LETTER: Send domestic violence offenders a message in court

HOW much of Western nations' resources are spent on monitoring imminent terrorist attacks, which may or may not happen, while in reality, violent crimes perpetrated against women are on the increase in every culture worldwide?

"Domestic Violence is a national epidemic, with one female killed every week by her partner." [Sunday Mail, November 22.] The statistics alone don't show the real picture.

All rhetoric about how our federal government has bolstered DV services, officially and unofficially, while in private this violence continues to plague families, with children at risk of involvement overtly or covertly, has not quenched the flames. Behind closed doors, offenders are in control. Women and children are discriminated against globally. It is a fact that their social value is less than a male in every aspect of the workforce and home. How men regard women has a lot to do with how they are treated in our culture. This has been reinforced by numerous reported attacks upon defenceless women, some fatally, by known and unknown perpetrators. DV is largely perpetrated by men.

But it is the hidden statistics which prove that this is a cultural norm which has been passed down through generations. Some men, with insecurities, think violence solves all their issues. On the receiving end are women and children. Many have to flee into safe houses to escape their attackers. Why must women and children suffer deprivation in shelters and hiding places while awaiting justice, when men are allowed to remain in the family setting to get on with their lives? Victims pay heftily for legal representation to fight for their rights, which rob them and their children of any financial security already accumulated.

Justice is not free. The system is slow to argue for free legal services for abused victims. There is no socio-economic or cultural boundary to DV. The innocent are again victimised by the lengthy and often rigid legal system. It is time men were sent a strong message from the law and courts, that any attack in the home has unpleasant consequences outside the home. Tolerance and respect come with maturity.

Cowards and bullies are empowered by control over the weak. Although the law and the government condemn violence as criminal acts, the reality is that it continues unabated, because there is no intelligence or monitoring in families, where a man calling the tune sees it as his right. We can only hope for a renaissance with the new leadership.

ELOISE ROWE, Tannum Sands

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