Media wrap up 10 – 23 November
A fortnightly summary of domestic violence in local, national and international news, popular culture and opinion.
Attorney-General on the draft Family Law reforms
An interview with Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland about the proposed changes to the Family Law Act. 11 November 2010, ABC Radio Breakfast (stream online or download the audio) Note: DVRCV supports these proposed changes. Read our blog post Draft Family Violence Bill in Plain English.
Australia's domestic violence laws evaluated, with recommendations
Two of Australia's biggest law reform groups have spent a year examining domestic violence laws and have released 187 recommendations. The report, co-authored by the Australian and NSW Law Reform commissions, will be discussed at a national meeting of attorneys-general next month. As well as setting up family law courts, the report also recommends extending the jurisdiction of state court orders over violence or interim child care and reducing the number of times victims have to repeat their story. Another recommendation is to adopt a common definition for family violence, which includes psychological intimidation.
11 November 2010, Australia Law Reform Commission podcast has ALRC President Professor Rosalind Croucher and journalist Michael Pelly discussing the Final Report for the Family Violence Inquiry.
Benalla's Angela Barker is Victorian Young Australian of the Year
Angela Barker, or 'Anj', is Victorian Young Australian of the Year for 2011. In 2002 Anj was assaulted by her former boyfriend, leaving her with severe injuries and unable to talk. She spent three years in hospital and a nursing home and now campaigns for young people living with a disability. DVRCV worked with Anj Barker on several projects, including Anj's participation in the Train the Trainer program for women with disabilities, facililated by former DVRCV trainers Marianna Codognotto and Louise Morphett. Marianna also took on an advocacy and mentoring role to assist Anj in applying for the one year Leadership Plus leadership program. Anj was successful in applying for a full scholarship to the program and will graduate soon. Anj Barker was also a guest speaker in one of DVRCV's training programs family violence and young people, where she talked about her personal story and journey. DVRCV congratulates Anj on her award and on her imminent graduation from the Leadership Plus program. 15 November 2010, Australian of the Year Awards media release:
Her experiences as a young person housed in aged care facilities left her angry, sad and feeling trapped but they have also motivated her to campaign against placing young people in care facilities for the elderly, to lobby for the introduction of a national no-fault insurance scheme.
11 November 2010, ABC Radio Goulburn Valley has a 7 minute story and interview with Anj (stream online or download audio) Read Anj Barker's personal story on our website for women with a disability: Against the Odds.
Family violence a Victoria election issue
FAMILY violence is set to become an election issue, amid figures showing many traumatised children are waiting months for support and most are being turned away because there aren't enough resources to cope with demand.
Some metropolitan areas are recording waiting lists of up to three months,'' Ms McCormack [Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive] said. ''We simply don't have the resources to deal with them.''
Running up the White Ribbon
Claire Halliday writes of her personal experience with the 'warning signs' of violent relationship, about White Ribbon Day and the issue of domestic violence in Victoria. 17 November 2010, The Weekly Review:
When I was 20 and trying to leave my own situation, the worry that it would get worse was my reason. His tears always followed mine, though. He didn’t mean it. He needed help to control his anger. He was sorry. At the 24-hour, statewide Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service, chief executive Deb Bryant is tired of hearing domestic violence excused because of issues around “anger management” or “losing control”. “Somebody can be angry, but somebody chooses to use violence. It’s a choice they make,” she says. “If a husband is doing it with his wife but he’s choosing not to do it with his boss at work or his friends, that’s not losing control. That’s a choice.”
Police target schoolies' safety with Twitter
22 November 2010, ABC Radio 774 (stream online or audio download):
It's that time of the year where everyone from parents to police worry about what might happen at 'schoolies'. Year after year we see images and hear reports of the alcohol and drug fuelled violence that seems to go hand in hand with end of school celebrations. Richelle Hunt went to Thornbury High School and spoke with year 12 students and Victoria Police about how social media may help keep schoolies safe.
Dads at birth reduces domestic violence?
President of the Australian College of Midwives, Dr Hannah Dahlen, says. "From then on, childbirth became increasingly technical and medicalised. In the 1950s and '60s intervention reached an all-time high. Women were being induced, knocked out, episiotomied and delivered with forceps." Husbands were not part of the process. "Childbirth was a lonely experience for women. It wasn't the best for men either, who were left with a changed partner, someone they couldn't relate to because they didn't know what they'd been through." In the 1970s, however, a corrective wave of "childbirth activism" humanised the process: among other things, men were brought into the delivery suite, where they could provide encouragement and support. Generally speaking, Dahlen regards this as a change for the better. She cites research from far north Canada, where pregnant Inuit women had traditionally been shipped out to cities to give birth. Then, about 15 years ago, local birth clinics became more common, as did the presence of men during delivery. "They found an associated drop in domestic violence, because the men felt a much stronger connection to their wives," she says.
Things we missed
First sexting case
A 20-year-old from Sydney's western suburbs is at the centre of Australia's first ''sexting'' case, after a schoolgirl sent a nude photo of herself to his mobile phone. The maximum penalty he faces is a two-year jail term. ... When the girl's father checked her mobile phone, he went to the police. Eades was charged with incitement of a person under 16 to commit an act of indecency towards him. He was also charged with possession of child pornography.
Women getting more health advice online
8 November 2010, Queensland University of Technology [This news item is no longer online]
An increasing number of women going online with health queries means there should be more focus on ensuring plenty of reliable advice from health professionals is available in cyberspace, according to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research. Dr Julie-Anne Carroll, a lecturer with QUT's Faculty of Health, said online advice was sought by many women along with input from family and friends. "Most women go online when they are looking for information about a health issue, but are still discerning about what information they receive," she said. "Our study and others have found that women are selecting and comparing sources, testing evidence and then taking information to family and friends, as well as to their doctors. "In the old days, you might go to your doctor and get one opinion or one set of advice and that was it. Now, women are looking at different options when it comes to making health decisions."
Did we miss anything else related to family violence in the news? Let us know.
Photo of a mural from Flickr by Alex E. Proimos