‘Does a child have to die?’: Coast mum fears weak DV laws
A Coast mother fears another tragedy, such as the death of Hannah Clarke and her three children, would have to happen before domestic violence breaches will be stopped.
The mother-of-one, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lives every day in fear of her ex-husband.
The man has been sentenced for four violations of a domestic violence order which she says was put in place in mid-2017.
He has also been charged for breaching the domestic violence order and will face Maroochydore Magistrates Court early next year.
The woman said she was "petrified" of what could happen unless strict laws were put in place to stop breaches.
"I know what's going to happen; someone is going to be injured whether it's myself or my daughter or somebody else before something is done," she said.
"It's not taken seriously.
"These orders are in place for a reason … does a child have to be killed for something to be done?"
Birsbane mother Hannah Baxter died in hospital, the same day her three children were killed by their father in a horrific car fire at Camp Hill earlier this year.
The 31-year-old had been heard screaming "he's poured petrol on me" as she was pulled out of the deliberately lit car.
The Daily launched the HerStory campaign to push for laws to better protect domestic violence victims.
A comprehensive review of Queensland's legal justice system will now look at the experiences of women and whether laws need rewriting to better protect victims of violence.
The introduction of coercive control laws, called for in the wake of Ms Clarke's murder this year, will come under the microscope.
The Coast woman who spent 10 years with her ex-husband said violence was escalating over that time.
"When I had my daughter that's when it became horrific for us," she said.
"It got worse and worse it was just a push and a shove at the start and then hair pulling and dragging me along the ground, I had three of my hair extensions ripped out and palmed in the eye and she (daughter) has witnessed everything."
She said it was heartbreaking to see the impacts on her young daughter.
"She is traumatised from what's happened and what she has witnessed, and it's impacted her physically and mentally.
"It's impacted her health, her eating, her sleep, everything you can think of.
"She didn't want to go to daycare anymore, she was just scared of everyone and everything.
The woman's daughter is being counselled, has had diet changes and has assistance from in house nurses and dedicated daycare staff, who have come on board "110 per cent" to guide her.
The woman said she had also spent $30,000 putting parenting and property orders in place but could no longer afford to take her ex-husband to court.
She said she was unable to attain legal aid.
"I have paid so much money to have my daughter looked after and cared for and it's not happening, people say it's not worth the paper it's written on," she said.
"I'm having sleepless nights and I'm forced to go to work so I can provide for her.
"And at the end of the day my daughter is the one that suffers because if she sees me distressed.
"I try not to let her see.
"I just basically break down and cry when no one can see me, that's all we can do as a mother because we have to be the strongest one for our child."
In mid-2018 the woman's ex-husband was fined $800 for contravening a domestic violence order and was put on a 12-month probation order in early 2020 for three counts of the same offence.