This article deals with domestic violence and abuse which could be triggering to some. If you, or someone you know, needs help contact 1800RESPECT.
On February 20, Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three, were burned to death by the children's father and Hannah's estranged partner, Rowan Baxter. He ambushed them as Hannah was putting the kids in the car to take them to school, dousing the vehicle in petrol and setting it alight in broad daylight outside her parents' home on a suburban Brisbane street.
The horrific murder was meant to be a defining moment for Australia and its domestic violence crisis, but on what would have been the loving mother's 32nd birthday, family violence remains one the country's most silent killers.
In 2020 alone, 37 women have had their lives taken at the hands of violence, per Destroy The Joint. It remains an epidemic in this country.
In the wake of the deaths, Hannah's parents Sue and Lloyd Clarke, have established the Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation, in a bid to educate the community about domestic violence and raise funds to change current laws that protect perpetrators, with a focus on campaigning for coercive control to be recognised as a criminal offence in Australia.
"Today is still, and always will be, a celebration of a beautiful life," her family wrote to Facebook.
Through the foundation, the Clarke family hope to "harness the collective desire of us all to make positive changes required to halt domestic and family violence and take the steps required to do it, small steps that will eventually be giant leaps forward."
It will work on various projects, fundraising, events and partnerships that will provide opportunities for the community to join them in their mission to educate, advocate, fund and support those living with domestic violence.
Sign up to the Small Steps 4 Hannah newsletter to stay up to date with projects and other ways to get involved.
The National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line – 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any Australian who's experienced, or is at risk of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.