Gender based violence (HLD 361)

19 March 2021

Ok it had to happen. One day I was going to have to get political. Sort of.

There are some reports that show that one in six Australian women have or will suffer from domestic or sexual violence. They aren’t the only ones. One in 16 men will have or will also be victims of this.

We can be appalled. We can rally and cry out for the situation to change. We can challenge our governments to take real action to change things so that people can be safer.

The reality is this:

To the males reading this – one in six of you is prone to inflicting physical or sexual violence on a female.

To the females reading this – one in sixteen of you is prone to inflicting physical or sexual violence on a male.

When you look at the reality, this is very disturbing. There isn’t a community full of people, somewhere else, who are inflicting this violence. This is the average. Average people. Average ages. People we know. People we pass in the street. Every day people, inflicting violence.

Those are unreal numbers that are unfortunately very real.

What needs to change?

You can have as many shelters, and effective laws as you like, but there needs to be a fundamental change in how we express ourselves.

Education has to start from the very beginning, in ways to express yourself and your emotions that don’t involve violence. How to deal with anger. How to calm situations.

I don’t know the answers to this. But I know that if those figures are correct, not only do we have to protect the huge numbers of people who have suffered this sort of violence, we need to identify and re-educate the perpetrators of it also. We need to make sure that their children and their grandchildren don’t learn that aggression is the only way to deal with life’s disappointments.

I’ll leave the politics to those who can do it. But now that all this information is being presented to us, maybe it’s time for us all to start paying attention.

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