MoMA Media Release
24 October 2014
VIOLENT WOMEN A PROBLEM
Black Ribbon campaigners have noticed an increase in reports of female physical violence. On the streets this month they received disclosures such as a wife throwing knives at her husband, a partner assaulting her male friend with a bat, a girlfriend trashing a boyfriend’s computer, a woman smashing her partner’s cd collection, and a mother thrashing her children.
Spokesman Kerry Bevin said that the increase in reports could be due to a greater willingness by people to disclose what has long been a hidden problem of female family violence.
“Surprisingly, women are telling us about what happens to their brothers and what their friends are doing to their boyfriends.”
“Most people recognize that women commit significant verbal and emotional violence in the home, but women’s physical violence has been downplayed and excused. It’s time we came to our senses about women’s true contribution to the whole range of family violence.”
Bevin called for women to respect men’s requests to lay off, and to refrain from haranguing and provoking men and teenage boys in particular. He wanted women to realise that non-physical forms of violence cause serious harm too.
“Violence includes spending household money without consultation, bad behaviour through excessive drinking or drugs, blaming a man for not earning enough, constant attacks on his self-esteem, and forgetting that the home is a ‘shared’ environment that also needs to reflect men’s interests.”
Bevin also labelled as violence the readiness of women after separation to plunder as much as they can of a man’s assets, to exploit him financially in an ongoing way instead of allowing a clean break, and to manipulate contact with his children.
“All these forms of female violence need to be addressed because they cause immediate harm as well as downstream violent and suicidal consequences.”
“There is hope that real reduction in family violence will be achieved as people realise that true gender equality requires both men and women to take responsibility for their behaviour.”