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Media wrap up 8 - 22 December

Media wrap up 8 - 22 December

A fortnightly summary of domestic violence in local, national and international news, popular culture and opinion.

'Season of fear for abused women'

10 December 2010, The Age:

Jane Ashton from the Womens Domestic Violence Crisis Service said there were trigger points that heightened violence at Christmas. Tensions were high as household budgets were stretched, separated families came together and women became easy targets for abusive partners. Abusive men also spent more time at home in the holidays. ''A lot of it happens behind closed doors and people do not know about it.''

21 December 2010, The Age:

Longitudinal crime trends also indicate that domestic violence cases increase dramatically during the hotter months — peaking over the Christmas period.

Family violence 30% of all assaults in Ballarat

8 December 2010, ABC Ballarat:

"Whilst the headline grabbers are assaults around nightclubs or in the Ballarat CBD, family violence makes up 30 per cent of all reported assaults in my division and that's above the state average," he [Superintendent Andrew Allen] said.

Police code tackles family violence

10 December 2010, The Age:

Victoria Police has launched a revised code of practice to tackle family violence as it prepares for a spike in domestic violence cases over the Christmas period. The Family Violence Code of Practice was introduced in 2004 and Chief Commissioner Simon Overland said the revised code incorporated lessons police had learnt in the past seven years.

The Men Next Door

Opinion piece by Farid Farid, 10 December, The New Matilda:

Losing a job, losing your cool and hitting your partner, losing a friend or unfortunately losing your life are all disastrous in the sense of diminishing the social resources of hope and perseverance for men. They are hard to talk or write about unless you undergo them and it is supremely burdensome to see men as anaesthetised figures who are expected to just get on with it. This is especially true of social burdens placed on men who seek asylum and who are supposed to cope with psychological and physical conditions that have been deemed by the UN in their human rights reports to be less than inhospitable.

Who says female corpses aren't sexy?

Opinion piece by Melinda Tankard Reist, 10 December, ABC Drum:

I was watching rapper Kanye West’s new video teaser for the single Monster, from his new chart-topping album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. ... This is gendered violence. It’s not depicting just any old corpse but a clearly female one and then, clearly eroticised.

Australia and New Zealand target alcohol-related violence

14 December 2010, The Age:

"It's well established that there's a major link between alcohol, drugs and street violence, domestic violence and motor vehicle accidents," he [De Villiers Smit, the director of The Alfred hospital's Emergency and Trauma Centre in Melbourne] told reporters.

Most rapists know victims and 'act nice' after sexual assault, study says

16 December 2010, The Courier Mail:

Alcohol-fueled Christmas parties are hotbeds for sexual assault, with new figures showing women are more likely to be raped by friends and colleagues than strangers.

Three councils join together to prevent violence against women

17 December 2010, ABC Ballarat:

The Golden Plains Shire wants to join forces with neighbouring municipalities to develop a program to prevent violence against women. It is applying for $120,000 of annual funding for four years to develop a pilot program with the City of Ballarat and the Hepburn Shire.

Alcohol outlets and domestic violence linked in Australian study

17 December 2010,

Opening more neighborhood pubs and liquor stores could lead to more violence in local residents' homes, hints a new Australian study. Evidence is building that increased availability of alcohol can result in greater public violence, lead researcher Michael Livingston of the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Center, in Fitzroy, Victoria, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.

To see if access to wine, beer and liquor may influence such rates of violence in the home, Livingston identified 186 neighborhoods of 10,000 people or more around Melbourne, Australia. Then he monitored changes in the numbers of alcohol purveyors and police-recorded cases of domestic violence between 1996 and 2005, a period in which a great number of new liquor licenses were doled out.

Author Ruth Park dies - a writer who didn't gloss over domestic violence

18 December 2010, The Australian:

The New Zealand-born writer's first two novels -- The Harp in the South and its sequel, Poor Man's Orange -- followed the hardscrabble lives of an Irish migrant family in Surry Hills, the inner Sydney suburb where Park and her writer husband D'Arcy Niland lived. The book was also contentious for its frank descriptions of crime, domestic violence, prostitution and backyard abortions.

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Photo of Belgian street art from Flickr by Luke Robinson