On deaths related to domestic violence

In this post I address the topic of murder and suicide occurring within the context of intimate partner violence. There are also separate posts dealing with suicide, and with the DV-related deaths of children.

As readers might well be aware, significant numbers of men, women and children lose their lives each year by way of incidents related to domestic violence. As in the case of non-lethal injuries and mental anguish, feminists portray women’s deaths as constituting the “overwhelming majority“, and then use this as justification for ignoring the deaths of men.

In 2015 feminist activists operating under the banner ‘Destroy the Joint’, established an ongoing tally of the number of Australian women allegedly killed in DV situations. They then disseminated this data throughout the media, generating considerable publicity using the tagline “two women each week” (are being killed by their male partners). They claimed that there had been a doubling in the rate of men murdering their partners, and that domestic violence was twice as bad in 2015 as it was in 2014.

Even if their figures were drawn from official sources it would have been problematic to draw conclusions from statistics relating to short periods of time, as the results for the period in question may differ greatly from the long-term average.

We do know however that when averaged over the preceding twelve month period the corresponding figures were (approx.) one women killed every seven days versus one man killed every ten days. We also know that, at that time, 40% of homicide victims (occurring in a situation of domestic violence) were male.

(Postscript April 2016: The report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence included the following statistic, “Data from the Victorian Systemic Review of Family Violence Deaths shows that, of the 288 deaths of relevance to the review between 2000 and 2010, 138 were men and 150 were women (that is, 48 per cent male)”. (Volume 5, p207)

It is important to acknowledge that neither the ‘Destroy the Joint’ Facebook page, nor the various spin-off media stories, made mention of:

  • the corresponding number of men killed by their intimate partners or family members
  • the number of women killed by other women
  • the number of suicides linked to domestic violence (predominantly involving men)

(On that last dot point, it’s worth reading this 2010 paper by Richard L Davis which addresses the relationship between domestic violence and suicide)

Another issue with the ‘Destroy the Joint’ tally is that (AFAIK) none of the cases it reported, at the time of writing this post, had been the subject of completed court proceedings. As a consequence it is not entirely certain that the deceased women were killed by a man, and/or that the deaths occurred within a context of domestic violence.

Furthermore, at some unspecified point in early 2015 (I suspect when deaths dropped below the previously claimed weekly average) the ‘Destroy the Joint’ tally was quietly expanded to include all women who were murdered  (i.e. not just partner violence).

Jasmin Newman subsequently established the ‘Destroy the Narrative’ Facebook page to keep track of the corresponding number of male deaths at the hands of women. In December 2016 Jasmin published this paper regarding her work on this issue, which I strongly recommend you read now.

Turning now to another issue. one of the statistical sources cited by ‘Destroy the Joint’ was this report by the NSW Coroner (Refer appendix C bar chart this is in the report on page 59 or 75 depending on how you read page numbers).

On first inspection it is indeed quite damning in relation to the culpability of men for DV-related deaths, but on further review there are a number of provisos that must be taken into consideration including:

  • the small sample size
  • the skewing of the results by the much higher incidence of DV-related deaths in the indigenous community
  • the fact that men are significantly less likely to report being subjected to domestic violence, and therefore many of the male perpetrators cited in the report may in fact have been victims of domestic violence (either as children, as adults, or both).

See also ABS Causes of Death, Australia 2013

I’ll close this post with this comment contributed by ‘Phil’ in response to this article:

In order to provide solutions to any societal problem, the first step is having a complete understanding of the problem, all the relevant & accurate information, and an ability to see the bigger picture of the issue. It also requires a unified approach, appropriate systems in place to embrace & encourage change, and a shift in mindset that brings long-term & sustained behavioural change.

A great example of this is drink-driving, which is now seen as irresponsible, selfish, dangerous, disgraceful & a condemned behaviour after being culturally accepted for many years, until the effects of such actions, portrayed the destruction it was having on many lives. This change was brought about through the grief, heartache & suffering associated with losing a loved one and was driven by the love & compassion people felt for each other, their family & the broader community. Even though it was predominately men who were guilty of drink-driving, it wasn’t tackled as a gendered issue because society demanded a holistic approach to the problem, they wanted this senseless behaviour eradicated, no matter who was doing it and certainly wasn’t propelled by hatred or condemnation of one sex & not the other.

So, why has this approach been taken when it comes to domestic violence? Why is one gender singled out as being the problem, when everyone with half a brain knows that both males & females are capable of being perpetrators of the vile acts of behaviour? How are we, as a society, meant to really eradicate this behaviour when blatant misrepresentation of the truth is communicated by groups hell-bent on only recognising some victims & perpetrators and not all? When did domestic violence become a political pawn used to generate votes & financial windfalls and one that promotes much debate & hatred, instead of a people focussed, behavioural problem that requires love & respect for fellow human beings to be solved?

It’s a figure quoted by media outlets, politicians & domestic violence advocates – 79 women killed due to domestic violence last year (2015) and the inference that these deaths occurred by their male partners. This is the figure devised by the Facebook page, Destroy the Joint {1}, who maintains a body count of women killed in Australia due to violence against them.

On September 24th 2015, newly appointed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a new $100 million domestic violence package with former Australian of the Year & self-appointed expert of domestic violence, Rosie Batty, Turnbull stated in his press conference that 63 women had been killed to date in 2015. This gave the perception that all of these deaths had occurred due to domestic violence and at the hands of a current or former male partner of the deceased.

But when you look into these deaths in detail, you will find that the figure quoted is more propaganda by the “radical feminist” brigade who are insistent on only recognising female victims of domestic violence and ensure funding is siphoned through their sexist organisations. Of the 63, less than half were found to be killed by their current or former male partner (44%) and in total, 60% of these deaths were committed by male perpetrators known to the deceased.

I am in no way trying to minimize the impact of these tragedies as any life taken is a vile act of brutality towards another human being, what I am highlighting though is the gross misrepresentation of data that is being communicated to only further their own cause – not actually provide solutions to ending Australia’s domestic violence crisis other than to falsely propagate that it is a “gendered issue”.

Upon further analysis of the 79 women killed last year, here are my findings (based on information provided by ‘Destroy the Joint’):

43% killed by current or former male partner (34 in total)
16.5% killed by known male (13)
13.9% killed by a female (11)
11.4% killed by unknown male (9)
8.9% killed by either victims son, brother or father (7)
6.3% killed by an unknown perpetrator (5)

From the information provided & the perception of all these women being killed due to intimate partner violence being driven by various outlets, this represents an over inflation of the figures by a mammoth 132%! Destroy the Joint claims at least 75% {2} of these deaths are perpetrated by males known to the female victim but the figure actually equates to 68.4% and again their accuracy is found to be questionable. This is especially damaging when it is being used as “factual” information by government agencies, domestic violence groups, & prominent media outlets that inform the public, when analysis shows the information to be incorrect.

Paramount to solving any problem is having the correct details, being truthful in your communications and having a thorough understanding the issue at hand. With embellished & distorted information like this being used, clearly this is not about solving domestic violence holistically, merely being used as a catalyst to gain further funding.

{1} https://www.facebook.com/notes/934084536639291/
https://www.facebook.com/DestroyTheJoint/
{2} Destroy the Joint disclaimer – “Please note: We do not confine our count to only deaths attributed as domestic or family violence, as we believe all violent deaths targeted against women are the result of societal misogyny. Most of these cases are subject to court proceedings but we do know that in at least 75 per cent of the cases reported from 2012 to 2015, the victim knew her alleged killer. We include women killed by other women (lateral violence). Their relatively small but equally sad number confirms that most violence against women is perpetrated by men.”

Recently, I was viciously attacked for the post I made scrutinising the claims by Destroy the Joint about the women killed in violent circumstances last year. These attacks were cold, calculating, methodical, vile & extremely derogatory towards myself but worse still, my family & in particular, my children. It appears that I may have hit a nerve by revealing the truth about the misrepresentation of the information provided by them and the perception that there were 79 women killed in domestic violence scenarios last year.

Normally, I am not bothered by these types of attacks as they occur on such a regular basis and I have become desensitised to the constant taunts I receive. But, these were different, they were filled with so much hatred & vile language that I found myself a bit shaken by them and was appalled that some felt it warranted to continue this vitriol towards my children when I was not retaliating to their relentless abuse.

This type of toxic behaviour is quickly becoming normal, especially in the world of social media, with people spewing hatred towards one another purely because of a difference of opinion on a certain subject. Is this the type of behaviour, values & morals we want instilled in our next generation? Are we, as a society, truly considering the long-term impact this will have on future generations and teaching them to be accustomed with hatred instead of love? In order to overcome this problem of domestic violence, the solution cannot be based on hatred between the genders – it requires solutions based on love, respect, compassion, understanding & acceptance of every human being regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.

I will leave you with a quote from the remarkable Nelson Mandela to ponder – “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Other related references, including DV-related murders that you are unlikely to read about in the ‘Destroy the Joint‘ page – or in overseas equivalents such as, for example, @CountDeadWomen in the UK:

Woman Charged for Fatally Stabbing Her Husband at Hospital (15 October 2017) USA

Qian Liu tells jury her husband’s stabbing death was an accident (11 September 2017) Australia

Molly Martens weeps as she and her father found guilty of second degree murder of Jason Corbett (9 August 2017)

Helen Milner – New Zealand’s ‘Black Widow’ killer (July 2017)

Homicide stats reveal shocking details of Australian murders from 2012-2014 (18 June 2017) Also shocking that the author deemed male deaths not newsworthy, so left out any mention.

Michelle Carter found guilty by judge in text message suicide case (16 June 2017) USA

Friends of Luke Mitchell react with horror to his stabbing death (13 May 2017)

Media experts lie to their students‘ by Bettina Arndt (3 May 2017) Australia

Wife killed husband after fight over burned casserole, police in Pennsylvania say (1 March 2017)

Invisible Dead Men (25 February 2017) UK

Woman charged after allegedly stabbing fiancé to death in Sydney driveway
(18 February 2017)

Intimate partner homicide of men in Australia (31 January 2017)

Wife of slain California mayor gets 3 months jail in killing (20 January 2017)

Murder of Stuart Rattle prompts review into how family violence is dealt with in the gay community (17 January 2017) Only gay men deserving of (feigned) understanding and support?

Sunbury hit-and-run: Woman charged with murder of partner (9 January 2017)

It’s time to stop “counting dead women” and face the facts, by Jasmin Newman (28 December 2016)

Niece of Californian mayor says his wife should have divorced him rather than shot him dead (1 December 2016) USA

Woman, 53, gives first prison interview after killing cheating husband in road rage attack (16 November 2016) USA

Woman gets life in prison for fatally stabbing her former partner during drunken brawl (3 November 2016) Australia

Mashed potato murderer has no idea where former partner’s body was dumped (31 October 2016)

Joe Cinque’s Consolation: violence, delusion and the question of guilt (11 October 2016) Australia. Friends were told of the impending murder but did nothing – was this an inevitable outcome of community being conditioned to think that female-perpetrated violence is a rare and unlikely aberration.

The boyfriend who was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack by his ex-glamour model girlfriend when he texted her to say ‘it’s over’ (22 September 2016)

Vicious whispers led to doting dad’s murder (13 September 2016)

Woman charged over Gold Coast shooting (23 August 2016) Australia

Woman widowed three times now on trial in death of second husband (11 August 2016) USA

Hong Kong ‘milkshake murderer’ in fresh court bid (30 July 2016)

Woman sentenced in husband’s 2015 stabbing death (29 July 2016) But only to ten years probation!

A cycle of violence: when a woman’s murder is called ‘understandable’, by Laura Bates (27 July 2016) UK. Feminist perspective that ignores the fact that explanations/excuses are also routinely found when women kill their partners (in fact I would suggest that this is more common in such situations)

San Antonio woman gets 50 year sentence for fatal house fire (16 July 2016)

Domestic violence deaths at ‘epidemic proportions’ despite awareness (30 June 2016) DV-related deaths are NOT at “epidemic proportions”, ‘Destroy the Joint’s tally is by no means “meticulous”, and this is yet another feminist offering that air-brushes out male deaths.

‘I shot my British former boyfriend in self-defence,’ says ex-model in Spanish court (25 May 2016)

Woman charged with murder over Adelaide man’s death (4 May 2016) That’s now at least 17 murders by woman in Australia this year.

Domestic violence will flourish because of government funding cuts (2 May 2016) Australia. According to Jenna Price the pussy-pass works in reverse .. men do all the killing but the justice system lets them off the hook. Reality check please. All in all, an extremely misandric article. Reddit discussion thread here.

Man dies after being stabbed in Mt Isa (23 April 2016) Australia

Woman sentenced to home detention for manslaughter (21 April 2016) NZ

Former prostitute found guilty of murdering her businessman fiance – who was shot 10 times in the head by her lover (20 April 2016) Australia

Woman ‘stabs husband and feeds his flesh to dog’ (6 April 2016) Spain

Sharon Edwards: Violent wife murdered lawyer husband (8 March 2016) UK

“The number of women convicted for domestic violence rose by 30% in the year to April 2015, from 3,735 to 4,866. It marks an upward trend – the number of convictions involving female perpetrators is now six times higher than it was ten years ago”

Woman who killed husband with axe spared jail (8 March 2016) Australia. Related Reddit discussion thread here

Springfield woman apologizes for helping mother poison family with antifreeze (1 March 2016) USA

Male victims still overlooked (28 February 2016) Australia. This article states that:

“The reality is 12 people have died in domestic violence [related incidents in 2016] and eight of them have been men. Men are dying at the rate of two to one, but we show only show one male victim out of half a dozen or eight females.” And yet at the same time Destroy the Joint tweeted that nine women had been killed in the same period. Someone’s maths skills are seriously impaired.

Newlywed bride ‘liked being a solicitor’s wife so killed hubby when he lost his job’, court hears (24 February 2016)

Jealous hairdresser, 23, stabbed her boyfriend to death with a breadknife after losing her temper because he spent too much time on Facebook (22 February 2016)

Doctor ‘killed husband with hammer’ after their sex with teen (2 February 2016)  Australia. Guess we’ll never know his side of the story

Woman ‘arranged for ex-boyfriend she said had made her pregnant to be stabbed to death in a graveyard’ (27 January 2016) UK

Male domestic violence deaths become focus in Cornwall (25 January 2016) UK

“Michelle Davies, domestic abuse strategy manager for Safer Cornwall, said it was “difficult to pinpoint” why more men than women have died in domestic situations in Cornwall over the past five years.”

‘What I did was a horrible thing’: Anu Singh seeks atonement for killing Joe Cinque (14 January 2016)

Domestic violence: How to get away with murder (undated) Australia

Grandmother Lucia Colella not guilty by reason of mental incompetence of killing husband with axe at Alberton (22 December 2015)

Woman jailed for life over ex-lover murder (17 December 2015) Australia

Woman accused of murdering man, attempting to kill children in Perth suburb of Leda (7 December 2015)

Spanish woman stabs her husband 150 times (25 November 2015)

“In 2015, statistics from the Ministry of Health recorded three women killed in the province of Seville at the hands of their partners or former partners. There is no official count for murdered men, but through the news published by the media know that this crime was the second in 2015 … (In the first case) a neighbor beheaded her husband and then cut the veins. Like the (recent) case, the woman had a mental disorder.” And in a related reddit discussion thread it was noted that:

“As expected, (the) “battered woman” and “mental issues” justifications appear in the news. And as expected, the case is treated as “domestic violence”, not “gender violence”. At least 29 men have been murdered by their partners (and in comparison, 48 women) in Spain this year, according to the press.”

Woman stabs boyfriend to death because he threw her cat against a wall in a fit of anger (28 October 2015) Many of the reader’s comments here are from people supporting the woman’s action

Broken Hill woman charged with murder over alleged stabbing outside hospital (6 October 2015)

Another Drop Of Blood – Violence Is Genderless (14 September 2015)

Stop the tide of female blood (11 September 2015) More of the usual gender biased narrative from feminist journo Wendy Tuohy, but do take the time to scan the readers comments

UPDATE: Taylor County Woman Charged With Murder After Husband’s 2012 Death (22 August 2015) and related reddit discussion thread

SA court jails wife who stabbed husband in neck at end of sexually complicated marriage (10 July 2015)

Men the often-unreported victims of family violence (4 July 2015)

Woman kills husband over his affair in 1979, gets suspended sentence (26 June 2015)

Former Brewers player Darryl Hamilton found dead (22 June 2015)

Counting Dead Women: The issue we need to talk about (5 May 2015)

Male pattern violence is the problem: CountingDeadWomen (23 April 2015) Australian radfem perspective on the issue

Home isn’t a refuge for domestic violence victims (23 April 2015)

Wife of Sydney podiatrist charged with murder after Phillip Vasyli found dead in Bahamas (31 March 2015)

Two women are now killed by domestic violence every week. The time for discussion is over. It’s time to act (19 February 2015)

Domestic violence an equal opportunity killer, by Bill O’Chee (7 January 2015)

Why I Didn’t Wear a White Ribbon (28 November 2014) Provides Australian statistics in relation to DV-related deaths and injuries

Woman ‘fed up’ with messy boyfriend stamped him to death after he came home drunk and spilled beer on the carpet (31 October 2012) UK

Children most often killed by their mothers (25 September 2012) NZ

Domestic violence: how the law treats women who kill a violent partner (31 July 2012)

When battered women kill (24 October 2011)

Penis-burning wife Rajini Narayan walks free (13 April 2011) Australia

destroy1

Some other deaths you won’t read about in the ‘Destroy the Joint‘ page involve those men who paid the ultimate price for intervening to protect women who were being assaulted. Some of their stories can be found in this post.

 

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in reading:

On violence carried out by women and girls
Feminist myth: Women usually only commit domestic violence in self-defence
Going Batty: The making of a champion of the Domestic Violence Industry
Mostly female perpetrators, so child abuse is a gendered crime then?
On the punishment of women and the notion of a ‘pussy-pass’
On suicide

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