Why women stay with abusive partners

BATTERED women are staying with violent men out of fear they and their children will be killed if they leave, a government adviser warned yesterday.

The state government's Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board deputy chairwoman, Associate Professor Kathleen Baird, said some women stay with violent partners because they fear leaving will "make it even worse''.

"There is a genuine fear from some women that when they leave their partner will track them down and find them,'' she told The Courier-Mail.

 

Kathleen Baird
Kathleen Baird

 

"Most women who are murdered (are killed) when they leave or are trying to leave.

"You can only surmise that's what makes them stay, to try to manage the violence and know where the men are.

"As a society, we need to find a way to keep women safe.''

Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three children were burned to death by their father at Camp Hill in a murder-suicide that shocked the nation on Wednesday.

Their deaths took the domestic violence death toll to 325 since 2006.

Women and children were murdered in 80 per cent of the attacks.

Associate Professor Baird, who is director of midwifery and nursing education at Gold Coast University Hospital and a senior lecturer in midwifery at Griffith University, said technology was making it easier for violent perpetrators to monitor or locate their victims.

"With the technology we have now, often men have so many different ways of tracking women and finding them,'' she said.

Associate Professor Baird said domestic violence was often a symptom of power and control.

"It will always come down to that power and control - 'how dare you leave me and if I can't have you no one else can','' she said.

 

 

"I can't think how anyone would think it's OK to murder your own children - you struggle to get your head around it, even when you work in this field it's so hard.''

Domestic Violence Prevention Centre chief executive Rosie O'Malley wrote on the group's Facebook page yesterday that women stay in abusive relationships because "their fear is real''.

"How many men do we see murdered for leaving their relationships?'' she wrote.

"Is it too much to ask for women to be able to safely leave relationships that are destroying them, without fear of retaliation, punishment, violence and harm to their children?''

The Death Review and Advisory Board's latest annual report found that many murder victims were unable to flee as they had no money and no place to go.

"The board remains concerned that demand for housing services outweighs supply,'' the report says.

"Women, and their children, continue to be primarily targeted as victims of domestic and family violence''.

 



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