Just another domestic violence statistic

It seems every time I go on Facebook, open my email or watch the news these days there’s another domestic violence story. This is triggering for me because, well, any of those stories could have been about me. I survived a violent and abusive relationship and while it is something I have dealt with emotionally, these news stories just keep reminding me of the chilling fact, how close I came to being another statistic.

Before I begin my own story, let me just throw some actual statistics  your way. According to the ABS personal safety survey (2005), one in four women will experience domestic violence of some degree in their lifetime. That’s a quarter of all Australian women, that’s 25%. (According to the latest ABS statistics that figure is now 1 in 3).  Here are some more:

  • Women are more likely to experience violence from someone they know, than from a stranger. For men the reverse is true.
  • For  women who have experienced violence since the age of 15, 36% was by someone they knew vs. 12% by a stranger.
  • For men, the statistics are 35% by a stranger, 26% by someone they know.
  • For men the someone they know is most likely to be an acquaintance or neighbour.  For women, it is most likely to be a partner or ex-partner.
  • Both women and men are more likely to experience violence by a male perpetrator.
  • One woman a week is murdered by an intimate male partner, or ex partner.
  • At the time of writing (March 3rd, 2015) 15 women have already been murdered at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.

I’ll just let those sobering facts sink in for a moment.

Unfortunately, facts alone are not enough to get government to take this terrible state of affairs seriously enough, although just recently there are signs that awareness is finally making some headway. The naming of domestic violence survivor Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year is a step in the right direction and recently Q & A did a special on domestic violence. These are all positive steps. Yet, the current government’s funding cuts to community services have meant that many front line services are struggling with to keep up with demand. This is not positive and counter-intuitive to say the least.

It is a very heartbreaking reality that little girls, such as myself, grow up dreaming of meeting their ‘prince charming’. We are fed a steady diet of fairy-tales, romantic notions, and mainstream TV depictions of perfect family life. The reality for many women however, is so different. No-one expects to end up in a relationship that is abusive and violent. Yet the statistics are such that someone you know, someone you work with or went to school with, someone in your apartment block is probably living a nightmare right now.

There has been a lot of media attention given to terrorism of late, however, this article Domestic violence deserves the same attention as terrorism, links intimate partner violence with terrorism and points out its similarities, of which there are a few.

We need to address the causes of all violence in society as whole and see that they are all linked and instead of asking women why they stay, it’s time to ask,

Why do men attack the women that love them?

Some articles for further reading and sources of statistics to do with domestic violence:


Click to access Statistics_final.pdf








Why did the Media Ignore March in March?

Here’s the post that inspired my On journalism post.

shpmarchwidedean-20140316180446674017-620x349 March in March in Sydney: A Pointless Protest says News Limited

It wasn’t that long ago that the mainstream media and in particular Channel Nine and Seven widely reported the crowds of anger, and the so-called “convoy of no confidence” that descended on to the lawns of Parliament House to protest the then Labor Government’s Carbon Tax.

There, stood the diminutive attention-seeking shock jock Alan Jones, whipping the crowd of some 300 forestry workers, butchers and bogans from Ipswich declaring that the apparent late arrival of the so-called “convoy,” was due to Australian Federal Police preventing the convoy from entering the ACT at the NSW Border.

“This is the most disgraceful thing that has ever been done to democracy,” Jones told the rally.

Of course, all this turned out to be veritable bullshit, with the AFP subsequently confirming that no intervention was necessary as no convoy in fact existed.

View original post 303 more words

On journalism

On Sunday, 16th March 2014 over 100, ooo Australians took to the streets of their capital cities and in many regional centres and towns as well to peacefully protest their displeasure with the current Liberal administration, which is led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The March in March protest as it was called received very little prime media coverage. I watched the 6pm nine news and there was no mention of it. They did however mention the St Patrick Day march which drew around 200 people. The Sydney March in March protest drew between 12,000 and 20,000 depending on your source.

The ABC did a story on it but there was little on no mention of it in the majority of the mainstream media outlets. Regardless of your political persuasion, it is very disturbing that such a significant event would go largely ignored by the mainstream media. This is not new to Australian media either… There are similar events happening all around the world which are pretty much ignored by mainstream media all the time. It is wasn’t for social media, much would go unreported at all. The March in March was actually organised through social media so for once we have an example of a true, grass roots movement. We have witnessed, in Australia where most of us are, let’s face it, mostly too lazy to get off our collective backsides to do anything so bothersome as to protest the government. Especially on a Sunday when there are far more important things to do like watch sport, or wash your car. However, if you had of washed your car that Sunday morning it would have been in vain as a sudden and severe storm hit Sydney around lunch time causing flash flooding in areas and still the crowds came.

Yet channel nine news did not think this event newsworthy?

I have a degree in Journalism and up until now, I was proud to have that under my belt. Sure, I do not currently make my living as a journalist (not from lack of trying but that’s another story) but I always took to heart what I was taught in that first semester ….the three core tenements of journalism. Accuracy, fairness and balance.

I do not see much of any of the above in journalism today and that is something to be concerned about.