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Violence against women, what possesses men?

27 March 2013

You’d think in 2013 that the theme for International Women's Day – Ending Violence Against Women – would be unnecessary? Think again. Whether you live in a first world country with first world problems, a developing or war torn nation, the fact is violence against women, perpetrated in the most part by men, remains staggeringly high and widespread.

Our Ruby of the Month Tracey Spicer has been following the rape of sixteen year old girl by two young men and the part other young men played in watching, videoing and taking pictures of the incident which they later posted on social media. We aren’t talking young men traumatised by war or with little or no education or from a background where the place of women is far from what we experience here. We are talking about a college town in the US and the young people living there.

It’s a distressing and sickening case of young men exhibiting complete disregard for another human being – a vulnerable, young girl, who also happened to be very drunk.

The defense for the young men: ‘she didn’t affirmatively say no’.
Violence against women is a human rights violation. At the recent UN breakfast we attended for IWD the message that came out loud and clear was that all women need strong laws, backed by implementation and services for protection and prevention of violence.

Violence against women takes many forms, affects girls and women of all ages and is not confined to a specific culture, region or country.

There’ s domestic and intimate partner violence, including physical and sexual attacks against women, as well as psychological and emotional abuse in the home, within the family or within an intimate relationship: a woman is killed almost every week in Australia by a male partner or ex-partner.

Sexual violence refers to violence by non-partners such as a relative, friend or stranger. Sexual violence is underreported due to feelings of shame experienced by women who have been sexually abused.

The there are the harmful traditional practices: which present specific threats to the safety and health of women, such as female genital mutilation/cutting, dowry murder and honour killings.

And violence against women in war and armed conflict, where rape is often used as a tactic of war by armed groups. Violence against women is reported in every war zone.

On top of this there is the abuse perpetrated by men when their personal attitude towards women leaves much to be desired. The most noticeably public example of this abuse has to be radio-man John Laws astounding comments to a female listener about the abuse she underwent from the age of 6 at the hands of members of her family. Had she been provocative, he asked, and was it “her fault” she had been raped at six?

Laws and his like need to listen to the young man who was one of the speakers at the UN breakfast. He is exhorting young men to get together and impress on all men, and especially on older men who you would think would know better, that violence and violence against women in particular is just not on.

The violence of politics has also been playing itself out on the public stage.

Whatever you think about our Prime Minister, she has amazing resilience. When she leads she leads. There’s no knocking her down and no giving up. Short of a miracle, I’m not holding out much chance for her winning the election but you can be sure she won’t go down without having fought the fight. “Bring it on,” as she would say.



  • Jadranka Kovacic

    Jadranka Kovacic 6 years ago

    Having studied the subject matter of 'violence against women' through International Human Rights Law, investigating violence against women for a Research Paper, reading a myriad of information disseminated through membership of UN Women Australia, listening to may women from the CaLD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) world, listening the Professors speak on violence against women and reflecting on my time spent working for the European Union Administration in a conflict zone (war - being the apitomy of violence against women; women are statistically the greatest causalty of war ), I have come to the conclusion that the greatest potential for change in 'ending violence against women' starts at home. The cycle starts and ends there. And... where there is violence against women there is violence against children. Research has shown that children who witness violence perpetrated against their mothers, eventually form an 'unconscious' bias/belief that violence is acceptable/the norm. And so, the cycle tends to continue. Society as a whole needs assist women to self-empower, to stand up to and end violence. Easier said than done! However, speaking up is the first crutial step. An overlooked proponent to change is helping men who are perpertrating violence understand their own underlying triggers and manage self control. Domestic violence incidents are reported nationally every 4 minutes. What of the unreported? When a domestic violence incident is reported in Sweden, it cannot be withdrawn. Sweden and many of the Scandanavian countries maintain very peaceful societies (both at the homefront and in the Homeland). Ending violence against women and children is achievable! We just have a long road ahead...

  • Kath Mazzella

    Kath Mazzella 6 years ago

    Violence Against Women: if 1 million women have Polycystic Ovaries, 1 Million Endometriosis, fibroids, hysterectomies - the list goes on and there is very little voice on GYN health in the community, then if women don't have a clear understand their GYN risks, symptoms, treatments & function of their bodies how on earth do men have a chance of why women sometimes become moody and sometimes not interested in sex occasionally then I see it - if women could get behind the men and women could have a better understanding of each other. Bring on GYN/Sexual health education.