The most visible elements of the Domestic Violence lobby in Australia are advocacy groups such as ‘Our Watch‘ and ‘White Ribbon Campaign‘, and front-line service providers such as ‘DV Connect‘ and ‘Domestic Violence NSW‘. There are however several more significant pieces in this jigsaw, including:
- Feminist politicians and male colleagues imbued with a surfeit of chivalry (aka ‘white knights’)
- Feminists and their allies leading or working within state and federal public agencies such as, for example, the Department of Social Services and the Australian Human Rights Commission
- Feminists leading or working within academia and in market research/consultancy companies, and
- Feminist and ‘white knight’ journalists and media commentators
‘Six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ is a parlour game based on the six degrees of separation concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.
I would suggest that an even closer degree of inter-connectivity exists between those 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 a sometimes misguided sense of achieving greater 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 tangible outputs of this particular industry should encompass offering support for 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.
One particularly egregious aspect of the ‘community education‘ undertaken by the ADVI is diverting attention from the growing incidence of violent behaviour by women, whilst engaging in the wholesale demonization of men within the community.
Anyway let’s turn our attention now to the really important stuff – are these people 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 is though that, as best we can tell, they seem 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 big 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 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 pro-feminist government agency (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 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.
One indicator of the scale of expenditure at the state level is provided in the 2016 report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, which informs us that “the Victorian Government estimates that funding for programs and services aimed at dealing with family violence in 2014–15 was $80.6 million” (p41).
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.
Recent 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/territory government 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?
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?
Let’s take the example of WESNET who state that they work “within a feminist framework“, which most would assume to include a strong commitment to gender equality. And yet in the next breath, “WESNET supports women only management committees as most appropriate to women and children focussed services and to services employing women only.”
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.
An illuminating account of the early history of the DV shelter movement
2018 federal budget: Turnbull Government all talk, no action on family violence (10 May 2018) Strong pro-feminist perspective in body of article but some federal/state expenditure data provided (although no links to sources provided)
Former employees warn of ‘toxic’ culture at domestic abuse charity Refuge (22 June 2018) UK
Cory Bernardi is using provocative motions to make ideological points in the Senate (16 November 2017) showing how DV organisations can/do attempt to influence policy in other areas in support of feminist ideology. See rebuttal from Corrine Barraclough here.
DV Connect chief executive Diane Mangan axed from role amid dispute (8 November 2017)
Senior Australian public servants demonstrating their unswerving support for the feminist narrative and the DVI (12 April 2017) Video
Feminists against men’s domestic violence shelters (24 May 2017) Video
Victorian budget 2017: record spending to break family violence (2 May 2017) Open wide all those feminist snouts!
“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.
Our Watch charity invited to assess its own schools gender equity program (4 February 2017) An obvious conflict of interest, but might as well keep the $$ within the family, right?
Domestic Violence Industry: Nights with Miranda Devine (12 January 2017) Miranda talks with Sex Therapist, Psychologist and Men’s rights activist, Bettina Arndt about the misuse of AVO’s and the industry that surrounds it. Australia
The White Ribbon Breakfast ~ where the cash cow meets the gravy train (28 October 2016)
Feminist charity quits Scottish Women’s Aid network in dispute over male director (21 October 2016) UK. Related Reddit discussion thread here.
Domestic violence double standards – male MP was forced to stand down when cautioned for assaulting partner yet Sarah Champion receives support for same crime (26 September 2016) UK
UK Domestic Violence Charities’ Finances (16 September 2016) Recommended reading.
“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
Exposing the fraudulent DV lobby (9 September 2016)
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.
Vested interests ‘have taken over the domestic violence debate’: Leyonhjelm (26 August 2016)
Always beating up on men, by Bettina Arndt (20 August 2016) with introductory piece here
The Domestic Violence Industry – Parts 1 & 2 (17 July 2016 & 6 August 2016)
Stop the man-bashing: It’s time to fight back against feminism, by Corrine Barraclough (29 July 2016) Australia
Victoria Is Spending More Money On Domestic Violence Than The Federal Government (15 July 2016)
Revealed: The Lavish Spending That Brought Down Britain’s Only LGBT Domestic Abuse Charity (5 July 2016) UK, with related Reddit discussion thread here
Public money wasted on domestic violence organisations, by Bettina Arndt (9 July 2016) More than 180 readers comments at last count, the vast majority of which support Bettina’s position on the matter.
ACT government dreams up a new way to top up the coffers of the DVI – A domestic violence levy, by Angela Shanahan (18 June 2016)
F4J call for inquiry into violence & drug taking at contact handover involving Domestic Violence charity in Greenwich (17 May 2016) UK
Domestic violence ad campaign to focus on ‘influencers’ in bid to change attitudes (20 April 2016) Australia. This is the new campaign. There is little/no evidence that such campaigns actually reduce the incidence of DV, but by jingo $30million sure will help some lucky pro-feminist PR/marketing company. And here Mary Barry, CEO of feminist advocacy group ‘Our Watch’ barracks on the irresponsible people feeding the feminist juggernaut with ever-more $$$
Family Violence royal commission proposes policing, social services, courts overhaul (31 March 2016) Australia. Commissioner Neave admits we don’t really know how much is being spent on combatting family violence, only that millions, maybe billions, more needs to be spent. Even if it requires a special tax levy.
Letter to Malcolm Turnbull: domestic violence must be a budget priority (16 March 2016) More sir!
Shane Warne Foundation not alone in charity spending ambiguity (15 March 2016) Australia. More and better scrutiny of not-for-profits? Bring it on – and let’s start with feminist organisations.
To see just how out-of-control the DVI can get, please read ‘Spain gender laws: A country against men‘ (18 February 2016)
Australian of the Year David Morrison’s $15,000 speaking fee (4 February 2016) Elizabeth Broderick $10k/gig and Rosie Batty a bargain at only $5k. Oh and now it transpires that he’s getting $200,000 for 25 days work. Hands up who thinks the same sorts of generous arrangements would be uncovered if anyone was brave enough to delve into the finances of high-profile SJW women?
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.
Thanks for your words about respecting women, Mr Turnbull. Now show us your deeds (7 January 2016) Australia
“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.
Influx of calls to domestic violence helplines this year (6 January 2016) And of course the veracity of DV Connect’s record-keeping will be subject to careful scrutiny.
How feminists and a Police Commissioner’s Office conspired against male victims of domestic violence on Twitter (5 January 2016) UK
Smoke, Mirrors And Violence Against Women (5 January 2016) Australia
Vera Baird facing probe after awarding more than £500,000 of taxpayers’ money to the charity she runs with force police chief (26 December 2015) UK
Why I’m backing QLD Labor Premier on male victims | Talk About Men (25 October 2015)
Domestic violence initiatives to receive $41 million funding package from Federal Government, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to go hard against domestic violence, and Domestic violence experts welcome $100m boost, but say more is needed (24 September 2015) That’s a lot of happy feminist snouts in a very large trough of public funds, whilst female perpetrators and their victims continue to be ignored.
Former Premier Anna calls on men to report mates guilty of domestic violence (15 September 2015) Domestic violence unabated? It’s nothing to do with the strategies being utilised and the underlying philosophy (i.e. feminism/Duluth Model), nope it’s because a) more government funding needed and/or b) men aren’t doing enough. Priceless!
Vernon Beck – How the Domestic Violence Industry Destroys Families (19 July 2015) Canadian video
Anti-Islam group deregistered for masquerading as domestic violence group (2 July 2015)
Rosie Batty – The Opposite Case (28 June 2015)
A welcome response from government to domestic violence crisis (5 June 2015) Since when does handing millions more to the same groups, running the same programs, whilst not reducing the problem one iota, constitute governments “lifting their game“?
How £210,868 (88.6%) of the 2013/14 income of Engender, a radical feminist campaign organisation, was paid by Scottish taxpayers (27 May 2015)
Anti-violence funding ‘lacks transparency and cohesion’ (16 May 2015)
Budget 2015: ‘Government failed domestic violence test’ (13 May 2015) A ‘fail’, yet another $17 million goes into the pot. Oh, and just a few days later (17 May 2015) here is another $4 million
This article exemplifies the ‘hurry up and spend more’ tone of most DV-related coverage in the mainstream media
$17M boost for domestic and family violence support (1 April 2015) Queensland Minister fails to identify the nine organisations that will get the $$$
Three Accused of Stealing Funds from Domestic Violence Shelter (31 March 2015) Expect to see more stories like this
Coalition reverses Labor’s funding cuts on homelessness with $230 million commitment prioritising victims of domestic violence (23 March 2015)
National $30 million campaign to tackle domestic violence (5 March 2015) Open wide, here comes lots more public funding for “awareness”
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)
White Ribbon CEO Libby Davies jumps the cash cow (22 February 2015)
Domestic violence funding in NSW: Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year raises profile of state ‘epidemic’ (26 January 2015)
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.”
And yet despite the WA decision, just a week later either the same, or a very similar, system was proposed for Queensland.
In reading this article one recognises certain parallels between ‘rape culture’ and the ‘epidemic of domestic violence’, and the two-legged remoras that attach themselves to each: ‘The Hunting Ground’: Reaping Profit from Rape Hysteria (26 March 2015)
“A brilliant funding strategy” – How and why feminists took over the domestic violence movement Interviews with Erin Pizzey, Senator Anne Cools, Warren Farrell and others (Youtube video)
How Much Taxpayer Money is Enough for Domestic Violence Programs? (20 April 2009) USA
Finally, this series of email exchanges is really quite eye-opening about the theoretical basis for the way in which feminist domestic violence agencies conduct themselves. See NCFM South African Member Jason Dale, a must read email exchange about the Duluth model of domestic violence (23 March 2015)
Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in:
Going Batty: The making of a champion of the Domestic Violence Industry
Two awareness campaigns. Only one can be criticised. Cowed by feminism?
Australian feminist attacks integrity of advocacy group for male victims of domestic violence
Australian taxpayer-funded organisations that do little/nothing for men (other than demonising them)
Australian Government cuts back funding to advocacy groups, except feminist ones
NSW feminist groups seek to roll back reform of domestic violence shelters