This is a much darker post than what we usually share at Polkadotsi but we can't stay silent on this issue. 24 women are dead. 24 individual women. Women who had lives.
Apart from the fact that these victims had their lives ripped away from them, one of the most shameful things about this is that our country is not focussing on the men who murdered these women.
Instead, we are being told that:
- It isn't safe to walk alone in parks
- it isn't safe to run with headphones
- We shouldn't wear provocative clothing.
Um, hold the phone?! What focussing on how it isn't safe for men to be out beating up and killing women. What about the most basic rape and violence strategy in the world: don't be violent.
As Twitter user @Ecksmas put it
We say what the fuck...
Let's get something very clear.
It is never the victim's fault. Period. Full Stop, no returns.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence, also labelled intimate partner violence, sometimes simply called violence. Frankly in my opinion the labels don't matter. It's not all about physical violence. It's often difficult to understand how an intimate partner can be violent towards someone if there aren't physical signs of violence - and that's why conversations like these need to be had. There's no such thing as "Typical domestic violence" let's stop perpetuating that myth.
Domestic abuse can be:
Physical - physical harm is inflicted on the victim. This can be sexual, or violence of a non-sexual nature.
Verbal/Emotional- the victim is shamed, abused, belittled, shouted at, and made to feel harmed with words
Social - the perpetrator isolates the victim from their social circles and removes any chance of support. Teasing and belittling the victim in front of other people, or shaming you in front of others is another example of social abuse.
Economic - The perpetrator traps the victim by creating a dependence on them financially, and prevents them from having any financial independence of their own
Religious/Spiritual The victim is abused by preventing them from having spiritual or religious beliefs of their own, and impacting on their life that way.
Have you got someone in your life that you're worried about? Talk to them. Have that conversation.
What Can You Do Right Now?
Start talking. Have these conversations. Violence against women continues because it's almost socially accepted. When you hear someone say "She asked for it" or "She was in the wrong place at the wrong time" or "He is usually so nice when I meet him" GET FUCKING ANGRY.
Or perhaps better, have a gentle confrontation about how the only person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time was the ABUSER. The only person who asked for it was the ABUSER. And the just because someone appears to be lovely to you, does not mean that behind closed doors they aren't abusing their partner.
We need to be changing the paradigm of the slut shame and victim blame. We need to be putting the focus on why this abuse happens, and we need to be disgusted and abhorred by it as a society.
Stop the Excuses!
We seem to look for reasons that some men are abusive in society, and try to excuse their behaviour.
"It's expected that men are macho, and demonstrate their worth with displays of physicality" Um, bull-shit. What is this 4000BC?
There are resources for men to deal with their anger issues. Many of them are listed in the resources section at the bottom of this post.
It is not "Un-manly' to seek help. And it is certainly not OK to abuse someone and excuse it with "oh, I have anger issues" or "I just snapped"
If you have someone in your life that you feel is abusive towards their partner - have that conversation. Or if it's a life threatening situation, call the police.
Men need to have these conversations too.
I think as a society we are moving to a place where we can recognise the difference between helpful behaviour and harmful behaviour. I also think as a society it's well time that all of our wonderful, peaceful, men speak up to their brothers and say "Dude, this simply isn't cool" "Stop abusing women" "In fact, while you're at it stop abusing anyone".
As mothers, we need to teach our children that they have the RIGHT to be safe, and they DO NOT have the right to take someone else's safety away from them.
This change needs to happen. It needs to happen now. Get angry, get passionate, get talking folks!
It's not always about alcohol
There's a common myth that domestic violence is caused by alcohol. Nope, not true, Alcohol can be a trigger, but in 50 percent of reported domestic violence cases, the abuse occurred when the perpetrator was sober.
We need to stop excusing violent behaviour with external triggers, and start encouraging abusers to get help, and supporting the victims to rehabilitate their lives.
Domestic Violence Resources:
Translating and Interpreting Service -
National Call 13 14 50 and ask them to contact 1800 RESPECT
National Relay Service (for callers who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment)
TTY/Voice Calls - phone 133 677 and ask them to contact 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732
Speak and Listen - phone 1300 555 727 and ask them to contact 1800 RESPECT
Internet relay users - visit the National Relay Service website and ask them to contact 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732
Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT
02 6280 0900
Domestic Violence Line
1800 65 64 63
DV Connect Women’s Line
1800 811 811
Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service
1800 015 188 or 03 9322 3555
Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline
08 9223 1188 or 1800 007 339
Domestic Violence Crisis Service
1300 782 200
Domestic Violence and Aboriginal Family Violence Gateway Service (including Domestic Violence Help Line)
1800 800 098
Family Violence Response Referral line
1800 633 937
08 8945 1388
You can also check out: