Stop Misquoting the Internet!

Marvin Gaye heard it through the grapevine in 1968.

In 2015 we read it on the Internet so it must be true.

Sad reality is what Marvin heard in 68 is more likely to have been true than what you read in your Facebook feed today.. Social media is the new age gossip. For those who only use the Internet to check social media and their bank balance they’re missing out on so many more opportunities. If you know how to use them correctly.

The Internet is amazing. We have access to all the information we could ever want. Problem is you need to be able to determine what is real and what is not. What is evidence and what is propaganda. What is magic and what is trickery. Oh, wait….

The reason for my little rant today is the very delicate but significant topic of Domestic Violence. It’s high up there in the media and a government priority at the moment, not just because it’s on the increase and not just because people are dying. This has been happening since Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden of Eden (that’s a colloquialism not necessarily a fact hehe). It’s because the social media has given the community a voice and while the media are now able to portray the victims of these terrible crimes as powerless and the perpetrators as monsters out of control the social media community are screaming in outrage and someone has to answer to it.

The topic is complex as is any possible solution, and the emotions involved make it a highly volatile discussion whenever it’s raised. As a victim of domestic violence I find it just as difficult as the next person to keep my emotions in check when responding to anything about the topic. What I find most frustrating of all is the propaganda war that has extended from the debate and lets face it, we know most people don’t like to be told they’re wrong especially when their propaganda agrees with their argument more than your 27 academic reports into domestic and family violence that you’ve just studied and quoted from. What ever you quote is not relevant when they have their misquotes.

Today I am triggered to writing again for the first time in well over a year – may be even close to two now – by a simple quote posted as a picture in a thread about the notorious Baden-Clay case. The discussion that has extended from the domestic violence debate is the overwhelming statistics of Male violence against their Female partners and the battle to end violence against women has arisen. Sad and very real truth is that when it comes to homicides, men are and have been since these report statistics were recorded, the most likely victims. However when it comes to domestic violence involving partners or intimate relationships, women are most likely to be the victim and men are more likely to be the offender.

So what did posting this possibly do to contribute to the debate?:

internet lies 1

Knowing all the facts and figures I’ve studied on this topic I’m thinking, “that just doesn’t sound right” and searched for said report and in particular the referenced Table. What I found was not only was this statistic so ridiculously incorrect but it had come from misquoting something that wasn’t even directly relevant to the statement.

In the report that you can download and read for yourself, table three actually breaks down the male and female victim statistics into categories of domestic violence.

Within the NHMP, domestic/family homicides are sub-classified against five relationship categories. These are:

  1. Intimate partner—victim and offender are current or former partners (married, defacto, boy/girlfriend);
  2. Filicide—victim is the child of the offender;
  3. Parricide—victim is the parent of the offender;
  4. Siblicide—victim and offender are brother/s or sister/s; and
  5. Other family—including nieces, uncles, cousins, grandparents.

Table three showed that while yes men in general make up around 40% of victims the total is drastically distorted by two specific relationship categories. Siblicide and Other Family. Men in those two categories are overwhelmingly the victims however they are also the two categories with the smallest number of incidences over all.

Most domestic violence homicides occur at the hands of an intimate partner and in that category, women make up three quarters of the total of victims.

So in the context of ending Men’s violence against Women, these statistics don’t support the person’s argument at all that men are getting a raw deal and they failed completely to correctly quote the statistics, but hey it agreed with their ideal and who cares because fuck you.

The worst thing of all is the most important part of the report was entirely missed by everyone in the thread (mostly because no one would actually go and read the report just keep quoting propaganda and tell me I’m wrong because they say so).

The report was published in 2015 but the data it cites was from a ten year period prior to 2012 and in the conclusion of the report it states:

Conclusion

The purpose of this paper was to update Mouzos and Rushforth’s (2003) findings describing characteristics of domestic/family homicides in Australia from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2012. In 2003, Mouzos and Rushforth concluded that policy and other strategies targeted at preventing these homicides were warranted and this remains true today. Although homicide is declining, two in five victims are killed by a family member and these victims are most commonly partners, parents and children. It is intended that these data will support and contextualise, at a national level, the findings of jurisdictional child and intimate partner death review teams that have been initiated across Australia as well as other research currently being undertaken.

In 2003 they said policy and other strategies were warranted. 12 years later, we are still getting all promises and no policies. All punishment and no prevention.

If I called police today I would get exactly the same response as I did when I called them in 1993. You’ll need to go to the magistrate’s court and apply for a domestic violence order but if he does anything call us and we will come straight away. In 1993 straight was 15 minutes later to keep him in a holding cell for a few hours to basically give them enough time to take photos of the injuries.

In 22 years we still haven’t been able to change attitudes enough to stop propaganda. How the hell are we going to stop people from dying?

 

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