Women's Refuge: System failed Mei Fan

Mei Fan (Supplied)
Mei Fan (Supplied)

A women support group says women who speak out against their violent partners must be taken seriously, or we could see more cases like the murder of Mei Fan.

The mother-of-two was killed in a violent attack in her home in 2013, with her ex-husband, Michael Preston, yesterday found guilty of her murder.

Ms Fan was so worried about Preston that she asked Women's Refuge for support and advice.

She then took out a protection order, but that couldn't stop him.

"He thought he owned her; he had an immense sense of entitlement," says Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury.

Dr Jury says Ms Fan's murder case is another domestic violence tragedy.

"We've got another example of a woman who did everything she thought she could do to keep herself safe."

Ms Fan had the protection order granted just a day before Preston attacked and killed her in her Miramar home and Women's Refuge says the system failed her.

"Unless they're taken seriously then we're going to have this sort of thing happen again," says Dr Jury.

Around 29 people are killed in family violence incidents each year, with nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes related to family violence.

Today people gathered in central Auckland ahead of White Ribbon Day tomorrow to show their support for speaking out against family violence.

Mark Longley's daughter, Emily, was killed by her boyfriend in the UK. He says communities need to start talking about the issue.

"It's one of the great social issues that New Zealand is facing. We need to get people talking about it," says Mr Longley.

Ms Fan's boyfriend at the time of her death, Tani Hoyhtya, in a statement said:

"Justice has been served...I am satisfied with the verdict. This is a really important step in a very long process...I have been waiting for justice over two years."

Both Mr Hoyhtya and Women's Refuge say they hope Preston is given a fair sentence when it's handed down in three weeks' time.

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