Comments made by Mark Latham today in his podcast on Triple M provide a timely reminder that we have a long way to go in Australia to change attitudes about men’s violence against women.
Far too many Australians excuse or minimise men’s violence against women or believe a woman is at fault for the abuse she experiences. One in five Australians believe such violence can be excused if it results from people ‘temporarily losing control’ or if they ‘truly regret’ what they have done. Mr Latham reminds us that harmful attitudes justifying domestic violence as a ‘coping mechanism’ remain prevalent in our community.
There are many organisations and individuals working to create an Australia free of violence against women and their children, where women are not only safe but respected, valued and treated as equals in private and public life. Rosie Batty is one such individual. The work she has done with Our Watch, Never Alone, Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence, and as Australian of the Year has been deeply appreciated by advocates against, and survivors of, domestic violence and has positively influenced political responses to the scourge of domestic violence. To suggest Ms Batty is ‘causing more harm than good’ by criticising men is inaccurate.
It is of great concern to the Women’s Electoral Lobby that Triple M would give Mark Latham a platform from where he can normalise and rationalise domestic violence as a “coping mechanism.” It is unacceptable that Triple M would air a pre-recorded segment including the following statement: “It’s that loss of self-esteem where I think they use the domestic violence as a coping mechanism to get over all the other crap they’ve got in their lives.”
The airing of this segment showed a reckless disregard for the welfare of domestic violence survivors across Australia.
The Women’s Electoral Lobby requests Triple M issue an apology to Ms Batty and all women who are survivors of domestic violence for the factually incorrect comments aired in Lathamland.
The Women’s Electoral Lobby further request Triple M donate the revenue raised through Mr Latham’s podcast to the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line.