THE parents of domestic violence murder victim Allison Baden-Clay are urging Queenslanders to speak up and intervene in abusive and controlling relationships before it’s too late.
Allison’s parents, Geoff and Priscilla Dickie, on Sunday opened up about their regret at not doing more to help the mother-of-three, and urged others to act on warning signs.
“As a society we are told to mind our own business and not intrude in other people’s affairs and in a domestic violence situation this can make it hard to determine what to do,” Allison’s father Geoff said.
Allison’s body was found on a creek bank 13km from her home on April 20, 2012, 10 days after her husband Gerard reported her missing.
The former real estate agent was later found guilty of killing her in what has become one of Australia’s most high profile cases of domestic violence. Allison’s parents say they spoke to her about the abuse in the years leading up to her death, but were conscious of how Baden-Clay would react to their intervention and believed Allison would safely resolve her situation. “At the time we approached Allison and attempted to discuss her situation in the best way we knew how, with the limited knowledge we had at the time,” Mr Dickie said.
“Allison, being a strong and determined person, didn’t want us to worry.”
The Dickies and Allison’s sister, Vanessa Fowler, are partnering with Griffith University as part of its MATE Bystander program, aimed at teaching the business and corporate sector how to identify and handle abusive relationships. “Some people are educated not to intervene in what seems like private situations so a lot of people have pluralistic ignorance or they don’t know what to do or they have fear of making things more difficult,” Griffith University Professor Paul Mazzerolle said.
“We all have a role to play as bystanders, we can all have an impact.” Allison’s three daughters, who are now being raised by her parents, are excelling at school, Mr Dickie said.
“There’s been no adverse comments out of that school … they’re safe,” he said.