Government Gets Figures Wrong On Violence

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24th February 2009, 09:03am - Views: 952
Government Gets Figures Wrong on Violence

24 February 2009

The NSW Government's Discussion Paper on the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Strategic Framework has been criticised by a leading men's health organisation for overinflating statistics on domestic violence prevalence for female victims while understating the prevalence of male victimisation.

In a letter to the Violence Prevention Coordination Unit, Greg Andresen from Men's Health Australia details many serious errors within the Discussion Paper, including:

* Falsely claiming that the majority of assaults experienced by women are perpetrated by intimate male partners (the actual figure is 30%)
* Falsely claiming that males do not have prior experiences of violent relationships (actually 6% of males and 17% of females have prior experiences)
* Falsely claiming that males rarely experience post separation violence (actually 367,300 Australian men have experienced previous partner violence since the age of 15)
* Falsely claiming that, compared with male victims of domestic violence, Canadian women are three times more likely to be injured as a result of violence (actually similar percentages of female and male victims sustain injuries)
* Falsely claiming that, compared with male victims of domestic violence, Canadian women are five times more likely to require medical attention or hospitalisation (actually male victims of spousal violence are almost twice as likely as female victims of spousal violence to suffer major assault)
* Falsely claiming that women are over five times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men (women are less than twice as likely to be killed by an intimate partner as men are).

Men's Health Australia is calling upon the NSW Government to use the correct facts when addressing domestic violence.

"We are surprised and disappointed that the main government department dealing with domestic violence could be so misinformed about the reality of the issue, and could mislead the public so profoundly," said Mr Andresen.

"These misleading statistics could easily impact upon the funding and provision of services to male domestic violence victims across NSW. Don't all victims of violence deserve assistance whether they are female or male? Domestic violence is a community issue, and solutions are unlikely to be effective if they are based on the Government's inaccuracies. Inflated and misleading statistics only serve to create an unwarranted level of fear and alarm within the community."

Media contact:
Greg Andresen
[email protected]
0403 813 925

SOURCE: Men's Health Australia

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