Men are also victims of domestic abuse | Corrine Barraclough | The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
One in Three Campaign

White Ribbon Australia is currently promoting its “Walk a mile” campaign to be held on September 2. Its social media posts say this fundraising incentive is “to get the message out that Australia has a domestic violence crisis”.

Yet Dr Don Weatherburn, director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), recently told The Australian: “There is no evidence that we’re in the middle of an epidemic of domestic violence”. Official data from Australian Bureau of Statistics shows violence against women has decreased across the 20 years it’s been studied.

Most recent statistics from the ABS Personal Safety Survey show 1.06 per cent of women are physically assaulted by their partner or ex- partner each year in Australia.

Why the hysteria? Leaning on words like “epidemic” and “crisis” causes an emotional, dramatic response.

Does this mean DV isn’t important? No. But is our approach wrong? Yes.

New research from BOCSAR shows prison is no more effective in deterring DV offenders than a suspended sentence. So where are the long-term answers? Do we take domestic violence seriously or not? Is this about winning votes or finding long-term solutions? Some bow to cultural Marxism; others want fundraising and policy based on facts.

Put down the political football, silence the misleading narrative, take unbiased research seriously, and shift attitudes and policies. Start working on a holistic approach, including programs that address underlying causes of violence such as generational family violence and substance abuse.

If you’re genuine about understanding domestic violence, take a look at the world’s largest, rigorously evidence-based database from Partner Abuse State of Knowledge (PASK); 2657 pages with summaries of 1700 peer-reviewed studies. Research shows 24 per cent of individuals are assaulted by a partner at least once in their lifetime — 23 per cent for females, 19.3 per cent for males.

Last year, Swedish politician and proud feminist Eva Solberg rejected her government’s strategy to combat domestic violence because it focused on gender bias.

Attempting to teach men and boys how to behave will never solve domestic violence.

“We know through extensive practice and experience that attempts to solve the issue through this kind of analysis have failed,” Solberg wrote on Nyheter24 website.

“They failed precisely because violence is not and never has been a gender issue.” Damaging current narrative has constructed barriers and created what are often referred to as “silent groups” — men, lesbians, gay and bisexual, transgender, disabled, elderly, ethnic and cultural minorities.

Many people know gendered domestic violence is a money-making myth that needs exposing — it’s a question of when. Factually incorrect messaging is causing considerable harm in schools and the Family Court. Criticising housework and withdrawing affection are now defined as domestic violence — case numbers will increase and continued funding will be secured.

One domestic survivor, who chose to remain anonymous, tells me: “I lived at the mercy of my ex for eight years. My hospital records show hideous injuries I suffered. When I was eight months pregnant, he beat me black and blue and dumped me in a neighbour’s driveway.

“My two sons are now grown men; the youngest suffered domestic abuse at the hands of his ex-girlfriend. He recently had to plead guilty to something he didn’t do. Our barrister said ‘Unfortunately in this current mentality, your son doesn’t have a chance. Women can make any accusation they want, the man is always the loser’.

“It’s been harrowing and horrifically expensive. I have no time for feminist, anti-men messaging. All domestic violence is wrong; crime has no gender. I work with victims of domestic violence now and see the damage a gendered approach has done to the court system.”

Do you empathise with only one part of this story? How would you feel if that was your son? We’ve swung past equality and landed in a warped, terrifying land.

In Sweden, it’s Solberg who’s challenging this gender-biased misinformation.

“We now know with great certainty that this breakdown by sex is simply not true,” she wrote on Nyheter24 website.

“We must begin to recognise the fact that domestic violence, in at least half of its occurrence, is carried out by female perpetrators. Otherwise, our efforts to protect the most vulnerable among us, the children, will never become more than just an aspiration. We will continue to fail in the attempt to help families break the destructive pattern.”

Why is White Ribbon Australia being allowed to make the erroneous statement “We stop violence at the source and the source is men”?

Which politician will take this issue on in Australia?

Who will stand up and say we must tackle domestic violence effectively — starting with unbiased research, not anti-men policy? Please.

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