Tragedy of Graziella: Murder victim unable to escape abuse
A South Australian woman killed by her partner repeatedly rejected police efforts to support and protect her, a coroner has found.
Graziella Dailler and Dion Wayne Muir died on the same day in 2014 at their Encounter Bay home with Mr Muir killing Ms Dailler before taking his own life.
In her findings into the two deaths, deputy coroner Jayne Basheer said Ms Dailler had viewed attempts by police to investigate previous instances of domestic violence as an unwanted interference in her private affairs.
She said neither the 48-year-old, nor any abuse victim, should be criticised for such decisions, with the reasons many reject assistance both varied and complex.
Ms Basheer said the relationship between Ms Dailler and Mr Muir, 44, was volatile and compounded by alcohol abuse.
"One of the sad features of this case is that, notwithstanding Ms Dailler's courage in finally reporting acts of domestic abuse, including historical offending, attempted strangulation, savage beatings and the like, she was unable to maintain her resolve to hold Mr Muir accountable for his actions," the coroner said.
"That is one of the sad realities of the cycle of domestic abuse."
However, Ms Basheer also identified delays in the investigation of some incidents by police and a "laxity in incident documentation".
"One of the most powerful influences that police can have in a context where a person has been violent or threatened to be violent is the power of arrest and charging," she said.
"If that power is not exercised expeditiously or, worse still is not exercised at all, there is a real danger that the offender will think he or she has 'gotten away with it'."
The coroner said she did not consider the shortcoming by authorities to have substantially contributed to the two deaths.
"To suggest otherwise would be to ignore the complexity of their relationship and the impact of Ms Dailler's determination to discontinue charges and intervention orders on the ability of SA police to protect her from harm," she said.
"Neither Ms Dailler nor any other victim of domestic abuse should be criticised for such decisions.
"On the contrary, the factors which lead victims of abuse to reject assistance and to discontinue legal proceedings are varied and complex and include psychological factors which were beyond the scope of this inquest to explore."
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.