He’s “going to kill me tonight, love you so much, don’t cry for me”. These are some of the final words sent to a loved one in a text message before Kumanjayi Haywood’s partner threw petrol beneath the bathroom door, the place she was hiding from him, and set the house alight.
Haywood’s case is part of a landmark coronial inquest into the violent deaths of four Aboriginal women at the hands of their domestic partners in the Northern Territory, which resumes on Monday with a further two weeks of scheduled hearings.
“For the past 23 years, on average more than three Aboriginal women have been killed each year in the Northern Territory by domestic partners,” the NT’s coroner, Elisabeth Armitage, told the court.
Her investigations reveal 81 women have died as a result of domestic violence in the Northern Territory since 2000; 93% of them were Aboriginal.
Armitage has combined the deaths of Kumanjayi Haywood, Ngeygo Ragurrk, Miss Yunupingu and Kumarn Rubuntja to examine systemic failings across the domestic, sexual and family violence sector.
In each case, the court heard how the women told authorities or a loved one they would be “killed” by their partner in the lead-up to their deaths.
“This is not somebody else’s horror. This is our horror,” Armitage said.
She said the escalating rate of domestic violence was a “terrible, terrible…