Saturday, February 4, 2017
Community Safety Family Violence Gender Equality Gender Specific approach to Crime Chloe Shorten: "Family violence is about gender. No question" Daily Telegraph February 3, 2017 "With a gender specific approach to crime family violence would have to be about gender Ms Shorten" Pete Dowe
Akon Guode murdered two of her kids and attempted to murder another was also charged with infanticide the mental illness charge for a third child of hers killed. Three of her children "are in the ground" two murdered in cold blood and our reaction is "poor woman" "the real victim" With a gender specific approach to crime family violence would have to be about gender Ms Shorten
The shocking death of their mother Teresa Bradford at the hands of their father is yet another horrific reminder that family violence is the most vivid, the most harmful and the most shameful manifestation of gender inequality in Australia.
Family violence is, overwhelmingly, about gender.
It is, overwhelmingly, about men hurting women. One in three women know this first-hand.
One in three is too many. More than one death on average per week is too many.
One victim at all, is too many. These statistics are awful and very real.
But these aren’t just numbers, they are our fellow Australians. Our friends, mums, sisters, daughters, our partners. When I think about Teresa, I think about the four children she leaves behind — and what this means for them.
During the week, like lots of mums and dads around Australia, I proudly watched my kids go back to school after the holidays. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking about the thousands of children in Australia who go to school with heavy hearts and tired eyes, after another night broken by violence. Many children don’t even have anyone to see them off to school, or to ask them about their day when they get home.
In homes with children, family violence is child abuse.
According to a 2016 Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety report, around three-quarters of a million women had children in their care when they experienced violence. More than 75 per cent of these women confirmed that their children either saw or heard the violence.
So often these kids suffer in silence, sleepless with fear and then have to quietly sit in the classroom trying to undertake the same tasks as their peers. That’s just one of the terrible tests awaiting the four Bradford children who became orphans last week.
Families Australia has research showing that more than 70,000 children use homeless services in one year — often due to family and domestic violence. Many of these children also live below the poverty line and suffer mental illness.
Reports suggest that a few weeks before her death, Teresa Bradford’s husband attempted to strangle her — this all happened in a household with four children.
Time and again we have seen children who are victims of family violence, re-traumatised by being exposed to the perpetrator. We see many of the men who commit these crimes released on bail.
Children often have little access to proper representation, as well as consistent practice standards in Australian courts for handling this kind of family violence as a national approach. This is not helped by cuts to frontline funding for homelessness shelters and community legal centres.
Changes need to be made to the Family Court but in the interim, we see the scourge of family violence rising.
While the system is not being fixed, it is putting children in harm’s way.
This subject is often discussed in the Shorten household. I tell my children that when they go to school, they should be aware that some of their peers may be hurting — and to be kind. They look out for this. The kindness of other children, teachers and other parents knows no bounds.
Chloe Shorten is a corporate affairs specialist, an advocate for gender equality and ending family violence, a writer and mother to three children. She is also the wife of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.