It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – According to whom?

Christmas can be the saddest, loneliest, most cruel time of year.

Maybe this is a more fitting Xmas song?

All I Want for Xmas is Some Peace
I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
Safety for my little children and a place for them to sleep
No more shouting, hitting, crying, no more of his vicious lying
All I want for Christmas is some peace

They’ll be no kissing ‘neath the mistletoe
Since I grabbed the kids ‘n’ left the house
To protect and take them away, from their father, my violent spouse
I have no halls to deck with holly
Now we’re living on the street
I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas, I’m just hoping for food to eat

I keep hearing a Christmas song that’s saying
It’s the most wonderful time of year
My poor little kids know we’re better off, homeless than to live in fear
Santas not visiting my poor kids
They have no stockings or shoes and socks
If we’re lucky some charity somewhere will give them a handout Christmas box

So I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing that I need
Safety for my little children and a place for them to sleep
So please just grant us this one wish
All we want for Christmas is some peace.

On the psychologists’ list of “most stressful life events” are death of a loved one; divorce and separation; workplace stresses; moving house; financial problems; any form of detention; illness or injury and even Xmas can get a mention.

It is also said that December is the most stressful month because there can be so many emotionally charged issues associated with Xmas:

  • unresolved family issues or having nobody to be with at Xmas
  • the cost of gifts
  • extra work at workplace leading into holiday period and at home cleaning, decorating house and trees, baking mince pies
  • the anxiety of having “compulsory” fun at Xmas
  • the shuffling of kids between shared parenting arrangements
  • or having too many commitments on “The Day” ….
  • and all the over-eating and drinking
  • and then the cost of it to your bank book and waistline.

Imagine, on top of it being Xmas, that you are homeless and poverty stricken with three little children.

Now go back to the list of stressors and tick off those that apply to a women leaving an abusive or violent situation.

She may be injured and ill, penniless, moving house under extremely harrowing circumstances or searching for a shelter at a time when they are in high demand; she is likely to have had stressors at work or even be unemployed leading to extreme financial distress; she is separating from her partner and her life may be under threat.

She may have children to protect and because it’s Xmas they are upset because Santa won’t know where to find them.

On top of all that, because it’s Xmas, a time which is full of Jingle Bells and Joy to the World, it’s a harsh reminder of the precariousness and scariness, aloneness and danger of her predicament.

This poor woman has been betrayed, terrorised and perhaps/probably beaten, humiliated and abused, isolated and may have been regularly raped, and then desperate for safety has fled with no money and nowhere to go.

She would have heard the stories of the pursuit of the fleeing partner by the perpetrator.

She would know that leaving him is extremely high risk and that is often when “HE” will strike to kill her and her children.

How is this possible in our advanced, affluent society? How can we possibly allow this to continue.

These men, and yes it is mostly men, are disgusting, foul, out-of-control, control freaks, preying on the woman who is with him because she cares/cared about him, and he has systematically reduced to her to the most dreadful dark depths of insecurity and terror.

Where is our outrage and anger and where is the justice?

The NSW Government just announced a $484.3million fund – “the single biggest investment in tackling domestic and family violence in the State’s history”, says the announcement from our (Christian) Premier Dominic Perrotett.

The money is to provide more emergency housing for victims of domestic violence ….what, so the violent man can stay at home?

Where is a programme to tackle domestic violence – to put an end to it?

Sure there is a need for refuges in the current circumstances, but what is being done about these violent, abusive men so that there will not be a need for refuges in the future?

How about – throw the men out and lock them up.

Leave the woman and the children at home. Let them have their Xmas in some sense of safety.

The violence perpetrated on them didn’t happen overnight. She/they have possibly been living with it for years.

Give them some comfort and peace for Xmas.

Protect them.

Look after them.

The cost of DV is in the billions*. Spend some of those billions protecting her in her own home. It’s time to make him pay!

*NB: KPMG prepared a report for the Department of Social Services on the cost of Domestic Violence. In 2015-6 they estimated that cost in Australia to be $22 billion, but here’s the breakdown on just who foots the bill:

Community, children, family, perps, employers, friends bear 29% @ $6.5bil

Australian Government bears 19% @ $4.1 billion

Victims and survivors bear 52% of that @ $11.3 billion. How is that fair?

Consider this: KPMG have estimated that over 1 million women would be victims of violence in Australia in one year.

That is approximately 10% of all adult women aged between 20 and 100 are beaten up where they live every year and our only “solution” to tackling the problem is to provide more refuges.

Where is the programme to STOP IT NOW?

Milkshakes and a bit of respect ain’t going to do it.

The problem is so deeply etched into the psyche of these violent men driven by shame and self-loathing that there will be no quick turn-around in the numbers.

So in the meantime we have to protect and care for their victims/survivors and their children and try to give them a little peace for Xmas.

That would be a marvellous gift. There are many caring agencies who will do their best, but that will not eradicate the violence and discrimination against women.

I hate to end the year on a downer, but our male dominated political bodies do not have the compassion nor the will to denounce the perpetrators.

There is still too much denial about the problem. A remarkable set of findings are below:

  • 1 in 5 Australians believe Domestic Violence is a normal reaction to stress and sometimes a woman can make a man so angry that he hits her without meaning to.
  • 2 in 5 Australians believe women make up false reports of sexual assault to punish men
  • 1 in 8 Australians believe if a women is raped while drunk she is partly responsible.

Well here we are at the end of 2021 with attitudes belonging to Neanderthals!!!!