"We Are Not Winning The Battle Against Domestic Violence"



A staggering 53 women have died by violence in Australia this year. Last month, five were killed in nine days.  There are mornings when you must brace yourself to turn on the TV, or pick up a newspaper, in anticipation of another photo staring out from the front page, another name, another footnote to a life cut short. 

“We’re not winning this. We’ve had a terrible year. We need to be a bit humble about accepting that, alright, we don’t have the answers yet.”

– Micaela Cronin, Australia's Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner

Commissioner Cronin was appointed in November last year by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and we sat down for a stolen half an hour during the Stop DV conference in Hobart earlier this week. I ask her: Do those in the higher echelons of government understand the urgency of the situation?

“Not enough, I don’t think. And there are a lot of competing priorities. There’s a sense that this is an overwhelmingly complex problem, and are we ever going to be able to solve it? I think that’s partly why.”

– Micaela Cronin, Australia's Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner

Despite the horror statistics, Cronin has observed two “big and encouraging” shifts. First, she says, is the centering of ‘lived experience’ in the sector.  Ensuring that at every level, survivors of violence are meaningfully engaged and listened to. Her commission is currently recruiting 12 members for a Lived Experience Advisory Council.

And that takes us to her second “big and encouraging” shift.  Spoiler alert: it’s about blokes. Cronin asserts, “..to shift the dial, to have an impact, we absolutely need to have a different conversation about, and with men.”

“I’m increasingly hearing from professionals who’ve spent their career working on the issue, that they can’t keep women safe. They’re just moving women around. So, how do we work with men differently.  How do we understand more about men who use violence.  It’s not very easy for people to talk about.”

– Micaela Cronin, Australia's Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner

Meet The Women Making Thousands From Their Wardrobes



After a string of deaths, Australia's domestic violence commissioner says a new approach is needed. Read the full article by PRIMER's Gendered Violence Reporter Kylie Morris.


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