An officer from the Lancaster Police Department photographed Maggie's injuries. When Maggie expressed hesitation about filing an order of protection, the officer told her, "You know, he's not going to stop. They never stop. They usually stop when they kill you." Picture: Sara Naomi LewkowiczSource:Supplied
She says she did intervene, by getting a friend to call the police, and says she would do the same thing over again.
“I’m not going to argue with people any more about my actions that night. I stand by them and frankly [Maggie] stood by them and she said I did the right thing. For sure, I would do the same thing again. I called the police and took the pictures,” she said.
“A lot of people said ‘How could you take the pictures?’ But if you look at the pictures and feel upset, then you need to think about why you’re more angry at the photos than the fact that this actually happened to someone.
“That shit was going to happen whether I was there or not. He’s abused multiple women he’s been with. This is habitual; this is not a one off. I prefer to have been there to be like ‘This is what abuse looks like. It’s really ugly and disturbing’. Figure out why you’re so disturbed by it.”
In Australia, at least one woman a week, on average, is killed by her partner. One in four Australian women will experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, and that same number will experience emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
They are shocking statistics that speak to how common misogyny is all over the world, Ms Lewkowicz says. Fixing our global domestic violence problem starts with fixing how men and women relate to each other.
“It starts with the small stuff. It’s not just teaching girls how to avoid physical and sexual abuse, but teaching boys that you don’t have a right to a woman’s body, you don’t have the right to force a woman to do anything. You’re not entitled to her,” she said.
“If you’re fighting with your girlfriend, you’re not allowed to block her from leaving the room. Our idea of masculinity is defined by how efficiently can [men] dominate your environment? It’s defined by ‘Do you have control over all the things in your life?’ ‘Don’t show emotion unless it’s anger’. All those behaviours are toxic for men and they’re toxic for women. They’re just not good for anybody.
“It’s been pretty unbelievable to see how often that stuff goes down and how many people suffer.”
Shane pleaded with Maggie not to let the police take him into custody, crying out, "Please, Maggie, I love you, don't let them take me, tell them I didn't do this!" Picture: Sara Naomi LewkowiczSource:Supplied