I love the noise you make when you shut up


Did you watch the ABC 2 part series last night Hitting Home? Horrifying stuff. Going into the lives of women who are being tourtured in their own homes with acts of physical violence, emotional and sexual abuse. Being beaten and worn down, day by day by the men they live with. It was confronting and terrifying to watch and so important to open our eyes up to this hidden epidemic so rife in Australia.

Today is White Ribbon Day, the 12th year, asking Australians to take a stand to end men’s violence against women.

On average more than one Australian woman is killed by her partner EVERY WEEK.

I watched that show, and probably like you was sickened by it all. That there are just SO many different cases that police and welfare workers have to work through. SO many cases in the courts, SO many women who are prisoners in their own homes, SO many in refuges and obviously SO many that never even talk about it.

I don’t know what the answer to it all is. I guess being aware of it, educating our children on all of this NOT BEING OK. Of looking out for friends and family or members in our community who may be suffering and offering up help, a voice to speak for them, a hand to lean on. I went onto the website this morning to work out what I can do.

We can make donations online here.
You can buy things from their shop (like a badge or ribbon) here.
You can find our about Programs here.

You can keep your eyes open, your mind and heart open.
You can teach your children, your boys, about respect.
You can speak out.
You can volunteer your time.

And we can tell ANYONE that we know who may be suffering that they are OK. They are worth something. They don’t have to live like this. That they are not stupid. Or worthless. Or anything other than a victim of someone else’s issues. That these men who do this are not OK, that all of it is not OK and there is help out there.

This isn’t just a problem that happens somewhere else, it’s everywhere. In housing commission apartments. In North Shore Homes. In Eastern Suburb mansions. In beachside shacks. It’s a problem, a big problem for Australia and we must do something about it.


Here’s a list of numbers of National Hotlines for you or anyone you know who may be in need of help.

Did you watch the show last night?
Do you have any stories you’d like to share?
Know any other ways we can help out?


  1. Wow – not your usual sort of post – but THANK YOU. The ABC show should be required viewing for everyone including all High School students. I think having Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year has begun to highlight this problem but we need more and more funding for shelters and more FREE advertising on commercial TV to inform women of help available. Thank you Beth.

  2. I wasn’t watching tv last night & forgot it was on, I had planned to watch it. I will check out ABC iview, it will probably be on there. I am amazed by how wide spread & well hidden this problem is……heartbreaking what people are going through

  3. Great post Beth. After many years working in the DV sector it saddens me to see it still happening but I think we can all make a difference every day. Our culture tends to normalise violence from boys even from a young age. If you are a mum or aunt to boys you can teach them about valuing other people from a very young age. We can choose not to accept casual comments or remarks that are derogatory to women. We can try to make equality of the sexes (you know the f word ….feminism) less about stereotypes and more about just accepting that despite our differences we are all equal. And we can demand that our government properly funds the frontline services to give women trying to escape from violence can actually find a way out without sacrificing her children or her standard of living. We can ask our preschools, schools and high schools to teach our kids but most of all they need to see the adults in their lives embodying these values or they will never take the lessons seriously. Thanks for using your blog to spread the word and raise awareness.

  4. I watched & I cried three times. I grew up around domestic violence, in my own home & in the neighbourhood I grew up in. The woman’s stories last night are ones I’ve heard & seen before. The issues the kids face are ones I’ve felt before. It’s a horrible way to live.

    I don’t know what the answers are. I don’t know how to help. All I know is it needs to stop because its a horrible, horrible cycle that can go through generations & once it’s touched your life it never goes away.

  5. Hiya Beth,
    Education must start at school level, perhaps even kindy, and the teachers must be re-educated too. My daughter was sexually harassed, with overtones of violence, by a boy in Year 7 (three years ago). It was so bad child protection were involved. They didn’t feel she was safe at school and because the abuse was also online, she had nowhere safe to be outside our home. Watching your confident, smart, funny, outgoing 12 year old turn into a nervous wreck, too scared to use the school toilet, is something a parent shouldn’t have to see. Even though I was able to press charges and the police were a hair’s breadth from confiscating (for forensics) the computers in the abusers house, the school kept insisting my daughter be interviewed by the Principal, without parent or guardian involvement, to question her about her ‘sex life’. This was Grade 7 – she had only weeks earlier turned 12 and was at that stage where even kissing made her go euwww. I made the decision not to press charges because I thought a 12 year old boy deserved a second chance, and the policewoman in charge told me she would be put through the same interrogation as an adult rape victim would be. She was 12 years old! The decision was made that the police would go to the boy’s house and have a discussion with him and his parents about what had been happening. Unfortunately the school again became involved, contacted the police and demanded they leave the ‘discipline’ to the school’s staff. The police agreed to this and they never contacted me to let me know what happened. The boy and his parents were never spoken to – not by the police, not by the school. His parents still don’t know that he has a police file about him and is red-flagged as a potential future sex-offender. My daughter comes home every day from her school (a supposedly good school that people line up to attend) with stories of the boys thinking rape and violence towards women is fun, they talk about rape and violence (being okay) as casually and openly as we talk about Lurpak and custard tarts. It horrifies me that we’ve allowed our sons to think like this. Where does it come from? Ps. What did the school do to address my daughter’s abuse? They held an assembly with the girl’s only. Instead of talking to them about abuse and where to go and what to do to get help, they handed out nail polish remover and told them it was inappropriate and gave the wrong impression. Did you know that flicking your hair off your face is a sexual come on? I wish I was kidding.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this with us…I can’t imagine how awful this would have been to go through and I’m sorry that the school did so little to address the problem.

  6. Bravo to you Beth for drawing attention to this issue. Just a few weeks ago, I opened my door to my neighbour who was hysterical and in need of somewhere safe to go because her teenage SON was screaming in her face, throwing things at her, puncing holes in the wall and making threats. It broke my heart.

    I am determined that my children, who happen to be boys, will be kind human beings. However, I do wonder sometimes whether we could all do better in showing young men that they are of value? When we welcomed our third son into our family, we received comment after comment which, at their heart, questioned the worth of boys…..

  7. I experienced domestic violence as a very young woman. I still remember the feeling of despair, fear and frustration. Bruises, a broken nose, a broken heart and utter embarrassment.
    Watching last nights episode brought a lot of those memories back. Riveting viewing. Sad viewing but necessary viewing. What makes someone do these things…..a need for power.
    My sadness for these families had me in tears.
    This morning I went through my children’s toys, clothes and books, as well as my own bursting wardrobe…..3 big stripy bags ready for the local shelter.
    Well done ABC and Sarah Ferguson.

  8. If there is one thing that my sons take away from their upbringing is to treat women with respect, to always be kind and gentle. There is to much violence in this world at it is without adding more to the mix.
    Today, I finished reading Rosie Batty’s book and I cried rivers for what she and her little boy went through. Let’s hope, with her role as Australian Of The Year she has found some peace by helping others.

    RIP little Luke x

  9. I am yet to catch up on Hitting Home but I have recorded it. I have had some personal experiences in how emotional abuse – punctuated by physical intimidation – can sneak up on you. It has given me some very strong feelings about our responsibility in teaching our children that violence (against anyone of any gender for any reason) is absolutely unacceptable and that they are worthy and deserving of REAL, HEALTHY love.
    I also think that running a feminist household is important too. I hope my son grows up to know that there will be no talking down to or controlling of women in this house or any house he finds himself in one day.
    “Boys will be boys” is not an acceptable excuse for bad behaviour. At ANY age. How we talk about men and women in every day life is so important. How many throwaway comments do we make daily, without really listening to what messages we’re sending?
    I am so glad that the silence is being slowly replaced by loud talking on the topic. I applaud White Ribbon for all that they do.

  10. I prefer the term Domestic Abuse, rather than Domestic Violence. It has been my experience that when making an accusation of domestic abuse, people automatically look for the physical signs of violence (bruises, injuries etc) which leads to the woman backing down and retreating from her assertion. As we know, abuse takes many forms in a domestic situation and most of them leave no physical marks.

  11. Such an important issue. Hits close to home for far too many of us! And it speaks volumes about our culture in a negative way. It has to change!

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