A RALLY at Victoria’s St Kilda beach early this week attended by a relatively small number of people, the majority men, gained broad media attention.
The speakers, all men, talked about being “regular Aussies” who were “sick of hearing about home invasions” and “kids being robbed”, and pined for the past when, according to them, things “never used to be like this”.
The rally was organised by well known far-right activists talking about the need for “revolution” because of a nominated group of migrants they alleged were committing violence.
A year ago it was Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton saying Victorians were “scared to go out to restaurants” because of “African gang violence”. He defended himself against criticism by saying politicians “need to call it for what it is”.
And in the meantime Australian women are still being killed in their own homes at a rate of one each week, while thousands and thousands of children are being terrorised and terrified by home-grown family violence.
Lake Macquarie Police District Commander Daniel Sullivan has called violence in the home for what it is this week – a crime.
He has also called out men – who make up the majority of offenders – for committing those crimes.
“I’m the father of two daughters. And when you reflect on the national statistics: one woman murdered every week by their partner, one in three women above the age of 16 are the victims of sexual or physical violence, it’s my job as a cop, a father and a man to stamp that out, and to make a difference in my community for my family,” he said.
Commander Sullivan’s officers responded to 727 assaults on partners and family members in Lake Macquarie between October 2017 and September 2018, an increase of 117 offences on the previous year’s figures.
We are accustomed to seeing these kinds of figures, so much so that their significance can be missed. But how many children witnessed those 727 assaults?
The St Kilda rally speakers talked about how things “never used to be like this” in relation to so-called gang violence. The tragedy for too many Australian women and children is that family violence has always been with us.