The domestic violence gravy train

The domestic violence gravy train. By Bettina Arndt.

Twice during her brief visit, her daughter-in-law called the police alleging domestic violence over trivial arguments with her husband. On one occasion she decided she wanted beef for dinner and demanded her husband provide it. Vimala explains: ‘Her fridge was stacked with chicken, fish, and lamb but she decided she needed the beef straight away, and threatened to call the police if my son didn’t give in.’

The young woman had a standard response anytime her husband asked her to do something which displeased her: ‘I know all the services and who to call if you tell me to do something I don’t like.’ …

The Australian bureaucracy is more pro-female than you thought:

Most people have no idea of the extent that domestic violence benefits have mushroomed over the last few decades. The industry has set up an immense system of special services costing our community billions of dollars which no one dares question.

That’s because, like all such schemes, this huge juggernaut is based on a kernel of truth, a very genuine need that everyone would support. Who’d quarrel with providing proper support for a frightened woman escaping a dangerous man?

Our federal government spent 3 billion over the past decade on the safety plan to protect ‘women and their children’, with untold billions added from all the fundraising by community groups, private companies, and organisations across the country. People rightly dig deep for this important cause.

But the fortunate truth is only tiny numbers of women in this country are actually in peril. Official statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey show that just over 1 per cent of women have been physically assaulted by their partners in the past year. Yet this critical fact is inevitably swamped by statistics which include emotional, psychological, financial abuse, and threats of violence for women over their lifetimes, to give a truly frightening impression of widespread risk for women.

The vast majority of these women are not in a dangerous situation. The public doesn’t realise they are forking out mainly to help women who are very rarely under threat. They may have unpleasant partners who are reluctant to pay their credit card bills, but there’s just no logic for the billions being spent to ‘keep them safe’.

Yet we have created this moral hazard, inviting all these women to think of themselves as victims and hence eligible for the services now on offer. The result is on display in the inflated figures from police reports, blown out by numerous domestic violence allegations which serve to gain strategic advantage in family law battles. Many women are encouraged to make such allegations by lawyers or friends telling them they are genuine victims and deserve special treatment in the family court system.

No evidence of physical violence is required to make such an allegation. Any experience of emotional abuse or an alleged fear of violence is enough to set the ball rolling, with the ‘victim’ eligible for the truckload of financial payouts, cheap services, and support. …

Government benefits on order:

Take a look at these government special benefits which are usually available only to female victims. These payouts simply require asking someone to support the victim’s story – like a local DV centre, doctor, or police report – systems set up to automatically believe the woman and treat men as potential perpetrators. …

  • There’s the $5k Escaping Violence Payment funded by the federal government
  • This can be topped up by victims of crime payments – like the $5k offered in NSW plus up to $30k to cover losses.
  • The Commonwealth chips in with a 4-week Crisis Payment for those claiming severe financial crisis due to DV – calculated using complex pension-related formula.
  • There’s crisis accommodation across the country, even putting victims into motels.
  • Victims are given help with rent, and priority for social housing.
    Staying Home Leaving Violence programs turf hubby out so women can stay at home, helpfully changing locks to keep the villain well away.
  • Meanwhile, male victims have nowhere to go — there’s not a single government-funded centre offering refuge to men. Boys 14 and older are not welcome in women’s refuges which take in their mums and siblings. Yet, while vulnerable males are ignored, women can have pets taken care of by the RSPCA. …

That whole list of perks palls into insignificance compared to the advantages of domestic violence victim status in family law battles. An unproven allegation of domestic violence sets women up on a path that allows for smooth sailing throughout family law proceedings, creating enormous, costly obstacles for their partners which often end up destroying the father’s relationships with his children and robbing him of much of his life’s earnings.

Yet over a quarter of domestic violence is by females against males, and the relationships with the highest incidence of domestic violence are lesbian.