Recently Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in conjunction with the Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women Michaelia Cash, published a press release addressing so-called “Violence against Women and ‘their’ Children”.
Needless to say, and sadly, completely as expected, despite the fact that men are far more likely than women to be victims of violence &, even if you want to limit the issue to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) only, still make up between a third and a half of all victims, there is no mention whatsoever of stopping violence against men nor any acknowledgment of the fact that they are victims of violence at all.
While we have come to expect this sort of obsession with the safety of women, and only women, from feminist gender ideologues (despite the fact that women are by far the safest demographic in our society), it is highly disappointing to see this sort of money, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, once again being spent according to the same type of unbalanced ideological thinking rather than on some sort of factual & logical analysis of the problem.
Men’s Rights Sydney have emailed Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews, Michaelia Cash, and a few other MPs, regarding this press release to ask them to comment and/or explain to us why this money is being spent in this fashion given the facts outlined above. While we don’t really expect much of a response, we feel that it is important to put our opposition regarding this on the record & have our voice heard.
If you feel the same way, I urge you to send these people your own email.
Contact for Kevin Andrews email@example.com
Contact for Tony Abbott
Contact for Michaelia Cash firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for liberal party as a whole
Editor’s note – Obviously we sent a slightly different version of this email to the few other MPs themselves. It was substantially identical though.
The email we sent is as follows…
We are writing to you to express our deep concern about the press release “Addressing Violence Against Women &their Children” announced on 27/06/2014
As statistics confirm, between 1/3 and 1/2 of all victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are male, yet any claims they make tend to be ignored or trivialized by authorities and, even if their claims are accepted, very few services exist to help them. It would seem that this initiative will further marginalize these male victims and the children they may be protecting from abuse by their mother, as it is usually the case that if a woman is abusing her husband, she is also abusing the children.
Furthermore, when it comes to general violence, women are in fact the safest demographic of all. Men are far more likely than women to be victims of violence & even children are at a higher risk, which is increased even further when male victims of IPV and their children are not given support.
Given these facts, why is the focus here on violence against women, with no mention of the group that suffer most severely?
There are several specific statements within this press release that we find particularly troubling…
“Violence and sexual assault against women and children is utterly unacceptable. Today we launch the Second Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children and send a strong, united message that violence is reprehensible.”
While we agree with this statement, again, why are male victims omitted? Why is there no mention of nearly half the people who are affected by this issue & who furthermore, already suffer from an almost complete lack of services to help them? Is violence and sexual assault against them considered acceptable? By focusing on “Violence against Women and their Children” you are not sending a “strong, united message that violence is reprehensible”, you are sending a “strong, united message that Violence against women & their children is reprehensible”, with the assumed corollary that violence against men is just fine. Is that the message you are intending to send?
Moreover, the term “Women and their children” (emphasis ours) implies that children belong to mothers & that fathers are, at best, irrelevant to the lives of children. If the father’s claims are ignored, the suffering of children is ignored. Is that what we want?
“Around $200 million has been committed to address violence against women and their children under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2017.”
How many hundreds of millions of dollars are being committed to address the far more prevalent problem of violence against men & children? As mentioned above, men are far more likely than women to be the victim of violence &, even when the issue is narrowed to just IPV alone, men still make up between one-third and one-half of the victims, so what action plan do you have allocated to help these men & the children that they protect? This press release fails to even mention them, let alone lay out a plan of action to protect them.
“• $1.7 million for the Australian Bureau of Statistics to build a more consistent basis from which to gather, analyze and use data on all aspects of violence against women and their children, including: more than $1 million for 1800RESPECT, Australia’s first national professional telephone and online counseling service, to expand its service. The new funding for 1800RESPECT is in addition to the Government’s investment of $24 million over the next four years to support existing services.”
While we applaud the effort to construct a more consistent basis from which to gather, analyze & use data, again, why the exclusive focus on the group that suffers least from violence and no mention whatsoever on the group who experiences it most? Will this new framework also better gather & analyze data on male victims of violence or is the intention to continue with the current policy of completely ignoring them?
Furthermore, will the 1800RESPECT line provide appropriate advice & victim services for male victims of IPV or will it, like many IPV “help” lines, merely refer them to perpetrator & anger management services?
“The Commonwealth Government will continue to work with States and Territories, with the business and community sectors, and across all of our society to build on the success of the First Action Plan and achieve better outcomes for women. As policy makers, we have a responsibility to ensure that perpetrators should have nowhere to hide, nor victims reason to hide.
Today we stand together as a nation and take a crucial step together to reduce violence against women and children. We still have much work to do, however the Second Action Plan is a vital step in the right direction.”
We wholeheartedly agree. Those that perpetrate violence, all types of violence, should have nowhere to hide & victims should have ample access to the support & justice that they deserve. This is exactly why we are questioning this plan. By focusing exclusively on female victims and “their” children, you are giving female perpetrators of violence ample space to hide in plain sight & sending a strong message to male victims that their victimization is not a serious matter.
For a project with a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one would expect the government to take a far more evidence-based approach on this issue. Instead it seems far more like yet another ideologically motivated waste of money.
To say that we are disappointed in this policy is an extreme understatement. We urge you to please look at the facts & allocate these resources to where the evidence shows that they are most needed and not where ideologues & ideologically motivated advocacy groups claim it is needed.