Demands for Change

Demands for Change

By J.K. Williams

25/02/2020

Full, original source here – https://jkwilliamsoriginalwork.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/just-admit-you-dont-care-if-we-die/

This list of demands is a direct message to our Federal and State governments, all media agencies and reporters in Australia, all medical professionals, all State and Federal Police Officers and Detectives, all Australian Magistrates and all Family Court staff and every single adult male in Australia.

Our Demands

1- 

Language and Reporting:

– This deadly problem shouldn’t be referred to as “domestic violence” anymore. We can’t immediately change the definition and legal categorisation, but we must change how we talk about it and refer to it. Femicide/male violence against women (MVAW)/terrorism of women and children – are all more accurate terms.

– Along with this, the media must be held accountable regarding their duty of care to the public when reporting on matters of MVAW. Publications must be held to the mandatory standards and guidelines of this country.

• Based on the Australian Press Council’s ‘Statements of Principles’, Australian publications are failing to adhere to at least two key principles:*

  1. Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading, and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.
  2. Avoid causing or contributing materially to substantial offence, distress or prejudice, or a substantial risk to health or safety, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.

• According to the APC’s Advisory Guideline on Family and Domestic Violence Reporting, they are failing to meet numerous guidelines that must be adhered to:*

“Safety

The safety and well-being of those affected by family violence must be the primary consideration. Publications should not publish information that could cause or contribute to the risk of harm, offence or distress. Survivors of family violence often comment that their pain and suffering was exacerbated by media coverage. In some circumstances, it may not be safe, appropriate or legal to use real names or other identifying information.”

“Responsibility

Reporting of family violence should try not to blame a person affected by the violence or suggest that the person somehow enabled the violence or could have avoided it. Publications should also avoid placing undue emphasis on the characteristics or surroundings of the victim, or implying that such things contributed to the family violence, unless doing so is essential to the narrative and sufficiently in the public interest. Use of the active voice in relation to the perpetrator will help avoid placing undue emphasis on the person affected by family violence. For example: “Police charged a 38-year-old Melbourne man with the murder of a 36-year-old woman”, as opposed to, e.g. “A 36- year-old woman was murdered and a 38-year-old Melbourne man has been charged”.”

“Context and content

The context and complexities of family violence should also be key considerations, such as when an alleged perpetrator may have a mental illness. Publications should note any such factors when it is warranted in a particular case and in the public interest. Care also should be taken to avoid casual stigmatisation, such as by stating or implying that the violence was “caused” by a person’s mental illness or culture.”

“Words matter. Publications should be mindful of the language they use and try to avoid terms that tend to trivialise, demean or inadvertently excuse family violence, such as “a domestic”, “a domestic dispute” or “a troubled marriage”. Where it is lawful to do so, the relationships of the people involved should be described as accurately and precisely as possible.”

“In addition to reporting particular incidents, journalists can play a critical role in deepening readers’ understanding about family violence by referring to resources such as official statistics, peer- reviewed research, and experts, such as domestic violence counsellors and survivors.”

“Publications should also be aware of the potential impact of story layout, headlines and surrounding material (such as advertisements) that may be insensitive or jarring in the circumstances.”

– We demand better from the Australian media.

– We expect the government and police/judicial system to back us up on that.

2-

– Mandatory incarceration for violent adult males. Whether it’s a king hit in the city or beating their female partner or their kids, they must be locked up for a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 30, with/without charges being laid. This is when there is physical evidence of violence being perpetrated. (Witnesses, bruising/bleeding, cctv footage, ongoing police involvement, previous Report(s) to Police, Restraining Order(s) or other Court Order(s) etc.)

This gives the men time to calm down and gives the women (and kids) time to figure out an exit plan, and for most victims of MVAW, this will give them time to de-condition themselves, for lack of a better term, and discover/realise that they don’t want to stay in that relationship.

With this process, there must be initiatives to introduce effective and proven strategies in to our jails and prisons to immediately begin educating and rehabilitating perpetrators of violence to lower the probability of them reoffending. **

Ideally, we would have new and specific clinical facilities to house and rehabilitate these violent offenders. There is reason to believe that rehab programs set in the environment of a correctional facility are not as effective as they need to be. Regardless of where these violent offenders are housed during their required stint in some form of temporary removal from their community, the focus must be on effective rehabilitation to lower the risk of reoffending.

3-

– More government funding for men’s and women’s crisis counselling (with the aim of making it entirely free of charge to patients).

– More than 10 bulk billed visits per year to see a mental health professional are needed. We demand at least 24 bulk billed appointments per calendar year for youth and adults on Mental Health Care Plans.

4-

– More government funding for women’s refuges, with the aim of there being more facilities and each facility being more efficiently staffed and more well-rounded with the services and support they can give.

5-

– New and specific funding for women’s and children’s programs and facilities that can mimic the Women’s Police Stations, and relevant programs & policies, that are having great success aiding in lowering rates of violence against women and children in Argentina.*

6-

(this is for everyone)

– Normalise interference, intervention and involvement in families and households that have a problem with violence or control. Normalise checking in on them and normalise awareness of their situation amongst the community. Normalise direct interference and immediate interruption and intervention of controlling and violent men. Normalise public conversations about the violence you witness in your community and let’s normalise supportive rehabilitation of violent males, whether they are a child, teen or adult.

7-

– We want our court systems; our magistrates, bailiffs and clerks, to favour women and children in all matters of “family violence.” A core value of any justice system should be to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. More focus needs to be on the facts and statistics of MVAW and “family violence,” and assessments for determining authenticity of the threat of violence for an individual victim need to be based on those facts and statistics. ** This should translate in to efficient and accurate assessments for women and children, in lieu of evidence, so they can receive protection and assistance. **

8-

– New and specific funding for specially tailored recreational AND sports programs, facilities and events for all males and females aged between 12 and 17.

9-

– New and specific funding for specially tailored mental health programs and educational-based programs and courses for “at risk” males aged between 12 and 17. These should be available at no cost to families with “at risk” male teenagers in the home.

At risk = (but is not limited to)

– struggling in school (socially and/or academically)

– engaging in verbal harassment or abuse at school or at home

– engaging in violent behaviour of any kind

– police involvement at any level

– if Restraining Orders or other Court Orders are in effect or have previously been in affect

– if there is any history of controlling behaviour, verbal, physical or sexual abuse for either parent, whether biological (and not living in the home) and/or step-parents/guardians living in the home with the male youth.

10-

– New and specific funding for specially tailored mental health programs and educational-based programs and courses for “at risk” females aged between 12 and 17. These should be available at no cost to families with female teenagers in the home that are “at risk” of becoming a victim to male violence.

At risk = (but is not limited to)

– struggling in school (socially and/or academically)

– withdrawing from friends, school, social activities, sports etc.

– engaging in self-destructive/harmful behaviour of any kind

– police involvement at any level

– if Restraining Orders or other Court Orders are in effect or have previously been in affect

– if there is any history of controlling behaviour, verbal, physical or sexual abuse for either parent, whether biological (and living/not living in the home) and/or step-parents/guardians living in the home with the female youth.

Our demands are reasonable and achievable.

This work is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license. Copyright © 2020

References and resources –

* APC Advisory Guidelines: https://www.presscouncil.org.au/advisory-guidelines/

* APC Advisory Guideline on Family and Domestic Violence Reporting: https://www.presscouncil.org.au/uploads/52321/ufiles/Guidelines/Advisory_Guideline_on_Family_and_Domestic_Violence_Reporting.pdf

** Strategies for the education and rehabilitation of male perpetrators of violence. Examples:

– https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/401889/barbershop-movement-urges-abusive-men-to-tackle-traumatic-pasts

– Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia – https://www.ourwatch.org.au/getmedia/0aa0109b-6b03-43f2-85fe-a9f5ec92ae4e/Change-the-story-framework-prevent-violence-women-children-AA-new.pdf.aspx

– Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men: https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Why_Does_He_Do_That.html?id=azvHexd1g1YC&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

– Coercive Control, Laura Richards:

So, what exactly is coercive control?

Deep Diving Coercive Control

https://www.ourwatch.org.au/Understanding-Violence/Facts-and-figures

* Women’s Police Stations in Argentina: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/127088/

Recent headlines and comments regarding the tragic murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children, and rates of male violence in Australia- 

https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/news/is-it-an-instance-of-a-husband-being-driven-too-far-anger-over-comment-from-police-in-brisbane/news-story/84c497606511b13dee815e2d354960d5

https://7news.com.au/politics/pauline-hanson-says-these-things-happen-in-the-wake-of-hannah-clarke-and-her-childrens-murder-c-713429

The Media Is Once Again Failing A Female Victim Of Domestic Violence

Other relevant information and resources –

If you do care, take action now: https://fair-agenda.good.do/asaferfuture/email/

https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/11/New-laws-to-tackle-family-and-domestic-violence-in-WA.aspx

https://www.communications.gov.au/what-we-do/television/media/updating-australias-media-laws

https://www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Guidelines%2

Prison-based correctional rehabilitation: An overview of intensive interventions for moderate to high-risk offenders [in Australia]: https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi412

VIOLENT OFFENDER TREATMENT EFFECTIVENESS: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHERE TO FROM HERE: https://www.div12.org/violent-offender-treatment-effectiveness-what-we-know-and-where-to-from-here/

Thank you to the radical feminists that helped me with some of the references and resources.

This work is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license. Copyright © 2020

If you need help, please contact one of the resources below, and/or reach out to trusted family and/or friends. 


WOMEN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELPLINE

The Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline is a state wide 24 hour service. This service provides support and counselling for women experiencing family and domestic violence. This includes phone counselling, information and advice, referral to local advocacy and support services, liaison with police if necessary and support in escaping situations of family and domestic violence. The service can refer women to safe accommodation if required. A telephone based interpreting service is available if required. 

Telephone (08) 9223 1188

Free call 1800 007 339

In an emergency – if someone is in immediate danger – call the police on 000 now.

Here is a link to a thorough list of a range of numbers, services, hotlines and websites. 

https://www.breakingthesilence.com.au/albany/womens-domestic-violence-hotllines/