Violence is Violence

This image was taken by Christopher Houghton & was part of an exhibition on domestic violence.
This image was taken by Christopher Houghton & was part of an exhibition on domestic violence.

Statistics. Journalists love a good set of statistics, especially when they serve a point of view you’re trying to get across.

So here’s some;

In September 2013 quarterly update for the New South Wales Recorded Crime Statistics non-domestic violence was down by 3.8% and domestic violence stable.

However in light of a very public campaign against what the media once called King Hits (then Coward’s Punch and now just One Punch’s) the New South Wales government introduced new penalties for this type of crime.

Yet there is another high profile story on violence that also created a media frenzy – that of Simon Gittany murdering his girlfriend Lisa Harnum in 2011. In November last year Gittany was found guilty. At his sentencing a victim impact statement was read out from Harnum’s mother. In it she said her daughter had died in “a senseless and thoughtless act of violence.”

She went on to say that what happened to her daughter should be a wake up call to all young women.

So now I ask where is the NSW government’s reforms on domestic violence?

Changing the assault laws all came from intense media attention on one young man being hit by a single punch in Kings Cross on New Year’s Eve. Lisa Harnum also has intense media attention, in fact it is still going in her case.

Now let’s go back to those statistics.

Nearly one in six women (16%) have experienced violence by a current or previous partner in their lifetime.

One woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner.

Yet somehow these statistics and the high profile nature of Lisa Harnum’s case has not spurred the New South Wales government or any government to action.

And despite a court ruling where the judge condemned Gittany for the litany of lies he used to get out of his actions, Sunday Night are paying for an interview with his current girlfriend proclaiming his innocence.

Gitttany’s behaviour of monitoring and stalking Harnum is clearly that of an abuser. He did not feel at ease with her out of his sight. He wanted to make sure he could control every aspect of her and her life. And he did, so when she decided she wanted to leave, he snapped.

Simple really, so where is the outcry?

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