web analytics

The epidemic of violence against women

There’s lots of media reports lately about how so many women are dying at men’s hands, and the ‘epidemic’ of violence against women, etc. It’s certainly tragic that women are dying at the hands of men, but there’s an even bigger tragedy that no one is talking about.

I see the violence

Despite media reports making it look like more men are killing more women than ever before, it’s not actually true. The number of murders and violence each year has been decreasing over time. A year ago this article, Media blurs real murder stats, included comments that …murder rates are currently at an all time low, having dropped by 20 per cent since 1989. and …the public’s perception of murder rates may have been skewed by extensive coverage of high profile cases…

This article from Feb 2015, National murder rate hits record low, included comments that …there were 247 victims… in 2010-11 and 264 victims… in 2011-12. That works out to a national rate of 1.1 victims per 100,000 people, the lowest since the program started in 1989…

In regards to women, it says that …women continued to be over-represented as victims of intimate partner homicide, with 83 victims in the period 2010-12. It also said …victimisation of women and girls reached a historic low and remained stable across the two-year reporting period, with a rate of 0.8 per 100,000…

My first thought is, if there were 83 female victims between 2010-12, but there were 511 victims in total in that time, then that means there were 428 male victims in the same time, compared to 83 female victims. Why are these male victims not in the national dialog? Almost 84% of all murder victims are men, but we’re concerned only about the 16% who are women? That seems incredibly sexist to me. We should be focusing on the issue of violence against all people, rather than just violence against women.

Now my second thought is, if the statistics say that female victims of violence are at 0.8 per 100,000 people within Australia, then this article which says that Violence against women is at epidemic proportions in Australia is complete and utter rubbish, since ‘epidemic’ means ‘more than 15 cases (of disease) per 100,000 people within a two week period’. We’ve only got 0.8 cases per 100,000 rather than 15, and that’s spread across two years!

But again, if violence against women is at 0.8 per 100,000, and they make up only 16% of the number of victims of violence, then the remaining male victims of violence equates to approximately 4.2 per 100,000.

Such high numbers for men over two years is still not an ‘epidemic’.

And yes, there’s no dispute that men are certainly the perpetrators of violence by an overwhelming majority. But this is not an issue of male violence against women, this is an issue of male violence period, and more needs to be done to address this for all victims of male violence, not just 16% of them.

And my final thought came as I was reviewing the above for errors, and I realised that the quotes above were saying that there were 511 murder victims between 2010 and 2012, and that this equated to 1.1 victims per 100,000 but women made up 0.8 victims per 100,000. Something’s not quite right there, since their own statistics show that women make up only 16% of the total, and if that equates to 0.8 per 100,000 then the total is 5 per 100,000 with men making up 4.2. (Alternatively, if the total of 1.1 per 100,000 is true then women are actually 0.17 per 100,000 and not 0.8…)

I think there are some serious cases of misinformation and disinformation occurring, favouring this idea that women are victims of violenceviolence against women has reached epidemic proportions, and something needs to be done about violence against women.

Men are victims too, by an overwhelming majority, and they’re mostly victims of other men. At the end of the day we need to address this issue of violence. We can’t just focus on violence against women, because that gives the impression that the overwhelming amount of violence against men is something we don’t need to worry about. And that’s not something I’ll never support.

So if you want to start talking about the tragedy of violence in Australia, let’s talk about the tragedy of men dying at the hands of other men. No one’s talking about that, because all the attention is focused on the 16% of victims who are women.


UPDATE: Due to controversy in the comments, I looked for some better statistics than that based on media articles. I found some better statistics. Interestingly, the official statistics don’t seem to match that presented by the media…

Australian crime: Facts & figures: 2013

Chapter 1: Recorded crime: In 2010 there were 261 homicides, with 276 in 2011 and 297 in 2012.

In 2012, the statistics for murders were:

  • male murder victims: 1.44 / 100,000
  • female murder victims: 0.7 / 100,000
    (based on average from the table in Figure 9)

So while the official statistics are different to that presented by the media, the truth is that men are more than twice as likely as women to be victims of murder.

I continue to think it’s unreasonable to focus attention on female victims, because the very act of doing so suggests that male victims don’t matter, and that’s dangerous. By focusing attention only on female victims, policies are created to support female victims, with very little in place to support male victims.

Male victims of domestic violence can not get any support, which only goes to female victims, because only female victims of domestic violence have been discussed, and policies created to support them. Meanwhile, with men being left out of the discussion, they’re also left out of policies providing support.

If you wish to focus attention on the female minority instead of on the total, then you will only show that you’re sexist and discriminatory, and I recommend that you have a good, long, serious look at your attitude and why you think women deserve discussion and support at the exclusion of men, instead of discussing an issue that affects both men and women, with men being affected more than twice as much as women are.

Thanks for reading! Please add your own thoughts below.

Don't forget to subscribe for new posts sent to you by email!

%d bloggers like this: