When inflicted by an unseen perpetrator, we have been conditioned by the media and the political agenda of a few to fear violence no matter how abstract the threat may be. We lose sleep over the impending attacks that unknown Muslims might make; we fear Sharia law without understanding anything about it … Yet, when an actual threat presents itself to us, a violent yet silent killer which has taken 22 women from Australia in the past 11 weeks alone, we remain quiet.

During periods of instability, such silence often occurs as a result of fear – when populations afraid of speaking out against rogue governments who persecute opposition groups in case their families become targets. This silence can be understood if not condoned, however this silence is not such a silence. It is a silence brought about in part because politically speaking, there does not appear to be any profit to be made from speaking out on this issue. The victims are silent, and the perpetrators are white … I am forced to conclude, that domestic violence, which is responsible for 40% of all homicides in Victoria, is not important enough for us to worry about.

In part I believe by the fact that no-one speaks about domestic violence, because it is “icky” – perhaps it is due to the terminology used? Perhaps domestic violence and family violence so often goes unchecked because we use words like “domestic” and “family” which imply privacy, and so, to change the culture of silence we need to change the terminology.

Politics is often about scapegoating – Hitler demonstrated this disgustingly well in World War II, he blamed the Jews for problems, and so his cause (however misled!) gained a following. Sadly, it seems, our leaders don’t appear to believe that anyone will benefit from naming, blaming and shaming those Australians amongst us who daily abuse, misuse and kill women.

Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Tony Abbott, blamed boat people, refugees, illegal immigrants … non-white, non-Christian folks, for Australia’s perceived insecurity and financial burdens. The fact that no economist or international law expert ever agreed that the greatest economic or security risk facing Australia was asylum seekers was not relevant. The perpetrator of our perceived risk was an alien – they looked and sounded different to us, and although they weren’t hurting anywhere near the number of people as the white guys who kill 1-2 women per week in Australia (with numbers rising) it suited various Australian political leaders to bring this “issue” into the public forum.

Jacqui Lambie, I was going to try and write an article without referencing you, but well, unlike the men that kill innocent women every week in Australia, you are easy to name and shame. I am going to come right out and say it. You do not know anything about Sharia Law. I bet you have never even had a social meal with a Muslim person. You do not appear to know the difference between a burka, hijab or niqab. I wanted to get that out.

Jacqui, you inflame Australians, calling for us to patriotically fight to rid our streets of “burqas” and other non-Australian, “dangerous” aspects of Islam … and you are entirely off-base. Judging a person on their clothing is totally unAustralian. As a woman (and I believe you are a mother also), you should be using every opportunity you have to say ‘no’ to violence against Australians.

You and all our leaders should be doing all you can to ensure the safety of women, men and children in Australia from actual risks.

All Australian’s should be outraged that so little is done to combat the real risk to Australian security – the risk that has killed two women every week this year.

This is not a vague risk of terror, this is real terror. Terror which is being inflicted on Australians, by Australians, ever year. It is terror that follows you into your home, your workplace, your school life, your mind … and your subconscious, after you escape it.

Violence against women is a risk to Australian security. The fact that violence against women has become so acceptable that we blatantly blame its victims is a real threat to Australia’s future.

A woman is assaulted by her partner:

Why was she with him? Why didn’t she leave? Why didn’t she tell the police?

The answer might be that she feared he would take revenge on her or the kids; it could be that she feared losing her kids; it could be financial dependency, it could be lack of friends, and it could be lack of somewhere to go.

It could be that she reported an incident to the police who told her “this is a domestic affair, call us if an assault occurs that can be proven” (a slap in the face, stand over tactics or financial abuse – near impossible to prove).

But the question should be: Why did he hurt her?

A woman is killed:

Why was she with him? Why didn’t she leave? Why didn’t she tell the police?

The answer might be that she feared he would take revenge on her or the kids; it could be that she feared losing her kids, it could be financial dependency, it could be lack of friends, and it could be lack of somewhere to go.

It could be that she reported threats against her life to the police who told her “we can’t do anything unless he actually harms you.”

But the question should be: Why did he kill her?

A woman is raped:

Why was she alone at night? What was she wearing? Why did she dance with him? Did she know him? Hadn’t she been sending him flirty texts? Does she have any bruises?

The answer might be that she liked him, but wasn’t ready to get physical, the answer might be she was wearing track-pants or a mini skirt, maybe she was walking home from work through the park.

But the question should be: Why did he rape her?

The reasons domestic violence continues – be it language, lack of profitability for governments, or our culture which appears to encourage silence around this issue – are all inexcusable.

This ugly, nasty, manipulative violence hidden behind the idea that if he used to love you, he has the right whether or not he can hurt you or not, must stop now

Australia, be outraged by the real terror.

*All about Josie Young: I am a writer, a community worker, an activist and a lover of all things chocolate and coffee related. More importantly however I am a mother, I have a son named Mandela. As a mother I want to make sure that everything I do – the words I write, the food I cook, the causes I support – makes my son’s future brighter. In 2014, I decided I would write more as another way through which I can fight for the future that my son deserves. One day, in the future, my five year old son Mandela will look at the world and ask me, “Mama, how could you have stood by and done nothing in the face of such injustices?” When that day comes, I hope I will be able to answer him. I have spent the past ten years working in community development in Tasmania, Western Australia, Adelaide, and Africa. I have also worked with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, interviewing and assessing asylum seekers claims for protection, within Immigration Detention Centres (shame on Australia for the harm we have inflicted on good people), and as a volunteer assisting in humanitarian resettlement. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Public Policy (2007), and a Masters of International and Community Development (2009).