Monday, November 09, 2020

Briefly on partner violence being all one way...

Earlier last week Peter Williams, Magic Talk, decided to spend the morning discussing "men beating their wives". This was on the back of the Johnny Depp court case and the appointment of Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson as Minister for the Prevention of Family & Sexual Violence. His framing of the violence problem was decidely that it's a male issue. He recalled how he felt about the sickening violence portrayed in Once Were Warriors many years ago and how seemingly nothing much has changed. (I was simultaneously recalling that the author, Alan Duff, was blessed with a peaceful father but suffered a violent alcoholic mother.) 

Anyway, very quickly Williams  began receiving text after text taking him to task, and then callers describing female aggression and manipulation, a couple from grown children who had witnessed it with their mothers. A few people referenced David Fergusson's work in this area who steadfastedly maintained domestic violence is a problem with both genders.

Consequently I have been meaning to write something very brief and gather some international stats from GOVT sources ie crime surveys conducted by state agencies which canvas victim experience as opposed to police prosecutions, convictions, etc which always predominantly feature male offenders,. the type of statistics Williams was citing. Male victims generally don't report violence to the authorities.

But first, I came across this. A fact sheet from the US National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It is hard to imagine NZ's White Ribbon organisation being as even-handed in their advocacy:

1 in 4 men have been physically abused (slapped, pushed, shoved) by an intimate partner. • 1 in 7 men have been severely physically abused (hit with a fist or hard object, kicked, slammed against something, choked, burned, etc.) by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.  • Nearly 1 in 10 men in the United States has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one measured impact related to experiencing these or other forms of violent behavior in the relationship (e.g., being fearful, concerned for safety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, need for healthcare, injury, contacting a crisis hotline, need for housing services, need for victim’s advocate services, need for legal services, missed at least one day of work or school). • 1 in 18 men are severely injured by intimate partners in their lifetimes. • Male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators. Nearly half of stalking victimizations against males were also perpetrated by males. Perpetrators of other forms of violence against males were mostly female.  • From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious violence (rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault) committed by an intimate partner declined 64% for males • During the most recent 10-year period (2002-11) for which data is available, nonfatal serious violence accounted for more than a third of intimate partner violence against males (39 percent).

So to my unofficial chart:

The US numbers reflect an earlier period  (2003 to 2012) than the others (2018-19) . The percentages reflect lifetime experience. IPV is expressed in different ways in different jurisdictions so I'm not 100% satisfied apples are being compared with apples. But the consistent gender proportions lend credibility to the reporting.

Before I leave the subject, remember these two? Exhorting men to march in the streets of South Auckland and "own the issue"?

National MPs Agnes Loheni and Alfred Ngaro. Never happened. Both gone. Out of touch.

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