Media wrap up 27 October - 9 November
A fortnightly summary of domestic violence in local, national and international news, popular culture and opinion.
Unions push for domestic violence workplace leave deals in Victoria and nationally
25 October 2010 The Age: [This story happened before this fortnight, but we thought was important to include.] The Victorian branch of the Australian Services Union has lodged claims with other Victorian local councils
UNIONS have stepped up their campaign for paid domestic violence leave with four new Victorian employers facing an innovative claim and the ACTU signalling it wants widespread use of the leave.
ASU assistant branch secretary Lisa Darmanin said the union had lodged the claim with the City of Greater Geelong, Brimbank City Council and Coliban Water Authority. Moyne Shire Council will face the claim soon. The union had spoken to the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association about the issue, Ms Darmanin said.
Domestic violence leave: one survivor describes the difference it would have made
28 October 2010 ABC Local Radio Riverina, Statewide Afternoons: Donna Carson survived a horrific attack of domestic violence that almost took her life. Download the audio MP3 or stream online.
She spoke to us about what such a service would be like for other men and women in her situation. [Audio online]
7.7 per cent jump in family violence-related assaults in Victoria
Victorians were more likely to be physically assaulted in the past year than the previous 12 months but crime overall is down, new statistics show. 28 October 2010 The Age online:
Domestic violence takes up a significant part of uniformed police officers' time, but Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe insisted it was not getting worse and the rise in reported cases [by 7.7 % in the last 12 months] was a good sign. "There is a confidence in people, victims in particular, to report family violence," he said.
Walshe also spoke positively about Victoria's integrated approach to family violence:
"When we started the work around family violence and the development of a code of practice quite some years ago, what we wanted to do was to identify what was the level of family violence that was occurring in the state. "I think we're getting very close to that point now, our family violence coordinators across the state are working very diligently with other agencies."
The controversial defence of provocation
The defence of provocation is no longer law in Tasmania, WA and Victoria, but is still on the books everywhere else. 2 November 2010 The Law Report, ABC Radio National:
Just recently, the High Court handed down a decision in the extraordinary case of Queenslander, Andrew Murray Pollock. The court quashed his murder conviction and sent him back for what will be a third trial. At the heart of the long-running Pollock legal saga is the definition of 'provocation' under Queensland law. Associate Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland Law School has followed the case. [Read the transcript online]
In Victoria in 2005, the defence of provocation was replaced by defensive homicide. Read our September 2010 blog post on whether defensive homicide is working?
Male sexual abuse survivors on Oprah
5 November 2010 The Huffington Post: Howard R. Franklin, Co-chairperson, Male Survivor Weekends of Recovery program in the United States, discusses male sexual abuse and describes the filming of an Oprah episode with survivors (aired 5 and 12 November).
Oprah Winfrey dared speak the truth of her sexual abuse many years ago, giving millions of women permission to acknowledge their abuse. Oprah has chosen to join forces with Tyler Perry to open doors for another huge group who need understanding and healing for the sexual abuse they've suffered: men. The sheer numbers of male survivors are staggering; according to most researchers, one in six men has been sexually abused by age 18. ... Our culture teaches men to keep their abuse secret for many complex reasons. They learn that they aren't supposed to be vulnerable; they learn they should be in control, so it's impossible to be a victim; they might wrongly blame themselves for leading someone on; many mistakenly fear their abuse makes them gay or less masculine.
Standing up against domestic violence
9 November 2010 Sunshine Coast Daily: A woman tells of her experiences of domestic violence living on a remote property in Western Queensland.
I tried to be a good wife, a good grazier’s wife always by his side, mustering and fixing things, but soon I became the fly in the ointment and everything I did was wrong. ‘Sit down and shut-up’. I would go through conversations in my head before they happened to make sure my responses or questions wouldn’t set him off. It’s hard to have a conversation at the dinner table when you’ve got tight parameters in fear of saying the wrong thing. ... He used to lock the phone in the filing-cabinet. Our nearest neighbour was two miles (about 3.2km) away, I felt very alone. It was like brain-washing – if you’re told something often enough you start to believe it.”She speaks of an internal conversation which lasted almost 10 years while waiting for the “right time” to leave.
Photo from Flickr of The Clothesline Project in Worcester, Massachusetts by Claudia Snell