OPINION: Miranda Devine's column on violence was reckless

POVERTY and "unsuitable women" getting messed up with deadbeat baby daddies is the cause of domestic violence.

That was the key message in a reckless opinion piece by Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine over the weekend that had me spitting out my coffee and throwing social media into a tailspin.

"Poverty is the cause of domestic violence, the desperate chaos of the underclass, played out in welfare dependency, mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse...," Devine wrote.

She also dismissed PM Malcolm Turnball's "$100 million gimmick" in funds for DV services as nothing but a ploy to get feminists onside.

For a senior member of one of the biggest media organisations in the country to publicly put her head in the sand and suggest domestic violence doesn't affect all socio-economic groups and families and all kinds of women with different backgrounds is incredibly dangerous and counterproductive.

Aside from all the inaccuracies and poor messages towards victims of domestic violence, Devine's article was also an embarrassment to me as a fellow journalist. And also a woman, quite simply.

She clearly hasn't learnt from her poor choice of words, with her Twitter feed riddled with personal attacks on her critics. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying the attention.

The thing that frustrates me is this - working for the media, where anyone can pick up the newspaper, click online or flip through their phones and read your words, we have a responsibility to accurately inform readers and act in their best interests.

It is not a forum in which to publish poorly researched, ill-opinionated and quite frankly damaging and irresponsible articles.

It's a place where we have the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives and our communities - just look at our petition to get SafeTALK into our schools to help combat youth suicide. I just wish more journalists and newspapers used their powers for good, instead of trivialising and worsening serious issues our readers face every day.

Topics:  editors picks opinion

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