Decisive action needed against DV


In the wake of Emma Bates’ death [in Victoria] earlier this week, we as the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council (VSAC) are reminding the media of its critical role in reporting violence against women in helping people understand this violence and what drives it.

We are deeply saddened by this and other recent shocking acts of violence, both here and throughout the country.

Our hearts go out to the families of Emma Bates and all the women whose lives have been tragically cut short by men’s violence.

Emma’s family has highlighted what a big heart she had towards her neighbours and the broader community.

But that was not why she was allegedly assaulted.

Using violence is always a choice, and accountability for that choice should always sit with the perpetrator.

We want to remind the media of its powerful role in shaping the public narrative.

Media reporting that highlights the victim’s behaviour more than the behaviour of the perpetrators, including whether they were drunk, out late, walking alone, or simply kind, is victim blaming.

As victim-survivors with our own lived experience of family violence, we are devastated and outraged by the ongoing violence against women in this state and across the nation.

This is a time for urgent, decisive action across the community, including the media, and at every level of government.

Violence is an individual choice but also a collective community responsibility; we all need to prevent these tragedies from reoccurring.

These deaths are preventable.

Until we see an end to this tragic loss of life, we must continue to work to create a future where all … are safe in their homes and communities.

– Conor Pall, Deputy Chair

Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council (VSAC)