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Man vs Bear: A Woman’s Dilemma

The latest trend on TikTok that has garnered over 2.3 million views and 76 thousand interactions revolves around a provocative question: “Would you rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear?”

In the original video posted by SCREENSHOT, 7 out of the 8 women interviewed quickly stated they would prefer a bear:

  • “Bear… man is scary.”
  • “I’ve heard about bears; they don’t always attack you… so maybe a bear.”
  • “Depends what man, but probably a bear.”
  • “100% a bear, which is terrifying to say.”
  • “Definitely a bear, some men are very scary out there.”

These interviews were released just weeks after ongoing protests against women’s violence in the Brisbane CBD, with echoing cries for “No more violence, no more hate.”

This trend underscores the growing concerns about violence towards women in Australia.

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Alarming Statistics on Violence Against Women

According to “Our Watch” the following statistics are alarming:

  • 2 in 5 women (39%) have experienced violence since the age of 15.
  • Women are more likely to experience violence from someone they know (35%) than from a stranger (11%).
  • In 2021/22, 4,620 women aged 15 and over (an average of 13 women per day) were hospitalised due to family and domestic violence.
  • 1 in 4 women (27%) has experienced violence, emotional abuse, or economic abuse by a cohabiting partner since the age of 15.
  • 1 in 3 women (31%) has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
  • 1 in 5 women (22%) has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
  • 1 in 2 women (53%) has experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.

Over the past few years, on average, one woman has been violently killed due to an act of domestic violence each week in Australia.

In 2024, this has escalated to the equivalent of one woman every 4.38 days, marking it as a crisis.

Real-Life Examples of Domestic Violence in Australia

The recent conviction of Chris Dawson in 2022 for the 1982 murder of his wife Lynette Dawson highlights the tragic reality of domestic violence. Charges against Dawson were only brought in 2018.

This case gained renewed attention due to the affair Dawson had with a teenage student, Joanne Curtis, whom he later married. The podcast “The Teacher’s Pet” delved into this situation, sparking a deeper investigation that led to the reopening of the case.

Joanne’s testimony in 2003 revealed a pattern of controlling behaviour. She stated, “I did as I was told. He chose what I wore. If I was going somewhere, he would have to approve it.” This behaviour would be considered coercive control under current domestic violence legislation.

Sadly, Lynette’s remains have never been found. As a result, New South Wales passed “Lyns Law” in 2022. This law denies parole to individuals convicted of murder without a body being recovered.

Queensland has also seen its share of domestic violence tragedies. The deaths of Allison Baden-Clay and Hannah Clarke, both killed by their former partners, serve as stark reminders of this issue.

Hannah’s parents, Sue and Lloyd Clarke, have become powerful advocates for including coercive control in Queensland’s domestic violence laws. Their hope is to prevent future tragedies like the one that took their daughter.

We Are Here to Help

If you are experiencing domestic violence, you are not alone. There are resources available to help you.

Call BWJ Law:

Our experienced family lawyers can provide legal advice and support for domestic violence cases. Contact us for a confidential consultation on 07 3390 2344.

We understand the complexities of domestic violence cases and can help you with:

Take the first step towards a safer future. Call BWJ Law for a confidential consultation.

Get Help Now

National Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service (1800RESPECT):

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) 24/7 for confidential information, support and referrals.

Queensland Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 811 811

In an emergency, call 000.

Need Help Navigating Family Law?

Our experienced family lawyers can guide you through the process.

Contact BWJ Law for a consultation today!

Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas

Legal Bookkeeping & Accounting

Meet Lisa, our seasoned professional who joined our team in August 2022, boasting an impressive background of over two decades in accounting. With a solid foundation in IT and a Bachelor of Science under her belt, Lisa’s journey evolved as she not only managed her own accounting firm but also earned postgraduate degrees in both accounting and commercial law.

In her pivotal role, Lisa is instrumental in maintaining the firm’s compliance and ensuring seamless operations. Her wealth of experience brings a wealth of knowledge to our team, contributing to our success and client satisfaction.

Beyond the numbers, Lisa finds balance in her life through activities like Pilates and walks with her beloved dogs. Her dedication, expertise, and passion make Lisa an invaluable asset to our team, driving us towards excellence in every aspect of our work.

Amy Hayslep

Amy Hayslep

Receptionist

Amy joined our team in December 2022 as a receptionist, where she plays a vital role in managing our firm’s administrative support and daily operations. 

Her commitment to excellence and efficiency has greatly contributed to the smooth running of our office. 

Amy is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business with a focus on Marketing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, a testament to her dedication to professional growth and understanding of business dynamics. 

Amy’s aspiration to integrate her marketing insights into her current role demonstrates her forward-thinking approach and commitment to continuous improvement. Outside of work, Amy enjoys Pilates, baking, and gardening.

Jon Staby

Jon Staby

Paralegal

Jon was born in Windhoek, Namibia and moved with his family to Brisbane in 2005. Jon is currently studying his Bachelor of Laws and aims to complete it by the end of 2024. 

Jon has been currently working as a Paralegal since April 2023 and has a keen interest in all family law areas.  

Jon believes in the law to empathetically and expertly help clients to reach the best outcomes for their unique circumstances. 

In his free time, Jon’s hobbies include painting, playing basketball with friends, and watching television shows with his pet cat Luna.  

Serena May

Serena May

Solicitor
LLB (Hons) BBus

Serena was admitted to the profession in 2022 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business from QUT. 

Serena has previous experience as a Barrister’s Assistant in family law as well as working in a mid-tier commercial law firm in property law, wills and estates, employment law and construction disputes. This experience has provided her with the opportunity to learn from an array of senior legal practitioners before choosing to specialise in family law.

Serena is passionate about ensuring her clients feel well informed throughout their matter. Serena acknowledges every personal circumstance is unique and no other person knows exactly what it is like to walk in your shoes. 

Serena recognises that clients are often experiencing immense stress and require compassionate and efficient communication from start to finish to empower them to move on to the next chapter of their life.

On her weekends Serena enjoys heading to the coast for a surf and spending time with her poodle pup, Miss April May.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Practice Leader – Founder
BSc LLB (Hons) GDLP

Michael was awarded a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from QUT in 2012, and was admitted as a lawyer in 2013. 

He also has a Bachelor of Science from UQ which he was awarded in 2007 (before deciding that a career in law would be more interesting than science).

Michael has practiced exclusively in the areas of Family Law, Child Safety (Care and Protection), and Domestic Violence since mid-2014. 

Michael has experience as a Separate Representative for children in Child Safety cases and has appeared on behalf of hundreds of people in Family Law and Domestic Violence cases in Queensland and the ACT.

Michael’s experience means he has a particularly keen insight into how to best avoid Court and he has an excellent record of settling cases quickly and without unnecessary conflict and cost. 

That said, he also knows how to best prepare and conduct litigation if Court becomes unavoidable, and he will expertly guide you through even the most complex and delicate case.

Michael takes a genuine interest in his clients and will make sure that you are properly advised in a way that is easy to understand, without all the unnecessary jargon that so many lawyers love to use. You can trust Michael to be direct, flexible, and empathetic. 

When he is not at work, Michael loves being in the outdoors, whether that’s fishing from his kayak or working in the garden. He also loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

Matthew Watt

Matthew Watt

Practice Manager – Founder

As one of the founders of BWJ Law, Matt is an indispensable member of the executive team. 

He plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of the firm, focusing on implementing operational strategies and realizing the organization’s vision. 

This ensures that all employees are equipped with the necessary resources to perform at their best, delivering unparalleled service to clients.

An active member of the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and an associate member of the QLD Law Society, Matt consistently stays updated with the latest in legal practice management. 

He recognizes the significance of continuous professional growth, ensuring that he offers the best support to legal practitioners. 

Moreover, he adeptly manages a diverse range of corporate and strategic responsibilities inherent to the role of a practice manager.