Stalking victim Sue Howard, with her guard dog Bossco, is determined to sing at tonight’s Reclaim the Night event, despite a threat on her life.
Stalking victim Sue Howard, with her guard dog Bossco, is determined to sing at tonight’s Reclaim the Night event, despite a threat on her life. Gary Hutchison

Stalker threatens to stab singer

A DEATH threat from a long-time stalker will not be enough to deter musician Sue Howard from performing at tonight’s Reclaim The Night rally.

Miss Howard, who performs as Flame, said she received an SMS yesterday threatening that she would be stabbed on stage if she performed tonight.

“He smashed my face in - I’ve lost 65% of the sight in my left eye because of him,” she said.

“He has broken into my home and held me hostage with a knife. But I won’t let him stop me.”

Miss Howard was invited to sing at the rally, which aims to reinforce the message that violence towards women and children will not be tolerated, and that women should speak out when they suffer abuse.

She said she would not be frightened into silence by the man who put her through a decade of hell - and has been jailed repeatedly for his offences against her.

After a brief relationship with the man in 1999, Miss Howard said the man became violent and told her she had two choices: “Marry him or die.”

She said when she first received the threatening text message, which was sent from a public telephone, she decided to cancel her gig.

“But then I got mad, and I thought, ‘This is what Reclaim The Night is all about - showing women that they should not have to hide’,” she said.

Miss Howard said she could not take the risk that it was an empty threat, and had organised extra security for the night.

“You can’t take the risk that they might not follow through,” she said.

“Women need to be supportive of each other, and encourage each other not to tolerate threats and violence.”

Phoenix House director Kathy Prentice, who helped organise the rally, said it was a shocking reminder of the importance of the event.

“Reclaim The Night is about the right of women and children to be safe in their homes and on the street,” Ms Prentice said.

“It’s a really brave thing (Miss Howard) is doing. We have to stand up for our rights and that’s what she is doing.”

Bundaberg Police Inspector Kev Guteridge said there was always a strong police presence at the rally.

“The Queensland Police Service does not in any way shape or form condone domestic violence - or any kind of violence,” he said.



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