These posts contain extreme trigger and content warnings for all aspects of domestic violence, including sexual assault and rape, and are all deceased persons.
This work has been inspired by Jane Gilmore, Sherele Moody, and Clementine Ford. Each of these amazing women have been working tirelessly to bring to light the women that are currently being failed by our society.
As always, there will be contact information at the bottom of the page, and you are always welcome to contact me or DM me on my Facebook page.
If you are aware of someone who may be in danger, I implore you to speak up. You may be wrong, but you may also save someone’s life.
Each of my posts link to each other, whether you see the links or not.
Last year, I pointed out how each murder victim highlighted a different part of rape culture, each one as sinister as the next.
One of my main, overarching themes this year is the bystander effect.
It’s in the story about how my bridesmaid chose to stand by, and watch other people tear down my life, because it was more convenient for her.
It’s in the story about every domestic violence victim that’s been ignored.
It’s in every chronic illness post.
And, in part, it’s what led to Lisa Harnum’s violent murder in 2011 (though her murderer wasn’t sentenced until February 2014).
Firstly, before I get into Lisa Harnum’s violent murder, I want to ask one thing:
Her murderer, Simon Gittany, deliberately put loving videos on YouTube of things like his proposal to Lisa, to try and persuade public opinion that he was a “perfect, loving man” that “could not have murdered Lisa”. Please do NOT watch any of these videos. I will NOT be embedding any of his videos for this reason.
Like most abusive relationships, Lisa’s started out perfectly, and the restrictions placed on her by her murderer were common, abusive red flags such as:
- Her work
- What she wore
- Who she associated with
In September 2010, Lisa moved in with her would-be murderer into a fifteenth-story apartment in Hyde Park.
Her murderer immediately started setting up surveillance equipment, saying it was “for safety”, but the Crown (Americans, that’s like your “People” or “District Attorney” or whatever the fuck you have) revealed during the prosecution that not only were these cameras designed to spy on Lisa, but there were also secret cameras linked to a computer in the study and to an external hard drive hidden in the ceiling (Critchley and McGrath, 2015).
By February 2011, Lisa was struggling with her relationship, and was starting to consider leaving her murderer.
After one such altercation between the pair, on the 16th of April, Lisa’s murderer texted this to her:
“Who the fuck do you think you are walking around the house like you own it or coming & going without my permission?! Again I waited for you to apologise for your disgusting comment but you walk around like a peacock with your hair out & too proud to apologise. You lied to me & promised you would listen to me at all times. Obviously, you’re still the proud person & nothing has changed!” (Critchley and MacGrath, 2015.)
Feeling the loss of control over his relationship, Lisa’s murderer proposed to her on the 12 June, 2011, but by the 18th of June, Lisa could not handle the abuse, possession or control her partner had over her. She messaged her friend for help, asking to stay in one of her friend’s houses, but because Lisa’s murderer had installed spy equipment on her phone, he was able to call and threaten Lisa’s friend, Gisele, preventing her escape option there.
By July, Lisa started seeing a therapist, and revealed that while her partner wasn’t physically abusive, but was extremely domineering and seemed to always know what she said to her mother (due to the spy technology he had installed on her phone and computer devices, which was revealed during the trial).
By the 30th of July of 2011, Lisa was trying frantically to leave, and had previously called her mother (who lived in Canada), to “come and get her”. She had also purchased a one-way ticket to return to Canada, as she was desperate to flee her relationship.
However, by 10am on the 30th of July, 2011, Lisa was thrown off her 15th storey balcony by her partner.
Before her murder, Lisa’s neighbours heard her screaming: “Help me, help me, please God, help me!”, but, according to the witnesses, the screaming “stopped suddenly” and they did not investigate.
I’m going to pause for a moment because I want ya’ll to see a PSA domestic violence video I’ve shown to my kids when teaching DV before:
If, for some reason, you were unable to view the video, the video contains a couple listening to a man violently beating his partner. The husband, after getting tired of listening to the blows, picks up a baseball bat and goes next door. The husband then hands the abuser the bat, saying, “I thought you could use this.”
The implication is that by hearing and seeing abuse, and doing nothing, you are partially complicit in violence against women.
It’s a fucking powerful ad, if you can watch it. (Thank god we didn’t have Twitter when this ad was invented, could you imagine all the whingy men if they’d seen this one? Fuck me dead.)
And, in many ways, this PSA’s message heavily foreshadows Lisa’s murder.
Just before 10am, CCTV footage caught Lisa trying to flee her apartment. (Note: I am deliberately ommitting them due to distressing content.)
69 seconds after Lisa’s murderer grabbed her, while she was waiting for the lift, Lisa was thrown off the 15th balcony to her death.
Several witnesses saw Lisa’s murderer “pick something up” before throwing it over the balcony.
So today, think of Lisa Harnum, a beautiful Canadian woman who travelled to Australia, who fell in love with an abusive man, and who was murdered by a horrible human being, who could not bear to let Lisa be without him, so much so he chose to murder her.
Remember that Lisa stated, just before her murder, her partner had never been physically abusive.
Remember that there is no gatekeeping for abuse.
Abuse is abuse.
And psychological abuse is just as dangerous, if not at times more so (due to its lack of attention and understanding), and can just as easily end in the murder.
And if you hear someone screaming for help, at least call the police.
And men who didn’t get the Gillette ad because they lack basic comprehension skills: THIS IS WHAT THE FUCKING AD WAS TALKING ABOUT YOU FUCKING SHITS. PEOPLE HEARD LISA BEGGING FOR HER LIFE BEFORE SHE WAS KILLED, AND DIDN’T DO FUCKING SHIT. JUST BECAUSE YOU AREN’T AN ABUSIVE PIECE OF SHIT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVEN’T CONDONED IT BY DOING NOTHING BECAUSE IT’S “NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS”.
And if you’re still shitty about the Gillette ad, I hope your new razor cuts your fragile skin fifteen times, one for each storey Lisa fell to her death.
In Emergencies: 000
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
— Sources —
Bachelor of Education: English and History
Diploma in Criminology and Profiling
Diploma in Forensic Science
Background in law and psychology
Teacher 7+ years
Background in special needs, learning support – other specific teaching fields that required hands-on development.
NB: This is a declaration of the background of my personal knowledge, collected over the years via a professional form of education and development. Some of these take the form of actual degrees and others come in the form of necessary professional development. When doing your own research, you should always try and verify the person’s credibility. My credibility, nor anyone else’s, is not with their education. Everyone has biases and no one is infallible. I am deliberately including some of my background education to highlight this, because you should be questioning information you are receiving.
And if in doubt, please use CARS, because you’ve got to start learning what information to trust and why you’re trusting it. Also, if you want more sources than provided, fuck off and learn how to use Google.
Is the claim credible? Is the author writing biased? Is the author credible? An elite education doesn’t make someone more or less credible, so you often have to look beyond a person’s education background.
Do the claims fit in to an accurate timeline? Do the claims made by the author reasonably stand up? If you’re seeing a lot of inaccuracies, especially against the timeline the person is creating, you need to consider if the claim is accurate. Context is often key.
Mostly, this comes down to whether or not the person is clearly creating a bias. Obviously, everyone has biases. I try and declare mine at the bottom of every post that I think would benefit from extra sources. I freely admit that I definitely have biases, prejudices and will obviously write in a way that conveys what I believe is the truth. That doesn’t mean I’m always right – which is why reasonableness is so important. Everyone is biased, and it’s virtually impossible to not impose your belief, in some form, while sharing. But if the person is deliberately manipulating facts, or omitting information, then they are an untrustworthy source (here’s looking at you, Fox).
Basically, this comes down to whether or not you can find “support” for the claims made. In anything professional, like an essay or journal article, references are essential. However, information can come from popular media sites, or from TV shows/movies, that might require YOU to do some work. I know that conservatives, in particular, seem to detest this as they seem to believe that the other person needs to do all the work, but that’s not how you actually learn. You learn by taking the information and researching it yourself. If you refuse to do this, which is an important part of the process, you will never truly progress in your own education. Out of everything here, I honestly believe this is the most important. If you are unwilling to research things on your own, and instead demand someone else to do the work for you, you have no interest in learning or understanding a different position. You are looking for confirmation bias.