Faith Tkalac

Faith Tkalac

My son was run over and left for dead by his violent partner. A year later she has yet to be charged with causing his death, but I am constantly being tormented by her family.

See link to video of Faith telling her whole story at the bottom of this page.

In the early hours of Saturday, 29 February 2020, my son, Jari Wise, was struck by a car as he was walking along the side of a road south of Hobart. He was left to die. The van was driven by his partner of four years. They had been at a party together and he left after informing her he was permanently leaving her. She drove after Jari, went passed him, then turned back around and ran him down.

This woman has never been charged with manslaughter, let alone dangerous driving causing death. Her family is now tormenting me, setting up breaches of a restraining order they took against me, to get me repeatedly put in prison.

How it happened

My son Jari was a tall, quiet man who became the life of the party after just a beer or two. He was loved by everyone who met him. The attendance at his funeral of so many family, friends, work colleagues, old teachers and even strangers, made this incredibly clear.

My son was involved with the woman I’ll call “M” for approximately 4 years. Prior to the two of them forming a relationship, Jari was a regular at our family home. If not a daily drop in for a feed or family gathering, he was always in contact. Then only after a week or two of M being in his life, the visits became less frequent as well as any other form of contact. I feel personally that M was jealous of Jari’s close relationship with his family.

Jari was a victim of domestic violence

By 2020 I had not seen or heard from my son for 3 or 4 months. M had drummed into him that he was not loved by us and she was the only person who cared for him. My boy was in a relationship with a violent woman. I never left my phone on silent overnight as every few weeks Jari would ring me for help.

Many stories of violence toward my boy have been reported to me since his death. On one occasion M even called me in the night asking if I wanted to hear her wake him up. I could hear her hitting him and him yelling out to her, “What do you want?” This was devastating.

During the Christmas holidays, Kobi (Jari’s firstborn) went to stay with Jari and M. I was awoken around 2am by a knock at the door. There was Jari with Kobi, white as a ghost in his arms, and a police officer. Jari’s clothes were torn and Kobi had been vomiting. The police explained that Jari had to come to my house so M could “cool off”.

These one-sided violent episodes had happened many times during their relationship. The following morning Jari and Kobi explained what had happened. M had told little Kobi (he’s only four) to get out of her house. Jari picked his son up to leave and she struck at him with a large kitchen knife. I demanded Jari come with me to the police station as I’d had enough of this abuse.

M was charged with assault and damaging property (Jari’s clothes) and given bail. Had this been a female victim then family services would have been called, counselling would have been have provided for the victim and all the children in the house; bail would not have been an option and most definitely the knife-wielding maniac wouldn’t have been told, “It’s okay, just cool down”. There was no help for my son.

Violence led to Jari’s death

A family violence order was placed on M. She breached this order over 100 times. Within weeks she drove past my son on the road, turned back around and ran him down. She left him there and went back to the party they had both previously been at, apparently firstly telling people that Jari smashed her van with a bat, and then that she’d hit a kangaroo.

Later she went back to the scene and was arrested. But she was released on bail the next day, and now faces only charges of dangerous driving, failing to remain at the scene of the collision, and driving while exceeding the prescribed alcohol limit.

The road and traffic investigators, most of the police I’ve spoken to, detectives, magistrates, they are all gobsmacked that she has not been charged with dangerous driving causing death. The police officers have been beautiful, they did everything they could, the traffic people have been fantastic. The coroner’s report said he was killed by injuries caused by a motor vehicle. The police, traffic investigators, have told me they presented to the DPP everything they had and expected that outcome – dangerous driving causing death. The problem is up higher, in the justice system right up to the DPP.

Harassed by her family

I live in a small community and I see M driving around freely; she and members of her family persistently harass me. They took out a violence intervention order against me when I “lost it” when they drove away from a court hearing. I yelled at them and banged my hands on their car. Now they are using that to set up me up, deliberately coming near me and then claiming I’ve breached the order. This has led to me being put in prison overnight four times.

After Jari’s death I lost my permanent job in disability services, a job I really loved, because I couldn’t face people. There’s been times when it has all just got too much. I ended up going to the hospital emergency just before Jari’s birthday and told them they had to do something to help me, lock me up or something. It had broken me.

The hospital organised mental health support, gave me some strategies which has helped. But my husband had to take time off his work to support me and help with my other children. He wasn’t comfortable leaving me alone. He’s been amazing – I couldn’t have got through this without him.

He’s back at work now but the latest bail conditions restrict me from driving or leaving my home without a family member so I can’t get any paid work. We’ve had huge costs – the last time we had to pay $1000 to get bail.  We’ve gone from being financially secure to really struggling.

I’m so angry. I haven’t even grieved for my son yet. I haven’t been able to spend days in bed crying, mourning for my baby because there’s so much outside stuff going on that I just can’t grieve.

The missing charge of “dangerous driving causing death” would be there if my male child had been female. That’s what I want to hear. My son’s life matters.

Watch the video of Faith telling her whole story here

Read more stories from mothers of sons who have faced injustice here