Forgotten victims of domestic violence

On the same day the media crowded into the Supreme Court to hear a judge find Simon Gittany guilty of murdering his girlfriend Lisa Harnum, Keeli Dutton lay dead in her apartment.

The mother-of-three's stabbing death on November 26 went largely unreported. There was no expensive high-rise apartment, instead a housing commission block in Miller.

There were no glamorous photos, just a troubled 41-year-old who had battled drugs and alcohol while raising a daughter and two sons.

Yet as in the case reaching a climax 40 kilometres away, police allege Ms Dutton was killed by her partner, David Murray, 49.

She was one of seven women allegedly murdered by a partner or family member in the past four months, all forgotten victims in the tidal wave of domestic violence.

One woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner, the Australian Institute of Criminology has reported.

In NSW, 24 women were killed last year in domestic-related incidents. They spanned all ages and backgrounds, from the eastern suburbs to country towns.

''I never thought I would see my sister in this position, never in a million years,'' said Charnie Braz, whose ''fearless baby sister'' Marika Ninness, 35, was allegedly bashed to death by her boyfriend of 10 months, Ross Merrick, in December.

''She was the sort of girl who didn't put up with anyone's nonsense … she was loving and kind but she didn't take shit from anyone. To suddenly lose her like that is just horrific.''

Marika, a mother of three, had separated from her husband but was thinking of leaving her new boyfriend for the sake of her marriage and young family.

Her friends had heard less and less from her. Posts on social media seemed out of character.

''She was just not as in touch as she had been,'' Ms Braz said. ''Towards the end I felt like I hadn't heard from her in weeks, she was just really distant.''

Mr Merrick, 30, allegedly punched his girlfriend once in the face during a late-night fight outside a Maitland shopping centre. She died two weeks later from serious head injuries.

On the same day her life support was switched off, friends of vivacious 29-year-old Ivana Ukropina scattered her ashes at her favourite spot, Coogee Beach.

The eastern suburbs law student had just finished working as an intern on a University of NSW Pro Bono Resource Centre project on family law and violence. In a cruel twist, she allegedly became a victim of family violence herself, stabbed once in the back by her father, Djuro Ukropina, and found on the footpath outside their Kingsford home.

''Her goal in life was to help people, and she died doing just that,'' her partner, Nenad Bogdanic, posted online. ''I can't think of anyone less deserving of this fate.''

In January, mother-of-three Victoria Comrie Cullen, 39, allegedly had her throat slashed by her estranged husband Christopher, 50, on the day she was due in court in a legal battle following the breakdown of their 15-year marriage.

Her body was found in a Taren Point car park, and her husband was located nearby with superficial, self-inflicted wounds.

Less than a month later, Elie Boukarim came home to his Bankstown unit block to see a body being carried out on a stretcher. It was his mother, ''my angel, my life, my queen, the closest person to me'', he said.

Margaret Tannous, 47, was allegedly bashed by her husband, George Tannous, following ongoing disputes including accusations of affairs on both sides.

''You suffered for 18 years while another woman would have let go after 3 months, for us,'' her son posted in a tribute online. ''You were the strongest woman, the strongest person I knew.''

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