The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) is usually renowned for its quality journalism, but with this article by Ursula Malone and Juanita Philips, the two clowns responsible for this dog turd of an article, have reached new depths of idiocy, the likes of which have rarely been seen outside of the casts of the more asinine reality TV shows. How supposed professional journalists can be so gullible and so lacking in basic journalistic fact-checking is completely beyond me.
This entire travesty of journalism was initiated when Tracy Howe, Chief Executive of Domestic Violence NSW, created an online petition calling for “zero tolerance” (whatever that is supposed to mean) on Domestic Violence and urging the Prime Minister to “host a national summit with state premiers and key stakeholders.”
And the reason for this? Well, according to her, Domestic Violence in Australia has reached epidemic proportions. Epidemic, she says!
I will take a moment’s pause to allow you to complete your panic attack.
According to Ms. Howe:
We need mobilisation on this and it has to come from the top. We are pleading with Tony Abbott to lead on this. I think it’s about saying for once we are going to pull together all our resources and treat this in the way we would if it was a national disaster of any kind, like a flood or a bushfire, and deal with it head on.
Wow! Sounds like a pretty serious emergency. Reports of Domestic Violence (DV) must be increasing at an absolutely alarming rate!
But wait a minute… According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research, the prevalence of DV has remained almost level since at least 2001, probably far longer. In fact, since 2001 it has actually dropped slightly, so DV is actually decreasing, not increasing. Hmmm, how strange!
OK, enough of the Socratic method.
What is going on here is nothing but yet another publicity stunt by a feminist-run DV organisation. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that (apart from certain journalists being so easily manipulated by this sort of cheap trick), the fact that they are manufacturing a crisis and using the standard false-narrative that only women are victims and only men are perpetrators, which means they are promoting their campaign by stepping on the necks of every man in Australia–and there is something wrong with that. Every time this false narrative is reinforced by this type of manufactured media crisis, it makes it more likely that society at large will view all men as violent and dangerous, and makes it that much harder for male victims to get help. The effect is subtle but cumulative.
But who cares about men, right? Certainly not Domestic Violence NSW, that’s obvious.
But that’s just the beginning, so let’s move on. Those of us who have been in the MHRM a while will recognise this next canard:
Domestic violence is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45, with more than one woman murdered by her current or former partner every week.
Yet another piece of (almost*) totally fabricated tosh that the authors swallowed whole. According to the latest available data (2003), the top 5 causes of death & disability for women 15-44 are:
- Anxiety & Depression
- Type 2 diabetes
Violence (let alone the subset of Domestic Violence) doesn’t even make the list, & since DV prevalence has actually dropped over the past decade it’s likely to be even lower down the list now than it was when these figures were collected in 2003.
The “DV is the leading cause of death in women under 45″ canard was prompted by a single, largely discredited, study conducted by VicHealth. I say “prompted by” rather than “from” because, even if you count that study as a legitimate source, it didn’t even say what they claim it says. What it actually said was:
Intimate partner violence is responsible for more ill-health and premature death in Victorian women under the age of 45 than any other of the well-known preventable risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.
…which is a long way from the leading cause of death in Australian women. But note that qualifier, “death and injury.” So any injury? Notwithstanding the fact that men are at least twice as likely to be victims of violence in general, violence in the home may be a leading cause of injury for women. But it’s also a common cause of injury among men. Leave men out and what do you get but a useless statistic?
Without knowing more about the personal opinions of the article’s authors, it’s impossible to know whether they swallowed this rubbish from Domestic Violence NSW out of an ideological bias or simply out of sheer incompetence, but either way, it doesn’t speak well of their standard of professionalism. This kind of sloppy work is flat out unacceptable coming from two so-called professional journalists. What I’d really like to see is the ABC take a stand and actually hold the authors responsible for such egregious breaches of basic journalistic ethics but, yeah, I won’t be holding my breath.
But let’s continue because the worst is yet to come:
About 2/3 of the way into the article I was briefly heartened to see the following heading:
“Calls for Shift in Focus From Women to Men”
“Finally!” I thought. They are going to mention the fact that men make up a significant proportion of DV victims too. Yeah, I know, I know. I’m a hopelessly optimistic idiot. Predictably enough, we are treated to the same old reheated tripe about how men need to take responsibility for and prevent Domestic Violence. The worst of this came from none other than the NSW Police Assistant Commissioner, Mark Murdoch who is quoted in the article as saying:
Men need to wake up to the fact that it is a men’s problem … until they wake up to that fact, nothing’s going to change.
It’s a men’s problem is it Mr. Murdoch? Then how do you explain the fact that at least 1 in 3, possibly as many as 1 in 2, of all DV victims are male, and that the overwhelming majority of these men are abused by female partners? Why is it solely men’s responsibility to “wake up” to this problem and solve it when almost 1/2 of the perpetrators are female? Why do women get a free pass when almost as many women as men are violently abusing their partners?
At first I was disappointed to hear such words come from a policeman, but that was until I found out that at his level, he is more politician than policeman. All he is doing here is parroting feminist rhetoric in order to stay out of the feminist firing line and keep his career on track. That’s some pretty cowardly behavior coming from someone who leads, and is supposed to set an example for, the people that protect us from criminals. These people risk their lives every day but Mr. Murdoch can’t even bear to risk his career prospects. He should be ashamed.
I think I know what men need to “wake up” to. They need to wake up the fact that, as far as feminists, traditionalists, and politicians like Mr. Murdoch are concerned, that thing hanging between men’s legs is not genitalia but a police badge, and by having one you are obligated to protect and serve the innocent. And by innocent, they of course mean women, no matter what any particular woman has done.
All of the evidence shows that Domestic Violence is not a gender issue but a generational issue, that men and women are equally susceptible to becoming violent to their partner(s), and that the vast majority of abusers were themselves abused as children. This fact-based message is the one that should be being promoted by people like Tracy Howe and Mark Murdoch, but instead we continually get this ridiculous ideologically-based message that only causes more fear and hatred towards men, and more neglect of male victims in genuine need.
It is this message that makes DV prevention campaigns utterly ineffective, it is this message that creates a world where male victims are referred to perpetrator-counselling services when they call a Domestic Violence hotline because there are no services available to deal with male victims, and it is this message that leaves male victims so utterly neglected and isolated that they often see suicide as their only viable option.
It’s sick, it’s hateful, and the people who perpetuate it are nothing less than bigots.
Being a sloppy journalist like Ms. Malone or Ms. Phillips is one thing, but people who cynically exploit men for their own ends Like Ms. Howe and Mr. Murdoch should be ashamed of themselves.
Editorial note: Reprinted from Men’s Rights Syndney.–DE