‘Survivor’: Hannah’s moving last post

 

Brisbane mother-of-three Hannah Clarke was determined to move on from her troubled marriage when she and her children were horrifically killed by her estranged husband.

In an Instagram post widely shared by friends following her death, she described herself as being a "strong woman" who didn't want to be seen as a victim.

"I am a strong woman, I don't sit around feeling sorry for myself nor will I ever let anyone mistreat me again," she wrote under a photo of herself cuddling her daughters.

"I don't respond to people who dictate to me or try to bring me down. I am a survivor not a victim.

"I am in control of my life and there is nothing I can't achieve. My girls will grow up being strong women who understand their worth."

 

Ms Clarke’s post was shared by friends following her death. Picture: Instagram
Ms Clarke’s post was shared by friends following her death. Picture: Instagram

 

Clarke, 31, and her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3, were killed when 42-year-old Rowan Baxter torched the family car on a quiet Brisbane street before taking his own life.

It is understood the couple had separated in November and were working on custody arrangements.

Ms Baxter had previously spoken to Queensland Police about "domestic violence issues", Detective Inspector Mark Thompson confirmed on Thursday.

 

Hannah Clarke with her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3. Picture: Supplied
Hannah Clarke with her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3. Picture: Supplied

CLARKE 'EXCITED' FOR NEW LIFE

Ms Clarke's heartbroken brother, Nat Clarke, said the former gymnast had been excited to move on with her life after escaping her "monster" husband.

"The last thing my sister said to my wife was I'm so excited this year will be great," he told friends and family on Facebook.

"All she ever wanted was happiness," a fundraiser set-up to help the family said.

In a series of text messages obtained by The Courier Mail, Ms Clarke had told a friend earlier this month she had "made the right decision" to leave.

"I'm so glad I got out when I did," she wrote, adding that she had a DVO (domestic violence order) against Baxter.

 

Ms Clarke with her three children and estranged husband. Picture: Supplied
Ms Clarke with her three children and estranged husband. Picture: Supplied

 

OUTPOURING OF GRIEF

The deaths of Ms Clarke and her three children have shaken the local Brisbane community and sparked an outpouring of grief across the country.

"My heart goes out to the families and community going through this tragic time and the emergency responders confronting what would be a shattering scene," Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted on Wednesday.

Ms Clarke's substantial social media following is also grieving.

"Hannah was someone I've known and connected with on here for a number of years and she was a deadset legend," Instagram fitness blogger Krista of @fithappymummy said.

"(She was an) inspiring mum, wife, partner, gym-owner, fitness professional, absolute legend of a person, and it is so, so sad that her life and her children's lives have come to this.

"Especially for the mums in the fitness industry … she was a legend, she was so cool."

 

Ms Clarke at the gym with her son Trey. Picture: Supplied
Ms Clarke at the gym with her son Trey. Picture: Supplied

But outraged domestic violence campaigners say more needs to be done to stop the scourge of violence against women in Australia.

Ms Clarke is the eighth woman to die from violence against women this year, according to the gender equality group Destroy The Joint.

"To prevent violence against women, we need a shared, consistent and mutually reinforcing approach, where all levels of government, business and the community contribute to creating a safer Australia built upon respect and equality," Our Watch, a national, independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to ending violence against women, said on Facebook.

The Baxter children at the beach. Picture: Supplied
The Baxter children at the beach. Picture: Supplied
Ms Clarke was excited for her new life after escaping her husband. Picture: Supplied
Ms Clarke was excited for her new life after escaping her husband. Picture: Supplied


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