Miranda Devine: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has insulted all men with his stunt on domestic violence | DailyTelegraph
Sunday, September 27, 2015
One in Three Campaign

It is a grim portent that Malcolm Turnbull’s first policy announcement as Prime Minister was a $100 million gimmick blaming domestic violence on gender inequality.

“Women must be respected,” thundered Turnbull. “Disrespecting women is unacceptable.”

He has drunk the feminist Kool-Aid. But, somehow, I don’t think Turnbull’s commanding the nation to respect women will stop endemic violence in dysfunctional remote indigenous communities and public housing estates.

Poverty is the cause of domestic violence, the desperate chaos of the underclass, played out in welfare dependency, mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse, especially psychosis-inducing ice.

Demonising men, and pouring taxpayer money into permanent meddling bureaucracies, will do nothing to alleviate domestic tragedy.

It just increases government’s role in our lives, and further disempowers vulnerable men.

Of course, Turnbull, a few days in the job, was simply announcing a plan that Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin had cooked up to try to improve his vote with women.

Beginning as a diversion from the knighthood fiasco of January, it involved Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, who has become the untouchable expert on domestic violence.

Batty was front and centre of last week’s announcement: “This is a gender issue … we need to respect and value women as equals.”

No one could fail to be moved by her tragedy, the loss of her only son, 11-year-old Luke, murdered by his father.

But how did the murder of a little boy by his mentally ill, drug-taking father become all about “respecting women”?

Drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness are specific problems which properly targeted government policy might help alleviate. “Respecting women” is not.

The excitable minister for women Michaelia Cash stood alongside Turnbull and Batty, talking a lot of gobbledygook which shows only that she has a touching faith in bureaucracy, as in “an action item under the Second Action Plan of the National Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children.”

Honestly. That National Action Plan, anyway, is a hangover from Julia Gillard, another hotchpotch of bureaucracies which exist for reports and awards and meetings and conferences and which soak up millions of dollars while doing nothing to help people trapped in chaotic lives break the welfare cycle.

Worse, the underlying narrative is about disrespecting men.

Turnbull claimed: “one in four young men think it’s OK to slap a girl when you’ve been drinking”.

That just doesn’t pass the sniff test. Anyone with a passing acquaintance with young men knows it’s absurd.

Federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the domestic violence policy launch.

Cash repeated the claim, based on statistics from market research company Hall & Partners Open Mind, which conducted an online survey last year, answered by 3000 teenagers, young adults and parents. Plus some focus groups.

The report is full of gross generalisations with no evidence. It’s not exactly peer-reviewed scientific research, yet it’s blithely parroted by the PM and his minister for women.

How does slandering young men encourage “respect for women”? That market research was commissioned by the taxpayer-funded domestic violence lobbying group “Our Watch”.

Our Watch is chaired by feminist former Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, curiously appointed by Abbott as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. She claims: “Violence against women does not discriminate, regardless of ethnicity, social status and geography.”

But the actual statistics show a different reality.

Violence against women does discriminate, starkly. It is concentrated in communities with a high indigenous population, in the Northern Territory, in impoverished rural towns, in the urban fringes where the underclass lives, where welfare has emasculated men, where unemployment is high and education poor, and where drug and alcohol abuse is rife. These are the obvious preconditions for violence.

If you want to break the cycle of violence, end the welfare incentive for unsuitable women to keep having children to a string of feckless men.

Some facts, from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics: Domestic violence is worst in the small remote town of Bourke. With its high indigenous population, it has a rate of 4195.6 offences per 100,000 population (in fact, Bourke’s crime rate makes it more dangerous per capita than any country on earth).

Second place goes to Walgett with a rate of 2,692, then Moree Plains (1824), Glenn Innes (1103.5), Coonamble, Lachlan, Broken Hill, Cobar, Bogan, Dubbo.

When you get to the welfare-centred outer suburbs of Sydney, you find Campbelltown has a domestic violence crime rate of 628.4 per 100,000, followed by Blacktown at 610.2, Penrith (588.4) and so on. You get the picture.

Compare those rates to the affluent areas of Sydney; Kuringai has the lowest domestic violence in NSW with 66.1 crimes per 100,000, followed by Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, Hornsby, Manly, Willoughby, and so on.

It’s clear. Welfare traps create the conditions for domestic violence.

That announcement last week wasn’t about helping people in Bourke and Campbelltown. It was about making the prime minister, whoever he is this week, win approval from feminists.

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
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