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Abbott going Batty just doesn’t cut it – the media and the minister for women are failing miserably

I admire Rosie Batty. She has suffered immeasurable grief and tragedy with grace, courage and fortitude. She has moved forward, from the depths of despair with a resolute determination to highlight the issue of domestic violence and to try and change things for the better. Her obvious character and strength make her admirable choice for Australian of the year.

That said, the sight of the media scrum snapping happily while Abbott cozies up to her at every possible photo opportunity is scraping new depths, even for our minister for women.

The casual misogyny with which Abbott selected his cabinet, named himself minister for women and then went on to support to the proposed funding cuts for women’s refuges; the glee with which he poses in front of fighter jets and spends billions sending our troops off to war (apparently for our safety and security), and yet continues to ignore the plethora of women killed as a result of domestic violence is absolutely breathtaking.

There has been no dialogue about this at all coming from our minister for women, no billions to fund a war on domestic violence, no proposed judicial reform and no education campaigns, just a lame promise to put a national “restraining order” on the books. A move that will do nothing to change the attitudes of the general public or the behavior of offenders. Quite frankly Abbott’s lack of rigor on the issue is an insult to all Australians, men and women alike.

12-domestic-violence-300x193

But it’s not just the minister for women that is letting the side down; the media are also missing in action. For the most part we hear absolutely nothing of the people living in our communities that lose their lives to the scourge of domestic violence. Right now there are thousands of men, women and children suffering silently in their homes, with little hope of escape or assistance.

While there are quite clearly perpetrators of both genders, the overwhelming majority of victims are women; and it is a sad indictment of our society that on average one woman is killed by her intimate partner every single week and we rarely, if ever, hear anything about it, save for the odd statistic. We get no names, no faces, no interviews with grieving relatives, no court reporting on the sentence; nothing that makes it real or tangible for us.

So why is it that neither Abbott, nor the main stream media, has any tangible appetite for the issue of domestic violence? Unless of course it is the children that are killed; that’s another thing altogether.

Who could forget the media frenzy that ensued when Robert Farquharson murdered his three sons by strapping them into his car and driving them into a dam, or when four year old Darcy Freeman was thrown off the Westgate bridge, and most recently when Rosie Batty’s eleven year old son was brutally beaten to death. These “stories” hit the news cycle like pop songs on high rotation, where every intricate detail, every arrest, every court date, every psychologist’s report and judge’s statement is ghoulishly devoured and endlessly regurgitated by the mainstream media. 

But when it’s the wife or the girlfriend that’s the victim all there is is a deafeningly hollow silence. No media scrums outside the court house, no politicians banging their fists and declaring something will be done. There is nothing…. zip, zilch, nada.

domestic violence

Why is it that? Could it be that we, as a society, just don’t care about women? Surely that can’t be the case? What about Jill Meagher? The media were out in force for her. Thousands of protesters marched through the streets carrying placards. And what about Ms Vukotic who was tragically slain in a Doncaster park? Her murder was deemed worthy of a media scrum.

But why is the untimely demise of these women deserving of so much media outrage, while the murders of so many other women are completely overlooked and ignored? The only discernible difference I can see is that Ms Meagher and Ms Vukotic were a.) murdered by a totally random stranger, not a sexual partner. b.) they were not sex workers, and c.) Ms Meagher worked in the media. While these facts may have made these cases more media noteworthy, they do not make them any more heartbreakingly tragic.

I admit I am no psychologist, but to me it looks like we have two classes of victims. The first being children, (who are clearly innocent by virtue of their age) and women who are unknown to their attackers; and the second being sex workers or women who are beaten and or killed by their intimate partners.

If you fall into the first category the violence visited on you is an outrage, worthy of the harshest punishment and endless sensationalized regurgitation in the 24 hour news cycle. If you fall into the second category your fate is greeted by the media, the government and the judiciary (who are the only ones who have the power to actually do something tangible about Australia’s domestic violence problem) with a collective yawn. It’s a curious divide.

I remember how shocked I was when several years back a friend of my mother’s was nearly beaten to death by the man she was dating. In an alcohol fueled rage he repeatedly rammed her head into the wooden arm rest of a Jacobean couch until he had smashed her skull in several places. She sustained permanent brain damage; and he, in spite of being charged with attempted murder and found guilty, was given an 18 months sentence, wholly suspended. He didn’t serve a single day in jail over the attack.

There was some kind of glib summing up by the judge about volatile relationships, too much alcohol and things getting “a bit out of hand”, and how as they were no longer together she was highly unlikely to suffer a repeat attack. Sending him to jail would apparently cause him to lose his job and his stymie his ability to pay child support so there was “nothing to be gained by a custodial sentence”.

We were all totally gob smacked; this man had almost beaten her to death and left her with permanent brain damage and he barely got a slap on the wrist!

enough

Admittedly this was several years ago, but from what I understand this kind of thing is still quite common. Intimate partner violence is systematically trivialized by the police, the courts, and the government; and it is largely ignored by both the minister for women and the media.

Curious. If women are beaten or murdered by strangers it is an outrage, but if the the attack is perpetrated by their sexual partners it seems we really don’t give a damn.

The burning question is why? Any thoughts anyone?

BADEN CLAY ARREST BRISBANE

33 comments

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  1. dragonnanny

    Thank you Letitia for a most interesting article. Firstly, may I point out that Jill’s surname is Meagher not Meagre. Other than that I agree with you wholeheartedly that our Minister for Women has not done anything that benefits me as a woman or anyone I know. Even anyone I do not know. And while I would have hoped for more awareness and understanding of the issue of domestic violence it seems it is getting worse each year. When I was involved with DV groups 23 years ago awareness seemed to be growing but maybe people are not as interested as I hoped they would be.

  2. Letitia McQuade

    thanks will correct spelling immediately

  3. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    I suspect there is a lingering adherence to the long held belief – still current in some cultures – that women are the property of their male partners. And you don’t interfere in a mate’s marriage.

  4. Blanik

    As a male victim of domestic violence over many years and who has received serious head injuries, from a drunken wife, and while catching one of my daughters being bashed, and learning later that that abuse happened often, I am totally against domestic violence. It does happen to men and is ignored. However every time I write on this topic I am abused and I expect the same to happen this time.

    However It won’t stop me from saying that while it may not happen to the same degree as it does to women, it does happen to men and we are ignored much more the women are and are usually blamed for causing the violence. This may be so in some instances, but not all. A drunk woman can be just as violent as any men.

    I shall now don my flame jacket, but as I won’t be visiting this conversation again don’t bother with the abuse.

  5. philgorman2014

    Misogyny is very deeply embedded in our culture. It surrounds us all from birth and we are acculturated to it by the age of three. I don’t know what the answer to it is. One might hope that a new wave of feminism might arise among the young but as the young are addicted to the false promises of a debauched social media I doubt they will be able to free themselves.

  6. M-R

    I find it very easy to blame the media for a great deal that goes on in our society. It’s never acknowledged that all its arms have enormous power; and its members do not accept the responsibility that accompanies power. Much like that useless idiot who’s happy to smooge up to Rosy for their benefit, but totally unwilling to do anything about domestic violence.
    Phil Gorman is right: misogyny is embedded in our culture. This is A Fact, and simply cannot be denied. Men like their rôle, and far too many women let them play it because it’s easy to respond to – meaning that women in the company of misogynistic men don’t have to think about anything much … they just play the accommodating rôle.
    I believe all it would take is for a real leader to set the tone/example and you’d find a groundswell uprushing. But as our leader is a lying bastard, and the other bloke is a … a nothing, there’s no chance of our seeing that happen.

  7. Graham Parton

    Do nothing for women? What do you mean? He’s already explained that as the women of Australia are doing the ironing they can rejoice that there’s no carbon tax on the electricity they are using. Surely that’s sufficient and he can now retire as the most successful Minister for Women ever.

  8. Annie B

    As of about 7 weeks ago, Daniel Andrews ( Premier of Victoria ) vowed again to tackle the problem of domestic violence ( as he promised pre election ), and to that end, launched a Royal Commission into Family Violence :

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/andrews-government-launches-royal-commission-into-family-violence/story-fni0fit3-1227234163518

    I do not read the herald-sun so do not know if they have followed the progress, but have not seen any updates on how this Commission is going – on TV newscasts. So here in Victoria, we await the outcome. I wonder if the outcome – whatever that might be, will manage to make it in the news in other States ????

    Mind you, Daniel Andrews is a Labor Premier, and therefore ( at least here ) thinks differently to any Liberal bod. …. His actions ( especially to do with the ridiculous leniency of the courts in these horrid matters ) …. should be a lead to the alleged ‘leader’ of this nation. … But then – that wouldn’t happen would it ? …. a) Abbott himself is misogynistic, and b) he wouldn’t be caught dead following a Labor leaders’ lead. !!

    By the way, a little bird told me that Ms. Batty does not like the pm one bit. …. advised to me by a friend of that lady. …. I cannot attest to its’ absolute truth, so I won’t try – – – but I think one only has to see the body language and the look on the face of Ms. Batty – on occasions that Abbott has unashamedly made her into a ‘photo op’ – for himself, to realise there just might be some truth to the birdies’ whispers !!

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  9. Annie B

    @ Letitia …. A harrowing but well written article, long overdue. …. Well done, and thank you.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,

    And @ Blanik –

    whether you have returned or not, I for one do not denigrate you or wish to in any way abuse you for your stand on the matter of women who mercilessly beat their husbands and children. …. It most certainly does happen, I have seen it for myself ( in my own family ) … drink was the driving force there too.

    But it’s not only drink – some people ( both genders ) are simply taught to be bullies from an early age, and cannot – do not want to – change. … How wrong they all are to think that brutality empowers them.

    It is a disgusting vile thing, that any human being can perpetrate these attacks, on another. …. and it must be addressed, on both sides equally.

  10. diannaart

    DV only effects men if it…. well…. effects men – as Blanik states above.

    Perhaps we need to reframe the issue:

    Bigger or more powerful people are not to be excused in the use of violence or other forms of intimidation over smaller or less powerful people.

    In other words – ‘big’ people stop beating up on ‘little’ people – ‘big’ and ‘little’ meant figuratively.

    Have I managed to completely eliminate any gender bias from the issue of DV? Good.

    Now, we can talk about how some people, like to get all dominating, controlling and sometimes physical at anyone –

    men get beaten up more often by other men,

    then it is wives and kiddies,

    then it is women who beat up on their partners and children,

    in a correspondingly descending order of frequency.

    All abusers/bullies, tyrants and various impotent nut-jobs who use their greater strength and/or social standing to demean others are to be outed.

    As this is the greatest group of both bullies and victims, it needs attention first. Maybe. This means a lot of men are going to be speaking out against their fathers, sons, brothers, mates, team-mates, drinking buddies and assorted strangers for their behaviour.

    Then we can work on men speaking out against their fathers, sons, brothers, mates, team-mates et al for their appalling behaviour to women and children.

    Then we get to out women who like to get as vile as men.

    Or, we can out all bullies at the same time – a kind of general no excuse to harm others, ever.

    Others may try to diminish what I say – however, I am a survivor of bullying, abuse and worse – not just once in my life, but always from people I knew, people I should’ve been able to trust.

    If any people reading this have never been bullied – perhaps you might need to take a look at your own behaviour, or maybe you have just been lucky. Bullying is very common and survivors have had enough.

    Abuse is never the fault of the abused.

  11. Kevin Arnold

    Everything said here is valid comment. But, and there is always a but, we have all witnessed one of the worst attacks on a woman that I have witnessed in my 73 years. We then elected the perpetrators to the highest offices in the land. Where were the women’s groups, the Gay lobby and all those complaining now? Oh, Gillard was an atheist , Gillard was a Labor politician, Gillard was something that we did not want her to be. Get the drift? The old story about doing nothing until they came for me. Make no mistake, this lapse of judgement by a nation, or a majority of us, condemns us. We can all hang our heads in shame because the signs were there.

  12. ranterulze

    Really, further comment is barely needed. Except that AIMN are seeking comment and discussion. So I’ll just say – brilliant but distressing, and why oh why is mainstream media so blind? Especially re Gillard and Triggs!

  13. Bob

    It’s very simple. God gave men dominion over women. The Holy Roman Apostolic Church is the infallible Authority that knows the mind of God. Tony Abbott studied for the priesthood in said Church. Consequently Tony Abbott is the absolute best Minister for Women who ever has been or ever will be.
    This is why he has reduced funding for women’s shelters. He knows that these refuges are just places for women who have been misled by lesbian, commo, socialist, greenie, labor propaganda. Our Minister for Women would have these misguided individuals return to the Authority of their men as God intended.
    Now I know that Abbott wants to spend $45 million on propaganda about the issue. But his purpose here is to spend money with the press, firstly to reward his very good friend Rupert Murdoch ans secondly to bring the Fairfax Press to heel and stop their entirely unjustified criticism of his perfect government.

  14. Kerri

    The answer to me comes down to choice!
    Men, and many women in our patriarchial society see sex workers and women partnered by violent characters as having chosen their fate. The sex workers choose to take on shady nasty characters and therefore get what they deserve. Women who partner violent men must have known when they first met them that they would later beat them up. They are just stupid women who make bad choices, unlike men who can clearly see the tattoo on the offenders forehead stating “ABUSER”. Women are too stupid to notice this unless they are the partners of a mate who you meet weekly at the pub and tells you he had to give her a bit of skin last night coz, well, she’s a stupid bitch!
    And the women who support this attitude are higher and mightier.
    Jill Meagher should not have tried to walk home alone at night and Masa Vukotic should never have walked alone in a perk in broad daylight!!! I mean what were they thinking? That they deserve to be safe in a “civilised” community?
    The puzzle for me is that these same groups of critical know alls are the ones who cannot abide the treatment of women in radical muslim societies.
    Why didn’t she leave many politicians will ask on one hand, whilst signing the documents to close down refuges with the other.
    By the way let’s not forget Prabha Arun Kumar?

  15. diannaart

    Sometimes I do not know whom to despair of more; men who do nothing to prevent their ‘mates’ from denigrating women or women themselves.

    Why is a sex worker to blame for rabid behaviour of clients? BTW there are male sex workers as well who get beaten up and or abused, just why is it acceptable for clients to beat up sex workers?

    As for women who marry abusive men, I cannot speak for all women but my circumstances changed radically after that gold band was placed on my finger – I became someone’s property, however that is not the point, many of us find we chose the wrong partner or we change(grow up?) or our circumstances change, thereby bringing out characteristics that were not to the fore of a person’s character before. Hindsight is the only perfect vision.

    Simply blaming victims, as we did in the past and continue to do, Kerri, doesn’t stop abusers from abusing.

    The blame is squarely on those who will not control their tempers or sense of self-entitlement… along with a good dose of blame on the women and men who do not ‘out’ these cretins.

  16. gangey1959

    WOW
    I do love that last question.
    Watched 60 minutes ice ‘article’ last night.
    Driver on ICE kills 3 people in accident he caused by driving through an intersection at about 120kmh. He got 18 years. I was affronted at that. Maybe 18 years, per murder, consecutive. Apparently, whilst he has to pay for his crime(s), he has to be able to repent too.
    Getting back to Letitia’s final question.
    How does “F*CK THAT your Honour” sound?
    Where and when does the family and community get some input?
    Whilst I do heartily agree that if the child(ren) is/are his he must be made to support them, attempted murder is attempted murder.
    I used to have a problem with alcohol. Two hands, one mouth etc etc. My last fight was in grade 5.
    The reality is it’s this ‘Free Will’ thing that religious nuts use whenever they are put on the spot about God v Good v Evil.
    The bloke concerned is nothing more than a violent thug who uses alcohol as an excuse, and has a good barrister as his mouthpiece.
    He should be locked up, and a method found to use his time inside to generate financial support for his kids, and I guess ultimately himself.
    Jug is expensive after all.
    When he is back out, he can make his own excuses to his new prospective employers.
    Same as I have to these days for being 55 and better at the job than someone who has been in Australia for 2 years but I can’t communicate with the Plant Manager quite as well.

  17. Harquebus

    I think that we should have a licensed to purchase alcohol. Commit a crime under the influence, lose your license or have it suspended. I would also hold license holders responsible for crimes committed under the influence by anyone who they provide alcohol to.
    I know more than one whose demeanor turns nasty when drinking alcohol.

  18. Lee

    I agree with Kerri. A lot of people who have never experienced DV cannot understand why the victims stay or allow it to continue. So they blame the victim for not getting out of a bad situation and if they’re not going to do anything to help themselves then they must deserve to be beaten. Children can’t do anything about their situation and neither can women who get killed by strangers when not indulging in high risk activities, like Masa Vukotic. Hence the reason why the latter make the news and the former seldom do. When women are killed by their intimate or former intimate partner, it often only features in the news if there are circumstances that people perceive to be outside of the victim’s control, e.g. the killer breached a domestic violence order.

  19. diannaart

    Lee, thanks for your comment – I believe I misunderstood Kerri

    Apologies, Kerri.

    This topic is too close to me – just getting the courage to write something is hard enough, but worse, if I should misread another’s comments.

  20. Letitia McQuade

    Hello All,

    Wanted to clarify… the man referred to in the article was found guilty of a lesser charge… something like Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm… he was definitely found guilty of the attack, but as it was deemed not to be pre-meditated, and fueled by alcohol it was found not to be technically attempted murder. An attempted murder charge would carry a mandatory sentence… sorry for any misunderstanding…

  21. Annie B

    Fantastic comments here … all good imo, and worthy of grand debate.

    @ Kerri …

    You have no need to apologise. … Your original statement was more than cogent.

    The problem is – ( re Masa Vukotic for example ) … that she ‘trustingly’ walked – in the daylight hours, along a walking track, not ever suspecting that some below-bestial mongrel would attack and kill her.

    But – these creatures ARE out there …. ( mostly – 99% ) male predators. …. It is unutterably sickening, and a law of the jungle.

    I wrote an article recently which I posted to my blog, ( not putting that link here at the moment, as it is a work in progress ) … which pointed out that women must take responsibilities for themselves. …. Shame as it is to have to even utter it. …

    Part of that article asked, if a group of young ( ish ) women were asked to enter the Thap Lan ( Thailand ) jungle, where tigers abide (” According to researchers, the park may have more tigers than China.” ) – would they do it ? …,. Tigers are beautiful creatures, but also are dangerous – and they are killers.

    My thought was – the answer would be a resounding “NO” – they would not enter that jungle, without devised protection, without human guides ( armed security ) , or without some means of protecting themselves – be that a fire-arm, or some knock-out device.

    The point I make is that trust has disappeared …. the streets are dangerous ( not at all a fanciful conclusion ) and women absolutely MUST think before setting out on their own, for whatever reason. …. Therefore they must take their own responsibility for doing whatever they want to do – on streets that can be ( now-a-days) dangerous, ….. It is quite simple, while at the same time, ghastly to have to contemplate.

    It is a moot point now, but Jill Meagher – in the early a.m. hours in a Brunswick ( Melbourne ) street, surely should have taken extra precautions. But she made a human mistake – she ‘trusted’ – by attempting to walk a few blocks home. … She therefore ( unintentionally ) entered a potential jungle, containing one killing creature.

    She ‘trusted’ the situation, to her ultimate death.

    This is not a war between men and women … it has nothing to do with who has a RIGHT to do what they should be able to do — it is a war against sick, violently disposed, and predatory monsters who ARE out there …. just awaiting their opportunities. This applies to men, as well as women … predatory humans will attack – both women AND men.

    We cannot kid ourselves any longer.

    ………….

  22. Annie B

    Just another thought ….

    Perhaps, all women from the age of young teens, should be taught how to physically protect themselves, or it perhaps should be mandatory that they carry tasers, pepper spray, or be schooled in the arts of self protection ( Tai Kwondo, Judo, – martial arts of some kind ).

    This most likely would set the predators, back on their heels – cause them to hesitate before tackling someone for their own depraved satisfaction. …. It would also help people to FEEL more protected – or at least give a different and positive impression – that of confidence – in confronting a would-be predator.

    My own grandson, who was bullied mercilessly at school, was sent ( wisely ) by his parents, to learn a martial arts discipline. From the time he began that – to now – he has not been approached again by the would-be bullies. … He is respected. Why ? … because they seem to just ‘know’ and acknowledge, that he can protect himself now. ……… And so the weak-minded mongrels, have backed off.

    It is in body language, attitude and fearless-ness – that a person can change a potential course of action.

    Women ( in particular ) should learn how to protect themselves – IF they want to feel free to walk anywhere – at any time.

    Because, these days, it is a dangerous option to consider that just about everywhere, is safe enough to be.

  23. Sir ScotchMistery

    I was so close – I saw the post header, and thought “ah not my part of ship”, and hit the delete button, then thought again, and hit “undo”. Thanks Gmail.

    The issue is “our” problem. It’s not “men” it’s not “women” it’s “Australia’s” problem. Every one of us owns it, and every single one of us needs to put our collective hands up and accept that single fact.

    The issue isn’t about men or women or kids. It’s about a mind-set that says “violence is okay”, either on the street like Jill Meagher, or in the home, like OUR OWN Diannaart, or on the sports field like Rosie Batty. We let these things happen, and we don’t stand up and say “ENOUGH”. WE are the ones capable of stopping it.

    We are the ones who see a colleague with a black eye and accept when she says “walked into a door”.
    We are the teachers who see a bruised child and CHOOSE not to report it.
    We are the cops who say “drunk again”.
    We are the magistrates who accept a bullshit story from a recidivist nonce without the wit to be concerned at his (or her) behaviour.
    We are the parents of the perpetrator who stand up for him/it in court.
    We are the neighbours who listen and do nothing.
    We are the doctors in emergency who don’t force the reporting issue with the victim. It isn’t a choice – you see – you report.

    Every single one of us owns this issue.

    We are the problem..

  24. Annie B

    @ Sir Scotch …

    Absolutely … you have said most all of it in your post ( 7.58 pm ).

    We are, indeed – the problem. …. Because we will not speak out when we should; when we must.

    It is most certainly, not confined to one gender – when one looks at e.g. the brutal physical treatment of children – rarely – if ever – reported.

    That brutality can come from mother, father, brother, sister – any or all of them, towards one or more children in a family.

    ,,,,,,,

    What promotes the attitude towards a ( seemingly ) collective state of mind that reflects ” violence is ok – and quite acceptable” ?

    Sir Scotch said it – …. it is our inability to accept this problem, and own it as ours.

    Wondering if we ever will stand up and acknowledge this situation as something we should ( collectively ) act upon – to stop at least a good percentage of it, happening.

    I wonder ………

  25. Happy Annie

    Women don’t leave because…….
    Women don’t stay because they want to save the marriage, love that man, believe he will change, need him as a provider.
    Women are terrified of these men and what they are capable of.
    Women don’t leave because they have been told they and their children will be killed if they leave. At least while they are there they can sense the situation, know where he is, try to minimise the damage.
    Once they leave, he will fester, and plot and plan his revenge for this act of betrayal. She has no way of knowing where he is or what he is planning, she only knows that he will exact his revenge and she knows it will be so much worse than any of the attacks she suffered while she stayed.
    After suffering ongoing violence women have no reason to believe the threats of murder won’t happen and in many instances they are stalked, bashed and killed after they have managed to get away.

    Some of us get away and get a chance of a new life… but not many.

  26. Blanik

    I did come back and am pleased to see that the majority of folk who post here take the matter of DV against men and their children seriously. Thank you, it’s encouraging

    @Happy Annie. Interesting what you say there. Again every word you say works both ways. I divorced my violent wife back in 1972 and she did everything that you listed that men do. She is in fact still festering and planing her revenge to the point that my daughters have dismissed them from their life.

    I got away and have a new life. She is still a violent, dangerous, drunkard who should have been reported and put away, but men don’t report because we are laughed at by police, society, courts and some women. Things will change.
    http://www.oneinthree.com.au/

  27. Jaia Brunt

    We can talk about the symptoms but lets open the discussion to the causes ? A couple of points to consider (in short but hopefully concise)

    – The underlying issue of rape, domestic violence, child abuse, any violence, abuse or bullying is POWER & CONTROL – the desire, be it conscious or unconscious, to have ‘power over’ a person, situation or thing.

    – Fuelled & ignited by other factors such as stress, fear, substance abuse etc .those who feel powerless can attempt to act out something to give a sense of control and power.

    – Much of our global community is obsessed with power – the power of politics, sex, money, sports heros, war, business, films & gaming industries as son on, – our symbols and myths (advertising, film, sport etc ..those who we deem ‘hero’….) often support ‘power over’ attitudes. No, these images don’t make us violent but normalise violence and support distorted images of personal power. If you don’t have this type of power then you’re a loser.

    – Richard Flanagan eloquently expressed his thoughts on how people can become unimaginably violent toward others (eg Japanese POW atrocities or Nazi extermination policies) …… in that, when we make someone or something ‘other’ than us – less than us – be it a person, faith, ethnicity, animal or the natural environment, …and so on, it gives us licence to perpetrate ANYTHING against that person or thing.

    Until we can have nakedly truthful conversations about the relationship between power and violence and what healthy power looks and acts like, then model it and promote images and myths that support that healthy image, then we will all as individuals and communities bear the brunt of our bloody history.

    It doesn’t matter what we are talking about: domestic violence, health, education, inequality, etc – if we don’t dig deeper, we are just treating the symptoms, not the causes. This, amongst other things, is why we have levels of government and elected representatives -to address these larger issues (with our input of course) Yet, here again we have issues of power – those who are in power want to stay in power and bugger the reason they were elected in the first place!

    I would dare to say that this unhealthy expression of power and control run rife is well on a slippery slide toward ever increasing degradation & our annihilation – If we can’t honour, respect and protect the bearers of life – women/the feminine, how can we honour and respect that which sustains us – Mother Earth.

  28. Annie B

    @ Jaia Brunt ,,,,

    A well thought out and expressed comment …. giving much to think about – – thank you.

  29. Happy Annie

    Blanik.
    I am so glad you managed to get away and get a new life 🙂
    I feel incredibly fortunate that I also managed to remain in tact and free.

    You are correct… those who seek total control and abuse their partners can be either the husband or wife, both are equally horrific…..
    The police were very little help back in 1994 for me as well.
    I would have hoped things had changed but it seems that violent partners constantly break avo’s with little fear because the consequences are rarely enforced still.

    When we start incarserating violent partners with the same vigor we incarserate those accused of random violence against a stranger things may change.
    Its just violence… not domestic violence. Just straight out assault and they should be jailed for it.

  30. Annie B

    @ Happy Annie …

    I am very glad to know that you and Blanik, managed to escape the horrors of violence in the home.
    I know that scenario very well myself, and I left my then husband – with an ensuing horrid journey through the magistrates court ( in those days – someone had to wear the blame – before the Family Court was in existence ) … where I was given custody of my children.

    My ex and I now get on very well – he has greatly mellowed ( with thanks from his second wife who was much tougher than I was, in standing up to him ) …. so things can work out for the better – all round ( but unfortunately, not very often ).

    Not sure if this is correct or not – but I have been under the impression that police shy away from intervening in domestic situations. …. They do not ( or are advised to not ) intervene with the ‘he said / she said / he did / she did ‘ situations that they are called to.

    On that note, why don’t the police set up a separate unit altogether ( if they haven’t already ) … to deal with only domestic violence and the results of that. …. I figure they would have to undergo specialist psych. training to do it. … This would obviate the pressure applied to normal police duties ( if one could call police duties ‘ normal ‘ ? ) … and give some legal respite to those who are at the hands of a drunken ( or whatever ) spouse / mother / father / sibling – who are inflicting the horror on family.

    Just a thought ……..

  31. diannaart

    Many thanks for your thoughtful comments, Jaia

    We really need to look at the big picture if we are ever to achieve a society which respects the vulnerable and rejects the bully.

    Thoughts that spring to mind range from the adoration of the recently deposed Jeremy Clarkson, sporting stars, people in power in general, through to the romanticisation of war.

    We are in the thick of war romance right now. I am sure many have been repulsed by the current capitalisation by corporations of a rather strange Aussie event – the celebration of an unnecessary massacre of young men. Surely there are other events in WW1 that brought together Australians in pride instead of something that revealed the shameful behaviour of our English overlords combined with our lack of spine to disobey.

    Most DV is committed by men aged from teens to middle age – there are stats for this claim – I suggest those who disagree go and check. I have more important things to discuss than whether the bleeding obvious is true.

    How can we expect the minority of men prone to violence, bullying and abuse to rethink their behaviour when so much violence, bullying and abuse is venerated throughout our world – both the developed world and undeveloped all have in common a lack of respect for people who appear more vulnerable – who just happen to be mostly, women and children; I would also include the elderly of both sexes and the chronically ill.

    Behind the closed doors of family homes, schools, churches, sports clubs etc… far too much appalling behaviour is hidden. This behaviour crosses all social strata’s. I recall a very close friend at Uni, whose father sexually abused her when she was 12 – her father was a professor at one of our major universities.

    What could’ve been done to protect my friend? What could’ve been done to protect Jill Meagher, Rosie Batty’s son? How to stop young men (mostly) from joining up and cashing in their lives with extremely violent cults?

    From the stranger who preys upon other strangers to the familial venting behind closed doors there is a common cause. It is the respect given to the primitively powerful at the expense of the intelligence of the rest of us.

    Time we stopped it.

  32. Lee

    A few years ago I recall reading about some tribal women in Papua New Guinea, who were at the end of their patience with generation after generation of their menfolk warring each other. Their solution was to kill their male babies at birth. I’m not proposing that anyone does that, however it is probably the only way to stop some men.

  33. diannaart

    Lee

    Here’s a little game we non-Papuans can play:

    https://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/rant-on-abusers-and-bullies/

    …“Who are/were the abusers at the various Military training and intake facilities?” Information released today indicate that over a thousand abusers are still in the ADF. There would be many more who have left the military. Yet there seems to be little action on historic offending.

    My “game” involves trying to spot the abusers in their post-military occupations.

    How many ex-military are there in the assorted police forces or spy agencies in Australia? How many have gone into teaching, into social services, into the Public Service?

    Hmmm, Jacqui Lambie & (Sir) Peter Cosgrove – I am watching you…

    “Sir” – FFS!

    At least Jacquie was voted in, instead being appointed by well known bully, Tony Abbott.

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