DV monitoring mulled after woman’s gym stabbing

A man alleged to have stabbed a woman outside a Sydney gym has handed himself in nearly 24 hours after the attack.

A man alleged to have stabbed a woman outside a Sydney gym has handed himself in nearly 24 hours after the attack. Photo: AAP

A woman’s stabbing, allegedly by her ex-partner, has fuelled further pledges for action to address what the NSW Premier has described as an “absolute emergency” of domestic violence.

Changes to bail laws, monitoring and the use of apprehended domestic violence orders are all being weighed by the state government following a spate of shocking attacks on women.

A 45-year-old man handed himself in to police on Thursday morning after a 39-year-old woman was stabbed in the neck, head and back early the previous afternoon outside a Sydney gym.

The attacker allegedly lay in wait for the woman to leave Crunch Fitness at Alexandria, in Sydney’s inner south, before stabbing her with a kitchen knife and then fleeing as others intervened.

Police will investigate whether there were any orders to protect the woman before the attack.

Detectives previously said the suspect had a history of domestic violence and had been in a brief relationship with the victim.

She was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The man is yet to be charged over the stabbing.

Premier Chris Minns said a woman being attacked by a man she knew was not rare and NSW faced an “absolute emergency” in domestic violence offending.

“We do need a change that needs to be comprehensive, the scale of this problem is growing … so we’re examining everything,” he said on Thursday.

Courts made more than 39,000 apprehended domestic violence orders in the past 12 months and the government was investigating how people subject to them were being monitored, Minns said.

Electronic monitoring would be investigated, but Minns flagged challenges such as monitoring costs and police resourcing.

Measures were being finalised to be considered by cabinet ahead of introduction to parliament in the next week, Minns said.

On Monday, the NSW government announced a $230 million package to reduce domestic violence through early prevention and education programs, as well as support for women’s refuges.

Detective Superintendent Rodney Hart said police believed Wednesday’s stabbing was targeted.

“We believe they had been in the past – earlier this year – in a very short domestic relationship,” he said.

Witnesses reported hearing the woman scream as she was walking towards her car.

“It was not a normal scream,” one woman said.

“Because of the distance, I wasn’t sure what he was trying to do to her … it looked like he was attacking her or he was trying to rob her.”

The witness thought the man was hiding in the car park as she did not see him when she arrived.

Another witness saw the woman helped upstairs into the gym, where staff began first-aid.

“She ran all the way upstairs. She was bleeding from the neck, from her ears,” he said.

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