Fixed It: Defence lawyers aren’t journalists

The Daily Mercury reported that a man  was charged with unlawful choking or strangulation and assault causing bodily harm after he grabbed his partner by the neck, chased her when she tried to escape, choked her again until she almost passed out and punched her in the face. The man already had domestic violence orders against him. 

The defence lawyer described their relationship as “toxic”, implying mutual responsibility. 

It’s a defence lawyer’s job to defend their client, to try to convince the court the accused is not responsible for the crime of which they are accused. 

In this case the lawyer was not successful, so why would a journalist or editor choose to quote the defence lawyer in the headline? 

When a violent man chokes and punches his partner, he is very clearly an abusive man, which does not have mutual responsibility.

Violence is not “provoked” by an argument. Violence is a choice made by abusive men to control and abuse women. 

According to the article the defence lawyer also referred to a protection order that named the man as the aggrieved and the woman as the respondent. Without knowing the circumstances of this, it’s worth notingconsiderable research that shows court orders taken out by abusive men “must also be seen as a possible extension of the violence and abuse itself”.

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ph: 1800 737 732www.1800respect.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au

Child Wise National Abuse Helpline
Mon-Fri: 9 am – 5 pm
Ph: 1800 99 10 99
www.childwise.org.au