This page contains a selection of recent news articles and commentary about male victims of violence and abuse plus related issues. These articles are presented as a community service, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the One in Three Campaign.

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Minister misleads Parliament on domestic violence

A leading men’s health organisation today claimed that the Minister for the Status of Women, Hon Gail Gago MLC, misled Parliament by maintaining that false statistics on the Government’s Don’t Cross the Line anti-violence campaign website are accurate.

Men's Health Australia also lodged an official complaint with the Ombudsman last Thursday after five months of attempting to draw the Minister's attention to the major statistical errors on the website. The complaint alleges that the Office for Women acted unreasonably by publishing and not correcting this false and misleading information.

Men’s Health Australia spokesman Greg Andresen said, “The Facts and Stats page of the website is extremely misleading to the public. It clearly inflates statistics about domestic violence against women while understating statistics about domestic violence against men.”

Men’s Health Australia is supportive of all efforts to reduce interpersonal violence in the community but is concerned that the regular use of incorrect or misleading ‘statistics’ by Governments unfairly stigmatises men and boys as violent and abusive, while simultaneously denying services to male victims of violence.

They are also concerned that the Government’s approach is not in the interests of all children in families where there is abuse or violence, but selectively favours those children in families where violence is perpetrated by the father. The other one-third to half of children have to fend for themselves without support.

On 14th October Minister Gago defended the misleading statistics in Parliament, claiming that “the data on the Don't Cross the Line website is sound.”

Some of the campaign’s errors alleged by Men’s Health Australia include:

  • Overstating the annual number of women victims of domestic violence by almost 400%
  • Overstating the number of women killed in domestic violence situations by 86% while ignoring the one in three victims of domestic homicide that are male
  • Incorrectly claiming that 95% of domestic violence involves a male perpetrator and a female victim, when in actual fact at least one in three victims of family violence are male
  • Ignoring the fact that as many young people have witnessed physical domestic violence by their mother against their father, as have witnessed it by their father against their mother
  • Ignoring the research showing that equal numbers of young males and females have experienced domestic violence or have been forced to have sex by their boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Incorrectly claiming that domestic violence is the main cause of death, disability and illness in young women (the main causes are actually anxiety and depression, migraine, type 2 diabetes, asthma and schizophrenia).

“All victims of violence deserve campaigns based upon up-to-date accurate data, and the tax-paying public doesn’t deserve to be misled. Flawed data such as this can only lead to flawed policies and actions, and many children continue to be exposed to violence because of these myths,” said Mr Andresen.

“Inflating statistics on domestic violence against women risks generating an unwarranted climate of fear in the community, especially amongst females. It also has terrible impacts upon the self-esteem of boys and the development of their healthy masculinity.

“Understating the prevalence of domestic violence against men makes it less likely that a man will be believed when he finally summons up the courage to disclose his partner’s abuse of him. It also allows Government to continue to get away with family violence policies and campaigns that ignore male victims.”

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Woman gassed children to stop ex's Christmas plan: court

A woman gassed her children to death in the family car so her ex-husband couldn't have custody of them on Christmas Day, a court has been told.

The Queensland Supreme Court today was told the mother, who cannot be identified, started planning their deaths in October 2002 after being issued with a Family Court order stating they would spend Christmas Day with their father.

One month later, on November 22, the bodies of her eight-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl were found in the garage of their home at Sandstone Point, near Bribie Island.

The Brisbane court was told the mother, 42, had given her children crushed-up sleeping tablets, before putting them in the back seat of the car, attaching a garden hose to the exhaust, and switching on the ignition.

The children died from carbon monoxide poisoning, the court was told.

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What is "Abusegate"?

Abusegate refers to the systematic distortion of the truth about partner aggression by the domestic violence industry. These half-truths and falsehoods form the basis of a well-financed but harmful effort to curb partner violence. This Special Report that details many of the falsehoods: Fifty Domestic Violence Myths.

We are calling on political leaders to probe the many distortions and fraudulent practices of Abusegate — hence “Abusegate, Investigate!”

In 2010, we are mounting a high-profile campaign to inform the American public about the truth of domestic violence. At the national level, the campaign is being carried out via op-ed columns, radio interviews, and other means.

Locally, we are inviting persons to get the word out every way imaginable: via blogs, letters to the editor, radio talk shows, messages to email lists, meetings, etc. Here’s a flyer you can pass out: RADAR Flyer.

The fate of our families, our civil rights, indeed the fundamental values of our society hang in the balance. As the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act come up for reauthorization in 2010, we invite you to participate in this critical national effort to make domestic violence services effective and accountable.

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Misconceptions that are depriving children of their fathers

According to Richard Chisholm, an unacceptable number of children in court-mandated shared care are exposed to unnecessary levels of acrimony and possible violence.

However the legislation is clear that where shared care has been ordered by a court, the presumption of shared care is dependent on there being no violence; putting a child into a possibly violent situation contradicts the law. So what is all this about about?

Shared care and domestic violence are separate issues. Children should not be exposed at any level. But there is definitely a risk of violence to children due to family breakdown and not simply from the father, but from the mother and other males.

None of this bothers those who want the 2006 reforms abolished. For them mothers must have autonomy even at the expense of a child's relationship with its father. They see a way to this amid Labor's ascendancy. Single-mothers' groups such as the National Council for Children Post-Separation, backed by feminists and some journalists, have deliberately muddled the two issues of violence and shared care.

McClelland has said the catalyst for the Chisholm report was the death of little Darcey Freeman last year, allegedly at the hands of her father. According to this newspaper, her mother was intimidated into surrendering her.

Curiously the intimation is that only fathers who intimidate pose a risk. They don't. When Gabriela Garcia jumped off the same Melbourne bridge with her baby later last year, no one began an inquiry.

These deaths are tragedies, the product of despair and madness, not a catalyst for gender wars.

If we want to fix child abuse that is another issue. Mothers are more commonly perpetrators of child deaths than fathers, and boyfriends are six times more likely to be perpetrators of physical and sexual violence than biological fathers.

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Dad finds children dead in bathtub (Canada)

His greatest fear was that his estranged wife would take his children from their home in a tiny, snowy town in Canada, and run away to Australia.

So scared was he of losing them, he'd taken their passports and hidden them away.

The effort was in vain: Curtis McConnell, 31, of Millet, near Edmonton in Alberta, on Tuesday entered the house he once shared with his infant children to find something so much worse.

According to local reports, his wife, Allyson Louise McConnell, formerly of Gosford on the NSW central coast, had not taken the children.

She had allegedly drowned them in the bathtub and left their bodies in the water, for him to find.

Mr McConnell pulled the children - Connor, 2, and Jayden, 10 months - from the tub.

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