I posted this question on Twitter last night and chaos ensued. Countless retweets, messages from men and women agreeing with the question. women sharing their own stories of domestic violence. A few trolls but not many. Most people feeling the same way. Enough is enough.
I wondered why Tony Abbott isn’t saying anything about this growing issue, he certainly was vocal about the Coward Punch issue.
We have a male Prime Minister in Australia. He needs to be a role model. He needs to say that men who murder their partners and or children are cowards. That there are other ways to dissolve anger at marital strife or separation, and that death and violence isn’t one of them.
I have been passionate about stopping domestic violence for over ten years. It isn’t something I know. I wasn’t raised in a violent home. I am not married to a violent man. I think that perhaps this is why I am so moved by these stories and so committed to finding a solution. I don’t know anything but safety in my home, and love from my husband towards my children. This shouldn’t be something that is applauded, or seen as extraordinary. It’s a person’s right to be safe at home.
I abhor violence in any form, but there is something about a child being killed by someone they love and trust that cuts through me.
I was talking about this issue yesterday, and I mentioned that I wished I said more when I saw men being pricks to women and children. And I have seen bullying, abusing behaviour of men who want control. It’s always about control. I didn’t say anything at the time, because I said, ‘It’s not my place.’ I now wish I had spoken up. I wish I had said, ‘Hey, can you not speak to your child like that, or my child, or your wife or mother.’
But I didn’t. Neither did my husband. Neither did anyone else. Perhaps this is the path to the solution. We need to say, ‘Enough. Stop. Now.’
Men need to make other men accountable for their behaviour. Men need encourage other men get help, to talk about their feelings, to see that they need to stop and get help. Women need make other women feel empowered. Women need to remind other women that what they are experiencing isn’t normal. Women explain to other women and men that every time you scream, hit and abuse a child, you change who they are and how they interact with the world. That there is a huge chance they will hurt their children also, that the cycle goes on from generation to generation.
I’m feeling disheartened by the sadness of the two sisters, Savannah and Indianna Mihayo , who died over Easter, allegedly murdered by their father. This coming off the back of the murder of Fiona Warzywoda who was killed by her defacto hours after she had placed an intervention order on him in Court, and the senseless murder of Luke Batty by his father.
I don’t know what to do, other than pledge to stand up and speak out when I see abuse. And I’m going to tweet Tony Abbott everyday, until something is done about the issue of domestic violence. People power is sometimes the only thing that works.