Very interesting article – biased as can be.Â A majority of people surveyed were of the opinion that men and women are equally prone to committing domestic violence.Â Yet commentators say they are wrong, without actually citing any statistics!Â Amazing.Â Especially disturbing to me is the discussion in this article about a television public service announcement showing the angst of a father saying goodbye to his child after “visitation”.Â The article says this is “demonising” women!
Women hit in message of violence – National – theage.com.au
RADICAL men’s groups appear to be winning the propaganda war against their former spouses, with a new survey showing that one in five Victorians believes that women are just as likely as men to violently assault their partner.
Experts say that a dramatic shift in public opinion is stemming from the rise in volume of fathers’ groups who say women are as violent as men in relationships. One organisation has also said that the federally funded Mensline television advertisement could also be a factor.
Just 9 per cent had the same view in a 1995 survey.
The survey, released to The Sunday Age, follows last week’s release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics personal safety survey, which showed women were seven times more likely to be assaulted by a partner or former partner than a male assault victim.
VicHealth chief executive Rob Moodie, who commissioned the Australian Institute of Criminology survey, described the attitude shift as disturbing given that domestic violence was the leading cause of preventable death for women aged 15 to 44 in Victoria.
Dr Moodie pointed to the personal safety survey which found that 31 per cent of assaults on women were perpetrated by current or former male partners while just 4 per cent of male victims were assaulted by their female partner or former partners.
Men’s issues expert and La Trobe University academic Michael Flood said he attributed the misconception to the success of some fathers’ and men’s rights groups in describing domestic violence as gender-equal.
“There may be a reluctance to see men as the more violent sex, and an appeal in the idea of gender equality in regards to domestic violence. But the data simply doesn’t support this view,” Dr Flood said.
“Men’s and fathers’ rights groups have been pushing this myth for some time and draw on some actual research but they are very selective in that research,” he said.
Lone Fathers Association national president Barry Williams said he agreed with the premise that women and men were equally likely to perpetrate violence on a partner.
He said men were reluctant to report violence and police often failed to take action.
Danny Blay, manager of the No to Violence peak body responding to men’s violence, said that while fathers’ rights groups were partly to blame for the attitude change, the federally funded Mensline Australia television ad had a lot to answer for too, as he said it demonised women in family breakdown.
The ad depicts a father with a child, the child gives a flower and hug to the father and then a mother leads the child away. “There is no context to it,” Mr Blay said. He said it demonised women further at a time when community attitudes were skewed to believe that women instigated as much violence as men.
But the chief executive officer of the Mensline operator Crisis Support Service, Wendy Sturgess, said it accurately reflected data showing 88 per cent of under-18s lived with their mothers and that fathers suffered in family breakdowns.
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