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Our Watch: Two Australian women killed by violence in past 24 hours a reminder of national emergency

December 1, 2020 / Our Watch media team

In this article

The Our Watch Board, currently meeting in Canberra, has sent its deepest condolences to the family and friends of two Australian women who were violently killed in the past 24 hours. This includes Samr Dawoodi, who died in her home in Fairfield, New South Wales, and a 42-year-old from Narre Warren, Victoria.

Our Watch Chair Natasha Stott Despoja pledged to highlight the severity of the crisis of violence against women when meeting with Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum tomorrow. 

Violence against women is a national emergency. It was a global epidemic before the pandemic, but has been exacerbated by COVID,” Ms Stott Despoja said. 

These violent deaths are shocking and heart-breaking.   

This violence is preventable. We all have a role to play: in our workplaces, homes, sporting clubs and at all levels of government. We must challenge disrespect towards women and embed gender equality.  

It is currently the UN’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. 

This year’s national toll of women who have been killed by violence is now 48, according to Destroy the Joint. 

Meanwhile, Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly urged journalists reporting on these tragedies and similar stories to do it in a way that informed, educated, and contributed usefully to a public dialogue about the issue of violence against women.     

“We ask the Australian media to utilise the Our Watch media reporting guidelines when covering stories that involve violence against women,” Ms Kinnersly said.   

The Our Watch guidelines include:

  • Statistics on violence against women in Australia 
  • How to appropriately frame a story and guidance of use of language 
  • Important resources including a list of community services and experts on violence to go to for comment 

In addition to the contacts for local support services, journalists are reminded to always list the following tagline at the end of the story: 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. 

If you are worried about your behaviour, call Mensline on 1300 78 99 78 or visit mensline.org.au.

About Our Watch

Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms and structures that lead to violence against women and children.

Media contact

Shannon McKeogh, Senior Media and Communications Advisor, Our Watch: 0412 612 039 or shannon.mckeogh@ourwatch.org.au

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit Media Making Change.

Find out more about our work to end violence against women in Australia.

The evidence
Woman holding baby.