Advocating for DV support for men too
Supplementary Submission to Domestic violence trends and issues in NSW (Inquiry)
by Men’s Health Australia
The Domestic violence trends and issues in NSW (Inquiry) held a closed ‘Public Forum’ (transcript here) with invited stakeholders on 18th June 2012. The One in Three Campaign was not informed that this event was to take place, nor were we invited to participate. As such we fail to see how it can be called a ‘Public Forum’! We are appalled at the apparently secretive, undemocratic process taken by this Inquiry, and have lodged a supplementary submission as follows:
The One in Three Campaign thanks the Committee for the opportunity to comment upon the deliberative process and the transcript of the round table held on on 18th June 2012.
As the content of the Committee’s Discussion Paper has not been made available to us or to the public, we are unable to respond in any meaningful way to the material in the transcript of the round table other than to say that none of the issues we have brought to the attention of the Committee were addressed.
We understand that the recommendations that were discussed at the roundtable may not be made public as they formed part of the deliberative process at the end of the Inquiry. We do however believe that the One in Three Campaign should have been considered a significant stakeholder, as we were invited by the Committee firstly to lodge a submission to the Inquiry and secondly to present to the Committee in person.
Hence, as the sole organisation participating in the Inquiry with a focus on the neglected issue of the one-third of victims of family violence who are male, we are extremely disappointed that we were not provided with the Discussion Paper nor asked to attend the round table, nor were we informed that the “public’ round table was even to occur. We are appalled that male victims of domestic and family violence and abuse had no voice amongst the 20 or so stakeholders who attended the round table.
We once again ask the Committee to acknowledge that significant numbers of male victims of domestic and family violence and abuse exist and that they are entitled to expect support from state funded agencies. We also ask the Committee to acknowledge that significant numbers of female perpetrators of violence and abuse against men, women, children and the elderly also exist. We draw the Committee’s attention to recently released figures from the Department for Child Protection Western Australia (attached) showing that women made up the greatest proportion of persons believed responsible for substantiated child maltreatment (abuse and neglect) in 2007-08. Unfortunately no other State or Territory authorities have supplied such data – which should be publicly available – since the late 1990s.
We ask the Committee to consider the attached material provided by Mensline Australia (the federally-funded 24/7 telephone counselling service for men) regarding the rights of male victims of family violence to expect the support of government-auspiced services.
We ask the Committee to recommend that state-funded domestic violence services be required to remove all barriers currently faced by male victims when attempting to access health, legal and counselling services currently available to female and children victims of domestic and family violence and abuse. To fail to do so is nothing less than sex discrimination.
We would like to point out to the Committee that this degree of government intervention was necessary in the past to require state-funded sexual assault services to see male victims.
We would remind the Committee of the dreadful impact that discrimination in access to state-funded counselling services has had upon the men who were victims of child sexual abuse covered in the recent Four Corners program on ABC television titled “Unholy Silence” (2nd July 2012). We believe the Committee has the opportunity to be a catalyst for change in an area where contemptible discrimination is occurring and that this discrimination is causing profound suffering and harm.
You can download a copy of the full submission here.
Greg Andresen has run a long slow and effective campaign aimed at forcing NSW and Federal Governments in Australia to address violence against men as well as violence against women and also to use not-misleading, honest statistics in publicity campaigns. He gives an excellent example of the power of patiently, politely and relentlessly pursuing a goal, even if this isn’t well received in Government.
I unearthed some interesting Statistics also, admittedly fom Australia – I don’t think we would be that different.
World wide the average amount of men that commit suicide is 5 per day.
Women 1.3 per day.
2009 was 1633 men and 499 women. This figure is for Australia but overall we are slightly below the world average.
And this is the reason for that.
Women and children get follow ups and men do not.
Again is comes down to being a white Anglo Saxon male between 25 and 65.
The highest rates are for males between 30 and 54 years old.
Where is our help when it is needed?
Each year in Australia 39 men are killed in domestic homicides. Another 43,700 men experience physical assault from a current partner, previous partner, girlfriend, boyfriend or date.
Media release – Thursday November 22nd 2012
The forgotten victims of family violence
‘Each night when she came from work I would be tense and nervous. I didn’t know in what way she was going to abuse me,’ says Matthew, a man who was regularly abused by his partner in his own home.
This Friday the annual Walk Against Family Violence is to take place in Melbourne culminating in the Not 1 More rally in Federation Square. This event will remember the victims and survivors of family violence, and cele brate our commitment to creating a world without violence.
But the only victims of family violence recognised by the walk and rally, supported by the Victorian Government, are women and children. None of the names to be read out at the Federation Square ceremony on Friday are those of men killed by their partner or another member of their household.
‘Anyone would think the reason is that male victims of family violence don’t exist or are few in number,’ says Senior Researcher for the One in Three Campaign, Greg Andresen. ‘The Not 1 More website lists the annual deaths from family violence as 60 women and 20 children.’
‘This is a distorted perception of the true picture of family violence. One third of adult domestic homicides are men. One third of victims of domestic assault are male,’ he says. ‘Forty five per cent of family-related child homicide incidents involve female perpetrators.’
The One in Three Campaign also provides the following sobering statistics:
Young people aged 12 to 20 are just as likely to have seen their mother/step-mother hitting their father/step-father as the reverse
One third of patients presenting with injuries from family violence at Victorian hospitals are male
Calls to Victims of Crime Helplines in Victoria by male clients increased 300% between 2009 and 2010.
In August the NSW Government Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues released their report on domestic violence trends and issues in NSW. The report found that male victims have been much less visible and able to access supports than should be the case and that the experience of males is equally as bad as that of other victims.
Mr Andresen says, ‘Let us remember the tragic deaths from family violence and continue to shine a spotlight upon the ongoing abuse behind closed doors. We call upon the rally organisers to remember all victims of family violence. Abused men like Matthew and the families and friends of the men killed each year deserve nothing less. Everyone deserves protection from violence and abuse regardless of their age, race, religion, sexuality or gender.’
Greg Andresen, Senior Researcher, 0403 813 925 or [email protected]
Download med ia release as PDF.