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April 29th 2016 print

Peter O'Brien

Home Truths About Domestic Violence

Seen the taxpayer-funded ad that casts only white men as wife-beaters, the one that has a father telling his son not to "throw like a girl", which apparently condemns the lad to emulate Bluebeard in later life. An agenda is at work here, one that favours misrepresentation over credibility

don't lookI guess I’m not quite as passionate about this as Peter Finch in Network, but I am getting worked up about the ongoing and ever-escalating efforts of social engineers who, in the arrogant  assumption that their word must be taken as gospel, are forcing their activist view of the world and human relationships upon the broader society, starting with its children. Mine is a hardening view, one that began with indifference when the push for same-sex marriage first raised its head. I was not unduly alarmed and, on the whole, saw no great harm in it, supposing it to be largely benign. Then came the Safe Schools program and the revelation that, rather than an anti-bullying initiative, it was actually a coercive taxpayer-funded exercise intended to promote the radical LGBTI agenda. Now we learn of the even more egregious Building Respectful Relationships.

First, notice the mealy mouthed and sanctimonious titles these excrescent programs employ. Safe schools, who could object to that? And respectful relationships, isn’t that what we hope all children will grow up to enjoy? The thing is, though, they are no better than labels to seduce the unwary, deceptive packaging to make the the activism of third-rate academics seem entirely innocuous, not to mention taking the heat off politicians who might otherwise have to explain why they are earmarking tax dollars for classroom guidance in dildo proficiency and techniques to foil parents’ attempts to learn what children are doing online and which sites they are visiting.

The chosen tool, or so it would seem, is the typical activist’s eagerness to play fast and loose with the facts. For example, the Victorian Department of Education’s handbook, Building Respectful Relationships, tells us:

Evidence shows that:

• One in three women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 (National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children 2009).
• Almost one in five women have experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 (National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children 2009).
• One in four children and young people in Australia witness or live with family violence in their home (Australian Institute of Criminology 2001).

The claim that 1 in 3 women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 worries me.  Think about it.  The implication here is that every third woman you know or see has suffered serious and repeated violence.  Ditto, every fifth woman is alleged to have been sexually assaulted.  These figures are incredible, as in literally unbelievable. In my lifetime, I can think of only three cases of physical abuse against women I have known.  No doubt there are cases I don’t know about, but I refuse to believe, as the activists’ numbers would have me accept, that they run to the hundreds.

The National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2009 report cited above, examined the cost of such violence.  It simply reported the 1 in 3 statistic and attributed it to an ABS survey conducted in 2005, the Personal Safety Survey.  Sure enough,  the statistics quoted above are mentioned in the survey. What isn’t included are the questions that elicited those responses, nor what hard and fast definitions were used. What is meant, for example, by ‘experienced physical violence’?  Does a respondent have to be the target of an attack, or would witnessing a physical altercation on the street between a man and woman be enough to qualify? What about a woman telling her girlfriend about an alleged assault, does that make the cut?

Other, less inflammatory but equally unbelievable statistics are quoted by other activists.  For example, Rosie Batty, in her Australian of the Year acceptance speech, said that one woman in six experiences physical or sexual abuse.  Recently, writing in The Australian, someone called Mary Barry, CEO of something called Our Watch, claimed that one woman in four will suffer violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes. There doesn’t seem to be rigour or consistency about the fundamental  statistics underpinning our current obsession with domestic violence, which Rosie Batty tells us we should treat as seriously as terrorism.

Interestingly, an ABS Media Release ‘Australian Social Trends 2014’ reports (emphasis added):

More than 2 million women and 1.2 million men have experienced emotional abuse by a partner, according to the latest Australian Social Trends (AST) article released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

This is equal to one in four Australian women and one in seven men experiencing abuse such as a partner constantly insulting them to make them feel ashamed, belittled or humiliated, or trying to control where they went or who they saw,” said Mr David Skutenko, ABS Director of Social and Progress Reporting.

We found that many of these people had also experienced physical or sexual violence by their partners. A third of women and nearly a fifth of men who experienced emotional abuse by their current partner had also experienced physical or sexual violence by them.

This appears to fly in the face of the more oft-quoted statistics.  It does not include any qualifier such as ‘in the past 12 months’ so would seem also to fall in the category of ‘since the age of 15’.  It does not support the one-in-three and one-in-five claims. Let us assume a woman who has suffered physical abuse also has experienced emotional abuse, a reasonable enough surmise. Or, to put it another way, let’s assume that the number of women who report physical but not emotional abuse would be insignificant.  By this logic, and according to the ABS figures above, only one in 12 women would have experienced physical abuse.  A deplorable statistic, certainly; but one that probably rings closer to the truth.

Unstated but implicit in all the dubious numbers and general agit-prop about domestic violence is the line that  a tendency to inflict violence on women is inherent in every male but can be eradicated by “appropriate” indoctrination. Oh, and not merely men, but white males in particular.

But what if they’re wrong?  What if abusers are not just ordinary males whose social education has been neglected, but damaged individuals who are impervious to social norms that most of us take as givens — individuals who, even as they recognise that what they are doing is wrong, nevertheless remain incapable of restraining themselves. You may have seen the ad campaign now running on Australian TV. If not, take 30 seconds to watch the video below and see if you notice what all the perpetrators have in common.

Not that there is anything new in depicting white men, and only white males, as brutes. Ten years earlier, there was this

Abusers do not abuse because they weren’t taught any better.  They abuse in spite of what they, or the vast majority of them, know to be socially and morally unacceptable behaviour.  Preventing violence against women is not about “more education”, nor does it stem, as the first of the YouTube clips above would have us believe, from fathers’ admonishing sons for “throwing like a girl”. (For what it’s worth, the Mythbusters TV show tested the proposition that men and women throw differently and concluded that they do, but only because boys throw more often and, therefore, get more practice, than their sisters. If the father in that ad wanted to be genuinely gender neutral he would be urging his daughter to throw “like a boy”.  That, however, would not fit with the feminist narrative.)

Using questionable statistics, that no-one has bothered to check or question, feminist activists and their male fellow travellers have built a huge domestic violence narrative — a narrative that includes every man as potential abuser — which is easy to sell because the vast majority of men are just as appalled as women at the idea, and examples, of violence against women.

Simply put, that is because most men are ‘normal’.

What has emerged, instead of truth, is a burgeoning industry, not unlike the CAGW boondoggle, which sees legions of rent-seekers create organizations, set up websites and solicit donations and government grants in the name of eradicating domestic violence.

By now readers might be wondering what they can do to get on this gravy train assist. Well, if you’re famous, you might consider starring in a TV ad campaign, tilting your head in that empathetic way and ‘saying no’ to violence against women. Or perhaps you might take an oath never to abuse a woman, even if you have never before abused women and would be only slightly less likely to do so in future than bare your backside in Myer’s window. If a somewhat lesser being, you might contribute some hard-earned to, as the activists put it, ‘raise awareness’. The professional propagandists and gender warriors will thank you when they make their next mortgage payments. Other than that you can signal your virtue easily enough by ‘calling for action’ and, just to make sure everyone knows about the purity of you spirit and nobleness of character, sending out a tweet or two.

If those options don’t strike you as realistic, you could try some tacks that are somewhat more focused, solutions a tad more tangible that pious cliches.

You might, for example, demand stiffer sentences for all murders, including murders arising from domestic abuse. You might urge women in certain ethnic and Indigenous communities with higher, statistically validated rates of domestic violence not to return to their abuses, and also to insist their attackers be charged, tried and punished to the full measure and severity of the law.

Further, abused women could be told to quit abusive relationships once and for all (oops, there I go, blaming the victim) and making it as easy as possible for them to do so. And what of removing children from mothers who refuse to take reasonable steps to protect themselves and their kids, might that not be a good and practical idea? Or registering repeat domestic-violence offenders and, where possible and appropriate, banning them from imbibing alcohol.

Many would deem those measures to be focused and likely, perhaps, to be more effective than a feminist-approved publicity machine warning men who don’t need warnings against committing violence they are most unlikely ever to commit.

Comments [7]

  1. acarroll says:

    The culture war has really escalated in the past 5 years. It’s moving so fast that a backlash from the most attacked group — “cis-gender” white males — is inevitable.

    Imagine if someone were able to organise a massive-scale “cis-gender white male strike week”, to show these useless parasites how utterly finished they’d be without the most productive cohort in society providing for their lifestyles!

    • LBLoveday says:

      The nonsense now passing as a DV epidemic and which thereby trivialises the small amount of serious DV that occurs has been around for a long time.

      Here’s a letter I wrote 11 years ago (note the 3% figure):
      ——-
      In response to a letter from me pointing out that much rigorous research, such as that by Bruce Headley, Dorothy Scott and David de Vaus of the Universities of Melbourne and La Trobe who concluded, that

      1. Men were just as likely to report being physically assaulted by their partners as women. Further, women and men were about equally likely to admit being violent themselves.
      2. Men and women report experiencing about the same levels of pain and need for medical attention resulting from domestic violence.

      indicates that DV is a gender-neutral problem, the Hon Stephanie Key replied, “women are over represented as victims of domestic violence”. She claims that evidence comes from a variety of sources, but quotes only one “WHO Violence and Health 2002 report” which stated “Although women can be violent towards their male partners and violence occurs between partners of the same sex, the overwhelming burden of partner violence is borne by women at the hands of men”.

      It is instructive as to the lies being proffered by the DV industry to look at that WHO report.

      The report was based on 48 population-based surveys from around the world, and on the same page (89) as her quote is a far more significant one:

      “the percentage of women who have been assaulted by a partner varied from 3% or less in Australia, Canada and the United States to 52% of currently married Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”.

      Australia has the lowest reported level of assault, yet the Minister chose to take a general conclusion as applying to SA, and base the expenditure of vast sums of taxpayer monies on a report about what happens in the West Bank.
      ——-

      Going back further, 18 years ago:

      My wife had our 2yo daughter less than a metre from 1 metre high speakers at full blare, refused to move her, and blocked me from so doing or turning the volume down. I picked the wife up by the upper arms, turned around and returned her to the floor, turned back, picked up my daughter and took her outside.

      And that, not only justified, but, in my opinion, obligatory, action was a few months later, after the wife took my daughter and left, used by a lawyer in the Family Court to oppose my having any contact with my daughter as “obviously Your Honour, there has been DV throughout the marriage”. I was not allowed any rebuttal or explanation, let alone questioning. Thankfully for the child’s well-being the judge on this occasion thought otherwise, but the fact that a lawyer can confidently proffer protecting a toddler as DV shows the ridiculous level of the bar.

      (22 months later, after an inordinate number of preliminary hearings and expended time and effort, and pursuant to an 8 day trial, shared custody was adjudicated, but that’s another story)

  2. ArthurB says:

    A couple of comments:

    I do not know any males who have been physically violent to their wives or partners. I do, however, know of instances where women have inflicted emotional damage to their husbands or partners.

    My question: in the newspapers I have occasionally seen articles about the level of violence in Aboriginal society, I am unable to quote figures, but I believe that Aboriginal women are at least ten times as likely to be assaulted by their menfolk, so the rate for non-Aboriginal women is likely to be quite low.

  3. Patrick McCauley says:

    The most common and ignored forms of domestic violence seem to be completely absent from the current definition. For example, one hundred thousand abortions every single year in Australia – must somehow fall under the rubicon of being both ‘domestic’ and ‘violent’. Secondly – every father who has been separated from his children, mainly because of his gender, in a family breakdown, suffers a most lingering form of emotional violence, and so do his children. The Family Law Courts have dispensed more ‘violence’ to families than the ‘violence against women’ campaign can even dream of. The fact that one in three incidents of domestic violence are violence against men has been completely ignored. In the end – the Rosie Batty ‘Violence against women’ campaign has clouded and muddied the waters with deliberate disinformation and false statistics on such a scale … that it has become a form of treachery and violence in itself. Talk of immediate imprisonment without trial and ankle bracelets reminds one of the sixteenth century English practice of applying the Scold’s Bridle … only now instead of placing nagging women in the bridle – we seek to apply it to men who shout too loudly at the disintegration of their family.

  4. Geoffrey Luck says:

    Ban the White Ribbon!

  5. LBLoveday says:

    “…fathers’ admonishing sons for “throwing like a girl”…”
    Whatever would they think of my teaching my daughter to “punch like a boy”, with a heavy punching bag and all, rather than the ineffective forearm extensions flaying at a man’s chest so common in films?
    A husband-beater in the making?

  6. CyrilH says:

    The reason white people are used in these negative ads is that white is not a protected attribute under the racial discrimination act and section 18c. It is, therefore, OK to discriminate against and vilify white people without any comback. They can therefore use white people and not have to answer to anybody who may be offended. If they used any other racial group the ad would not have lasted for five minutes without the AHRC being after them.