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Home » Why a chilling detail in Grace Tame’s art has disturbed Auss

Why a chilling detail in Grace Tame’s art has disturbed Auss

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Grace Tame illustrated a cover for InStyle AustraliaIt features a statistic of women allegedly killed by gendered violenceThe art had to be repeatedly altered due to the number risingREAD MORE: The hard proof that Anthony Albanese is failing to protect women – as he urges Aussies to ‘do more’ to combat the ‘national crisis’ of male violence 

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame illustrated a cover for a magazine to raise awareness about the country’s domestic violence epidemic.

However, the artwork for InStyle Australia’s July edition took several attempts to finalise due to the number of women allegedly killed by gendered violence this year.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the InStyle page explained the statistic ‘quickly became inaccurate’ whenever the cover art neared completion. 

‘Each time, the number of Australian women killed in 2024 in an epidemic of gendered violence rose,’ it said.

‘Today, it stands at 49 women in 190 days. Tomorrow, that number could be different.’

Thousands of Australians joined a national rally in April demanding the Albanese Government do more to protect women from gender-based violence following months of horrific attacks.

Reflecting on the rally, InStyle wrote: ‘We marched and pushed our government to take urgent action on gendered violence. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared it a national crisis and pledged nearly $1billion in practical measures to stop the scourge.⁠  And then, silence.⁠’

InStyle Editor-in-Chief Justin Cullen said male violence was impacting Australian women more than any other issue, which was reflected in the cover design process.

‘At the time of Grace making her first sketch, the number of dead women sat at 43. Three weeks later, when she sent us the final piece (or so we thought), it had risen to 47. That was two days ago,’ she wrote on Instagram. 

‘By the next morning I had to ask her to amend the number on the illustration to 48, after the body of a woman was found dumped in a wheelie bin in Victoria. 

‘Grace supplied a nine while she was at it, just in case anything happened in the 24 hours before publication.

‘What a thing to have to preempt.

‘Then, yesterday afternoon, a 49th woman was confirmed dead, [allegedly] stabbed at home in NSW by a man she knew. 

‘She would have been the 50th if a woman hadn’t escaped the [allegedly] purposefully lit house fire on Sunday, where three of her children became the 7th, 8th and 9th children killed in [alleged] incidents of domestic violence just this year.’

Ms Tame shared her own statement regarding the creation of the cover, which featured hands holding a heart with the 2024 death toll of alleged domestic violence pinned on it.

‘Part of the problem is that unless we have seen it up close, we readily ignore violence because it’s too confronting,’ she wrote.

‘That the death toll has increased by 6 since I started this project on 13 June, speaks volumes.’

Ms Tame also shared her own experiences with domestic violence and called out people who consider it a ‘social problem affecting certain individuals or groups’.

‘Incidents rarely happen in a vacuum, they typically form part of a wider pattern of abuse, enabled by a culture of normalised violence,’ she said.

‘We’ve been conned by the pernicious illusion that we can heal primarily through prevention education and discussion.

‘…Idealistic notions of respectful relationships miss the main point, although they are important.

‘…We need a holistic suite of solutions that engage every industry and demographic.

‘This is a crisis of public health.’

The July cover drew supportive comments from dozens of readers who applauded InStyle for keeping the domestic violence awareness at the forefront. 

‘Powerful and deeply moving. It is simply inexcusable that the citizens are keeping this epidemic front and centre, and not the government who have broken their promise. Yet again. Grace is extraordinary with her artwork,’ one wrote.

‘Incredible artwork. Important topic. Hard not to feel hopeless in the face of it all,’ another said.

Another wrote: ’49 is 49 too many – how I wish we could stop that figure immediately.’

Another commented: ‘Amazing work. Having survived intimate partner and family violence I’m relieved to see this finally receive attention.’

InStyle also reflected on how government action to help survivors of gendered violence had seemingly lulled since the news cycle moved past April’s rally.

‘Ten weeks since those national rallies, eighteen more lives have been tragically lost; four women killed in 48 hours over the first weekend in June; three women murdered in three days last week, their wrongful deaths buried deep in newspapers and feeds,’ it said.

‘A fatal stabbing yesterday; an alleged domestic homicide on Saturday.

‘…Violence against women isn’t a flash-in-the-pan crisis, it’s an epidemic.’

The 49 alleged victims of gender-based violence

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