The term “factoid” has two somewhat distinct definitions:
- “an invented fact, believed to be true because of its appearance in print”
- “a briefly stated and usually trivial fact” (Source)
Feminists have a well-earned reputation for making liberal use of the former so I was immediately sceptical when I first came across this graphic posted on a Facebook page by radfem group ‘Destroy the Joint‘. Sure enough, in a short space of time I saw the same statistic quoted elsewhere by others.
I set out to confirm its validity by posting a query on that original Facebook page, and then by searching the web site of the Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University. No luck in either case.
Eventually the answer came to me via the team at the oneinthree organisation, who kindly advised that:
“You will find the source data at http://www.aihw.gov.au/
But where it gets interesting is that one man is hospitalised every 55 minutes after violence perpetrated by “unspecified persons”, while one female is hospitalised every 4.9 hours after violence perpetrated by “unspecified persons”. Because of the emasculating shame and embarrassment that male victims of family violence suffer when they disclose their experiences, it is very likely that many more of those “unspecified persons” are partners and family members for male victims.”
So my conclusion? Assuming the raw data, as originally collated, was accurate then the statistic used on the graphic is factual. It’s value in the DV debate is compromised however through the failure, by feminists, to provide corresponding figures for men. This is, of course, a tactic that is almost de riguer for the feminist lobby.
In addition, and as oneinthree note, we need to delve deeper into the statistics to see whether just the self-disclosed information provides an accurate picture of what is actually happening ‘on the ground’.
More examples of feminists playing with facts and factoids, as compiled by the oneinthree organisation