IN OCTOBER 2014, when Katrina Miles’ youngest child hadn’t even started school, the mother-of-four shared a chilling poem about domestic violence.
Last Friday, Katrina was found shot to death in her bed, next to her eight-year-old son Kayden.
Her other children Taye, 13, Rylan, 12 and Arye, 10 were also found in bed, all with gunshot wounds.
Katrina’s father Peter Miles, 61, is suspected of an act of domestic violence, killing his daughter and her young children before killing his wife Cynda and then turning the gun on himself.
The poem released by domestic violence campaign group Red Heart, was originally posted on Facebook four years ago but now the words hold heavy significance. It is not stated whether the work is fictional.
Titled “I am battered not broken”, Katrina’s poem speaks of her children. All four of Katrina’s children were on the autism spectrum.
“How can I save my family from open-handed fists, from cruel, persistent words,” Katrina wrote.
The poem was written by Katrina and was shared on Facebook by her mother Cynda.
“The walls echo with the thump of my body. The fists in the doors. The creak of a beer bottle being opened. The shame behind our doors.
“I look in the young eyes that still love me. I ask myself, so ashamed.”
Speaking to news.com.au, Red Heart Campaign’s founder Sherele Moody said focus needed to be put back on the shooting as an incident of domestic violence.
“Katrina is dead now and basically I feel as if the kids, Cynda and her are becoming forgotten in this discussion,” she said.
“The poem is just so sad and it’s distressing. I speak to a lot of women who could probably write the exact same poem, Katrina is speaking beyond the grave.
“I hope her death will be something that will turn the light on domestic violence in Australia.”
Peter and Cynda Miles bought the Osmington property, named Forever Dreaming, in 2014 and converted an on-site shed into living quarters for Katrina and her children.
“She went to a place where she should’ve been safe with her parents, and obviously her mum was supportive and I’m sure her father was supportive but he was also a killer,” Ms Moody said.
I’M BATTERED NOT BROKEN BY KATRINA MILES
I stare into the depths of my worries
The crease between the frown
The hollowness of my cheeks is an echo
My stomach beats to the litany of my hurts
I stare and stare and stare
Hoping for salvation
Hoping hoping hoping
All peace is lost, fragmented, worn
I glare myself into submission
The shrieks of my children
The echo of my shouts
The thump of my dignity slammed against a wall
The odour of stale beer has a name called fear
The creak of a door
The sound of a petrol ute
Stiffens our shoulders, hurtles our spines uptight
Paste those fake smiles, quick hurry quick hurry quick hurry
Shh shh child
Please Please Please be good
Be calm, be still
Make it easy,
Oh the shame
Make it easy
How can I be five places at once
How can I save my family from open handed fists, from cruel, persistent words
… I shout, I shout, I shout
No No No No
I leave, I come, I leave, I come
I have left …
In my head I am there
Here I am suspended
Save my children, save, save, save them
In my head I am there
The walls echo with the thump of my body
The fists in the doors
The creak of a beer bottle being opened
The shame behind our doors.
I look in the young eyes that still love me
I ask myself, so ashamed.
Katrina c. Cockman 22nd October 2014