By the end of February this year, 14 women had been murdered in “domestic violence incidents”. There have been more since. That’s two a week. It’s also a number that has doubled for the same time last year. It’s an atrocious number. But it’s also not just a number. They are women. Mothers, daughters, sisters. Humans.
On February 26 I was honoured to be able to take part in The Nappy Collective‘s Blogger #DVForum. A number of bloggers were invited to participate, with the view to developing connections and conversations aimed at challenging “misinformed view points” (Rosie Batty). The forum was MC’d by Giaan Rooney, who did a fabulous job, and the discussion panel was Rosie Batty (Australian of the Year), Sandra Jacobs (The Nappy Collective) and Detective Superintendent, Rod Jouning (Head of Sexual and Family Violence Unit, Victoria Police). Richenda Vermeulen (nTegrity) then guided the blogger conversation.
We listened to these amazing speakers, and I’m pretty sure that we were all at times horrified, moved, amazed and fired up. As some of you know, prior to having children I worked for over a decade in Child Protection and with at risk children and families. The stories of domestic violence were not new to me. The climbing numbers outrage me. The continued victim blaming dismays me.
The question of a ’cause’ of domestic violence was raised. And Rosie Batty, and Det Supt Rod Jouning were both crystal clear in their responses. This is a gender issue. As Rosie Batty said, domestic violence is a choice. It is about power and control. Det Supt Jouning described it as men having a sense of entitlement to control women. “We have an ingrained culture of victim shaming. The responsibility is on us to change”.
It was acknowledged that people often, don’t know how to help. That those who have not experienced domestic violence do not know where to begin to help someone in this situation. Rosie talked about this, and about her experience. “One of the most disappointing responses is judging the victim” ie why doesn’t she leave? She spoke about how the well meaning advice from friends left her feeling judged and critiqued. Because it was all simple, straightforward advice. That doesn’t help someone who is in survival mode. Someone who is at greatest risk of harm when they decide to leave. Her advice – guide the woman to a Domestic Violence crisis line. They provide perfect advice, they understand the situation and are focused on safety. They do not judge. Rosie talked about us needing to believe women. To have compassion, to support and to empower women. That “we need to demand change. Let’s get feisty about it!”
Also present was Fiona McCormack, CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria. She was very clear also, about this being a gender issue. About the excuses that are made when men choose violence against their partners and children. That they ‘feel powerless’. This only serves to boost their sense of entitlement. She spoke about us needing to challenge sexism, and to have “zero tolerance to the reasons men choose violence”. To demand change.
There were several things I took away from this forum, but the main point I wanted to highlight today was the need to demand change. From our political leaders, from perpetrators and from the social norms that support, if not encourage, some men in their choice to use violence. With thanks to The Nappy Collective and ntegr!ty, there is now a bloggers collective, that I am proud to be part of, with a structured plan to take this conversation further. So stay tuned! This is an issue that I feel very passionate about. I am amazed I have an opportunity to be part of this collective, and a movement to change.
If you would like to do some more reading, check out the posts from some of the other bloggers who attended the forum: A Blog of Her Own, Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting, Engaging Women, and The Mother Load are a few who have already started the conversation.
If you would like to join this conversation please do so! Let’s keep the conversation respectful and mindful that everyone has different experiences.
If you feel you need assistance in relation to any of the issues talked about here, please, contact any of the following:
Safe Steps: www.safesteps.org.au Manage crisis response and refers to state-wide refuges. 1800 015 188 (Toll free)
Domestic Violence Victoria www.dvvic.org.au
For immediate assistance contact 000
*This is a sponsored post*
Have you heard? eBay has launched a new way to shop on their website! The new Collections function lets you collate items you love, covet and lust over, all organised according to theme, colour, occassion, whatever you like! Thanks to Nuffnang, I was granted early access and have created several boards, with a few more to come. For example, Handmade Bubba is a collection of gorgeous hand made pieces that I would love to give as gifts to little ones. And Kitchen Dreaming is pretty self explanatory! Man that black table looks good.
It’s a useful way of collating items you are interested in, instead of just one watch list. It’s also another way to find items that interest you – eBay have featured collections and also trending collections. And you can follow different boards which will allow you to see any updates in your eBay feed.
My first thought on hearing about it, was that I already have Pinterest! But it is different in that all the items you put in a collection are there on eBay, available to purchase straight away. It’s easy to use and smooth to look at. If you’re like me and love this kind of thing, click on through and check it out. And if you are on eBay and start your own Collections, leave a link to yours in the comments here so I can check them out and follow some more boards!!
*This post was sponsored by Nuffnang. All opinions are my own.
I’ve entered the Australian Writers’ Centre’s best Australian blog 2014! I figure the best way to get better at this, is to put myself out there. They have a people’s choice round where you, the readers, get to vote. Now, no pressure, but maybe you could click on through to the survey and vote for Tully & Mishka. Joking, there is total pressure on you to do this!! Ha ha!! There are HEAPS of awesome blogs on there. And really, I’m just starting to get into some kind of blogging groove here, so I don’t expect to be winning anything. But just entering or being nominated for these kind of things is, for me, a really great way to challenge myself. It gets me excited about my potential to do this blogging thing on a regular and improved basis.
So if you feel like you could vote for me, click through and I’m on about the fifth page. While you are there, vote for as many other blogs that your think are great. There is no limit to how many you vote for, but you can only submit once.
Thanks so much!!
Wow. So someone out there nominated my tiny little blog for the Kidspot #Voicesof2014. I still cannot believe it! Thank you to whoever did – it means someone likes what I’ve written so far and has really made me more determined to get the blog to where I envision it. As a source of support, inspiration, laughter and even info for anyone out there adjusting to life with kids. I don’t expect to go further – there are soooooo many amazing blogs out there, but to even be nominated is fantastic. Way to make my week!! xxxx
Something I have been thinking about, pretty much since I started the blog, is whether or not to post photos of the kids, and to use their names. So far I have chosen not to. On my personal FB and Instagram pages I do, but here on the blog I have generally used photos that don’t show their faces, and referred to them as the Little Miss and the Little Mister. But is this thinking sensible caution or just a touch paranoid? Most of my favourite bloggers identify their kids either with their names or photos or both. And these are successful bloggers, with loads of people clearly knowing who they are.
I come from a professional background that no doubt contributes to my caution (ten plus years in child protection and working with vulnerable/at risk families). I’ve done a bit of reading around the web, and of course, found conflicting ideas on the subject. Some people feel that the children should be old enough to agree/disagree with their photos being posted. Some feel that there is a risk of predators accessing and misusing the images. Some have even suggested that in the future, other kids could use the images in cyber-bullying – particularly if they are embarrassing photos. I found this article and this one to be interesting reads on the topic.
I have to say I’m still undecided. It’s cumbersome, referring to the kids as the Little Miss and the Little Mister. And sometimes, I really want to share photos with you! Like here. Perhaps I’ll share the occasional photo and think on how to refer to them without too much identifying information.
What do you do? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!