Caller’s shock admission live on air
Chris was the subject of an apprehended violence order taken out by his ex-partner in order to protect her and their children, but it didn't stop him from "doing some really silly things".
He repeatedly breached it in different ways, brazenly in some cases, and often with the goal of "getting back at her".
All up, Chris revealed he broke the order a staggering 21 times before a magistrate finally intervened and sent him to prison for six months.
The protection order - seen by many women as one of the few defences for them and their children - wasn't worth the paper it was written on. That's the blunt assessment from Chris himself.
"The piece of paper that the AVO (apprehended violence order) is written on, I'm sorry to say, is absolutely not worth anything," the man said during a candid interview on Triple M Sydney's Moonman in the Morning show today.
"It doesn't stop you from getting in the car and going to that person's house and doing something."
Australia is still reeling from the tragic murders last week of Hannah Clarke and her three children, Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey, who died when their car was set on fire in a suburban Brisbane street.
Rowan Baxter, Ms Clarke's estranged husband and father to the children, died at the scene of self-inflicted wounds.
In her home state alone, an average of 84 domestic violence protection orders were breached every single day in 2019, according to police statistics.
Baxter was the subject of one and had breached it at least once, for which he was to face court in April.
"When I heard about this last week, it absolutely shocked me and I was devastated by what (the man) had done," Chris told Triple M this morning.
He admitted to doing "some really silly things" to his ex-partner, including subjecting her to intimidation, and said it was his "really good legal team" that got him out of trouble for breaching his order.
"In the end, basically, enough and was enough and they (the court) had a gutful. The judge basically said, 'Chris, what you've done, this is not right. I'm going to give you something to think about.'"
He spent six months in prison and upon release, engaged in therapies to address his behaviour and is now reformed, he said.
Chris believes the system is broken. Figures on the sheer extent of protection order breaches indicate that he's right.
Applications for domestic or family violence protection orders nationally made up one-third of all civil cases heard in magistrates courts in 2018-19 - about 120,000 in total.
When breaches occur, courts often let perpetrators off with a "slap on the wrist", Hayley Foster, chief executive officer of Women's Safety NSW, told The Australian last week.
In Queensland for example, some 21,000 charges were brought for breaches of domestic violence protection orders in 2018-19 and of those, 13,670 defendants were convicted, the newspaper reported.
Those convictions led to 4800 people being jailed, 3700 given probation or good behaviour and 4000 fines. The rest received minor offending orders like community service.
Sue Heward-Belle, a lecturer at the University of Sydney and a domestic and family violence campaigner, wrote for the ABC last week that "women I have interviewed report that breaches of protection orders are frequent".
Most of those breaches aren't dealt with in a timely manner or taken seriously by authorities, which leaves women and their children feeling unsafe and vulnerable.
"Any breaches of protection orders must be responded to appropriately by police, and men who fail to comply with restrictions placed upon them must be held accountable for their choices," Dr Heward-Belle said.
In a statement last week about the deaths of Ms Clarke and her children, domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty - whose son Luke was murdered by his father in 2014 - demanded change.
"This unspeakable act of violence should give pause for all our elected leaders to think deeply about their leadership on this epidemic," Ms Batty said.
"This is the most pressing issue of terrorism our society faces - where at least one woman each week is murdered.
"It is too painful and confronting for us to even face and acknowledge how many children are murdered by an abusive parent, but we do know that at least one in four children is affected by violence in their home and the trauma they experience will impact their lives forever."
It's critical that reform of the family law system takes place given the central role it plays in keeping children safe, Ms Batty said.
"The decisions that are made through this system impact on the wellbeing of children dramatically and have the potential of placing children at further risk of harm or enabling them to reach their potential without fear and trauma impacting their development."