General discussions in here!
Hi Ruthie,
I definitely think the internet empowers minority groups through providing a forum where people can come together, share experiences and realise there are lots of other like-minded people. The internet makes it easier b/c people can be anonymous initially (particularly relevant with issues such as DV) and they can transgress geographic boundaries. Minorities stay minorities when people are dispersed or silent...and the internet helps overcome both those things. I think the uprisings in the Middle East earlier in the year potentially wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the internet - people in Egypt were sending each other facebook messages to go to Tahrir Square and revolt - would they have been able to get the msg out without the internet (and also mobile phones)?
Mass media (TV, newspapers etc) on the other hand, I don't know - all media that you have to pay for really disempowers minorities as they generally don't have the money, and it just amplifies the views of those who can afford to broadcast them.
I think there's a really big opportunity at the moment to increase awareness of the plight of so many mothers in the family court system, and outside it, drawing on the internet and social media...and using that to create change not only in the legal system but also in community attitudes and services. I've been thinking about this for a few months now and have some ideas on how it could be done. I think society needs to become aware of exactly how many people are experiencing abuse, and how the legal system (and society) is treating them. The stories on are very powerful (my heart goes out to all the people who've shared their stories - some are horrific) and anyone with an inch of compassion would take notice. I think part of the problem is the gag on talking about cases in the media, which really only serves to further disempower survivors of abuse in my view, as there is no media recourse for any injustice they experience in the courts, and it stops the general public from really becoming aware of the problems in the system.
Anyway just my 2c worth...sorry for the rant! Happy to talk further offline and interested in your thoughts on this also.
Yes I'm inclined to agree .. there's no money in DV until there's a body or huge explosion, that's my view of the print and news media at the moment. They need to make a profit, and protecting women won't do that so it doesn't happen. But men doing dramatic things to make a point (like halting a capital city traffic flow at peak hour or blowing something up) THAT gets attention from the news media!

What I experienced here the day the senate debated changes to the family law act, was interesting and encouraging. It was in fact amazing, to hear from women who had messaged and thanked Kate Ellis, and heard that their thanks caused her to be tearful. To mobilise a couple of highly active and visible internet business ladies and see the DV news go out to thousands of people right away. That was just incredible.

I agree I think, at every point, really. I'm glad we have social media now, at least gives us contact with like minded people ... that's awesome for minority groups. And btw you sound like you just took my media and politics course at UNE :)
Hi Ruthie,
I agree - pleased we have social media now to help bring minority groups together and bring them more power. I wasn't in the country at the time of the Bill hearing but do follow Kate Ellis on Twitter and agree the messages of thanks at the time were uplifting and reassuring, and great to know she really seems to care about the issue and is connecting with the DV community. Can't say I have done the UNE course, but nice to know I sound like I have! :)