Tag Archives: domestic violence

The last 48 hours

Women make the news EN(4)

lets break it down.

Trigger warning discussions around rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.

48 hours ago.Perhaps a bit close to home, I discover I have 12 new semi abusive comments waiting to be authorised attacking this blog and the idea of feminism as a whole.

I have one thing to say to those of you who are stalking this blog to post comments about how outrageous it is that we talk about womens issues,  if you disagree with us DONT READ THIS BLOG! I considered approving your comments so that the women that are part of our movement could see what they have to stand up against but then I realised that it wouldn’t do that it would just make people as angry at your moronic behaviour as I am. But lets be honest its not even as if your reading  our new posts your still going on having a whine about the ‘In Our Own Voice’ campaign that was ran last year.

I almost feel sorry for you- because obviously you have nothing else in your life to do.  Grow up Lads.

36 hours ago– Cleavage Gate

‘I dont think that it is appropriate for her to be showing her cleavage in parliament’julia-gillard-credit-MystifyMe-Concert-Photography-Troy_300

Yea Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister has never been attacked because she is a woman. The menu was not sexist, the questions about her partners sexual orientation defiantly not sexist, comments about her choice to not have children no chance of that being a sexist comment, referring to her as a witch and a bitch well that’s simply part of the job.

Only thing I can be grateful that came out of this interview is that Grace Collier explicitly said her sexist and bigoted comments were not her speaking on behalf of anyone but herself.

 

24 hours ago. Jill Meaghers murderer will face sentencing tomorrow.

It became evident that Adrian Earnest Bayley would be sentenced this coming Wednesday morning at 9.30 am for the atrocities he brought upon her. I am not going to go anymore into this one because, I dont need a reason, I am just not.

12 hours ago. Arrest made in rape case reported eight years ago.

655256-milneSt Kilda Forward Stephen Milne has been charged with four counts of rape, the first of which was reported in 2004. That’s only an eight year investigation wait nope Victoria police stopped the investigation after 8 weeks, but recent whistle blowers have gone public with the internal police pressure applied to the investigating officers to close the case.

 

6 hours ago. Nigella’s ‘it was just a play-fight’ husbands shocking behaviour.

Nigella Lawson the famous chef was assaulted by her husband at a cafe who reportedly assaulted her during a lunch at a cafe. Witnesses say they were arguing and he reached across the table and grabbed her throat he said that ‘he didnt apply pressure’ like that makes it any better and that she wasn’t crying because he had her by the throat, but that she didn’t like it when they fought.  You know what I wouldn’t like to fight with a dude who thought it was ok to grab me by the throat.

2hours ago. 

I Decided that I might not read the news anymore it upsets me to much.

1hour ago.

I decided to write this article, and at the end felt the need to add this video to hopefully make you feel better.

It really should

Mikaela Wangmann

NUS Womens Officer 2013

 

 

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Sara, Maggie, Shane, some internet asshats and a photo essay

Trigger warning- This post is about Domestic Violence.

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So while wandering around the internet a little while ago I stumbled upon an article about Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, a photographer who did a photo story on the relationship of a couple with entrenched domestic violence. She then had the photos published as the US government was debating the reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act.

Some of the photos are very confronting showing 31 year old Shane throwing his 19 year old girlfriend Maggie into kitchen cabinets, choking her, using his body to box her up in a corner and they even feature the couples 2 year old child stamping her feet when she sees what is going on.

When these photos were published by Time they left some details out so people looking for someone to blame had an easy copout- Sara the photographer. And did they blame Sarah? You bet they did.

They say that she did nothing, she preferred to get some great shots instead of helping Maggie, not knowing the fact she rang 911 after having to retrieve her phone from Shane during the height of the violence. They say that she should have put the camera down and tried to help not knowing that during the argument Shane gave Maggie the option of continuing in front of the camera or leaving the room to ‘discuss’ the matter privately. Maggie didn’t hesitate and chose to stay in front of the camera as it provided some level of safety knowing that he would hold back a bit if there were witnesses. They said that Sara was despicable for taking photos of the 2 year old girl watching her mother get beaten by her father and that Sara shouldn’t have continued taking photos and got the child out of the room. How were they to know that as soon as Sara and the other 2 adults witnessing the violence saw she was there the child she was removed the photo was taken as the person closest to her was reaching to pick her up.

But of course it wasn’t just the photographer’s fault! Maggie had her part to play as well. The asshats who felt the need to comment said Maggie should have seen it coming, she stays because she likes it and of course she is not the victim but in fact the perpetrator.

So if these people are to be believed the only person in that house at that time who is blameless for the despicable show of violence was Shane.

Aw fuck off.

The more that I look into this story the more angry I get, with Time, with internet wankers, with people who can’t simply understand that the whole reason that this photo essay was done was to show how horrible domestic violence is, to make you feel uncomfortable thinking that this still occurs to millions of women around the world- but also that it is still happening right here. But also to make you want to do something about it so it never happens again.

I am also getting angry at myself because I have just gone on a 500 word rant about the photography and some moronic responses to it- which is not what Sara wanted her work to be an argument about her. She wanted  to show Maggie’s story and to get people talking about domestic violence and to raise the profile of the issue. She also wants people to acknowledge Maggie left, and the strength that takes.

‘But why confront our discomfort about images when we can instead confront the photographer? Why challenge the perpetrators who commit, and the structures that underpin, this violence when we can blame its victims – and, when the evidence of violence is still too powerful, its witnesses?’

You can find more out about the photo essay here

You can find the photo essay here

You can find out more on dealing with domestic violence here

You can find national domestic violence hotline services  here

You can take the white ribbon pledge here

Mikaela Wangmann

National Women’s Officer 2013

In my own voice: An open letter to men’s rights activists from a man

By Lucas Johnson,

First of all, let me outline that I am a man. I have at no point been involved in domestic abuse; I rely simply on the experiences of those around me. And it’s pretty clear that domestic violence is a huge issue in society.

Now let’s be clear, we’re talking about domestic violence here. We’re not talking about bar fights, or wars, but the violent acts committed in the home. In this case, statistics show that women are victims more often than men, and men are perpetrators more often than women.

At this point, I’ll introduce the concept of patriarchy. The patriarchy is the social structure that places men in positions of power. And in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in one. In the home, men are seen to be the breadwinners, while women are expected to take on a more nurturing role. We see this extend workplaces where executive roles are overwhelmingly male-dominated, while nurturing roles such as nursing, teaching and social work are female-dominated. I could provide many more examples.

Patriarchy creates pressures on both sexes. Pretty much everybody agrees here. Men feel pressured to be strong, to not show emotion, and to succeed. This creates numerous health problems, as men are much less likely to report health scares to the doctor, are at higher risk of untreated mental illness, and yes, are unlikely to report domestic abuse.

However, compare this to the problems faced by women in a patriarchal society. Women still earn less money than men for doing the same amount of work. The burden of primary caregiving in most families is still given to the woman. Women in high-up roles are frequently ridiculed for external attributes, while men in these roles are almost never criticised in this way. Not to mention the obscene prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

These problems occur by virtue of women being women, and men being men, in a society where maleness and femaleness are given roles. Here is where power comes into play. In general, men are in a position of power over women, due to their societal roles.

A recent study asked members of a dating site what their biggest fear is about meeting a partner online. The most common answer for men was that the partner would be fat or ugly. The most common answer for women was that the partner would be violent and attack them. To put it simply, women are scared of men.

This is where organisations such as White Ribbon come in. The idea of openly pledging to end violence against women, just one single issue, is to help create a society where women no longer have reason to feel threatened by a man. Surely this is something we can all agree on?

For many women, their experience with male violence means that they have a fear of men. And it’s up to us to do something about it.

Now, at no point have I denied that violence by women against men is a problem. It is. At no point have I said it’s acceptable for women to hit men. It isn’t. It’s not acceptable for any person to be violent against any person.

However, I ask you this. Have you, at any point, felt threatened by the presence of a woman? If you’re alone at night, and a woman walks up to you, do you key in the emergency number on your phone? What sort of steps do you take to prevent violence from women?

Probably none.

Yet if you were to ask any woman alone at night the same question, they would probably give you a different answer.

The above situation is the truth for many women, particularly young women at universities. This is what the NUS Women’s Department’s main focus is. Have a read of the Talk About It Survey. These sort of statistics show that universities are an unsafe place for women, and this is overwhelmingly the fault of men.

But not you and not me. I’m not saying you’re a rapist no more than anybody is saying I’m a rapist. But it’s important, as a man, to try and do something about this saddening statistic. On a small scale, it’s about pledging to not be violent against women. It’s not about saying that half of the fault is women’s. That’s not constructive at all.

A Voice For Men, you are not doing our gender any favours by attacking people for trying to make the world a better place. You are personally victimising many people, particularly women, for pointing out a problem that they think is important, and trying to do something about it. In particular, there seems to be a blame placed on feminism. And you’re doing this representing men. You’re not representing me.

Remember when I mentioned the patriarchal structure that prevents men reporting violence against them? The way to bring down the patriarchy is through feminism. If you want violence against men to gain more legitimacy, you should do everything to increase the power given by society to women so that it is equal to that of men. Only then can both genders play on a level field. Only then can you report violence against men without fear of ridicule.

Until then, and until you stop continuing to harass and demean women, men, and this entire campaign, I ask you this:

Do you actually like women?

Because by the way you’re acting, it doesn’t look like it.

This is the first time we’ve had a man write for the blog. His identity has been changed to protect his anonymity and to keep from his being harassed by those who call themselves ‘A voice for men’.

A reminder that while they are likely to continue to harass us through social media, every time you feel a troll a fairy dies, so take that energy and funnel it into participating in our ‘In my own voice’ campaign. You can do so by heading here

Men’s Rights and domestic violence: not even half the problem.

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If I were a man right now I would be spewing. Contrary to the popular stereotype of feminists I am not a man-hater. I know a great number of really wonderful men, some of whom are regular readers of this blog (a big shout-out to my uncle Ian who reads every day). I am a feminist first because I believe in women, but I am also a feminist because I believe in men. I believe in the ability and power of men to play a supportive role in the fight for equality for women.  I believe in men and I believe that men can do better.

Men can do better than 1 in 3 women being victims of sexual assault, 1 in 5 being the victims of domestic violence. Men can do better than tooting their horns as they drive by, they can do better than name calling and harassment, they can do better than turning their anger and pain into violence that they inflict upon their families, their partners and children.

As I say that I remind you all that I know a lot of men do do better. I know men who stop their friends from making jokes at the expense of the bruised and battered bodies of women at the hands of their partners. I know boys who don’t think that ‘rape’ is a term that should become a part of their vernacular. They don’t believe the intrusion and violation of a woman who did nothing to deserve it is comparable to a difficult exam or losing a game. These men take the White Ribbon Pledge, they speak to their friends and they stand up against violence against women. These men are good men, they deserve better.

These are the men who understand that the pursuit of equality is not something to be afraid of, it doesn’t present a threat to them. They don’t need to speak about men’s rights, they already have them, they speak about the rights of women and the rights of our society to strive for better.

Last week an organisation called ‘A voice for men’ postered Monash and Deakin university in the South East Suburbs of Melbourne, their most prominent poster was one which said ‘Domestic Violence: Women are Half the Problem’. They claim to stand up for the rights of men and represent their views. If these jokers were claiming to represent my rights, and the views of my gender I would be spewing.

First and foremost, I would like to point out that the posters have no basis in fact, women are not ‘half of the problem’ of domestic violence. That statement has no statistical nor anecdotal evidence behind it. This is not to say that men are not victims of domestic violence, there are some that are, just as men are victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. However, instances of women’s violence against men are much rarer and have not got the same cultural beliefs at their core.

Violence against women occurs because of gender inequality. Men who perpetrate violence against women do it because they believe that women have some intrinsic lesser value than men. Violence against women is rarely about the violence itself, just as rape is almost never about sex, violence against women is an expression of power.

I suppose one of the greatest injustices in equating ‘men’s rights’ with domestic violence, is the knowledge that for this group the rights of men will always be synonymous with the violent oppression of women; which is a far greater indictment upon the gender than I would ever pass.

Since the posters went up women have been speaking out against the attitudes and lies that lie within them. The women who have spoken are being harassed by those who stand for this group, the personal facebook addresses and department facebook addresses are being attacked.

So I suppose I want this blog post to act as a rallying call to any men out there. If you believe these men do not speak for you then don’t let them, stand up for your own voice and the rights of those women around you.