domestic violence

The five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which presented its findings last year, opened up a greater understanding of the problems in religious and community institutions’ dealings with children.

The Malcolm Turnbull government has announced it will merge the Family Court of Australia into the Federal Circuit Court (FCC), a move it says will allow the federal court system to reduce its growing backlog of family law cases, some of which date back years.

At first it's all smiles and love,

Honeymoon is over now it's push ’n shove,

You stay because they say sorry,

It won't happen again please don't worry,

Then suddenly something triggers the tick,

BOOM slapped with your first backhand hit.

Left in shock you think how can this be?

Living in the denial of they do love me.

This time they beg please no divorce,

Saying "If you only listened I wouldn't use force"

Now the blame game sets in along with rules,

You hide the truth not to look the fool.

Last year was the year of women’s truth-telling about sexual and domestic violence. It was also the year that 49 Australian women met violent deaths.

In the second month of this year, there has been no respite from the unceasing onslaught of violence against women and the resulting murders.

To study these deaths is to uncover a blunt, chilling fact: the most dangerous place in Australia for a woman to be — and the most dangerous company for her to be in — is at home with her male intimate partner on a Saturday night.

Feminist NGO Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) is urgently seeking funds to keep the phones switched on at the NSW Rape Crisis Centre (RCC).

The NSW RCC is the last remaining public 24 hour, 7 days a week sexual assault counselling service in the state.

Indigenous feminist and trade unionist Celeste Liddle addressed the topic of “Women fight back against misogyny & rape culture” at the Radical Ideas conference hosted by Resistance: Socialist Youth Alliance in August.

The following text is based on an abridged version of her talk.

***

Tens of thousands of women across Argentina walked off the job on October 19 to “make noise” against gender violence and economic inequalities in the first women’s national strike in the country’s history.

The strike came in the wake of a brutal gang rape and murder of a teenage girl that has reinvigorated the fight against femicide and gender violence across the continent. Protesters showed signs with the stories of missing or murdered women, chanting “We won't forgive, we won't forget”.

Viewers of the ABC TV documentary Hitting Home, screened to coincide with the International Day against Violence Against Women on November 25, could be forgiven for thinking Australia’s “domestic violence crisis” is finally being taken seriously.

Produced by ABC TV's Sarah Ferguson in cooperation with NSW Police and the NSW Department of Justice, Episode 1 of the two-part series took viewers inside DV refuges, specialist police units and courtrooms and featured interviews with incredibly courageous survivors. Their message to victims, and Ferguson’s, was clear: “Get out. Now”.

This is an edited version of the speech given by Jackie Kriz, the president of Geelong Trades Hall Council, at the Geelong Reclaim the Night rally on October 31.

* * *

I would like to thank the women of Reclaim the Night collective who, with support from Geelong Trades Hall, have worked tirelessly for months to organise this rally.

Domestic violence — or intimate partner violence — represents an increasingly visible crisis in Australia today. Yet policy makers and opinion shapers continue to deny that the system, which profits from sexism and misogyny, is responsible for perpetrating it. Instead, they blame individuals.

This year, two women have been killed every week — double the rate compared to 2014. One in four women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. For women aged between 15 and 44 years' old, domestic violence is the leading cause of death, illness and disability.

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