‘You need to start talking about it’: Erin Molan calls on Australian men to speak up about domestic violence

Sky News host Erin Molan has called on all Australian men to speak up about domestic violence and claimed the country is no better off after years of government measures aimed at tackling the issue.

Molan said despite the extensive measures and reforms, the rising statistics painted a grim picture that could no longer be ignored.

“In 2024, a woman is being killed every four days,” she said on her program, Erin, on Friday night.

The rate is a worrying increase from previous years, where the frequency of women dying violently to the hands of men was once a week.

“Today Victoria has announced another inquiry into women being killed by men,” Molan continued.

“The state had a royal commission into family violence in 2016. Every single one of their 227 recommendations were implemented.

“Are things better today as a result? Clearly not.

“NSW has its own minister for the prevention of domestic violence. Has that worked? Not yet, clearly.

“So when do we stop doing the same things we’ve always done and try something new?

“In fact, despite a million inquiries, discussions groups, commissions and round tables, 11 more women have died violently this year as the same stage last year.”

Molan said the only way the country would change was if men of all ages regularly highlighted the issue among themselves.

By integrating men into the conversation and fostering a collective responsibility towards safety and respect, Molan believes Australia could begin to tackle the pervasive issue more effectively.

Her powerful call to action was a reminder that change begun with acknowledging the problem and committing to being part of the solution, even if it meant challenging the comfort of longstanding societal norms.

“Most of you watching would know me pretty well,” she continued. “I’m definitely not woke, nor do I play the gender card or seek victim status. In fact quite the opposite.

“I pride myself on showing immense strength during adversity, like so many others.

“So when I say this is how I’m feeling – this his how women are feeling. I beg you to believe me, and believe us.

“No one is saying live in fear, but sometime we do.

“Almost daily, women need to think about something with the aim of keeping themselves safe.

“My friends and I talk about this a lot. But do the men in our lives? No.

“And I get it, I honestly do. The vast majority of you wouldn’t dream of hurting a woman.

“But that doesn’t excuse you from the conversation. That’s actually a cop-out.

“You need to start talking about it. Because I can guarantee when you look at the stats, someone you know in your workplace, your friendship group, soccer team or family has hurt a woman physically or struggled to control the urge.”

Spate of killings spark Victoria Police rethink

Victoria had invested more money than any other state into family violence prevention, recovery and policing, Assistant Commissioner Lauren Callaway said, but a run of homicides made the force sit and think.

“Some of the ideas that generally get brought up when these things happen are disclosure registers, tracking of perpetrators, ankle bracelets,” she said.

Family violence offenders not complying with intervention orders would be a focus for police, Ms Callaway said.

It’s believed 31 women have lost their lives to gendered violence so far in 2024, including the five killed during the Bondi Junction stabbing attack. Police have said the perpetrator of the attack was “clearly” targeting women.

The latest woman to die allegedly due to violence is 49-year-old Emma Bates, from the Victorian town of Cobram.

Following the deaths of three Ballarat woman in a two months this year, about 1000 people rallied through the city in protest against gendered violence.

There are a spate of “No More: National Rally Against Violence” events across the country from Friday night to Sunday.

“This is a moment in time that we’ve got to and it’s not the first time we’ve been at this moment,” Ms Callaway said of the public sentiment.

“And sadly, I don’t think it’ll be the last time we’re at this moment.”

Victoria Police arrested 80 family violence offenders every day, Ms Callaway said.

“We are working as hard as we can to bring offenders before court, but I also accept there are tensions and it’s not an option to lock everyone up forever either,” she said.

Since Victoria held a Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2016, 62 Victorian women have died by family violence.

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