Domestic violence campaigner and former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says the death of a Brisbane mother and her three children at the hands of their father was the "final act of power, control and ultimate revenge".
Hannah Clarke, also known as Hannah Baxter, and her children, Laianah, 4, Aaliyah, 6, and Trey, 3, were killed when Rowan Baxter poured petrol on his family and set them alight at Camp Hill on Wednesday.
Baxter then died on the footpath from self-inflicted wounds.
Ms Batty, whose son Luke was murdered by his father Greg Anderson in 2014, has questioned how extreme violence like this continues to happen across Australia.
"This horrific violence is beyond our imagination, comprehension and understanding. How could this happen? And yet it does. And it keeps on happening," she said in a statement today.
"We are all devastated and deeply affected by these calculated and senseless murders and stunned by their hideous cruelty. I am overwhelmed and, like so many, full of despair. "This unspeakable act of violence should give pause for all our elected leaders to think deeply about their leadership on this epidemic. 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."
Ms Clarke, 31, and Baxter had been separated since before Christmas last year after she left the family home and took their children to her parents' house in nearby Camp Hill.
Her friend, Manja Whaley, told Today that Baxter used emotionally abusive and controlling tactics, kept a watch on her social media and regularly threatened to punish her and her children.
Ms Batty said the courts and the government must address how they are keeping children safe from violence.
"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," she said.
"The current family law inquiry has the potential to weaken existing safety protections in the system, when it is required to do significantly more. "I am also deeply concerned by some commentary from people in authority and the media that have presented the murderer as a loving father. A loving parent never considers murder as ever being an option or a solution.
"No one is 'driven' to murder no matter the circumstances or situation that they find themselves in.
"Murder is a decision that is deliberate and driven by the need to exact revenge and achieve the ultimate act of power and control.
"Although mental health, drugs and alcohol can be contributing factors, violence is always a choice and one that we should not continue to make excuses for."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/rosie-batty-horrified-by-camp-hill-murders-of-hannah-clarke-and-children/68a7fd31-06be-410c-a237-a69318664321