‘Women’s lives not worthless’: Strangulation outrage
ANTI-domestic violence advocate Betty Taylor was disgusted to see a convicted strangler escape actual jail time during a week four women were allegedly murdered by their male partners.
Ms Taylor is the chief executive of the Red Rose Foundation, which actively works to end domestic and family violence related deaths in Australia.
On Friday, 29-year-old Bryce William Monkivitch was sentenced for non-fatal strangulation in a domestic setting after he attacked his ex-girlfriend in a Maroochydore alleyway in May 2017.
He received an 18-month jail term with immediate parole and no time served.
Ms Taylor and the Red Rose Foundation helped in the successful push for a tougher penalty for this crime, which now carries a maximum seven years' jail.
But she said the legislation was in urgent need of review to clearly define "strangulation" within the context of the charge strangulation, choking or suffocation in a domestic setting.
The Red Rose Foundation is writing to the Queensland Attorney-General to request a more succinct definition in the hopes it will deliver justice for victims of the potentially deadly behaviour.
Ms Taylor said Mr Monkivitch's case fit into a broader problem within the state's justice system.
"In a week where four Australian women were murdered, allegedly by their male partners, it's just not good enough," Ms Taylor said.
"We are saying 'What, are the lives of women expendable? That it's OK that they can perpetrate this sort of violence and there's no consequences?'."
She said there was a second key issue; getting victims to come forward with confidence in the justice system.
"We have had enough deaths, we certainly don't need the courts to be taking women's safety this lightly," Ms Taylor said.
"We need action through the courts that is going to keep somebody safe."
Ms Taylor said victims often suffered beyond the initial trauma of strangulation, including when apparently light sentences allowed perpetrators to "get on with their lives".
For support, contact the Red Rose Foundation through direct message on their Facebook, or visit redrosefoundation.com.au.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES