Epidemic of violence against women
Rallies in Perth in early March kicked off the national campaign ‘March 4 Justice’ as about 3000 people, mostly women, gathered in the CBD. A series of marches was held around the country in the following days.
The protests were inspired by the sexual assault allegations that have plagued the Federal Government over the past several weeks. In particular, the way Brittany Higgins rape allegations were handled within the halls of Canberra, and the Prime Minister’s decision not to pursue an independent inquiry into the historical rape allegations that have been levelled at Attorney General Christian Porter.
The Australian Federal Police are currently investigating the allegations made by Brittany Higgins. It is understood that five other women have subsequently made allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment against the same person.
New South Wales police have closed their inquiry into the historical rape allegations against Christian Porter, and have been heavily criticised for their handling of the case overall.
South Australian Police who were also contacted by the alleged victim before she committed suicide, are preparing a report for the Coroner. If a coronial inquest goes ahead, it may provide some answers.
An issue of Human Rights
Brittany Higgins made a speech at the March 4 Justice rally in Canberra, remarking, that if the politicians…”aren’t committed to addressing these issues in their own offices, what confidence can the women of Australia have that they will be proactive in addressing this issue in the broader community?”
Ms Higgins also pointed out the “confronting sense of banality” and horrible acceptance of sexual violence against women in Australia that had to change.
There is no doubt that violence against women is at epidemic levels.
- The rate of sexual assault is one in five for women. For Aboriginal women the rate is one in three.
- The number of sexual assaults against women is seven times higher than for men.
- Fifty-five women were killed across Australia last year by an intimate male partner.
- Almost two in five women, and just over one in four men, have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in the last five years.
In recent times, schools around the country have also had to confront a steadily growing number of allegations of sexual assault perpetrated by pupils against other pupils.
It is clear that change must occur. While this will undoubtedly include changes to the legal framework, significant social change is also required, as well as education for our young people about what healthy relationships look like.
Sexual Assault Lawyer Andrew Williams
If you find yourself facing a violence related charge, contact an experienced criminal lawyer at the Law Office of Andrew Williams on (08) 9278 2575 to attain advice and representation or enquire online today.
PLEASE NOTE: The material in this blog post is for informational use only and should not be construed as legal advice. For answers to your questions regarding this or other topics, please contact a professional legal representative.