Domestic violence: data shows women are not the only victims

Domestic violence: data shows women are not the only victims, by Bettina Arndt.

Eva Solberg is a Swedish politician, a proud feminist who holds an important post as chairwoman of the party Moderate Women. Last year she was presented with her government’s latest strategy for combating domestic violence. Like similar reports across the world, this strategy assumes the only way to tackle domestic violence is through teaching misogynist men (and boys) to behave themselves.

The Swedish politician spat the dummy. … Solberg took issue with her government’s “tired gendered analysis”, which argued that eradicating sexism was the solution to the problem of domestic violence. She explained her reasoning: “We know through extensive practice and experience that attempts to solve the issue through this kind of analysis have failed. And they failed precisely because violence is not and never has been a gender issue.”

Solberg challenged the government report’s assumption that there was a guilty sex and an innocent one. “Thanks to extensive research in the field, both at the national and international level, we now know with great certainty that this breakdown by sex is simply not true.”

This particular piece of PC unreality causes a lot of harm. Good to see the truth get an airing for once in Australia:

She concluded that her government’s report was based on misinformation about family violence and that, contrary to the report’s one-sided view of men as the only perpetrators, many children were experiencing a very different reality: “We must recognise the fact that domestic violence, in at least half of its occurrence, is carried out by female perpetrators.”

The official lie about domestic violence contradicts the experience of too many:

Here, too, we are witnessing Solberg’s “huge social betrayal” by denying the reality of the violence being witnessed by many Australian children.

Just look at the bizarre $30 million television campaign the federal government ran a few months ago, which started with a little boy slamming a door in a little girl’s face. A series of vignettes followed, all about innocent females cowering from nasty males.

The whole thing is based on the erroneous notion that domestic violence is caused by disrespect for women, precisely the type of “tired gender analysis” that Solberg has so thoroughly discredited.

The Australian bureaucracy marches in lockstep, promoting the PC myth:

Yet our government spent at least $700,000 in funding for research and production of this campaign — just one example of the shocking misuse of the hundreds of millions of dollars that Malcolm Turnbull boasts our government is spending on domestic violence.

There is a history of this in Australia. “Up to one quarter of young people in Australia have witnessed an incident of physical or domestic violence against their mother or stepmother,” Adam Graycar, a former director of the Australian Institute of Criminology, wrote in an introduction to a 2001 paper, Young Australians and Domestic Violence, a brief overview of the much larger Young People and Domestic Violence study.

Somehow Graycar failed to mention that while 23 per cent of young people were aware of domestic violence against their mothers or stepmothers, an almost identical proportion (22 per cent) of young people were aware of domestic violence against their fathers or stepfathers by their mothers or stepmothers — as shown in the same study.

This type of omission is everywhere today, with most of our bureaucracies downplaying statistics that demonstrate the role of women in family violence and beating up evidence of male aggression.

So domestic violence never occurs between lesbians? (Hint: “The National Violence Against Women survey found that 21.5 percent of men and 35.4 percent of women living with a same-sex partner experienced intimate-partner physical violence in their lifetimes, compared with 7.1 percent and 20.4 percent for men and women, respectively, with a history of only opposite-sex cohabitation.”) Shhhh, we don’t talk about that, just like we don’t talk about violence involving the religion of peace.

The myth and the PC bureaucracy has led to unjust consequences, some from the expansion of the definition of “domestic violence” to include  threats of violence, and psychological, emotional, economic and social abuse:

“If a woman turns up to a police station claiming her man has yelled at her, the chances are that she’ll end up with a police report and well on her way to obtaining an apprehended violence order, which puts her in a very powerful position,” says Augusto Zimmermann, a commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, who explains that AVOs can be used to force men to leave their homes and deny them contact with their children.

Often men are caught in police proceedings and evicted from their homes by orders that are issued without any evidence of legal wrongdoing. “It is a frightening reality that here in Australia a perfectly innocent citizen stands to lose his home, his family, his reputation, as a result of unfounded allegations. This is happening to men every day (as a consequence) of domestic violence laws which fail to require the normal standards of proof and presumptions of innocence,” Zimmermann says, adding that he’s not talking about genuine cases of violent men who seriously abuse their wives and children but “law-abiding people who have lost their parental and property rights without the most basic requirements of the rule of law”.

The growing trend for AVOs to be used for tactical purposes in family law disputes is also pushing up police records of domestic violence.

One reason Pauline Hanson did so well at the last election is because she was the only politician of any stripe to acknowledge this injustice.

Current law is built on a myth:

According to one of Australia’s leading experts on couple relationships, Kim Halford, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Queensland, most family violence does not fit the picture most of us have when we imagine domestic violence — a violent man severely beating up his partner to control her. Such violence makes up less than 1 per cent of family ­violence.

Most family violence is two-way aggression, with international research showing about a third of couples have a go at each other — pushing, slapping, shoving or worse. Given the shame and stigma associated with being a male victim of family violence it is not surprising that men downplay these experiences in victim surveys such as Australia’s Personal Safety Survey. It’s only when men and women are asked about perpetrating violence that the two-way violence emerges, with women readily admitting to researchers that they are very actively involved and often instigate this type of “couple violence”.

“Thirty years of international research consistently shows that women and men are violent towards each other at about the same rate,” Halford tells Inquirer. …

Children see it:

Halford suggests that perhaps three-quarters of a million children every year in Australia are witnessing both parents engaged in domestic violence. Only small numbers see the severe violence we hear so much about, what the feminists call “intimate terrorism”, where a perpetrator uses violence in combination with a variety of other coercive tactics to take control over their partner, but as Halford points out, even less severe couple violence is not trivial.

“Children witnessing any form of family violence, including couple violence, suffer high rates of mental health problems and the children are more likely to be violent themselves. Couple violence is also a very strong predictor of relationship break-up, which has profound effects on adults and their children,” he says.

The 2001 Young People and Domestic Violence study mentioned earlier was based on national research involving 5000 young Australians aged 12 to 20. This found ample evidence that children were witnessing this two-way parental couple violence, with 14.4 per cent witnessing “couple violence”, 9 per cent witnessing male to female violence only and 7.8 per cent witnessing female to male violence only…

So any sign of any change? No. This farcical PC injustice has been going for four decades now.

The evidence is there about the complexities of domestic violence, but on an official level no one is listening. The reason is simple. The deliberate distortion of this important social issue is all about feminists refusing to give up hard-won turf.

[Erin Pizzey, the founder of Britain’s first refuge, a woman praised around the world for her pioneering work helping women escape from violence]: “The feminists seized upon domestic violence as the cause they needed to attract more money and supporters at a time when the first flush of enthusiasm for their movement was starting to wane. Domestic violence was perfect for them — the just cause that no one dared challenge. It led to a worldwide million-dollar industry, a huge cash cow supporting legions of bureaucrats and policymakers.”