Public statement from CEO Tracey Gaudry

In response to the horrific family violence tragedy yesterday, Respect Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tracey Gaudry issues public statement

Like the rest of the community, Respect Victoria is shattered by the violent deaths of Australian woman Hannah Baxter and her three young children Lainah, Aaliyah and Trey. 

Innocent lives were despicably snatched on a suburban street during what should have been an ordinary school run. 

This catastrophic crime will have life altering impacts for Hannah's family and friends as well as first responders who bore witness to the most gruesome of scenes. 

The devastation doesn't stop there. The broader community including the children's school/childcare community, Hannah's colleagues, the family’s neighbourhood. The vicarious trauma of this incident is far reaching.

Violence is a choice sitting squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator. We know that family violence and violence against women is preventable. 

Regrettably, there is a way to go before family violence is stamped out. 

We cannot become numb to the statistics. Hannah's story reminds us that we need to remain alert. We need to champion prevention in every way possible through collective, coordinated effort by government, industry, organisations, communities and individuals across society wherever we live, learn, work and play.

We all have a role to play. Calling out disrespectful behaviour, championing safety, equality and respect. Dismissing victim blaming and tuning in to subtle and not-so-subtle perpetrator behaviour. We implore journalists and members of the public to familiarise themselves with Our Watch's guidelines for reporting violence against women in the media. 
Nobody should die this way. Brisbane is mourning. Australia is mourning. Now is the time to discuss family violence. Now is the time to strengthen focus on prevention. 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit the 1800Respect website

In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).