Other Articles on Domestic Violence from MENZ Issues
Female Violence - the last major hidden social problem? The Hitting Home Report was enthusiastically endorsed by women's groups, particularly Women's Refuge. Their spokesperson Maria Bradshaw defended the report by claiming that 97% of the perpetrators of violence in N.Z. who come to public attention are males. The radical feminist agenda has been advanced in the courtroom by well-paid "expert witnesses" who promote pseudo-scientific theories such as Battered Woman Syndrome. Margaret Hagen points out that "Modern psychology, permeating our culture and our legal system, has convinced society that responsibility for behaviour belongs to the background and context in which it occurs, not to the individual performing the action."
If we are serious about reducing the amount of violence in our society, we need to move beyond the "abuse excuse" for women, and the blaming of men for behaviour that is common in all humans. Anti-violence programmes should be designed for couples to learn alternative methods of conflict resolution, and should be required to demonstrate their effectiveness as a condition of receiving official certification and funding.
Barbara Faithful and the CREDO Society - Interview on the Men's Hour, Access Community Radio October 1998. In 1979 three Auckland radical feminists; Joy Florence (later to become a key person with the HELP Foundation for sexual assault victims), Bronwyn Banks and Jenny Ruth wrote a book on the founding of Women's Refuge in Auckland, 'He Said He Loved Me Really'. There they made this astonishing admission: "Halfway House was conceived by some Auckland feminists as being a tactic towards our liberation." In June 1978 the NZ Woman's Weekly published their 'Battered Wife Questionnaire', with the lurid heading 'Bashed Wives Reveal Their Lives of Hidden Suffering'. Auckland psychologist (and lesbian political activist) Miriam Jackson (later Saphira) was able to eventually elicit responses from 220 women readers about their domestic violence experiences. Around 1980, as Jackson/Saphira stepped up her domestic violence activism, I telephoned and challenged her on her highly publicised but utterly baseless and nonsensical contention that "the raising of little boys had to change if domestic violence was to be reduced".
Erin Pizzey, founder of the world's first shelter for battered women, stars in a BBC video documentary: 'Who's Failing the Family?' She explains how the radical feminist takeover of her movement has harmed families.
The first item that caught my eye when I looked at the back cover of the August 98 publication from Auckland Healthcare Services Ltd was under the heading 'Family Violence Damming Statistics - lets make a difference.' The first 'damming statistic' is that 21% of New Zealand men reported physically abusing their partners in the last year. Strangely, they don't mention what you find when you ask New Zealand women the same questions. The next statement makes it clear why: "it is estimated that 95% of partner violence is committed by men." Clearly you have to be very selective about the data you consider if you want to make these kind of ideologically inspired 'estimates'. Inside the newsletter, a double page spread details the work of the Auckland Regional Zero Tolerance Campaign.
Patriarchy is Not the Cause of Violence During August 99, a long series of articles on violence in New Zealand ran in the NZ Herald. While readers learned that the 'cost' of domestic violence in this country is now over $1 billion, they didn't get much of an insight into why the problem seems to get bigger and more intractable in direct relation to the funding available to the professionals currently running the intervention industry.
Campaign Offers Abused Men Support. In 1998 Mensline undertook a national media programme in which one aspect featured a woman abusing a man. The result was numerous calls from Northland to Southland from men wanting to tell their situation and find ways of resolving the abuse to which they were subjected. The campaign revealed a lack of services for men. Lifeline director Bruce Mackie told the Herald that: "The notion that violence is a gender problem is wrong. It is a human problem."
Mensline Warns of Men's Anger, Frustration & Hopelessness. Mensline's experience is that there is a serious problem and men are not permitted to address it openly because of the official denial of its existence. One hundred reports were chosen at random from calls received by this service since Jan 2000 to July 2000. Half the calls reported concern around access, custody, relationship and family issues! There is widespread disillusionment with the Family Court system by men. Many report the experience as institutional abuse.
Violence and 'Independent' Policy Advice. In 1994 Susan Snively undertook a study for the Department of Social Welfare: 'The economic cost of family violence'. It makes extreme claims, including one that each year 37,711 women and children in New Zealand need dental treatment as a result of family violence. It also assumed that all family violence was by men against women and children. Jan Corbett wrote a piece, 'Women's Refuge now a political lobby group', published in the New Zealand Herald on 25th July this year. It contained the revealing information that, until last year, there was a Women's Refuge Foundation. This was "the fundraising branch made up of high-profile middleclass women such as economist Suzanne Snively".
Letter to the Editor, The Dominion, 13th October 2000. Your article 'Women are throwing the punches' was probably a revelation to many of your readers. For many other readers it would simply have been a confirmation of what they already know from their own personal experiences. For years New Zealanders have been bombarded by a politically motivated campaign that tells us men cause domestic violence. This message has been delivered by various parties, including the Ministries and Departments of Justice, certain politicians and university academics, and the Women's Refuges (always on the lookout for more funds).