Domestic violence and the demonization of men

It has been an interesting exercise challenging the current witch hunt on domestic violence. As my article, silent victims, in the Weekend Australian points out, the zealots controlling debate on this issue are successfully demonizing men and white-washing women’s role in family violence.

The reality is very different from the picture constantly presented of dangerous men terrorizing their families. Over 1700 articles in peer-reviewed journals conclude show domestic violence is not a gender issue, both women and men are actively involved in most violence in the home, women often initiate violence, and it isn’t simply self-defence. Even though physical violence by women causes fewer injuries, it is by no means harmless with women more likely to use weapons and men sustaining a third of the injuries from partner violence.

Most children growing up in violent homes are cowering not just from their fathers but their mothers as well – all available Australian data clearly shows women are the major abusers of children. So what are these children to conclude from current public discussion of this issue –that only Dad’s violence matters? That only Dad can be held responsible for the terror these children experience? Surely this does nothing to break the cycle of violence putting future generations at risk.

What’s scary is the constant stream of lies and misinformation being promoted in the current cultural dialogue, deliberate use of wrong statistics designed to promote men as the only villains. There are men working very hard to try to correct this misinformation, attempting to correct the record by contacting the politicians, bureaucrats and media commentators who persist in using deliberately inaccurate statistics. It is horrifying to see how often these efforts are totally ignored.

Amongst the main offenders is the ABC where most journalists, broadcasters and producers skew debate over true nature of violence in the home. I’ve seen correspondence with the culprits, who continue to use misleading statistics despite being presented with evidence from our key data collection bodies, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showing they are using wrong information. Many make their personal prejudices on this issue abundantly clear – in her ABC breakfast show Virginia Trioli recently sneered at the possibility that men could be victims of domestic violence.

In the last week I have appeared on commercial radio programmes across the country discussing this issue – but almost all the key ABC programmes refused to touch it. The exception was Steve Austin, Brisbane’s morning presenter, who gave the issue his customary intelligent, open-minded consideration. See this link to listen to his interview.

When Mark Scott was appointed to his current position, I wrote to him pointing out that the real bias in the ABC has nothing to do with giving equal time to politicians from opposing parties but rather the refusal of most of the organization to touch topics which challenge the ABC’s current orthodoxy on any number of social issues. Domestic violence is a classic example and the ABC is true to form, showing total allegiance to the views promoted by the domestic violence lobby groups.

19 Responses to Domestic violence and the demonization of men

  1. DVAMA November 14, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    Thanks for your post Bettina. I heard Steve Austin’s incredulous response to your statement that it is women who are most likely to abuse or kill children. This data is redaily available through all sorts of agencies such as the ABS or the Australian Institute of Criminology yet Steve had never discovered it despite hosting numerous discussions about domestic violence during his program.

    News announcers on ABC Radio and well known presenters such as Leigh Sales (on the 7.30 Report) have also repeated the fallacious claim that 75 women have died due to domestic violence even though many of us know that while 75 women may have died this year they have been killed by strangers, sisters, daughters, neighbours, fathers and sons along with some which are unsolved murders as well as by partners or former partners. Equally men have died too, and they (as you pointed out) remain invisible.

    The facts never seem to stop the ABC’s reporting.

    Alan DVAMA

  2. 3pete3 November 14, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    Been saying for a while now, Jas Newman is our biggest weapon in Oz in this culture war. I think she just got trumped, for the moment.
    I happen to have a bit of insider info on what she has planned in the pipeline. Quite exciting. There will be a weeping and a gnashing of teeth at the ABC should she pull it off. (Sex therapist joke there.)
    So stoked to see you two in cahoots and can’t wait for the next episode. It’s terrifying for feminists to confront a ‘Mum.’
    Men can be howled down, but the woman on the cultural pedestal is a Mother. She cannot be sacrificed, gotten rid of, or even ignored, not even by feminists. No-one can touch Mum.
    From the bottom of my soul woman, on behalf of Mens Rights Brisbane, and MHRAs everywhere, thank you for your stand.
    Bryan Scandrett

  3. Ian Wilson November 14, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    Thank you Bettina for speaking out about male victims of domestic violence – our collective callousness towards men means that there are more shelters for pets fleeing domestic violence than there are for men.

  4. Tim Bakker November 15, 2015 at 1:21 am #

    make white ribbon accountable for their persistent lies.

  5. Roy November 15, 2015 at 1:28 am #

    Thank you for addressing the runaway campaign that is driving men into poverty and suicide, children are on masse denied parental equality and frequently robbed of their childhood innocence via malicious and vindictive contact denial that is made 100% successful via the application of a VRO or DVO, these orders are made in complete secret and handed out more freely than toast from a soup kitchen! Men frequently loose their homes children and assets via no other purpose other than via malicious intent to establish total control!

  6. Sabina November 15, 2015 at 1:47 am #

    …”but almost all the key ABC programmes refused to touch it…” – in my country Poland is the same 🙁 I created fanpages on Facebook and named them “Violence has not gender” in English, Polish, Swedish, Italian and in English for Arab men but people do not help me to spread this true

    • gush gosh November 15, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Gosh, sabrina, arab men? Didn’t you have an easier target?
      Arab men are absurdly raised to be stoic, even more stoic than most cultures.
      I think it’s going to be hard to convince them to open up when even more sensible men don’t. But I congratulate you on your efforts!
      I’ll visit your page!

  7. Jean November 15, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Well done Bettina a great article in The Aust and very TRUE. Time the truth came out. I am a 74 yr old grandmother and have a son who has been ground into the dirt a loving dad and had 50% custody spent 20,000 on lawyers and the mother had legal aid and guess what SHE won – verbally physically violent but now what? Dad’s are getting a raw deal and this needs to be EXPOSED>

    • John Narayan November 15, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

      Many Gen X and Y males are opting out of marriage and relationships altogether.

      In western countries it is called MGTOW.

      Society has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are consciously and unconsciously going “on strike.” They are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. The trend is so pronounced that a number of books have been written about this “man-child” phenomenon, concluding that men have taken a vacation from responsibility simply because they can. But why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them?

  8. Mark November 15, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    I have always loved your brave work, Bettina but this article tops anything you have done before. You deserve the thanks and support of all men for the tireless work you do speaking up for them in the face of such vicious hostility.

  9. Mark November 15, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    Bettina, can you explain to me how the relevant bodies are allowed to hide the gender breakdown of child abuse?

  10. Andrew Humphreys November 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Excellent and brave article Bettina. The discrimination against men also occurs in sexual assault where feminist agencies had to be compelled to see male victims. This is why over 60% of victims coming forward to the Royal Commission are men and the perpetrators have often offended for decades. No-one would listen to the voices of boys and men. The feminist ‘experts’ who denied men and boys help should be shamed. Their actions have cost many, many lives.
    Male survivors in NSW must access counselling through a feminist body, would women be expected to take that?
    The Duluth model of d/v is vile, bigoted and useless.
    Andrew/ Ulladulla

  11. Allan Gannaway Psychologist and ex-domestic violence worker November 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    One day when the true causes of violence perpetrated by males and females are looked at more honestly, then the prospect of a solution (that is not gender based) can start to occur. Funnily enough most men are brought up by their mothers !

  12. Robert St. Estephe November 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    Bettina. I think you will be interested in this new research. Take a loot at the item “1885 — Lizzie Lewis …” in particular.

    TITLE OF POST: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Murder – The Forgotten “Lizzie Bordens”

  13. Richard Lancaster November 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    Congratulations, Bettina, for another courageous article using facts to expose the persistent lies and myths put forward in the domestic violence issue (I almost wrote “debate” but that is what is certainly isn’t). It needs a fearless woman like yourself to make counter arguments to the favoured narrative as any man is automatically disregarded. Your objectivity and reliance on evidence and data is so rare.

  14. mark November 15, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

    Is there any chance that you could be given an opportunity to confront the likes of Rosie Batty or Natasha Stott Despoja face to face in a debate or discussion, Bettina? I want to see these bigots made accountable for their lies and demonisation of men.

  15. Nick Theophilou November 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    A cursory glance at a Domestic Violence fact sheet will demonstrate that woman are just as capable of violence as men. Any man, particularly those in a relationship could list the various acts of emotional, social abuse and so on as being part of what they put up with, and often in silence, and which all too often it spills out as violence. Men i meet want a sense of fair play here, and it’s not coming, particularly from the media, or the community health industry (despite their claims to the very opposite). Many in these industries don’t even realise how blinkered their vision of males are, and how destructive it is.

    Like Bettina, when i wrote my book Ten Stories about what men are doing Well, it was well received in the UK and the US, while in Australia i received only one interview. As well, such is the negative view of men that even here the majority of radio journalists who interviewed me struggled to think of one thing men do well, except go to war.

    I could write much more about this but i hope I’ve made my point.

    A link to my book

  16. Sarah November 26, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    My goodness you have fallen below acceptable in your lack of credible stats. Nobody is “demonsing” men – there ARE men who are violent, and women who are violent. FACT is that men do more damage, and are more likely to kill OTHER men as well as women. Get a stat check and do not attempt to undermine a government response both to violence and mental health issues with sensationalist journalism.

    • Bettina November 26, 2015 at 9:14 am #

      If you actually read my article you would understand I clearly state that men do cause more death and injury through partner violence. But how come the public discussion and government response totally fails to acknowledge that there are women who are violent too. How come the ABC for the last week has used inaccurate statistics and a promoted only one side of the story which you have admitted to be true – namely that men and women are both violent? Surely that is sensationalist journalism based more on ideology than any interest in pursuing the truth.