Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Expat Observations: Domestic Violence

Today is White Ribbon Day, a national day to stop men's violence against women. According to Destroy The Joint, 78 women have been killed by violence this year in Australia. Last year the number was 84. Police are dealing with domestic violence incidents every two minutes. A woman is hospitalised every three hours and there are over 100,000 apprehended violence orders (AVOs or protection orders) that have been taken out nationally.

The conversation about domestic violence in Australia became a national one through Rosie Batty, who is the 2015 Australian of the Year. In 2014 Rosie's 11 year-old son Luke was murdered by his own father at cricket practice. Rosie spoke openly and honestly to the media just hours after his murder and raised the consciousness of domestic violence across the country. Through the Luke Batty Foundation, Rosie is working to give victims a voice and demand that Australia's leaders act.

On this White Ribbon Day I remember my cousin Marie, who was murdered six years ago by her boyfriend at the age of 28.

If you are in Australia and need help, call the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counseling Line on 1-800-RESPECT.

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