The cost of Molly’s life was $5,000. Enough now.

This article is adapted from a spoken segment on Mamamia Out Loud from Wednesday, April 24.

I am a co-host on a podcast called Mamamia Out Loud.

Forty-eight hours ago, we sat in our usual seats in our brightly lit studio and we recorded a show, as we do three times a week. On it, one of our topics was about Australian women feeling so unsafe that some are campaigning to be allowed to carry pepper spray.

Today, we walked back in, sat down, started to talk. In the time between those recordings, Australian men have murdered two more women. Women they knew.

You might have heard about Molly Ticehurst. Molly was 28 years old and found dead in her home in Forbes in NSW.

Almost as soon as the news of Molly’s death broke, we started getting messages from people, some of whom listen to our show, who knew Molly or knew the case, telling us that her ex-partner had just been released on bail. This proved to be true.

The man had been held on charges of assault and sexual assault against Molly, who was a child-care worker and has a young son. Molly had an AVO out on this man — something known in other states as a DVO — basically a court order that rules he must stay away from her.

He didn’t.

This man had made no secret, according to the people who knew her, of his intention to harm Molly, perhaps kill Molly, when he was released. Still, he was released, on a $5,000 bail.

That man has now been charged with her murder.

Watch: We lose one woman every week in Australia to domestic violence, but that's just the tip of a very grim iceberg. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

The NSW Premier Chris Minns has said that he will launch a review of Molly's case, and of the court’s decision to release her alleged killer.

Any changes to the law will be, of course, too late for Molly, who did everything she was supposed to do to protect herself, and was still murdered.

Our editorial team were preparing to publish a story about Molly’s case today when the news came through that another woman has been found dead in regional Victoria. As I'm writing thism the woman has not been officially named but a man "known to her" has been charged.

This woman will be the 26th woman killed in Australia in the 114 days of this year, according to Counting Dead Women.

Here’s the thing. The numbers are becoming background noise. What to say, what conversations to have after yet another woman’s life is taken, has become a moot point. As we have said on Mamamia Out Loud many times, conversations are not saving lives.

Our Federal Government has an ambitious national action plan to "end gender-based violence in one generation". 

It's thorough. It's well-thought-out.

It is not moving fast enough. 

It is not cutting through. 

The men killing women are not reading your plan.


Australian women are beyond angry. We are at a pivotal moment where something very serious needs to change.

The legal system is complicated. It varies, state to state. But there have been, across Australia, other examples of times when emergency laws, emergency measures and sentencing changes are rushed through in response to a specific crisis.

They often have complicated, mixed results. But what they do is draw a line in the sand. They defer status and importance to something that the community is saying can no longer be tolerated.

The violent man alleged to have killed Molly Ticehurst should NOT HAVE BEEN RELEASED ON BAIL.

Experts in this field have plenty of ideas. Many of them are in the action plan.

But today, right here, let's see:

In NSW, around 23,000 AVOs are violated every year. Doesn’t that suggest that we need emergency measures to tighten them, perhaps to digitally monitor their subjects, get far better at keeping those dangerous men far away from the women they’re threatening to harm?

Maybe a man who was repeatedly jailed for breaching one of those after threatening to kill his ex, a footballer I've written and spoken about before called Ben Cousins, should not be yucking it up on a sports panel show on a national broadcaster as he was last week, or shimmying in sequins on Dancing With The Stars, coming soon to a lounge room near you.

In an often-cited example, New South Wales changed laws and sentencing and licencing laws in Sydney after two young men tragically died in unprovoked so-called "one punch" attacks. The sentence for those kind of incidents was immediately raised to 25 years.


The most common DV offences carry an average sentence of around two to five.

Advocates want an end to character references in family violence cases, an end to the so-called "good bloke" defence. Doesn't that sound like a good idea?

Again, this is complicated. I am not a lawyer or a front-line worker and people who work in this space will say, over and over, that a multi-layered approach is needed and yes, that is what the government has in its action plan, to roll out over a decade.

But enough. In the meantime, women want action.

We want every man in Australia to know that violence against women will be taken seriously. Deadly seriously.

By police, by judges, by OTHER MEN in every walk of life. Not ignored. Not dismissed, not laughed off. Not easily forgiven.

Listen to the advocates and the women who understand this issue and CHANGE SOMETHING. NOW. 


You can donate to Molly's GoFundMe here.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

Mamamia is a charity partner of RizeUp Australia, a national organisation that helps women, children and families move on after the devastation of domestic and family violence. Their mission is to deliver life-changing and practical support to these families when they need it most. If you would like to support their mission you can donate here

Feature image: GoFundMe.