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Terrorism and violence against women

If, as announced, the new centre against lone-actor attacks is designed to “keep the community safe”, it needs to have a clear focus on understanding violence against women and family violence.

BOOM! I think to myself. They get it. But to my (probably unrealistic) surprise, the rest of the community I spoke to just don’t. Surely, they say, terrorism is related to an ideology – politics and power?

Well, yes, sure it is. But isn’t female subjugation an ideology narcissists adhere to? Isn’t psychological abuse about power? Is it fair to say that people who think women should know their place are making a political statement?

In so many – too many – terrorist attacks, once authorities look into the background of the assailants, whether it’s Man Monis, Omar Mateen (Florida nightclub shooter) or Nikolas Cruz (Florida High School shooting) their history shows a litany of domestic violence, abuse, psychological control of their spouses/families and anti-social behaviour. In nearly all cases of terrorism, such as mass shootings (yes, I classify mass shootings as terrorist attacks) when there are bomb attacks (like in Austin, Texas) or café sieges, the perpetrators are already known to authorities.

If domestic and family violence was taken seriously, and the crimes of perpetrators who commit crimes within this sphere were punished in a way the community expects, there is a distinct possibility of this behaviour NOT escalating into a large-scale terrorist attack (in the way the mainstream media report “terrorism”).

So is a $31.6 million centre to combat terrorism going to make you feel safe? The short answer is probably no, but the long answer COULD be yes IF those in power can acknowledge the link between violence against women and terrorism and find a way to get to the real root cause of terrorism: violence in and of itself.

Women dead in April: 3

Women dead in 2018 so far: 14

 

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