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Australia and public safety

Domestic Violence

According to the most recent National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) annual report, there have been more than 6,200 homicides in Australia since data collection began in 1989–90, with one in every four cases involving the death of a victim killed by his or her intimate partner (see Chan & Payne 2013).

It is quite difficult to find a list of deaths due to domestic violence on the internet.

This one authoritative reference shows that, on average, over the past 25 years, 60 people have died every year due to domestic violence.

There is no reference to the terror and fear felt by the victims and by those who have escaped such situations. No reference to the research which shows that this is just the tip of the iceberg with statistics revealing that over 20 per cent of women have suffered from domestic violence during their lives.

There is no juggernaut of Governmental policing, investigation and information gathering to deal with this ongoing human tragedy.

There are no screaming headlines, no great election announcements, no hysteria.

Simply an acceptance that “These things happen.”

Workplace deaths

There are more workplace deaths and injuries than Domestic Violence deaths and injuries. There is a consequent larger proportion of our national wealth spent on combating these problems. I will not make any comment about the fact that there are more men involved in these statistics than in domestic violence statistics.

The lastest key ststistics I have found are in the 2014 Work Place report. To summarise – in 2014, 184 people died at work.

So we are looking at near 200 people who leave home for work in the morning and do not return that night.

Yes, there are Governmental departments which look into work-place safely and breaches of safety regulations. Yet they are always being subject to cuts in Government funding.

There are no screaming headlines, no great election announcements, no hysteria.

Simply an acceptance that “These things happen.”

Mesothelioma

Then there is the epidemic of asbestos-caused diseases:

“Recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data show that there were 606 deaths attributed to mesothelioma in 2011. It has been estimated that this number will not peak until after 2014″.

However, this epidemic was caused by one man who happened to be the father of Australia’s richest and most litigiousness woman.

There are no screaming headlines, no great election announcements, no hysteria.

Simply an acceptance that “These things happen.”

Terrorism

In 2014, New Matilda posted an article Death Down Under: A History Of Muslim Terrorism In Australia By Chris Graham. Graham says:

Real or imagined, the threat of Muslim terrorism can’t be ignored. In this NM exclusive, we bring you the shocking death toll of Australians on Australian soil at the hands of Muslim terrorists.

Zero.

This was not quite correct. There was the Broken Hill shooting in 1915 which left 6 people dead, including the two Muslims who started the killing spree.

Since then four people have died in terrorist events inside Australia.

So in 100 years, an entire century, ten people have died in Australia from terrorism.

One person a decade, or .1 of a person per year.

Billions of our dollars are being spent to stop these overly common and completely unacceptable events. Political leaders are in a lather. Millions of words are being spewed by the Main Stream Media. We are all being taught to fear the vague possibility that we may be close to such a happening. Yet we are not being taught to fear being killed at work or at home.

No! For terrorism things are different . . .

There are screaming headlines, great election announcements, hysteria.

Simply an acceptance that “These things MUST NOT happen.”

This article first appeared on Ærchies Archive – Digital Detritus and has been reproduced with permission.

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19 comments

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  1. diannaart

    I will not make any comment about the fact that there are more men involved in these statistics than in domestic violence statistics

    Well, you just did, your point being?

    Clearly we have safety issues that are being neglected by our governments while they pursue an agenda towards authoritarianism.

    Clearly, we are the mugs, if we believe Abbott and his scare campaign.

  2. Annie B

    diannaart ….

    I think the ‘point’ was fairly obvious. …. Statistics can prove just about anything, but when it comes to work place accidents and deaths, they are usually found in manual type labour workplaces e.g. building sites and construction, mechanical and technical work areas, electrical work et al – but not 100%. It is mostly men who do these jobs ( although a few women are venturing into these work places now ).

    Safety issues have always been largely ignored by the self-appointed ‘upper echelon’ … being the LNP when they have their hands on the steering wheel. … Labor tends to look more closely and successfully at these situations.

    ………..

    As far as Abbott and his scare tactics are concerned, I think we should ALL start to learn a little about terrorism, its history … and it’s effects over the last century ( don’t need to go back beyond that ). In order to debunk in our own minds, the fear he is trying to instil.

    Post WW II …. there were ‘terrorist cells’ working in London, to promote the British standing in Europe, and particularly to do with taking over Palestine. …. the idea was to rid the entire place of Jews, Poles, Czechs and anyone else who didn’t meet the standards of a group of nasties in Britain at the time. It didn’t work very well, but it was there.

    A history of terrorism can be found here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_terrorism … although of course Wikepedia always leaves its doors open for subject re-hash.

    We need to try to be de-sensitised to the Abbotts’ fear mongering, and begin to think clearly.

    To this end, this article by AIM is excellent.

  3. corvus boreus

    Annie B,
    By the same token, domestic violence (and public violence) is much more akin to definitional ‘terrorism’ than industrial ‘accidents’ caused by either inadvertant mishap or flagrant corporate exploitation of holes punched in safety regulations, and violence in the home and on the street are both much more statistically likely to be committed by males.

  4. Blanik

    As a victim of drunken female, domestic violence against my children and myself time and time again – the last resulting in my being unconscious for ten hours with head injuries – I have chosen to go no further than this comment.

    I was pleased to see that the matter of domestic/family violence was not biased against males as it usually is. Family/domestic violence is violence and all perpetrators of this behaviour should be punished. Unfortunately, this is not the case and males are always or almost always considered to be the the violent partner and there is nothing that can be done to change this. This can clearly be seen by the comment by CV.

    One in three victims of family/domestic violence are males. Why this is ignored I have no idea and as I have no intention in visiting this topic again, I don’t care. I’ve spent years fighting this in-balance and am tired of the extremely biased arguments against males. Again, thank you CV.

    Maybe, one day, violent females will face the same penalties as males, but I doubt it. It is always the fault of the male, just ask any female.

  5. corvus boreus

    Blanik,
    “It is always the fault of the male, just ask any female.”
    To state the bleeding obvious, this is a logical fallacy based on a broad and absolutely prejudicial assumption.

  6. Phi

    I share your frustrations Blanik. I’ve seen first hand the consequences of provocation, baiting and manipulation, and the results of gender bias from endless repetition of generalisations. I’ve heard and seen too much, and it makes me want to scream ‘stop it’ – but the wheels of prejudice keep turning and the system seems unable to step back and call a halt – to reset the terms. A Royal Commission into domestic violence would likely bring this nation to its knees.

  7. musicinhills

    Bitterness doesn’t help, how many women get drunk and belt their husbands nearly to death, Haven’t seen it yet,
    How many frighting males have I seen who are terrified of their wives and too frighting to go home. Never run into any yet.
    How many males have to leave in secret when the wife goes out or to work, with the kids, baby’s a lot of times,
    How many women go down to the pub when they find out there partner has gone, get pissed and cause havoc to anyone around them and belt the hell out of someone else.
    The real damage here is to the children, to be frighting of those you’re supposed to love, can you understand that, people come out of wars most times less damaged than children out of domestic violence homes.

    For a long time I wondered how it just goes on and on and nobody cares unless it’s the grand parents, we have a nut case in Sydney, raids a café shoots one bloke, and the police mistakenly kill the woman and the whole bloody country is on terror alert, while that was happening I bet there were at least 30 women being abused around Australia it you think that figure is way over the top then you have no bloody idea. If you have any real idea what happens to Aboriginal children then they should be included in this inquiry about immigrant children. Any way I am starting to sound bitter. PS there are places out side Canberra and Sydney

  8. corvus boreus

    Phi,
    In case you had not noticed, “It is always the fault of the male, just ask any female.” is a generalisation based in gender bias.
    Statistically, the most common assault in the home is perpetrated by a male upon a female, and the most common form of public assault is inflicted by a male upon another male.
    There are, of course, many exceptions within the broad minority.

  9. Rosemary Jacob

    Domestic violence is always wrong and most often the victim is female. But this is distracting from the point of the article which is that death in this country FROM TERROORIST ACTivities is a rare event by comparison with other causes of death illustrated by the other means mentioned.
    Just as Howard manufactured the Tampa incident to swing votes in his favour, so now is Abbott announcing the delivery of a policy relating to terrorism, linked with immigrants, dole bludgers and others of his bogey men.
    The important point now is to avoid making terrorism into a major subject for discussion but to be alert to the other mischief, like the TPP WHICH IS FAR MORE SERIOUS.

  10. diannaart

    @Annie B

    I am well aware of workplace deaths and injuries and the reason more men figure in these statistics – although that is changing as more women enter previously male only fields – unless we achieve superior workplace standards women will be just as at risk as men.

    Why would anyone compare these statistics which are the result of poor safety standards and possibly managerial ethics with deaths incurred by violence?

    Furthermore, more people, but again mostly men, are killed in road accidents overall.

    Rates of DV or male on male violence are not the result of accidents – they are the every day terrors. As the article stated

    So in 100 years, an entire century, ten people have died in Australia from terrorism

    Far better to compare apples with apples, was simply my point.

  11. Damo451

    I would agree to a certain extent Corvus ,but you may find this , shows that things are not so one sided as we may think.
    This is a cut and paste from an article in The Guardian 5.9.2010
    ” About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are left battered and bruised, a new report claims.

    Men assaulted by their partners are often ignored by police, see their attacker go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women, says a study by the men’s rights campaign group Parity.

    The charity’s analysis of statistics on domestic violence shows the number of men attacked by wives or girlfriends is much higher than thought. Its report, Domestic Violence: The Male Perspective, states: “Domestic violence is often seen as a female victim/male perpetrator problem, but the evidence demonstrates that this is a false picture.”

    Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.

    Similar or slightly larger numbers of men were subjected to severe force in an incident with their partner, according to the same documents. The figure stood at 48.6% in 2006-07, 48.3% the next year and 37.5% in 2008-09, Home Office statistics show.

    The 2008-09 bulletin states: “More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims.”

    In addition, “6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims”.

    Campaigners claim that men are often treated as “second-class victims” and that many police forces and councils do not take them seriously. “Male victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed upon to take the man’s side,” said John Mays of Parity. “Their plight is largely overlooked by the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge places – 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men.”

    The official figures underestimate the true number of male victims, Mays said. “Culturally it’s difficult for men to bring these incidents to the attention of the authorities. Men are reluctant to say that they’ve been abused by women, because it’s seen as unmanly and weak.”

    The number of women prosecuted for domestic violence rose from 1,575 in 2004-05 to 4,266 in 2008-09. “Both men and women can be victims and we know that men feel under immense pressure to keep up the pretense that everything is OK,” said Alex Neil, the housing and communities minister in the Scottish parliament. “Domestic abuse against a man is just as abhorrent as when a woman is the victim.”

    I was also happy to see that the article mentioned that DV was perpetrated by both sexes.
    For domestic violence to be reduced (i don’t believe it will ever be completely eradicated ) we need to have a conversation about all DV and how to to tackle it head on.
    The family home ,where most of it takes place , should be a sanctuary from the stresses and pressure of daily life ,for all who live there.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes, it is true, there are women who are perpetrators in DV. Yes the damage they cause can be great. Not sure many are physically abusive. Most used their tongue to inflict harm. There is a difference in how women offenders are treated by society. Their behaviour is not sanction by those around the, Not many men stay around, as they have the means to move out. Saying this, men do become victims of such women.

    Generally speaking, DV is about men using brute force over women, It is what is killing women and children every week.

  13. Damo451

    There are quite a few who are physically abusive Florence.
    I myself have witnessed one and heard about a number of others.
    I have a friend who was assaulted by his wife on many occasions.
    He is a rough and tough guy who can hold his own when hit by a male.
    I personally saw his diminutive wife slap ,punch and kick him on several occasions ,and he stood there and took it.
    He also put up with years of psychological abuse from her.
    He hung around for the same reasons women do .Hoping it would work out and for the kids.
    She left when the youngest of the 4 was 6 months old ,after years of abuse ,and he raised all 4 by himself for the last 17 years.
    To this day she still rings up and abuses him ,but he keeps the phone on so the kids can still talk to her ,if they want to
    Believe me it is more common than you think ,it is just flies under the radar.
    A slap across the face ,which is a common practice for quite a number of women ,is also domestic violence.
    A united front by both sexes ,against the perpetrators from both sexes is the only way to win.
    It needs to be us against them ,not men against women or women against men.

  14. Annie B

    Corvus B …. ( yours – at 7:59 pm )

    I agree totally …. and have said almost exactly the same on other threads here, and elsewhere on many an occasion.

    …… That domestic violence and public violence is tantamount to a form of terrorism.

    As is manipulative cruelty shown ( even without a hand being raised ) … to children to make them cringe in utmost fear. …. We have all lived with one form or another, of ” terrorism ” for a long loooong time.

    And yes, statistically – most of this ( physical ) violence or ‘ terrorism ‘ is perpetrated by males, but it is not confined to only males – as Blanik pointed out. … Women ( from my own personal experience, having been on the receiving end of it ) can be incredibly vicious and cruel. I will leave it at that.

  15. RosemaryJ36

    Australia and Public Safety was the title and the intent was to show how terrorist activity leading to death in Australia is so small as to be insignificant as a cause of death compared with death from violence, domestic and otherwise, workplace accidents, asbestos, etc.
    Abbott is trying to distract attention from his inability to govern by manufacturing a scare campaign.
    What we should be scared of is the TPP which may seriously undermine our ability to protect ourselves against big business.
    Abbott and his fascist mates, Hockey and Brandis for starters, are set to destroy our Lucky Country.
    They have already increased the national debt and lifted unemployment to its highest level for years.
    For all his faults, Rudd steered Oz successfully though the GFC and we still have a AAA rating which Hockey is set to destroy.
    Gillard got more done in her term than ever Abbott could have achieved and despite his disgusting antics and backstabbing from her colleagues.
    His ego is so big he keeps tripping over it.
    Anyway – don’t be distracted by Abbott and his terrorist scaremongering.
    Work on getting a change of government!

  16. Annie B

    @ diannaart …. ( at 11:24 pm ).

    Firstly, the subject of the article was ” Australia and Public Safety “. …. a very widely scoped title.
    Secondly, each subject entered into was Sub-headed.

    There was distinct irony in the writings, almost sarcasm. Each of the first 3 sub-headings ended with “Simply an acceptance that “These things happen.”, which I personally read as a well said smack at the fact that these 3 human horrors should NOT be accepted and should not be just ‘things that happen’.

    You queried “Why would anyone compare these statistics which are the result of poor safety standards and possibly managerial ethics with deaths incurred by violence?”

    There were no DISTINCT comparisons drawn on any of these 3 subjects. There was reference to more workplace deaths than domestic violence deaths … but I didn’t see that as by way of a comparison. ( Perhaps that could have been left unsaid ) .. but BOTH forms of death are horrific and should not happen.

    What the writer ( whoever it was ) was drawing a comparison with was “TERRORISM” … and how imperative it has become ( according to our esteemed leader and his band of horrors ) …. that it must NOT HAPPEN – as opposed to the other 3 which are ( very wrongly ) ‘accepted’ – ‘these things happen’.

    This was a massive sling off at the fact that the first 3 subjects are NOT taken sufficient notice of, are swept under the carpet, don’t rate a mention, nothing is done about them ….. but oh boy – “Terrorism” gets front page every time. As was noted in the second last sentence of the article :

    ____” There are screaming headlines, great election announcements, hysteria.”_____

    And that is – terrorism by illicit ( often religious ) causes, and threats by zealots or radical proponents who intend to inflict as much harm on as many people as possible. e.g. making, stashing and placing bombs to maim and destroy. THAT kind of terrorism. … “Terrorism” is the new and favoured word to be bandied about by this Government – while the first 3 terrors written about here, are outright ignored.

  17. diannaart

    I understood the title, Annie B

    That the sub-topics were sub-headed emphasises my point that there was no need to compare DV statistics to workplace accident statistics – unless the author wished to include such information in a summary at the end of the article.

    I understand the author’s point that all these topics are given far less import than ‘terrorism’. Perhaps, in future, I should preface each comment with “I have understood topic, here is what I think of some of it”.

    I appreciate all the time and effort you have placed into your interpretation of both the topic and my subsequent posts. That we do not exactly agree is part of the stimulation of commenting here.

    I have enjoyed your comments in the past, I look forward to hearing your point of view of further topics, rather than your personal view of what I may or may not be thinking.

    PS

    Sarcasm is often difficult to convey through mere printed words, your sarcasm antenna is clearly more sensitive than mine. 😉

  18. Lee

    “Maybe, one day, violent females will face the same penalties as males, but I doubt it. It is always the fault of the male, just ask any female.”

    I’m female and I acknowledge that there are men in our society who are victims of domestic violence inflicted by women. I’m in favour of equal penalties regardless of gender and also in favour of support for male victims of DV. Many male victims report being ridiculed and having their masculinity called into question if they confess to being a victim of DV perpetrated by a woman. One in three victims of DV is male and 94% of these incidents are committed by females. It’s not a rare event. 🙁

    A lesbian friend of mine told me a few years ago that the rate of DV in lesbian relationships is quite high too, but I confess I haven’t seen any stats on that.

    No one should be hitting anyone else, regardless of gender.

  19. Lee

    “Why would anyone compare these statistics which are the result of poor safety standards and possibly managerial ethics with deaths incurred by violence?”

    Perhaps because many of the workplaces where deaths occur are disasters waiting to happen. A lot of deaths in the workplace are preventable.

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