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Minister admits misleading public on domestic violence

The Minister for the Status of Women, Hon Gail Gago MLC, yesterday admitted in a Ministerial Statement that statistics on the Don’t Cross the Line respectful relationships website were incorrect and had been removed.

The incorrect and misleading material was brought to the attention of the Minister by leading men’s health organisation Men’s Health Australia and is still under investigation by the SA Ombudsman.

Spokesman Greg Andresen said, “We are pleased that the Minister now acknowledges that her campaign misled the public and the media for nine months about the reality of relationship abuse in Australia. However, her claim that the errors have been rectified couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“The original errors have been replaced by a page of statistics about violence against women. As the Minister notes, the underlying aim of the campaign is to educate young men and women about respectful relationships and about the difference between acceptable and abusive behaviour. To equate abusive relationship behaviour with violence against women is simply mind-boggling.”

“Firstly, at least one in three victims of family violence and abuse are male. Why has the minister deliberately misled the public in an attempt to deny that one third of victims – men and their children – exist? Secondly, most violence against women takes place outside of relationships – in the workplace, on the street, at the pub, etc. Why is the minister inflating statistics on relationship abuse by including these types of violence on the website?”

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