Saturday, June 28, 2014

Community Safety Domestic Violence against Women Deaths, Fatalities, Sexual Assault "EACH week a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner." Ken Lay Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Herald Sun 17.10.13



"EACH week a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner."


"An estimated 20 per cent of Australian women have been sexually assaulted and a recent report suggested that the figure for female GPs is 50 per cent"



Men have to stand up and change their thinking

Family violence exists on a long continuum of violence against women and not all of that violence is physical, writes Ken Lay.
Family violence exists on a long continuum of violence against women and not all of that violence is physical, writes Ken Lay. Source: News Limited
EACH week a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner. You might think that you don't know these women - that it could never happen to you or someone you know - but you're probably wrong.
Violence against women is not limited to any suburb, or to the poor, or to any fixed, imagined type of person you have in your head. The more than 60,000 family incidents Victoria Police attended in the previous year were spread all over the state: in many different homes, filled with many different people.
So, please: let's talk honestly about this. We owe it to the victims. Too often female victims are subject to blame, ignorance and condemnation. Too often our discussions about violence against women are addled by myth. Let's dispel a few.
First, family violence isn't a discrete phenomenon, separate from the prevailing culture of the day. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. Family violence exists on a long continuum of violence against women and not all of that violence is physical. This continuum of violence is unified by awful attitudes towards women and illustrated by some frightening statistics.
An estimated 20 per cent of Australian women have been sexually assaulted and a recent report suggested that the figure for female GPs is 50 per cent. Add to that the one woman - on average - who is killed by a partner or ex-partner each week, and the prevalence of family violence, and you see the statistical outlines of a huge problem. Keep in mind that those figures are based upon what's reported: sexual assault is under-reported.
The figures stem from some pretty sick attitudes towards women, attitudes of sexual entitlement and possessiveness; attitudes of supposed female inferiority. Many of those attitudes are reinforced in the workplace - subtly or overtly - and they influence vulgar or criminal behaviour. Behaviour like that of Robert Meade, who was recently found guilty of murdering his wife because she was planning to move to England with her children. Or the brutal case of Sargun Ragi, whose husband starved, raped and murdered her because of his jealousy and possessiveness. But we don't often see it that way - we don't see the relationship between cultural attitudes and behaviour.
It says something else about our culture that as the intimacy between victim and perpetrator increases, the community's disgust decreases. Is that because we think it's inevitable? Or normal? To which I say: it's our culture and we can change what's "normal" if it's damaging and senseless.
In order to change our culture, we need to first appreciate the prevalence of rotten attitudes to women. Then we need to understand there's a relationship between those attitudes and violence. Next, in order to change our culture we need to readjust our focus. Let's make the subject of our fury the malignant entitlement of these men, rather than the supposed complicity of the victim. Let's base our understanding of violence against women on facts, not a sense of superiority and invulnerability.
In order to change our culture, we need to examine our own professional and personal responsibilities. We can't do that properly if we keep categorising violence against women as "normal", if we keep blaming the victim or if we fail to see the patterns that tie this violence together. Are our workplaces equitable? Increasingly so, but the short answer is "no".
The reasons are complex and they vary, but professional leaders must begin to question their own climates. With help, that's what I'm doing.
We also have personal obligations. I'm really thinking of the blokes here. You have an obligation to talk to your sons and explain to them the importance of treating women with respect - and show them what that respect looks like. You need to help them negotiate a raw and immature sexuality, often influenced by porn, with gentleness and thought. You need to condemn your mates who think it's okay to grope women, or scream at them, or insult them. And if you've done any of those things, you need to ask yourself: why? You need to ask yourself why you feel entitled to the woman's respect, love or attention.
I know I'm banging a drum, but I want men to fill the vacuum of male leadership on this. I'm not suggesting that male voices are more authoritative - that would be absurd - or that blokes can solve this alone. It's simply to correct an absence of male voices. We must help fix this together.
To the men already standing up: excellent, but remember we need much more than outrage and good intentions. We need a sophisticated understanding of these issues. Take the time to study it, talk about it with friends.
It's important. Just ask the families of victims no longer with us.
Ken Lay is Victoria's Police Commissioner



http://m.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/men-have-to-stand-up-and-change-their-thinking/story-fni0ffsx-1226741950826


http://petedoweroadsafetyadvocate.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/community-safety-domestic-violence.html


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/chief-commissioner-ken-lay-says-more-men-need-to-stand-up-against-domestic-violence/story-fni0fee2-1226682705782


http://petedoweroadsafetyadvocate.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/taxi-driver-assaults-on-female.html





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