The internet is becoming a new medium for tracking, controlling and violence against women, says Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.
In an interview with The Australian Women's Weekly for our new online video series, Let's Talk, launched today and hosted by editor-in-chief, Helen McCabe, Broderick says an alarming number of men are using tracking devices to control their partners.
"I hear from women every day in the women’s refuges that I go round," Ms Broderick says.
"They will move to an undisclosed location, essentially a safe house, and next thing their partner will be walking out the front. How’s that? Well that’s because the kids toys have got GPS technology put in them. The car - he’s got a tracking device on the car," she says.
"If you put 'track my wife' into Google, you will get so many millions of hits".
Ms Broderick goes on to add that domestic violence in Australia has reached epidemic heights, with approximately one in three women experiencing some form of physical violence in their lives.
"There are now more women living in an intimate relationship, characterised by violence, than there are malnourished people living on the planet," Ms Broderick adds solemnly.
Part of the change that needs to be implemented, Ms Broderick believes, is financial independence. Speaking on the topic, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, claimed that many women were being kept in violence situations because they were unable to obtain financial independence from their abuser.
"With economic power, comes power in a relationship," Ms Broderick says, "Power in organisation. Power to make choices in your life."
"I think it's the issue of our age, for women".
Adding to the discussion is Former Miss Universe Australia and future Mrs Buddy Franklin, Jesinta Campbell.
Women, she says, act in a deplorable way towards football players to gain attention and celebrity.
"I've seen girls lift skirts up and put men's hands underneath their skirts!" she explains, "It's almost like they will do anything to have the glory of being with a footballer."
"It is really disappointing to hear that..." Ms Broderick agrees, "Sporting icons, like your fiancée, and other really powerful, decent men - they do have a lot of power, and a lot of influence. When they stand up and speak out about violence against women, against that sort of behaviour, that will have an impact. People will listen."
This edition of Let's Talk is the first in a series that will be released once a week. The Weekly prides itself on being current, and discussing matters that matter to women, now. If you have a story about an issue you think affects women, send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)