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Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

The Prime Minister and state and territory leaders met on Wednesday as the national cabinet to discuss a crisis gripping Australia – the horrific number of women murdered this year.

The killings have shocked the nation and led to mass demonstrations across the country last weekend.

In this podcast, we’re joined by Dr Anne Summers, a longtime writer and advocate on women’s issues.

Half a century ago, Summers helped start Elsie, Australia’s first women’s refuge. She’s currently a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s business school, where she specialises in domestic and family violence issues.

On what came out of the national cabinet meeting, Summers says:

I found it was quite reassuring that the meeting had addressed a lot more than just some of the sort of, if you like, sexy items to do with deepfakes and regulating the age at which children can watch porn.

The First Ministers recommitted their, to my view, somewhat controversial pledge that they made two years ago that they would end violence against women in a generation. Now they have recommitted to that today and having done so in this context suggests they better get busy with how they’re going to make that happen.

The explosion of technology has brought some extremely harmful effects for women, with the spread of cyberstalking:

It’s the fastest growing form of abuse. What is very disturbing about this is that the kind of equipment that guys are using against, women is very sophisticated. It’s the kind of stuff that, you know, ASIO would only […] have had access to 10 years ago.

A predator […] can install spyware on the telephone of his former partner, remotely, without her knowledge. That enables him to listen in to all her calls, read her texts, read her photographs, and generally keep tabs on her.

Summers says it’s vital we find out more about the perpetrators of the crimes against women, instead of only focusing on the victims:

We have to learn more about the perpetrators – who they are, what they do, how many there are, what their patterns of behaviour are, where they come from. You know, what the issues are in their lives. And we know so much about the women. I mean, the women are researched to death. Every four years the federal government does a personal safety survey which documents in immense detail what women suffer. And that’s great. We know a huge amount about that. But we need to have the same level and depth of information about the men.

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

ref. Politics with Michelle Grattan: Anne Summers says we need much more information on male perpetrators of violence against women –