When pictures of the female players with full-forward breasts were splashed everywhere following Legends (aka Lingerie) Football League games in Sydney and Melbourne this month, it underscored what has been a losing year for women.

Little publicity is given to women's sport in general. Did you even know there are female gridiron teams, where players wear full protective clothing like men? But attention wasn't a problem in this case. ''It's far better than watching netball,'' wrote Aaron Langmaid in Melbourne's Herald Sun.

The high ratio of photos to text online was significant. Camera angles captured bikini-topped flesh and skimpy undies in reports that failed to even mention the score. Women's bodies were on display, treated as a spectacle.

There were few advances for women in other public areas either. Australia now has fewer women in cabinet than the government of Afghanistan.

The Human Rights Commission has shown that sexual harassment remains widespread in Australian workplaces and that attempts to address it have stalled. The Bureau of Statistics presents similar disturbing figures on the harassment and stalking of women.

Victims of sexual harassment and assault continue to be blamed for what is done to them. The Victorian parole board review found that deadly mistakes had been made in the release of women's assailants, leaving them free to strike again with ferocity.

A Queensland victim of alleged rape and torture was too traumatised to continue giving evidence, but the judge would not grant an overnight adjournment. Her rapist was released and once free, raped and stabbed her again.

In NSW, community services ''reforms'' have slashed positions and made domestic violence caseworkers redundant. Domestic violence workers say they have no certainty about budgets for their specialised trauma and crisis work, although demand for services strips resources.

''There urgently needs to be a corresponding increase in funding of services to meet this demand. The cost of failing to support these victims, to the families as well as the wider community, is immense,'' says Vicki Johnson, manager of a service for women in Sydney that has experienced a 40 per cent increase in referrals since 2010.

An Institute of Health and Welfare report released this month found high rates of homelessness among Victorian women.

Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service chief executive Annette Gillespie said the organisation experienced a 30 per cent increase in demand each year. Victoria Police crime statistics show 40,839 reported family violence incidents in 2010-11, rising to 60,829 incidents in 2012-13.

''Our crisis service is run off its feet trying to help women and their children who are experiencing violence and abuse at their hands of their boyfriends, husbands or ex-partners,'' says Gillespie.

''It's not unusual for safe-house accommodation and refuges across Victoria to be full by noon every single day of the year.''

Queensland agencies providing support for women victims of domestic violence also struggled after the Newman government slashed funding.

Pop culture continued to treat the abuse of women lightly.

Robin Thicke's rape-excusing song Blurred Lines was described by one male commentator as ''lots of fun''. On a tour of Australia, rapper Tyler the Creator incited violence against a young woman activist who still receives death and rape threats.

The government is permitting Snoop Dogg, a rap artist with a criminal record, to sing about hitting ''bitches'' in January.

Companies continued to sell the sexualisation and subservience of women. Topless DJs, hairdressers and waitresses were on offer. A Sydney bar reinstated women's mouth-shaped urinals.

Magazines tried to gauge the size of Angelina Jolie's breast implants after her double mastectomy, while Medicare statistics show demand for labiaplasty and vulvoplasty procedures rose more than 50 per cent, especially among women 15 to 24, mostly for aesthetic reasons.

Meanwhile, the federal government reneged on promised pay increases for childcare workers, who are mostly female.

It also disbanded the Advisory Panel on the Marketing of Infant Formula, the only protective mechanism standing between mothers and the misleading claims of infant formula companies.

Perhaps women at the Australian Breastfeeding Association need to lobby in skimpy bikinis to get some attention.

The government scrapped Complementary Protection Visas instituted for and primarily used by female asylum seekers fleeing female genital mutilation, honour killings and other forms of violence.

The year 2013 was of little restraint in terms of female trivialisation, mistreatment and contempt. We must make 2014 an unwinnable year for the victimisers, exploiters and profiteers.

Melinda Tankard Reist is a commentator, blogger and columnist.