Families Commission ideologically driven
I’ve decided to forgive Simon Collins for his Preventing Violence in the Home promotion after reading his well researched Monday NZ Herald article: Domestic violence campaigners accused of bias
Two top health researchers have accused the Families Commission of “ideologically driven” bias in presenting domestic violence as a problem of men battering women.
Professor David Fergusson and Associate Professor Richie Poulton said their respective long-term studies of people born in Christchurch and Dunedin in the 1970s showed that most domestic violence was mutual.
“In a high proportion of these couples, we are seeing mutual fighting. It’s brawling,” said Professor Fergusson.
In an email to the Herald, Professor Fergusson said: “It is my frank view the commission’s stance on domestic violence is not being guided by a dispassionate and balanced consideration of the evidence.
“Rather, it is being guided by an ideologically driven model that assumes on a priori grounds that domestic violence is a male problem and that female-initiated domestic violence does not exist or is so trivial that it can be ignored in the commission’s policy focus.”
The subject was taken up on Radio New Zealand’s show ‘The Panel’ on Monday evening. You can listen to it here until Monday 20th November.
Chris Trotter said
I am very glad that these two gentlemen have raised the objection because there’s something vaguely unsettling and a rather distressing about being asked to identify yourself as some sort of reconstructed killer or batterer of your fellow human beings, and by wearing this white ribbon in a sense hurl stones at your own gender.
Who beats up on the who?… The evidence would suggest that it’s reasonably evenly balanced. Now that is completely at odds with the extreme feminist agenda of the 70s and 80s you know: “all men are rapists”… When you have a slogan like that all you do is alienate people both men and women and I think it’s been unhelpful… there is an echo of that and this White Ribbon Day.
Professor David Fergusson was interviewed by phone and said:
Domestic violence occurs almost equally amongst males and females and there are massive amounts of data to support that. What is the case however, is that as we move to the extremes, and the murder is the extreme, we find more men. But even when we are at that extreme for example it is not exclusively a male domain.
There was a review by Felicity Goodyear-Smith of domestic violence murders in New Zealand that pointed out that on average we have about 11 a year of which three are committed by females and the remaining eight by males. So I think that trying to align domestic violence with a gender blame; saying this is a male problem that males must take ownership of; is not the right sort of message that we need to be having.
Asked about his finding that more women instigate violence, Ferguson made the interesting point:
We found in both the Christchurch and Dunedin studies that woman instigates violence more frequently than men and there is a good reason for this. Men have been bought up not to hit women. Women haven’t been bought up not to hit men.