Published in Catalogue, 2015
Domestic violence in Australia has managed to maintain a sinister and threatening presence in our culture, where 1 in 6 Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their current or former partner and for women under the age of 45, the most likely cause of death or injury is domestic violence. Many of us are aware of the statistic that in any given twelve months, one woman a week is killed on average as a result of intimate partner violence; however, so far in 2015 that statistic has doubled.
In the first 15 weeks of this year, 31 women lost their lives and it’s clear that the domestic violence epidemic we have observed in Australia has reached an absolute crisis point. In fact, at the time I’m writing this article, the toll has risen to 37. In a sense we can view these figures as a failure of our societal values and the attitudes of Australian men (who overwhelmingly commit these evils) but we can also confidently attribute the shocking extent of this violence to a failure on the part of governmental and legal action to protect these women.