The Northern Territory news Sat 5 Oct 2019
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 2019 OPINION 13 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA ignored the best advice available to make her co-chair on the looming family law and child support inquiry, which he has appointed Kevin Andrews to head. Andrews is a conservative who is staunchly anti-divorce and was Social Services Minister when the federal government offered discount vouchers for wives to attend sex counselling to better please their husbands. The Governments commitment is abysmal. This year Morrison will spend around $80 million nationwide on support and prevention strategies, compared to $150 million on Donald Trumps whacky Mars mission. The most telling part of this sad charade is the Prime Ministers unwillingness to address what is Australias biggest social justice issue. He talks about suicide and its impact on men, he says kids are being exposed to unnecessary anxiety over climate change, he speaks of his commitment to God, he praises the silent Australians, he finds words for football, the economy, the opposition, Donald Trumps priorities, conservative compassion and unfunded empathy. But he flat out refuses to respond to the deaths of 55 women. When someone stuck a needle in a strawberry last year, he couldnt roll out tougher penalties for food tampering fast enough. Dont let the number of deaths fool you they are just the tip of the violence iceberg. Police attend around 600 domestic violence incidents a day nationwide while personal safety data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows one in three women experience sexual, domestic or other violence in their lifetime. Our country has the eighth-highest rate of domestic and family viol ence of the worlds 20 economic powerhouses. Statistics dont lie, but they do paint a grim picture and they show that a war on women does exist. Every life lost has a devastating and ongoing impact on family members, friends, colleagues and the communities of both victims and perpetrators. A womans death drains resources from policing, courts, prisons and mental and other health services. The financial impost of gendered violence on our economy is mindblowing, setting back the tax-payer $21 billion a year. Thats roughly the same amount of cash the mining industry generates. Theres much to be said about the onus of ending violence falling on the shoulders of the perpetrators. But this can also be a dangerous fallacy that leads to complacency: We cannot rely on violent men to keep their hands to themselves because most violent men do not consider themselves to be at fault. You cannot fix a problem if you dont acknowledge it. The key to ending violence against women is strong leadership backed by equitable governance delivering wellfunded long-term support services and prevention strategies. Until we get this formula right, the war on women will continue unabated and the list of its casualties will grow. For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Mensline on MensLine on 1800 600 636. Sherele Moody has is an awardwinning News Corp journalist, a 2019 Our Watch fellow, and founder of The RED HEART Campaign and the Austra lian Femicide & Child Death Map A BABY girl born just hours before her mums life ended. An eight-year-old boy watching as his dad kills both his mother and himself. A romantic-at-heart country woman shot to death by her lover. A 21-year-old Arab-Israeli student raped and beaten while on a study trip in Australia. An elderly woman whose screams for help are ignored and whose killer still roams the streets. A dentist murdered by her obsessed former partner and left to rot in the boot of a car. A young musician stabbed to death by her father after a night out with friends. Six murder victims for whom we have no names. These are just some of the 55 women whose lives were wiped out over the past 10 months due to the deadly actions of another. Men are suspected in three-quarters of these alleged acts of murder and manslaughter while around 65 per cent have been attributed to intimate partner and family violence. Women are dying at a rate of just under two per week and we are on track for this years femicide toll to eclipse the annual dead women counts of the past three years. In the past few weeks, 10 women have been killed. With the final three months of the year typically our deadliest as male aggression rises on the back of major sporting events like the Melbourne Cup and footy finals, warmer weather leading to higher consumption of alcohol and a range of stressors that We need strong Government leadership and better support services to ensure womens safety from abusive and violent men flow from the congruence of money troubles and Christmas holiday spending, there is no relief in sight. We are in the grip of a violence epidemic, yet it seems the names, faces and stories of these victims are failing to prick the Canberra bubble, with our Federal Government making decisions that will only exacerbate the problem. Prime Minister Scott Morrisons response or lack thereof really shows the measure of him as a leader and as an empathetic man. This is a leader who has budgeted $10 million for irresponsible relationship counselling between victims and their abusers. Putting an abuser in the same room as a survivor is dangerous. If you dont believe me simply look at the murder of Sarah Marie Thomas, who was stabbed to death by her former partner while attending mediation with him at the Joondalup court house. He will be sentenced in a few weeks. Scott Morrison has also shown his naivity on domestic violence in particular by allowing renowned fathers rights activist Senator Pauline Hanson to repeatedly and erroneously frame female victims and survivors of abuse as liars seeking a step-up in custody cases and single mums as greedy harlots robbing dads of their money and their kids. He could have censured Hanson, but didnt, when she used the cover of parliamentary privilege to thumb her nose at the Family Law Act by defaming the former partners of her sons over their relationship breakdowns. This should have been enough for Morrison to draw the line in the sand but instead he Do more to protect us SHERELE MOODY Gabriella Thompson was brutally stabbed to death by her ex-partner Picture: SUPPLIED