Murdered woman’s sister shuts down ‘rubbish’ argument as Australia’s violence problem continues

The sister of a woman who was murdered by her partner is calling out common thinking about gender-based violence in Australia, saying it is diverting attention from the real problem.

Bianca Unwin has been advocating against gender-based violence since her sister Katie Haley, 29, was murdered by her male partner in their Melbourne home in 2018. She constantly faces varying degrees of the same argument: people suggesting that women Victims must do more to protect themselves. themselves, instead of blaming and holding those who commit the crime responsible.

She was recently asked why men are blamed for the number of women murdered by their partners when “women choose (to date) these men.” “If you don’t want to get murdered, then don’t date that idiot,” the man wrote online.

Unwin rejected those who blame the woman, not the abuser, when domestic violence occurs. There are no tools available to offer women information about their partners’ pasts, even though advocates have pushed for years to establish a registry of violent offenders. Many women also find themselves in dangerous situations with partners who have not previously committed crimes, as in the case of her sister, so Unwin wonders how women are supposed to “magically” know.

“A woman will be attacked while running and it’s her fault for having headphones on,” he told Yahoo News. “Or in domestic violence cases, it’s her fault for not leaving, when statistically the most dangerous time for a woman is when they leave…women are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.”

“They are putting that responsibility back on women, shifting blame, rather than focusing on the perpetrator and condemning their actions.”

Anthony Albanese on Wednesday announced the federal government’s $925 million Leaving Violence program to combat the problem, which includes financial help of up to $5,000 for women escaping a violent or abusive relationship, as well as a crackdown on misogynistic content in social media and deepfake pornography.

However, Unwin believes that subtle messages about “women’s responsibility” are present in the plan, which subsequently filter into the public mindset.

“For example, the Leaving Violence program that they are starting, why does the person who is not doing the wrong thing have to leave their home and potentially face homelessness?” she asked. “Why do they have to be displaced? Why don’t we get the offender out? It’s allowing them to stay in the comfort of their own home and not suffer repercussions.”

“It’s the kind of phrase that is being broadcast to society at large…the government can lead by showing that we don’t blame the victims, but rather hold the perpetrators accountable.”

There are three things Unwin believes the government could implement to significantly combat gender-based violence in the country, and all three focus on offenders.

The first is a violent offender registry, meaning that any individual who has committed a crime would be included in a database that the public can search. This would hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and give women a tool to make informed decisions.

“I don’t know any woman who will look up a name and say she has a history of domestic violence or multiple violent crimes against other people, and actively wants to be in a relationship (with them),” she said.

Bianca Unwin holds a sign that says Bianca Unwin holds a sign that says

Bianca Unwin said putting the onus on women shifts responsibility away from perpetrators and instead places blame on victims. Source: TikTok

He also called for ankle monitors to be implemented, meaning people who have breached an AVO or who are on bail for gender-based violence offenses would wear one, allowing authorities to track the perpetrators.

The third is an educational program that will be imposed in schools and that would teach all schoolchildren about gender violence, the signs of it in a relationship and the associated consequences.

“We want to dissuade it (gender violence) from being something normal. And we want to eradicate it.”

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