QLD_CM_NEWS_ROSIEBATTY_04OCT16
QLD_CM_NEWS_ROSIEBATTY_04OCT16

Batty labels family slaughter ‘terrorism’

HIGH-profile domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has labelled the murder of Hannah Clarke and her children by her estranged husband an act of "terrorism".

Rowan Baxter ambushed Hannah on Wednesday morning as she was driving in Camp Hill with daughters Laianah, 4, Aaliyah, 6, and son Trey, 3.

The children perished in a car fire started by Baxter with Hannah later dying in hospital.

Baxter killed himself at the scene.

Ms Batty described Wednesday's tragedy as the "final act of power, control and ultimate revenge, committed by a family violence perpetrator".

Hannah Clarke with her children
Hannah Clarke with her children

 

"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.

"We are all devastated and deeply affected by these calculated and senseless murders and stunned by their hideous cruelty.

 

Rowan Baxter (AAP Image/Photosport, Andrew Cornaga)
Rowan Baxter (AAP Image/Photosport, Andrew Cornaga)

This is the most pressing issue of terrorism our society faces - where at least one woman each week is murdered."

Ms Batty, whose teenage son Luke was murdered by his father in 2014, called on politicians "to think deeply about their leadership on this epidemic."

" A critical challenge we must now address, as a nation, is the family law court system and the significant part that it plays in keeping children safe.

"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."

The Clarke/Baxter family were in the family court system but it's understood there custody issues. Baxter has also been charged with breaching a domestic violence order, taken out by Hannah, in the weeks before he murdered his young family.

 

Flowers at the scene of the car fire in Camp Hill. Picture: Liam Kidston
Flowers at the scene of the car fire in Camp Hill. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

Ms Batty said she was concerned about some commentary presenting Baxter as a loving father.

"A loving parent never considers murder as ever being an option or a solution," she said.

"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."

 



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