Family Violence. Where’s THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN?

26 Jan

I can’t help wondering what Prime Minister Tony Abbott, also known as THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN, thought and felt when he announced as Australian of the Year the most outstanding advocate for women and children I’ve heard in a very long time, Rosie Batty.

Ms Batty’s son Luke was brutally murdered by his father, a man with history of serious violence towards his family. Their story is at the worst end of the family violence continuum, as are many others.

That we even have the phrase “family violence” in our lexicon, with the most appalling statistics to justify its existence, ought to be a matter of serious concern for THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN, whose responsibility it surely is to give political backup and practical support to people like Rosie Batty, who shouldn’t have to work as she has without a word of encouragement from the LEADER OF THIS GREAT NATION AND MINISTER FOR WOMEN, TONY ABBOTT.

Somehow, in the brief time since Luke was murdered by his father, Ms Batty has garnered the strength and courage to campaign with vigour and a resounding authenticity, against family violence. No voice could be more convincing than hers on this topic at this point in time.

While the “king hitting” of  a handful of young men brings out Abbott’s anger and righteous indignation, as does the threat of terrorism and the horrible, unspeakable, spine chilling crime of asylum seekers breaching the sovereignty of our borders; as the thrilling notion of going to war, some war, somewhere, anywhere, for whatever reason causes the bedraggled budgie in the Prime Minister’s rapidly fraying smugglers to sluggishly stir, the slaughter and suffering of women and children in our own backyard goes unaddressed  by THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN, in fact he NEVER EVEN MENTIONS IT! 

I can’t imagine any other minister NEVER EVEN MENTIONING the topic of his portfolio. Can you?

Rosie Batty. Woman of calibre. Salute.

Rosie and Luke

Rosie and Luke

21 Responses to “Family Violence. Where’s THE MINISTER FOR WOMEN?”

  1. deknarf January 26, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Our Prime Minister Rabbott the MINISTER FOR WOMEN is, as usual, most noticeable by his absence from the debate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jo Tamar January 26, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    Hear hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. helvityni January 26, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    Why are mentally ill people like Like’s dad Greg Anderson roaming the streets, why was he not looked after by our mental health system…
    Why isn’t our Minister for Women, who is also our PM making sure that our mental health system is improved, finally, Why was Anderson not dealt more promptly and properly by the police.

    Dear PM, do not spend any more money searching for planes, do not take Australia to never ending wars… Please start fixing things at home..

    Liked by 1 person

    • helvityni January 26, 2015 at 9:09 am #

      like Luke’s dad


    • Michaela Tschudi January 26, 2015 at 10:09 am #

      Helvityni, our mental health system is not resourced properly and fragmented to the point where it has become quite inaccessible to most people. Optimists might hope this situation will be addressed when the federal govt responds to the latest report from the Mental Health Commission, but I fear not.


    • Jo Tamar January 26, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      I would add for the sake of clarity: the problem was not that Anderson was mentally ill, the problem was that he was violent. His mental illness almost certainly should have been a factor in dealing appropriately with his violence, but it was not, in itself, a reason to “deal with” him.

      IOW not all people with mental illness are violent, not all violent people are mentally ill, not all violent people who are mentally ill are violent because of their illness.

      But yes, I absolutely agree that, given Anderson’s previous actions and words, the system should have acted differently and, had it done so, Luke Batty might still be alive.


  4. Florence nee Fedup January 26, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    This is one debate I think we will find him missing. One debate whose time has come.


  5. paul walter January 26, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    Wher is the Minister for Women?

    B-b-but, I thought you all knew?

    He is off conferring dukedoms on Wild Bill Hickock, Ralph Nickleby and Donald Duck , people he assures he has regular conversations with and are of good character. To observe the ceremony keep heading down the road to Perdition.. just past the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, at Bedlam House.


  6. paul walter January 26, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Back to the thread topic. I got to spend an hour in the sun with a couple of fine ladies yesterday afternoon.

    After a bit, I had a sense of one still introverted after a marriage breakup gone wrong and thought back once again to trauma and the damage done on others at the hands of a particular personality type.

    Very sobering, she was a nice woman, had probably had reasonable expectations of what a normal relationship could confer on and ask of her, but I think now is unlikely to regain trust, a bit like a cat kicked in the ribs by someone in a temper, that stays outdoors and won’t come in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson January 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      I have to own my own stupidity, PW. I knew from the start he was untrustworthy, anybody deceiving their spouse is by definition untrustworthy.


      • paul walter January 26, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

        Wouldn’t we like a buck for every rash decison we made in during the foment of youth and early adulthood?

        The world lies in wait for young people, with heavy iron-bark waddies of four-be-two.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. paul walter January 26, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Florence nee Fedup.. just caught your comment over at Quiggin.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. russell January 26, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    For nearly 10 years I worked in mental health admin, it was recognized that mh services are the poor cousins of any health budget. Health Ed was just above and welfare probation and parole was just below on the budgetary scale. That was in the ’80’s. It remains to this day that mh services are the poor cousins in any health department budgetary process, now along with curtailed child protection. Services have degraded since that time with budgets and staffing continuing to be cut. If Professor McGorry as an Australian of the year cannot convince authority to fund it all properly then I don’t know who can. Maybe ‘the women’?

    it is my lay view that male family violence is not of itself a clinical mh problem but more a men’s attitude and values problem. Although coupled with substance abuse, a history of violence etc it does become a problem of community mental health and law as seems to be for some men these days. Mad or bad was sometimes a question that was posed.

    As volunteers, in pairs we men were working with male violence perps in helping them to change their ways, The ALRC mentioned our group ‘Challenge’ in a dv reform report but we were not recommended for financing as we ‘only’ worked with men who wanted to change their ways. We did not nor were we equipped to work with those who did not want to be there or did not want to change their behaviour. So, because we would accept self referrals and not court mandated referrals we didn’t qualify for any financial assistance.

    Not much goes close to bringing me to tears these days but the photo of mother and son does get me a bit misty eyed. It reminds of the man who accepted our Challenge when he realized he needed help to change. He had been holding his four year old son up against the wall, off the floor, by his neck. He found the way to start to stop being violent to his family at the point of realization of his own responsibility towards right and wrong to his family. No lame blaming others. He recognized his problem was him. He realized that violence at home is not just a moral values issue but a crime perpetrated in the home.

    I am grateful there seems to be more women of calibre speaking out these days. I am sad it takes the deaths of so many women and children to bring us to this point.

    I still mourn the loss of the mens Challenge ‘inspirator’ Ms Raylee Wilson (deceased natural causes in 1992?). (She was over at Woomera with all the mob in the late ’80s too.) Raylee was an instigator in causing our mens group to form by relating ‘there is no point in feminists teaching women about assertion skills when all that happens is they go home and get beaten up again’. It is the man’s problem. Women’s refuges were all full and nothing was being done about the men that caused them to be there. Men should be made to take responsibility for their own actions. This caused us blokes to form the community group Challenge. It was a privilege to have known and worked with Raylee. So many inspirational women I greatly admire even to this day.

    Thank you Jennifer for writing this article.

    Agreed. Rosie Batty. Woman of Calibre. Salute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Florence nee Fedup January 26, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Sadly, many of us older women also added to the problem. We were our own worse enemy. we also believed that it was the woman’s role to make marriage work. yes, and her duty to ensure any troubles remained in the walls of the home. Yes, ones makes their bed then they have to lie in it was deeply instilled in us. When it went wrong, it was our fault. Never the fault of the man, Many families did not want to know. Many wives kept all hidden because of shame. Most only left these marriages after some disaster occurred, Such as murder, or one eating too many, I give thanks that we are not instilling such beliefs in our kids. They are more likely to get out early, long before permanent damage occurs. Yes, the harm caused last a lifetime in both the mother and her kids, Families often never become functional. To much hurt has occurred.

      Yes, I have seen women just as bad. They are not as physical, but men can be destroyed as well. Worse for them in a way, as they are often seen as weak.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson January 26, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

        The harm caused does indeed last a lifetime, Florence, and affects generations. It’s well know now that trauma affects generations, and the loss to society in every way because of affected and damaged people is enormous.


      • paul walter January 26, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

        Depends how far back you go, Florence. It’s only been a couple of generations since women gained something akin to financial independence.

        Until say, the late sixties, what help would a woman receive from the system, with welfare rudimentary and work poorly paid, to support a family alone?

        Back to Russell, that must be hard graft some times.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson January 26, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

      Thank you for writing this comment, Russell. I hope a lot of people read it. It says so much about the complications involved in providing services that can assist in changing such entrenched beliefs and behaviours. I hope Rosie Batty’s award will shine a light on these things in ways that haven’t been done before.


      • Florence nee Fedup January 26, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

        Walter, I did say my age group. Not that long ago. (73) Did say also, we no longer load our kids with the same rubbish. Yes financial independence goes a long way, It was more that that. Families often sided with the perpetrator, Was ingrained into society. Being a strong woman was sometimes a negative,

        Society has to change. women and men both have to change. We cannot allow another generation of children to suffer, There is no easy answer,

        DV us one if the worse forms of abuse, any child can suffer from.

        I , along with others thought we were getting on top DV, One only has to look at the number of women and children dying, to know this is not true.


    • Maria from Oz January 30, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      Good on you Russell,…we need a few million more men like you for starters & i reckon we’d go a long way in the demise of this epidemic. Rosie Batty, Raylee & the other women who inspired you.& millions of others…Women of Calibre…
      Russell & the Challenge men, Men of Calibre..


  9. Maria from Oz January 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    Helvityni,…I doubt whether Luke’s dad could be “fixed”,… Those who need the looking after are the women & children who are the vulnerable & innocent targets & victims of these violent criminals. Males who are violent in a family violence or intimate partner context who seek therapy are rare. Ask Jennifer. Those who are in anger management programmes are there thro a court order & most don’t think they’re in the wrong or need fixing & continue their violence. The focus needs to be first & foremost on protecting the women & children art risk immediately from perpertrators, whatever that takes & providing safe hosing & community for them.


    • Maria from Oz January 29, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

      oops, not safe hosing!….safe housing…..


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