Nine women in 18 days. But it's not about us.

This story discusses domestic violence.

It's not about you.

Women. It's not about you.

The man sprinting through a shopping centre dodging men to murder women? Not about you.

Okay, so the Police Commissioner says it was a deliberate attack on you. The killer's father says he had a problem with you.

But don't dare say it was about you.

It was about mental health. Or homelessness. Or bad timing. Anything but you.

The murder of Lesley Stillman, found dead in Western Australia on Sunday.

Bad luck, that.

Her estranged husband dead alongside her, with a note. Tragic.

Tara Marie Morrison, also dead in Western Australia, on Friday. Random.

Hannah Maguire, found in a burnt-out car in Scarsdale, Ballarat, last week. Very sad.

Watch: Sydney Hit By A Terror Attack; Tributes Grow For Bondi Junction Stabbing Victims. Post continues below.

Video via 9 News Australia.

A 66-year-old woman at Fortitude Valley, Queensland, found dead in her unit, three days before. Her son charged. Family matter.


There have been more. A woman found discarded in a bin, shoved in the boot of a car and collapsed by the side of the road.

Twenty-four of them lost this year. We're in month four. We count them. We honour them. Their loved ones try to make sense of the unthinkable. It's so regular, so unremarkable now, that headlines are barely written.

But it's not about you, women.

People get killed all the time. There are murderers among us. Human nature is dark.

But on Monday night, in Western Sydney, a teenage boy attacked a Bishop in a church. A riot followed. There was chaos, people were injured, no lives were lost. That was about Terrorism. We know it was because the Prime Minister immediately said so, called a meeting of men of influence to diffuse the situation, to close it down.

That's his job, of course. To take serious things seriously. To keep us as safe as possible.

But why does that terrible incident have a name and an immediate action plan, but women need to shush up about making the apparently never-ending roll-call of loss about them?

We're confused, because if women are not a group under threat in Australia, why does it feel, so deep in our bones, like we are?

This week, a video went viral. It was a spoken-word poem by Mia Findlay. On Wednesday, it was suddenly everywhere. In every inbox, in DMs and on feeds. She had said words women needed to hear.

The video's central theme is how, when two young men died in "coward punch" attacks in Sydney's Kings Cross more than 10 years ago, a city's laws were changed almost instantly.


"Two young men murdered, they shut down a city", Mia reads. "24 women, no action, no pity".

Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie's deaths in 2012 and 2013 were not directly related to the action that followed. Changing licensing laws and club opening times in Sydney's city centre was an experiment deemed worth a try to stem such senseless, unbearable loss.

Where, the women sharing that video this week are asking, is our 'worth a try'? Why are the only groups outraged about this women’s media and women’s anti-violence campaigners? Where's our broad support? Where are the emergency measures? Where are the columns by men pleading with each other to find solutions? Where is the Prime Minister’s hastily arranged meeting of men of influence to diffuse the situation, to close it down?

Why are we, instead, being urged to remember the men who help? There are men who help. There were men who helped in that shopping centre on this past, terrible Saturday, one who lost his life doing so. They are heroes. Honoured and thanked and remembered as they absolutely should be.

But even so, women are feeling unheard. Because it's not about us but it absolutely is.

We know, because we live it, that the numbers of lost women are not the whole story.

There are the horrific, random attacks that dominate headlines. The kind that has us walking in the middle of the road on the way home, changing our plans and our routines and our schedules. The kind that have us holding keys in our hand and texting when we get home and exercising during daylight, as if any of that is protection against a man who has decided to harm us.


And then there is the constant low hum of deadly, ordinary violence, dealt to us by people lurking not in dark corners, but in our lives, in our homes, across the table from us on a date.

The kind that means that on average, every four minutes in New South Wales alone, a police phone rings with a complaint of "domestic" violence. The kind of intimate partner and family violence that accounts for a third of all murders in Australia, every year. The kind that one in six of us have experienced at the hands of someone who was supposed to care.

Our fear is not hysterical. It's not imagined. It's not political.

It's real. It's our lives. And our deaths.

It's about women, but something we are entirely unable to solve.

That part's about men.

Note: As always, thanks to the campaigners at Counting Dead Women or relentlessly cataloguing these women's stories.

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: AAP/Getty/Canva.