Is this some kind of sick joke?

Last year I reported on the closure of Elsie, Australia’s first domestic violence shelter, under the NSW Government’s “Going Home, Staying Home” homelessness ‘initiative’. Most of the women-run services were closed, and services generally went into the hands of larger religious organisations.

Two items hit my newsfeed today. Firstly, the very same state Liberal government who brought in the GHSH ‘initiative’, made this announcement:

People would have the ability to ask if their partners were previous domestic violence offenders under a re-elected Coalition government, Premier Mike Baird has told an International Women’s Day breakfast in Sydney.

Pru Goward would become the state’s first Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence under a package of reforms announced on Friday.

“There is a plague in our state that we need to eradicate and that is domestic violence and sexual assault,” Mr Baird told the Sydney International Women’s Day Breakfast at Australian Technology Park.

“Every single week we lose someone amongst us to domestic violence. And incredibly this year it has actually spiked, so that is a clear reminder we have to do more.”

“We lose someone”, really, another politician who is behind the times, as since the beginning of this year it has been two women each week. Also, the downside of a disclosure scheme puts the onus onto women to find out if a potential partner had a violent history, and given the lack lustre conviction rates, it is highly unlikely for a previous offence or offences to be recorded in the first place.

Even though Baird might not have been party leader and Premier at the time the GHSH ‘initiative’ was drawn up and launched, he was leader before the tenders had closed, and before the scheme was instigated (most of the disruption was around the middle of 2014). As for Pru Goward, currently Minister for Women under the Baird government, but was previously Minister for Family and Community Services. Goward did nothing to stop GHSH either.

This is the hollow and pathetic load of promises the women of NSW are supposed to swallow for International Women’s Day 2015—the year the serious spike in DV femicides happened. Not buying it.

But not to forget the international joke and scrapping the carbon tax will allow women to do more ironing misogynist and self appointed Minister for Women, Tony Abbott.

Abbott’s you-beaut brainstorm consists of announcing a $30 million dollar awareness campaign to tell the Australian public that “DV is wrong, m’kay?”. Tony, I think everyone already knows. In fact, I am sure of it, which is why most wife-beating is done behind closed doors, even the perps know it already.

That $30 million is desperately needed back into the support sector, as Abbott had already whisked away $100 million since coming to power. An awareness campaign is the biggest waste of money, no, I stand corrected, $12 billion on a bunch of boys’ toys fighter jets is actually a bigger waste of money. Nice job, Mr Minister for Women, nice job.

I am sure that 58 more(!) fighter jets, a pile of ironing, and an awareness campaign will go a long way into protecting Australian women and children from the real threat of terror in their homes. But don’t forget women, to look up that registry, otherwise the onus is on yourselves if you get killed!

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5 thoughts on “Is this some kind of sick joke?

  1. Over on facebutt, one thread asked if commenters thought a register would be helpful. Copying my statement on the matter.

    Any proposed register is of limited value, for a variety of reasons. Helpful to law enforcement (motivate into charging), the magistrates’ and family courts (for sentencing & custody), and those front line services doing risk assessments. Helpful in assessing future new cases, whereby the perp has moved on to a new victim, as they frequently do.

    Not helpful for victims and future victims directly, and would not be a publicly searchable register. Also up to police discretion as well, as to whether they release the information to the enquirer. Not helpful in that many of the minor previous incidents would only have resulted in police cautions, no charges laid. Not helpful even expanded as a kind of AVO database, given perps claim to be the ‘real victim’ and take out the AVO on the actual victim (see my reply to Maddie [eta: Moody cliff fall, AVO out on her]). Not helpful, actually misleading to the victim if the perp not on the register, being likely she would be more inclined to stay, or stay longer. Finally, not helpful in those cases where the first instance of violence is a lethal one (yes that does happen – the ‘near miss’ of the bride strangled and head butted on the wedding night, Friday – could easily have been fatal).

    So helpful, for the most part for law enforcement, the courts, and risk assessment – however, could have adverse effect too, being more lenient on offenders not already on the register. Generally not helpful to the public, and further, should not be available to public enquiry, primarily because it could ultimately backfire on victims and turn into a form of victim blaming. It would actually be many years before the register became any where near useful as well.

    It is a tool, yes, but of limited value. A better focus should be on police training (given it takes up about 40% of caseload/assault cases), better training for both magistrate and family courts. Strengthening those three areas will yield far more dramatic reduction in dv, than a register ever will.

    Final note, the proposal comes from the same Liberal state government, who decimated the front line services sector in NSW. I would speculate that they know the register proposal is a ‘seen to be doing, without doing’ one, instead of fixing the mess they created in front line services. Call me cynical.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What helps is organizations for women and about women *only.* What helps women is having options that aren’t about being trapped into abusive situations. But we are socially conditioned into thinking that’s selfish.

    Being selfish is underrated.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Women are told from minute they are born because their sex is female this means they only exist to serve males 24/7 and it is only males who have right to be accorded dignity and respect. Guess who created this lie? Why men of course because it justifies male domination over all females. Women and girls have no such rights according to men – demanding female autonomy is taboo because this means challenging centuries old male socio-economic power over women and girls.

      This is why women only services and women only refuges are ‘discriminatory’ because males are not included. Meaning males have right to enforce their mandatory male ownership/male control over women’s lives 24/7.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. There are already existing laws criminalising physical assault of a person (oops I mean laws criminalising male on male physical assault not male on female physical assault) and yet the great and good men in charge of enacting these laws use every means they can create to mitigate/deny/excuse/justify pandemic physical male violence against women and girls.

    I realise intimate male partner terrorism against women and also women who have children which is committed within the male terrorists’ castles (homes) does not always comprise physical assault, but consists of male economic power; male psychological control and systemic erasure of a woman’s self-esteem and self-worth. This aspect of systemic male domination/male control over women within the home continues not to be recognised within mens’ Male Supremacist Legal System because mens’ lived experiences are supposedly the definitive human ones! So there is much to do concerning challenging Male Supremacist Legal System and creating a register of males who have a history of intimate male terrorism against women is not ‘worth the paper it was written on!’

    It is just another piece of male window dressing designed as usual to fool us women into believing the ‘great and good men’ such as women-hater Tony Abbott are enacting real changes concerning pandemic male violence against women and children in the home.

    If women-hater Tony Abbott and his minions really did care about curbing male violence against women they would firstly ask the experts what do you want? Meaning listening to women who have experienced intimate male partner violence but that would mean the ‘great and good men’ having to rescind their male beliefs ‘we know what is best for women and it is systemic closure of women only refuges and women only specialist services.

    Oh yes – the clever boys in power know once this register has been created it will be used by men as another powerful tool to blame women for allowing themselves to become a victim of male violence within the man’s castle.

    No matter what women do it is always their fault whenever a male decides to enact his male (pseudo) sex right to subject a woman to male violence/male oppression and so it continues – men ensuring male accountability is never challenged and the males are never shamed because ‘the woman is to blame!’

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: DV abusers don’t need a group hug | Radfem Groundhog Day

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