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Ombudsman finds domestic violence campaign 'misleading'

A national men's group is claiming victory over what it calls a feminist agenda on domestic violence. An independent investigation has upheld the group's complaint about a public awareness campaign in South Australia. The Ombudsman's inquiry found parts of the $870,000 campaign contained errors.

The Don't Cross The Line campaign has been running in newspapers, on television and radio and on a website. The Ombudsman in South Australia found some statistics initially published on the site were false and misleading.

Advocacy group Men's Health Australia made a complaint against the Office of the Status of Women over 10 matters on the website. The Ombudsman's final report substantiates seven of them and another two in part. The Government had said one in 17 women was a victim of domestic violence annually, but the figure related to violence generally.

Michael Woods is one of the men's group's supporters and is from the Men's Health Information and Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. "It is a shame that a government department is unable, despite being notified a year ago, to address its own shortcomings and it required this sort of action," he said. "The ideological commitment of people in that department must be so strong that they would reject scientific data in favour of their own biases."

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