An ABC article “Domestic violence still at ‘unprecedented’ levels despite hundreds of millions being spent”, published on September 5 states: “Campaigns have been waged for a decade, almost a billion dollars spent and yet women and children continue to face deadly threats in their homes.”
The government can’t seem to fathom why throwing money at domestic violence isn’t reducing it. Of course, money can help and, especially given that frontline services and education and prevention programs run by some amazing not-for-profits are still chronically underfunded, so more would be welcome. But it’s only part of the picture.
What’s clear is that the way we’re approaching male-to-female violence isn’t working. What we’re doing isn’t changing attitudes towards women as quickly as it should be.
We can see this starkly via Jane Gilmore’s project, Fixed It, where she fixes the headlines in the reporting of male violence to how they should be. Some are astounding. It galls me that no one questions why this project is even needed!
What we need is a profound societal change – a systemic change – that comes from the top down and by example. While ever we have leaders who trash women and portray horrific misogyny this won’t happen. We also need to challenge high-profile women and their internalised misogyny.
We need to do away with top-shelf magazines and gratuitous tabloid rags that compare women’s body shapes. We need to stop objectifying women, stop pitting them against each other. We need better policy to ensure genuine, not tokenistic, equality is reached. We need equal representation. We need to support women. We need to stop blaming women. We need to stop laughing at a joke that demeans women (watch Nanette by Hannah Gadsby). We need to stop excusing rape, stop defending the indefensible. We need to stop discrimination against women, and we need to view this with an intersectional lens. We need equal pay. We need to stop buying into the marketing aimed at children that tells boys not to cry and girls to smile more. We need to challenge big clothing stores and the way they sell kids clothing. We need to challenge our community leaders to set an example. We need to stop buying into gendered toys. We need to see equal treatment, across the board.
We need to demand more from our media, our leaders, and the men in our lives.
Until this happens nothing will change.
Women Dead in November 2019: 5
Women Dead in 2019 so far: 51