Dear Mr Turnbull. With regard to respect.

29 Oct
Counting Dead Women. Destroy the Joint

Counting Dead Women. Destroy the Joint


For quite some time now, you’ve been speaking in mellifluous tone on how lack of respect for women is at the root of violence towards us, with particular reference to domestic and family violence.

There are times when listening to your respect defence I imagine I’m in a courtroom. Your political rhetoric is in the nature of a legal argument, designed to convince, persuade and coax a jury into accepting your narrative, and so extend leniency to your client.

Perhaps I might stretch the analogy and describe your client in this instance as The Perpetrator of Domestic Violence. Your Honour, he is not a bad man, he merely needs to be taught how to respect women, at least sufficiently not to kill them.

I assume you believe that you are respectful of women. I don’t believe you are. I believe that to be respectful of anyone requires not only rhetoric but action, that is, doing everything you can for them when you see they are being mistreated by others. Failure to do this is, in your terms, disrespectful. In mine, it is criminally neglectful.

Action has a two-fold effect, Mr Turnbull. It assists the woman under attack, and it demonstrates to the perpetrator how respect is  a practice as well as a theory.

You are in a unique position to walk your talk in the matter of respect, yet you seem to be running on the spot.

If you truly respected us you would make funding available for the frontline services we so desperately need to save our lives, our health, our well-being and our children’s well-being when we are faced with a violent man who will harm us, and/or kill us. That would be respectful of you, Mr Turnbull.

That you continue to refuse to make this money available is an act of extreme disrespect for our well-being, and for our very lives.

If you truly believe that lack of respect for women is the root cause of the domestic violence perpetrated upon us, then as leader of this country you must demonstrate active respect for us, if you sincerely want to bring about change. Otherwise you are on the side of the perpetrator.

In depriving us of refuges, community legal centres and ongoing specialist services to assist us and our children to recover from unspeakable trauma, you are signalling to the perpetrators that they are free to continue their savagery, and not only are they  likely to get away with it, they are enabled by you to continue, as we have no avenues of escape.

If our government cannot respect us enough to provide the assistance we so desperately need, why should a perpetrator?

I think it was Leo Tolstoy who wrote that respect was invented to fill the place where love should be. His heroine, Anna Karenina, died at his authorial hand, like so many of us die at the hands of the men who control the narrative. You are the man who controls our narrative. You have the power to change our stories. All that is required of you is that you respect us enough to provide resources for our shelter, protection and assistance.

Until you can do that, Mr Turnbull, your rhetoric of respect is a lie, and you, sir, are a liar.

Sincerely, Survivor.






49 Responses to “Dear Mr Turnbull. With regard to respect.”

  1. Arthur Baker October 29, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    I feel pretty much the same when Turntable trots out his tired, trite little SLASH mantra (the Saving Lives At Sea Humbug about refugee boats). Lack of respect for them too. And for our intelligence, as if we’re incapable of seeing the gaping holes in his logic.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Wilson October 29, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      Yes, and he promised to respect the voters didn’t he, to distinguish himself from Abbott’s three word crap.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Havana Liedown October 29, 2016 at 9:11 am #


  3. Havana Liedown October 29, 2016 at 9:13 am #


  4. Valerie Vertue October 29, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    Turncoat……The scum who has removed the “Prime” from the formerly most respected position in Australia.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. townsvilleblog October 29, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Reblogged this on Townsville Blog. and commented:
    Turnbull has been a bloody good lawyer in his time, but as PM he is sadly lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fiona October 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm #


      Turnbull was never a “good” lawyer. He was a very lucky one, however.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson October 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

        Ah, that’s interesting, Fiona. He’s thought of as accomplished because of the high profile cases I suppose. He was in the right place at the right time?


        • Fiona October 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

          fizza’s legal career was quite short, and his only high-profile case was defending the publisher of Peter Wright’s book Spycatcher. Very much a matter of right place right time.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fiona October 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm #


            If I had enough time I would love to deconstruct the Turnbull legend. One day, perhaps – though I am well aware of his penchant for litigation.

            For now, all I can suggest is that his reputation might resemble puff pastry.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson October 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

              Well, if you ever need somewhere to publish the story, I’m no stranger to litigation threats on Sheep 🙂


              • Fiona October 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

                I do appreciate that offer, Jennifer, but I am very wary of fizza.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. townsvilleblog October 29, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    I suppose my response is too simplistic, and that is that we can’t trust a word the L&NP deliver to us, because the rhetoric is never matched by their actions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson October 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Shaun, no I don’t think that’s too simplistic, I think it’s a pretty accurate assessment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • townsvilleblog October 30, 2016 at 11:37 am #

        Jen, it appears that they (L&NP) are all pathological liars, from Treasurer Hillsong (assembly of god US cult) to George Brandis QC none of them can say a truthful word. If they remain in government for a full term, there will be nothing to salvage, a new government would have to start from scratch.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson October 30, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

          The trouble is, new *good* governments rarely repeal bad governments’ legislation. It’s almost as if they let the baddies do it for them.


          • doug quixote October 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

            A troubling observation. Governments use inertia as their weapon of choice; it is all too easy to wield.

            Liked by 1 person

          • townsvilleblog October 31, 2016 at 8:53 am #

            We need to be very careful as to the candidate that we vote for, if we can find an “honest” candidate, whether he/she is Green, Labor or any other progressive party we should give them first preference and follow with second and third preferences for other progressive parties, and always leave the Liberal and National parties last in the preferences.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

              Shaun, I think honest and politician are not compatible terms anymore. I think they might have been once.


  7. paul walter. October 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    He is quieter than Abbott but perhaps even the more destructive for that.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Marilyn October 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    It puts me in mind of the attitude to victims of DV like my own mother back in the 50’s and 60’s when even well meaning parents told the victims to go home and take it. My mother took her anger and spite out on us kids in horrific fashion and even set us up for beatings so she didn’t cop one.

    There were no shelters, no no-fault divorces, no legal aid, no nothing so whole families suffered horrifically.

    In 1970 at the great age of almost 18 I had to rescue my boyfriends 17 year old sister from an abusive boyfriend, the only place she could go to for safety was with me and two other friends he didn’t know. We arranged to go when he wasn’t home and spirited her out of the house physically.

    We saved her life that day – since then many women have come to me for help and got it, two women from one family are alive today thanks to my one entry way home unknown to the bastards who nearly killed them.

    My comfortable couch was grand to them for a week or two until they got their bearings.

    The situation in Australia is again as woeful as that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arthur Baker October 29, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

      A disturbing testimony. And we wonder why a country which has allowed this kind of physical and psychological violence to continue unabated since the 1950s right up to the present is willing and able to commit similar physical and psychological violence against those who come seeking our help from outside – refugees.

      Our government in 2016 continues to fail to stop the abuse of half of our own citizens (the ones who happen to be female), so why would we be surprised at our government’s continuing abuse of people who aren’t Australian?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson October 29, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

        If you add to those two situations of domestic violence and ill treatment of refugees the ghastly record of child sexual abuse in institutions where children are supposed to be safe, the violence that surrounds us is almost incomprehensible.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 29, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

      Yes, Marilyn, the situation is again as woeful as that. I don’t know what is to be done.


    • townsvilleblog October 31, 2016 at 8:56 am #

      Violence against women is abhorrent to me, usually mentally ill cowards who are not game to face another man. I drove 1000 klm’s to finf my wife’s ex husband who used to bash her, and it turned out he was on holidays.


      • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

        Oh my goodness, that sounds like the beginning of an important story, Shaun.


  9. paul walter. October 30, 2016 at 12:42 am #

    They have no intention of increasing social infrastructure spending. Quite the opposite.

    Life is cheap but the money, which is there, will be wasted where it is least needed, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymous October 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    Depressing but nonetheless brilliant critique of Turnbulls pathetic stand on male perpertrated violence against women & kids.
    All about money & probably has unconscious contempt for women, particularly mothers except for a v. select, v. rich few.
    I’m just as galled by his wife’s, the 1st Lady of Australia’s, pathetic silence on the issue , (correct me if i’m wrong).
    I also hate it when people change the subject & change the focus to the suffering of refugees.
    I find it diminishing to the suffering of the women & children you are referring to Jennifer. I also find it derails the issue at hand & is disrespectful to you as a writer who is a survivor yourself.
    That’s how I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 30, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks, Someone, for your generous comments about my post, and for saying how you feel.


    • helvityni October 31, 2016 at 9:33 am #

      “I also hate it when people change the subject & change the focus to the suffering of refugees.”

      Why? If we can focus only on the suffering of women and children , then why can’t we also extend our compassion and empathy to refugee women and children?

      My compassion is not selective.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous October 31, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

        I think it is. I have never read a post here that focuses on the suffering of refugees where the conversation is turned toward the suffering of women & children who are victims & survivors of family violence. Correct me if i’m wrong.
        I think it’s obvious where the majoritys sympathies, empathy lies.


  11. Fiona October 31, 2016 at 8:45 am #

    Julian Burnside QC’s take on fizza (note: Burnside is a real lawyer):


    • helvityni October 31, 2016 at 9:21 am #

      I’m with Burnside; we are punishing the refugees for NOT drowning.

      I woke up with a heavy heart, am I living in North Korea…what new horrors will today bring…???

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fiona October 31, 2016 at 9:49 am #

        Something along these lines, perhaps?

        Liked by 1 person

        • helvityni October 31, 2016 at 10:16 am #

          Fiona, well said in 2013, and it ain’t any better today, if possible, worse, nightmares are made of this…

          Interesting info on Brandis, many thanks.

          Liked by 1 person

          • samjandwich October 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

            Worse I’d say, given that we’re facing the prospect of several more moribund years’ further creeping dismantling of social fabric and safety nets, and then what? It’s hard coming to terms with the fact that you’ve misread someone…

            Liked by 1 person

            • helvityni October 31, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

              sam, I knew Abbott from Howard years, but misread Turnbull, as I did not know much about him at all.

              I was happy that Tony was gone.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

              You had hopes of Turnbull? I told you not to, and yet again the Sheep has proved to be right….

              Liked by 1 person

              • samjandwich November 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

                Gah, is it true that in the case of sheep I’m falling into the same prejudice against the formerly colonialised that so blights the human landscape??

                I still think Malcolm’s an alright bloke. He just doesn’t have quite the aversion to shamelessness that might otherwise help him to stand up for what he believes in.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

            Yes, thanks Fiona, that is a good and informative read.


    • Anonymous October 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

      On the topic of lack of respect & support for women & children who are victim/survivors of male perpertrated violence on a national level, Julian Burnside maintains a disconcerting but understandable silence. He was the barrister who represented Dyson Hore-Lacy QC in his defamation case against Phil Cleary. Long term, tireless campaigner against violence against women. Extremely successful outcome for both lawyers, biggest payout in Victoria’s defamation history. $630,000 & Phil’s brilliant book, Getting Away With Murder, put out of print. Phil maintains, & I agree with him, that it was more about an attack on freedom of speech than anything else. Powerful men protect each other over & above all else. Phil Cleary’s sister Julie is on the Dead Women Counting list. So is Julie Ramage, the murdered woman at the centre of Getting Away With Murder. The suffering Phil his family & Julie Ramages loved ones & by association all female victims & survivors of male violence endured as a consequence of these 2 big wigs.systemic bullying was obviously of no concern to human rights lawyer Burniside. Happened in 2009. I wonder if he would have the balls to be so willing to put his name to it if this happened today. When it comes to human rights, Burnside knows exactly which one pays. National treasure…pffft…lousy human…


  12. doug quixote October 31, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    It is a “look over there, a refugee!” diversionary tactic to distract the government’s critics from their continual fuck ups.

    Four months after an election in which they should have been thrown out they are at a loss what to do.

    Whatever they do they do badly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

      Yes, I agree it’s a distraction and it is also a significant matter.


  13. paul walter. October 31, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    Is this not roughly what folk ask on this and on the governments priorities in general, also?

    Btw, is it not a spiteful, mindset that comes up with the perpetual refusal of settlement for current asylum seekers under any circumstance, ever?

    Even Labor has been driven to rejection of that latest nastiness. Confirms my suspicion they have gone along with asylium seeker poicy without necesssarily sharing the hard right’s perverse enthusiasm for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arthur Baker October 31, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      Indeed. But unfortunately spitefulness and nastiness win votes, especially when directed to an Out Group, a scapegoat group, who don’t have the vote.

      Under the leadership of TIA (The Imbecile Abbott) women were an Out Group – who needs reminding TIA had only one woman in his 20-member Cabinet? Turntable may not be the sharpest tool in the box but at least he has the smarts to realise that alienating half the electorate isn’t a great re-election strategy and now has 6 women in his Cabinet. Hmm, yes, but look at them – Bishop, Cash, Nash, O’Dwyer, Ley, Payne, what a gang.

      But with asylum seekers, you can be as nasty and spiteful as you like and get electorally rewarded for it. This lot have spent the last 20 years proving that their primary motivation, each time they crank up the cruelty to refugees, has nothing to do with caring about the UN Refugee Convention, the fact that there are now more displaced persons in the world than after World War 2, the welfare and mental health of children under their care, or indeed anything, other than the perennially pressing need to take a tougher stance on that issue than the ALP.

      They are addicted to the electoral advantage that gives them. They’ve been smoking that particular roll-your-own for two decades now.

      As for the ALP, in the end they won’t reject this latest nastiness. They’ll be forced to match the Coalition’s latest cranking up of the thumbscrew, as they have so many times before. One day they might just learn that in a dirty-fight over asylum seeker policy, they really (really!) won’t beat the Coalition, because the Coalition will always crank it up one notch further, then the whole filthy cycle will start all over again.

      But (a) the ALP are too dumb to realise this, even after 20 years of being outflanked on the issue, and (b) the Coalition can’t resist smoking the Votes-Flow-From-Bastardry-To-Asylum-Seekers weed. Don’t expect anything but enthusiastic bipartisanship from the LNP and reluctant bipartisanship with lots of internal party strife, any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arthur Baker October 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

        [reluctant bipartisanship with lots of internal party strife] from the ALP, I meant to say.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

        Oh, I hope this isn’t so, Arthur. Really, I don’t know where al this vileness will end


    • Jennifer Wilson October 31, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

      At first blush, PW, it looks as if ALP might baulk at this latest vile proposition


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