Eurydice Dixon, Jill Meagher, Toyah Cordingley and Aya Maasarwe. Just four of the women murdered in Australia. In 2018, 69 women were murdered around the country and 2019 will likely follow a similar pattern if things don’t change.
What Is Violence Against Women?
While assaults like king hits and coward punches are clear examples of violence, violence against women can take on a lot of different traits. Obviously, when someone is sadly murdered there must be some form of aggressive confrontation. But with issues like domestic violence there can be emotional and psychological abuse. That can include coercion, harassment, stalking as well as physical abuse.
Acknowledging that there is a problem with violence against women does not belittle the fact that men are also victims of violence. Men are more likely to experience violence in a public place with the perpetrator being a stranger to them.
The “It’s Not My Problem” Attitude
Typically, when someone’s murder makes the headlines, their face is plastered across the media for a couple of weeks and then the outrage winds down. Take for example, the heinous murder of Aya Maasarwe. For a couple of weeks after the tragedy there is fury and anger. Yet, nothing seems to change. People’s blasé attitude of “well it’s not my problem” or “not all men are like that” adds fuel to the fire and does contribute to violence against women.
- On average 1 woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia
- 85% of Australian women have been sexually harassed
- Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated
- 95% of all victims of violence, whether women or men, experience violence from a male perpetrator
What Can Be Done?
While many adopt the attitude that it’s “not their problem”, organizations like White Ribbon believe this a harmful attitude to have. Holding others accountable for their actions is the first step. Calling out sexist and aggressive behavior is one of the biggest things both men and women can do. Instead of sitting by while a woman is harassed, say something. Being an ally to victims and vulnerable people is an important step. More than anything, a change in attitude towards women and their place in society is vital. Educating and providing support to women in vulnerable positions will help put a stop to the systemic sexism that ultimately helps to end their lives.
Another way Aussies can help put a stop to violence against women is supporting charities and organizations like The Beauty Bank and White Ribbon. Both of these organizations are dedicated to prevention and support for all people impacted by violence in Australia.
Do you think Australia has a problem with violence LiveTribers? And what can be done to put a stop to it?