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Double tragedy for Samoan community in Sydney after woman stabbed

A Samoan woman based in Sydney Australia, Ruth Mata’afa, was stabbed to death by her former boyfriend during the weekend in a brutal scene that ended with the man taking his own life.

Police from Sydney’s Mount Druitt area found Ms. Mata’afa, 22, outside a house in Bidwill around midday on Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald (S.M.H.) reports.  

Paramedics treated her at the scene for multiple stab wounds to her chest, side and back, and she was taken to Westmead Hospital where she died later in the afternoon.

The former boyfriend, 22-year-old Jaciah Fuimaono, was found dead inside the home with knife wounds in his chest.

New South Wales Police confirmed Mr. Fuimaono stabbed Ms. Mata’afa before himself, and that police are investigating what happened.

Police believe the pair had broken off a long-term relationship but may have been trying to reunite on Saturday. 

Reports say there were family members present in the house at the time and had tried to intervene in the attack.

Detective Chief Inspector, Paul Tickner, from the Mount Druitt area command described the incident as “a tragic loss of life."

“They're only 22 years old, [they] had their whole life in front of them, and unfortunately both are lost to us.”

Police are not seeking out anyone else in relation to the incident. Detectives have commenced an investigation and specialist forensic police will examine the crime scene, the S.M.H. states.

Destroy the Joint, a gender equality advocacy group, reports Ms. Mata’afa is the 23rd woman killed by a partner or family member in Australia in 2020.

The group said nine women were killed in May alone, which happens to be Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

Ms. Mata’afa’s death has been mourned visibly on social media, alongside the tag #HERNAMEIS. Some users have even changed their usernames on Twitter to #HERNAMEIS RUTH MATAAFA in her honour.

On Facebook, the young woman’s cousin wrote a heartfelt tribute that included a call to action on domestic violence.

“While we may never understand why or never get the answers to so many questions we must understand and acknowledge that Domestic Violence is alive and active. And it MUST STOP!,” Sela Aaifou wrote.

“Please make it a priority to teach your sons, brothers, nephews how to respect love and care for women. Teach your daughters, sisters, nieces to be strong fearless women in Christ and that their identity and worth is in Christ period!

“And most importantly let’s teach and be examples of RESPECT, LOVE, HONOUR and HUMILITY at all times to EVERYONE!

Australian writer and gender equality advocate, Tarang Chawla, also took to social media with a plea for more attention to domestic violence in Australia.

“Why is it so difficult to see the entitlement of these men in their acts of violence?

“Why is it so difficult to ignore the deafening cries of women who are murdered by their current or former partners?

“Ruth had her whole life ahead of her. And yet, one man's actions have meant that her future has been stolen from her.”


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