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Commissioner Ken Lay’s Professional Misconduct

Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay gave an emotive and hyperbolic speech, titled  “Breaking the pattern of family violence is everyone’s responsibility” at the November 26 National Press Club session on Elimination of Violence Against Women. The audience acknowledged it with much tearful head nodding as Lay portrayed desparately crowded women’s shelters overflowing with “the bruised battered and raped.”  It’s worth reading the transcript before proceeding.

Describing the “size of the problem” he reiterated Stott Despoja’s one-sided citation of the Australian Data and echoed UN claims of an epidemic of violence against women whilst ignoring the fact the world wide men are more frequent victims of violence and account for 80% the deaths from violence.

Citing police statistics on calls to DV  “incidents”  Lay fails to elaborate on the breakdown by gender of perpetrator or other demographics. Not surprisingly the full Victoria Police report on Crime Statistics 2012/2013 is no more informative when it comes to “family incidents” despite gender breakdown being presented in aggregate and individually for most other “crimes against the person.”

Recently the Herald Sun Newspaper obtained statistics that indicate 21% of these incidents involved a male victim, not an insignificant proportion, considering the systemic and institutionalised bias against male victims in Victoria.

He supplemented those obscurations with the following statement:

 “For Australian female GPs*, a recent survey found that 50% had been sexually assaulted.”

*GPs are General Medical Practitioners, often termed Family Physicians in the Americas.

Really Ken? Where did you get that data?

Most likely from popular media coverage of a survey of female GP’s exposure to sexual harassment, not sexual assault, a distinction one might expect a police commissioner to comprehend.

The mainstream media reported on a small survey described in a letter to the editor in the October 2013 edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.  It was not submitted as an original research paper, which would need to be more significant in its scope and pass more rigorous standards of peer review.  The letter was based on responses to a survey of female GP’s only, offered a $20 gift card to participate and attracting a mere 180 respondents from the 600 canvassed (a 30% response rate) hardly representative of the 25,000 plus GP workforce. The letter remains restricted access behind the MJA paywall making fact checking more difficult for the public. [1]

Most tellingly the letter provided absolutely no context for the incidents reported.  Doctor’s encounters (just as police encounters) sometimes involve unpleasant, angry, difficult, intoxicated, mentally ill, upset, obnoxious, sexist and inappropriate and even grubby people.  As a GP and longstanding supervisor of GP registrars in training my observations tell me that such traits are not gender specific nor are they only experienced by only one gender in practice.

More substantive gender inclusive research such as this 2005 open access study found that found 63 % of GP’s have experienced violence in the previous 12 months including some serious physical assaults (2.7%). Notably the study examined the clinical setting, perpetrator and doctor characteristics to give a more nuanced picture of the challenges facing health care workers in dealing with such clients.

Is the conflation of harassment with assault and elevating the findings a small non-representative gendered survey to national prominence in a keynote speech a simple error or a deliberate misrepresentation? You decide, but it’s not the first time Lay has spruiked this figure and I doubt we will see a correction from him any time soon.

Commissioner Lay relates a story of a young policeman confronted with a female victim of longstanding intimate terrorism.  As distinct from common couple violence that is most often bidirectional, intimate terrorism is the most severe but least common form of domestic violence.  Still if you wish to embellish and polarise the domestic violence issue, painting all victims as women experiencing the most severe variety of abuse, following the use of a statistic that one in three women are victims is a good place to start.

By the way, despite the scarcity of research into male victims of intimate terrorism a ground-breaking study by Denise Hines of Clark University in 2010 suggests that as with other forms of DV it is a gender symmetrical problem. These disturbing cases from the UK are certainly consistent; along with the most recent British Crime Survey that finds married men are more commonly victims of domestic abuse than married women.

Addressing “victim blaming” Lay tracks back more than a decade to cite an example the tragic child kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.  A 14-year-old girl, kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused by a married couple that paraded their victim in public with her face covered whilst police mounted an intense operation to locate her.  I immediately saw the similarities between this case and that of an adult woman, trying to escape an abusive relationship, confined to her suburban concentration camp, by a patriarchal power and control freak, unbeknown to the authorities.  Perhaps the fact that there was a male and female perpetrator in the Smart case escaped commissioner Lay or perhaps it just was assumed that the women had no agency or culpability for her actions.

Kens ultimate message is that women should be told, “I believe you” when they report domestic violence. However it is certainly not the State of Victoria or the Victorian Police Services policy that male victims be believed. According to State Law, Judicial Guidelines and Police Policy if male victims even exist they must be exceptionally rare. In fact it is not difficult to conclude that the authorities attitude is one that deliberately attempts to justify, excuse, minimise and hide the existence and experience of male victims of DV.  Meanwhile female accusers are granted protective orders without proof of wrongdoing and routinely use these to gain leverage in family court and child custody matters.

The Victorian Family Violence Protection Act 2008 is the legislation governing the approach to family violence in Victoria, the preamble to the act makes this unsubstantiated claim:

In enacting this Act, the Parliament also recognises the following features of family violence (a) that while anyone can be a victim or perpetrator of family violence, family violence is predominantly committed by men against women, children and other vulnerable persons;

This falsehood enshrined in law contradicts the contemporary research on partner abuse, child abuse, and abuse as experienced in the LGBTI community.

Women for example have long been known to be the predominate demographic responsible for child abuse, a fact Australia has since the mid 1990’s attempted to conceal by not releasing data on the gender of child abusers, rather using non gendered terms such as parent, step-parent, caregiver etc.  Requests for release of such data under freedom of information legislation have been repeatedly refused but in one rare case when Western Australia released such information it confirmed what always has been known in other western countries.

The Victoria Police Code of Practice for Investigation of Family Violence echoes the Family Violence Protection Act; despite apparently gender-neutral wording the introductory details make the conflation of family violence with violence against women clear:

The key determinants and contributing factors to the perpetration of violence against women are:

                  >  unequal power relations between women and men

                  >  adherence to rigid gender stereotypes

                  >  broader cultures of violence.”

The guidelines contain a requirement to identify a predominant aggressor and recommendation for “no drop” type prosecution, without a complaint and when a formal complaint is withdrawn.

But the most egregious and misandric guidelines (as recently pointed out by AVFM follower Gwallan in his comment to this post) are to be found in the Victorian Judicial College’s ‘”Family Violence Bench Book.”

Rather than believing a male victims story, this document advises that any male reporting abuse by a female partner must be assumed to be lying most likely as a ploy to conceal their own abuse of their female partner.  Again sexual double standards and gender inequality are at the heart of policy and guidelines, while those representing the establishment, preach the addressing of gender equality as a core principle in reducing violence (against women).

Perhaps the most extraordinary advice Commissioner Lay gives is in relation to advice from parents to daughters about rape.  Citing a recent polarized debate amongst feminist groups over advice to daughters to moderate their alcohol consumption to help reduce the risk of rape the best Lay can offer is to tell your daughters, rape is not your fault it’s the rapists fault.

Of course such a platitude will be little value to a victim who may otherwise not have ended up a victim, but when it comes to gender issues Lay seems to think conforming to feminist dogma and rhetoric trumps real prevention. The overt hypocrisy is evident from a cursory view of the Victoria Police website which promotes preventive behaviors such as locking up to prevent burglary and car theft etc. and not one statement could I find stating that if you are burgled “it’s not you fault,” there is “just one person responsible for theft: the thief.”

Yet commissioner Lay and hypocrisy walk hand in hand. In my view Victoria’s top police officer whilst claiming to have “a professional obligation to reduce harm” applies that obligation in a gendered and uneven manner. This should be considered professional misconduct. I would go so far as to say Commissioner Lay is a disgrace to the uniform he wears, a gender bigot, bereft of any demonstrated concern for male victims of family violence or violence in general.

That he is so widely touted as a shining light, hero of anti-violence and pro-gender equality campaigner is a sad reflection on the Australian communities media and government induced ignorance of these issues.

[1] If you would like a copy of the full letter for personal study email me at gregcanning@gmail.com

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  • Bewildered

    Amazing ! Absolutely amazing! Have people forgotten to think for themselves ? Looks like you can get away uttering any BS to the public ALA it sticks to the party line.
    Where are the dissenting voices ?

    Requests for release of such data under freedom of information legislation have been repeatedly refused !!!!!!!

    How the fuck can this be legal?

    • http://www.hermitparkclinic.com.au Greg Canning

      Apparently it’s not in the public interest for such facts to be known, go figure!

      Fuck the best interests of children in this case. Such information might paint some women and mothers in a less than angelic light and feminist ideology dictates that’s more important than actual child safety.

  • http://kevin-wayne.blogspot.com Kevin

    Corrupt cops everywhere, and men unfortunately are taking the brunt of the blows for that.

  • gateman

    The Victorian police here in Australia seem to be entrenched with incompetence, corruption and bias, but as an arm of the government, why should we be surprised?
    Commissioners Christine NIxon, Simon Overland and now Ken Lay are all a disgrace to the uniform.

  • SlantyJaws

    How do we help to get rid of him?

  • Stu

    If you are a man, any man, the police are your enemy. The force is full of white knights, manginas, and little boys dressed up in para military garb playing cops and robbers. Thugs in uniforms hiding behind a smoke screen of extreme chivalry in the same way as hardened violent criminals attempt to compensate for their complete lack of character by their apparent extreme chivalry. Think Chopper Read, a notorious underworld figure and violent killer known for torturing victims, who the government hired to do ads from a prison cell telling men what prisoners were going to do to men who came to jail accused of any violence against women..

    If you ask me, any man running around now days tilting at wind mills is a poser, and is probably trying to portray themselves as heroes to women because they are actually cowards who are AFRAID not having female approval and will do anything and throw any man, or child, under the bus just to be seen as worthy men in the eyes of women. These men are the friend of NO man. You should not give them your friendship under any circumstances. Refuse to associate with them in any capacity outside of what is necessary for business etc. Exclude them as much as possible from anything at all in your life.

    • JinnBottle

      “Think Chopper Read, a notorious underworld figure and violent killer known for torturing victims, who the government hired to do ads from a prison cell telling men what prisoners were going to do to men who came to jail accused of any violence against women..”

      The purpose also apparently being a government official announcement that it intends to do *nothing* in regards to “…what prisoners were going to do to men who came to jail accused of any violence against women.”

      While also, just incidentally, expanding the definition of “violence against women” (especially in Oz, as I gather) to make it harder and harder to STAY out of prison.

      Meager consolation tho it is, the one good thing constant publicizing of feminist/mangina scare stats does is further repulse young men from marriage.

    • MGTOW-man

      Gosh Stu, you and I are so alike. Not in every way, but in so many important ways, we are alike. I would like to meet you.

  • Bev

    Thank you Greg. Wendy Tuohy wrote a blog about this praising Commissioner Lay.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/theperch/index.php/heraldsun/comments/thank_you_ken_lay/#commentsmore

    The usual gushing comments about how wonderful he is. I had quite a stoush with a couple of commenters (mainly Danielle) but I think I managed to get most of my points across. Danielle seems to be turning up to comment on a lot of DV articles attacking any who dare to disagree with the feminist line.

    At the very least I have got the impression that Wendy (who has teenage sons) listened. In previous blogs she has expressed some concern about how boys are treated.

  • Glenn Donovan

    Just to make clear to all here. We are losing. We are not gaining ground. We are not turning the tide. It’s accelerating and we all need to really think about the trajectory of this insanity and where we are heading. It took decades for social justice warriors to get this crap institutionalized and just because AVFM is getting some nice traffic, you have to put it in perspective against the numbers of people in power that are controlling these institutions.

    We see the moves on FB and YouTube and elsewhere to classify things as harassment or “hate” – it’s not opening up, it’s closing. Title IX and the family court – nothing is changing. What will things be like in 10 years? 20? Imagine one more generation of men raised by women? The very thought terrifies me.

    • Stu

      I agree. The misandry is still ramping up everywhere. And there is no end to it……none…..not by them volunteering to draw a line in the sand anyway. No matter how anti-male society becomes, the feminists and their mangina lapdogs will still be crying……louder then ever, that women are victimized and oppressed and men are the lowest form of life on the planet. There is only two ways this will stop. One is if the MHRM grows massively and can turn the tide…….and the other is that they make it so bad for men that men are unwilling to contribute to society in anyway at all anymore, with many becoming totally hostile to society even……and causing collapse of society.

      That is it…..those are the two options. But make no mistake……it will end. They, will make sure of that, because they just don’t know when to stop. If they ever conceded that they were full of shit, they would be committing suicide, professionally, financially, politically, etc. White Knights and manginas have allowed, and helped in the creation of a monster that can only die after it destroys the society that sustains it.

    • crydiego

      It is true that we appear to be fighting an up hill battle but the fact is we do not need to fight battles. We need only to counter the stereotypes portrayed by feminist, the press and the media. Men will get it, even the white knights will get it, but they are playing the cards they are dealt in the game they have to play. If men hear others voicing the same apprehensions about society that they themselves feel, it will plant a seed in them; a seed that will grow.

      Whenever someone says something negative about men simply say that you think the vast majority of men are good and decent. Don’t fight the negative but counter with the positive. Don’t be sucked into a fight, just hold with the basic truth that most men are good and do good things. Don’t get dragged into numbers and statistic just point out that the vast majority of men are good. I have noticed that even white knights will agree and may even be confused and surprised by those that don’t. The vast majority of men do not beat there wives, the vast majority of men do not rape, or sexually harass women. The vast majority of men are good and decent people that make up almost half the world and deserve respect just like the other half. If someone in a group with men present takes you to task for those beliefs, -you have won and nothing more is required from you. Just leave it at that and let it sink in.

      The feminist have everything riding on this being a fight between men and women. If they can’t paint men as bad their arguments are unveiled as hate and privilege by feminism, not women. This is what is happening now because the vast majority of women are good and decent but they are playing the cards dealt to them in the game they have to play.

      Don’t be disheartened and be assured that the ground is moving beneath feminism but you can expect a great noise as they fall. This is simply a numbers game and we are growing.

      • HQR3

        Without massive organization nothing will change the tide. Changing hearts and minds is fine, but power does not yield to moral suasion. And say what you will about the Dark Side, they are both ingenious and dedicated in the pursuit and wielding of power. Frankly, we could educate a majority of people without appreciably changing the results, just the timetable. Case in point, about 7 or 8 years ago Massachusetts held a non-binding referendum on shared parenting, which was the choice of almost eighty percent of the voters. 80 percent!!! Tell me, is shared parenting the law of the land in Mass. today? The tiny minority that didn’t want it to happen was very well organized–OK, also well-funded.

        And please don’t think that feminism is going anywhere, that it will somehow burn itself out or simply overplay its hand: while the middle-level fems are somewhat confused and conflicted, and the lower level is downright chaotic, the people at the top are coherent, focused like a laser, dedicated, tireless, and absolutely ruthless. And, after 50 years of practice, are expert at the use of power.

        No, they’re not going anywhere any time soon, even though they are the poster children of a bad idea. Another bad idea, the Inquisition, stuck around for a little while…and they didn’t even have the resource of raising and educating the children.

    • MGTOW-man

      I was going to reply to the absolutely thought-provoking truth you speak, Glenn, but Stu beat me to it and said it better than I ever could.

      I manage to follow most of what you say here at AVfM Glenn, and I agree with most all of it. You, and certain others are men that I would like to meet. You are a man/men to be seen as directional and influential. You are pointing out a lot of things, that, amidst our glee with the growth of our movement, this site, etc, we are just not taking the time to deal with realistically. Careful though, being too truthful here and managing to have some valid insight and input into the movement and about women in general, as well as being an activist by your own definition can land you outside the clique.

      When we have our first convention (of its kind) in June, hopefully NOT in Toronto, but wherever, there are many of us who should make it a point to meet one another with the purpose of forming our own coalition of sorts. This site is fantastic: I absolutely support it a 1000 times over. But there is more…if we will take it to that level. Surely there are ways we can put our heads together in innovative, ingenuous ways to make things go faster in our favor?

      It is hopefully getting to meet other like-minded men and sensible, unselfish women that helps keep me tuned to this site. I want so badly to make other friends in this arena…but damned if I do it dishonestly—refusing to stay my principles or by abandoning the very beliefs, the very things that I have had life teach me.

      I am for unity, cohesion, galvanization, and the like and think we should be doing all that we can to foment its development. I believe most men know we are right. It is our job to make them stay that—no matter what it costs them because the truth is the most noble of all.

  • Shrek6

    Thanks Greg. Yet another worthy piece, but one that continues to make me very angry, because it has affected me directly.

    I disagree with you when you said the following, “I would go so far as to say Commissioner Lay is a disgrace to the uniform he wears,”

    He is most definitely NOT a disgrace to this uniform. In fact, and to the contrary, he is wearing it rightly and proudly honouring this uniform. Because that uniform is a representation of evil in our country and there is little good that can be said about it. There are very few police who can claim the moral high ground and honestly state that the evil of corruption has not touched them.
    I do not see the police uniform as anything good and I”m guessing neither do many other people.

    The police forces throughout Australia, are some of the most corrupt and evil on this planet.

    Victoria is the cesspit of feminism in our country and is where most of this Nazi styled Feminist Fascism emanates from. However, Western Australia is always in a race with Vic to see which state can introduce the most draconian man hating laws and punitive measures.

    I tell my daughter that if she wants to go around dressed like a prostitute, get drunk and lead men on when she gets older and then gets raped, she will have to accept a certain amount of responsibility for it and she can not claim that she has been raped if she has willingly gone to bed with some guy, if they are both drunk.
    She knows this and hopefully will remember it, but she is still young and feminists have a long time to indoctrinate her. I hope she remains strong and never puts herself into any dangerous situation, by behaving badly. I’m guessing that she won’t, but you just never know do you.

  • Mika

    Mr Canning

    Just another classic example of the attitudes of men in postions of power and influence being a major part of the problem.

    We see this repeated over and over again by these people.

  • MGTOW-man

    “Breaking the pattern of family violence is everyone’s responsibility””
    –Funny how he left out the responsibility of women…to set the example that punishing people (men) with violence is NOT OK, but is immature, impulsive, and part of the cycle of violence that gets ignored.

    It is monkey see-monkey do. Every time a woman hits a man out of trying to punish and control him she sets the example, for males, that violence must be OK—apparently. The cycle of violence is a full circle—meaning responsibility for women included too—not a semi-circle.

    Ethically, women can hit men no more than men can hit women. Why does TRUE EQUALITY scare the shyt out of feminists and apparently most women?

    Feminism is a circumvention of truth—for women only, that is. …and to hell with men and kids.

    What are people? Blind!??

  • MGTOW-man

    What is the reason behind so many women, the world over, all thinking alike…actually believing it is fair to address the violence against women only while simultaneously dismissing any violence against men and boys as real violence? Hence The Victorian Family Violence Protection Act 2008 of Australia compared to the VAWA in America and many places in between.

    Does determinism, feelings-based, sex-specific differences come into play? If you are looking at this problem squarely head-0n, you bet they come into play. The fact that so many women all do this double-talk, is proof positive. Trust me, it is no coincidence or accident that they are convergent.

    Women as a group are faaaar more alike than they are different! Until we all see this, we will only be limited in our efforts …for we do not even acknowledge the real enemy. We are too afraid of the real truth that undermines in ways we refuse to acknowledge.

    …and we are going to win anything like THIS? .

  • Bev

    The commissioner is in fact urging men to engage in vigilantly actions something normally banned by governments except in this case it seems. The end result is predictable as shown here when white knights are given free rein.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/daryl-wise-charged-with-murder-over-kilburn-stabbing/story-fnii5yv4-1226778999028

    A MAN has appeared in court charged with murder over the stabbing of a man at Kilburn on the weekend.
    Daryl Wise, 21, is charged with one count of murder and two aggravated counts of intentionally causing harm.

    Lawyers for Wise said the police alleged three men were walking in Kilburn when they saw Wise and a woman arguing.Tim Dibden said one of the men told police they stopped and the deceased man punched Wise in the face once or twice. Mr Dibden said the man told police his other companion also punched the man before the woman broke them up and Wise stabbed the three men.

    He said Wise then fled and made his way to an “address of safety” where he called his father. He said Wise sustained a fractured cheekbone and attended Modbury Hospital. Mr Dibden said Wise cried during his interview with police and continuously said he was sorry. He said Wise had co-operated with police including telling them where the knife was located.

    Magistrate Stefan Metanomski ordered a home detention report and remanded Wise in custody.

  • someguyoverthere

    At the rates things are going some men, whilst possibly not getting involved with MRA will start to consider some highly extreme responses to this … as it is spreading and not showing any signs of slowing or even of paying lip service to men.

  • http://www.imnotamensrightsactivistbut.wordpress.com Isaac T. Quill

    I have to wonder why the transcript of Ken Lay’s Spruiking has been removed from the website of Victoria Police – and the Google cache has been purged?

    The Original page is now replaced with a cryptic note that states ” You are not authorised to view this resource. ”

    Is Ken worried?

    If he is worried he’s not so bright, cos the page is in the Wayback Machine HERE and there is an archive copy too – HERE

    I do have to wonder though why the blogging police chief has become so blog shy when he so often just shoots from the hip and doesn’t care who gets hit.