Domestic violence is a very serious and life threatening issue and occurrences are manifesting more and more each and every day. It is a threat described as “greater even than terrorism.”
A very heartfelt and eloquent delivery on a very difficult conversation unfolded on ABC’s QandA this week, featuring Australian of the Year and active campaigner against domestic violence, Rosie Batty.
She said, “I live in a nice house, I am an independent, single woman, I’m a professional, I’m educated — if it can happen to me, it can happen to everybody.”
Domestic violence resulting in bodily harm and even death can happen to anyone regardless of class, race or gender.
Take the case of megastar Rihanna who also suffered a domestic violence attack in 2009 by then boyfriend, Chris Brown.
Soon after the “incident,” TMZ released a picture of Rihanna’s face, swollen, bloody, and beaten. The image is still a lingering, haunting display – unfortunately one that some would say we all needed to see to better comprehend domestic violence. But without the coverage as a result of her celebrity status, her story probably would have gone unheard.
Rihanna was interviewed by Diane Sawyer and acknowledged her position as a role model, saying, “When I realised that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not — I could not be easy with that part. I couldn’t be held responsible for telling them to go back. Chris, even if Chris never hit me again, who is to say that their boyfriend won’t? Who’s to say that they won’t kill these girls and these are young girls and I could not. I just didn’t realise how much of an impact I had on these girls’ lives until that happened.” Read full article here
The three male panellists on ABC’s QandA — Simon Santosha, the managing director of Men and Family Counselling and Consultancy; Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright; and local ABC radio sports broadcaster and campaigner against domestic violence, Charlie King — spoke frankly about the need for men to step up, own up to their faults and choose to change violent behaviour.
There are ways to stop domestic violence! Men are not born violent, it progresses slowly, and this is where intervention is needed.
And yes, men are also victims of domestic violence, which we cannot ignore but the number of cases of abuse and death are overwhelmingly higher for women.
Rosie Batty candidly shared her own advice to seek help and overcome abuse:
- Stay safe
- You deserve more
- You deserve to live a life and not worry about the day ahead
- Pick up the phone and speak to experts at 1800 RESPECT – they support, understand and empower you
First things first, we need to believe our women and their stories, we need to modernise a backwards system and the laws surrounding domestic violence, and finally we need the Prime Minister himself to be involved in more candid conversations like this one in the future.
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line, 1800-RESPECT (1800 737 732). In an emergency, call 000.
The next event on this topic, the Ending Family Violence Masterclass series, will offer hands-on sessions on best practice and innovation for better outcomes. Book your place by May 27th to save $700 on ticket prices – the agenda for both locations can be viewed here: