Two bodies were found in a red car at Roys Road, Coochin.
Two bodies were found in a red car at Roys Road, Coochin. Patrick Woods

Death, tragedy at hands of family must stop


I TEARED up yesterday as I mourned a stranger.

I knew nothing about them, only that they were six-months-old and likely murdered by their father who is believed to have committed suicide. Both bodies were discovered in a car on Roys Rd after the mother raised the alert that her child was missing.

I read this as I heard a court case about a mother who had beaten her son, 5, with a coat hanger until it broke.

She first told police a "ruse", that a stick had flung back and hit the boy as he whacked it against the fence.

He was hospitalised and needed stitches to the back of his ear, and his legs were covered in welts and cuts.

Police established a crime scene in his bedroom, where they found blood and the broken weapon.

My mind went to another murder-suicide which rocked my former hometown, Rockhampton, last week.

A highly-regarded doctor had killed himself and his wife in their home.

The community reaction to this was mixed. I read glorified reports of how amazing this man was from people who had been treated by him. People who were sorry he did not get help sooner. I grappled with my feelings on this; my heart went out to the family, his victim and to him, but few referred to him for what he had become - a murderer.

Domestic violence is tragically prevalent in communities across the country. It happens behind closed doors and does not discriminate.

Tragically, it's often only when the worst happens that the conversation opens up, and that the perpetrators and victims can be identified and the details discussed.

It should not get to this point. We need to talk about this openly, and now. It has to stop.


Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800