DAN JERVIS-BARDY: Why men need to get angry in the fight to end domestic violence

Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
2 Min Read
DAN JERVIS BARDY: I can run alone, in the peace and quiet, without fear of being followed or attacked — or killed. That’s because I’m a man. That’s male privilege for you.
DAN JERVIS BARDY: I can run alone, in the peace and quiet, without fear of being followed or attacked — or killed. That’s because I’m a man. That’s male privilege for you. Credit: The Nightly

Most mornings before dawn, I lace up my shoes and head out into the darkness for a run.

My home city of Canberra is blessed with a network of sprawling urban nature reserves and within minutes you can find yourself completely alone, immersed in a silence interrupted only by the rustle of gravel underfoot and kangaroos bounding through dry bushland.

I can run alone, in the peace and quiet, without fear of being followed or attacked — or killed.

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That’s because I’m a man.

That’s male privilege for you.

Canberra is among the safest places on the planet but it’s still not enough for women to feel comfortable jogging alone in the dark, at least not without carefully planning their route to make sure it follows well-lit paths.

It would be the same in Perth and across WA.

It is certainly the case in Ballarat — the town in regional Victoria where Samantha Murphy was allegedly murdered while on her daily run earlier this year.

The alleged murder not only cut short the life of one 51-year-old woman but I’m sure it reminded millions of others why they do the things they do to protect themselves.

Like not running alone at night, or holding car keys in between their fingers in case it is needed as a weapon.

As men, the fact these precautions are necessary — and they are necessary — should make us angry, even ashamed.

The anger should fuel us to speak up, to demand of ourselves a seismic cultural shift that means those precautions are no longer needed.

You don’t need a national cabinet meeting to do that.

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