The National Plan says “holding perpetrators to account” is crucial to ending men’s violence. But they couldn’t bring themselves to do it in the title of the fucking plan. The document uses the phrase “violence against women” 100 times but never names it as men’s violence. It uses the word “victim” 244 times and “perpetrator” only 85 times. There is no doubt we need more and better services for people who have been terrorised by men. But making women, children, and people who have been abused the focus of the solution is implicit victim blaming. They are not the cause or the solution.

Violent men are the cause, and the solutions must be about them. How do we even start if we can’t name them?


Because it would upset men.

Men who claim they are not violent would have their feelings hurt if we name violent men as the problem.

They might be so upset by this factually correct statement that they’ll take to their keyboards and threaten to rape and kill the women who say such things.

Even Good Men(TM) who would never threaten a woman with violence would sulk and pout and refuse to get involved in ending abuse, rape, and murder if we correctly name violent men as the problem.

Backlash. Hurt feelings. Flouncing. Sulking. Whataboutery. Threats.

We were so sure that this would be the response from all men that we didn’t name violent men as the problem in the title of national plan to stop violent men.

What male support did this passive voice placation win for us?

How many men are actively working to change the structures that support violent men? How many turn up to rallies and protest marches and public discussions? How many read books and articles and social media posts and journalism about men’s violence against women?

How many are working to change the failed legal system and lack of healthcare for survivors and the number of women living in poverty and the absence of support for traumatised children and the decriminalisation of rape and refusal of schools and education departments to do proper prevention education?

How many men are fighting against the women and queer people who are trying to change those things?

Not naming violent men as the problem didn’t win us anything other than giving them permission to continue to ignore us.

Violent men are the problem.

Want to know more? Buy the FixedIt book direct from my website:

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

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

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

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800

Men’s Referral Service
Support for men who use violence and abuse.
7 days a week
Ph: 1300 766 491

Books by Jane Gilmore

Fairy Tale Princesses Will Kill Your Children

SIGN UP to receive updates about upcoming releases and events.

I have an overflowing inbox too, so I promise I won't spam you. You'll only receive updates about books and related events.