This is how domestic violence should be reported. Bravo.

Finally, finally. The truth about domestic violence in Australia sitting smack-bang on the front page of a major newspaper – exactly where it belongs.

Flicking through my pile of weekend papers, this arresting cover caught the breath in my throat. Obviously, the content is distressing and the stories covered here are profoundly tragic. But as I sat down to devour this investigation into the deaths of women at the hands of their lovers in NSW, there was also an enormous flush of relief.

Each of the women pictured here was murdered, and these stories deserve coverage as prominent and moving as this. Domestic violence is the single most deadly, horrific epidemic in our local society that, for the most part, gets buried in the news cycle underneath ‘coward punches‘ and changes in liquor laws.

This. THIS is how we should be reporting domestic violence.

Credit where it’s due: This is the work of Fairfax journalists Amy Corderoy, Nick Ralston, and Inga Ting. Their investigation reveals that three quarters of all women who are killed in NSW, die at the hands of their significant other.

NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione (the “top cop” who “calls to break the silence”) very rightfully expressed his alarm at the way domestic violence slips to the bottom of our priorities: ”If there was any other single issue causing this sort of grief there would be a big outcry. ‘These are mothers, your daughters, your sisters, wives, girlfriends, these are the people that work at the desk next to you. These are real people and they are horrifying numbers.”

Scipione says there are 370 instances of domestic violence in the state every day.

Let’s have a closer look at the statistics:


And let’s learn a little more about the women we’ve failed. The women who might still be alive if we as a society (New South Wales, Australia, the world) had tougher punishment for domestic abusers, better protection for women seeking refuge from abusive partners, and more comprehensive checks and balances that made sure vulnerable women don’t slip through the cracks of our justice system.

Ivana Ukropina, 29, was found on the footpath outside her Kingsford home, an alleged victim of family violence.

Margaret Tannous, 47, was brutally attacked by her husband, George Tannous, in their Bankstown apartment on  Monday, 17th February. 

Keeli Dutton, 41, was stabbed to death in her apartment in Miller, NSW, by a 49-year-old man believed to be in a de facto relationship with her on the 26th November 2013.

Marika Ninness, 35, died two weeks after being attacked in December, 2103.

Christie Camilleri, 32, was stabbed to death in a Guildford granny flat on 5th December, 2013. She was the mother of two boys.

Victoria Comrie Cullen, 39, was a mother of three whose body was found in a Sutherland Shire car park. Her estranged husband, Christopher Cullen, was found in the mangroves nearby with cuts to his arms.

These are just seven of the women found dead since September last year. It’s enormous progress, to have their faces and their stories on the front cover of a newspaper. But there are more victims still –  ignored, neglected by the media, forgotten except by those who loved them most.

Read the whole story Sydney Morning Herald story here.