Taking a trauma-informed approach to DV support

“The DVU has the aim of triaging clients to receive appropriate types and intensity of service according to their specific needs and capability,” the report said.

Legal Aid operates a total of 12 special units across the state, working other legal and human services to provide accessible services to people experiencing DFV.

This week an evaluation report of the program was published by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. The findings of the report indicated a quarter of clients who had been supported by the DVU received multiple types of services, which included assistance of a non-legal nature.

However, the evaluation also reflected stakeholder feedback that expressed concern about the capacity for the under-resourced DVU to meet the demand for services. The report recommended that expansion of the unit was a key matter to negotiate for the future.

Among those that accessed Legal Aid NSW’s DVU program were disadvantaged people, predominantly women, who were experiencing DFV. Over 69 per cent of DVU clients had dependants, with more than half speaking a main language other than English. The report also showed that two-thirds of clients were not employed and over 63 per cent were recipients of government benefits.

“The DVU was also seen as filling gaps in social work support and assistance to people experiencing DFV, often complementing the court support roles of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs),” the report said.


Breaking the cycle: women are learning to love their hormones

he grand plan, the plan to end the Second World War, was inspired by the docility of Paula Hitler. You don’t hear much about Paula, do you, the lesser-known Hitler, who worked as a secretary while big brother Adolf was upstairs doing the Holocaust? But yes, inspired by Paula, British spies planned to end the war by making Adolf less aggressive. They intended to do this by smuggling oestrogen into his food, thereby turning him into a woman. Hitler had tasters, said Professor Brian Ford of Cardiff University, who discovered the plot, so there was “no mileage to putting poison in his food because they would immediately fall victim to it”. But, “Sex hormones were a different matter.”

In 2006, Haselton started publishing research showing that women do alter their behaviour during “peak fertility”. But she found herself offending two camps: those who rejected the suggestion there is still some animal inside us civilised humans, and those who believe her findings undermine efforts to achieve equality. Tabloids distilled her research into snappy headlines about sex, but today the real news, Haselton believes, is that women’s rights are enhanced, not diminished, “by an increased understanding of how our bodies and minds work”. To learn more, she adds: “We need to get more females into the lab” – as well as more female scientists, more female research participants, more recognition of the cultural bias that treats male bodies and brains as the norm. More education about our bodies’ rhythms and heats, and then a sense of satisfaction, perhaps, when we say: “I’m hormonal.”


Inquiry demanded as hazing culture in top university colleges revealed

Abuse, bizarre hazing rituals and misogyny are rampant at the nation’s oldest university, according to a damning new report.

Key points:

  • The Red Zone report reveals hazing rituals carried out on first-year students at university college residences
  • Report author Nina Funnell is calling for hazing to be made illegal
  • Ralph and Kathy Kelly believe their son’s suicide was connected to him being hazed

Some of the rituals allegedly involve male students at Sydney University’s residential colleges masturbating into shampoo bottles belonging to female students and defecating in hallways.


Transgender mountain biker controversy: Kate Weatherly case causes confusion

A TRANSGENDER downhill mountain biker has caused a stir by dominating races — just three weeks after switching from men’s to women’s competition.

The confusion about the crossover period of transgender athletes is now causing some riders to shy away from competition in the sport, according the NZ Herald.

Kate Weatherly rode as a male until December last year. She then competed as a women for the beginning of the 2018 National Downhill Series in January and won the New Zealand national women’s championship by almost 13 seconds in Wanaka last weekend.

Weatherly insists she has played by the rules of Cycling New Zealand’s transgender policy, which takes into account testosterone levels.

“It’s kind of one of those things where I’d like everyone to be on the same page,” Weatherly said.

“If everyone’s not happy then maybe everyone’s not doing their best racing and I just want everyone to be having fun and doing their best.”


NORTHERN IRELAND / UK – CEDAW find that the UK violates the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly res tricting access to abortion

The Northern Ireland Alliance for Choice has welcomed the report of the CEDAW Inquiry, published on 23 February 2018, which was launched following a submission to CEDAW in 2015 by three Northern Irish groups – the Family Planning Association, Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform, and Alliance for Choice.

The report concludes that the UK is in violation of a number of articles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

“Denial of abortion and criminalization of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations,” said Halperin-Kaddari, a law professor specialising in international women’s rights. Women’s mental anguish was exacerbated when they were forced to carry to term a non-viable fetus (in cases of fatal foetal abnormality) or where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, she continued, adding that forcing a woman to continue with her pregnancy in such a situation amounted to unjustifiable State-sanctioned violence.


The term ‘part time work’ is a relic that’s hurting working parents

‘Working part-time’ is a total misnomer for working parents. It sounds like an innocent descriptor to categorise people not working full-time – giving a neat definition to statisticians and HR departments across the country – but over the years it has accumulated such baggage and become so gendered, that it hurts a lot more working parents’ careers than it helps.

Whether you have kids or not, how many times have you heard statements like ‘She only works part time’ or ‘That project would have been finished earlier but he is working part-time’? Or “‘We’ve had to allow her to go part-time’?

Almost one-third of the Australian workforce is employed part-time. Within that is a significant portion of working parents trying to do the big juggle between work and family. When a parent starts working part-time, it brings with it instant judgement and new perceptions in the workplace.

The fact a person might not sit at their desk for five (or six) days a week, putting in 12 hours a day, does not preclude them from contributing or leading.

Talking about part-time work also hurts men who want to reduce their hours at the office in order to be a bigger part in their kids’ lives. As Annabel Crabb argues in The Wife Drought, we need to do all we can to encourage women to step back into the workforce and all we can to help men step out.


Jacinda Ardern’s 60 Minutes interview and the fatberg of sexism faced by powerful women

For anyone who remains in doubt that women in positions of power must constantly resist being sucked into a giant, marauding fatberg of sexism and misogyny, Wide Awoke gives you 60 Minutes: an Australian TV interview with New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. Or, as it might be hashtagged, #TheShitWomenDealWith.

Cringe as Wooley gushes that he has met a lot of prime ministers, “but never one so attractive”. Hide behind your hands as Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, are probed about who does the laundry. Gape as Wooley gloats about catching a fish “bigger than the First Bloke’s” when he and Gayford, who presents a TV show called Fish of the Day, go fishing together – then jokes about Ardern being “the catch of the day” . . . Barf into your mouth as Wooley asks whether their baby, due this summer, was conceived during the election campaign. Yes, a prime minister in 2018 was actually questioned about whether she had sex with her partner on the campaign trail.


Calls to scrap proposed family law measure

A parliamentary hearing has heard that the proposed Parenting Management Hearings should be abolished, with funds to be re-invested to reduce “unacceptable” waiting times in the family and federal courts.

Mr Bailes added that the $12.7 million to establish and operate the panel could achieve a far better outcome for children and parents involved in family law disputes by instead “allocating the funding to improve resourcing of the existing court system, as well as counselling and support services, such as contact centres”.

“If the aim of the proposal is to respond more quickly to the needs of unrepresented litigants with less complex disputes, then both courts would be in a position to respond appropriately to those needs by, for instance, funding for the recruitment of registrars.”


Met Police Lose Appeal Against John Worboys Victims

The Metropolitan Police have lost an appeal against the victims of a man who is thought to have raped or sexually assaulted more than 100 women.

Two women, known only as DSD and NBV, later took the police force to court and won compensation, claiming the Met had breached human rights laws by failing to believe their claims and not properly investigating. However, the police later appealed saying that they shouldn’t be held accountable in these kinds of cases.

Speaking after the Supreme Court ruling today, DSD said it was it was an “emotional” day after fifteen years. “The police need to stop wasting public money and start doing [their] job properly,” she added. “Had [they] done [their] job properly there would have been one victim, not 100. I can take one, I can’t take 100.”


Risky relationships: why women are more likely to die of a broken heart

Divorce puts women under significantly more physiological strain than men, research reveals. When men remarry, their risk of heart attack drops again, but Stamp writes that, for women, divorce means a rewriting of their health prospectus forever: “The risks posed by divorce to a woman’s heart health is on a similar level to that of high blood pressure or smoking.” Men married to women, on the other hand, are significantly less likely to have heart attacks in the first place and those who do recover from them much faster than single men or women married to men.

Stamp – who is often mistaken for a nurse and referred to by her first name where her male colleagues are addressed with titles – explains that gendered issues in the industry affect medicine itself. “Women in academic medicine or even in higher levels of medical research in general are quite underrepresented. And whether we like it or not, we all have a bias towards looking at things that are more pertinent to ourselves,” she says. So, with all of that, we’re only just now learning about both the biological and social differences between men’s and women’s hearts. And because of that, the knowledge isn’t there among healthcare practitioners, and so we don’t know what to look out for and we dismiss symptoms. Women don’t want to seem silly and then they go to their healthcare expert, a doctor or nurse, and they dismiss it as well because the symptoms are strange or because women are more likely to be perceived as being anxious. It’s just this storm of complications that mean that women’s hearts are so much more at risk.”