“If violence against women was taken seriously, could other crimes be prevented?”

Many people are contemplating this question after the emergence of new information about Man Haron Monis, the alleged lone gunman responsible for the hostage situation that transpired Monday in Sydney.

Specifically, Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian political refugee granted asylum in Australia in 1996, has a history of sexual assault charges. As reported by Fusion, “In October he was charged with 40 counts of indecent and sexual assault, including 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault and 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault. He was also charged last year as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, the mother of their two children.” That’s in addition to an earlier charge of sexually assaulting a woman in 2002.

Captain Turtle

This tweet nails some unfortunate truths about sexual assault. First and foremost, society is still grappling with the right way to treat perpetrators of sexual violence. Monis received a sentence of 300 community service hours for sending “offensive and deplorable letters” to surviving families of fallen Australian service members.

But for the 40-plus counts of sexual assault, Monis had been free on bail. His next court appearance was set for Feb. 27, but he reportedly died when police rushed into the cafe where hostages were held. Let’s repeat: Monis would have remained free on bail through that appearance.

Monis’s situation reflects the larger laissez-faire attitude toward an epidemic of sexual assault in Australia. A 2014 study found that “16.4% of women 15 years old or older in Australia and New Zealand have been the victim of sexual assault by someone who wasn’t their partner. … This compares to the global average of 7.2%.” In a government study, 57% of female respondents reported being physically or sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime.

The truth is that if violence against women was taken seriously, especially in the court of law, Monis would have been behind bars, and, potentially, the #SydneySiege never would have happened.

This sentiment has been widely expressed on Twitter, with people questioning how someone like Monis could be allowed his freedom:

Ellen May

Marcie Bianco

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9 responses

  1. Why didn’t you publish my comments regarding the bail laws

  2. I couldn’t be bothered wading through the bizarre punctuation and spelling errors.

  3. And the guy that shot two ny policemen had shot his ex partner in the stomach that morning. Sexist psychopathic violence should be seen as a symtom of a deranged individual who is a threat to all humans at any time.

  4. Ok sorry my bad. I just wanted to point out how misguided was the article, since the reason why Man Haron was on bail was because of a loophole change in bail laws made at the end of 2011, said laws, put onus on the state rather than the accused,it’s also interesting to note that on 2 days after of the Sydney siege a lady that was out on bail( she was free under the same law) killed 7 of his children in Cairns, so it just seems to me that the writer is using this unfortunate event as some sort of rallying cry, and if that is I wonder why she didn’t talk about the lady..

  5. First of all, with regards to the Cairns murders, I can’t find any mention in the mainstream press of the women being on bail for a previous crime, so I wonder where your claim for that comes from.

    Secondly, this isn’t about the particularities of Australian bail law, it’s about how when men, anywhere in the world, commit violence against certain women (women who are seen as belonging to them, their wives, their daughters etc, or as being public property, ie prostituted women), it isn’t seen as ‘real’ violence, and it isn’t taken seriously. Men’s violence is only seen as ‘real’ when it is committed against other men, or against women that don’t belong to them.

  6. Actually the article implied the the judicial system doesn’t take violence against women seriously hence the.questioning of why he.was on bail..she.was on bail for domestic violence.. I’ll post the link.. I’m on me phone

  7. Shit or get off the potty.

  8. Surprise surprise, a month later and he hasn’t come back with this supposed link – either he was genuinely misinformed and not brave enough to own up to it, or was lying for malicious MRA-type reasons.

    I read articles from all the major news sources before challenging him; I read a selection again before writing this comment (including in the Daily Mail ffs), still nothing.

    The Wikipedia article on the case says nothing in that regard (Wikipedia, yes, I know, but digging up dirt and linking to it isn’t that difficult), and this BBC article says that:

    Police have dismissed reports the family had been investigated by social services, saying it was “not a problem house”.

  9. And look what else I found with a quick search:

    There is no previous record of domestic violence and disturbance involving Warria or the address where the bodies were found.

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