“Violence against women is at epidemic levels in our country.

According to ‘Counting Dead Women Australia’, these women ranged in ages from 15 to 92, and they came from all corners of Australia”
– Greens Senator Faruqi, 2018[1]

But Domestic Violence victims ‘came from all corners of Australia’.
So we checked which corners.

“In 2012, an estimated 17 per cent of Australian women aged 18 years and over had been the victim of partner violence since the age of 15 yearsWomen in regional, rural and remote areas are more likely than women in urban areas to experience family violence”[4].

That’s because under 15 years, the victims are classified as children. So we checked the data for child sex offences[4].
The rate per 100,000 in remote areas is more than 4 times the rate of sexual offences against adult women.

So, what do these Greens Senators propose to do about it?

Apart from talk, talk, talk about the flag, the ‘invasion’ and climate change? Nothing.

One Senator proposed a solution. In June 2018, Fraser Anning proposed to empower women to defend themselves[4]:

Senator ANNING (Queensland) (12:06): I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes:
   (i) the recent spate of horrific violent crimes against women,
   (ii) that the first duty of government is to ensure that its innocent citizens are protected from harm,
   (iii) that police cannot be everywhere at all times, so in order to ensure citizens are protected from harm, all citizens must have the absolute right to self-defence,
   (iv) that the ability of individuals to defend themselves varies with the strength, age, fitness and skill of the individual, with women and the elderly generally more vulnerable,
   (v) that vulnerable people need some form of defence against violent individuals of superior strength,
   (vi) the non-lethal nature of pepper spray, mace and tasers and the fact that prior training or skill is not required to use them for self-defence, and
   (vii) the ease, affordability and convenience of pepper spray, mace and tasers as a means of self-defence by women;
(b) accepts that access to a means of self-protection by women in particular would provide greatly increased security and confidence that they will not become just another assault, rape or murder statistic; and
(c) calls on the Australian Government:
   (i) to allow the importation of pepper spray, mace and tasers for individual self-defence, and
   (ii) to encourage state governments to legalise and actively promote the carrying of pepper spray, mace and tasers by women for political protection.

Senators Anning, Bernardi, Burston, Georgiou and Leyonhjelm voted in favour of the motion. The Greens, Labor and the ruling Liberal/National coalition voted against the motion. Sen. McGrath spoke for the government:

The Greens’ response was predictable:

Senator Rice: The Greens oppose this ill-conceived, blundering and harmful motion. If Senator Anning really wants the government to ensure that innocent citizens are protected from harm, might I suggest that he focus his attention on interventions that prevent men’s violence. The last thing that women in Australia need now is another man in power telling us that we are responsible for violence against us. Senator Anning’s motion puts the onus on women to go to extreme lengths to ensure our safety, when the priority must be to eradicate men’s violence. That’s where the problem is. That’s where the responsibility lies. That’s where government interventions need to be focused.

But man-hating doesn’t solve the problem. Half of the abuses occur in remote and regional areas (see map), 2/3 of abuses are by a small minority of men aged under 25 and instances of violence against women are dwarfed by violence against children. Senator Rice criticises Anning’s solution but fails to come up with an alternative solution.

Senator McGRATH: The Australian government has no intention of relaxing restrictions on the importation of antipersonnel sprays. The importation of firearms and other weapons, including antipersonnel sprays, into Australia is controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. Permission to import weapons, including antipersonnel sprays, must be obtained prior to the importation of the goods. To obtain permission to import weapons, including antipersonnel sprays, importers must satisfy a number of legislative requirements, including an official purpose test, a public interest test and a national interest test.

Senator McGrath was confused:

  1. Capsicum spray is not “antipersonnel” as there is no permanent injury. Neither capsicum spray a weapon – it is a self-defence tool.
  2. Empowering vulnerable people and women in particular, passes both the public interest test and the national interest test.

The Liberal Party states in “Our Beliefs”[8] that:

“We believe: In the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives; and maximises individual and private sector initiative”

McGrath’s response and the en-bloc ‘Nay’ vote of the Liberal-National coalition indicates that they are not interested in minimising interference, nor are they interested in individual initiative.

As it happens, they cannot be interested in any other solutions either, because the incidence of domestic violence and child abuse has not diminished since the disempowerment was reaffirmed in 2018.

It is a s standard tenet of problem-solving, that you shouldn’t criticise someone with a solution unless you come up with an alternative:

Rule 6:  Provide Solutions, Not Complaints.  Complainers are the bane of your boss’s existence. Nothing is more irritating or more boring than listening to somebody kvetch about things that they’re not willing to change.  So never bring up a problem unless you’ve got a solution to propose–or are willing to take the advice the boss gives you.

Labor is no better:

Senator CHISHOLM: Labor does not support this motion{1}. We always condemn violence against women in the strongest possible terms. Ending violence against women is a national priority, and Labor is committed to action. Women have a right to safety in public spaces and in their homes, but it is ludicrous to suggest that more weapons will make women safer.
Allowing ordinary people to walk around with tasers in their pockets won’t improve safety on our streets. More weapons imported into Australia and made cheap and easy to access will only make it easier for people who want to do harm to do so

Comment: labor’s response is typical. They mangle the proposal, oppose it and don’t offer any solution. They’re quite happy to ban you from defending yourself and talk about ‘rights’ in the same breath.

  1. “Labor does not support this motion”. Of course not but they don’t have a solution either.
  2. “We always condemn violence against women in the strongest possible terms”. Abusers don’t listen to your speeches.
  3. “Women have a right to safety”. Rights don’t discourage abusers.
  4. “…but it is ludicrous to suggest that more weapons”. Do you have a better solution? No.
  5. “Allowing ordinary people to walk around with tasers in their pockets won’t improve safety”. Capsicum spray.
  6. “More weapons imported into Australia…”. Capsicum spray isn’t a weapon.

Fraser Anning was subsequently ‘cancelled’.

3 years later, it is still talk, talk, talk and no solutions:

“Government to convene summit on violence against women”
“A national summit will be convened within months to set new goals to prevent violence against women as Prime Minister Scott Morrison battles a political storm over rape and sexual assault in Parliament and the community”[6].

References:

  1. Faruqi, speech: Prevention of Violence Against Women
    https://mehreen-faruqi.greensmps.org.au/articles/speech-prevention-violence-against-women
  2. Picture: ‘Feminist’ Muslim Greens MP defends arranged marriages
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4554326/Greens-Muslim-MP-Mehreen-Faruqi-arranged-marriage.html
  3. Victims of Sexual offences from January 2020 to December 2020
    http://crimetool.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/bocsar/
  4. Hansard, motion: Prevention of Violence Against Women
    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/chamber/hansards/9eef6b31-3509-4f19-aff2-298cba8a8db6/toc_pdf/Senate_2018_06_28_6281_Official.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf
  5. Kellblog
    https://kellblog.com/2014/03/05/the-old-dont-bring-up-a-problem-unless-you-have-a-proposed-solution-rule/
  6. Government to convene summit on violence against women
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/government-to-convene-summit-on-violence-against-women-20210326-p57eh2.html
  7. What are the effects of Pepper spray?
    https://www.concealedcarry.com/safety/pepper-spray-for-edc-good-or-bad-idea/
  8. Liberal Party: OUR BELIEFS
    https://www.liberal.org.au/our-beliefs

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