The often-quoted statistic is that one woman a week in Australia dies at the hands of a current or former partner.
If that doesn’t scare you, how about the unofficial count kept by the Destroy the Joint group, whose Counting Dead Women project has recorded 61 women dying violently so far this year?
It is said that three quarters of women who die violently in Australia know their killers. We have to ask ourselves why this is the case and why it is still happening.
We hear complaints about the shortage of police officers to attend to incidents and a court system that doesn’t “lock up” offenders, and these concerns are not without foundation.
The lesson we need most to teach our children is that women are free to reject sexual advances – in whatever form they might be delivered – and that a “no” is not an invitation to try harder next time.
But if we want to see real change, perhaps the time has come to focus on the start of the process, not the end.
We have to ask ourselves why, in the 21st century, attitudes that belong in an era long gone are still allowed to prevail.
There is a lot of chatter around about “micro-aggression”, with commentators usually picking out examples that are most likely to attract scorn.
We get the eye-rolling about safe spaces and the use of “jazz hands” instead of clapping at women’s gatherings because the sound can be “triggering”, and I’ll admit some of it does sound silly.
But maybe we need to look at it differently. Remember the “broken window” policing theory? It was said to have been a successful program that helped reduce the New York crime rate and the thinking was that tackling lower-level crime, like vandalism, would have a flow-on effect to other offences.
Perhaps we need a version of broken windows policy when it comes to violence against women, hence the push to take a stand against micro-aggression.
That wolf-whistling and the crass comments being made by a group of blokes as they drive past a solitary woman?
No, it’s not funny, not welcome and not flattering.
If you ask a woman out and she says no, that’s the end of it. You don’t need to “try a bit harder”. She gave you an answer. Move on.
Don't assume she is “just playing hard to get”. Instead, accept her answer and leave it at that.
Indeed, that may be the crux of the whole matter: If you get an answer you don’t like, tough luck.
Women don’t have to smile and bat their eyelashes at every bloke who cat-calls or makes a suggestive remark.
And they don’t have to accept “friendly” touches if they don’t want to.
Saying it is a joke or a compliment won’t cut it.
I am well aware that the vast majority of blokes wouldn’t dream of behaving like this, so I guess it is to these men that I would like to appeal the most.
We need you good men – and there’s a lot of you – to take the lead on this one.
Chivalry is often said to be dead, but it isn’t really. It’s just changed.
These days, the knights in shining armour don’t need a white horse, they need a respectful attitude and a willingness to call out bad behaviour when they see it, and to be decent blokes who are going to raise a new generation of decent blokes.
The lesson we need most to teach our children is that women are free to reject sexual advances – in whatever form they might be delivered – and that a “no” is not an invitation to try harder next time. If someone has said no, there isn’t a “next time”.
In Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice, the central character Elizabeth Bennet is put into an awkward situation when she is forced to listen to a proposal of marriage from her odious cousin Mr Collins.
When she rejects his proposal, he completely ignores her, assuming that she is, in a nutshell, playing hard to get because he considers himself to be an awesome catch.
Pride and Prejudice is both old, and a work of fiction, but sadly the assumption that no woman in her right mind would say no does still exist in the minds of some.
I know human interactions can be messy, complicated and contradictory, but what we cannot do is assume that it is the woman who should submit to the man whenever there is an area of contention.
Jody Lindbeck is a Fairfax journalist.