Clare Potts writes this Thinking Out Loud on the gap between what we can achieve through anti DV efforts and the problem of the human heart.

Well, it’s been a weekend of everyone saying the right things again. Albo marched with the women. The Attorney General ticked the box. Yesterday morning, the Minister for Women, Katy Gallagher, told ABC News Breakfast about a range of strategies the government is considering.

And I get it. I get that there’s no malice in platitudes. But I’m exhausted. We’ve seen this movie before where everyone demands change, promises results. Meanwhile, last year 34 women in Australia were killed by their current or former partner. This year, we’re at 28 deaths and tracking to overtake last year’s count.

Personally, protecting myself from random acts of sexual violence is so normal to me, I don’t even question it.

There’s a line from The West Wing that’s been going around in my head the past few days. A dispirited Sam Seaborn turns to the Chief of Staff and says, “Leo, there are times when we are absolutely nowhere.” Cue every woman in Australia nodding.

I hope that the best outcome of these weeks of hell is for the government to listen to the recommendations of peak bodies, tighten up consequences of violating AVOs, and fund a wide range of programs with evidence-based results.

But even if this happens, we as a country must reckon with the fact that education, funding, and action is still only half the story. The other half is the human heart. Governments can do a lot and they can only do so much – they can restrain our worst selves, and give us a good chance of becoming the best people we can be. But they have no jurisdiction over the heart of a man who chooses to kill his partner. I wish they did.

If we want to change the heart, I suspect we’ll need to appeal to a higher authority.

This column first appeared on Facebook.

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