Beliefs on violence 
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
One in Three Campaign

Letter to the editor, Adelaide Advertiser, 1st September 2010:

Your article "Domestic abuse shame" (The Advertiser, 20/8) claimed that "the poor attitude of Australian men to violence against women is evidenced by a 2006 Victorian survey which found one in 20 believed women who were raped often 'ask for it'." This survey actually found that 6 per cent (about one in 20) people (not men) agreed with the statement "Women who are raped often ask for it". So, yes, there are still a few people who hold unacceptable beliefs about sexual violence against women.

However, there are far more who hold unacceptable beliefs about violence against men. The National Crime Prevention survey found that young people are more likely to say a woman is right to, or has good reason to, respond to a situation by hitting, than a man in the same situation.

Overall, for situations where men might hit their female partners, 49 per cent of young people said that he would be right to, or have a good reason to hit her, in at least one of the situations presented. In situations where women might hit their male partners, 68 per cent of young people said that she would be right to, or have a good reason to, hit him in at least one of the situations presented.

And while males hitting females was seen, by virtually all young people surveyed, to be unacceptable, it appeared to be quite acceptable for a girl to hit a boy (25 per cent of young people agreed with the statement "When girl hits a guy, it's really not a big deal").

The Advertiser, however, failed to publish the following letter to the editor:

Miles Kemp's article "'One in three' domestic abuse victims" (20/8) contained the following errors of fact:

1. "'One in three' domestic abuse victims / One in three women at risk" The correct statistic is just less than one in six (16.8% of) women have experienced violence by a current or previous partner since the age of 15. This is HALF the rate reported by Mr O'Connell. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) Personal Safety Survey Australia, p16. The article also contained the following unnecessarily gender-biased statistic:

2. "A quarter of Australian children had witnessed violence against their mother." The correct statistic is 23.4 per cent of young people have witnessed physical domestic violence against their mothers/stepmothers and 22.1 per cent have witnessed physical domestic violence against their fathers/stepfathers. Source: National Crime Prevention (2001). Young people and domestic violence, pages 96-7.

html#ixzz0n5xrz7qv Read full letter

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
See website for complete article licensing information.