Showing posts from November, 2015

An Open Letter to Destroy the Joint – We’re Waiting

Dear Destroy the Joint

Last week, you told us that you apologised for excluding us from your page and from the ongoing conversation about violence against women.

This is what you said;

Dear Destroyers,

Let us begin with a belated and unreserved apology about the way we have handled the comment moderation in this instance. We acknowledge we can always be more inclusive. We are constantly discussing ways we can achieve this and no woman living with disability should be excluded from this page. Anyone who has been banned as a result of this will be unbanned. Please email so we can be thorough about this.

It has always been our mission to include everyone and Counting Dead Women includes all women who have been killed as a result of gendered violence.

We have left this post here, along with all the feedback so we could gain a better understanding of how the events have unfolded and how the way we have run the page may have contributed to it. We want to do the ri…

On the Bus

It is so frustrating.

Destroy the Joint are counting dead women, mostly women who are killed by men.

Destroy the Narrative are counting dead men, only those who have been killed by women.

For both those groups, they are counting the people who have been killed 'this year'.

But for many people with disability, nobody is counting. Nobody knows when we are dead. The story of an Autistic boy who was killed by his mother and stepfather - he was bound to a chair, doused with cold water and put in a garden shed, where he died of hypothermia - only went to court this month, in 2015. He had died in 2011. Rebecca Lazarus, a woman murdered by her partner outside her group home in 2007, also went unnoticed, uncounted for over five years. On the 14 November 2012, 1960 days after Lazarus was brutally murdered, the Coroners Court of Victoria released its report, a “Finding Without Inquest”. Until then, nobody knew - and perhaps that was because nobody cared.

Our deaths 'must …

The Apartheid of Mainstream Feminism (or when is a woman not a woman?)

When is a woman not a woman? When she’s disabled, of course.

It’s been a sad week for women with disability who are battling for inclusion in feminist circles. But it’s nothing new.

In 2013, Stella Young wrote an article about ‘The Politics of Exclusion’, in which she recounted a story of her contact with Destroy the Joint, a feminist group who aims to make sure women are included in public participation.

Destroy the Joint had set up a website where people could take a pledge. It read, in part:

I want an Australia where girls and women, where men and boys, can take part in our society without enduring discrimination, sexism and violence.

I want an Australia where we respect each other; an Australia where no person experiences hate because of their gender, race, religion or sexuality.

And I will challenge anyone who uses sex, race, religion or sexual orientation to incite hatred or to demean or vilify any of us. I will not stand by and let others do so without speaking up.’

The Boy and the Bed

This week, police interviewed a mother of a 16 year old Autistic boy who was found chained to a bed. She was later released without charge, and her son was returned home.

And then it started. The media, the cameras and the comments on social media, many from members of the public who argued, ferociously, that although child abuse was 'never all right', the community should 'not judge'. Until you are this mother, a struggling Somalian migrant with five children, you cannot 'walk in her shoes'. You do not know what Autistic children are like, many of them declared - they can be violent, dangerous, and at least the boy would be safe chained to the bed.


In 2008, 16 year old Callista Springer died in a house fire after being chained to a bed in her home. She had tried to escape from the upstairs room, but the chains held her. Her parents were imprisoned, not for murder but for torture and child abuse - 18-50 years.

This was Callista.

But over in Au…