Today Ken Lay – a man who has done so much to bring the issue of domestic violence to the forefront of the nation’s conscience – retired as Victoria Police’s chief commissioner in a tearful statement.

Saying the reasons for his premature departure were “deeply personal”, Mr Lay said he needed to care for his sick wife.

“Chris, my wife and partner of 33 years, is facing an illness that will require extensive treatment,” he said.

“The time is right for me to return the unconditional support she has given Victoria Police, the Victorian community, and me.”

After a 41 year career with the police, Mr Lay said he was most proud of the change in public attitudes towards violence against women and children.

Ken Lay is widely regarded to be instrumental in that change, constantly shining a light on a dark corner of our psyche.

When a little over a year ago The Hoopla published a speech he gave to Victoria police, it became one of our most read articles ever.

As a tribute to a great man, we’ve published it again here.

by Ken Lay

I want you all to imagine something with me. Imagine that each week an Australian is murdered at a train station.

That each week, someone’s brother or sister; mother or father is violently killed getting on or off a train. Picture it?

Now picture the public response.

It would be a front-page news story in each of our capital cities. Police would flood our stations, while people would avoid public transport in favour of private cars. Congestion would quickly become a major problem, as the number of cars on the roads increased. The word “crisis” would pepper our talkback.


Can you imagine it?


Now I have another figure — a real figure — that I think is just as horrific. A figure that is just as worthy of galvanising our sympathy and outrage. But it doesn’t.

The figure is this: every week a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner.

Every week this happens.

Now, our public response isn’t at all like we imagined it would be if those victims died not in their family rooms but at train stations.

Why do you think that is?

I’ll tell you why I think it is.

Because what happens in someone else’s home doesn’t affect us. And because we are constantly misapprehending the nature of violence. We do this because we want to feel safer — so we apportion complicity to those who die violently. In our heads, we make them somehow responsible for the wickedness that befell them. When we do this, we feel better. We feel safer.

And it’s also much, much easier to do this when the crimes are domestic — when they’re behind closed doors. When it happens we might think “Well, why did she marry him?” just as we might think of a rape victim, “Well, why was she wearing a short skirt?”

When we imagine this sort of complicity for the victim — when we essentially blame them — we are congratulating ourselves for our superior judgement, a judgement that will ensure it never happens to us.

But when we do this we are injuring our imaginations, which is the lifeblood of our sympathy. When we do this, we come up with the wrong answers about why violence happens. And when we do this, we make it less likely anybody will care enough to do anything.

In blaming victims, we create a lot of myths about family violence. Here are some of them:

  • that the victim must have incited the abuse;
  • that the victim is guilty of awful judgement;
  • that if the woman’s life was endangered, she would simply leave.

No, no and no. These are myths and they’re getting in the way of honesty. In order to discard these myths, I’m going to broaden our story a little.

I place family violence in a long continuum of violence against women. I place family violence in a wider culture where vulgar and violent attitudes to women are common.

So as I try to correct some myths  — and as I explain the urgency of this problem — let me begin at one end of the continuum.

ViolenceWomenIn July, I wrote a piece on violence against women as part of the Herald Sun’s “Take a Stand” campaign. At the beginning of my piece I introduced a fictional — but unfortunately realistic — scenario.

Susie is 21. She’s just finished uni exams and decides to head out for a night with friends. Within the first two hours she’s been groped twice. The first from a leering drunk. The second happens from behind, anonymously, as Susie’s making her way through a crowd.

Susie feels a lot of things — saddened, humiliated and a little frightened. But she’s not surprised. This, she knows, happens every single day. Some women plan their evenings around avoiding it. As men, how often — if ever — do we do that?

Now, if you’re wondering what this has to do with tonight’s theme, what it has to do with the drunk belting teeth from his wife’s mouth, I’ll tell you:

Our culture is filled with men who hold an indecent sense of entitlement towards women.

Our culture is heavy with warped and misspent masculinity.

And every single day the casual groping and lewd comments that go unchallenged erode our standards.

And if none of us are saying anything, then this feral atmosphere gets worse, until it becomes an endorsement of violence against women.

If you think I’m exaggerating, consider the recent World Health Organisation’s report that found that violence against women had reached “a global health problem of epidemic proportions.”

And yes, that includes Australia.

The Organisation’s report found that a third of the world’s women had been assaulted.

If you think I’m exaggerating, consider Victoria’s crime statistics for the previous financial year. During 2012/13, there were 60,829 incidents where police submitted family incidence reports. This is a rise of 21.6% on the 50,000 reports submitted the previous year. 60,000 incidents in Victoria alone.


Grim statistics can be found all over the world.

In the United States, 3,200 US soldiers were killed between 2000 and 2006. In that same time in the US, three times as many people were killed in domestic homicides.

If you still think I’m exaggerating, consider the almost total absence in our culture of men writing about the casual molestation of women.

Violence against women — in whatever form — is not solely a feminist issue. It’s a social issue… It’s a blokes’ issue.

And if you still need to be convinced that this is a public matter, just wonder where you think the 8 year-old boy who watches his Mum gurgle on her own blood ends up.

Think about the kids.

So I’ve now explained to you some of our misapprehensions and myths about violence — that it’s a private matter or that the victims are to blame somehow.

And I’ve now explained to you the urgency. Now let me give you my challenges.

Men, I need your help in making any form of indecency against women deeply shameful.

I want you to use the full measure of your profession and your passion to try to correct this.

I want you to use radio and newspaper and TV; I want you to use boardroom and community meetings; I want you to talk about it with colleagues and children.

Men, when an estimated 20 per cent of Australian women have been sexually assaulted — and when we know that sexual assault is massively underreported — we can’t say we don’t have a problem.

I want you to consider what shallow sense of masculinity validates abuse. I want you to consider what twisted sense of entitlement compels a man to grab a woman in a bar or call her a slut.

Men, I want you to consider why blokes are so quiet on these issues. Then I need you to correct that silence.

ViolenceWomen2To all of you, I ask that you help repel a callousness that has crept into our society.

Callousness and complacency.

What I want to leave you with is a sense of the complacency we must battle.

And a sense of the prevailing, damaging attitudes towards women.

We must all stand up to these things wherever they occur.

Not just at community forums, but on trams and trains and streets. In the workplace and our sporting clubs.

With our children.

I talk a lot about ethical leadership in my position, and how I frame it for my audiences — how I explain why people fail to act — is often with what psychologists call the bystander effect.

A famous case-study of this phenomenon comes from 1968, when a young New Yorker called Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of her apartment.

About 40 witnesses did nothing.

The bystander effect looks at why there is less likelihood of bystanders responding when there are more people around.


Now what psychologists have found is that people don’t fail to intervene because of malice or indifference. What they found is that most people fail to intervene because of simple social anxiety. People become self-conscious: what if no-one else helps? What if my appraisal of the situation is wrong? What if my help isn’t wanted? What if people think I’m a busybody?

There’s also the assumption that somebody else will help — an assumption that increases with a larger number of bystanders. So what happens is there’s a collective reluctance to act until somebody else has acted. Once somebody has, it becomes the normal thing to do — the barrier to action has been broken.

And that’s my challenge to you: be that circuit-breaker. Be that person that says something — again and again and again.

Because if we shrug our shoulders when a sex worker is murdered — or a wife is battered to death — then we’re diminished as a community.

This speech was first appeared in Victoria Police News and is republished here with kind permission.


If you are a man and you want to know what you can do to help stop violence against women, go here.

If you need assistance in relation to violence against women call 000 or go here.


ken-lay*Ken Lay is the retiring Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police.




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  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Lu Twiss

    “Violence against women — in whatever form — is not solely a feminist issue. It’s a social issue… It’s a blokes’ issue.”

    Brilliant words!
    The whole article, well said.
    Thank you Ken Lay

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Linda Jaivin

    Thank you, Ken Lay – a great article. I hope it inspires great actions.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    I am so sick of hearing about violence against women. I’m sick of it because:
    – Every time it is mentioned someone screams about how talking about violence against women means we don’t care about violence against men.
    – Many of the same people will talk about women being as abusive to men.
    – They use the number of male children who witness or experience abuse to inflate the number of ‘men’ who are abused.
    – They will use studies to support their assertions, despite the tools in those studies being largely discredited.
    – And to cap things off they will perpetuate the cycle by abusing women who comment in support of articles talking about violence against women.

    I am sick of hearing about violence against women because for those of us who have been there, who have lived it, are assumed to be broken, damaged and destroyed by the experience, and it colours the way people look at us forever.

    I am sick of hearing about it because then you have to listen to friends bitch about women who were raped or abused. You have to listen to them trot out the same lines as everyone else does “Why did she stay?” “What was she wearing?” “What did she do to provoke him?” and you constantly wonder if that is what they think about you too. Because how can they think one way about a stranger and another about a friend when the circumstances are so damn similar?

    I am sick of it because while some of us fight against it those who are outed as rapists and abusers, particularly those with high public profiles, are not held accountable for their actions. In fact hardly any perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

    I am sick of it because radio, TV, movies, books, newspapers and the internet continually provide more examples of violence against women being seen as acceptable.

    And mostly I am sick of it because I know that no matter how much we fight against violence against women nothing seems to change.

    • Reply September 5, 2013


      “And mostly I am sick of it because I know that no matter how much we fight against violence against women nothing seems to change.”

      Possibly because we keep mis-casting it as a gendered issue, rather than trying to stop domestic violence as a whole?

      • Reply September 5, 2013


        So the fact that it is mostly male perpetrators assaulting mostly female victims doesn’t make it a gendered issue?

        • Reply September 5, 2013


          I have to ask where you’re getting the stats to back that claim up: all the numbers that I’ve seen on domestic/intimate partner violence suggest that it’s roughly 50% mutual, 24% woman-beats-man and 26% man-beats-woman. That’s hardly “mostly male perpetrators assaulting mostly female victims”.

          • September 5, 2013




            The second speaks to a conflicting study saying that 40% of DV victims are male; regardless, the #s are definitely not equal and if you think about most crimes of “passion/aggression” being committed by males (not blaming them here; I really think there is something biological to it all including the fact that men are just physically more capable of being aggressors or in a position to financially control a woman, etc.), it makes sense that incidence is not equal.

          • September 6, 2013


            Bob you have clearly demonstrated that at least most of the first part of my post is correct. Thanks for that.

        • Reply September 12, 2013

          Adam Blanch

          It isn’t mostly male perpetrators at all, that’s just the myth that feminists are promoting in their attempt to hide and deny female violence so that they can continue their reign as the new moral authority of the world. Fascism always creeps in under the guise of righteousness, it never announces itself openly.

          • February 16, 2014

            marion smits

            Please tell me that comment was tongue in cheek Adam, as I’m about to lose faith in humanity.

        • Reply September 12, 2013

          Adam Blanch

          You base your claim, which even you admit is greatly exagerated,on a single study. There are over 500 scale studies that find gender parity in domestic violence. If you want real data, not rubbish organised by feminists, then go to this meta study that has collated over 20 years of work by legitimate researchers But I’m guessing that the truth doesn’t really interest you Carz, its inconvenient to the feminist polemic.

        • Reply December 29, 2014

          Diddy FitzGerald

          Bob’s right. Allocating blame doesnt solve the problem.

      • Reply September 5, 2013


        Wow, everything she said went right over your head.

      • Reply October 23, 2013


        Domestic Violence is a sad sad way to live ones life…
        I guess the act of DV is in isolation of each individual home…
        Perpetrators have to be confronted and victims of DV must receive intervention …
        Are the laws tough enough … are the key stakeholders resourced and able to respond appropriately … are the interventions accessible and promoted constantly …. is the community ready to get involved (and what does it or should it look like) … is our leadership in this country seeing DV as a priority… should we educate children, teenagers and adults, women and men… ???

        I will make a promise: that I will confront and question any sign of DV …

        and for those who read my “2 cents worth”, have an answer to my thoughts … or wmay choose to make their own promise …. Rodney

    • Reply September 5, 2013


      Carz, I am a surivor of domestic violence and I totally get where you are coming from because everything you said is true and it therefore feels so hopeless. The only thing I can say to that is that we HAVE to keep hope that by raising awareness, even if ONE woman does not have to live through what we lived through, then that’s a positive change. This is not going to change in our lifetime’s. It is going to take generations of battling societal norms, fighting misogyny, teaching strong character at a young age, and so much more.

      I don’t know if you have daughters or nieces, but if you do, just keep them in mind and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. As this article states there are so many societal misperceptions around this issue and people will always care more about the most sensational story (say a gang rape, for example) than the day-to-day atrocities that kill women or make their lives a living hell.

      & women have and will always be blamed for what happens to them; it sadly just seems to be human nature but this conversation is really just starting in a meaningful way NOW, so real change will happen slowly but surely, but just well into the future.

      • Reply September 12, 2013

        Adam Blanch

        I’m also a survivor of domestic violence, but I’m a man,so you really don’t care about what happens to me do you.

        • Reply December 29, 2014

          Diddy FitzGerald

          Now, why would you think that nobody cares because you are a man? That could be your upbringing. In Australia, Adam, nobody does care! Aussies are Tough and tend to be unfeeling. How they all ate their Christmass dinners knowing all those folk were being illegally detained, i dont know. DV makes you feel like nobody cares… I reccommend Louise Hay’s “You can Heal your heart.” I’m 9 years down the track from my experience, but it helped me move on. Dont focus on the hurt, adam.

    • Reply September 11, 2014


      It’s all part of the entitlement that some men feel they have to hijack the debate and make it all about THEM. the sooner these dinosaurs fall over and die, the better.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Natalie Galea

    Male Champion of Change!!
    Thank you Ken, you describe so eloquently the informal gendered rules at play in our society.
    Now lets get this article out to the mainstream.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    June Just

    Well written. It is an issue for society and begins with the sense of entitlement so many men have to judge a woman on looks alone and to comment to other men, which leads to the taking of liberties by groping and so on. The lesser other just there for the benefit of a man, an idea fed by much of the media and society.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Angelena Morden

    Thank you Ken Lay!
    Wonderful words but action speaks louder than words.

  • Reply September 4, 2013



  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Where’s Meredith Burgman? During the Ernies, can we give an UnErnie? Someone who advances the cause of women? A Greer?

    During times of marital breakup counselling should be compulsory for both sexes but especially men. There’s a toxic culture of outraged entitlement all over the Internet that feeds men’s rage during family breakup. It would be helpful if there was some official counter to it and some other avenue for men to deal with their feelings during a breakup.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Carz, you raise so many of the important issues & facts surrounding men’s violence against women and the culture that perpetuates and excuses it.

    I too fear that very little will ever change. I talk to my daughters about it so they will not be in the dark about the culture they live in as I was for so many years.

    Ken Lay’s analogy of weekly train murders might make some people think. I think his article is a good one.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Sue Lappeman

    Love it. Love him. Or is that inappropriate?

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Sue Lappeman

    We should have an award for men who take a public stand on violence against women like Australian Army Chief David Morrison who sent a YouTube video to his troops warning sexists and bullies to ‘get out’.

    • Reply September 4, 2013


      Great idea Sue!

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Nadia Srbinovska

    Thank you so much mr.lay I’ve been in a domestic violence marriage and believe me it’s not fun.the hardest part was my kids watching it all. Once again thank you.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Well yeah , the words are great …….but just lets see what the aftermath of an assault is …….. and in my case it was a physical ( not sexual ) assault when I was nearly 60 , by someone half my age and twice my size , he was what you would call extended family and because I knew him , the Police regarded this assault as your common , dirt variety , domestic abuse case , so therefore not high on their agenda .

    It took them two weeks and a call by me to the office of Police Integrity , before they bothered to even take his statement .

    My injuries were multiple bruises and cuts and red marks around my throat and defensive marks on my arms and I needed treatment to my neck (couldn’t sit down comfortably for about two months).

    I was attacked without warning and was dragged into a house by my clothes , at the throat , and thrown , like you might hurl a suitcase , backwards , flat on my back , into the entry area
    and then into a bedroom , where he half dragged me onto a bed and tried to strangle me .

    The attack lasted approx ten minutes until someone came into the room and he got off me ,this persons entry into the room , saved my life .

    The humiliation , degradation and the insult to your being , only starts with the assault , it continues with your treatment by the Police and continues even further in the courts , where the ( old white male ) Judge in this case , decided that a $ 400 fine , with no conviction recorded against his name , was adequate punishment for this Crime . To me it was an absolute insult.
    The Judge in his summary accepted that the assault occurred and he had photographs of my injuries , everything in his summary was favorable to me , everything except the punishment for the – Violent Male – which beggars belief and is an insult .

    I have not worked a day since this attack and the financial and personal cost has been absolutely devastating .

    I’m sad to say , the attitude to violence against women hasn’t changed at all in my lifetime , I heard it when I was a little girl and it has stayed permanently etched in my brain …….


    • Reply November 25, 2013


      Rang the Police once to ask for help with DV after exhausting all other avenues and got the worst ever treatment by a female police officer who insinuated it was my “poor parenting” that needed work…the platitudes are great but the attitudes are still back in the Dark Ages.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Dianna Art

    Thank you.

    I have experienced the type of violence and assault of which you speak so eloquently.

    Please, guys, I know you are not all violent or sexist. Take a lead from Ken and speak out against this behaviour.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Although I am well aware that domestic violence severely and disproportionately affects women – I am not sure I agree that it is wise to completely ignore men. Issues are human issues, society should attempt to move away from binary gender dichotomies, and there are other issues (only one I can think of) that claim to only affect women whilst actually disproportionately affecting men.

    I hope you can read this not as a whataboutery, and I further hope that you can appreciate how fucking offensive that term is. Anyway, my point I’m trying to put forward is this:

    Why not nip in the bud claims of sexism in these issues by addressing them as a whole from the start? It’d probably look like “1 woman a week is killed by domestic violence, 1 man is killed every 2 months” – but this would do many things. It would appease those who think campaigns against sexism shouldn’t themselves be sexist, it would help move society forward, and it would give context.

    /Just a thought. Do try to be nice if you reply.

    • Reply September 10, 2013

      Vicki K

      I’m very sorry but we shouldn’t need to add ‘and men suffer too’ in order for people to take this issue seriously. For me that is pandering to fragile egos. The statistics bear the story out – domestic violence harms women more than men, and public complacency towards rape of women by men, and sexual assault of women speaks to a broad, gendered problem. You should be able to engage with that in its own right without someone needing to absolve men from responsibility by pointing out that sometimes men are assaulted too. We need to be able to talk about and address the epidemic of violence against women without having to apologise for it, or hold people’s hands through it. Enough is enough.

    • Reply September 10, 2013


      Dear Random. Yes it is true that men are victims of domestic violence too, what is often forgotten though, is that most perpetrators of violence against both women and men, are male. This violence is based on power & control over the ‘more vulnerable’ partner. A patriarchal society means that this is most often a woman, but can also be a man in a relationship with another man. I think that Ken Lay’s points about standing up against the negative attitudes of entitlement holds and will, in the end, benefit both women and men who are victims of domestic violemce. This will in turn improve our society as a whole.

    • Reply September 10, 2013


      Dear Random. Yes it is true that men are victims of domestic violence too, what is often forgotten though, is that most perpetrators of violence against both women and men, are male. This violence is based on power & control over the ‘more vulnerable’ partner. A patriarchal society means that this is most often a woman, but can also be a man in a relationship with another man. I think that Ken Lay’s points about standing up against the negative attitudes of entitlement holds and will, in the end, benefit both women and men who are victims of domestic violence. This will in turn improve our society as a whole.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Thank you Ken Lay for addressing this issue and thank you the Hoopla for publishing it. It’s just a pity that we (here on this site) are basically preaching to the converted – a mainly female readership with a sprinkling of ‘thinking’ males. I’d love to see this article and/or others like it published in men’s magazines and on men’s sites. Also, I have to say that I think the advent and almost universal acceptance of porn plays a large part in men’s attitudes to women and that ‘callousness’ that Ken suggests has crept into our society.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Yes please, publish it everywhere – it is totally spot-on and well-written.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Great article, thanks.
    I only realised when I got older that the term sexual assault was what happened to me without knowing it was an offence.
    Unwanted touching and groping was part of going to the footy in the 70’s but nothing was done about . I hated it and felt uncomfortable and embarrassed.
    Too late for me but I’m glad more girls report it and men are charged for doing it. There is no right to assault a woman whatever age.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    nikki (@suburp)

    Excellent article.
    I would add though, that it is a common public misconception that only drunk and lower class men act out violently against their wives or partners.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    nikki (@suburp)

    I have also heard that in Australia “provocation ” is still an acceptable line of defense, even in murder cases?
    And that the lack of means for a lawyer can sometimes lead to the make perpetrator actually defending himself, so his victim will be cross-examined by him in court should she have the strength to even take it there??
    Maybe there is some need for review in those practices…

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    country kaz

    How I would love to see this on the front page of The Australian or the Daily Tele. And why shouldn’t it be? Violence against women is epidemic.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    helen b

    Thank you ken Lay. We sure need more voices like yours. More men speaking out and more men in powerful positions such as yours. Then we just need mainstream media to put this information out for the masses.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    I would like to know from Mr Lay , what are the figures for the last three years and has there been a marked increase in violence against women , during the aggressive treatment of Prime Minister Julia Gillard .?????????

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Fantastic article. I think there is a general need for people to focus on violence against children and women as it is at epidemic numbers. I mean, seriously, the numbers of females sexually abused as children is appalling. Then these women grow up and have a good chance of experiencing domestic violence in their lives at some time. Women and females are being treated with such hate and disrespect that our country needs to wake up and do something about it. It’s not ok. And it is everyone’s issues.
    A beautifully written piece that is important.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    Thank you Ken Lay.

    Something I read and would like to add. That women who comply, even temporarily, reinforce the perpetrator’s use of these tactics of control.

    That’s not a criticism because we all know men have the upper hand physically and women are most often forced to comply. But. I brought up my daughter to kick, bite, scream and not comply in the event she was touched inappropriately. And I know it worked. My husband had to warn off one of these dropkicks who grew up in the same town as us. He didn’t mince it. Our daughter’s safety was at stake. We’d heard the worst and knew what he was. And he’d got away with it more than once. Just as they always seems to do. Sometimes you have to be aggressive right back is all I’m saying. You have to be loud. That’s the problem. We’re not. And you have to protect your daughters, prepare them, give them your back. I often think of those in our town who weren’t.

    There was a wonderful documentary about an elderly woman in the US who was forcibly raped multiple times in her own home and who had to fight to bring the man responsible to justice. The local sheriff wanted to hush her because it was unseemly to have everyone knowing what happened. But she got the story out – every detail – and was unashamed. A mighty woman I thought. And we could take lessons.

    • Reply September 5, 2013


      It might not be meant as a criticism but that’s how it come across. Many people, myself included, freeze when under threat. It is so well recognised that this is common that fight and flight is actually now called fight, flight or freeze. There are also many other factors at play. A woman having the crap beaten out of her by a partner may not fight back because she knows it will make it so much worse. It is also possible that it will injure the perpetrator giving him the chance to manipulate the system by claiming that they were the victim and just protecting themself. And many women will do anything possible to prevent their children knowing of the abuse if they aren’t directly witnessing it. Its amazing what you can keep your mouth shut through to protect a child.

  • Reply September 4, 2013

    Nel Matheson

    Ken, all of this is well known to me. And I can tell you where the 8 year old ends up who witnesses violence towards his mother. I can tell you where the young women end up. I can thank God alone that my mother didn’t end up as yet another forgotten statistic. I also thank God for the fact that she now lives a peaceful life, and I make sure she enjoys every single minute of it. There was nothing and no-one to help us all. Neighbours, friends, relatives, police – all turned a blind eye on every single occasion. I know exactly how to divert a violent man, to turn his attention from my mother, and I still bear the guilt for leaving that environment. I then proceeded to choose partners who were no better – not physically abusive, just so emotionally cruel it amounted to the same thing. I learned.
    I also have asked the question, over and over again – when are we going to hold the man accountable for his actions. How have we allowed the victims to be held to account? When are we going to learn to raise our sons with a good heart?
    These memories tear at my heart on a daily basis, and I cry for the women who keep trying to make it work – when they are broken and bruised, inside and out.

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    What if… om White Ribbon Day of all days, you finally call the local Police to ask for help as suggested by a Dr, as psychologist and a counsellor. This is when your 6 ft 2 teen son with ADHD and ASD who torments and terrorises the whole family has attacked you again and a sarcastic police officer comes… and basically rudely asks me if I called her here to tuck my son into bed, tells me to do a parenting course, tells me to toughen up etc etc…she sees I am in tears and very stressed yet persists in the attitude that I am wasting Police time and resources… what if that actually happened recently???

    Campaigns are well and good but when nobody acts, or you are met with hostility to the point you won’t call the police again and there is “nothing” in the community to support parents in our case, what’s the point?

  • Reply September 4, 2013


    I agree with all of the above. I too was bashed and raped by somebody who professed to love me, but when I went to the police the best advice they could give me was to leave town because I likely would be dead otherwise. Ken Lay, it’s a noble? thing you do, but until men are properly punished, it’s all just lip service. CHANGE THE FUCKING LAWS!!!!!

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    Yes, why won’t the men in society do more against violence towards women?

    Sadly perhaps because personal or collective guilt renders them silent?
    Betrayal of the “brotherhood” pact of men?
    etc etc…

    Also, i have often wondered if there are any women sitting on the parole board?????

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    Carz, sorry, didn’t mean to offend you or anyone. I put it badly. What I was trying to say is that I gave my daughter ‘permission’ to respond in any way she felt able to and not to worry what anything else might think or say about it. That we would always have her back no matter what the circumstances. We gave our sons the same permission.

    Just that I know some don’t retaliate sometimes because they fear being blamed or being talked about or bringing shame on the family. And it isn’t anything to be ashamed about. At all. The guilt lies with the rapist not his victim. That’s what we told our children and I happen to know one stood up to unacceptable behaviour from a teacher at his boarding school. Handled it himself just by quietly but firmly saying ‘Don’t even think about it.’ And said so in front of his classmates who WERE putting up with it. Or did till that moment. If it hadn’t ended there he would have gone straight to the headmaster.

    I think of the children who were abused by clergy or teachers or by neighbours – whoever – and were too frightened to speak up. Were told they’d be punished or whatever if they did. All that stuff. Those threats have to be countered in some way . Our children need permission to speak up. Our young teenagers need to know boundaries and what is appropriate touching and what is not. They need to know they can discuss it openly with their parents and family. They need to know they can take their concerns to the nearest authority figure and make a noise about it. Tell it like it is.

    Everyone needs to make more noise about it and bring pressure on lawmakers. It’s not just a male issue. It’s a parenting issue. It’s an issue that goes to the heart of the male/female relationship.

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    This is a great article on a really important issue. Most important for men who I think are being silently affected. There are good gentle men who so abhor the violence against women who I believe struggle with their own masculinity. They feel ashamed I think. Society needs good men to stand up and speak out so good string masculinity is applauded and something to be proud of.

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    Thanks so much Ken Lay for speaking up about this. I had the misfortune to be raised in a very violent home. The memories will alsways send a shiver down my spine and I have been affected in so many ways … toxic relationships, low self esteem, having fear as a default interpersonal setting.
    What’s really painful is to recall that NOBODY – bar one very principled detactive – mad eit clear to my father that violence is not acceptable and he is a low- life so assuming he has the right to abuse women – his wife and daughters mind you, never his son.

    It’s so important to ALWAYS make it clear to perpetrators that violence is never OK. This is behaviour that damages lives – it should not be terated as a curiosity or fabboed off as ” that’s what he’s like, he’s hot tempered”

  • Reply September 5, 2013

    Michael Jeh

    Wow. Amazing piece of writing from an inspirational man. It’s so good to see men of influence and power using their status to great effect. It inspires the rest of us mere mortals (men) who are trying hard to do what Ken Lay is exhorting us to do. Here’s a program I launched recently in Ferny Grove (Brisbane) which tries to do exactly what Ken is calling out for. It’s only a small step but it’s a start I suppose. We need a few more good men like Ken to start the revolution.

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    Check the most recent data concerning violence in Australia posted at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. If you understand stats you’ll find the Personal Safety Survey interesting reading.

  • Reply September 5, 2013

    Mike Rowan

    Very good. I have, in the past acted in these situations, but I will continue to do it and will talk more with men about it. Especcially my son.

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    “When it happens we might think “Well, why did she marry him?” just as we might think of a rape victim, “Well, why was she wearing a short skirt?” I Say Why Did She Marry Him Too, Because Sometimes Women Know What They’re Getting Into, But To Say “Why Was She Wearing A Short Skirt” Is Not A Justifiable Excuse. No One Knows If They’re Gonna Get Raped. That Is Victim Blaming. It’s Not The Same As Voluntarily Staying In An Abusive Relationship

    • Reply September 5, 2013


      Chanelle, what you think is “voluntarily staying in abusive relationship” is not always the case and the issue is far more complicated than that. It is rarely black and white – “he abused her once, so she will now leave” – and it is entirely gray.

      It is very easy for us (& I myself have said it before) to ask why a victim of domestic violence, etc. – would not just leave but these situations are usually so complicated and most of all because they involve someone being the victim of someone they once trusted, loved, are married to, have kids with, have been threatened by, are financially dependent on, etc.

      For example, let’s take a mom in an abusive relationship whose husband says “If you ever leave me, I will kill the kids.” She has without a doubt seen his level of crazy beyond this so she knows he is fully capable, and so she stays in fear of “what will happen if she were to leave?”

      I honestly felt the same way as you until I became a DV victim (in the last third of a 3 month relationship) I am a “strong woman” – empowered and outspoken – and no wallflower by any means, and I stayed in something for a month in fear of the repercussions of my ending the relationship vs. him ending it. I didn’t call the police when I should have and I made a lot of other choices I “shouldn’t have” but at the time, they were what I felt was right to protect me and my family as my ex was threatening to “destroy my life” if I ended the relationship with him and his means for doing so were pictures that he had (not naked pictures or pictures of me even wearing a bikini and there was honestly nothing sexual about them, but it was how they would be misconstrued in my conservative South Asian community).

      I imagine that that this how so many women – just as strong and capable (if not more) – feel when they are in these situations.

      That’s why I’m sorry to say that by asking “why did she stay?” (I have to believe very few women willfully get into a relationship thinking they will be abused – or as you said “know what they are getting into”) is also another form of victim blaming.

    • Reply September 6, 2013


      Hey Chanelle, you know why I stayed?
      I stayed because society tells us that children need a father in the house as much as they need a mother.
      I stayed because I hadn’t worked in over ten years because my ex’s job required him to travel and didn’t allow for having to take over morning or after school duties.
      I stayed because I had no money and (I thought) no support system.
      I stayed because I thought the problem was with me.
      I stayed because I believe marriage is for life.
      I stayed because I thought it was up to me to make things right.
      I stayed because the abuse built up so slowly that it took a long time for me to realise what was happening.
      I stayed because it was my first serious relationship and I really didn’t know any better.
      I stayed because I didn’t want to be seen as a quitter.
      I stayed for my children.
      I stayed because towards the end of my marriage I was so traumatised that I was so scared of everything that I thought it was safer to do so.
      And most of all I stayed because nobody ever teaches you how to leave a marriage and I just didn’t know how.

      • Reply November 26, 2013


        Carsz, I stayed in an abusive marriage for all the reasons you stated, but mostly I stayed through absolute and utter fear he would kill me, and to make matters worse my husband was a cop. Anyhow, I have after many bad years come through it and am very happy with my lovely partner of many years who treats me like a princess and my daughter who saw and heard things she shouldn’t have has married a great man also

  • Reply September 5, 2013

    Nel Matheson

    Chantelle – please be very careful not to make sweeping generalised assumptions – it’s tantamount to apportioning blame and responsibility. For each violent sexual crime, and each abusive domestic situation, there is a personal, tragic story. There is no one size fits all. The only way to respond to violence is to have a community acceptance that this type of behaviour is unacceptable, and that the law enforcement agencies are 100% committed to protecting the victim, without prejudice, judgement or apportioning blame. Most important is to believe the victim, and to protect any children. Involved. In the case of any form of sexual crime, the same applies.
    In my personal case, there was no alternative for my mother, none. There was no way out. We survived, but not because anyone helped. We survived because we lived long enough. This luxury is not always there for victims of violence.

  • Reply September 5, 2013


    Thank you for this fantastic piece of writing. Indeed it is, in the main, a bloke’s issue. I’m sure you’ve seen this great talk but in case not – you are not alone in promoting this paradigm shift:

  • Reply September 6, 2013


    Violence is everyone’s issue and responsibility, we have to educate our communities and change our attitudes. Respect ourselves and pass that respect to others.

  • Reply September 6, 2013


    This is an excellent article and an encouraging shift in public commentary. It occurred to me whilst reading the article that the term ‘domestic violence’ is something of a distraction, a sanitised and subtle toning down of what is really going on. Naming is important in the emotive response…whatever label it is given should strongly reflect that it is mainly (mainly, I know not always) a male partner abusing a female partner. The term ’domestic violence’ is so vague it could mean the family dog or a child or the postman or even the oven/stove/mixmaster could be responsible…I’m not sure what to call it. But it is time to call a spade a spade. Let’s stop calling it ‘VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’ – how about we call it ‘SPOUSAL ASSAULT’. Let’s put the perpetrator front and centre – the people who are responsible for the violence need to be more visible, both visually and aurally. We need to hear about this issue in a way that allows us to identify the perpetrators. In the case of homicide it should simply be murder – not domestic homicide (1st degree as the person was trusted to live with and care for the victim) We need to take the focus off the fact that these crimes take place in the sanctity of the family home, and view them, as Ken Lay rightly points out, as though they happened at a train station. In the way we accept the branding of ‘domestic violence’ we are all complicit in the bystander effect. We need to focus on the impact and perpetrator of the crime, and leave the victim to heal. The focus here is not for her – to effect change we must focus on the CRIME. Using the term ‘domestic’ is useless and distracting – and should be put away unless it is used to make the penalty more severe due to the breaking of the trust that is implied within the domestic environment. not distinguish it from other homicides.

  • […] Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay, pleads with the public to view violence against wome… [The Hoopla] […]

  • Reply September 6, 2013


    Check the facts of the Kitty Genovese case. The actual story and the urban myth are to very sifferent things.

    I only say this because the rest of the article is brilliant.

    • Reply September 18, 2013


      I thought the same! Urban legends grow legs though and walk all over our social discourse. The point he’s making is valid, the example is wrong. I don’t hink it lets the article down for any other than us pedants though 😉

  • Reply September 6, 2013


    I have read the article which is very close to my heart. My own experience and memories were the inspiration and motivation to leave my corporate career to concentrate on personal development and empowerment in order to help myself deal with my childhood visions that were affecting my own personal life. I have gone from one modality to another until I found my voice and my stand on this subject. What saddens me after reading this article is the way in which each side competes to have the better knowledge, better research and better stats, forgetting what the article is all about?! It is not about who is wrong and who is right, it’s about “Domestic Violence” and how we address this issue?! I wish to help at whatever level and am doing so as a Self-Empowerment & Relationships Coach/Consultant where I offer an ear, a shoulder, workshops and programs to assist WOMEN & MEN to deal with their issues, strengthen their core values and to have a voice in a safe environment and with people of the likes. If we all turn against each other, HOW are we dealing with the issue at hand?! SJ

    • Reply September 7, 2013


      SJ, as I have been doing this work for a while I have heard men talk about how to engage men on gender-based violence. Their advice has been that we don’t engage the troll – okay – my colleagues have said it much nicer and politically correct. What I am getting at is that you will run in circles trying to prove the truth to someone who really does not want to know it. You can drive yourself mad trying to convince the naysayer – so why engage with them? Most boys and men are not abusers and may have witnessed violence by men in their families. Or maybe they witnessed loving and healthy relationship patterns in their families, but do not know how to engage with this issue since they will will never engage in violence against women.

      The point of entry then is to help most men and boys see where they fit into the issue and engage those men where they are.

      Maybe it is asking them to be part of an ongoing group once they have taken part of a Take Back the Night, Wear Denim Day, White Ribbon Campaign, or Walk a Mile in Her Shoes awareness event.

      Maybe it is asking them to play a round of Super Bowl Bingo ( and chipping in a donation to a rape crisis/domestic violence shelter for every square they see.

      I guess what I am getting at is that there are more men who care deeply about these issues then there are those who are antogonistic. Antogonistic blokes will never change their minds – so I would suggest that we not waste our precious time and energy trying to convice the few. Instead, let’s focus on the many – some of which may be in our own families or friendship networks.

      Stay strong!

  • Reply September 6, 2013


    I’m sorry, I meant to say what saddens me are the responses, one trying to outdo the other etc. What do we say to SCEPTICAL (above)?! We can all go back and forth with our comments, but HOW do we ADDRESS the issue when even the police, as suggested by ‘Sceptic’ above doesn’t support you? (I am not generalising on police support) but if this is the case, we most certainly NEED MORE AWARENESS AND SUPPORT for people to FEEL SAFE in moving on if they wish to……

  • Reply September 7, 2013


    Good article, and a valid call to action in the genral social sphere.
    Now what about making sure that when police DO get complaints and reports from assaulted women that they don’t dismiss it, patyronise the victim, decide it’s not worth it but:
    follow it up
    find the alleged criminal
    charge him.

    Oh, and not make sexist jokes while the sexual assault victim is being questioned,examined, transported.

    There are lots of good, professional police around, who know how to behave, but also some who don’t.

    Their conduct in their own social circles and professionally will make a huge difference in society at large.

  • Reply September 7, 2013


    I think many people are missing Ken’s larger point which is that this is a men’s/boy’s issue. Teach your daughters, but that will not end gender-based violence. I for one grew up with a list of several Don’t to follow – as do all girls – but you know what – it does not stop men’s violence to focus on how I should restrict my life.

    I echo what Poet Andrea Gibson says in Blue Blanket, “…she knows what she will tell her someday daughter…what are you goint to teach your sons.”

    See Andrea perform here:

  • Reply September 7, 2013


    I woulld like to applaud Ken Lay for writing this article and for trying to give voice to this deadly silent issue. However being a victim of domestic violence myself for 12 long years, I am left a little dissappointed with the lack of choices we have to help stamp out this kind of behaviour.
    The problem isnt and should never be whos to ‘blame’ once the damage has been done, we need to find out WHY this sort of behaviour is accepted and where it comes from in the first place.
    It is easy enough to say that men are essentially to blame because they are the main perpertrators of such disgraceful behaviour. It is easy enough to blame the women because they ‘allow’ it to be bought into there homes and therefor continue the cycle. Monkey see, monkey do. It is easy enough for society to make excuses as to why they did not step in and act when they were witness to such abuse. But noone has gotton to the bottom of WHY it is even happening in the first place and how we can all help to finally STOP this sort of thing happening in the future.
    I had a long long time to think about this. How my husband could be so loving and caring one minute then fly into a full blown rage the next with an unconteollable fuel in his eyes that was aimed at me, when all I had done was put a load of washing on, or made dinner a little too spicy or anything as trivial as that.
    I know he loved me and I also beleived he truely hated himself for his behaviour. I could see the anguish deep within him as he struggled to understand why he had jusy flown off the handle so violently over the tiniest little thing. He resented himself and his behavior so much but there was something deep within him that he just could not work out as to WHY he would and could do such a rhing to the person he loved and cherished more than anything in the world. Unfortunately he didnt want to dig deeper to explore why and he let the behaviour become a routine part of who he is for fear of the unknown. But for my and my childrens sake I kept exploring it for myself.

    It wasnt until after I left him and was going to court to seek a DVO that I realised what was going on. I looked around the court room and I saw so many other women just like me who had jobs, happy healthy children, who were well dressed and had their hair nicely done. But the one thing we all had in common was a husband/boyfriend/lover who wanted to squash that. It occured to me that it is in fact society that has bred such hatred. Not in the sense that men hate women, but that they hate themselves and women aee the ones who inadvertadley created that hatred themselves!
    It is a kind of women are from mars, men are from venus senario. When womens lib took effect in the 60s? 70s? All those years ago, we fought for our freedom, our rights, equality etc. Until then, men were the bread winners. They had the ‘power’. They were the man of the house. The decision makers. The ones who had the final say! And that is just a part of who they are. Its in their DNA. Men need to feel needed, they need to fix things, they need to provide for their families.
    However when women discovered that we too could be as accomplished as our men and we found the voice and tools to express that, we were so aggressive in doing so,that we forgot to also recognise how this could dissplace our male species of there natural state. We wrre so adamant and headsteong that we could do anyrhing a man could do, we forgot to find the tools to also help men cope with this change. Men have been pretty much told that they are no longer needed in this world as they know it, and they have not been given a alternate on how to cope and deal with it. The only thing they have been left with is their physical strenghth…….
    Which is what is being used as their final defence against a society they are so frustrated with.
    We need to find a comfortable place in society again that doesnt take away from who they are but allows them and us to live in harmony. We need to teach men to accept the change that has occurred, to recognise that they do still have a valuable place in our commumity and society and more the home unit and give them the tools to cope with that.

    I hope I have shed some.light on the matter as I am very passionate about this sort of thing and would like to see an end to an unnecessary way for all.parties involved.

  • Reply September 7, 2013


    You have a good point but this kind of violence has been going on a lot longer than women’s liberation. I think carz has said most of what I couldn’t find words for about why I stayed so long, but I would also like to emphasize the mental abuse that creates the place for a woman to think she deserved the physical abuse and can’t escape it. Thankyou to those who made me realise I deserved better. Many high schools are now pushing a whole life skills approach to education, I think this could be a great place to teach healthy relationship skills.

  • Reply September 7, 2013


    Emma I feel your pain. Look up borderline personality disorder. It might give some insight. Might not. Just that I have a cousin who would burst into a sudden rage if his judgement was questioned. An innocent remark would be interpreted incorrectly and he would take it to mean rejection and/or criticism. I can’t go into it all here and how we worked out what was wrong ourselves but it seems to me that people who can’t live in peace with their family and neighbours have something organically wrong with them. And I think a man might suspect that’s so and shy away from the knowledge. Be too frightened to acknowledge and seek help in the same way a woman might shy away from getting a lump on her breast checked.

    Raw instinct tells me this. Have no medical knowledge.

  • Reply September 7, 2013

    Sim Reilly

    Male violence is the biggest problem in the world. Why won’t men stop raping and bashing women.

  • Reply September 8, 2013


    Thank you for this. I often feel guilty for letting a boy in high school mistreat me. I didn’t think of it as abuse because he didn’t beat me severely but he was overly rough with me and choked me with his hands so I couldn’t breath for a few seconds once. It was in front of our friends and I was embarrassed and just laughed like we had just been wrestling around. Now I realize I should have done something because little occurrences like that are what allow the larger violence to happen.

  • Reply September 9, 2013

    Julie Purdey

    Thank you Ken Lay for this extremely strong call to all of us as a society to stand up against the continuing problem of violence against women.

  • […] post first appeared in Victoria Police News and is republished with kind […]

  • Reply September 9, 2013


    Only a person who has endured this life can understand. I can tell you that life out of an abusive situation is awesome and for anyone who can find the strength to get out and stay out, the future is bright and happy x

  • Reply September 9, 2013


    Great article and sure to raises some hot buttons with people because we are reluctant to talk openly of this issue.
    I don’t believe we can stop the violence because it is on the increase. Most people would not know what it is like to see the injuries of a victim (man woman or child) and the suffering they endure. I saw that growing up in a household darkened with violence and it is something you never forget even 50 years on. I also saw this in both my careers as an emergency nurse and ex police officer. I think we have no hope to curb the numbers because such a large proportion of the community are incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions and being accountable to themselves. We are not teaching the skills. When they respect themselves they will respect others. Good on you Ken Lay for trying….please don’t stop trying.

  • Reply September 10, 2013


    Murder is a law and order issue. It’s not related to domestic violence, which goes both ways anyway. I’m sick of this male bashing stuff. All it does is try to blame all men for the actions of a sick few. Imagine if we did that to women? There are plenty of evil women out there, how would we feel if somehow the “sisterhood” was responsible for them?

  • Reply September 10, 2013


    I picked a non-basher as my husband. And believe me, I have dated guys (briefly) who could well have been bashers and I gave them the flick at first sign. If you dream of a muscular, cocky footballer player – I’ve got news for you. He’s probably a basher and maybe you should re-asses your priorities.

  • Reply September 10, 2013


    just a thought- feminist issues, social issues and blokes issues arent mutually exclusive. Feminist issues are not a separate sphere- andi know this is your point as well- but the way its worded makes it seem as though feminism is a separate womens realm that blokes are not a part of

  • Reply September 10, 2013

    George Salloum

    Incredibly brilliant article- I am sharing and sharing and sharing!!!
    Lets get the word out there men…WE NEED TO!!

  • Reply September 10, 2013

    Mel Harrison

    THANK YOU. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife.
    Please consider the above words for the text, with regard to the use of the word ‘woman’ – they tag an image of one of the above that a ‘bloke’ may relate to as a positive picture of a female that he would defend in place of one he would attack. Personalising the word ‘woman’ to a female he may care for.

  • Reply September 10, 2013


    I do not condone violence towards women in any way, and I do agree that this is part of a broader issue of domestic violence in general rather than a genderised one. But having had a friend recently suffer multiple instances of domestic violence I am at a loss of what to do. In her case her partner assaulted her several times. She confided in myself and several other friends as well as her family and I offered her assistance, a place to stay, pointed her in the direction of various community legal services who could assist her and pleaded with her to notify police. Eventually, she did tell the police and her partner was charged with assault. She took out an AVO against him. She was given the chance of a fresh life – she moved, got a job, got a new place. I told her she should focus on her new life and avoid contact with him. 3 months later and she is back with him, again. The last I heard was that he was facing gaol time yet she still wants to stay with him. There are no children involved. They have broken up and gotten back together more times than I can count. She has had opportunities thrown at her from every angle to start a new life – I’m not the first one who has offered her a place to stay and assistance in getting legal help. Yet she decided to take him back, over and over again and constantly makes excuses for his actions. This is not just a men’s issue and we should not just be asking men to address it. It’s more than that. It should be a community wide appeal to combat DV and encourage women suffering DV to understand that this behaviour is unacceptable and to stand up and speak out. Report these people to the authorities. If you are too afraid to do that, tell a friend. That’s the first step in breaking the cycle. And please – if you are given support and the chance at starting a new life – please don’t go back to them. Someone who assaults you once will do it again. Violence in any form is unacceptable.

  • Reply September 11, 2013


    Lucia, you’re missing the point. This might help:

    “Of course not all men hate women. But culture hates women, so men who grow up in a sexist culture have a tendency to do and say sexist things, often without meaning to. We aren’t judging you for who you are but that doesn’t mean we’re not asking you to change your behaviour. What you feel about women in your heart is of less immediate importance than how you treat them on a daily basis. You can be the gentlest, sweetest man in the world yet still benefit from sexism. That’s how oppression works.”

  • Reply September 11, 2013


    Rhoda, congratulations on teaching your daughter to fight back. Being told that no-one has the right to abuse you must be fabulous for one’s self – esteem.

    Sadly, many woman are not taught that abuse is unacceptable. There’s another, little -recognised form of DV: fathers AND mothers who beat their daughters. Both my parents were of the view that their spirited curious and independant minded child needed to be beaten into submission ….. Women, it was sermonised must be obedient, managable creatures who will pander to the abusers deranged need to feel uber- powerful. My mother spewed out hateful gems such as ” you’re worthless to me, you’re not a male child” and encouraged my brother to bully me. If I tried to garner praise for any of my achievments I was told ” now that would be something if you were a male”.. If I dared to go into the shower before my brother, I would be beaten …

    This was a sick sad dynamic that my mother was an active driver of.

    When I tried to reason with my father and explain that the violence was harming me and pleaded with him to back off, his tresponse was ” what’s your problem, no- one’s raping you ( in a tone suggesting that their would be noting untoward if this was happening)

    Trying to get some sort of support, people would say ” your family are ‘ new australians’ … they do things differently..

    I’m hearing that police called to DV situations involving migrants will often take a softly softly approach, wary of being seen to be racist!

    Such a sinking feeling to realise that your health and safety is held in lesser regarddue to an accident of birth.
    Perhaps some of the perpetrators do have shades of Borderline Personality disorder…. but as sentent beings everyone has the duty to control their actions – especially when they can bring about grave consequences.

    Attrbuting an abusers actions to a personality disorder comes across as letting them off the hook too easily.

    Ken L, you nailed it when you put it as a twisted sense of entitlement.

  • Reply September 11, 2013


    You’re right of course, Melissa. Some men will have some mental problem that causes the violence but it’s not an excuse for most men. I didn’t mean to infer that. I just brought it up in case it helped to explain it in some instances. And even though it might explain it doesn’t excuse.

    If anyone reading this has children please sit down and talk to them about this. Give them permission to own their own bodies and to not take abuse from anyone. To walk away the first time someone raises their hand or sneers or shows any sort of aggression towards them.

    Let’s teach our kids to respect each other’s boundaries, to know where the boundaries are.

    Let’s not mince it with the abusers. Or protect them. Call it for what it is. Make a noise about it. Tell your grandma and your niece and your cousin what happened if something did. Let it be known all over. It’s not on you, it’s on the abuser. We have to stand up for ourselves because no one else will.

  • Reply September 12, 2013


    I have 2 sisters in law who are subject to violence, not physical, but the next closest things.
    My friends in police force have said, until ‘he’ hits her, or if it is he said, she said, then they probably won’t intervene.
    I could intervene, but if it escalated, guess who’d be in jail.
    The more public the ways these p***ks operate comes to be known, the more underground and insidious it becomes.
    So Ken is absolutely spot on, but where can women go, who can legally intervene, what support and protective arrangements are out there to allow women to escape?
    I think this leads to question of investment by governments into wider sheltering arrangements, and security measures.
    If that doesn’t happen, you are asking the public to actively intervene? What happens to the public who intervene with a violent male?
    Why don’t the laws allow the police to act on (threatening / violent) men based on purely verbal (circumstantial) claims?
    Hope you can see I am thoroughly against violence to women, but I hope I have identified the gap in help for the victims, I am not allowed to step into the breach, and police can’t move until , in my opinion, it is too late and damage is done.
    Opportunity to escape to a shelter, with guaranteed security is the only answer that I can see.
    Oh, and counseling to help restore the victims sense of self worth, and to see what is happening to them is wrong, and can be changed would be a great help in avoiding falling back into awaiting disasters. Violent men often destroy their victims sense or rights, esteem, and optimism for a better future, which is why intervention is a must.

    • Reply October 23, 2013

      Sean Og

      Hi Andy,

      Given that Ken’s article is a call-to-arms to men I think that this is the most relevant comment here. I think that the bystander effect is more complex than the article allows. I know many men who’ve tried to intervene and will not try again. If the situation escalates you are likely to be charged as a party to an affray…if the escalation is within your physical limits but not the abuser’s, at the moment that the abuser looks out of their depth, you are likely to be attacked by the victim…call the authorities and you have to deal with accusations of self-interest. Silence is not always indifference, sometimes it’s impotence and often it’s experience.

  • Reply September 12, 2013


    Thank you, Mr. Lay. We need more people, especially men, raising this discussion.

  • Reply September 12, 2013

    Adam Blanch

    Dozens of men are murdered by their female partner each year. Also, more children are murdered by their mothers than are murdered by their fathers each year. I don’t see you telling women that they are all responsible for the crimes of the these people.It is natural to be horrified by these acts, but you’ve been brainwashed into thinking this has something to do with gender by a vested interest group who use these acts for their own political advancement.

    There is no ‘culture’ that supports this violence, if there was then the majority of people would do it, not a fractrion of a fraction of 1%. There is however a culture of all men are violent/all women are victims demonisation that is being promoted by feminism.

    Which makes this article just another politically motivated feminist rant demonising men, but this time its from a man.

    • Reply February 27, 2014


      All violence needs to be denounced, whether against men or women. However I do think domestic violence against women is a a specific type of violence that is prevalent in our culture due to notions of gender and power in our society. As a woman who thankfully has not experienced intimate partner violence or violence in the family I have still experienced so many counts of being inappropriately touched in public places or talked to in really sexist and degrading ways by men. I am by no means saying that all men are like this and most men I know aren’t, but I still think that things like being called a ‘slut’ or being seen as a sex object simply because you are a woman are excused and ignored in our culture. These kind of norms that are still implicit in our culture as well as more explicit ones like men needing to be masculine and strong and in power perpetuate domestic violence by men against women. I am not having a go because you are a man standing up for men’s issues. Instead I am taken aback by the tone in your messages, especially when there are women survivors writing about their experiences here and who have finally found their voice to speak against the abuse they experienced.

    • Reply May 8, 2014


      Spot on Adam

  • Reply September 12, 2013


    […] it’s not just a ‘women’s issue’; it’s a bloke’s issue as […]

  • Reply September 12, 2013

    sign our petition

    For the avoidance of doubt – I’m a UK based man.

    Domestic Violence is a child protection issue – NOT a “bloke issue” and children MUST come before ideology. Consider:

    > 70 – 75% of ALL abusers (women and men) experienced abuse as children. Not all abused children go on to be abusers but of those that do, the vast majority experienced abuse as children.

    > Children are at three times the risk when both parents are abusive

    > The highest incidence of DV (60-80%) is bi-directional i.e. BOTH parents are being abusive. The lowest incidence of DV is the category “initiated solely by men”

    > Witnessing abuse as a child is as damaging as being abused

    > The majority of calls (32% / 5,000) to UK helpline “Childline” complained of physical abuse by the mother, and the smaller number of calls of physical abuse by father.

    > 97% of men do not fit the old fashioned “patriarchal” paradigm of “intimate terrorist” and Ellen Pence, the inventor and commercial beneficiary of the “Power and Control Wheel” based on this patriarchal paradigm confessed just before her death (2012) that she and her colleagues had forced people to fit into patriarchal paradigm and that, in fact, they had got it wrong and that men had expressed no interest, desire or wish to dominate and control their intimate partner.

    Viewing men as patriarchal terrorists and women as only victims has profoundly damaging consequences –

    1 We perpetuate DV by leaving children to be abused by abusive and violent women, predisposing girls and boys to become abusers themselves
    2 Caring, loving Dad’s are wrongly demonised and excluded from their children – ignoring a rich and much needed resource and creating an inhuman situation for grandmothers, grandfathers and other family members
    3 We do not address women’s needs in order to tackle their violent and abusive behaviour

    This patriarchal approach was created some 50 years ago in the 1960’s and is based on Marxism from the 1830’s. Times have changed and it is not only out of date but has been demonstrably ineffective in dealing with DV. However, it has been very, very effective in perpetuating DV and the multi-billion dollar industry that benefits from it.

    We need to see DV as the complex, often bi-directional human phenomenon that it is so that we can start to resolve the interpersonal root causes and interrupt its perpetuation through intergenerational transmission. Only then can we have some realistic hope of being effective in really addressing these issues.

    Powerful commercial imperatives, outdated, old fashioned, discredited and blind ideological dogma based on demonisation, neurosis and hate cannot hope to provide the answer to these delicate and personal problems.

    An inclusive, humane and evidenced based approach that is gender inclusive and respectful of all parties is a new, modern, up to date and resonant approach that actually addresses the human issues of the people concerned – for both women and men.

    There is more information at our Petition website ….

    ….. Sign our petition and help eradicate DV and help safeguard not only our children but our children’s children

    Martin Luther King observed “In the end it is not the words of our enemies that we will remember, but the silence of our friends”

    …. do not be silent.

  • Reply September 12, 2013


    Someone smarter and sharper once said that comments on articles about feminism always justify why we need feminism.

    Indeed, some of the comments on this article proved that true.

    • Reply September 14, 2013

      stop this sexism

      .. an interesting but meaningless comment – would you care to be specific?

  • Reply September 13, 2013

    Di Peterson

    I heard a police spokesman say that a woman who was attacked and raped in the lobby of her apartment was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”????????!!!!!!!!
    My friends have both there young daughters in karate …they can defend themselves.

    • Reply September 14, 2013

      stop this sexism

      Your suggestion puts women at increased risk. A practicing Chartered Psychologist and senior lecturer in criminal psychology specialising in violence and domestic violence made it clear at a meeting this week that research shows unequivically that the greates predictor for a female intimate partner to end up in hospital is to start physical violence. Many men are stronger and fitter than I am – what would be your view if I started mixing it with them and ended up in hospital? Is your recommendation to me to get more violent?

  • Reply September 14, 2013

    stop this sexism

    June .. an interesting comment – would you care to be specific and provide examples to substantiate what you say?

  • Reply September 15, 2013


    All domestic violence is wrong. Man against woman, woman against man, woman against woman, man against man, adult against child, child against adult.

    Trying to shut up anyone that speaks out in support of male victims (I’m looking at you Carz) is, in effect, saying that domestic violence is only wrong if the victim is female.


  • Reply September 17, 2013


    as a child who was subjected to domestic violence from both parents, what still stings my heart is the reluctance of people who know about the situation to condemn it. This Silence only serves to embolden the perpetrator and feel the illusion that they are doing nothing wrong.

    Frustratingly, people’s typical response is to make excuses for the perpetrator; ” they don’t know what they’re doing”, ” that’s what they’re like” , ” they must have had a hard life’

    Please, if you know that someone is being subjected to DV, make it very clear to them that it is NOT OK. Your words will give inestimable strength to the victim.

    • Reply September 21, 2013

      sign our petition

      Hi Melissa – I’m sorry to hear of your childhood experiences.
      I couldn’t agree more with your plea … we must tackle the root causes of DV so that we may stand a chance of bringing about effective change for both women and men and, in so doing, do our very best to protect children. In my opinion Abuse and Violence is not aceptable whoever is responsible – especially when its both parties – and raising awareness and refusing to condone it are the only starting place we have.

      You can help bring this issue to the attention of law makers in Wales … at our Petition website ….

      I relate to, and resonante with, your story and your plea …

  • […] Source […]

  • Reply September 23, 2013


    Thanks Ken, fantastic article. I want to be that man bro.

    The sad thing is, underpinning this whole issue is a culture soaked up to its eyeballs in pornography. Porn objectifies women in the most degrading way, and MOST men these days look at it regularly. It’s hard for men to see the way it effects them when they’re addicted to it, but as soon as we let go, it’s amazing the change you see.

    Porn completely undermines any culture of honouring women, and I am over men (and women) saying it is their “right” to be able to view that material. By them exercising their “rights” they destroy the rights of others but programming their own minds.

    Thanks again Ken. Women need men ready to stand up.

    • Reply October 1, 2013

      sign our petition

      Hi Chris, I invite reflection on institutional objectification of men … The Government of Wales in the UK has issued a document that states “Masculinity is associated with violence in many cultures and Wales is no exception. All interventions must address men’s violent behaviour” – to take a cleaver and divide the whole of the population into two and say “you lot (all 3,500,000,000 of you) are violent and and the rest are not” is objectification of the most gross and mindless kind.

      And, for a moment, please pause and consider what this promulgated governmental discrimination does to boys and the mothers of boys. What messages are we giving to boys about being men in waiting – about a boys birthright – to be masculine? PLease pause for thought about this objectification and stygmatisation.

      Please sign our petition

  • Reply October 2, 2013


    In the 80s in Bathurst NSW, the local police sergeant stated it was “impossible” to rape college girls as we “were all sluts anyway”. Yep, if you were 20, and engaged in the activity of attending a place of higher education, you were “a slut” and therefore available for any type of sexual violence any male of any age wanted to inflict.

  • Reply October 4, 2013


    Violence against anyone is appalling, more so towards our women, but what is even more abhorent and still being overlooked by many in our society is the abuse that small innocent defensless children suffer, many time at the hands of the people who are there to love and protect them.
    We as women can get up we can walk out, but a child cannot, it is true that what we cant see, or if it does not interfere with our lives directly we tend to over look and not give it any of our emotion time or place and value.
    SO sad that children are expoited, beaten, sold and tortured what the hell has happened to the human race,,,,, NOW WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THIS WAS HAPPENING TO YOUR CHILD,,, WHAT WOULD WE ALL DO IF WE HAD A CHILD IN OUR DIRECT FAMILY THAT WAS AFFECTED,,,,, I know what the hell I would do,,,,, same as I know what I would do if it was a man or woman being abused,,,,,,,,,, TAKE ACTION YELL LOUDLY, TELL YOU NEIGHBOURS, TELL EVERYONE, DEMAND JUSTICE,, DONT BECOME COMPLAICANT,,,, BE OFFENDED

  • Reply October 17, 2013


    Thanks Jojo,
    Abusers are so cunning and clever – they are all charm when it suits them and this means that so often victims of abuse are not believed ( this is excruitiatingly distressing, leaves in its wake a burning sense of injustice that never really goes away). When confronted – it’s denial and excuses ( this is why it’s so important not to make excuses for thse monsters … ‘ personality problems ‘ etc what a load of crap, pls save your sympathy and empathy for the victim) . Calling BS is so important in these situation, especially where a child is involved. I know of battered women’s shelters, but do not know of one such facility for children. Please speak out about this issue and make it clear to the perpetrator that their behaviour ios abject and criminal. It would be great to see the law taking a greater part in discouraging such behaviour

  • […] “This Is a Blokes’ Issue“, Ken Lay, The Hoopla, 04/09/13 […]

  • […] This is a bloke’s issue […]

  • Reply November 11, 2013


    Violence against women should never be accepted.

  • Reply November 11, 2013


    What about violence towards men by women? In my house, our mother is the raging, uncontrollable abuser and my dad the victim – there is no support for these men either who are said to be weak but are indeed equally victimised and trapped.

  • Reply November 12, 2013

    sign our petition

    Hi Jojo and Barbara … why do you discriminate when you say “… more so towards women” and ” … against women should never be accepted” ? Challenge to you – Would you accept these statements if the genders were reversed?

    The children in our society need to be protected by us all (thank you Jojo) and this is not just because of our care for them – it is especially important as 75% of the women and men that abuse, were abused (or witnessed abuse) as children. This applies to abusive women as well. Some say, in relational terms, an abusive mother has a more profound effect on our children than an abusive father does.
    Yes, we must address all circumstances where violence is seen as “the norm”. Hundreds of international and respected studies show that “domination” is a key determinant in perpetrating domestic violence, and women tend to dominate relationships. This is born out by research that shows the most prevalent initiation of DV is perpetrated by women, the next most prevalent is bi-directional between partners and the lowest prevalence (some 15-19%) is initiated solely by men.
    We will perpetuate DV unless we recognise and change all sources of learned DV – obvious isn’t it?
    You may be interested to know that in the UK there are 4,500 refuges for women and children and 75 in the whole country for men, of which, some 5 or so, will accept a man with children. Equality? Justice? Breaking intergenerational cycles of abuse?
    Erin Pizxzey founded the very first women’s refuge in London in the 1970’s and she observed that some two thirds of the women in the refuge were as violent – or more violent – than the men they seeking refuge from .. this is not just dry stats … but living pain and suffering and complex interpersonal relationships and the real victims are our children. I strongly recommend her book “prone to violence” – available for free on the internet.
    Please sign our petition to bring some humanity to the debate. – Erin Pizzey has!

  • Reply November 13, 2013

    Looby Loo

    Last year the male Manager in the office where I worked, was revealed to have made sexist comments to me. At the time, I discussed the situation directly with him….and left it at that. I didn’t report him – it became clear via e-mails over a different matter, that the incidents had occurred. After a few round table discussions with upper management, it was decided that the plan of action was that I was not allowed inside the building, if he was alone inside the building. I reacted appropriately to this plan of action – to me it inferred in some way that I had been provocative, that I was “the problem”. I resigned my position. The IRONY is: the workplace was a high profile Australian counselling service, and my “upper” manager, was female! Over a year later I still feel very angry and struggle with dealing day by day with men in the workforce, and life in general.

    • Reply November 15, 2013

      stop this sexism

      Hi Looby Loo … Lets try and stop all sexism – against both men and women. I find it very undermining and I, too, feel angry at the perpetrators. I find it very debilitating. I honour a sense of your insight, awareness and openess.

  • Reply November 25, 2013

    Ella Miller

    Ken Lay, thank you.
    There is another aspect of violence against women that needs to be discussed . That being psychological violence which is just as damaging. Being deprived of financial funds which keeps women being captive in inappropriate relationships.
    The saddest thing of all is that we women bring up these men.
    So where do things go wrong? Do we perpetuate violence of any kind against women by staying in relationships where our children learn disrespect for women.
    How can we change in order to bring up male children who do not condone violence against females?

  • Reply November 25, 2013


    I feel very sad when I hear the hurt and anger in the voices here. We all must stand up and say violence is wrong, especially violence in the home which should be your place of refuge from the world.
    However it must be said that most men do not practice or condone violence against women, children or any one else. Most of us are working hard to bring up our daughters AND our sons to respect others, to live in harmony and to not tolerate discrimination or psychological or physical violence. And to stand up for those marginalised or oppressed.
    Those who are living with violence must feel that that this is the norm but I’m just saying there is another world out there, and it’s a good one.

  • Reply November 25, 2013


    Stark. Thanks Ken. Some of the illustrated negative attitudes and ignorance your article illustrates, used to be promulgated by the police. I am glad police training has improved as a result of men like you, and women’s advocacy organisations insisting on change for the better..

  • Reply November 26, 2013


    It’s just a shame we cant eliminate violent psychos from the gene pool before they commit these acts. Of course it’s a mens issue but these campaigns are preaching to the coverted, how do we get through to those individuals who have a screw loose?

  • Reply November 26, 2013


    I haven’t heard anyone put it better Ken Lay and I’m heartened that a member of the police force is speaking out. We need a wide angle lens on this issue.

  • Reply November 26, 2013


    to Anna – I can read the frustration you have experienced with your friend. I think it’s important to continue to support your friend. Believe in her. She will leave for good one day and when she does, she may well need you more than ever. Violent men count on isolation. It sounds like your friend has such extremely low self-esteem, she doesn’t believe she is good enough for anyone else. Remember that what she does is not a negative on the help you have given her. You are not responsible for that. You are responsible for your behaviour. She is lucky to have you in her life.

  • Reply November 27, 2013

    Paul Brett

    I am somewhat at a loss for words, as I admit my guilt, as a “casual bystander”…… while within I deplore any form of abuse against Women, Children, the Elderly, whether it be Physical, or Verbal, Mental or Emotional, it is true that we “Men” abdicate our role, duty and responsibility, when we fail to act, against this disease in our midst! I will endeavor to change the way I handle this from here on in. Thank you for your “wake up call”.

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Ken – let’s see the numbers. I don’t accept something simply because someone in authority says it’s so. It may be that women are almost exclusively the victims (the frame within which your article is set), but I suspect that the reality is nowhere near as clear.

    • Reply November 27, 2013


      Leonard, what motivation do you think the Victorian Police Chief would have to lie about the numbers? Are you an MRA?

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    I have a huge amount of difficulty with the manipulative nature of the “You’re either with us, or against us” tone

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    The statistics here are horrifying. So hard having a young teenage daughter, wanting her to have the confidence to go anywhere and do anything but also keep her safe from violence.

    Thanks Ken Lay.

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Whether he is lying (or mistaken) or not is irrelevant. If there is solid evidence supporting the view that this type of violence is mostly male on female, let’s see it. In the absence of any supporting evidence (there is none at all in this article) it’s not possible to have any sense of the true picture. What I’m saying is – I’m open to being convinced, but don’t expect me to be convinced by an “Appeal To Authority”, which is a logical fallacy

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Sandy – I have no idea what an MRA is, nor do I intend to find out. I have a passion for fairness, equality and freedom, and will oppose injustice or inequality of any form, wherever I come across it.

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Slight correction. ” …. and will generally oppose injustice or inequality ….” Principles are fine, but some prudence is required in deciding when to demonstrate them. Choose carefully the principles you’re willing to die for.

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Dead women is one statistic Leonard. I do wonder about the latest white ribbon campaign urging people to “safely” intervene? I have a couple of times~ once by my self, and once with other women? I am not sure how we can tell what is a ” safe” intervention?

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Leonard, if you want numbers they are easy to come by. Just Google and you will come up with a wealth of information. Why not research it yourself if you need convincing.
    But I suspect you don’t want any numbers if they confirm what Ken Lay is saying.

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Intervention (in any situation of violence occurring) is is fraught with difficulties – consequences include anything from being attacked by either (or both) parties involved, attacked by bystanders, or even finding yourself charged with a crime (anecdotally, that seems to be quite possible). The safest for everyone is (I imagine) to call and capture – call someone who knows how and is equipped how to intervene appropriately and capture information (video, images, or just your eyes).

  • Reply November 27, 2013


    Jeez dudebro, you sound like a rolled gold certified MRA to me. I found the relevant stats in about 10 seconds flat on the google machine. But you sound like the sort of bloke who wouldn’t believe them because they come from various government resources (logical fallacy???? is that like the Apex fallacy???) which have of course conspired to constrain good men like yourselves into being slaves in the current matriarchal matrix.

    • Reply November 27, 2013


      About safe interventions, if you are not sure or not physically capable~ call the police if you fear a criminal assault is happening or is about to happen? They have tazers, and guns, and dogs etc?

  • […] I Swear This is a Bloke’s Issue […]

  • […] I Swear This is a Bloke’s Issue […]

  • Reply November 30, 2013


    my 7yr old granddaughter was punched by a 9 year old boy 2days ago, when my daughter in law confronted him about hitting girls, he promptly said ‘ my dad hits my mum all the time, its no problem’ , i was so disgusted to hear this and the fact that the boy has to live in an environment of violence and he thinks its normal …….. more education in schools is needed to help tackle the problem…….. out of the mouths of babes as they say

  • […] I Swear: This is a Bloke’s Issue […]

  • Reply January 17, 2014


    For the avoidance of doubt – I’m a man and proud to be a ” ….. a rolled gold certified MRA” and I’m still human, sensitive and aware and I live in the UK. I am not a troll. One of the things of which I am aware is that children are the real victims in Domestic Violence and we need address all forms of Domestic Abuse so that we do not teach the children how to become abusers. Government policy (and the Police) need to face the fear of challenging Radical Feminist Politics that disseminates misleading and false information and sexist hate – even tho’ it may cost you your job. We must protect children (not just this generation, but their children and their children’s children) and to do this we must fight RadFems skewed statistics and sexism by standing up to them. LEONARD … Hi … you make a good point I feel … lets have the evidence. Visit our Petition website for some basic non-RadFem, apolitical evidence about Domestic Violence … in summary; Domination is central to Domestic Violence and women tend to dominate relationships. Most Domestic Violence is bi-directional (between both parties). Children are at three times the risk when both parents are violent t each other. Most, if not all, abusers were abused as children.
    Unless we reject sexist hate and support equality, reality and the significance of women’s domestic violence, then the government and police will condemn this and subsequent generations of children to perpetuating domestic violence through learned and experienced behaviour. Perpetuating Domestic Violence is a multi million pound and prosperous business (i.e. Women’s Aid in the UK). Lets put the suffering of children before business and radical politics.
    Please show your support by signing our Petition – and check out the stats!

  • Reply January 27, 2014


    Thank you Ken Lay. This really needs to be read by so many. Thank you to all the men and women who say no to violence and keep the conversation going. A shame that we have to hear the revolting drivel from the MRA trolls but don’t lose heart and keep sharing your stories. Silence is not the answer.

  • […] one woman a week is murdered by an intimate partner. Countless others and their children are terrorised by controlling, angry […]

  • Reply March 20, 2014


    There is a culture of corruption present in our society and it infects the public service to such an extent that these attitudes – combined with legalities and policies – negates justice. Domestic violence does not just affect women but children and the elderly also. I have written to the RC into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse only to be told my situation (and that of my siblings, cousins and grandparents) falls outside their jurisdiction and that I should contact the Federal Attorney General to request their assistance. There has been no response from them.

    Anybody who has tried to report child and elder abuse, for example, knows how hard it is to muster courage just to speak without having to negotiate the unnavigable, self-perpetuating, cyclical bureaucracy, and relive the experience several times only to suffer the incompetence, negligence, idleness, indifference, intimidation, mockery, and complicity of the public service that conceals the offences, isolates and silences victims, and in so doing enables those that should be held accountable.

    In 25 years nothing has ever been done about what I been trying to report (one involving a former Victorian police officer) and the “internal investigations” are a conflict of interest that have absolved and concealed the failures of those at fault even as no action continues to be taken on my reports.

    Responses to my reports include charming comments like “are you sure you’re not the abuser” and “sounds like you’re making it up to get even with someone for something that never happened” (Child Safety services), “there’s not enough evidence to warrant an investigation” (Police), “you should keep quiet about that sort of thing or you’re going to be sued for defamation” (a teacher, Legal Aid, Police), “your allegations are too vague and dated” (Ombudsman), “the only common denominator in all your problems is you” (Civil Liberties), and “get over it” (all too common).

    This is what victims and survivors must face to be heard so how many others have suffered the same responses, suffered depression and resorted to suicide or worse? Attorney General George Brandis once said “How can you know what all the evidence is without an investigation?” and then went on to comment that he suspected a cover-up regarding the matter he was speaking about. Ken Lay himself said in regards to Luke Batty, a child that never got the chance to shine, that the tragedy was “an opportunity” to get things right. What does that make the rest of us that are ignored and the future victims of predators enabled by a public service that silences victims?

  • Reply April 28, 2014


    data can be helpful
    In 2012, three men per week were killed on trains (to use ken lays analogy) .
    171 (67%) homicides…male victim

  • Reply December 25, 2014


    I just like the helpful information you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and test once more here regularly.
    I am slightly sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the following!

  • Reply December 29, 2014


    What a great article, Ken. All the best for your time caring for your partner.

  • Reply December 30, 2014


    Whilst I applaud the work Ken Lay has done with regard to domestic violence, and I wish him well in his retirement and certainly hope his wife gets better very soon, I also agree with the people who are saying “what about violence towards men”? That is a huge, huge issue. Both my sons have suffered very badly from violence by their respective female partners. I won’t go in to detail here except to make one point … that in the community we live in, there are safe houses for women but none for men. Perhaps The Hoopla could do an article on men who suffer at the hands of their partners also?

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