Just stop killing women…

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These days, taking on complex topics is far more tricky than it used to be. It’s a little thing called head space, and my 3 crazy children fill up most of it.

A person in my life asked for my thoughts on the ongoing horrifying issue of violence against women, following the tragic and heartbreaking death of Masa Vukotic the teenage girl murdered in board daylight in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The current figures on women murdered from domestic violence is shocking and overwhelming. This year, 22 women have been killed at the hands of a violent man who was meant to love them or had supposedly once loved them. 22 women, THIS YEAR. We are only in March. It is as horrifying as it is sad.

Add to that the random violent attacks, and we’d no doubt have a number that would make us all feel sick.

Following Masa’s stabbing death on Tuesday, the usual media stories followed… Police urge women not to walk alone, not to walk after dark. Take extra precaution. I get all that, trust me I do. We live near a cycle/walking track that I frequent quite regularly. Half of the track is enveloped by bush and while it is lined with the backyards of homes it still feels quite secluded. I made the decision to turn around and not enter the ‘bushy section’ one day due to a man lurking around the track. It was 11am. In the morning, in broad daylight. I may have made a judge a book by its cover judgement but that was my choice. I had my baby in the pram and it didn’t feel right.

But what annoys me about this is that I even had to contemplate that type of situation. I understand that there are undesirables every where, and not every ‘dodgy bloke’ is out there looking to murder someone, but this situation is becoming far too common where women ARE being murdered.

Image credit

Image credit

It saddens me that the attention is immediately turned to women. Protect yourself, don’t put yourself in one of ‘those’ situations.

Why don’t these scum of the earth men (and I use the term men loosely) stop abusing and murdering women. Why why why are these men free to walk the streets.

What the hell is wrong with our justice system. Violent men, with horrendous violent criminal pasts, walking our streets. Streets that a 17 year old girl should be able to walk down. Streets that I want my daughter to feel safe growing up on. It makes me feel sick to think of the world my daughter is growing up in.

Following the death of Prahba Arum Kumar in a Parramatta park last week, a local business offered women free self defense lessons.

If these men were locked up and the justice system did its job properly we wouldn’t need self defense classes.

Why isn’t something being done. I don’t understand. How many more women have to die.

A few weeks ago a young mum of three children, the youngest just a week old was killed by her ex partner who she had just taken out a violence order against. I sat in my lounge room and cried, and cried. I didn’t know her or her family but my heart broke for her children. Her tiny, helpless daughter only a week old who would never know her mum. Never get the chance to hear the story of how happy she was the day she was born. Or hear her recount the story of the first time she saw her smile.
Because she won’t get to experience her first smile, her first laugh.

I don’t know the ins and outs of the politics surrounding this issue. I don’t generally discuss politics. And I don’t know the information behind finding etc. But whatever it is, it clearly isn’t enough.

We are not going to rid our society of these evil men overnight, or change their behaviour, but we can change how they are dealt with.

Do these judges setting these men free not have enough power? Do our laws need an overhaul. What will it take for the right people in the right position to see it’s not about telling women to protect themselves.

It’s about the justice system and it’s about how our society and our culture views violence against women. There shouldn’t be anything for women to have to protect themselves against.

I have 2 sons, as well as a daughter. My middle son is challenging. Spirited, to say the least. I have and do smack him. I am trying my absolutely darnedest NOT to smack
him. Why? Because when his sister was annoying him he smacked her. Why? Because that’s what mum does.

I am in no way saying that every boy who is smacked will grow to be a violent man, but I want to teach my son that there are better ways to handle situations.

Bringing up and educating our girls to be strong women is important.

Bringing up and educating our sons to be strong men is important. And so is teaching them kindness, and respect for women.

Some days while watching the news I’m left wondering what type of world I have bought my innocent children into.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

I don’t have the answers and I am grateful that I don’t have the first hand experience. All I know is that whatever is currently in place isn’t working and together there must be something we can do.

Jill Meagher. Why was she walking home alone at night after a few drinks? That SHOULD NOT be the question. The question should be, why shouldn’t she be able to walk home alone at night after a few drinks.

The battered wife, girlfriend. Why didn’t she leave?

The innocent girl going for a walk in broad daylight. Why was she wearing headphones?

Why are we even asking these questions?

At the end of the day the message is simple.

Men, just stop killing women. JUST STOP.

On the Eve…

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As we’ve all been busily getting ready for Christmas Day, I know many, if not most Australians have at the forefront of their minds thoughts of those that aren’t here to celebrate a holiday that is normally filled with hope, happiness and a touch of magic for the young and young at heart.

But there are 3 little children and 2 families who are going through unimaginable grief along with 15 families who are no doubt beyond grateful they are here to share this Christmas with their loved ones.

The thought of those 3 little kids without their mum makes my heart ache. I can’t imagine the hurt, confusion and overwhelming sadness that they are feeling.

Without my own 3 children I’m not sure I’d feel much like celebrating tomorrow. But then again without my own 3 children I may not feel as affected as I do by last weeks events.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone.

May your days be merry and bright.

No words

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Like most the country & indeed the world, I spent most of Monday constantly checking the news, watching the horrible Sydney Siege. I held my breath & felt my heart stop each time hostages ran out.

By 9.30pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open. With 2 night feeds in my immediate future, I went to bed. I hoped and prayed that the next day would bring wonderful news…

Half way through feeding the baby at around midnight, I remembered. I checked my phone desperately looking for news of a peaceful end, but nothing. It was still going.

All the kids were up around 5.30am. I got up and I remembered. I turned on the TV, almost holding my breath and watched as they reported that 3 people were dead. The victims a 34 year old man and a 38 year old woman. Please God, don’t let them be parents. Don’t let this awful awful tragedy be any worse. Sadly it was. 3 little children lost their mum in the early hours of that horrific morning. While we were sleeping, subconsciously hoping & praying, 2 innocent people, protecting others paid the ultimate price. Their families lives changed forever. Our lives and our country changed forever.

I feel like we lost something that day. A sense of innocence. A hope that this would never happen to ‘us’. But it did.

The outpouring of grief has shown what this country is really about. I know that if we could, each and everyone of us would hug the families of the victims and the 15 other hostages.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” Martin Luther King, Jr

RIP xx