Fixed It: Turning music off does not cause violence

The Courier Mail reported that a man pled guilty to a series of domestic violence offences, including threatening violence, assault and choking. The headline accurately described his actions as “sickening” but ascribed his choices to a “music shutdown”. The first line of the lead paragraph says he was “Infuriated when his girlfriend turned off his music”. 

No.

He chose to violently assault her. He hit her, choked her, threatened to stab her with a broken bottle, slapped the phone out of her hand when she tried to call police, dragged her through the house by her hair and yelled abuse at her.

The only reason this vicious assault occurred was because he chose to be violent. It didn’t happen because she turned his music off and it didn’t happen because he was “infuriated”. It happened because he chose to do it. 

We may not always get to choose how we feel but we always have a choice in how we act. Erasing his choice by focusing on her actions is inaccurate, misleading, ill-informed and dangerous. Journalists can and should be better than this. 

(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 in The 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