Do domestic violence ‘help-lines’ help male victims? How?

Some time ago I wrote a post about an Australian domestic violence organisation called ‘DV Connect’ and how they treated men who contacted them. I’d suggest taking a read of that now if you have the time. This other post may be of broader interest.

I haven’t written anything more about the topic. Yet at the same time, it is something which is put in our face every time the media (TV) runs an item on domestic violence and finishes with the advice to call (such and such agency) if “you are troubled by violent or abusive behaviour from your partner”. Which leaves everyone thinking that at least some help is available for (all) victims of domestic behaviour. But it’s not so.

Most agencies in the domestic violence sector will either turn male callers away or will (officially) cater for them, but on the (wink/nudge) understanding that they are either abusers trying to locate their partners, or are simply abusers in denial.

But now the topic of whether domestic violence help-lines actually do assist male callers has been raised again by an English researcher, Deborah Powney (Twitter id = @Firebird_psych). On 14 April 2020 Deborah began sending daily tweets as per the following:

“Can @RefugeCharity@ukhomeoffice be clear whether the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline directly supports male victims of domestic abuse or not? Can they clearly state what happens when a man calls? @ManKindInit@nicolejacobsST@10DowningStreet@patel4witham

Simple question. Shouldn’t take long to answer. And she waited. And while she did, she asked one or two further questions, for example:

“Could you provide the numbers of female perpetrators you have helped in the past 12 month? Could also provide the number of female perpetrator programmes that Respect have accredited in the same time period?” (To @RespectUK on 29 April 2020)

It took until 15 May 2020 before Deborah received an initial response.

“Hi, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is branded as a women’s helpline, however if we do receive calls from men the Helpline our staff will always listen, risk assess, address any safeguarding issues and validate the experience. They will then refer them to the Men’s Advice Line which provides specialist support for men.”

Deborah responded the same day, as follows: “Thank you for your response. Just to clarify – you do not help male victims at all – other than ‘immediate’ referal to the @RespectUK men’s helpline. Is that correct?”

@RefugeCharity further responded (also 15 May 2020)

“Hi, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is branded as a women’s helpline, however if we do receive calls from men the Helpline our staff will always listen, risk assess, address any safeguarding issues and validate the experience. The national domestic abuse helpline, which Refuge runs, is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days week. If male callers contact us, we refer them immediately to the men’s advice line, which is a specialist service for male victims of domestic abuse. They will then refer them to the Men’s Advice Line which provides specialist support for men.”

On 15 May 2020 Deborah then asked:

“Can @RefugeCharity@ukhomeoffice be clear what support the 24 hour National DA Helpline gives to male victims of domestic abuse when the @RespectUK taxpayer- funded “Men’s Advice Line” is closed (from either 5pm or 8pm weekdays to 9am & weekends) @nicolejacobsST@pritipatel”

While waiting for a response to the above, on 17 May 2020 Deborah queried another troubling aspect of the UK Government’s current DV response:

@martintandc @RespectUK @JoTodd4 Could you clearly explain why you make specific reference to male terrorists in your Toolkit for working with Male Victims of domestic abuse for the Men’s Advice Line? @nicolejacobsST @pritipatel @ukhomeoffice @mankind @MartinDaubney @PhilipDaviesUK

“For instance, the biggest denominator in acts of terrorism and mass killings is that almost all of the perpetrators are men. Women suffer mental illness at roughly the same rate as men, but almost none commit large-scale violence. Similarly, the levels of suicide for men are much greater then for women, because of social pressure on men not to seek help to deal with their emotional problems”. (Source)

Response subsequently received from a reader (19 May 2020)

From reading this material it seems obvious to me that staff in the relevant agencies had not considered how male callers were being dealt with, let alone how they should be dealt with. The topic was not even ‘on the radar’ as it was seemingly seen to be unimportant, and offering to assist men at all was seen as merely a token gesture.

You might wish to now refer to Deborah’s Twitter account to see if any further responses have been received from government, domestic violence industry, or readers.

(Some information about Deborah’s current research project regarding the experience of male victims of domestic violence can be found here.)

Readers may also find this paper to be of interest:

Exploring the Experiences of Telephone Support Providers for Male Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse (29 July 2020)

Has there been a surge in domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the feminist lobby has claimed that there has been a surge* in domestic violence. (*Note that the term ‘surge’ has been well and truly overtaken by now, more recently by ‘staggering increase‘ or ‘driving a spike‘). This trend has manifested itself across several countries, with the UN Women agency being a significant player. UN Women has produced guidelines in relation to gathering data about domestic violence against women.

The feminist lobby has linked this alleged increase in violence to, in particular, the common practice of governments requiring people to quarantine in their own homes. The proof offered to support the feminist position has primarily been claimed to be significant increases in call volume to DV help-lines (largely operated by feminist NGO’s). There have also been similar claims made in relation to alleged increases in traffic to web sites dealing with the welfare of victims of DV.

In only one of the media articles I read, prior to uploading this post, was reference made to an increase in the number of calls to police. This did not relate to increases in the number of charges laid, nor punishments meted out, but rather to queries made by people concerned about a perceived threat of DV.

I would suggest, as have others, that domestic violence is the feminist lobby’s primary cash-cow. Consider too, for example, the salary of DV agency bosses such as Sandra Horley, who is reported to receive a remuneration package of more than £210,000. The British Prime Minister is currently paid approx. £155,000.

To base government policy, even just one-off hand-outs of public money, on unverified allegations, is at best naïve. And when such claims are being provided by individuals with a vested interest in promoting a public view of a problem that they assert to be large & growing. Well, one might label such vested interest ‘ideological bias’, ‘pecuniary interest’, or worse as per the flow-chart below (Source). But whatever you call it, it is by no means competent, objective, unbiased research.

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It is particularly annoying that whilst the feminist-saturated domestic violence industry is loudly proclaiming a jump in violence in the home, they are maintaining their silence with respect to the reality of female-perpetrated assaults/abuse of men and children.

The other galling issue, although unrelated to Covid-19, is that I have belatedly learnt that, in the UK, the rate of women being killed by their partner was now at a 40 year low (Source). You would think that this would be shouted from the rooftops, wouldn’t you? Well, unless people sought to maintain perception of a growing epidemic. One that desperately demands further public funding.

What follows now are a series of media releases or articles dealing with the issue, presented in reverse chronological order:

Urgent funding plea to aid victims of abuse (26 September 2020) Australia

‘Revenge porn new normal’ after cases surge in lockdown (18 September 2020) UK, with a similar article in ‘The Independent’. A new funding angle it would seem.

The Domestic Violence racket explained (15 September 2020) UK video

Curb cash flow to the domestic abuse lobby (9 September 2020) UK

Frontline data reveals how Victorian lockdown is impacting family violence help-seeking behaviours (18 August 2020)

Domestic abuse surged in lockdown, Panorama investigation finds (17 August 2020)

$20m funds boost for family violence protection (17 August 2020)

“The Andrews government has announced an extra $20m for family violence prevention, citing an increase in demand for “perpetrator services” during the coronavirus pandemic. Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams cited an 11 per cent increase since last year in calls to the Men’s Referral Service.”

Urgent action needed to end pandemic of gender-based violence, say women’s rights experts (15 July 2020) Wow, now DV is the pandemic. Virus, listen, sorry, but it’s not all about you!

Domestic abuse charity anticipates ‘a tsunami of calls’ as figures rise (29 July 2020) A “tsunami of calls” – now that’s a bold new term

COVID-19 pandemic leads to rise in violence against women and girls in Asia Pacific, new report shows (22 July 2020) And ‘Plan International’ doesn’t have any history of feminist bias, now does it? I note too, that the article doesn’t identify the gender of perpetrators of child sex tourism. But it was 100% men, right?

Domestic violence on the rise during pandemic (13 July 2020) “The survey of 15,000 Australian women in May provides the most detailed information in the world about the prevalence and nature of domestic violence experienced by women during the pandemic.” How many men did they say were surveyed? That would be *none*

No spike in home violence, police say (10 June 2020) ‘The Australian’ newspaper tells us that NSW authorities “almost doubled domestic violence checks” but found “no increase in abuse rates“.

‘Tsunami’ warning for domestic violence networks as victims try to escape coronavirus lockdown (6 June 2020)

“Professor Wendt says women are experiencing violence at a more “intense level” as they try to survive the restrictions and plan their escape as measures lift”. Needless to say, what constitutes a “more intense level” is left to the imagination, and no supporting statistics are provided to quantify intensity.

NSW domestic violence down 12% amid virus (28 May 2020) Finally, the first of the ‘official’ figures emerge, and surprise, surprise …

UK Domestic Abuse Charity Sees 10-Fold Spike in Website Traffic During COVID-19 Lockdown (28 May 2020)

COVID-19 funding to boost domestic violence support (26 May 2020) Australia. The NSW and Federal Governments “investing” more than $21 million to boost frontline services and other supports.

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Clearly there’s no need to study the implications for male victims (there’s so darn few of them calling in for help, you see)

No evidence that domestic violence is rising due to COVID-19 (11 May 2020) USA

Government to invest millions into family violence services (11 May 2020) Meanwhile, also in New Zealand, “demand during lockdown increased by some 35 percent compared to last year, but she believed the full impact was yet to emerge.”

Coronavirus: Assault decline eases fears of spike in domestic abuse, by Kieran Gair (10 May 2020) Australia

Hollande highlights domestic violence in French lockdown (9 May 2020) The World Health Organisation claims that domestic violence has increased by 60% (based on “emergency calls by women” they claimed had been made).

Dementia charity sees 44% increase in calls during COVID-19 lockdown (9 May 2020) UK. Imagine 44% more people becoming demented. Better get your chequebook out, Prime Minister. Look out Team Harpie #HostileTakeover

The shocking rise in domestic violence reports since lockdown (3 May 2020) Australia

“One of the terrible side effects of Australia being in lockdown is the alarming rise in the number of people ringing domestic violence help lines”

Coronavirus: Government pledges £76m for abuse victims (2 May 2020) UK

“But Labour said this fell “woefully short” of what was needed and proposed amendments to the bill that would see 10% of the £750 million charity support package announced last month ring-fenced in a fast-track fund for domestic abuse charities”

Woman who stabbed boyfriend in the hand told police ‘isolation is getting to me’ (1 May 2020) UK

Domestic violence victims seeking help rises 10 per cent after COVID-19 lockdown (1 May 2020) Australia

” … I have just had 50 front-line workers on a statewide forum on the phone and all of them are saying how much busier it is… and now the stats come back to prove it”. “Stats” that agency staff themselves generated … what could go wrong?

“Ms Foster said the figures were concerning because they conflicted with a recent report from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, which found “domestic violence assaults recorded by police did not increase in March 2020, despite social distancing measures commencing … But Ms Foster said the report had sent a “dangerous message” to victims and policymakers. She said it was “irresponsible to put out a report drawing a conclusion that fears that domestic violence would increase hadn’t been realised.”

Coronavirus: Homes a prison as assaults on rise (1 May 2020) Australia

“The Queensland Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer, said authorities across the country were grappling with an “amplification” of abuse caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and tough health restrictions.

Domestic violence crisis centres in the state have experienced a 40 per cent spike in calls for help since the start of the pandemic …”

Domestic violence services prepare for demand as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease (1 May 2020) Australia

“The most concerning statistic came from Google data, with the Federal Government seeing a 75 per cent increase in searches about family and domestic violence compared to the average number of searches over the previous five years.”

“Alison Macdonald, acting chief executive of Domestic Violence Victoria, said there was clear evidence a surge in demand was coming. “We know from international evidence that there are spikes in family violence in post emergency and post crisis situations,” she said. “We know from Australian experience with bushfires, with floods and with cyclones.”

Women’s safety and Covid-19: Focus on the evidence (30 April 2020) ANROWS agency. Australia. A slightly more detailed discussion of the information that is currently available

Domestic abuse killings double and calls to helpline surge by 50% during coronavirus lockdown (27 April 2020) UK. And online requests for help have gone up 400%. All as reported by campaigners and agency staff, etc. And gov’t hands over money for yet another awareness campaign (#youarenotalone)

Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on family planning and ending gender-based violence (27 April 2020) Another day, another UN report, with this one asserting that:

“To estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to end gender-based violence, Avenir Health modelled a delay in the scale-up of prevention efforts as attention and resources are devoted to COVID-19, and an increase in violence during the period of lockdown. Assuming a slow start to the scale-up of prevention programmes (i.e., a 2-year delay in 2020 and 2021), followed by a rapid expansion of prevention programs in the middle of the decade, an estimated 2 million additional instances of intimate partner violence in 2020-2021 are expected.”

“COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030”

“For every 3 months the lockdown continues, an additional 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence are expected”

That’s right, no police reports were used to generate predictions. It was all based on modelling. Remarkable. And of course, no mention anywhere of female perpetration.

UK lockdown: Calls to domestic abuse helpline jump by half (27 April 2020) UK. I’m getting dizzy, now calls to helplines *are* jumping up (but still no ‘real’ statistics).

Man fighting for life, woman expected to be charged following serious stabbing at Kilburn in Adelaide (25 April 2020) South Australia

Domestic violence in the wake of COVID-19 (23 April 2020) NSW, Australia

“Domestic violence assaults recorded by police did not increase in March 2020”

Hotels say offer of refuge for domestic abuse victims has been snubbed (19 April 2020) UK. Just send cash please

Coronavirus Australia: Why calls to domestic violence helplines are plummeting (18 April 2020) So a surge in calls means more domestic violence hence more funds are needed for feminist NGO’s, whereas a lull in calls means the same thing. OK, sure

Domestic abuse killings ‘more than double’ amid Covid-19 lockdown (15 April 2020) As identified by “campaigners”. Read more about ‘Counting Dead Women’ here.

COVID-19: The bystander role has never been more critical in calling out (9 April 2020) What’s going on? There appears to be a change of feminist tactics, as suddenly statements admitting that there has been no boost in the number of DV victims post commencement of pandemic.

No spike in domestic violence in Tasmania despite early warnings: police (9 April 2020) Whoops, now that’s awkward. And here’s an unconvincing attempt at recovery by a high-profile feminist spokesperson.

A new Covid-19 crisis: Domestic abuse rises worldwide (7 April 2020)

Statement by Executive-Director UN Women regarding the effect of Covid-19 on the incidence of domestic violence (6 April 2020) Another report released the same week. In each case the ‘proof’ of the link (between Covid-19 and heightened domestic violence) is inferred to be claims made by staff of feminist agencies & NGO’s.

Family violence perpetrators using COVID-19 as ‘a form of abuse we have not experienced before’ (29 March 2020)

‘Covid-19 will slam the door shut’: Australia’s family services brace for domestic violence spike (28 March 2020)

More men die: Women most affected. A Janice Fiamengo video (24 March 2020)

Coronavirus Australia: Why women will feel the impact more than men (17 March 2020) 

More on the Covid-19 issue can be found here, and other blog posts that may be of interest might include:

Public events and domestic violence myth

Partner in arms: A primer on the domestic violence industry

Two awareness campaigns. Only one can be criticised. Cowed by feminism?

Australian Federal Family Law Inquiry 2019

“The Federal Government will launch an inquiry into the family law system, after accusations the court system is failing vulnerable Australians.

Coalition backbenchers and the crossbench, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, have been calling for an inquiry for some time, arguing the system is too expensive and slow.

The inquiry will be run by former social services minister and long-serving Liberal MP Kevin Andrews.” (Source)

The feminist lobby and their domestic violence industry took great umbrage at this announcement. And so it began.

The Committee’s home page can be found here, and details concerning the making of submissions can be found here.

The first specific matter that the feminists got upset about was Pauline Hanson’s reference to the practice whereby some women make false claims against their former partners in family court, esp. in relation to domestic violence and sexual assault (refer example of outrage in the media).

In terms of topics related to the treatment of victims, another issue was that of couples counselling (related article). The feminist DV Industry is generally opposed to this practice, claiming that it exposes women to additional unnecessary risk. But not everyone was of the same view (related article).

Another curious complaint from various feminist spokespersons was that there had been too many inquiries, and the proposed inquiry was both unnecessary and would delay progress. This is extraordinary given the ongoing vocal urging for more inquiries/commissions/etc despite the many state and federal inquiries that have taken place – particularly related to domestic violence. A number of these inquiries can be seen listed in the relevant section of my Table of Contents page.

Submissions to the Family Law Inquiry have now closed, and a final report was due to be submitted in October 2020. On 31 August 2020, both Houses of Parliament agreed to extend the reporting date to the last sitting day in February 2021. An interim report was subsequently released on 7 October 2020.

See also:

1IN3’s Questions on Notice for Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (19 October 2020) Re: Issuing of domestic violence orders against abusive women

Transcript of One in Three’s appearance before the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (15 October 2020)

Mounting anger around the Family Law inquiry (29 June 2020)

Activists attempt to shut down the family law inquiry (19 March 2020)

Women lie about DV attacks: Inquiry told (12 March 2020)

One in Three’s submission to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (24 January 2020)

B.C. psychologist apologizes for one-sided opinion in family court (14 January 2020) How many Australian ‘professionals’ are providing similar support to mothers?

How abuse of violence orders corrupts our family law system, by Augusto Zimmermann (11 November 2019)

Help make sure the family law inquiry exposes the real issues, by Bettina Arndt (1 November 2019) The closing date for submissions to the Inquiry is 18 December 2019

The Family Court does need reform, but not the way Pauline Hanson thinks (28 October 2019) As is often the case with these pro-feminist items, the material in the readers comments is more valuable than the article itself. Or at least the comments that haven’t yet been removed by the moderators, which is common practice at The Conversation. This here is a Twitter thread that might well present a wider range of views.

Joe Hildebrand: ‘Deadliest of lies’ we keep swallowing (27 October 2019) Australia

Pauline Hanson should be replaced on family law inquiry, Rosie Batty says (23 October 2019)

Rosie Batty launches alternative to government family law enquiry (23 October 2019)

A counsellor writes to the Family Court inquiry (18 October 2019)

Zali Steggall and family law: Part of the disease, not the cure (30 September 2019) Australia

Kevin Andrews refused to condemn Hanson over ‘lying’ women claim (24 September 2019) Australia

Thousands misusing abuse orders to get legal aid, says parenting charity (3 July 2018) UK

Domestic violence offenders use child custody orders to abuse ex-partners (3 January 2016) “Men who manipulate the system and abuse their partners”. Of course, only men do that, right? And it’s ok to label men that way, because I mean everyone knows we’re not taking about *all* men.

In closing, how many, if any, of the following groups explicitly represent fathers/men and/or male victims of domestic abuse? How many have anything approaching gender equality with regards to their board and/or their staff?

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Other posts in this blog that you might find relevant include:

Partners in alms: A primer on the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’

No to Violence: Working together to end men’s family violence

The No to Violence agency (‘NTV’), also known as the Male Family Violence Prevention Association, appears to be populated by ardent pro-feminists. Despite that, surprisingly one third of the board members are male. Of those staff listed in the web site, seven are female and three are male.

In January 2019 I was blocked from the twitter stream of the CEO of NTV, Jacqui Watt, without explanation. I became aware of Jacqui’s stream via browsing the Twitter stream @OurWatch CEO, Patty Kinnersly. (Credit to Patty for not blocking me, although I am blocked from the OurWatch general account)

NTV do not appear to be listed in the ACNC register, but relevant details including a copy of their 2018 annual report are available in their web site.

NTV is heavily supported by the Victorian government and their annual report acknowledges receipt of almost $3.9 million in grant funding for the year ending 30 June 2018.

In this 2014 submission NTV sought to undermine the integrity of the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.

In this 2014 submission NTV sought to undermine the integrity of the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.

Anyone wishing to complain about NTV or the conduct of specific staff members should familiarise themselves with the Complaints Procedure.

The Duluth Model: The theoretical basis for the feminist approach to domestic violence

The cornerstone of the feminist approach to domestic violence is known as the ‘Duluth Model’, which is often illustrated as follows:

The Duluth Model is “based in feminist theory positing that domestic violence is the result of patriarchal ideology in which men are encouraged and expected to control their partners”. (Source)

It is my position, and I am certainly not alone in this regard, that applying this theoretical framework to most (let alone all) incidents of domestic violence is highly misleading and inappropriate.

Further, if gender inequality is the most significant precursor in relation to domestic violence, then:

Why is the incidence of domestic violence greater in lesbian couple than in heterosexual couples?

How might one explain the already high and growing levels of female-perpetrated violence generally?

How might one explain the significant geographical variations in the incidence of domestic violence? The chart below, for example, looks at variations in the incidence of DV in the Australian state of New South Wales.

highrateDVareas

Why does there exist a very considerable number of male victims of domestic violence?

How might one explain the relatively high levels of child abuse and neglect involving single mothers?

Why is the level of domestic violence so high in countries like Sweden that, even feminists would agree, have a higher than average level of gender equality?

These categories or situations of domestic violence are not the inconsequential anomalies that many propose them to be. On the contrary, they constitute very large and substantial pieces of the domestic violence jigsaw.

In an intimate partnership between two people of different genders, an unequal balance of power can be a factor contributing to DV. But what feminists refuse to concede is that the partner asserting most power need not be male, and often isn’t.

The Duluth Model and its chief proponents are discussed at length in this illuminating series of email exchanges (mirror here).

“… the Duluth model essentially views all female transgressions as being self-defensive in nature (even against children!) and can be attributed either to previous victimization by a male or to an allegedly oppressive “patriarchy” (Dutton and Corvo, 2007)”

I would urge you to take a moment now to read Jason Dale’s detailed and insightful commentary.

See also:

Drive: The wheels come off (3 August 2020)

Duluth worked even better than I expected (25 July 2019)

You can’t help men by attacking masculinity, by Dr John Barry (27 November 2018)

Setting the record straight on Duluth (6 February 2017)

The Duluth model is working as designed; you won’t smart mouth her again, by Dalrock (3 February 2017)

Taking an in-depth look into domestic violence research – The Duluth Model (6 September 2015)

The Gender Paradigm In Domestic Violence: Research And Theory (2005) by Donald G. Dutton and Tonia L. Nicholls

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Gender bias and wasted opportunities at the 2017 National Family Violence Summit

Today was the second and final day of the National Family Violence Summit. The Summit was facilitated by the Tara Costigan Foundation and sponsored by BaptistCare. An extract from today’s program is shown below:

And no, in case you were wondering, there was no corresponding session to discuss what women could do to help reduce family violence.

How would this aspect of the program be interpreted by the average Joe or Josephine in-the-street? They would probably see it as implying that men were responsible for family violence, and that therefore it’s men’s duty to eradicate it.

This is the equivalent of having every man in Australia stand at the front of the classroom with a dunce’s hat on. Except the domestic violence lobby is not saying men are stupid, but that they are evil.

This is an affront to men everywhere, and it is difficult to imagine a situation where women are now smeared and disregarded in such a manner.

And this despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of men never commit acts of violence, and that male victims of domestic violence are rarely acknowledged.

Look, I understand that the basis for establishing the Tara Costigan Foundation was the tragic death of a young woman at the hands of a bestial man. That man is now in jail and sadly we cannot undo what happened to Tara. But the Summit is, or at least should be, about addressing domestic violence in its totality.

The ‘big picture’ of domestic violence comprises substantial numbers of abusive men and women, and of both male and female victims of that abuse.  There is also a considerable (yet rarely acknowledged) element of bi-directional violence, where both partners perpetuate abuse.

And what of women’s role in addressing domestic violence, not only as empowered and autonomous individuals, but also in recognition of the fact that many women are also abusive. Not only is there a long-running problem with child abuse by women, but there is also a growing problem with female violence generally. These issues are alternately either excused away (“women are only ever violent in self-defence“), minimised or ignored altogether.

The agencies that deal with domestic violence are heavily imbued with feminist doctrine. They continue to falsely portray domestic violence as heterosexual male on female violence, despite this constituting just one slice of the pizza (albeit probably the largest one). Feminist agencies address domestic violence in the context of a theoretical approach known as the Duluth Model. The validity of the Duluth Model is hotly debated, and its success is questionable.

There have been so many talk-fests and inquiries in relation to domestic violence. Almost without exception their value has been severely compromised by a failure to open the floor to all ideas, especially those contrary to feminist dogma. That appears to have also been the case with the Summit, given that none of the speakers represented a men’s rights group, a father’s group, or an advocacy group for male victims of domestic violence such as One-in-Three.

Why is this allowed to continue particularly considering the amount of public funds being expended, and the miserable progress being made?

The situation in the U.K is similar to Australia in this regard, but some progress is being made via vigorous lobbying by groups and individuals such as GenderFreeDV and Philip Davies MP.

Here is Australia we have balanced views on DV being expressed by a small but dedicated number of journalists such as Bettina Arndt, Miranda Devine, and Corrine Barraclough. As far as sitting politicians go however, there is little cause for optimism just at the moment. One outcome of this situation is that there is almost no funding provided at all for male victims of domestic violence – or indeed for addressing men’s/boys issues generally.

Please can someone finally take some real leadership on this issue?

I did not attend the Summit and await the report that is to be prepared for submission to the government. I will re-visit this post at that time and make any necessary adjustments. In the interim I stand ready to be corrected by an organiser or an attendee if what I have stated is in error. Should such a person wish to detail their experience at this event please submit a comment below.

Here are some links to related news coverage:

Rosie Batty joins 7.30 to discuss the summit on family violence (28 February 2017)

Former army chief David Morrison calls for national day for domestic violence victims (28 February 2017)

The good thing to come out of horror of Tara Costigan’s murder (1 March 2017)

 

Men’s Referral Service: Clayton’s* support for male victims of domestic violence

“The Men’s Referral Service provides telephone counselling and referrals for Australian men impacted by family violence.” (Source)

The Men’s Referral Service (‘MRS’) web site does not provide any information about the management of MRS nor its legal or financial details. Readers are informed that:

“The Men’s Referral Service is a service of No To Violence, Male Family Violence Prevention Association (NTV). Find out more about NTV.”

Further details regarding MRS can however be accessed in their ACNC register entry, including their constitution, list of directors, and financial returns. The most recent financial report (year ending 30 June 2015) showed annual income of just over $2 million, of which just under $1.7 million was received in the form of government grant/s. The biggest single expense, just over $1.7 million, was listed as “staffing costs”.

Whilst the material provided in the MRS web site provides some pretence about their interest and involvement in supporting male victims of domestic violence, they are very much a pro-feminist organisation whose primary interest is the isolation and treatment of abusive men.

The MRS was recently thrust into the limelight as a result of a decision by feminist NSW Minister, Pru Goward, to award them an extremely lucrative grant ($13 million over 4 years) to ostensibly provide support services for male victims of domestic violence.

That ill-judged decision was discussed in some detail in this Nov 2016 article by Bettina Arndt, and also in this media release from the One in Three advocacy group – which I would recommend that you now take a moment to read.

This news came some time after the original media release announcing the availability of funding for male victims of domestic violence. This was much- applauded at the time by individuals opposed to the gender-biased nature in which government grants had been dispensed up to that point in time:

“For the first time in NSW, male victims of domestic and family violence will receive dedicated support, NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward announced today.

“As part of a record investment in domestic and family violence prevention, the 2016-17 Budget included $13.3 million over four years to make it easier and faster for men and boys to get help when they need it,” Ms Upton said.” (Source)

Thus this has been very much a case of two steps forward and one step back in terms of achieving a reasonable and equitable level of support for male victims of domestic violence.

*To learn the meaning of the term Clayton’s see here

See also:

Inside the Men’s Referral Service, a call centre dealing with Australia’s abusive men and domestic violence (3 May 2020)

One man’s grassroots insight into the Duluth Model domestic violence perpetrator programme (15 December 2016) Helps explain, amongst other things, why unsuitable groups like MRS are awarded contracts like this one.

Should we scrutinise ALL reports of family violence? (2 December 2016)

Someone has described how the new feminist DV intervention system in Australia works in menslib and askfeminists. Its absolutely disgraceful (February 2016) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

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

On recognising and supporting male victims of domestic violence

Partners in alms: A primer on the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’

Australian taxpayer-funded organisations that do little/nothing for men (other than demonising them)

Another government inquiry to tell us that domestic violence = men beating women because patriarchy

Excuse me NSW Government, your gender bias and lack of objectivity is showing (again)

Release of the Final Report of the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children

The final report of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children was provided to COAG on Friday, 1 April 2016. See this page for a link to download the report, and this page for background information concerning the work of the panel.

Yes, add this to the already long list of Australian government inquiries into domestic violence. The mind boggles at the combined costs of these reports. It would surely be enough to pay for – oh, let’s see – behaviour management programs for female offenders in each state plus a network of refuges for men and *their* children.

It would be one thing if these inquiries were reaching out to different groups and generating new and different ideas – but in the case of gender issues like DV the reverse is true. It’s always the same faces on the panels, consulting the same groups, bringing forward the same ideas based on the same ideology. And all the while with no concrete progress being made save for a succession of costly PR-value-only campaigns farmed out to the same ‘old girls club’ consultancies.

The Panel delivered its preliminary advice to COAG in July 2015. The Australian Government adopted all of the Panel’s recommendations through the $100 million Women’s Safety Package.

The Panel delivered its second report in December 2015 and recommended priority actions which were all endorsed by COAG. This included a national domestic violence order scheme, the development of national outcome standards for perpetrator interventions, and a national approach to dealing with technology-facilitated abuse.

The members of the Advisory Panel are Ken Lay (Chairman), Rosie Batty (Deputy Chair), Heather Nancarrow (Deputy Chair), Maria Hagias, Darren Hine, Dr Victoria Hovane, Ms Tracy Howe, Mr Edward Mosby, Ms Julie Oberin, The Hon Bess Price MLA, and Ms Sue Salthouse.

“The Panel recommends that a new approach be adopted by all governments to achieve generational and lasting change:

  • Men must be held to account for their actions and supported to change
  • Responses must focus on empowering women and their children to make informed choices
  • Political leaders, businesses, industry and the broader community all need to commit to collective, long-term action to improve gender equality and change violence supportive attitudes
  • Children and young people must be recognised as victims of violence against women
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities need trauma informed responses, and
  • Integrated responses are required to keep women and their children safe.

The Panel’s Final Report includes 28 recommendations for COAG’s consideration, with innovative, practical and deliverable options for further joint Commonwealth, state and territory work to reduce violence against women and their children.”

This is the first I had heard of this report, and even then I only became aware of it via reading the Twitter stream of a feminist politician. So much for publicising the exercise beyond the feminist encampment.

“In developing its advice, Panel members undertook over 120 separate consultations with stakeholders and experts in primary prevention, victim support services, perpetrator treatment, technology, law enforcement, research and education, and the business community.

Targeted consultations were also undertaken to discuss specific issues in relation to children, women with disabilities, women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.”

How many such consultations were with father’s or mens rights groups or advocates? I have scrolled through the list in the report, and I can’t recognise any. Of those groups and individuals who were approached for input, were there many that did not subscribe to the dominant feminist view of domestic violence? Was there even one?

Based on my first glance at the report it appears to ignore male victims entirely. In fact I just word-searched the report using the term ‘male victims’ and got not one hit. Not an encouraging sign, yet not unexpected. The report also clearly implies that all perpetrators of domestic violence are male. And irony of ironies, there is a section on gender bias amongst people working with DV victims which only acknowledges gender bias against women.

Just to remind readers, if it were even necessary, that at least one in three victims of domestic violence are male.

I honestly cannot fathom how the panel members, all of whom would probably have fathers/brothers/sons, can sleep at night knowing they were complicit in an exercise wherein the basic human rights of so many were so cruelly disregarded.

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

So what exactly is the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’?

Two awareness campaigns. Only one can be criticised. Cowed by feminism?

Australian taxpayer-funded organisations that do little/nothing for men (other than demonising them)

Two awareness campaigns. Only one can be criticised. Cowed by feminism?

Many among the media, and the political and bureaucratic elite seem to get quite a hard-on about awareness campaigns. Indeed, some have suggested that such campaigns are a favoured device of the prevailing leftist/feminist hegemony. This despite the fact that the effectiveness of such campaigns is often difficult to assess. Or perhaps it’s because of that.

The American political philosopher Thomas Sowell observed “We should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.” (Source)

Ah, but not all awareness campaigns are the same. Campaigns concerning issues that are pivotal to the feminist cause are beyond reproach. Mild criticism is however tolerated in the case of campaigns on less ideologically revered topics.

A very different reaction to two public awareness campaigns

It’s May 2015 and the Australian federal government has released its annual budget. It proposes substantial allocations to two separate public awareness campaigns. One relates to drug use, specifically crystal methamphetamine – or ‘ice’ ($9 million). The other relates to domestic violence ($7 million).

Plenty of people have lined up to criticise the first campaign on the basis, for example, that it’s unoriginal, focuses too much on scare mongering, is unlikely to be cost-effective, and might even be counter-productive.

On that last point, one article included the statement that “When an ad is on television for a particular illicit drug, we know afterwards young people think it must be really, really common and so therefore it can increase their perception of how normal it is.”

In contrast the only public criticism that the domestic violence campaign has been subject to, is that not enough money has been provided. It is probably no coincidence that the feminist lobby is heavily invested in the DV campaign, but not the other.

So just how many parallels, if any, are there between the two campaigns?

The drug campaign was also discussed in an article entitled ‘Awareness campaigns need to target the real victims of ice” (13 May 2015), which noted that:

“International evidence suggests such “awareness” campaigns are not the most appropriate way to address harmful methamphetamine use. In fact, fear-based approaches can increase stigma which possibly drives people away from, rather than towards, treatment.”

The article proceeds:

“Australian media outlets and politicians claim we’re facing a nationwide “ice epidemic” …  the most up-to-date research estimates that the proportion of Australians who have used any type of methamphetamine (ice, “speed” powder) in the previous year has remained relatively stable for at least the last decade.

Nevertheless, the government and media’s continued use of hyperbolic language – in addition to a tendency to ignore and sometimes dismiss public health experts’ advice on ice – has the potential to incite unnecessary fear and misinform the public about this supposed “menace”.”

So there’s our first parallels, for neither campaign will be targeted and in both cases Australian media outlets and politicians are making exaggerated claims about an emerging epidemic.

The article then goes on to question whether the personal and public threat posed by drug use (as compared to the extent of drug use) has also been exaggerated.

The article states: “We need to accurately define the issue, including the nature and extent of methamphetamine use and related harms in rural and regional areas, to allow the development and implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based and timely responses.”

A further parallel is that the debate about domestic violence likewise does not accurately define the issue, focussing as it does wholly on uni-directional violence by men against women. I would also argue that the policy response is not evidence-based but rather driven by the ideology of those most heavily invested in the issue.

The article then goes on to talk about the success of health-related public awareness campaigns, noting that some “are costly, ineffective and possibly even counterproductive”.

In one example cited “The findings of one study suggest that the Montana Meth Project might actually increase acceptability and decrease perceptions of risk relating to using methamphetamine.” Elsewhere it noted that “fear-based approaches can lead to stigma and poor health outcomes, such as from reduced treatment-seeking.”

The article concludes with a discussion of the value of an alternative or supplementary strategy, that of “harm minimisation”. It notes:

“Because people will choose to engage in drug use (both licit and illicit) regardless of the policies and programs in place, we need to encourage them to do so as safely as possible. We also must continue to inform the public about options for managing drug-related consequences and appropriate and available means for professional support, such as telephone and internet counselling”.

The concept of ‘harm minimisation’ also applies to domestic violence when we consider the prevalence of bi-directional violence, as shown in the diagram below, and the fact that domestic violence may persist from one generation to the next. Perhaps we need to resign ourselves, that in some situations it may be more effective to focus more on the provision of short-term shelter accommodation, the removal of children into care, etc.

IPV-Truthwgray

Assuming there are parallels between awareness campaigns for drug use and domestic violence, then why have the same criticisms not been raised in relation to the latter?

Indeed, why has no criticism at all been directed at those spending large amounts of taxpayer funds on domestic violence awareness campaigns? Doubly so, given that there have been many previous awareness campaigns undertaken, and that these all appear to have achieved little in terms of effecting a remedy for the problem.

Is this lack of criticism because those in positions of influence truly believe in the value of such campaigns, or is it simply a reflection of wishful thinking and/or the very real fear of feminist backlash against dissenting voices?

Do public awareness campaigns even work?

Many public organisations love awareness campaigns because for minimal work they provide maximum profile (i.e. ‘look at us doing something about the problem!’). Just engage a marketing consultant, agree on a logo, and begin advertising.

The jury is out, however, on their effectiveness – in part because many public awareness are not subject to proper evaluation. This is probably, in part, because of the factor noted above – they are often created at short notice for reasons of political expediency.

It is known however that some types of awareness campaigns are more likely to be successful than others:

“Some police agencies participate in domestic violence awareness campaigns and school programming, such as classroom instruction to teens about dating violence and ways to handle conflict. Domestic violence prevention messages may target the general population or specific populations. For example, campaigns may be designed to encourage victim reporting, deter potential offenders, or raise the consciousness of potential witnesses of abuse (neighbours, friends, relatives). However, the effect of these prevention strategies is unknown.

For instance, few of the programs developed to reduce teen dating violence have been evaluated, and of those that have, there have been mixed results. Although some report an increase in knowledge in the targeted population and greater familiarity with available resources to help victims, this does not necessarily translate into a reduction in the incidence level of dating violence.

† The Lancashire (United Kingdom) Police Constabulary placed messages about domestic violence on police vehicles, beer glass coasters in bars, utility bills, and lampposts, and used radio advertising to increase awareness of domestic violence.

As a rule, prevention is more likely to work if highly targeted. General campaigns are not typically effective. Highly targeted campaigns that focus on a specific target group or geographic area can have some impact. Offender-oriented campaigns, which are designed to raise potential offenders’ perceptions that there will be meaningful consequences to battering, are more likely to be effective than campaigns that appeal to potential offenders’ morals.” (Source)

See also:

What’s the point of sexual harassment training? Often, to protect employers (17 November 2017) This research found that sexual harassment training could actually produce the opposite result to what was intended.

Marriage vote: how advocacy ads exploit our emotions in divisive debates (13 September 2017) Now transpose the views expressed here across to domestic violence awareness campaigns, with the ‘yes’ lobby being those challenging the status quo by seeking a non-gendered approach to the issue. Again, “the ‘no’ campaign has many unfair advantages”. Though I suspect, most likely, not in the eyes of the typical reader of ‘The Conversation‘.

Feminist academics take issue with a women’s fitness awareness campaign (13 August 2017) Don’t exercise as men will look at you. A Mark Latham video

How Australia’s discrimination laws and public health campaigns perpetuate fat stigma (11 July 2017) “Fat-shaming” awareness campaigns don’t work and are reprehensible (… but male-shaming campaigns do/aren’t?) Of course this nothing to do with where the issue of focus falls on the leftist/PC acceptability spectrum.

What if Mandatory “Sexual Respect” Classes are Counterproductive? (21 September 2016)

What good is ‘Raising Awareness’? (21 April 2015) USA

Are social marketing campaigns effective in preventing child abuse and neglect? (October 2010) Australia

And what if the campaign message is inaccurate and/or biased?

Another reason why a campaign might be counter-productive is when the information it disseminates is inaccurate and/or biased. This is a real danger with a topic like domestic violence, the debate concerning which is tightly-controlled by one group who maintain a very particular and inflexible ideological stance on the  matter.

It is highly likely that the campaign that eventually emerges will focus solely, or almost solely, on men’s violence towards women. Issues like bi-directional violence, domestic violence in same-sex couples (especially women), and female on male violence will be ignored or minimised. The focus on gender and control will mean that other factors like social disadvantage and substance abuse will be played down. Political correctness will also rule out consideration of race, ethnicity or religion as potentially relevant factors.

What messages will this send? What biases and stereotyping will this reinforce?

Three examples:

Feminism, Domestic Violence & Spiderman Screenings (12 July 2017)

Video and discussion thread concerning a gender-biased awareness campaign in Victoria, Australia (17 January 2017)

The UK Home Office ‘Disrespect Nobody’ campaign included this TV advert which failed to acknowledge female perpetration of abusive behaviours.

Other sources that may be of interest:

‘Ice Wars’ message is overblown and unhelpful (14 February 2017)

Our Watch charity invited to assess its own schools gender equity program (4 February 2017) Just have one feminist organisation (a recipient of substantial public funds) evaluate the effectiveness of a program of similar allied organisation. What could go wrong with that?

Miranda Devine: Stop telling boys to act like girls, by Miranda Devine (24 April 2016) Australia

Some early reaction, on mensrights reddit, to the new Australian DV ‘awareness’ campaign (24 April 2016)

Get ready for some good old male-bashing (22 April 2016)

What about the mean girls? by Jasmin Newman (21 April 2016) Australia

Australia’s costly new national ‘violence against women’ awareness campaign and some articles that followed its launch:

Prevention of violence against women – finally, an idea whose time has come, by Mary Barry (20 April 2016)
Domestic violence ad campaign to focus on ‘influencers’ in bid to change attitudes (20 April 2016)
Where the new $30 million domestic violence campaign is missing the mark‘. This campaign ignores male victims and female perpetrators, and is based on the flawed assumption that the main cause of DV is attitudes towards women.

Branded for life? Sending the wrong message to young perpetrators of family violence (24 February 2016) Australia. Campaign devised by feminist group ‘Our Watch’ and article published in pro-feminist site The Conversation. Campaign only features male perpetrators, this issue ignored in article.

Fear-based health information makes new mothers anxious (23 July 2015) Australia. Now consider DV campaigns that demonise all men despite them having no control over the small minority of men who abuse. The community seemingly sees no problem with making men feel “anxious” in that situation, even despite the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as do women.

Not just a slick TV ad: what makes a good domestic violence awareness campaign? (23 July 2015)

National $30 million campaign to tackle domestic violence (5 March 2015)

Mark Latham on why Labor can’t get it right on domestic violence (16 May 2015)

$16m for dom violence but $1.2b for terrorism (14 May 2015)

Social Marketing for Preventing Violence Against Women: Making every action matter (June 2013) This paper is written from a pro-feminist pro-awareness campaign perspective, but provides a useful list of many previous awareness campaigns. It fails to provide serious/objective evaluations of individual campaigns or of awareness campaigns generally. Indeed, it’s telling that the only campaign against which it directs criticism is the ‘One in Three‘ campaign that draws attention to male victims of domestic violence. One in Three‘ is an ongoing target for feminist criticism.

 

 

 

Australian feminist attacks integrity of advocacy group for male victims of domestic violence

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In her article entitled The ‘One in Three’ claim about male domestic violence victims is a myth, Jane Gilmore launched a full-frontal attack on the integrity of Australia’s key advocacy group for male victims of domestic violence, and of the men’s rights movement (MRM) generally.

But more than that, Jane did exactly what feminists have long accused the MRM of doing, she sought to discredit the reality of substantial numbers of victims of domestic abuse on the basis of their gender. She sought to elevate the importance of the feminist-driven domestic violence industry by climbing on the backs of male victims.

Jane claimed that her action was necessary because “there’s a serious risk it [acknowledging significant numbers of male victims of DV] will alter the way governments approach the issue“. This is certainly one of the more absurd claims I have heard emerge from Australian feminists in recent times. And that’s saying something.

And the evidence in support of Jane’s fear is what exactly? None of the recent inquiries into domestic violence stepped outside the strict parameters of the DV debate as determined by the feminist lobby. Male victims of domestic violence are scarcely a faint blip on the political radar screen either federally, or in any of the state or territories. In fact, sadly, I see little evidence of politicians paying any attention to the ‘One in Three‘ organisation, or to the data it disseminates, or indeed to the MRM generally.

The relevant post in the Facebook page of publisher ‘Daily Life attracted a substantial number of responses from readers, fairly evenly balanced between supporters and critics of Ms Gilmore’s article. This surprised me given that Daily Life is generally avoided by those who aren’t ardent feminists, thanks to a combination of biased content and hostile moderation. Many of those writing in support of Jane’s article came across as extremely ill-informed and sexist, but don’t take my word for it – click on the link above and see for yourself.

Ms. Gilmore herself added a comment on 1 May 2015 stating:

“I’m not going to get into any pointless arguments here, but I’d like to remind everyone that I said more than once in the article that anyone who needs help should get it, and quoted Karen Willis on the topic as well. This is not about denying services for men or the fact that male victims exist, it’s about understanding the facts and directing services where they are genuinely needed. And most importantly, gender is relevant in prevention and must be considered if primary prevention programs are going to be effective in keeping both men and women safer.”

bigotbigot2

But of course Jane’s article does, and can only, undermine efforts to address the ongoing denial of recognition and support for male victims of domestic violence. Such efforts are underway not only in Australia but also, for example, in Canada, the U.K and the United States.

bigot3And indeed, within days of Jane’s article being published, the One in Three organisation was uninvited from presenting at a Forum on Family Violence hosted by Strathfield Council, and there will now be no voice for male victims of domestic violence. Although they do not provide front-line services to victims, the reason given for excluding One in Three, the pro-feminist White Ribbon Campaign will still be presenting. This course of events can only be seen as a further sad indictment of the misguided priorities of the feminist lobby.

gilmore

 

 

The degree of impartiality of Strathfield Council was further called into question when they removed a comment I made on 8 May from the timeline of their Facebook page (before and after screen-saves provided below)

strathfieldstrathfield2

One in Three published a rebuttal to Jane Gilmore’s article here, and which I recommend that you read. Jim Muldoon, an Australian MRA, also published a critique of the Daily Life article here. (Jim also wrote an earlier article about Gilmore’s biased position on domestic violence, entitled ‘Jane Gilmore should stop with the rubbish domestic violence games, in December 2014)

One in Three subsequently published a disturbing account of the bias and antagonism that they encountered whilst contributing to the Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence.

Later, on 29 November 2015, the misandrists at ‘Daily Lifelaunched another disgraceful attack on the ‘One in Three’ organisation and male victims of domestic violence. Not yet sated, on 3 December 2015 they went and took another swipe.

In closing, here are a couple of more recent examples of feminists seeking to undermine ‘One in Three’ and/or male victims generally:

  1. Poorly-regarded male feminist, Michael Flood, felt the need to lash out at ‘One in Three’ in his submission to the Victorian Royal Commission on Family Violence (refer top page 8)
  2. Director of the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Amy Compton-Keen, victim-blames and advances the myth that women are only ever violent in self-defence/after sustained abuse. See the reader reaction to that article.

clementine_DV

This August 2016 article describes how Clementine Ford attacked Erin Pizzey, the founder of the Women’s Shelter movement (but now campaigns for better recognition/support for male victims of DV. See related Reddit discussion thread here.

And yet another example of feminist hypocrisy – Jane Gilmore derides mens rights activists for devoting too much energy to addressing issues raised by feminists rather than rendering practical assistance to men. Maybe if she could resist the urge to attack/undermine then more help could be provided to those in need. With another cookie-cutter version of earlier articles here.

This Australian feminist group has lobbied to have trans-women excluded from DV shelters, so clearly CIS men have zero chance of being offered support. Discussion thread and linked article here.

This MRA exposes a feminist pretending to be a male victim of domestic violence (1 December 2016) Video with related Reddit discussion thread here

Groups pressure BMO Vancouver Marathon to remove men’s charity from annual run (6 April 2017)

Feminists against men’s domestic violence shelters (24 May 2017) Video

Beware the dubious claims of this men’s rights group, by Sherele Moody (24 June 2017)

To end on a bright note, one hopes this Irish feminist group learnt a lesson.

Postscript January 2018: The organisation helping the male victims of domestic violence

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in:

On recognising and supporting male victims of domestic violence

Fudging the figures to support the feminist narrative