Minister for Women, you are CRAP at your job.

12 Sep

Domestic Violence is terrorism

In what other portfolio would a minister who remains consistently silent about his responsibilities to the huge demographic covered by that portfolio, even in the face of a staggering number of the cohort dying, be permitted to retain his job? Yet Tony Abbott continues to claim for himself the title “Minister for Women.”

Has there ever been a greater political insult to Australian women than this? He’s having a laugh. He always was.

In spite of an enormous recent increase in media and public attention directed towards intimate and family violence, the Abbott federal and the Baird state LNP governments have cut funding to specialist women’s services since Abbott won government in 2013.

These cuts have resulted in women’s refuges in NSW urban and regional areas being re-situated under the umbrella of homelessness services, thus denying the specific difficulties faced by women who are not primarily homeless, rather who are fleeing their homes because those homes are inhabited by a violent partner.

Many refuges are now run by faith-based organisations. Experience in addressing intimate and family violence is not a prerequisite for winning a contract, indeed the criteria for determining the awarding of contracts don’t even mention domestic violence concerns.

This Women’s Agenda headline would seem premature: Our Watch Awards celebrate the power of journalism in ending male violence against women. Neither journalism nor anything else has ended male violence against women, and while media attention to the appalling statistics and the stories behind them is absolutely necessary, the power of journalism alone to end violence against women and children is yet to be demonstrated. There has to be action with the talk, and I mean direct action against perpetrators, such as immediate custodial sentences when an AVO is breached, for a start.

As long as we have privileged and ignorant male politicians redesigning frontline domestic violence services in ways that can only make the plight of women and children fleeing violence worse, we will not end that violence, indeed we will only make it easier for perpetrators, as women’s options are eroded. Already, the legal aid situation is so dire a perpetrator can access free advice and representation, but the woman he assaulted may not be so lucky.

The toll of one man’s violence against his partner is inestimable. It has long-term effects on children, immediate family members, extended family members, neighbours, workmates, and when perpetrated in public, as have murders and attacks in the last week in Queensland, has traumatising effects on every witness, and every member of the public who attempts to intervene.

Then there’s the cumulative toll domestic violence takes on services such as police, paramedics, hospital staff, counsellors, and those who provide legal aid services. In terms of its capacity for widespread and generational damage, intimate and family violence is a catastrophic event far exceeding any terrorist threat we face.

Yet the Minister for Women’s only intervention is to cut funding to frontline services when they ought to be urgently increased, and by tenfold.

As a salve and to appear as if he’s interested, Abbott promised an awareness campaign. However, he’s failed to address where women and children will go for assistance and shelter after our collective awareness is raised. We don’t need another government awareness campaign when services are inadequate, or don’t exist. We need the services. Abbott’s promised awareness campaign, in conjunction with service cuts, is one of the most cynical moves this government has made. That is saying much.

Tony Abbott is a crap Minister for Women. Probably the most crap Minister for Women in the world. The sooner he takes his sorry arse out of that portfolio and appoints someone who gives a damn, the better. With Abbott at the top, violence against women and children is never going to decrease in this country, and with his funding cuts he’s making it easier for perpetrators to be left on the loose and unaccountable.

Someone once said you can judge the state of a country by the way it allows animals to be treated. I think you can judge the state of a country by the way its government allows women and children to be treated. And by any measure, this government’s attitude to violence against women and children is absolute crap.

 

 

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21 Responses to “Minister for Women, you are CRAP at your job.”

  1. Florence nee Fedup September 12, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    Abbott needs to take care if he promotes some women. Ones we hear most from now, I suspect will not go down well with a lot of women.,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cranky Angry Noely (@YaThinkN) September 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    “direct action against perpetrators, such as immediate custodial sentences when an AVO is breached, for a start” SPOT ON! Infuriates me beyond belief that one punch in a pub results in not only more public condemnation but is taken more seriously with real legal implications unlike the fobbing off of DV 😦

    Another thing I have always failed to understand is why property law seems to be more important than a person’s physical & mental health? I mean… You hit someone in the street, they automatically toss the aggressor in the paddy wagon & off you go.

    Yet, you hit someone in the home & when the police – finally – turn up, even if it is patently obviously who the aggressor is, will normally just tell them to sleep it off and IF the woman wants to make a complaint, here is a card, drop in tomorrow. Hello? IF alcohol is involved the woman will cop a bigger flogging for shaming the partner (regardless of whether she called cops or neighbours did).

    Why is the aggressor not tossed in the paddy wagon and removed from the home? I actually asked a policeman this and was told it was because their name is on the lease or mortgage of the house, therefore reluctant to remove them from their own property? An experienced cop knows what is going to happen, normally within hours of them being called out, so this to me is a ridiculous situation.

    Maybe if more were jailed over night. AVO’s were actually taken seriously, more men would also take seriously.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Jennifer Wilson September 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      What? They leave them there cos the mortgage is in their name? Bloody hell.

      Like

    • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      The necessity is clearly to take women out of situations like those, and this is what should be funded.

      Kicking the male aggressor out of such homes may sound fairer, but for any number of practical reasons the point where the State has to intervene is generally beyond one where fairness is likely to be salvaged. If he’s violent, aggressive, feeling wronged and knows where you live then it’s going to be both better and easier to provide respite in other ways.

      Nor do I believe punitive measures make inroads where the subject is unwilling, unable or completely unhelped to deal with the psychological issues arising out of a failing or failed relationship.

      We’re a culture largely ill-equipped to deal with issues beyond our control or narratives related from the bad guy’s perspective. For anyone wanting to get an aggressor to accept responsibility there’s a call for empathy in precisely the way that usually seems most counter intuitive. I think help is needed for that to occur also, and that needs to be funded, because it won’t come from within the family or circle of close friends among whom sides get taken.

      What I see around this issue is a lot of activism that hasn’t as far as I can see even resulted in a hotline being set up nationally so that people know where to begin to get help. Help and the availability thereof would to me also mean the opportunity for de-escalating enflamed situations on one’s own undertaking. I think that would make a good and much needed start.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Florence nee Fedup September 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    If government wants to waste money on expensive TV ads, they should be aimed at men only. Should tell men in no uncertain terms the blame is theirs. The solution lies in their hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson September 12, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

      That’s the best thing I’ve read about an awareness campaign. Make the perpetrators aware. Of the consequences.

      Like

    • Diane Pearton September 13, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Exactly!

      Like

  4. Michaela Tschudi September 12, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    The fact that Abbott is the self appointed Minister for Women is a terrible insult to all women. Even if he did remove his sorry arse from the portfolio, I doubt that I would be happy with any substitute he appointed. I can feel my hackles rising! Keep upping the ante Jennifer. The more the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. doug quixote September 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    Twelve killed by terrorism since 1900? Six died in Broken Hill in 1915 (four innocent victims and two terrorists) but who are the others?

    The Hilton bombing was an ASIO fuck-up designed to justify their budget. Another three (one the Turkish Consul General) died as a result of Turkish separatist attacks in 1980-86.

    Other casualties were apparently attacks by lone nutters.

    I make it four victims, in 1915. Arguably no others before or since.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson September 12, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

      I don’t know where the terrorism figures came from DQ.
      I think the point is still made, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote September 13, 2015 at 8:16 am #

        Definitely, the point is unarguable.

        Resources are being wasted on things which do not need to be resourced, whilst the tragedy continues to play out.

        Like

      • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

        Some of these ideas are similar to a thread Bob Ellis had posted not so long ago. Like others I think we could quibble about certain acts maybe falling closer to some definitions of terrorism than others such that the time span isn’t so great. The points however are well made that Monis was only a terrorist in his own feeble befuddled attention seeking mind, and that that we haven’t joined the US or UK in being on the end of Muslim hostility on home soil.

        In short it is beyond dispute that what we’re being subjected to is an ongoing extension of the kind of fear campaign the Bush administration kicked off over a decade ago. They’re attempting to convince people to cede their freedoms to the government in favour of giving them up to some nebulously defined “terrorists”. As if they were the only two choices!

        Abbott as minister for Women is the “great big lie” theory of political rhetoric in action. He’s either thumbing his nose at you or he’s fronting a perception of bias with a line of bullshit so incredible that credulity breaks down, ceases to exist and subsequently reconstructs itself in a vacuum. Maybe we’re supposed to be filled with his false received messaging to the point where the only optimistic choice is to reimagine the leering toad before you might actually, somehow, be sincere.

        You know the kind of thing. You’re not exactly swept off your feet by the whiff of roses, but surely if they grow in it…….

        Liked by 1 person

    • Michaela Tschudi September 12, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

      There’s a wiki on this which cites other attacks on consulates, Russell St Police bombing and so on. But I agree with Jennifer, the point has been made.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote September 13, 2015 at 8:19 am #

        I wasn’t really asking, Michaela; just making a rhetorical point.

        (I do my research before posting. A pity few others do.)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Michaela Tschudi September 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    When I read about the traumas experienced by women detained on Nauru and Manus, I wonder whether the Minister for Women will be held responsible in a court of law (international?) for crimes against humanity. Young women like Nazarin (https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/immigration/2015/08/22/nauru-rapes-there-war-women/14401656002263) may not survive to testify. Who will bear witness?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. doug quixote September 14, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    Abbott gone!

    Crap at his job . . . at last the Looters Party (are forced to) see a little light.

    Frabjous Day!

    (Where’s Mr Green when you want him?)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Michaela Tschudi September 15, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    Anyone having withdrawal symptoms, now we can’t lambast the former Monster, oops I mean Minister for Women?

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Minister for Women, you are CRAP at your job. – Written by NO PLACE FOR SHEEP | winstonclose - September 13, 2015

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  2. Minister for Women, you are CRAP at your job. | Divorce Direction - September 14, 2015

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