Rethinking how Australia approaches its domestic abuse crisis, with Jess Hill

Investigative journalist and author, Jess Hill, dismantles the flawed logic of victim-blaming and challenges everything you thought you knew about domestic and family violence.

Jess Hill & Richard Denniss in conversation at The Australia Institute’s Politics in the Pub

Rather than focus exclusively on the victims of domestic abuse — Jess Hill puts the spotlight on the perpetrators and how the justice system often reinforces domestic abuse in Australia.

“Instead of asking: why didn’t she leave? We should be asking: why did he do it?”

“You speak to police from every different postcode, and they are all spending a good amount of their time dealing with domestic abuse call outs — it’s not just the ‘down and out’ suburbs — it’s happening everywhere.”

Australia can do more

“That is not to say that physical violence isn’t important and isn’t worth prosecuting but the fact is, at the moment, police really have no motivation or reason to investigate the full arc of an abusive relationship and thus it is very easy for police to get it wrong.”

Awareness campaigns are just the start

“I just think that it is unconscionable to give up like that when we’ve had such amazing progress on other seemingly intractable public health issues, like smoking and drink driving.

“One in four children are growing up in some form of domestic abuse situation. That is just unacceptable and it needs to change now.

A whole of community approach

“In Bourke, they found after four years of this approach there was a 40% reduction in domestic violence assaults and an enormous reduction in domestic homicides in the area.”

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