When disgraced AFL player manager Ricky Nixon attacked his then fiancée Tegan Gould, he grabbed her by the throat, pushed her against a wall, hit her in the head then fled police custody. In her victim impact statement, Gould said the assault left her suffering headaches, bruises, nightmares, panic attacks, and that she was intimidated, paranoid, introverted. She said she lived in fear of him hurting her again. With five serious offences against him – along with a pattern of inappropriate behaviour towards women over time – what sentence was applied to Nixon? A grand total of 200 hours community service. Domestic violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in women 15-45 years in Australia. It costs this country $8.1 billion a year, estimated to rise to $9.9 billion by 2012 if appropriate action isn’t taken. But even where guilty verdicts are achieved – which is rarely – the consequences seem minimal. When will these crimes against women be taken seriously? Here’s what I had to say on the subject on Channel 10’s The Project last night (starts at 3.46).
Ricky Nixon pleaded guilty to beating ex-fiancee Tegan Gould to ‘protect’ his and her family
“My fear is that this will send a message to other victims that domestic violence isn’t that serious – that if someone beats you, they will just get a community service,” she said yesterday.
“This is a vulnerable woman being attacked by an older man in a position of power and authority. It’s a concern when he gets off so lightly.” Full story here.