Silence on Violence

DVholdhand-1Well the Queensland election is now in full swing with both major and minor parties out on the hustings with promises and counter promises announced daily. Asset sales/ leases, new roads, schools, extra teachers, extra nurses, gas & coal mining, saving the Barrier Reef and a plethora of other issues.

Our leaders are busy I know but I cant accept that no-one has mentioned domestic and family violence and the fact that 2 Queensland women have been killed in the first two weeks of 2015. This together with another 4 women killed across Australia and we have a national tragedy. 6 women killed in 2 weeks and no-one is talking about it.

Late last year, Campbell Newman launched a Domestic & Family Violence Taskforce headed by Dame Quentin Bryce to review responses across the State. This Taskforce is not due to hand down its report until late March, well after the election. Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, has stated she will consider recommendations from the Taskforce Report.

All good but not good enough. The silence in Queensland can be contrasted with the successful No More Deaths campaign in Victoria which has seen the newly elected Labor Premier appoint a Minister for Family Violence Prevention as well as a Royal Commission into family violence.

A one year snapshot from available data for 2011-2012

During 2011-2012, Queensland Police Service responded to 36,856 domestic violence and family violence call-outs, 22,332 applications for protection were made to Queensland Magistrates Courts under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 and there were 58,600 calls to DV Connect the State-wide domestic violence telephone service.

Diane Mangan, CEO DV Connect informs “ the calls to the centre have been relentless this summer, exceeding 200 calls a day”. The rate of calls to police, hospitals and community services is increasing with many stretched to breaking point.

The Personal Safety Survey 2012 (ABS, 2012) reported 34% of women had experienced physical violence and 19% of women had experienced sexual violence from the age of 15 years. Overall 1 in 6 women in Australia have experienced some form of violence from their partner.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are considered the most pervasive forms of violence experienced by women across Australia (DSS, 2009). Women’s experiences of intimate partner violence is acknowledged as a serious and significant public health issue by the World Health Organisation. With studies showing that domestic violence is a leading contributor to death, illness and disability in women aged 15-44. It is estimated violence against women and their children costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion each year. It is also estimated, without appropriate action, an estimated 750,000 Australian women will experience and report violence during 2021-2022, costing the Australian economy an estimated $15.6 billion

In Queensland over the past twelve months, there has been considerable focus on legislation and interventions to reduce both bikie crimes and public acts of alcohol related violence with claims they are making a difference in reducing crime and improving community safety, At the same time, there is a shroud of silence over the increased reported incidence of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault.

It is not enough to wait out the release of yet another report. The evidence is already there that reported incidence of domestic violence in Queensland has reached crisis point. One can only imagine what the true nature of abuse “behind closed doors’ is as many suffer in silence too afraid to seek support and speak out. Their silence should not be ours.

The government’s $44.5 million Safe Night Out strategy is laudable however there would be many Queenslanders living with violence who would welcome A Safe Night In.

We need our politicans and candidates to speak out and put domestic violence to the forefront of this election…you never know you just may save someone else from Dying To Be Heard 

About Bettsie

Writing on things important to me... Feminism Australian Politics Social Justice
This entry was posted in Domestic Violence, Politics, Queensland Election, Violence Against Women. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Silence on Violence

  1. Marie Hume says:

    Thanks Betty – it certainly is a sad state of affairs – silencing of victims once again

  2. So glad you wrote this Betty, seriously glad. I will be tweeting this piece every single bloody day until we can get some attention for the issues, sick to death of “OMG Bikies… Look other there” bullshit 😦

  3. Team Oyeniyi says:

    Reblogged this on Love versus Goliath : A Partner Visa Journey and commented:
    Betty writes relatively infrequently, but when she does her words carry weight and are always a MUST READ. Do I want this sort of future for my daughters? No. Do you? No. It is up to US to make our politicians put this issue on the agenda. Now. Today. Please read the full article on Betty’s web site. This is too important to allow our politicians to sweep under the carpet.

  4. Bettsie says:

    Thanks Robyn. I read recently ” Silence is the language of complicity” …there is a lot of silence at the moment about domestic violence and the murder of women/

  5. Di Macleod says:

    Well said Betty. Violence against women is not an election platform simply not on the agenda for our political leaders. Unfortunately it’s on the agenda for so many women and children every day. It’s time to prioritise the real issues for women and the services that support them!

  6. nickandrew says:

    The statistics are staggering.

  7. Pingback: The monster of masculinity in Oz | REAL for women

  8. Thanks for this, we cannot remain silent on this epidemic. Years, decades of research and recommendations go unheeded. Meanwhile women die at a staggering rate or are terrified within the walls of their family homes. Those who do escape live with trauma and fear of repercussions, homelessness, poverty and unemployment. I am so glad I found your site through Strong Cranky Pants article. One can only hope if our voices are raised someone will finally listen and do something to rectify this shame on our state and nation.

  9. Pingback: Knives, wounds, terminal – harsh words for Abbott | Love versus Goliath : A Partner Visa Journey

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