An inconvenient truth about child abuse

An inconvenient truth about child abuse, by Augusto Zimmerman.

In debates about child abuse and neglect, truth normally becomes the first casualty. ‘A quarter of Australian children had witnessed violence against their mother’ stated South Australia’s Victims of Crime commissioner Michael O’Connell in August 2010. This statistic actually comes from Young People and Domestic Violence, a study that reveals almost an identical proportion of young people being aware of female violence against their fathers or stepfathers.

The same study found that, although 23 per cent of Australian young people were aware of violence against their mothers or stepmothers, almost as many (22 per cent) witnessed the same sort of violence against their fathers or stepfathers. And yet, as the excellent journalist Bettina Arndt correctly points out: Whenever statistics are mentioned publicly that reveal the true picture of women’s participation in family violence, they are dismissed with the domestic violence lobby claiming they are based on flawed methodology or are taken out of context’. However, [according to] the best available quantitative data – ABS surveys, AIC (Australian Institute of Criminology) and homicide statistics, police crime data show that a third of victims of violence are males. These data sources are cited by the main domestic violence organisations, [but] they deliberately minimise any data relating to male victims.

Despite the feminist rhetoric about male domestic violence, mothers are actually more likely than fathers to neglect and emotionally and physically abuse their children. For instance, figures from the West Australian Department for Child Protection show that of the 582 substantiated cases of child abuse by their own biological parents in 2007-08, mothers were responsible for 73 per cent, while fathers committed only 27 per cent. In Western Australia, mothers are 17 times more likely than fathers to neglect their children. Also, mothers carried out almost 68 per cent of all cases of emotional and psychological abuse committed by parents against their children. Moreover, about 53 per cent of all physical abuse of children, and more than 93 per cent of all neglect cases, were committed by mothers.

Feminists and truth aren’t exactly renowned for hanging out together.

hat-tip Stephen Neil