Right now, the violence is too loud to ignore.

Still grappling with the senseless murders of six people at Bondi Junction Westfield on the weekend, Sydney is making international headlines again. 

There's been another very public, very violent stabbing. This time, at a church in the city's south-west. 

A 15-year-old is in custody and four people are injured, with police investigating the attack as terrorism. Hundreds rioted on the streets outside the church afterwards, leaving homes damaged and police officers injured. 

Sydney woke up today to another violent act. Image: Sky News. 


For those of us in Sydney, it all feels a little too much. But we're not alone.

Violence has been building in the Northern Territory town of Alice Springs for months now. The government recently enforced a 6pm curfew on under-18s with the town dubbed the most 'violent' in the country. 

In Queensland, youth crime is also on the rise. There have been a number of fatal attacks - including the stabbing death of a grandmother in February that saw five boys arrested.

The Victorian city of Ballarat is right now reeling from the murders of three women in the space of just a few weeks. 

The women of Ballarat are calling for change after the deaths of Rebecca Young, Samantha Murphy and Hannah McGuire. Image: Supplied. 

Violence is and always will be around. Every week, a woman is murdered in this country by a former or current partner, but it feels particularly loud right now. 


Hundreds are being directly affected, and millions more are witnessing it on their screens. This doesn't feel like Australia, and the outpouring of grief and horror is testament to that.

In America, there have been more than 49 mass shootings in 2024 already. Killing sprees are so common there, they don't come as a shock anymore. 

Gun laws have largely protected us in Australia from that brand of horror, but knife crime in particular is rampant here. 

The latest national homicide report from the Australian Institute of Criminology notes that, "knives and other sharp instruments have consistently been the primary homicide weapon in Australia between 1989‒90 and 2020‒21, with 35 percent […] of all homicide incidents committed with this weapon type."

For years we've been screaming about men's violence against women. As a women's media company we write about men killing women far too often. 


In the case of the Westfield attacks, it appears the perpetrator was targeting women. Even the police commissioner believes gender may have been a factor.

The main target in the church stabbing was a male Bishop, but in almost all of these violent acts - including this one - the perpetrator is male. 

Already the weekend's violence is forcing change. There's an independent coronial inquest looking into the Westfield attacks, and the NSW premier has promised that any changes in government policy will "run in line with the inquest."

Helplines and specialised support teams have been called in to handle the outpouring of grief and trauma experienced by Australians. 

Australia is mourning after Saturday's Westfield attack. Image: AAP.

As Diane Young, trauma specialist and psychotherapist at South Pacific Private told Mamamia, "The reality of collective trauma is that it can deeply impact individuals within a community, causing a range of emotional and psychological responses that can continue long after the initial event."


As she explained, "In the digital age, where information spreads rapidly across various platforms, the potential for vicarious trauma is heightened."

So here we are with violence that's affecting people en masse. Our leaders are sharing their own sorrow and shock, and being forced to confront some hard truths - that Australia isn't as safe as we like to think. That we need to be doing more. That we can't let this happen again. 

The killing of individual women week after week wasn't inciting a catalyst for true change - but maybe this will? Surely this will.

Because the feeling of unease amongst ordinary Australians right now is palpable. As women we haven't felt safe in the streets for some time, but now we can't even feel safe in somewhere as ordinary as a shopping centre. 

Right now the violence is too loud to ignore, and our leaders can no longer sit in denial. We need more focus on stamping out violence in this country - particularly violence against women.

Feature image: 9NEWS/AAP.