Initially in this post I’ve elected to profile Vera Baird and Alison Saunders (UK) and Mary Koss (USA).
With regards to prominent femocrats in the UK, I know that Mike Buchanan’s web site offers a huge amount of relevant background material. One of the things Mike does is write to these women – sometimes by way of a Freedom of Information request – demanding answers to some very pertinent and pointed questions. It can make for some very interesting reading.
Feminists leading or working within academia and in market research/consultancy companies, and
Feminist and ‘white knight’ journalists and media commentators
It would appear that a high degree of inter-connectivity exists between the various parties involved in the Australian Domestic Violence Industry (ADVI). The links in this web comprise mutually-beneficial flows of tangible and intangible benefits such as funding/employment opportunities, power/prestige, and an often misguided sense of achieving social justice.
Each of these groups or individuals perform an important function within the network, the unifying theme being a shared desire to maintain and expand the network and to defend it against perceived threats.
I would hazard a guess that many of these individuals share very similar demographic characteristics, with further points of commonality that include:
having studied the same university courses
enjoying social and/or personal relationships with others in the network, and
there being varying degrees of financial inter-dependency between them
The primary output of this industry should be a sustained reduction in the incidence of domestic violence involving both male and female perpetrators. Secondary outputs should include the provision of support for all victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, facilitating training of front-line workers who provide that support, and public education concerning the nature of domestic violence and available avenues of assistance.
The ADVI’s public education function has, however, been subverted to disseminating propaganda that is heavily imbued with feminist dogma. This has the effect of generating heightened hysteria which serves to generate further public/political support. It has created a deeply misrepresentative picture of the nature of the problem, and hence the nature of the most appropriate policy response.
Anyway let’s turn our attention to the really important stuff – are these people actually getting runs on the board in terms of reducing the incidence and severity of domestic violence? For if they were then I might be inclined to keep these other concerns to myself. The reality though is that, as best we can tell, the ADVI seems to be making little or no progress at all.
How is the ADVI’s effectiveness measured? Well for the most part it isn’t, and that’s a part of the problem. Most industries have measures of output, sometimes known as ‘key performance indicators’ (KPI). An obvious KPI for the ADVI would be the incidence of domestic violence in the community. But based on what the ADVI itself is telling us though, that figure is moving in the wrong direction (think now of the regular use of descriptors like ‘epidemic’).
On the issue of KPI’s, I came across a table in this article entitled ‘Survey of public information on key performance indicators for combating domestic violence in Australian jurisdictions‘. Sadly I note that the performance indicators for national, ACT, Tasmania, South Australia and Victorian government don’t address the safety of all citizens, only that of women and children.
In July 2016, a feminist-saturated non-profit organisation known as ANROWS, released a report that might constitute the first attempt to evaluate efforts to reduce the incidence of domestic violence against women. The summary included the following observations:
“Most evaluations used a mixed-methods design but few had robust outcome measures and none assessed the relative impact of specific components, so the authors were unable to identify effective components or service models.”
“To build an evidence base on effective integration, the report found that future evaluations should be theory-driven, measurement focused and comprehensive, including process, output and outcome indicators.”
Every industry includes dedicated and hard-working people who make a positive contribution. In the case of the ADVI however, an inordinate amount of energy and resources are devoted to simply sustaining itself … and to ballooning ever larger.
On that note, I have noticed a recent trend whereby larger players in the DVI are ‘up-sizing’ their services (and income streams) through a strategy of extending their influence and claimed expertise into other areas such as workplace harassment and in-school ‘educational’ programs.
Most of those calling for more money to be spent on domestic violence appear to be labouring under the misapprehension that the government is spending very little in its battle against domestic violence. Their memories extend no further back, nor broader than, the latest trumpeted hand-out. In truth, and in contrast, the amounts involved are quite staggering.
The total outlay towards combatting domestic violence, whilst difficult to accurately measure, is certainly be in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. This was confirmed in a statement in 2015 by (now former Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull:
“The fact is there are hundreds of millions, billions of dollars, spent across government that address issues connected to and related to domestic violence. You know, look at money that goes into homelessness, for example.”
It’s most troubling that no-one seems to have produced a detailed tally of how much money has been injected into the ADVI at the federal and state/territory level, including how funds were spent, by whom, and what the outcomes were. Not the media, nor feminist advocacy groups, not even hugely costly government inquiries.
Such an exercise would be difficult, but certainly not impossible. All that is required is sufficient political will to compile such a resource. The main difficulty arises because applicable funds would be allocated in various different portfolios even, for example, within a particular jurisdiction. Then again, such references usually only appear in the public domain when they paint a politically palatable picture. Perhaps that’s the real issue here.
A 2014 paper produced by the Parliament House library, although woefully incomplete, is one possible starting point in compiling such a spreadsheet. It’s weakness is that it only provides details of the dollar value of some of the relevant federal funding, and nothing whatsoever regarding state/territory funding.
A few further snippets of info can be gleaned from this other blog post wherein I briefly examine several feminist advocacy groups, noting both the level of public funding received and the nature of expenses incurred by each.
Financial statements for advocacy groups ‘Our Reach‘ and ‘White Ribbon Australia‘, for example, tell us that most of the funding received goes into the pockets of staff, directors and consultants. The average staff salary within such organisations is in excess of $80,000/year, consistent with information obtained from an online salary comparison site (pictured).
Regrettably though, only a trickle of money subsequently makes its way past generously-rewarded tertiary-educated femocrats and consultants to reach front-line workers assisting female victims of violence.
Clearly, maintaining, building and controlling this torrent of public funding is central to what is at stake in maintaining the circle of influence that is the ADVI.
It is only common-sense to recognise that when one combines the elements listed below, one creates an environment in which substantial waste might occur and in which corrupt conduct could flourish:
a significant degree of cronyism
federal and state governments that equate being seen to care about an issue, with throwing money at it, with the aim of fashioning electoral popularity
little accountability and poorly defined or non-existent review or audit processes with regards to the expenditure of public funds
an ‘ends justifies the means’ mind-set borne from ideological fervency.
Regardless of whether criminal intent is present, or simply misguided or self-serving behaviour, the key common-sense questions that need to be answered include:
Exactly how much public money has been spent by federal/state and territory governments in recent years? Who received it?
Have public funds been distributed fairly, responsibly and cost-effectively? To what extent has auditing or program evaluation occurred, and was this done independently?
Are the resourcing decisions that emerge from this feminist milieu in the long-term best interests of the broader Australian community? Here’s a recent example of what can, and increasingly will, happen (re: Kids Company, UK). And on that note, kindly refer to this July 2021 paper by Canh Dang.
The subject of feminist enterprise centred around the issue of domestic violence has been addressed by well-known Canadian MRA Karen Straughan:
“Violence against women in any form has been a HUGE cash cow for feminism. The more they inflate their claims regarding its pervasiveness in society, the more money pours in, and the more power they have to tinker with legislation and policy. Because it is such an emotionally charged subject, any rational scepticism of these claims (as to whether they are true in the first place, or whether feminists are accurate in their estimates of pervasiveness), is easily deflected by attacking the sceptic.”
“You can demonstrate until the cows come home just how much certain feminists are profiting from generating an inflated fear of violence against women among the public (the average [almost always feminist] director of a battered women’s shelter here in Alberta rakes in over $100k/year, and in the US, that number can be significantly higher), and people won’t care, because ending violence against women is THAT important. They won’t see the people who claim to be working to end it as the exploitative con-artists or ideologically driven religious inquisitors that they are.
If you point out that a very lucrative industry has formed around these issues, and that like any organic entity, this industry will work to sustain and grow itself rather than the other way around, you get called a conspiracy theorist. Even though none of these claims require a conspiracy to be valid–all they require is human nature.”
Another good paper concerning the nature of the domestic violence industry can be found here (Dalrock, July 2013).
In closing I would make one further observation in relation to the ‘old girls club’ character of the ADVI. Most organisations within the ADVI have a board of directors and/or an advisory group. Whilst my research was hardly exhaustive, I was unable to find a single example of a board or advisory group that included representation by a men’s group or fathers group. This exclusion of relevant stake-holders, and general lack of gender diversity, is accentuated by the fact that many DV-related organisations have few or nil male employees. Surely this is very much at odds for a movement that elsewhere stridently champions the benefits of gender diversity and inclusiveness?
WESNET makes a feeble effort at an appearance of objectivity, stating that although “pro-women; this has sometimes been misconstrued as meaning “anti-men” but this is not the case.” Yet search as I did I could not find a single admission regarding female perpetration of violence nor an expression of support for male victims of their violence.
Another similar example is an allied organisation known as AWAVA, whose advisory board is entirely female.
Finally in this interview with Rosie Batty on the ABC’s 7:30 program, Rosie discloses her frank assessment of likely progress in combating DV in Australia (based on continued reliance on the feminist/Duluth approach):
“HAYDEN COOPER: … We’ve all heard that horrendous statistic of one in three women who’ve experienced physical violence. Have you seen any sign yet that that statistic, that figure is improving?
ROSIE BATTY: Look, it’s going to be a heck of a long time before we start to see changes to our statistics turn around.” (Source)
Well no-one can accuse Rosie of setting the bar too high. Meanwhile just keep signing those cheques, Prime Minister.
This graph was posted on Twitter by @JamesLNuzzo – A link to it’s source can be found here.
What women’s ministers should ask: why decades of no progress on violence? (7 April 2021) This article might be interesting, but behind a paywall
In the UK, it is estimated that the domestic abuse industry received close to £400 million a year for women. Yet despite acknowledging there were 786,000 male victims, the DA bill only sets aside £500,000 for male victims, 64p per male victim! (Source: Domestic Abuse Bill: policy equality statement Refer para 71)
“The package complements the $24.7 million coronavirus housing and homelessness response package announced by Housing Minister Mick de Brenni last month. It will also complement the Australian Government’s $150 million funding package announced by the Prime Minister late last month.
The COAG Women’s Safety Council where Queensland is represented by Minister Farmer, has agreed that $32.5 million will be provided as an initial response to states and territories to help meet urgent need, with a further $97.5 million to be allocated over the next six months”
“The NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform is funded for $300 million over the next four years. While it might not match the $1.9 billion promised by the Victorian government, it’s certainly a huge step further than the minuscule $18.2 from the Federal government.”
“As Rosie Batty said at the forum last week, “cut out the word ‘family’, cut out the word ‘domestic’ – this is just violence. And let’s call it what it is. It’s terrorism.” (my comment: But it seems we can’t cut out the DV = violence against women label that appears on almost all inquiries or gov’t agencies or NGO’s)
“The same policies will only produce the same tragedies. That’s why I promised to change it all.” So said Premier Andrews, and yet the same fundamental approach is to be followed – with the addition of all those millions more taxpayer dollars. In other words an approach underpinned by feminist ideology/the Duluth Model, and with ‘awareness’ and support services run by the same feminist lobby groups who have previously received funds in the past. And this despite those groups shunning male victims, turning a blind eye to female perpetrators, and producing no measurable improvement in the incidence of DV.
Family Violence Workforce Census (April 2017) Interesting to see the feminist Victorian Government acknowledging this glad-handing network as an ‘industry’. Further details available here.
“What is the overall level of public funding to UK Domestic Violence (DV) charities? The answer is not widely known (is it known at all outside the closed doors of the sector itself?). The financing of the DV sector is obscure partly because of the many hundreds of different charities in the sector.” Just as is the case in Australia
Bashing of ‘domestic violence industry’ beyond the pale, by Anne Summers (3 September 2016) Wishy-washy defence of the ADVI that avoids ALL of the points of criticism, relying primarily on the straw-man argument that if you disrespect the ADVI then you are also disrespecting victims of domestic violence:
“How despicable – and un-Australian – for politicians and journalists to so cruelly mock those who suffer racism or violence with the ugly inference that they are just fodder for an “industry””
“the people who work to end the epidemic”? Firstly there is no “epidemic”, and secondly I am unaware of any evidence to support the assertion that the feminist ADVI is doing anything to “end” it … or even reduce it.
Rosie Batty’s legacy: more women leaving abusive relationships (24 January 2016) Please Sir! May I have more (money)? More calls from women (based on statistics generated by groups with a pecuniary interest, and which are unlikely to ever be verified/audited) does not necessarily equal lowering the incidence of domestic violence at all, let alone doing so in a cost-effective manner.
“I’m not discounting Turnbull’s commitment of $100m for domestic violence services. It is a good start” Except of course this commitment was hardly a “start”, more like the latest big ladle of mash in a very large trough. Note the author is already using the DV Connect call figures as leverage to argue for more funding.
Baird promises Domestic Violence Minister (6 March 2015) More costly affectatious pandering to the feminist lobby. Disregard the fact that the cost of changing letterhead paper, brochures, business cards and office signage etc, would probably be enough to maintain a refuge for male victims of domestic violence for a couple of years. How about a Minister for Skin Cancer? Minister for Stopping Motor Vehicle Accidents? (Refer this blog post)
In January 2015 the West Australian government went against the flow and bravely decided to terminate a costly failed experiment (Domestic violence court axed). Despite the fact that they made it clear the decision was not based on saving money – that it was counter-productive in terms of victim outcomes – they were castigated by feminists on the basis of being uncaring about the welfare of ‘women and their children’:
“Attorney-General Michael Mischin’s decision comes nine months after the release of details of a draft review which found that offenders dealt with in the five Perth family violence courts, which cost close to $10 million a year to operate, were 2.4 times more likely to go on to commit further acts of violence than matched offenders in the mainstream system.”
1. Feminist ideologues use either patently false statistical ‘information’ or misrepresent genuine statistical sources to make a case is support of one or more aspects of the feminist narrative. Alternatively, feminists resist efforts to correct outdated and/or unrepresentative methods of data collection in the knowledge that enhancements to data collection would work against their inbuilt bias.
2. Feminists get ‘called out’ enough times – in public and by suitably authoritative sources – to feel the need to manipulate data collection and/or presentation in order to continue to present a version of reality which reinforces rather than undermines the feminist narrative. Because remember, a lessening incidence of rape (or domestic violence/online harassment/workplace harassment/etc) not only undermines the credibility of the feminist narrative, but also weakens the case for feminist groups to receive additional government funding.
Question: What do you do when available statistics don’t support the image of men as empowered aggressors and women as powerless victims, that is carefully cultivated by the feminist movement?
Answer: You change the rules and/or move the goal posts.
And so a favored strategy is to raise the bar as to what constitutes victimization of men, whilst lowering the bar in relation to women. Thus the position that men cannot be raped, or (begrudgingly) they can but only if penetrated by an object. For women however, a sideways glance or accidentally brushing past someone in a crowded bus equals sexual assault.
The case of domestic violence: Early domestic violence definitions focussed on physical violence, and feminists run hard up against two problems here. The first problem is that the incidence of violent crime in western countries has, overall, been decreasing in recent decades. (Though paradoxically, violence by females is actually increasing). This makes it potentially awkward for feminists to continuing using terms like “a growing epidemic of violence against women“). The second problem for feminists is the increasing availability of independent unbiased research which has consistently found that there are as many female as male aggressors using the physical violence criteria. Gender parity in domestic violence undermines the feminist perspective. Whatever can we do?
Broaden the discussion of DV to include sexual violence, including sexual violence towards children (but being careful to exclude non-sexual abuse and neglect of children, because oops, that’s mostly perpetrated by women), and
place greater emphasis on criteria other than physical violence, such as psychological abuse, threats to withhold affection or sexual activity, or perceived motivations for aggressing.
A ‘good’ example of this is the section of IPV within the ‘Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health’:
“Forty-five percent of women aged 18 to 23 reported some form of IPV, with 12% reporting one form of abuse, 8% reporting two different forms of abuse and 25% reporting three or more forms of abuse. The most common forms of IPV were being told they were ugly, stupid or crazy (28%), being harassed over the telephone, email, Facebook or internet (25%), and their partner trying to keep them from seeing or talking to friends or relatives (18%).” (Source) Clearly casting the net very wide to capture more ‘victims’, with this effect being accentuated through the use of very subjective criteria.
In another example, I was reading this article and noticed for the first time the use of the term “implied domestic violence“. I then googled on the term seeking background and/or a definition, and came across this:
“Credible threat, according to this new law, means a verbal or written threat, or a threat implied by a pattern of conduct made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat, so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family.” (Source)
The muddier the water the better, for intangible and subjective criteria makes future correction/undermining of data more difficult. We’ll have those silly MRA running around in circles for years trying to prove we are wrong.
Voila! Data adjusted on the basis of newly revised definitions of domestic violence magically skews the role of aggressors very firmly back towards men. Yay feminism!
‘Understanding domestic abusers’ (undated) from the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. See “responsive violence”. Sure women are violent but only in order to “attempt to forestall attack, defend self and others, or control the situation”
The case of sexual assault: Feminists are active on at least two fronts here to build on, or at least to maintain, the current status quo:
1. With regards to the sexual assault of women they are continually seeking to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes sexual assault in order to artificially ramp up the perceived incidence of this crime in the face of declining perpetration. Google on “stare rape” as an example of how ridiculous their assertions can be.
2. With regards to the sexual assault of men, feminists are resisting the efforts of men’s rights activists to ensure that official statistics include the many men/boys raped in jail (by both men and women) and to ensure that male rape statistics include incidents of acts currently designated as ‘forced envelopment’ or ‘made to penetrate’ rather than as rape. They do so, at least in part, because they know that if rape was defined as all ‘forced/unwanted intimate sexual activity’, then there would be gender parity. Again, to preserve the image of female victimhood, feminists must ensure that the definition of rape remains limited to sexual activity involving ‘forced penetration’ (i.e. excluding ‘forced envelopment’ or ‘made to penetrate’).
Another relevant aspect of this debate is that many feminists simply don’t recognise that men can be raped, it being their view that ‘men always want it’. Some women also incorrectly believe that the very fact that a man has an erection (necessary for vaginal penetration) is proof of his consent.
Scroll down to see the definition of ‘sexual violence’ on this page. It includes “withholding sex and affection” yet how many times have I read in feminist web sites that men are never “entitled” to sex from their partner? Double-standard much?
Child custody: “As detailed in John Hirst’s groundbreaking 2005 Quarterly Essay, Kangaroo Court: Family Law in Australia, the legal tactic employed was to make false accusations of child sexual assault against the father. Based on unproven allegations of abuse, the Family Court would decide that a child could be at risk of harm and withdraw the father’s limited access visits.”
The situation for fathers subsequently improved due to family law reforms introduced by the Howard Government. Women’s groups, with the help of sympathetic lawyers and academics, then began lobbying the subsequent (labor) government to water down the earlier reforms. They complained that women and children were being forced to have contact with violent and abusive fathers. At least six reviews were commissioned to prove this “fact”, yet none of the subsequent reports contained evidence that shared parenting was exposing women and children to harm.
“The Gillard government has got around this by deciding to redefine family violence. The Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 has expanded the definition to include psychological harm, financial abuse and other threatening behaviour that controls, coerces or causes fear. Significantly, the government has ruled out requiring that fear of family violence be “reasonable”.
Based on past experience in the Family Court, the expanded definition will create a new and open-ended legal means by which good fathers are banished from the lives of their children. There also no longer will be any penalty (no cost orders) for knowingly making false allegations, and the friendly parent provisions, requiring parents to be supportive of each other’s role in their children’s lives, will be substantially diminished.” (Source)
References that further demonstrate the above points can also be found in the my blog posts on the relevant topics (links provided below), and when I get a moment I will extract them and add them into this post.
Domestic violence (DV), also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) or Family & Domestic Violence (FDV), is a shocking blight on the community. This is a scourge that inflicts substantial negative impacts on the lives of countless men, women and children. Whilst definitions have evolved and broadened, DV is loosely defined as “physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse“.
It is important to acknowledge that DV encompasses man on man, women on women, man on woman, and woman on man violence (both cis- and transgender). Further, in many instances violence is perpetrated by both partners as shown in the accompanying diagram. There is also a strong nexus between the incidence of child abuse/neglect and subsequent perpetration of domestic violence by affected individuals upon reaching adulthood.
The Wikipedia entry for ‘Epidemiology of domestic violence‘ provides readers with useful background information on this topic. For those willing to read something a little meatier, I would recommend this paper by esteemed DV researcher Malcolm George. Malcolm walks the reader through the historical context to the current debate about gender differences in violent behaviour and the way that society responds to the issue.
Many of those working within the DV sector, particularly here in Australia, only choose to acknowledge one element of the problem – that part involving male perpetrators and female victims. It is no coincidence that most staff within these government agencies, universities and NGO’s are strongly influenced by, and biased towards, feminist ideology. The feminist position is unequivocal, and it is that domestic violence = men’s violence towards women. Here is an example of that mindset, and here are many others.
This routine failure by feminists to recognise and discuss male victims, female perpetrators and bi-directional violence is no accident or coincidence. It is a deliberate strategy to build their brand, and in so doing demonise the overwhelming majority of men who have never, and would never, hurt or abuse their partner.
As a result, and in order to support the feminist narrative, a great deal of ‘cherry-picking’ and misrepresentation occurs in relation to the statistics provided in DV literature. In addition, the design and implementation of survey instruments is too often tainted with bias. This issue, that of feminist efforts to hide or discredit legitimate research and/or generate false or misleading statistics, is explored in this further blog post.
You will note, as you scroll down this page, that there are a multitude of sources of DV statistics, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States. Here in Australia, much less research has been undertaken – particularly in relation to male victimisation. One of the more significant sources is the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey 2012, which found that one in three victims of domestic abuse were male. The results of overseas studies generally found levels of male and female victimisation that were closer to parity, and in some instances even higher rates of victimisation for men that women.
Unfortunately many journalists display remarkable tunnel-vision when addressing the topic of IPV. Indeed some have suggested that the media is complicit in the same sort of systemic gender bias against males noted earlier amongst those working in the field of DV.
Turning to my first example, an article called ‘Til death do us part’ which appeared in The Australian newspaper. It consisted of five pages of heart-wrenching coverage of men’s violence towards female partners, but made no mention of any other form of domestic violence, i.e. m-m, f-f, or women on men. Similarly this February 2014 article from The Mail newspaper also neglected to mention that men can be victims too.
Fiona McCormack also ignores male victims and female abusers this item on Australian ABC TV … except in an aside where she implies that anyone who raises the issue of women abusers is only seeking to “excuse” the behaviour of male abusers. This is very much akin to the feminist predilection of labelling anyone who questions various aspects of sexual assault (e.g. false rape allegations) as being “rape apologists” “victim blamers” etc.
Now let’s turn to this article by Charlie Pickering (more about Charlie here). Charlie is concerned that more attention is paid to the issue of random one-punch attacks on men, than on the violence visited nightly on women people in their homes. He goes on to state:
“For a long time, the termdomestic violence has softened and normalised what is really going on. A more accurate term is ‘men’s violence against women’. Not ‘violence against women’, because that takes the responsibility for it away from those who need to be made responsible.”
This belief, that by acknowledging male victims and female perpetrators, we are somehow ignoring the validity and the pain of female victims is absurd, yet unfortunately commonplace in public discourse. The fact that there may be somewhat fewer male victims does not, nor should not, make domestic violence a gendered issue.
A precious few writers, like this one, suggest a more practical and unbiased approach to the issue:
“When it comes to the statistics about domestic abuse, it doesn’t matter to me how many men to how many women experience domestic violence. Domestic violence is a power issue more than a gender issue. Intimate Partner Violence affects men and women, and I really do not care in what proportion …
Within anti-domestic violence advocacy, there seems to be a trend to pit female victims against male victims and vice-versa. I do not know who is behind it, nor do I know if there is a “who” to blame. I do know that blame has no place in this fight against domestic abuse, especially when victim blames victim for any reason …
In a perfect society, men and women are equally protected under the law not because more laws were made to protect one sex but because in each mind and heart of all people, women and men are respected equally, and the individual contributions or crimes are our only measures of judgment. However, this ideal is as far away from our current reality as the idea that no person would seek power over another.”
Many others within the wider community have, however, embraced a biased and incomplete representation of DV, liberally salted with misinformation, at face value. Who could blame them, given that so many sources are bellowing out the same relentless message about male perpetrators and female victims, whilst studiously ignoring other elements of the issue.
Here in Australia, let’s look at this page within the web site of the Department of Social Services entitled ‘Women’s safety’, and the linked 28 page literature review prepared by ‘Urbis’ consultants at a cost of $220,000. One would have assumed, especially given the enormous cost, that the review would have encompassed all forms of abuse and perpetration. But, unfortunately, it did not.
In fact the review states that “Male perpetrators of domestic violence or sexual assault against men and female perpetrators of either offence against men have not been considered in this literature review. It is acknowledged that in practice the great majority of programs will be targeted towards men who commit domestic violence or sexual assault against women.”
Yes, that makes perfect sense … there are no programs for female offenders so let’s pretend they don’t exist. Such circular logic is (almost) unbelievable. And no, there is no corresponding ‘Mens Safety’ page within the DSS web site.
To be fair, the authors of some studies do admit that there are many female perpetrators and male victims, and that little research has been directed towards these groups. They also admit that there are probably many similarities between male and female perpetrators of IPV. They then invariably proceed, however, to offer a variety of justifications to continue their focus on the ‘domestic violence = Mens violence towards women’ model (example).
When misleading statistics are repeatedly exposed the feminist reaction is to move the goalposts by expanding the reach of the definition of domestic violence to encompass sexual violence, and less tangible forms of non-physical ‘violence’. This serves to both maximise the perceived magnitude of the problem, as well as support the anti-male narrative.
Naturally those areas where female perpetration is substantial, such as child abuse and elder abuse, are totally ‘out of bounds’. This theme is explored in this separate blog post. The same approach has been taken by feminists to prop up the notion of the existence of a ‘rape culture‘ in western societies.
Those of us concerned about men’s rights seek to have all aspects of domestic violence considered, as well as seeking remedies to specific issues such as:
the lack of resources to assist abused men and their children
laws and legal procedures that are based on the assumption that the male in the relationship is the abuser
negative and biased behaviour towards men who seek assistance, for example the screening of (only) male callers to abuse help-lines to determine if they are in fact perpetrators (example)
A selection of statistical sources that haven’t been doctored to support the feminist narrative
“Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In non-reciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”
More than 125,000 women homeless because of domestic violence (15 February 2016). The only figures for male victimisation that were mentioned – because they appeared to support the feminist perspective – were drawn from this media release from a government agency. What’s not mentioned though is that the relatively low numbers of men seeking assistance are indicative of factors other than simply lower rates of male victimisation, incl.:
the rampant genderbias of ‘help-lines’, advocacy groups and even government agencies
the (widely-known) lack of resources available to help male victims (with or without children, and
the much greater incidence of non-reporting of DV by men (compared to women)
“The proportion of male victims who told police about their domestic abuse increased from 10.4% in 2014-15 to 14.7% this year as charities said more men were shaking off the stigma of talking about their suffering.“
For Nelson Women’s Refuge manager Katie O’Donnell, the solution to New Zealand’s domestic violence problem is more straightforward. “People say it’s a really complex issue. Well, it is a complex issue but also it isn’t – guys just have to stop doing it”
Telstra introduces domestic violence leave (13 January 2015) Australia. Article implies only women are victims of domestic violence and leaves us guessing as to whether the company policy is sexist/discriminatory – or just the journalism
In this article a feminist writer, Amanda Hess, attempts to rationalise why domestic violence by a female sports star should be addressed differently than in the case of a male sports star (22 September 2014) Most of the 600+ readers comments that followed disagreed and told her so in no uncertain terms.
‘Lollies at a childrens party and other myths: Violence, protection orders and fathers rights groups’ by Miranda Kaye and Julia Tomie (1998). Another detailed but flawed paper in support of the feminist position on DV. Its main line of attack is that available statistics don’t support claims made by men’s rights advocates. It conveniently ignores the fact that most Australian DV research is undertaken by feminists and biased towards finding ‘evidence’ to support a pre-determined conclusion. Thus the accuracy and impartiality of the research is the real issue, rather than the credibility of the whistle-blowers.
The paper also misinterprets and/or takes out of context, many of the comments it attributes to fathers groups in an attempt to portray them as irrational or unreasonable. Finally the authors attack specific statements put forward by fathers groups despite the same arguments having been used (at other times) by feminists in support of their own (feminist) perspective. The authors of this paper, for example, want to jump from one camp to the other (and back again) in relation to the issue of whether behaviour other than physical violence should be included in the definition of domestic violence.
We need to show it’s just not manly to hit out (9 July 2014) Nonsense article dripping with white knight bias … “The idea that the woman may be equally to blame, even if she is also violent and even the initiator of the violence, is simply not acceptable”
A reddit discussion thread about the anti-male bias evident in the web site of an American domestic violence centre’s web site. Unfortunately such bias (i.e. stating or implying that all men accessing the site are abusers and that all women are victims) is also common in domestic violence centres in Australia.