*Editors note: We sat on this story for a week before publishing. The author expressed concern about the backlash she would receive if we published it. We have since made the editorial decision to go ahead and publish it because it is this Fear that these kinds of people rely on and helps maintain their power. We say F that.
Following the launch of a petition to shut down the Bloke’s Advice group, which used to have 211,000 members,** Sherele Moody received a death threat from a member.
38 Australian women this year have been killed as the result of gendered violence.
With alarming statistics like this, there’s no wonder community members are outraged by the Bloke’s Advice page.
“It made me mad that no-one seemed to find this behaviour reprehensible and instead the commentators simply egged others on,” Ms Moody said.
After the release of screen grabs promoting the rape and disrespect of women from the popular closed Facebook group last week, Ms Moody, founder of The Red Heart Campaign, decided to start a petition to permanently shut the group down.
The Facebook and Tumblr-based campaign shares over 30 domestic violence victim’s personal stories.
The campaign aims to give survivors a voice and Ms Moody feels strongly about the misogynistic posts and comments made on the group page.
She said the problem of domestic violence lies within the male perpetrators mentality towards women.
“Men who believe it is okay to demean, harass and bully women (online or otherwise) are just as likely to believe it is okay for them to bash and rape their partners,” Ms Moody said.
Her campaign followers were also bombarded with threats of physical and sexual violence and it’s still continuing.
“Within hours of starting the petition, I received a death threat and Blokes Advice members started bombarding Red Heart Campaign followers with threats of sexual and physical violence.”
A supporter of Ms Moody’s and domestic violence survivor Paige* thinks more needs to be done on the Facebook administrators’ behalf to shut down Bloke’s Advice.
“I think the people who run Facebook need to more closely monitor groups like this. I am not saying all men on there are posting but the ones who are should be targeted by Facebook and banned,” Paige said.
Paige, who continues to suffer emotionally and mentally from her long-term abusive relationship, is fearful at the widespread praise and acceptance within the group to disrespect women and promote rape as a way to punish women.
Since the petition, Ms Moody has received reports of the Bloke’s Advice page being shut down but she believes these are most likely fake accounts set up by the group’s founder to put Facebook off their tracks.
For support on domestic violence contact 1800 Respect on 1800 737 732 or visit https://www.1800respect.org.au/
*Name has been changed to protect the victim’s identity
This story has been published under a pseudonym because of evident backlash that is received by authors or activists against the abusive content that Blokes Advice posts.
** membership is now down to 42,000