In 2019 we lost 63 women, in 2018 it was 71 and in 2017 it was 55. With six weeks left of 2020, it is inevitable the 2020 numbers will undoubtedly continue to rise.
On Monday morning Celeste Manno, just 23, was murdered in her family home by a man she worked with, her mother was home at the time of the attack, but it is reported there was nothing she could do to save her daughter… Celeste is the 45th known victim of violence against women in Australia in this year.
The statistics are raw; they are frightening, they are real.
On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
* 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15
* 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
* Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated
* Women are more than twice as likely as men to have experienced fear or anxiety due to violence from a former partner.
* Australian women are almost four times more likely than men to be hospitalised after being assaulted by their spouse or partner.
* 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
Now I want you to take a look around you right now; these women aren’t statistics, they are your work colleagues, they are the women in your local café, they are the women sitting next to you on the bus, they are your friends, your sisters, your children, your mothers.
Did you know? Abusive behaviour does not necessarily have to be physical to be recognised as domestic violence. Other types of violence include Sexual abuse, Emotional abuse, Financial abuse, Social abuse.
Front line domestic specialists have reported an 85% increase in the complexity of client cases since the onset of the pandemic, trapping victims in situations of physical abuse. Financial dependence, unemployment, and a lack of affordable accommodation.
The government’s less than lack luster approach to reduce domestic and family violence has been reflected in the budget with no new funding towards addressing the national emergency that is domestic and family violence in Australia, also disproportionately affecting women.
This budget represents a missed opportunity by the federal government to recognise the importance of investing in domestic and family violence prevention and response. This just seems so crazy given the fact that additional funding to secure women’s safety from violence would also have produced economic improvement through greater workplace participation.
We need more funding, we need more education, we need more resources, we need more men to speak up when their mates are out of line, but mostly, we need more support for victims of domestic violence.
So, what can you do? Start by looking into the White Ribbon Accreditation Program. This program builds on existing gender equality and diversity initiatives, providing the tools to strengthen a culture of respect and gender equality at all levels of the organisation. The program supports organisations to respond to and prevent violence against women, whether it occurs inside or outside the organisation, through supporting women experiencing violence, holding perpetrators to account, supporting all employees to challenge inappropriate behaviour, and strengthening gender equality within the broader community.
Stella is taking part in this program as our first step to educating ourselves to then be able to use our knowledge to support, educate and help to stop violence against women.
White Ribbon Day falls on Friday the 20th of November, use your social media platforms to educate and empower your followers no matter how big or small, and start the hard conversations that many people are too frightened to talk about. This is a pandemic of its own and it can no longer hide in the shadows. We must bring so much light to the subject that the shame is washed away, we must stand together and we must DEMAND change, we DEMAND our safety.
In loving memory of;
Ann Marie Smith
Carol Ann Cameron
This one’s for you.