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Music

What About the Girl begs the question… What about domestic violence?

***Trigger warning*** Domestic Violence

The sensational WA musician Stevie-Leigh has just come out with a new single What About the Girl and if you haven’t listened to it, I beg you to stop what you’re doing and give it a spin!

The beautiful track is not only catchy, but shines a light on the often unspoken issue of domestic violence. It’s an issue that raises a lot of opinions, uncomfortable silences, and highlights the lack of action from governing bodies. When reports are released stating that domestic violence is the number one worldwide killer of women, however, it’s painstakingly clear that we must tear off the band-aid and have the discussions.

That is something that artists like Stevie-Lee are engineering; opening up a conversation with a look into their own pain and the trauma of those that they know.

The talented Indigenous singer-songwriter isn’t just opening a conversation through music. At her November single launch at the Raffles hotel there was literally a conversation. Various guest speakers and mental health professionals discussed domestic violence and mental healthcare, as well as their effects on society. All proceeds from the evening were donated to Nardine Wimmins Refuge. Anybody in the world who ever plans on having a single release party, please take note!

Whilst What About the Girl is raw and honest, it’s not completely overbearing with the horror of abuse. A casual listener may not know the context of the song, but still come away feeling enlightened. It’s all wrapped up in a catchy, well-written bow that had the uncanny ability to shed some truth without the listener even realising it.

This is what I absolutely love about it. Domestic violence is an issue that should be black and white, but all too often it still manages to fall into a grey area. I’m not saying that we should all start catering to the grey area, but the idea of someone who can’t see how big of an issue domestic violence is (or automatically assume accusers are lying, provoked it etc.) listening to this song and just maybe having their view slightly altered is, in my opinion, invaluable. It’s not the ones marching in parades and holding fundraisers that we need to convince.

Another way that this song is truly remarkable is how empowering it could be for someone in a similar situation. Experiencing any kind of trauma can make us all feel incredibly alone and isolated, but none more so than being abused at the hands of someone you love. Knowing that other people have or are experiencing similar things could be crucial to someone deciding whether to stay or leave, or even for someone going through a different kind of trauma that just needs to know they’re not alone.

Whilst the lyrics of the song and the emotion in Stevie-Leigh’s voice are brimming with sadness and hurt, the melody of the song is actually quite upbeat. It gives it a silver lining kind-of-feel, a message that, although things may feel very bleak right now, it won’t always be this way. Combined this with the multi vocal tracks in the chorus make the song feel akin to an anthem. This anthem is that of female empowerment, of survivors uniting, of enough is enough, of a country that loses one woman at the hands of an ex or current partner each week.

What About the Girl is out now – check out Stevie-Leigh’s Facebook page for all the latest!

For more information about domestic violence and how to help, please see the links below:

Nardine Wimmins Refuge

Our Watch

DCP Domestic Violence Helpline

Please note that although this article is specifically addresses domestic violence against women, men can be and also are victims. For more information please see:

Mengage-Domestic Violence

 

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