RIP Luke … Kids first … education is the only solution
You would be forgiven tonight if you are a separated mother in an unsettled broken relationship with your ex-husband, who may find it hard to sleep if your child is staying with their father.
This is the unfortunate implication of the tragic event yesterday where eleven year old Luke Batty was killed by no less than his own father. But hopefully, reason would quickly prevail, especially when you realise that statistically speaking, 80% of all child killings occur at the hands of the mother (or due to her complicity).
Yes, its still very early on and perhaps we will all universally see this tragic event as a case involving mental health issues, that sadly could not have been foreseen much less prevented.
But I happen to think that much like the way the Arthur Freeman “girl over the bridge” child murder was portrayed by the media, that this case too, no matter what the mitigating circumstances were, will be portrayed as a case of domestic violence, the kind where only men are the perpetrators.
And how will the media suggest we could stop these tragedies from occurring again? Well I fear another case of even more punitive family law amendments, just like the 2011 family law amendments pushed through by Julia Gillard and her Attorney-General , Nicola Roxon, in the aftermath of the Arthur Freeman killing.
The kind of exploitation and abuse that such blanket laws can create, which would be clear to anyone who cares to think such discriminatory laws through, will of course not be challenged, so in the end a tragedy such as this will become nothing more than an opportunity to force through more ineffective laws that further discriminate against men, in the name of saving lives.
I would suggest that a more worthwhile exercise would be to look at why this man exploded, and why did he ended up killing the one human being he loved more than anything else in life.
If we are serious about saving lives, then blanket domestic violence laws that discriminate against people based on gender is not going to do it.
I would suggest that we need understand why this man felt so betrayed, so abandoned, so alone and so angry. This is clearly not a simple problem, and we are not going to solve it by doing more of the same. I would add as a case in point that the 2011 family law amendments did not protect this child, so maybe we have to start from scratch and start to genuinely look at prevention, and not add more fuel to the fire with more punitive laws.