The Hannah Clarke story and others like her, the alternative approach to dealing with domestic violence…

The recent news story, in summary:

(1) Hannah Clarke’s desperate texts for help just days before her estranged husband burned her and their three children alive are revealed:• Rowan Charles Baxter was subject to a domestic violence protection order• But his estranged wife told friends she was worried it wouldn’t protect her• In a desperate text, she explained that the DVO had been watered down• She was to be murdered by Baxter, along with her three kids, just days later.

(2) Queensland’s Opposition response on the spot DV tickets.

Many years ago…

my partner and I were faced with a very similar situation to the outcome of the above.

A man late at night drove into the Tewantin service station, parked next to the petrol bowsers, and fuelled up a small jerry can. He then went to the cashier and calmly paid for his petrol and said, “Ring the police”.The attendant replied, “Why?” and he said, “You will see why shortly.”

He went back and opened the back door of his car and there were three small sleeping children.

.He then held a zippo lighter in one hand and fuel container in the other to demonstrate that he was going to pour petrol over him and his children.

The cashier rang the police.

Tewantin in those days was a quiet country town and we arrived, just the two of us. There was just the cashier, the man, the three children and us at midnight.I parked the police car about 40m away on purpose as we discussed what we were going to do before arriving.

As I was qualified to use a Mini-14, I remained in the dark out of sight while my partner unarmed walked across the road up to the man to talk to him.

As he walked across the road, I quietly chambered the weapon and lent over the boot of the police car and aimed the rifle at the man.

By agreement with my partner, if he was to throw his hands up in the air and I had a clear shot, I was to take it, but only if he signaled me. I am not sure how long we were there with my partner talking to him.

I had a clear view and could have taken the shot at any time, however, his life regardless of his irrational state is a life worth saving on face value knowing nothing of his character or history. You might say he was temporarily insane.

Peter H[…] talked to him for a long time and eventually, he put the fuel container down and handed him the litter. We quietly took him into custody, his wife who had left the family home days ago was telephoned and she came and got their children.

We then took him to the Nambour hospital where he was admitted to mental health as a care and control patient. No one in their right mind harms their children.

Whilst I understand that the lady politician wants to prevent another Hannah Clarke story from happening again a DVO on-the-spot ticket is worthless.

The only value it may have is to an insane person with a zippo would be to light a fire.

The police are too busy to properly deal with domestic violence. They are there just to keep the peace and once they have done what was needed at that time, they are gone onto the next job.

You can have all the DVO paperwork and court appearances you want but at the end of the day, a proper assessment is required to determine if the situation is one of Clarke or one as described in our encounter midnight at the Tewantin service station.

The man Clarke wouldn’t have asked a service station cashier to ring the police, he would have just used the zipper to light the on-the-spot DVO ticket to ignite horror.

Those that cry out help in a desperate demonstration, on the other hand, may carelessly harm their children or a less-concerned-for his life cop might put a round or two in him?

A different approach is needed in dealing with domestic violence as posted below. An approach that does not change what the police are currently doing, however, is a valuable addendum to preserve life.

Please read the above post for context first…

Hannah Clarke and situations like this, the alternative approach to domestic violence:

Those that have been with us at this site will remember Jane Q Public the former Victorian police officer and now Florist that occasionally does pro-bono security work under the direction of the managing director of the not-for-profit security firm.

Her Director calls her at the florist shop and asks if she might meet with a lady that has a serious domestic issue that has a very real possibility of becoming ugly and perhaps dangerous.

Jane who has completed the approved security and counseling training agrees to meet the lady and discusses with her the options.

The police have already issued a DVO, however, there are gaps in this type of protection and Jane as a former police officer is pleased to be of assistance.

Now under State based law, it is illegal to hire armed bodyguards, although if you are a high-profile politician you can have the protection of the armed police at public events. But the lady in our scenario does not have that privilege.

She can call the police and they will come, however, if there is something in particular that needs to be done that makes her feel vulnerable the police won’t accompany her. She is just another person, one of many with a DVO.

This is particularly so with the proposed on-the-spot DV tickets that get handed out on a regular basis from a noise complaint to situations that actually may benefit from one. Just too many DVO tickets have been issued.

One ticket happy cop hands them out like confetti.

The concerned lady asked Jane to accompany her to pick up the children from school and take them to the new house that her partner does not know the address of. Her managing director instructs Jane to always carry with her the 38-cal. a revolver that she has a permit of possession to conceal on her person.

Jane hands the lady a portable 2-way radio. She followers the lady in her own car to and from the school for the next few days until an arrangement can be made to move the entire family to another State.

The man that she is running from has a long history of violence not only to the lady but others in the community.

The furniture removals finally arrive to take the family to their new home well aware of the District in which her former violent partner lives.

Jane reports back to the managing director and subsequently Preservation of Life – Community Protection Australian are informed of the situation reimburses her for the use of her private car. Jane as do other not-for-profit security officers also receives other benefits such as a travel and training allowance that mixes family time and training in various cities around Australia each year.

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