{The Nest Writes} Today another girl is dead and a man is responsible

I am livid. Inexplicitly pissed off. Heartbroken.

I am struggling not to lose faith, having trouble accepting that this is what our country has become.

Today, a man was charged with murder. He stole the future from a 26 year old woman who was to be married this weekend. Her name was Stephanie and she was a teacher, a soon-to-be wife, a daughter, a friend.

She is the girl next to you at the café. She is the lady in line for groceries. She is your child’s teacher.

Stephanie didn’t deserve to be treated in such a horrendous way. Her life was taken by a man. He made a decision without regard to her own wishes. A choice to singlehandedly ruin a family and to break the heart of a finance who this weekend will be crying tears of pain and sorrow, rather than celebrating in the loving embrace of his new wife.

This murderous man worked with Stephanie. They were colleagues. They probably brushed past each other in the corridor, maybe even made small-chat. He knew her. She knew him.

Stephanie and her mother, and partner

Stephanie and her mother, and partner

This weekend, a country town in New South Wales will be mourning a daughter. Someone will have to fold away her wedding dress. To cancel the florist. To file away her wedding vows. Instead of joining two families in love, a man has catapulted two families into grief.

On 17 March another woman’s life was stolen. 17 year old high school student Masa Vukotic, was violently attacked and stabbed to death while going for a run. This is not acceptable. This girl was simply existing in the world, living her OWN life and a man decided he had the power to end her existence in the most horrific of ways. It was unexpected. Unnecessary. Unfounded. A pure unadulterated abuse of power.

Men in Australia are taking the lives of women around them and something needs to be done. We need to make a stand and say that this is not okay.

This cycle of men killing women has to end. Every single week one Australian woman is killed by a current or former partner and one in three women have experienced some degree of violence.

1 in 3.

Just let that sink in.

You, and your two best friends are having coffee, statistically one of you has or will experience violence. In New South Wales alone in 2014 there were more than 27,000 domestic violence assaults reported to police (and that’s just the women who were brave enough, or injured enough to report it. Think about how many must go unreported).

Why is Australia not taking this seriously? What will become of us. My daughters are likely to grow up in a world where they are no longer safe to go for a run, walk home or tragically as with Stephanie, they aren’t even safe in their own workplace. They won’t be able to have the escape of their own home, because you know, one in three women experience violence in the home as well.

One of Australia’s largest newspapers, the Courier Mail showed utter disrespect when reporting Stephanie’s story today. Their front page ran the header ‘Bride and Seek’. This sort of media coverage does nothing but diminish the feelings of a family, the actions of a man and the last moments of a daughter. A front cover header of a national newspaper like this does not show how serious Australians need to be in stopping this ongoing epidemic of violence against women.

Media reporting like this cannot be tolerated

Media reporting like this cannot be tolerated

Men are not the rulers of women. We no longer live in a patriarchal society whereby women must obey men. We are equals. Women should be safe. Men should not be allowed to steal the futures from our nation’s girls.

In 2012 Thomas Kelly was fatally king-hit at Kings Cross in Sydney. The country was outraged. A young man was dead as a result of being punched. His brave family launched a campaign pushing for accountability and tougher sentencing. In 2013 another young man, Daniel Christie was killed again by a punch. Australia reacted. Within weeks new legislation was passed and “A Coward’s Punch Can Kill” campaign launched. Changes were made.

An issue was addressed. This kind of violence would no longer be tolerated. Seven men had been killed since 2000 and this was the reaction. Seven women had been killed by their partners in the first five weeks of 2015 alone.

Where the hell is the outrage on those statistics?

So what can you do?

You need to take a stand and reject the sexist attitudes and behaviour that creates a culture whereby violence against women is tolerated. You need to not support media reporting like the Courier mail’s front page today.

You need to treat all women as equals.

You need to speak up if you believe violence against women is occurring.

You need to not allow our media and policy makers to sweep yet another incident of violence against women under the carpet.

You need to make a world where little girls are protected. Young women are respected and females are not victimized.

Living in fear is not an option. Change must happen.

I stand for change. We need to protect Australia’s girls now.stand

#ProtectAustraliasGirlsNow

EDITORS NOTE: Thanks to everyone for the comments and messages, I just want to take this opportunity to reiterate that violence against anyone is horrendous. To men. To women. To children. The idea behind this article was simply to bring awareness of just how prevalent this surge in violence against women has become especially in the first few months in 2015. Every single person deserves to be safe and protected against violence. Men do. Women do. Children do. It was definitely not my intention to belittle or diminish the impact of violence against all other members of society.

 

31 thoughts on “{The Nest Writes} Today another girl is dead and a man is responsible

  1. yes, we need to start to turn the tide…at home, in town, state, country, world. this is not a first world problem!

  2. Thank-you
    There is a serious situation here that our government does not have safety checks before employment . I have no doubt that this man has offended before in his former country!
    How many more immigrants are going unchecked and employed with our government?????
    In our schools , hospitals and God forbid police force?????

    • Thanks for commenting Zoe, I don’t know the entire background to his story, I do believe he did pass working with children check before starting at the school, but having said that it would definitely be interesting to know what sort of behaviour he had whilst living overseas.

      • Just to put it In Perspective, my ex had multiple restraining orders (ex partners and their children)and charges against him in the ACT however he then was able to work in NSW in Juvenille Justice. there is no crossover of information from state to state let alone country to country.

  3. As a man I find this confronting as the story states that Australian men are killing women. These people are not men, there scum! A real man would never hurt a woman!

    • Agree Brenton…. but this article is directed at those very men that you call scum. Don’t be offended, just feel compassion, as I do when i hear that any person – including man, woman or child – has been injured or killed.

    • Thanks Brenton for taking the time to share this comment. I completely agree with you. There are many, many Australian men who are fantastic and thankfully they are the majority. It is so incredibly unfair that the scum take away from the many good men that exist and would never mistreat a woman.

  4. I think the main issues are drugs, alcohol, mental illness. Not a male against female thing at all. I am surrounded by fantastic caring kind and capable men in my life. A partner, a father and a 96 year old grandfather. There are lots of great men in Australia so we must be very careful to not make it a male- female or anti male
    Campaign of hate etc.

    Women also do And Can hurt Men also mentally, emotionally, financially and also use violence against Them And women also injure hurt and kill men.
    Digging deeper with all these cases the Main issues are drugs, alcohol and mental issues.
    Very sad state of affairs in our country now and I would hate the Men in my Life to be grouped or labelled or made to feel like they are violent or a risk when they are not at all and very caring and Supportive of their women.

    • Thanks Kylie, I too have many caring, wonderful men in my life and it was definitely not my intention to place an umbrella over all men. It is so incredibly hard to find a solution to the entire issue of violence within the Australian community but hopefully through pressue from the community following these tragedies then more research into mental health, alcohol and drug abuse will help find a way to stop these sort of situations occurring. Thank you for taking the time to share your comment x

      • Hi Kylie
        Unfortunately people are way to quick to blame alcohol drugs and mental health as the main reason for violence. You are fortunate enough to have capable men around you and truly that is fantastic. But please unless you live the situations that many women live with do not take the easy option of automatically blaming the above mentioned drugs/alcohol/mental health. Majority of the time no drugs or alcohol or even mental health are involved it is simply the need for POWER/CONTROL.

  5. Thank you for speaking out about this issue. I myself am a victim of two assualts in my life. At 16 I was kidnapped and raped at knife point by a man that also went on to be charge and convicted of a violent murder 3 years before my attack. Then they say lightning doesn’t strike twice but at 38 I had just moved into our new home when a man broke in, woke me from sleeping, restrained me and sexual assaulted me. He too was eventually caught and charge with previous unsolved assualts due to a DNA match. I am sadden by the loss of life that continues at the hands of these animals. Re offenders put back in the street or so called nice quiet guys finally unable to fight the demons inside them. As a victim I feel we are encouraged to sneak away and hide ourselves. The system is faulty and sentences aren’t long enough. The man that assualted me the second time was given 9 years for all 19 charges combined. What a joke. Every time I see a new story on the news of another needless loss I feel sick in my stomach. I have a fire in my belly to do something but am unsure where to start. I think it’s time to stand and say out loud that it’s not good enough that the system is letting us down. I want to stand up say enough is enough. I deserve to feel safe. I have the right to sleep in peace in my own home. I am not ashamed of what happened to me, the shame I feel is for the system and for all the reasons an offender is deemed ok to be released into society. What’s the number? What’s the number of women that needs to suffer before a person is deemed too dangerous to be on the street?

    • You are so brave to share your story, I am so sorry to hear what you have lived through. I hope one day a change does occur and you are able to feel safe again. Thank you for taking the time to comment x

    • thank you for sharing your story Melissa, it is horrendous that such violent crimes against women are seemingly viewed so lightly in our justice system, there are no extenuating circumstances and no possible excuses for attacks such as the ones you have faced and the only concern we should have in sentencing is getting these disgusting people off the street permanently. How many more innocent women, and men, have to have their lives impacted and torn apart at random by the actions of these people. I wish I knew what we had to do to have a serious conversation about the need for real life sentencing for violent offenders, because the lost lives of so many women don’t seem to make any difference. Instead of starting an ice taskforce how about starting a rigorous review of every person with violent priors walking our streets and locking them up where they belong. We should care nothing for these people when the trade off is potentially any of our lives, or those of our family and friends.

    • Exactly, you can lock these monsters away for x years, only for one day them to be given a second (or more) chance because they are deemed “rehabilitated”. You’ll never see an Australian prison on one of those “Worlds Toughest Prison” shows. These bastards get off lightly, kept fed, sheltered and educated by the Australian tax payer (Separate argument, but an argument none the less). The system is too light on murderers and rapists yet the ordeal lives on for the victims and their families, even the families of the offender forever. People calling for the blood of the animal and bring back the death penalty; it’ll never happen, maybe for the best or not… I can’t say. Personally, I’d love to “single bullet therapy” introduced for these monsters just to know they can never hurt another person again.

  6. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families spoken about here, but I’ve gotta say this is such a fucked up, one eyed, sexist article! Yes your mothers, grand mothers and great grandmothers dealt with some real sexist pricks of men, but thanks to feminists me and my son and his son/s will all deal with real arsehole sexist women!!! Inequality exists alright, and it’s on both sides… You want equality? We do too!

    • The hateful tone of your comment only further proves the point that men in our society, generally speaking, have a negative and aggressive attitude towards women. This article is about general social attitudes that need changing not targeted sexism, unlike your comment.

  7. I shared your article and hope it goes viral. The Australian Government NEEDS to stand up for our Women and protect them or at the very least give the offenders the justice they deserve not meals and a roof over their head daily.

  8. Please understand that the majority of men would never do this or let this happen if it were in their power. Scum does not come close to describing these sick, sick people; their ideology or fantasies are inhumane and disgusting. Sane people do not think like this, nor act out those thoughts. The fact that anyone thinks they have the right to take a life, especially someone so undeserving (no excuse if they are deserving either), is intolerable. I don’t need to know this poor girl to feel the impact her murder has had on me. I wish I was there to prevent it from happening somehow, same with Jill Meagher or any other female or child who has been dealt the same fate…. not for any form of thanks, praise, etc…. but so these innocent people could still be alive, friends and family didn’t have to suffer with their loss and these insane sickos could not carry out and fulfil their desires. It may be old fashioned and regardless of women’s yearning for equality in the world (which I am not disagreeing with), I like many, many other blokes will never stand by idly if a woman or child was being hurt by a male. I am raising my boys with these same morals and I hope it lives on. It is not a man’s responsibility to help women in need, be it helping a struggling mother juggling her kids to take groceries to her car through to intervening when a man is hurting a woman, its our right/privilege/honour.

  9. Whilst I agree wholeheartedly that violence against women is totally unjustifiable. Domestic violence should not be tolerated absolutely.
    The death of this poor undeserving woman and the young teenage stabbing victim or the death of the young foreign IT worker recently on her way home from work, all abhorent. They had nothing to do with domestic violence. They were random murders. I wish people would stop using them as an excuse to politicise domestic violence.

  10. This tragic event like other tragic murders must not be used as leverage to further the domestic violence feminist agenda. Much like the MRA’s should not exploit the tragic multiple murders of 8 children in Cairns done by a woman. On the logic displayed by this writer we need then also to be asking for similar protection for our children from violent women. Interesting that you use the 1 in 3 statistic because that is also how many males are victims to domestic violence. This tragic event was NOT domestic violence it was random murder by a clearly mentally deranged fool. Attempting to use this tragedy to gain leverage for the femi narrative of domestic violence is offensive and disrespectful to the memory of this poor girl.

    • One of the best responses Bazza to the author of this article.

      Unfortunately, however unintended, the article comes across as a man hating diatribe.

      As a family man and grandfather to two beautiful granddaughters I fear the risky path that lays ahead as they negotiate their way through life. I fear this no more or less than that of my 2 adult sons who could just as easily fall victim to some unprovoked drunken coward punch with potentially fatal results.

      There is no singular or short term fix to what appears to be an escalating occurrence of these type of mindless crimes.

      The judicial system continues to fail society in keeping known offenders off the street. Time and time again, recent arrests highlight the incidence of those apprehended who have been reporting on bail for serious offences that would warrant them being held in custody until sentenced. And why aren’t they? Because the cost to the taxpayer is prohibitive and governments aren’t prepared to fund larger jails to accommodate these offenders.

      This is only part of the problem. Education in schools and the home from an early age reinforcing respect for one another whether male or female is crucial to breaking this cycle of complete disregard for others.

      The incidence of violence on TV is another example of an acceptance of this type of behaviour as normal that may influence those with a propensity for violence.

  11. Pingback: {The Weekly Nest} This week bought a new baby, some massive controversy, uncontrollable public sobbing and some crabby apples… | the central nest

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