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Mum and kids join disgraceful family violence statistics

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Police respond to a “serious domestic dispute” somewhere in the country every two minutes.

The deaths of a mother and her three children killed after being set alight on a school run in Brisbane have devastated Australia and forced into the spotlight once again the country's domestic violence crisis.

Fitness coach Hannah Baxter, 31, died in hospital hours after suffering horrific burns in a car fire that also took the lives of her three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and three-year-old Trey.

Police are continuing to investigate but it is believed her husband Rowan Baxter doused the car containing his family with fuel and set it alight, before dying from self-inflicted wounds.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 2.2 million adults have been victims of physical and/or sexual violence from a partner.


On average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former intimate partner in Australia. In recent years, more than one woman a week has been killed.

Seventy-four Australian women and 27 children died in 2019, most at the hands of someone they loved.

Every day, eight women are hospitalised with critical injuries inflicted by an intimate partner. This intimate partner violence is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Australian women aged 15 to 44.

Police respond to a "serious domestic dispute" somewhere in the country every two minutes.

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The violence doesn't necessarily stop when a victim leaves. Four out of 10 women continue to experience abuse after they have separated from their partner.

READ MORE: Shock and grief after deaths of mum and three children

Ms Baxter had separated from her husband late last year and it's understood the couple was trying to work out custody arrangements.

In a post to Facebook, Ms Baxter's brother Nat Clarke revealed the mother had been staying with her parents Sue and Lloyd Clarke, who had "exhausted all there (sic) energy and money" trying to help their daughter and grandchildren.

Queensland University of Technology Professor Kerry Carrington, who is an expert in gender violence, believes the deaths of Ms Baxter and her children could have been prevented by earlier intervention.

"The most risky time for a woman is in fact during the first six months of separation," she told ABC Radio National today.

Most people do not contact the police following violence from a partner. Eight in 10 women and nine in 10 men do not contact police.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's "Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: 2019 and Impact".

Reported with AAP.

National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

Source: 9News

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