OPINION: We need to talk openly about men killing women

Twenty Australian women are believed to have died as a result of male violence since the start of 2016.

In the same time three Australian men are believed to have died at the hands of women.

Writer and Brisbane anti-domestic violence advocate JAS RAWLINSON says it's time for all of us to end gendered violence.

 

AS we walked through a peaceful rainforest on the weekend, my husband and I reflected on the beauty and serenity around us.

"Wouldn't it be awesome to live near here and do an early morning run every day before work?," my husband said.

"Yeah definitely," I mused before adding, "but if I was by myself, I probably wouldn't."

It makes me sad that as a woman, I constantly modify my life to try and ensure my safety at all times  in all situations - lest I be attacked and then blamed for "not being more careful".

Most women admit to modifying their walking routes, their clothing, their exercise routines.

They concede they have their car keys at hand in case of attack, they do not listen to music while walking. They take all types of precautionary actions so they hopefully don't get raped or murdered.

But what good does it do? 

Writer and Brisbane anti-domestic violence advocate Jas Rawlinson
Writer and Brisbane anti-domestic violence advocate Jas Rawlinson Contributed

Women are raped and murdered during the day, at night and most often in their own homes by someone they know.

And it sucks. It sucks that our lives, our adventures and daily routines are limited by the fear that we may be raped, murdered or abused.

Even though men can be victims of domestic abuse and random acts of violence, rarely do they worry for their safety. Rarely are they murdered by women.

Australia, let's be honest - we have terrorists in our country and they are ordinary men who have no problems with killing and maiming women and children.

Since the start of this year, 23 Australian women have lost their lives to violence and only two of the alleged killers were female.

What is being done to stem this tide?

I can tell you what - not a lot.

Our legal system keeps letting violent offenders out of jail.
 

Red roses surround the plaque dedicated to Queenslanders lost to domestic violence.
Red roses surround the plaque dedicated to Queenslanders lost to domestic violence. Sherele Moody

Men like Adrian Bayley - who was convicted of rape and the murder of  Jill Meagher in 2012 - was on parole at the time for a string of other sex offences.

Our prime minister poses for photos with advocates like Rosie Batty, while simultaneously cutting funding from women's shelters.

When a woman is killed, men's rights activists cry "women are just as violent", "men get abused too" and "women can be killers as well".

And while men are also victims, the truth is: No, women are not as violent as men.

We do not have 1 - 2 men being murdered every single week by women.

Men do not adjust their body language, their clothing, their walking routes, to avoid being harmed by women.

Any man who feels offended when people discuss women being murdered by men, needs to check his ego.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Rosie Batty will speak at a major domestic violence forum at the University of the Sunshine Coast this week.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Rosie Batty will speak at a major domestic violence forum at the University of the Sunshine Coast this week. Warren Lynam

If you're not a rapist or murderer, if you don't support archaic views that see women as sexual objects who deserve to be raped or murdered for what they wear or where and when they go out, then you shouldn't feel defensive when this ongoing slaughter is discussed.

I am just one of many people who are outraged and who want change - we need to keep the murder and abuse of women on the public agenda until our government, our country, finally does something more to end it.

A good place to start is to support this petition to stop the release of dangerous sex offenders
 

Jas Rawlinson was instrumental in the development of Queensland's first memorial for victims of domestic violence.

You can read her blog, Thoughts from Jas or like her Facebook page



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