Guest Author Katie Gompertz explores this week’s news pertaining to domestic violence.
Last week a young woman, newly married, walked into her local police station and made a statement. Her husband had struck her during an argument; he was duly charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. An AVO was applied for and was successful; a court date has been set.
These types of reports and statements are not unusual, with some statistics reflecting that police handle one domestic violence matter every two minutes. Every 2 minutes.
How often do we hear about them, really they’re only reported by our disgraceful tabloid junkets if there is an apparent “human interest” angle or something that may sell more papers due to the morbidity of it or the ‘celebrity’ attraction.
So when these cases are, albeit rarely, reported who do we hear about? The perpetrator, that’s right, the person DOING the hitting or breaking the law. When Allison Bayden-Clay was brutally murdered all we heard about was Gerard, why he did it, did she push him over the edge? Oooo he had an affair, maybe the new woman asked him to off her? Allison has faded into a statistic and people are still discussing Gerard motives. Um, perhaps he was “just” an entitled violent narcissist?
Victim blaming is rife in our media and society and it needs to stop. Hero-worshipping that means people end up ignoring peoples’ law-breaking behaviours and remembering only their supposed “good deeds”. We need to stop making criminal activity glamorous and turning criminals into celebrities or forgiving celebrity their criminal acts just, well, because they’re famous.
Now going back to the original story let’s talk about the perpetrator.
Actually no let’s not. People have already forgotten that Hazem El-Masri has been charged with violently striking his wife, and only recall his legendary status and that he abhors violence, blah blah blah.
When all is said and done he’s been charged with a violent offence, and a violent offence against his wife, so no matter what he has done in his past, accolade wise, he doesn’t deserve my attention. His wife, however, does deserve it.
Her name is Douah El-Cherif, don’t know her name? Well you should.
A social media whiz and travel insurance guru Katie always enjoys a fierce and intelligent debate with any worthy opponent.
A supporter of social justice Katie writes a Domestic Violence column (or as she refers to it as “Family Terrorism”) for the South Sydney Herald as well as curates her own community Facebook Page We Can Do Better which focuses on information sharing on subjects close to her heart, equality, domestic violence, feminism and social justice.
An active member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby (newly involved) Katie plans on using her experience to further man-kind, ok woman-kind. Ok, she’s not that egotistical! She aims to help others find their voice against daily adversity.
A mad LOTR’s fan she often quotes Gandalf “ I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
There aren’t many Facebook threads, showing the worst of society, that Katie can walk past and each time she enters the void she remembers Robert Kennedy:
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”