Many women I work with live in fear and rightly so. They feel failed by the legal system and wonder where else they can turn. Last week's report will do nothing to allay their fears but confirm what they already know and live with; constantly looking over their shoulder, living in a state of high alert and wondering how they can protect themselves and their children.
Last week, on 31st May 2018 the very first data report was released by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network. They collected data from 2010 – 2014 about the intimate partner homicides that have occurred in Australia. The review, for the first time looked at the violent histories of the parties in these matters ending in homicide.
There were 152 intimate partner homicides in Australia in the four years 2010 – 2014 which all had an identifiable history of domestic violence. 80% of them involved a male killing a female partner and of the 20% involving a woman killing a male, the woman was the primary victim of abuse. Many of the homicides that occurred, occurred within 3 months of the partner leaving. 24% of the males who killed their current female partner were named respondents in current Domestic Violence Orders supposedly protecting the female victims at the time of their death.
This is clearly unacceptable and time for all of us to speak up and take action.
If you suspect someone is being abused, report it. If you need help ask. We cannot accept this as someone else’s problem.
If you want to read the full report it is available from the coroner’s court website.
For support or information in relation to domestic or family violence contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
For support and information about suicide prevention you
can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
Voice Lawyers assists victims of Domestic Violence.