Domestic violence is a huge problem universally. Women are beaten, abused and killed in virtually every country.
Tired of the status quo, an Aussie news anchor recently used her platform to stand up for the victims, and future victims. Because in developed countries such as Australia and the United States, women dying at the hands of their lovers shouldn't be a second-by-second occurrence — in a survey, just under half a million Australian women reported they had experienced physical or sexual violence within the past 12 months.
Lisa Wilkinson used her Australian Today show segment to address domestic violence during a #StopTheViolence segment and make the issue much more real than statistics ever could.
As she gives an impassioned plea to viewers, faces upon faces of women killed by their partners flash across the screen.
"I want to run some names by you," she says. "Masa Vukotic. Alison Baden-Clay. Jill Meagher. Stephanie Scott. Lisa Harnum. Warriena Wright."
A Plus/Mandy Velez
A Plus/Mandy Velez
A Plus/Mandy Velez
We can do better.
And these women are just the tip of the scale.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 20 people per minute are beaten by an intimate partner.
She ends with this:
"And as we consider these 62 women and children who've lost their lives due to domestic violence, let us all consider what we as a nation can do to tackle this scourge on our society."
Wilkinson is ready for a change — she wants the world to be, too.
Watch the full segment below:
Her text in full:
I want to run some names by you.
Masa Vukotic. Alison Baden-Clay. Jill Meagher. Stephanie Scott. Lisa Harnum. Warriena Wright.
Just a handful of the names of women we shouldn't know, but names we will never forget because of the tragic way in which we know their lives ended.
Yesterday we added a new name to that list. Tara Brown, a 24-year-old mum from the Gold Coast. Tara died yesterday after allegedly being viciously bashed while trapped in the car she had just crashed after her ex-partner forced her off the road.
Last Thursday, in fear of her life, Tara had gone to the police for help to leave her partner but was turned away and told to seek help elsewhere. Tara leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter, who she had just dropped off at child care.
Tara's tragic death came on a day when another thug in Queensland, who bashed his girlfriend until she passed out, walked free from court. While questions were being asked about yet another with a criminal history allowed out on bail to kill mother-of-two Jodi Eaton. On a day when a woman was shot dead in broad daylight at a McDonald's on the Gold Coast and another was attacked with a machete.
And as we mourn the death of a Sydney grandmother and her 7-year-old grandson allegedly at the hands of her own son.
Violence against women in this country has now reached epidemic proportions.
Sixty-two women have died in 2015 and its only September. That's almost two women a week. And this is all happening against a backdrop of women's refuges being closed, as calls to the national crisis assistance line go unanswered due to lack of funding, and we rely on a system that turns women like Tara and her young daughter away, in their moment of greatest need.
And the thing we know? It will happen again. And again. And again. But how many more women have to die before we do something?
As we know, the behavior we walk past is the behavior that we condone. If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero.
Otherwise, call 1-800-RESPECT for around-the-clock counseling for people suffering sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
And as we consider these 62 women and children who've lost their lives due to domestic violence, let us all consider what we as a nation can do to tackle this scourge on our society.