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Spending money on questionable programs.

There are many topics addressed in the Manningham Community Safety Plan 2013 - 2017, but a main focus is prevention of violence against women.

Prevention of violence against women is one of the "key safety initiatives undertaken" ("Manningham Community Safety Plan 2013 – 2017", page 24). And the issue is also developed in detail in it's own separate action plan: "Prevention of violence against women strategy and action plan 2013 – 2017"

First, I would like to say that men assaulting and mistreating women is a cowardly, ungentlemanly and low thing for a man to do.

But when I read each of these Council documents there are things that then strike me as being suspicious.

For instance, whenever statistics are quoted that are less than alarming, reasons are given for the actual numbers being much larger than those quoted.

This is done twice.

"During the 2011/12 period, there were 428 reported incidents of family violence - note that family violence is often not reported to the Police, nor does this figure include people who access the family violence service provider system" (Draft Manningham Community Safety Plan 2013 – 2017, page 11.)

and again

"Since the introduction of the Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence in 2004, reporting of family violence incidents has increased, reflecting a positive step in the victims of family violence gaining confidence to access help. It is important to note that the figures below do not capture all incidents of gender based violence, but rather measure physical and sexual violence in the home. Figures are also not inclusive of data received from family violence service providers or those not accessing services at all." (Prevention Of Violence Against Women Strategy And Action Plan 2013 – 2017, page 11.)

Crime statistics are most likely to be under-stated for many types of crimes simply because we can be reasonably sure that many crimes are not reported.

So why does our council go to lengths in these two documents to point this out when dealing with statistics for violence against women but not do the same thing for any other type of crime?

I began to wonder whether Manningham Council was trying to talk the numbers up. And I began to wonder just how realistic these statistics were.

I downloaded three reports from the Federal Government websites. These were:

  • "Domestic Violence: In Search of Well-informed Policy" By Dr Robyn Seth-Purdie, 1995-96

  • "Measuring domestic violence and sexual assault against women" By Janet Phillips, 2006

  • "Domestic Violence in Australia – an overview of the issues" By Liesl Mitchel, 2011

I started reading these from the earliest to the latest. And it wasn't long before I started to notice that there was something seriously wrong.

Consider the earliest report of Dr Robyn Seth-Purdie. See section 1.4.

 

Cherry picking the statistics.

She mentions a J. Coochey who is a strong critic of what he considers bias against men in the research and reporting of family violence. He refers to a survey that he says was based on biased samples and calls into question the results of a survey because the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) criticized it for using leading questions.

Robyn Seth-Purdie responds and says that the ABS made no formal criticism of the survey that J. Coochey referred to. And this, she argues, demonstrates that criticism, like that of J. Coochey's, needs to be approached with a healthy degree of skepticism.

However, just a few pages later, in section 2.3 in her own report, we read that The Australian Office for the Status of Women commissioned two surveys of it's own. And the ABS also criticized them. It criticized the design of the questions, the lack of definitions and the sample selection techniques AND they did this formally to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee in response to a question posed by a senator.

So it was criticism AND it was formal. So what does Dr Robyn Seth-Purdie do? "Nevertheless... " she says and disregards the ABS criticism and goes on to quote and use the results of the surveys.

Are we really meant to take her findings and statistics seriously?

 

Inflating the numbers.

Note how our Council defines violence against women.

"Violence against women - intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, stalking and financial abuse, and not feeling safe in public open spaces/walking at night time." (Draft Manningham Community Safety Plan 2013 – 2017, page 12)

'Financial abuse'. Just what is financial abuse? Is telling your wife not to spend too much money an act of Violence against Women? Is restraining a wife who has problems managing money also an act of violence against women? Or is it doing something for her good and for the good of the family?

also

'not feeling safe in public open spaces/walking at night time'. If a woman walks in a public place and feels unsafe, but nothing else happens, and then informs our council, does our council record that as an instance of violence against women?

I would think that many elderly people would also feel unsafe walking at night. Would our Council also record that as an act of violence against the elderly?

And if you or I were walking at night and felt unsafe, would that be an act of violence? How do you think the police would respond if you walked into the Doncaster Police Station and reported your fears and doubts as an act of violence against you?

I get the impression that the definition of violence has been expanded to implausible extremes so the researchers can give numbers that startle and alarm.

 

On page 5 of "Domestic Violence in Australia – an overview of the issues" by Liesl Mitchell, the definition of violence is broadened to even more implausible extremes.

Under the heading of "Prevalence and types of violence" it says:

"The Australian component of the IVAWS in 2002–03 employed a broader definition of violence, measuring physical violence (including threats), sexual violence (including unwanted sexual touching) and psychological violence (including controlling behaviours such, as put downs and keeping track of whereabouts)."

 

Put downs? If a put down is an act of violence then politics, many sports, debating and often the media must be some of the most violent occupations.

This idea is, off course, nonsense. 'Put downs' are common place in many areas of life.

Would a put down be an act of violence if done by the media or a politician? Would a put down be an act of violence if it is used to stop someone doing or saying something destructive, hurtful or stupid?

I suggest these researchers grow up. Immaturity, not violence, seems to be a key issue here.

 

Keeping track of whereabouts. We often need to do this with our daughter. She has got it into her head that she is awesome and can deal with anyone. So is this domestic violence? My wife especially does this with our daughter. So is that female on female domestic violence or is it only domestic violence when I, a male, do it?

 

In this 2011 report, the above definition is described as a 'broader' definition.

And when Liesl Mitchell highlights this as a 'broader' definition you might be of the impression that Liesl is more realistic and balanced in he approach. But you would be mistaken.

Liesl Mitchell is not critical of this 'broader' definition. Instead, she goes on to use the results that flow from that definition in her report.

And her own definition of violence comprises:

"emotional abuseblaming the victim for all problems in the relationship, undermining the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth through comparisons with others, withdrawing interest and engagement and emotional blackmail" (page 2.)

There would be some men who do the things that Liesl Mitchel mentions.

But these practices are more common among which of the sexes?

I think many husbands would agree that these very behaviours are common place with women: blaming their husbands, withdrawing interest, emotional blackmail. It is often a joke among men that no matter what happens in a relationship, the husband has to accept that it it his fault. Wives often find it difficult to see themselves as the cause of the problem. 

It would appear that Liesl Mitchell is indulging in some 'projection' of her own faults onto others.

 

If women do these same things to men, then wouldn't this also be 'domestic violence'? I think it would be. Liesl Mitchell, if she is consistent, should also say it is. 

However, it is not.

Did you notice the change in the name of the field of study?

 

Moving the Goal Posts.

This field of study used to be called 'domestic violence'.

However researchers were critical of this term because it required them to also study violence that women perpetrate on men.

The field of study is now called 'Violence against women'. And because of this name change, researchers no longer need to study the violence that women perpetrate on men. They only need to study acts of violence of men against women.

Now, similar acts of violence that women perpetrate on men are simply ignored, not collected and not reported on.

I think you will agree that this is no longer objective research. It is not proper science. A lot of private and political agendas are driving this. 

As I mentioned above, definitions of violence have been broadened to encompass innocent, reasonable and/or necessary behaviour. As a result, the numbers that are compiled are subjective and dependent upon the interpretation and bias of the researcher, and cannot be relied upon. 

Also, in light of the fact that researchers seem to want to alarm people using inflated numbers, I would argue that statistics no longer serve a scientific purpose but rather are meant to serve a political purpose.

 

 

More examples of 'broadened' definitions of violence.

Consider another definition of 'violence' that Liesl Mitchell uses:

"economic abuse—controlling all money, forbidding access to bank accounts, providing an inadequate ‘allowance’, preventing the victim seeking or holding employment and taking wages earned by the victim" (page 2)

It wasn't that many years ago (in the 'dim recent' past, as these researchers call it) that these practices were considered quite normal for husbands, as the head of the house.

Even today they are sometimes necessary.

When first married, my wife had problems with money. Our bank account went from over $28K to about $5K in only a few months even though both our salaries were going into it.

I needed to find a nice way to remove the temptation. The problem was overcome by changing our banking arrangements. Some years later, I suggested to my wife that I return things as they were. She said no. You see, she knew she had a problem and privately appreciated what I did.

However, it appears that these researchers would advocate more dangerous, reckless and destructive approaches. Their ideas are dominated by the thought that married people are complete equals. Therefore any attempt to restrain the other person's excesses becomes, for them, an act of violence.

These foolish and ideologically driven notions are more likely to lead to stress, conflict and serious problems in a marriage.

There are much better ways to manage such problems than to allow one partner to run around irresponsibly while accusing the more mature partner of committing 'acts of violence'. When done properly, the old ways (that is, those from the dim and recent past) are be much better.

 

These researchers have dramatically broadened the definition of 'Violence against Women' to get the numbers they want. The broad definitions they use have left so much to the personal prejudices of the researcher, that researchers have a broad scope to make the numbers almost whatever they want.

 

Using their own figures - there is greater violence towards men.

If you look at estimates derived from raw data as presented in these reports, you will see that the incidence of violence against men is in fact larger than the incidence of violence against women. The table below is taken from the earlier 1995-96 study by Dr Robyn Seth-Purdie.

-('000)-

                                        Male                  Female

At home (inside)          16.3 (0.2%)      41.3 (0.6%)

At home (outside)        16.4 (0.2%)        8.9 (0.1%)

At another's home         5.1 (0.1%)        7.0 (0.1%)

(in)

At work/study              20.4 (0.3%)      12.4 (0.2%)

(inside)

At work/study              16.8 (0.3%)        6.2 (0.1%)

(outside)

Inside other                 23.3 (0.4%)       3.8* (0.1%)*

building

Other                        115.5 (1.8%)      40.9 (0.6%)

 

Total                           213.8 (3.3%)    120.4 (1.8%)

 

You can see from the above table that, according to their own figures, the incidence of violence against men is almost twice as high as that against women.

The researcher also warns about the accuracy of one figure. It appears in this early research they are a bit more reasonable.

"(*)indicates very small sample size: care must be exercised in interpreting data as it is subject to a higher margin of error as an estimate of the true population incidence."

 

However, over the years the higher incidence of violence against men has been ignored, the name of the field of study has been changed so researchers only need to study violence against women, the definition has been broadened to inflate the numbers.

There is a lot of dishonesty, immaturity and deceit going on in in this 'research'.

 

 

These researchers are hypocrites when it comes to what they ignore.

If you take their own definition of violence and apply it to the actions of women towards men, you would get even larger numbers - especially if you take into account the anti-social actions of many feminists towards men.

Many feminists seem to take it upon themselves to devise ways of provoking men and then smugly think to themselves that it was all the man's fault. I am sure many men have come across instances, where for no reason, women have found underhanded ways to provoke them in public.

 

Also abuse towards men has become institutionalized in the courts.

I spent a morning in the Magistrates court in Melbourne one day, not because I needed to be there, but because I wanted to see the outcome of one particular case that interested me.

Time after time, women accused of a crimes would come before a woman magistrate and she would work with the people in the court to ensure that the minimum penalty possible was applied to the accused.

In particular there were two women who got off with particularly small penalties. One was accused of receiving goods by deception. If this woman had not told a lie to police, the magistrate said she could have walked out of court without any charge being recorded against her at all.

The other woman was a chronic alcoholic, who had a long history of court appearances, spanning decades, because of driving while intoxicated. She could have been imprisoned (which she was not), she could have had her licence revoked (which did not happen because she said she needed it). Instead this woman got off with a small fine (a few hundred dollars if I recall correctly) and a stern lecture from the magistrate (which over the years had obviously made very little impact).

Then there was this man who had contacted his former wife by phone when he should contacted her through his solicitor.

The story was that she had taken over a business started by the two when they were married. She was required to sell it and divide the proceeds between the two. Some two or three years had gone by and she had done nothing to sell the business. Another man had moved in with her and they were running the business together. It appears that his former wife was using the legal system to provoke, torment and get back at her former husband.

Her former husband appears to have become frustrated with the legal process and contacted her directly.

Now at this point, the magistrate changed her tone entirely. She saw no room at all to maneuver. She simply had to apply the prescribed penalty of a $400 fine. When I looked at her, she had a smug, self-satisfied look on her face like she was the cat that just swallowed the canary. She knew full well what she was doing.

 

Manningham squanders our money and then hides this from us.

On pages 13 to 20 in the "Prevention of violence against women Strategy and action plan 2013 – 2017", nearly all the action items for the council are flagged as 'within budget'. A few items  require additional funding, but nearly all of them already have money they require - that is our rate money.

This means two things.

First, nearly all action items are fully funded, so the hypocrites, fanatics and activists can get on with it and carry out their action plans.

Second, we do not know how much of our money is being spent funding these fanatics.

The budget for 'Violence Against Women' would, most likely, be under the council objective of 'Community Spirit'. This one objective alone attracts some $9.062m out of a total operating budget of a total budgeted expense of $100m for 2013/14. The problem is that the amount allocated to 'Prevention of violence against women' is not itemized.

Our council says it is trying to be 'transparent' but this one particular expenditure is very hard to find in their documents. You would expect it to be itemized in the Annual Budget or in the Prevention of Violence against Women action plan. But try as I might, I could not find it.

 

 

More out of control council spending hidden from the ratepayers.

This is one more reason why our council rates increase at the alarming rate of 5% per year while CPI increases at only 2.7% and the cost of the repair of our roads increases at around 2.4%.

We are funding these frauds, activists and fanatics.

Prevention of Violence against women has programs at the Federal, State and Local Government levels and employs a lot of people, including many feminist activists, at all levels of government. This one issue alone gives a lot of government and council people a lifetime of easy and secure work.

 

10 Sep 2013.

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