Thursday, 12 March 2015
With rigid, far right ideology dominating the shrivelled souls within the Liberal and National political parties at federal and state levels in Australia today, it is a hard time to be a woman or girl-child.
Hannah* is one of the 17 women who died by violence in the first nine weeks of this year…….
The Guardian 9 March 2015:
Alex had always been dangerously jealous. If another man so much as greeted his wife, Hannah, Alex was prone to physically attacking them – and her. Once, on a holiday to the Gold Coast, Alex punched Hannah in the head, because of the way a friend’s husband had looked at her.
In the final months of their marriage, Alex developed a sinister fetish. The routine was the same every time: Alex would pin Hannah to the ground and choke her until she was almost unconscious, then cover her face with a blanket and jump on her body.
Convinced that Alex was preparing for her murder, Hannah summoned the courage to leave him. She knew she’d need protection from him, so she tried to get into a women’s refuge. But like many women fleeing domestic violence, Hannah was told there were no beds available, so she was given vouchers for a hotel in Kings Cross.
But Hannah was too afraid to be on her own. After a few nights in the hotel, she went to her friend’s place and tried calling the refuges again. Hannah called refuges across Sydney and nearby regional cities more than 10 times. But there was nowhere that could help her.
In the final months of last year, as Hannah was trying to find somewhere to stay, the women’s refuge system in New South Wales was in disarray. The state government had just completed a radical reform of its homelessness sector, putting all its services out to tender for the first time in 25 years. Women’s refuges were told they couldn’t just reapply for their own service – if they wanted to retain their refuges, they would have to show they could provide multiple services to all homeless people in their area. Services would no longer be exclusively for victims of domestic violence – they’d now have to cater to all types of homelessness….
Back in the city, Hannah’s efforts to find protection in a refuge were all in vain. She took an apprehended violence order out against Alex, in the hope that would keep him away from her. Earlier this year, Hannah was found dead. Alex is now awaiting trial….
*Hannah and Alex’s names have been changed