The real news about domestic violence in Australia

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.

Naturally police know all about these dangerous women. Listen to this member of the Victorian police force who is trying to protect her granddaughter from a violent mother: “Everyone in the job will tell you they see plenty of violent women in the homes we’re called out to, drug addicts, angry drunks, women with mental problems. Kids hiding not just from dads but from vicious mums. Yet often cops will take the woman’s side without question and ignore male victims.”

That’s official policy in Australia as we see every time one of our politicians talks publically about domestic violence. Domestic violence is simply about “respect for women” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull solemnly intones as he boasts of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on this one-sided approach to the problem. The Federal Government has recently been re-running that television campaign showing a little boy slamming a door in a girl’s face, advertising which demonises men and boys and denies the complex issues underpinning the problem – poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness and children witnessing violence from both their parents.

Thousands of bureaucrats are currently employed in a mighty propaganda industry defending the one-eyed policy on this issue. Mention the inconvenient truth revealed in the latest Safety Survey results and you’ll see them leap into action, denying that the survey represents the true picture on domestic violence in this country. They’ll offer statistics showing growing numbers of police reports and deny these figures are artificially inflated by women obtaining AVO’s to gain strategic advantage in family court battles, as publicly acknowledged by retiring judge David Collier from the Parramatta Family Court. Plus police reports now reflect the ever-expanding definition of domestic violence including threats of abuse and ‘economic’ violence.

Yes, the Personal Safety Survey provides the “most comprehensive data on prevalence of violence” in this country admitted a squirming bureaucrat put on the spot last year in a senate committee by David Leyonhjelm who is making repeated attempts to expose the distorted government policy on this issue. The bureaucrats being questioned by Leyonhjelm have failed to produce any proper evidence that domestic violence is all about “respect for women.”

With official data now there to prove them wrong perhaps it’s time to seriously lobby for help for all victims, including support for men and their children seeking to escape women’s violence.

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