Did you know that on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
We are here. Call us when you’re ready: 1-800-799-7233. pic.twitter.com/RwhPxr6sNw— National Domestic Violence Hotline (@ndvh) March 4, 2019
Those numbers are staggering to me on one hand, but on the other I am no stranger to the reality of domestic violence. It has come into my life and the lives of my friends and family. It's sad, but it is a reality.
Australia has recently changed their migration laws in order to bar any person who has been convicted of domestic violence anywhere in the world from getting a visa to enter the country.
In the past, Australia has denied travel visas to R&B singer Chris Brown and boxing star Floyd Mayweather due to domestic violence convictions. Now the ban has become more encompassing and applies to all foreign visitors or residents who have been found guilty of violence against women or children.
That means that if you are a convicted domestic abuser and you are already living in Australia with a visa, you could now be kicked out.
The government is using the rule, which took effect on February 28, 2019 to send a message to domestic violence perpetrators. Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman had some strong words on the matter.
"If you've been convicted of a violent crime against women or children, you are not welcome in this country. The message is clear: if you’ve been convicted of a violent crime against women or children, you are not welcome in this country. Wherever the offence occurred, whatever the sentence – Australia has no tolerance for domestic violence perpetrators."
“By cancelling the visas of criminals we have made Australia a safer place,” Coleman said in the public statement. “These crimes inflict long lasting trauma on the victims and their friends and family, and foreign criminals who commit them are not welcome in our country.”
However, not everybody is happy about this new bill.
New Zealand has long taken issue with Australia’s policy of exporting convicts, and this new policy highlights why. Under the new rule, New Zealanders who have already served their sentences for domestic violence and lived in Australia most of their lives could be kicked out and sent to live in New Zealand. Such circumstances raise questions about when justice has been served and the role of rehabilitation in domestic violence convictions.