The Australian public have worked hard to make domestic violence a nationally-recognised issue. And now….? This.
Trigger warning: This post discusses domestic violence and may be triggering to some readers.
The hour has arrived: domestic violence is finally in the political spotlight.
For the first time ever, Australians are having a national conversation about this vital issue.
For victims and their advocates, it is an exciting time, and there is a real sense that if the energy around that conversation can just be harnessed correctly, it could be the game-changer that literally saves women and children’s lives.
So why, at this crucial moment – when we are on the cusp of something huge – has The Age published an article, which claims victims of domestic violence bear fifty percent of the responsibility for the choices and actions of their perpetrators?
And why, when we have such an important opportunity at our fingertips, have those editors squandered valuable column space on outdated, unsubstantiated, and frankly dangerous assertions, which if uncritically accepted, could massively set back the community’s understanding of domestic violence and jeopardize the headway being made in regards to perpetrator responsibility?
In case you missed it, today Dr Sallee McLaren penned an outrageous opinion article claiming that domestic violence victims (including, presumably, the ones who are murdered each and every week) contribute “50:50” to the situation, and are equally responsible for violence that occurs. Her reason? Because female victims don’t try hard enough to “command enough authority to stop [violence] in its tracks.”