah "must have done something" or using his mental health as an excuse.
I hope those people were so horrified by his actions that those comments were a bid to find a justification for disgusting and unfathomable behaviour.
But there isn't one.
This was not a cry for help, nor was it a suicide. It was a homicide.
His actions were calculated and resulted in brutally murdering the mother of his children and three kids.
I will not refer to him as a father, or even a man, because his cowardly and cruel actions do not represent these terms.
Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey deserved better and we as a society need to reinforce that this will no longer be tolerated.
We need tougher penalties for DV-related cases, funding for research to gain a better understanding and more affordable and accessible therapy, treatment and care.
Above all, we need to respect our family members, cut the victim-blaming mentality and realise no one is our "property" to treat how we choose.
If you or someone you know needs help or is a victim of family or domestic violence, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, DVConnect (24 hours) on 1800 811 811, 1800 RESPECT on 1800 732 732 or the Men's Referral Service on 1300 766 491.