Having spent of the summer break making a video with Greg Andresen from http://www.oneinthree.com.au/ about the latest domestic violence statistic, we also worked to alert all the media to what was happening. Shockingly not a single newspaper or other media source was interested, apart from the story I wrote for The Herald Sun. It’s a very sad example of the incredible grip the domestic violence industry has on the media in this country. Here’s the Herald Sun story:
Here’s some good news that passed unnoticed late last year – our official statistics reveal there’s no epidemic of domestic violence. In fact for the last decade there’s been no increase in women being abused by their partners. That was the story that dropped through the cracks when the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced the results of their 2016 Personal Safety Survey last November.
Our mainstream media failed to report this vital fact, highlighting instead the few areas where violence against women still shows some slight increase – like sexual harassment and abuse.
Somehow it also escaped the media’s attention that the big news in the latest survey results was all about men. The Bureau’s figures reveal that since 2005 the proportion of men reporting violence in the last year from their current partners has risen more than five-fold while those experiencing emotional abuse have more than doubled.
These results emerged despite efforts to encourage more female victims to disclose by using only female interviewers to conduct the latest survey – a move which required Gillian Triggs at the Human Rights Commission to give the nod to this discriminatory move. But surprisingly it ended up revealing the true extent of women’s violence against men.
No one really knows whether more men are being abused or whether men are now more willing to admit to being victims but, as my latest YouTube video shows, women’s role in family violence is emerging ever more clearly. Every third victim of intimate partner violence is a male. Almost half the people being emotionally abused by their partners are male. The biggest leap in sexual harassment over the past five years involves men being harassed by women.
The complexities of family violence revealed in these latest statistics fall in line with over 40 years of international research showing domestic violence isn’t just about dangerous men terrorising their families. Over 1700 peer reviewed papers show that children growing up in violent homes usually witness their mums and dads having a go at one another rather than dad being the only villain.
Of course that’s not to deny that men’s strength means violence against their partners is more likely to have serious consequences. It’s shocking that a woman is killed through domestic homicide almost every week in this country and it is critical we make every possible effort to protect women in these circumstances.
But the latest homicide figures from the Australian Institute of Criminology show that domestic homicide results in one man being killed every ten days. Women are more likely to use weapons in domestic abuse hence their violence can also be lethal but few of the 75 males killed in the most recent domestic homicide incidents (2012-2014) attracted the media attention given to female victims.