Domestic violence in the pandemic. Anti terrorism is a tried and successful diversion

Jul 19, 2020

The above is the headline in a story in the SMH on 13 July 2020. It illustrates once again how vested interests supported by our media give lip service about the tragedy of domestic violence but quickly forget it.But the anti terrorism scam goes on and on.

National effort and resources are directed overwhelmingly to counter terrorism rather than domestic violence..

Domestic violence is largely ignored, despite the fact that it kills  and maims more women and children in a month than terrorism does in a decade.

In releasing a survey of 15,000 Australian women in May this year the Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology reminds us again of how we have got our priorities so wrong.

The women we surveyed have experienced very high rates of physical,sexual and emotional abuse during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in Australia and many have been able to seek help.

How could we get all this so wrong? Why are priorities and resources directed overwhelmingly to counter terrorism when domestic violence is a much greater threat?

I suggest there are several reasons.

First, terrorism attracts our attention because it is deliberately designed to be as visible as possible – a street slaying by knife or shooting, a bombing in a street or theatre, or a bus careering amongst pedestrians. An object of terrorists is to make their act as vivid and as public as possible. They then claim credit. By contrast, domestic violence is by its very nature behind closed doors.

Second, not surprisingly the media is drawn into the terrorists game-plan. Public violence is news with pictures of carnage. In contrast there are seldom pictures of domestic violence that are anywhere near as “newsworthy.”

Third, terrorism is ideal for those who work to exploit our fear of the foreigner, the outsider and the person who is different. There is a long history of this promotion of fear. John Howard, Pauline Hanson, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton are adept. The fear promoted in Australia used to be about Asians and communists. Now it is about Muslims and in more recent days the Chinese.

Fourth, industries have expanded to take advantage of the fear of terrorism – intelligence agencies, police, airport security, businesses, think-tanks and even universities. Anti-terrorism is an opportunity in so many ways for more money and more jobs.

And our supine media assist the vested interests to exploit their opportunities.

There are a lot of vested interests and particularly politicians who keep pushing terrorism as the chief threat .This terrorism threat is really a scam as Ross Gittins described it when considered alongside domestic violence, climate change and gun deaths both accidental and planned.

The facts tell us that violence and deaths from terrorism in Australia are minor compared with the violence and deaths as a result of domestic disputes.  But we don’t want to listen.

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