ROAD TO RECOVERY: Federal Domestic Violence Minister Rosie Batty, addresses the media at the launch of the government’s Towards Zero Domestic Violence Strategy which aims to reduce the number of women killed every year by male violence. If only it was true, writes columnist Lesley Apps who highlights the urgency governments place on road safety as opposed to domestic violence in this sobering com
ROAD TO RECOVERY: Federal Domestic Violence Minister Rosie Batty, addresses the media at the launch of the government’s Towards Zero Domestic Violence Strategy which aims to reduce the number of women killed every year by male violence. If only it was true, writes columnist Lesley Apps who highlights the urgency governments place on road safety as opposed to domestic violence in this sobering com

Fake news that should be reality

FOLLOWING another horror week in Australia that had more women and children murdered by their partners or former partners - including three children who were incinerated inside their parked family car, set alight by their father - new data has revealed Australia was ranked as one of the highest First World countries for female domestic violence deaths per capita last year.

Provisional figures released by the National Centre for Women's Safety revealed there were 61 confirmed cases of women killed by violence in Australia in 2019, another of the deadliest years for women in recent history.

Data for between 2016 and 2018 showed there were 199 women killed due to violence in Australia.

The data comes as the Federal Government prepares to hold the Towards Zero Domestic Violence Strategy on March 23, designed to help the government decide what measures are needed to meet its target of no fatalities by 2025.

About 100 international domestic violence experts will join federal government women's safety officials at the summit, with measures implemented in Norway and Sweden to be among the key items up for discussion.

Twenty-four-hour monitoring bracelets for repeat violators, 24-hour monitored security cameras installed at residences of women who have fled violent partners and compulsory weekly offender contact with police and counsellors, are some of the measures being considered.

The summit will guide Federal Domestic Violence Minister Rosie Batty and Regional Domestic Violence Minister Andrew Wilkie in developing the country's next domestic violence safety plan.

"Domestic violence has a devastating impact on the wider community," Ms Batty said.

"Last year, 61 women lost their lives and an immeasurable number were seriously injured by their partners or former partners, so it's crucial we continue to look at ways to reduce these numbers."

"The loss of life and serious injuries caused to women by domestic violence is avoidable and we are firmly committed to working towards zero trauma in our country by 2025."

Mr Wilkie said it was essential all levels of government worked together to look at the ways women's lives could be saved in Australia's domestic landscape.

With the country's population growing and domestic violence still on the rise, Centre for Women's Safety executive director Linda Burney said it was imperative measures to cut the domestic violence death toll and associated serious injuries were implemented.

"If we do nothing, it will go up," she said.

"If we do no more than we are doing now, because of population increases and increasing domestic violence in our households, it will go up.

"Both Sweden and Norway are two of the best-performing female safety countries in the world in terms of their rate of domestic trauma. We aren't doing that badly, but we are not doing as well as them. We really have been following them for the last 30 years."

End of story.

Of course this news article is bulls---. It's a direct lift of the NSW State Government's new Zero Tolerance Road Safety Summit launched and reported on last week.

But instead of road deaths I've plonked domestic violence at the heart of the article along with some of the real relevant stats and changed the name of roles and departments involved for relevance.

All the intentions, messaging and quotes from the road safety article are the same.

The spokespeople I used were aspirational choices who do exist but will probably never have the opportunity to inhabit these roles at the scale government commits to tackling road safety.

Seven weeks into 2020 and we're up to nine women killed by male violence so we're on par to keep up with previous years' figures of more than one dead woman a week.

Yet federal funding to tackle the scourge of domestic violence in this country has already been cut by $300 million.

Perhaps Australian women should feel some peace of mind into the future. Seems you'll be a lot safer in a moving car, than a stationary one.

Domestic violence helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 (24/7), Lifeline 13 11 14 (24/7).



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