Tears for fears

May 18, 2011

Sometimes the news just makes me want to cry.

Yesterday’s news about the 23-year old mother-of-two who was killed by her partner. Another woman and her (perhaps boy-)friend killed by her ex, who then also killed their 5 year-old-girl.

Don’t tell me that the fear women feel isn’t real. Yes, women sometimes are the perpetrators of violence in relationships and even death of children but OVERWHELMINGLY it’s men, which means its a gendered issue. Men hurting and killing women. Women fearing for their lives.

So don’t say: ‘Why did she stay, why didn’t she just leave?’

Fear for her life, the life of her children. That’s why.

And this shit doesn’t need to happen. We could change our culture so that women aren’t treated like things and stop the culture of entitlement that exists around men owning women.* We could provide better preventative education in schools to teach young people about respectful relationships and we could persecute abusers harsher.

Rather than cutting benefits and increasing stress on already vulnerable people, we could provide support to women and their children so they feel safe to leave and believed and supported. Why is it that agencies that provide front-line services to women, children and just people in need are struggling to find the funding they need just to make ends meet? They don’t pay themselves high wages and work long hours doing stressful and emotionally draining work.

But our Government needs BMWs to drive their Members of Parliament around in. Glad to know they’ve got their priorities right.

*A personal story; I remember getting asked out once by a beefy dude when he found out I was leaving the country. That was my first flag. I mean, c’mon, who asks out a woman who is leaving the country unless, y’know, you really only want one thing.

I said (and I had rehearsed this) ‘No thanks’. He said ‘Why not’. I said I wasn’t interested. He wouldn’t drop it until I told him I had a boyfriend. So the fact that I had said ‘no’ and ‘I wasn’t interested’ meant nothing. It was only after I declare I was already ‘spoken for’ that he backed down. What an asshole.

Note to self: remember to write something about the strategies predators use

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