A review of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act – A submission by the One in Three campaign

Queensland’s discrimination law is thirty years old. In May 2021, the Attorney-General asked the Queensland Human Rights Commission to undertake a review of the Anti-Discrimination Act. The review presented a valuable opportunity to make sure the law is keeping up to date with the changing needs of our society.

The Commission was asked to look at whether our anti-discrimination law protects and promotes equality and non-discrimination to the greatest extent possible.

One in Three‘ is a diverse group of male and female professionals – academics, researchers, social workers, psychologists, counsellors, lawyers, health promotion workers, trainers and survivor/advocates.

One in Three aims to raise public awareness of the existence and needs of male victims of family violence and abuse; to work with government and non-government services alike to provide assistance to everyone affected by family violence; and to reduce the incidence and impacts of family violence on Australian men, women and children. One in Three believes our society has the capacity to support all victims of family violence, whether male or female, young or old, gay or straight, rich or poor, wherever they live.

In their submission, the One in Three Campaign identifies five different ways in which male victims of family violence are discriminated against in Queensland:

  1. Discrimination in service provision – not available to male victims or female perpetrators
  2. Discrimination in service provision – access allowed, but service provided is harmful or poor
  3. Discrimination in funding
  4. Discrimination within research
  5. Discrimination in public health campaigns.

One in Three’s proposed solution would be to establish a competent triage system based upon severity of violence, risk and need (not sex/gender), that would ensure the limited services available would go to those who need them the most. In order to do this, Section 104 of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (“The Act”) would require amendments to remove the Example, “It is not unlawful to restrict special accommodation to women who have been victims of domestic violence.”

Here is a link to One in Three’s submission to the Queensland Government (March 2022)

Here is a link to One in Three’s website

Draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032

The Australian Government is developing a National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 to replace the existing National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.

The deadline for public submissions is 25 February 2022.

Firstly, here is a link to a copy of the draft Plan

“The draft National Plan has been developed through consultation with victim-survivors, specialist services, representatives from the health, law and justice sectors, business, and community groups, all levels of government and other experts. This consultation opportunity builds upon previous consultations including:

I prepared a brief submission using the online questionnaire format which was relatively quick and painless, however I couldn’t easily save a copy to reproduce on this page.

Below are just some notes that I made earlier on in the process:

Let’s start nice and simple with a word search of the draft Plan looking for the terms ‘male victim’ and/or ‘female perpetrator’ and/or ‘abusive women’. How about a reference to the best known/established Australian organisation that represent male victims of domestic violence, the One in Three group? And what about the important term ‘bilateral violence’? Ok, surprise, surprise, no hits anywhere there.

Normally these sort of documents begin with a section entitled ‘What is domestic violence?’, and then trot out the tired claim that ‘whilst sometimes men may be victims of domestic violence, the overwhelming majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women’ (and then aim to use this as justification for ignoring male victims for the remainder of the document). The draft Plan gets around that believability problem by entitling the relevant section as ‘What is violence against women and children?’, creating the impression that domestic violence is limited to that one form of action or behaviour. (Page 10)

The first modification of the Plan that I requested was a change in its name to the ‘National Plan to Reduce Domestic Violence in the Community’ (or similar). The current name of the plan is a ridiculous, outdated affront to the victims of abusive women/girls and their families.

Next, the draft Plan features a section identified as “Drivers of violence against women and children” (Page 12), wherein the authors note:

Violence against women is not caused by any single factor. However, Australia’s national guide to prevent violence against women, Change the Story, sets out that violence against women has distinct gendered drivers. Evidence points to four factors that most consistently predict or drive violence against women and explain its gendered patterns.

  • Driver 1: Condoning of violence against women.
  • Driver 2: Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life.
  • Driver 3: Rigid gender stereotyping and dominant forms of masculinity.
  • Driver 4: Male peer relations and cultures of masculinity that emphasise aggression, dominance and control.

The primary driver of violence against women is gender inequality, however this also intersects with other forms of discrimination and disadvantage that can marginalise people and make it more likely that some groups of women and children will experience greater levels of violence than others.

But what of two factors that studies have shown to be absolutely seminal – although not in feminist-conducted research – in their influence with regards to fostering domestic violence? These are the initiation and routine use of violence by the female partner, and the childhood experiences of parental neglect and abuse of those people who become adult male abusers?

Jobs for the girls

This is a job description that appeared in the Queensland Government’s website for vacant employment positions in December 2021.

You might well ask, ‘are there any equivalent positions available in relation to the prevention of violence against men and boys?’. Dream on!

Principal Program Officer, Justice and Attorney-General, Office for Women and Violence Prevention

The Office for Women and Violence Prevention support women and girls to participate fully in the social, economic and cultural opportunities that Queensland offers; and to achieve their full potential.

We deliver services and supports that victims and their children need to be free of violence, and that ensure perpetrators are held to account for their actions and given opportunity to change their behaviour.

We also drive reform to strengthen community and whole of government responses to gendered violence by changing community attitudes and behaviours, integrating service responses and strengthening justice system responses.

The proposed annual salary is $112,502 – $120,480

From the position description:

“The team leads and delivers the Investing in Queensland Women grant program, utilizing tools such as Smartygrants and P2i. We lead and support Queensland Government sponsorship agreements with high profile partners such as the Women of the World Festivals and the Australian Women in Music Awards to ensure benefits are delivered for Queensland women and girls. We also liaise with community groups and organisations across Queensland to engage the community on a range of initiatives that promote and protect the rights, interests, leadership and well-being of women and girls.”


The views of Australian judicial officers on domestic and family violence perpetrator interventions

(Note that this post remains a working draft – to be continued)

Whilst browsing in Twitter today I came across a mention of a new study that sounded rather interesting. Here is a link to the tweet I saw, plus a link to the relevant page in the web site of an organisation as ANROWS (Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited). It appears that ANROWS commissioned the study.

ANROWS receives substantial government funding support (in 2019/20 this amounted to $10,410,025). The feminist leanings of that organisation, are made quite clear in this paper, for example.

Additional information about the project can apparently also be found on the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre website. As it turned out, the study was more interesting (and disappointing) in relation to what it didn’t say, rather than what it actually said.

Here is a link to the ‘Research Summary’ which I will now address in this post. If I have sufficient time & energy then I might also review the ‘Research Report’.

Let’s start with a document word search. ‘Men’ appeared 51 times, generally with words like ‘department’ or ‘women’. An exception were references to men as perpetrators of domestic violence (p3). ‘Women’ appeared 14 times, mostly within titles of reports or organisations. One exception was “the judicial officer as a powerful voice in a good position to capture the attention of the perpetrator and to denounce violence against women and their children” (p6). The term ‘victim’ did not appear once.

Next, what topics would I hope to see, and perhaps even expect to see, addressed in a project like this?

– the accuracy or otherwise of judicial officers understanding of the nature, extent and trends with regards to domestic violence – and particularly with regards to gender differences

– the virtual absence of perpetrator intervention programs for female offenders

– the shortage of refuges or treatment facilities for male victims (some with children)

– the apparent gender inequity with regards to being taken to a police station, arrest, sentencing, etc.

– gender differences in the cause and/or underlying factors common to perpetrators of abuse and/or violence

NSW Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control

This joint select committee was established on 21 October 2020 to inquire into and report on coercive control in domestic relationships. In conducting the inquiry, the committee will consider the NSW Government discussion paper on coercive control and answer the questions posed in the paper.

Submissions closed on the 29 January 2021, and hearings were held in February and March 2021.

Here is the June 2021 report produced by the Inquiry.

See also:

1IN3’s submission in response to the discussion paper: Implementation considerations should coercive control be criminalised in South Australia (12 April 2022)

Feminists throw children under the bus – by Bettina Arndt (substack.com) (30 August 2021)

Male-Victims-of-Coercive-Control-2021.pdf (mankind.org.uk) (2021)

Coercive control: Male victims say they aren’t believed – BBC News (17 August 2021)

One in Three campaign response to an allegedly biased statement in the Inquiry’s June 2021 report

Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control (List of submissions)

Answers to Questions on notice – One in Three Campaign.pdf (sqspcdn.com)

Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control (nsw.gov.au) (Other questions on notice)

Acknowledging domestic violence in indigenous communities is racist. And so is failure to acknowledge it

This line has cropped up before but this latest incantation began with a discussion on the Australian TV show ‘Studio 10’. In this particular episode Ms Yumi Stynes declared a woman on the panel to be racist. Kindly refer to this article for some background.

Yumi has already had her recent share of progressive infamy – refer to her hosting role in an SBS show entitled ‘Is Australia sexist?

And then Aboriginal activist Elizabeth Wymarra had this to say online, “Just to clarify, Australian statistics show that Violence against Indigenous women and children is predominantly perpetrated by White Males. but again @Studio10au conveniently leave that statistic out to demonise Indigenous Men” (Source)

See also:

‘Racist’: coercive control laws could harm Indigenous women in Queensland, advocates warn (18 May 2021)

Australian media is failing to cover domestic violence in the right way (2 March 2021)

Assessing the risk of repeat intimate partner assault, by NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research (December 2018)

FactCheck Q&A: Are Indigenous women 34-80 times more likely than average to experience violence? (4 July 2016)

Culture of denial (7 March 2007)

(You can google search on ‘domestic violence indigenous Australia’ – or similar – for further sources)

The Queensland government again demonstrates its ‘why bother with men?’ attitude

Their ABC presented us with a telling headline yesterday (29 April 2021):

Queensland’s domestic violence taskforce head wants to hear women’s stories of reporting abuse‘ (Source)

It began with “The head of a Queensland domestic violence and justice taskforce says women’s experiences reporting abuse to police will be looked at as part of the wide-ranging review, more than a week after the horrific deaths of Kelly Wilkinson and Lordy Ramadan”.

Queensland has had one or more DV task forces before, plus several inquiries, but they still need to hear from Queensland women. (Read about those previous inquiries here). Men, just wait, your turn will come … err … later.

The article went on to mention the names and brief details of some women who were killed in DV-related circumstances. No male victims rated a mention.

It then went on to talk about another possible initiative, women-only police stations. Talk about being seen to be doing something … whilst conveniently pandering to the feminist lobby.

This is not even part-way to being ‘good-enough’. It’s a pathetic embarrassment.

Newsflash: At least one in three victims of domestic abuse are male. You can’t possibly arrive at a workable solution to this violence and abuse by ignoring all the facets that don’t sit comfortably well with the prevailing feminist framework. And thus we haven’t. Just continual shrill calls from the feminist lobby for ‘more please sir’. More taxpayer dollars that is.

And finally they called for public submissions. The closing date for submissions on the discussion paper was 9 July 2021. The Terms of Reference are noted here.

I note that only two out of the eleven Task Force members are male, with participants drawn from academia, the public service, and the domestic violence industry.

See also:

1IN3’s submission to the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence (24 June 2022)

“I’m proud to be part of a government that values women in leadership roles and strives for gender equality. Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman, joined me as we released a new Queensland Women’s Strategy 2022-27 (31 March 2022).

Investing in Queensland Women’s Grants (February 2022)

‘Hear Her Voice’ – the release of the report of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (2 December 2021) I have just read the associated tweets from Shannon Fentiman MP, the QLD Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence (refer @ShannonFentiman) and saw no mention whatsoever of either violent/abusive women and/or male victims of domestic violence.

Queensland domestic violence taskforce proposes 13 changes to legislation including electronic monitoring (msn.com) (27 May 2021)

Another feminist myth: Most male victims of domestic violence are abused by other men

It disgusts me how often I come across this claim. I invariably then look for sources to fire back at the author/s of these spurious claims … and can’t find something quickly. There are probably relevant sources in this existing post and/or in this one, but from now on I will insert them onto this page.

If readers can point me towards other relevant sources, that would be much appreciated.

Here is the first cab off the rank, drawing on data from the Office of National Statistics:

Image

(Source)

“Ridiculous! 4 Jan 2016. Those 1 in 3 statistics are BS. Yes the stats are “real”, albeit misleading. People fail to recognise the perpetrators of violence against men are often OTHER men. Very rarely is the perpetrator a female.

Women are allowed to joke about violence against men – the dominant majority – because “reverse sexism” DOES. NOT. EXIST.
Yes, women joking about & mocking men is funny. As is People of Colour joking about white people. As is disabled people joking about able people. White straight men: Check your privilege!
MRA’s- Cry me a river, big enough to swim in, it’s going to be a hot week.” (Source)

Image

Inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children

The Inquiry (Original version)

On 26 February 2020, the Senate referred an inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for report by 13 August 2020.

Further detail about the scope of the inquiry is provided in the terms of reference.

The Inquiry’s home page can be found here.

The Inquiry has been completed earlier than was scheduled and its report is available here.

This article describes the early completion of the report and the adverse reaction it received from the feminist lobby. I have yet to fully read the report, but one useful feature is a brief summary of the many enquiries that preceded it.

From an egalitarian perspective the dissenting report from Senator Rex Patrick is disappointing – and hypocritical beyond belief in terms of what was, wasn’t, and should have been addressed by the Committee.

I note too that the term ‘male victim’ appears only twice in the 44 page report, in each case only as a brief passing reference to recommendations from earlier inquiries.

2. The Inquiry (Revised version)

What do you do when a powerful and vocal part of your audience isn’t happy? Yes, that’s right, you commence another inquiry:

Federal Government launches new domestic violence inquiry‘ (31 May 2020)

Parliamentary Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual violence (31 May 2020) Minister Payne’s media release

The deadline for submissions for this inquiry was 24 July 2020, and submissions can be viewed here.

One submission of note is that produced by the ‘One in Three‘ organisation, and here is a link to their subsequent (1 December 2020) verbal presentation

This article discusses the submission by ‘Women’s Safety NSW’ which can be read in full here (see #150). Women’s Safety calls for “$12 billion over 12 years to invest in evidence-based solutions to the nation’s domestic and family violence scourge“.

Those making submissions were asked to address one or more of the topics listed in the terms of reference.

And the outcome thus far? The report was published on 1 April 2021. The ‘One in Three’ organisation, who contributed to the inquiry have advised that progress was made (as is detailed in their media release here).

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 these papers to be of interest:

1IN3’s submission in response to the discussion paper: Implementation considerations should coercive control be criminalised in South Australia, by One in Three (12 April 2022)

How government-funded services in Australia discriminate against male victims of domestic and family violence by presuming they are perpetrators, by One in Three (6 March 2022)

ICMI20: Glass Blind Spot – “What Happens When Someone Calls the National Domestic Abuse Helpline?” – YouTube (15 November 2021) Video

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

Understanding the Profile and Needs of Abused Men: Exploring Call Data From a Male Domestic Violence Charity in the United Kingdom – Benjamin Hine, Sarah Wallace, Elizabeth A. Bates, 2021 (sagepub.com) (28 June 2021)