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Complaints against Women’s Refuge advertising upheld

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — Ken @ 4:48 pm Mon 4th October 2010

Complaints were put in to the Advertising Standards Authority About the women’s refuge print ad and their television ad that ran during their fund raising week in July.
Both complaints were upheld.
The decision of the advertising standards authority can be found here.

10/424 – Womens Refuge Newspaper Advertisement

Decision: Complaint Upheld

10/433 – Womens Refuge Television Advertisement

Decision: Complaint Upheld

Both adds claimed that one in three women live in fear and need help.


  1. Success!

    Comment by Scott B — Mon 4th October 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  2. Well done to those who made the complaints.

    Note that Woman’s Refuge (WR) refer to the “research” findings based on replications of World Health Organisation (WHO) methodology done in Auckland and Waikato, as pretty well the only basis for their ridiculous claims. I have recently published here a critique of the WHO methodology. The Advertising Standards Authority appeared to believe that the research findings were valid but merely found that they did not necessarily represent the whole of NZ. You can be sure that domestic violence industry people will now undertake similar studies in a few other NZ places so that WR can then claim the 1 in 3 figure does represent NZ generally. Unfortunately, the WHO studies are designed to extract the findings that the domestic violence industry wants regardless of any truth. It will be important to get the criticism of the WHO methods out in the public arena as much as possible. All over the world its findings are accepted by gullible public and policy makers, but in NZ we might raise awareness of the scientific weakness of the studies.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Mon 4th October 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  3. In reading the decision it is interesting to note that there is a minority presence on the board that refuted the essential part of it. It is hard to see how they could have done so with an open mind. The advertisers claim 1 in 3 women experience abuse in their lives, therefore 1 in 3 women live in fear (and so need your money). However debatable the abuse statistics may be, there is no denying the very real abuse of logic.

    If you have been assaulted at some point in your life, does that mean you must now live in fear? To anyone who says yes to this, I would recommend that they seek help. This is not normal, healthy reasoning.

    Fortunately, healthy minds prevailed on the complaints board.

    Excellent work to whoever submitted the complaint, and congratulations to the board for making a decision concordant with common sense. Kudos also for revealing the sympathies of some of the people you have to work with.

    Comment by rc — Mon 4th October 2010 @ 9:40 pm

  4. 1 in 2 men live in fear and need help too.

    The other one lives in ignorant bliss.

    Comment by amfortas — Mon 4th October 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  5. Well, perhaps not bliss.

    Comment by amfortas — Mon 4th October 2010 @ 11:01 pm

  6. Women’ Refuge is the violence in-carn-ate. I say so because I know. They destroyed my family.

    Comment by tren (Christchurch) — Tue 5th October 2010 @ 6:58 am

  7. Excellent. Heather Henare will be fuming !!! Good job.

    Comment by golfa — Tue 5th October 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  8. The Advertising Standards Authority decision re Women’s Refuge is music to my ears. I have been challenging the fraudulent use of such “statistics” by radical feminists to serve their nefarious ends for thirty years.

    The bogus “1 in 3”, or “1 in 4”, figure was used, among many other occasions, in a blanket operation of duplicity leading up to the June 1988 Telethon, along with spooky, scaremongering, shadowy images of fathers lurking in darkened children’s bedrooms etc.

    To its shame, the “statistics” were supplied to the Telethon publicist by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) whose director at the time was Dr. Max Abbott, who now has a career in AUT, and whose Deputy Director back then was Dt. Hillary Haines, later Lapsley, a lesbian psychologist and political activist.

    Just a week before Telethon, after all the notorious brainwashing, Haines was challenged about those figures, and had the audacity to admit : “Of course they are only guessing with those figures, but in a sense it doesn’t really matter. THE MAIN POINT IS THAT THEY SHOCK. (Auckland Sun, 18 June 1988)

    Then, after nearly $6M had been given for this spurious cause came a further confession about Telethon’s fraudulent nature. Lesbian activist Jenny Rankine, in an editorial in the July/August 1988 issue of Broadsheet had the nerve to admit: “Incest, sexual abuse and domestic violence were the target of all that hearty competitive fundraising. AND THE WIDELY QUOTED GUESSTIMATES OF THE AMOUNT OF FAMILY VIOLENCE WERE FEMINIST ONES. Another feminist achievement.”

    Need I say more???

    Comment by Barbara Faithfull — Tue 5th October 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  9. Sounds like you have a lot of evidence.

    Comment by Scott B — Tue 5th October 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  10. Greg Andresen has run a similar campaign in Australia, asking for Government acknowledgement that the reliable research does not back up the nature of their DV advertising campaigns and that the campaigns have been substantially misleading.

    Over a period of about one year, the Government has more or less admitted the research issues, but I believe has not admitted the substantially misleading claim.

    The people who have been making these claims have taken the first research that they have found, that appears to backup their claims. They haven’t tried very hard to read both sides of the debate and have fooled themselves. There are none so blind, as will not see!

    We seem to have similar problems, in the quality of our “judges” and also in the quality of police investigations at times.

    It does take far more time and effort, to listen to all of the sides of an argument!
    Are we being careful enough, in the way that we investigate the problems that we complain about?

    Comment by MurrayBacon - axe murderer — Wed 6th October 2010 @ 7:23 am

  11. Thank you Barbara for your insightful comments and diligent recording of events.

    Comment by Skeptik — Wed 6th October 2010 @ 11:02 am

  12. My congratulations to all who complained.Step up and take a bow.
    Well done to you.
    These people should be lauded for their stance and their victory over such an evil organisation as womens refuge.

    More more I say.
    You have my respect and admiration well done!!!

    Comment by mits — Wed 6th October 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  13. I am surprised (no, not really) that women’s refuge rely on one study made six years ago in a limited part of the country, when figures are published annually and there are any number of studies to consider (including those relating to victim gender).

    Anyone can produce any number of studies to support their argument, it doesn’t make it fact and I am pleased the Advertising Standards Authority chose to shoot these misleading advetisements down.

    It would be interesting to know who was the dissenting minority on the Advertising Standards Authority and I agree this aspect is a worry about this authority’s objectivity. The authority as an appointed public body should identify how it voted.

    Comment by Gerry — Thu 14th October 2010 @ 12:00 am

  14. Note this decision by the ASA released yesterday, a UNANIMOUS decision finding against an advertisement for an Erotica Expo showing a suggestive depiction of a woman holding a piece of melon in front of her pubic area. The feminist objection was characterized by a quote from Denise Ritchie from the “Stop Demand Foundation” who described the advertisement as perpetuating a “focus on dehumanising women and reducing them to their genitalia”. Well, fair enough, people have the right to feel offended and to complain to the ASA. But it’s telling that the ASA would be so unequivocal in finding fault with a relatively insignificant, mildly erotic advertisement when the ASA was not even unanimous in its bob-each-way finding against the Women’s Refuge misinformation campaign so clearly designed to damage the male half of the population, gender relations, family stability and social trust.

    The Stop Demand Foundation has laudable aims of reducing sexual exploitation of children, though its exclusive blame on male customers seems unfair in absolving young women from any responsibility for their sexual provocation. Adults forcing or manipulating children into being raped in the role of prostitutes is rightly seen as an abominable crime. But many younger prostitutes are sexually mature, choose to sell sex for lucrative financial returns and will dress as though they are much older. Also, the minimum legal age for prostitutes is 18, and to accuse male customers of child exploitation when hiring the services of 16 and 17 year-olds (who have reached the legal age of consent) is simply another convenient form of misandry. It is unrealistic to deny biological forces in men, to blame and punish men for failing to be controlled more by shifting political correctness than by their strong, natural urges. It is unrealistic and unfair to deny the sexual power that young women naturally have over men who are so strongly driven. Any programme to restrict men’s acceptance of young women’s sexual invitations will need to place ethical demands on both men and the young women if it is to be effective.

    A gender-equality version of the Stop Demand Foundation’s policy would extend to blaming and punishing unmarried women for becoming pregnant, rather than rewarding them with decades of easy government money. But women’s failure to control responsibly their own sexual behaviour is treated with understanding and compassion while, as usual, men’s similar behaviour is demonized and punished.

    Interestingly, the Stop Demand Foundation published this study by Ecpat NZ showing that 85% of prostitutes came from homes without their biological fathers, and concluded that “Enhancing family attachments may decrease early sexual behaviour and drug and alcohol abuse and allow healing to occur”. However, these findings did not stop the Ecpat researchers from commenting specifically on a single case in which a father was alleged to have coached a young daughter to have sex for money. And, even though the study found that most of the (adult) prostitutes had chosen to keep working because of the money, the researchers still maintained language suggesting that this was the customers’ responsibility and that the customers were “using” the prostitutes in an exploitative way. Well really, if you hire a builder you are “using” him too, probably causing more damage to his body and for a much lower hourly rate, so why is that not similarly condemned? Duplicity is rarely a problem for feminist logic.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sat 16th October 2010 @ 10:55 am

  15. Yes Hans,
    Well written.
    Duplicity IS feminist logic.
    When I read your piece I think of a friend who’s considerably younger than me.
    He’s 27 years old. He spends much of his time, energy and money chasing women for sex.
    In that sense he definitely pays for it and is a ‘john’ paying for his ‘prostitutes’ with motel rentals, meals and other payments.
    No doubt he’s part driven by his level of hormones and part seduced by the plethora of sexualised images of women which exist around him egging him on.
    I don’t intervene.
    That would be like trying to talk an drunken alcoholic into stopping drinking.
    In his case he’s kind of genitally drunk, swimming in his own brain chemistry – adrenalin in the chase, dopamine in the conquest or some such. Stuck like a hamster in his of wheel of tension – release – tension – release ad nauseum.
    I just let him do his own thing knowing the inevitable crash is coming.

    I suspect this ASA decision illustrates finally after decades of openly dissing men a few women are starting to realize that dissing men for decades is discouraging men from wanting to take care of women.Indeed it may well be creating hatred of women amongst certain men.
    That’s good.

    So now we have the ASA stopping a bit of misandry by shutting down the Womyn’s refuge advertising.
    Great, now loads of men can be a little safer in the home and get on more diligently with being wage slaves there.

    Meanwhile UNANIMOUSLY the ASA turns down the skank factor in finding against an advertisement for an Erotica Expo showing a suggestive depiction of a woman holding a piece of melon in front of her pubic area. Message given – women’s sexuality to be respected and protected.


    Less cultural pressure on men like my younger friend to drool after women and dearly pay the cost of bedding them.

    But It’s too little and far too late.
    For too long women have been drunk on the kool-aide of feminism.
    All but a handful still are, but are too grogged up on their ‘power’ to know it.
    And for too long men have and all but a handful are like my friend still to a greater or lesser extent drunk on female sexuality.

    As with the inevitable crash my young friend is in for I sense systemic crash will be the toll of years of feminism.

    Increasingly as a MGTOW I’m opting out of the whole shebang.
    It’s a matter of survival.
    The drive to survive – stronger than the sex drive.

    Comment by Skeptic — Sat 16th October 2010 @ 2:29 pm

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