Tamworth joins the campaign against domestic violence.

Over at lobby group Destroy The Joint, work is constantly going on to update the grimmest of tallies.

Researchers on the project “Counting Dead Women Australia” are documenting every woman who has died by violence this year.

So far in 2016 there have been 68.

The list documents the woman’s name and age and what is known of the circumstances surrounding her death. Real names, real women.

The name of the project is confronting, but perhaps this is what is needed to shock Australia into facing what has been described as an epidemic of violence against women.

Many of the women on that list would be victims of domestic and family violence, and for every one one of them there are so many more who are physically injured and emotionally abused in their own home.

On top of this, are the countless cases that go unreported.

During White Ribbon Day the Tamworth community joins all Australians in pledging to end this scourge on our country.  It is a national disgrace.

Thanks to campaigns such as White Ribbon Day, and certainly to the work of former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, the quiet conversation is growing ever louder.

When talking to older Australians, it seems almost a commonplace scenario – a man returning home from the pub or the races on a Saturday and taking out his disappointments on his wife and family.

It was something that happened behind closed doors and was not discussed or admitted to by the offenders. 

The recent Boys will be Boys campaign is helping to tackle this problem at its complex source. 

As a nation, we are beginning to realise violence springs from the same lack of respect for women that encourages a teenage boy to post naked photos of girls on social media.  It is the same lack of respect that makes it somehow acceptable for male media commentators to attack and denigrate their female counterparts. It is the same lack of respect that means women have not achieved equal pay and are judged for how they dress – whether that be in a short skirt or a hijab. 

The problem, while not going away, is at least now being tackled in a more contemporary and sophisticated way – and it is up to all of us, both men and women to work for change together. 

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