source : www.news.com.au
Greens Senator Larissa Waters has delivered a powerful speech on the topic of violence against women in Australia as the country reels from a number of murders in recent weeks.
“The killings of five women in just 10 days last month should heighten the urgency for governments and communities to tackle men’s violence against women and their children,” she said, lamenting the 43 women killed in 2023 by “men they knew”.
Ms Waters invoked an article by news.com.au journalist Nina Funnell, who criticized the former St Andrew’s Cathedral School principal’s response to the murder of Lilie James by a former student.
“There is a connection between elite institutional cultures, men’s entitlement and violence against women that cannot be ignored,” she continued.
“We need to examine how power and privilege play a role in attitudes towards girls and women. We need to stop portraying men who kill women as “good guys” who “just got the hang of it.”
“Men must do much more to root out the sexism and misogyny that drive inequality and violence. Let’s transform harmful social norms with fully funded, expert-led education in schools, sports clubs, workplaces and all areas of society.
“Let’s fully fund the support services that provide emergency housing, legal advice and guidance, so that everyone who wants help can get it.
Ms Waters insisted that governments “at all levels” must prioritize the issue.
“Everyone must drive the cultural change we need to end the epidemic of men’s violence against women in our communities,” she continued.
“Today I remember the 43 women murdered so far in 2023. This has to stop.”
With just eight weeks to go in 2023, Australia is on track to surpass the annual average of one woman per week killed by a current or former male partner.
It is proof, Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, director of Monash University’s Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, tells news.com.au that “violence against women is a national crisis”.
“This year, like every year, too many women and children have been murdered, allegedly by men’s violence.”
The tragic circumstances of this week have left many wondering at what point we as a country will draw a line in the sand and finally say, “enough is enough.”
“We’re having the same conversation over and over again,” Professor Silke Meyer, Professor of Child & Family Research at Griffith University, told news.com.au.
“And we are seeing a temporary outcry and political statements that suggest we are ready to change when there are ‘spikes’ in deaths. By this I mean that each year we usually have a period where multiple independent deaths occur within a few weeks. Earlier this year, for example, ten women were killed by male violence within a 20-day period.
“And sometimes even then, our political leaders remain silent on this issue.”
The latest National Community Attitudes Survey (NCAS) on violence against women, conducted by Australia’s National Research Organization for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS) and published in March, found that 91 percent of Australians believe domestic and family violence is a “major problem”.
Yet only 47 percent – less than half – believe this is a problem in their city, community or suburb.
Full Stop Australia CEO Karen Bevan told news.com.au the findings show “the issue of gender-based violence is not being taken seriously enough”.
“Prevention and response services are also seriously under-resourced. If we expect to end sexual, domestic and family violence within a generation (under the National Plan), then more needs to be done,” Ms Bevan said.
“We need a community-wide response to support the safety of women and children. That means listening to each other, offering support, having conversations with our family and friends and in our workplaces, getting our laws and policies in order, and having adequate and funded support services and police responses.
“We need this to be a real and sustainable priority in all our systems – it means changing attitudes, directing resources and educating everyone about gender equality.”
— with Natalie Brown
source : www.news.com.au