Fixed It: He’s not the hero or the victim in this story

The Whitehorse Leader reported that 21 year old Max Sasse pled guilty to stalking his ex-partner after calling the woman 974 times in 11 days. He threatened to share intimate pictures and videos of her on social media and demanded to know where she was and who she was with. This was two weeks after he was given a “good behaviour bond for similar controlling behaviour towards the victim”.

The article and Facebook lead are all about where he went to school, how he’s so “popular” and such a hot “talent”. But there’s nothing about the woman he terrorised, what talents she has, or how his actions might have endangered her bright future.

Maybe this information wasn’t given to the court, or she may’ve asked that it not be given to the media. There’s no way of knowing from the article, which is a problem in itself. 

There’s no excuse for leading an article about a man’s terrifying behaviour towards a woman with laudatory statements about him. Abusive men are not the hero or the victim in stories about their abusive behaviour. 

The second half of the article quotes the magistrate on psychologist reports that Sasse “put the focus on victim blaming”. Blaming their victims is a common tactic in men who abuse women. Focussing on his life and talents while erasing hers implicitly endorses this perspective and it has no place in reporting men’s violence against women.

(as always, if you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at www.patreon.com/JaneGilmore )

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

If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now! Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started inThe Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

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

Djirra – Aboriginal Family Violence Response & Support Service
9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday
Ph: 1800 105 303
djirra.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

Men’s Referral Service
Monday – Friday – 8am-9pm
Weekends – 9am-6pm
Ph: 1300 766 491
www.ntv.org.au/get-help