Domestic violence awareness Australia.Domestic violence is at epidemic levels! This is the narrative currently portrayed by the mainstream media and awareness campaigns such as ANROWS, Ourwatch and White Ribbon. It makes up the bulk of throwaway lines on mainstream media discussing this current hot topic.
According to the ABS safety survey of 2016 (1)
, domestic violence victimisation rates were sitting at 1.7% for women and 0.8% men over a 12 month period. The victimisation rates have also declined since the ABS started recording domestic violence data back in 1996. Are these numbers really reflective of an issue at epidemic levels? Well, I suppose it depends on your definition of an epidemic. The Oxford dictionary definition of epidemic is; a sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon
. I’m uncertain if 0.8 – 1.7% would qualify as a widespread phenomenon. However, let’s move on.
What is happening in Australia and why is domestic violence still so prevalent in our society given all the awareness in recent years? That’s a very easy question with a very simple answer. The currently accepted reason is Men! Men are the problem.
A plethora of government-funded organisations, a mainstream media seemingly unwilling to remain impartial, bipartisan or objective, and vocal feminist activists such as Clementine Ford and Van Badham are all given mainstream platforms to spread their vitriol. They would have you believe that our males in society are all suffering a lethal dose of toxic masculinity, unable to control their desire to beat their female partners into submission and obedience. This ideological and completely unproven theory is echoed throughout social media in a nearly blind faith of religious nature.
So what is really happening?
Conflict is a natural part of the human experience. Men and women do not always agree. Women are from Venus and men are from Mars is the old adage. Sometimes, we simply want different things from life and couples can, and do, struggle to negotiate a reasonable compromise. This inevitably leads to anger and frustration, and of course conflict. These kinds of intimate-partner conflicts nearly always involve the participation of both parties; backed up by peer-reviewed scientific research conducted by Dr. Strauss (5)
. That time you called your husband a ‘useless prick’, or told your wife to ‘shut up’. Yes, you have been a perpetrator of domestic violence according to the family law act of 1975
This mutual participation of violence, known as gender symmetry, is shared and accepted throughout the scientific community that has conducted their own peer-reviewed research outside of the feminist’s doctrine.
The current Australian domestic violence framework adopts the highly controversial Duluth model, formulated by a small group of feminist advocates in 1982 in Duluth, Minnesota USA. The Duluth model uses the feminist derived notion that domestic violence is caused by the patriarchal need of a man to administer fear, to maintain power and control over his female partner. Many academics all around the world heavily criticised the Duluth model (2)
, as it failed to explain both lesbian and female domestic violence perpetration. Despite these inabilities, and the models own creator, Ellen Pence, stating she ignored her own research contradicting her theory in an epic example of confirmation bias (3)
, this model has formed the basis of nearly all western nations domestic violence framework. Completely denying men the ability to even be recognised as a potential victim, only a perpetrator.
Could this be a contributing problem?
If you are to speak to men about this topic, it’s an all too similar story. Many men that have been found guilty of domestic violence have stated that they were only responding to equal aggression from their female counterparts. Stories of men being taken away by police after having been the person that made the 000 call to report a violent partner are nearly folk lore. This would make sense, as policies formulated by Duluth state that females are the only ones capable of being a victim, and are only violent when retaliating to abuse from a man. Police domestic violence strategy is, you guessed it, based around the Duluth model of domestic violence.
Is the Duluth model giving women a get out of jail free card? Is it giving women a license to abuse? It would appear so! Albeit, unintentionally. If an innocent man is being attacked by a violent female partner, and he injures her in the process of protecting himself, the framework states that she was only attacking him out of retaliation due to unseen violence on his behalf. Even if he was to sit there and be beaten to a pulp, the framework still sees him as the abuser. This is, of course, not to say that men do not abuse women in this fashion, just that the other can and does happen far more than society is willing to accept. It’s just not recognised under the current framework.
In Australia, it is widely accepted that one woman a week is killed by their current or former partner. No one has asked men the question, why are you killing your partners? Men are in fact, completely excluded from the discussion unless of course, you share the feminists narrative that all men are bad and that this is a gendered problem. If you even dare question the feminist narrative, it results in public shaming and your career being ended. This is reminiscent of the United Kingdoms first female domestic violence shelter creator, Erin Pizzy’s, dealings with feminism.Erin found that most of the women she was housing, were just as, if not more violent than the men they left. When Erin mentioned this to other prominent feminists, she was criticised, had her car damaged, pet dog killed and ended up having to move from the country.
Would it be completely unreasonable to suggest, that quite possibly that in the age of Duluth, that some men are suffering what was commonly known as ‘battered wife syndrome’ from the turn of last century? Have our laws, attitudes, and media become so skewed in one direction, that it has given one gender ultimate power within the relationship? A man has no way out of being the perpetrator under Duluth, even if he is in fact, the victim.
Are men being driven to do the unthinkable in a time that the law, the media, and the greater society simply does not acknowledge, nor wants to, the capacity of a man to suffer at the hands of a woman? Is it all too easy to strip them of the family home, superannuation and their children in one fell swoop?
What I do know, is that the current Duluth model framework is failing men, women, and children. It has done for 40 years
. In a time that feminism describes itself as the ‘advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes
‘, a Duluth modelled framework of domestic violence is all but that.
Denying half of the population the ability to be recognized as a victim of violence of the opposite sex is the very definition of discrimination and inequality. This is everything feminism supposedly unequivocally denounces.
The silence is deafening
Domestic Violence Awareness Australia
(2) Duluth criticisms.
(3) Ellen Pence confirmation bias
Pence, Ellen (1999). “Some Thoughts on Philosophy”. In Shepherd, Melanie; Pence, Ellen. Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence: Lessons from Duluth and Beyond. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage. pp. 29–30.
(4) Domestic violence definitions – Family law act 1975
(5) Dr. Strauss research paper