Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

When you write a column about violence against women…

When you write a column about violence against women, you can guarantee that you’ll be able to fill out a bingo card in the comments thread, just like that. You’ll almost certainly be able to fill out the second bingo card too.

Paul Sheehan has written a column about male violence against women: One Giant Scar on Mankind.

The world is engaged in a clash of civilisations, purportedly about religion, but in reality it is about the rights and freedoms of women. This is the true flashpoint of our age.

It’s an excellent column, and you should go and read it. He’s written it in support of White Ribbon Day, which is held on November 25.

But the comments are something else… some quotes, from each of comments 1, 2 and 3, in that order. (The aphorisms for each quote are mine.)

But women are violent too:

Women are the main perpetrators of violence against children.
Women also perpetrate violence against men, and other women.
Maybe we should just say that violence against anyone is intolerable.

Why don’t you worry about real problems / here’s how you should be a feminist:

I find it disturbing that womens libbers in this country who are so vocal about such things as the St Paul’s outrage, and rightly so, are strangely silent in their criticism of the treatment of and attitudes to women by Muslims, outback Aborigines and other groups favoured by liberal causes.

You’re making it all up:

One-third of women are not necessarily assaulted in their lifetime. This “statistic” is a beat-up, including incidents such as a pinched bottom as an assault. Or men exposing themselves.

I really wouldn’t bother with the comments thread, if I were you. Unless you fancy a quick round of bingo.

What about teh menz?

Cross posted

The Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Bill is open for submissions, and as is usual, the bill has been reviewed to assess consistency with the Bill of Rights Act .

The bill proposes a significant increase in police powers. Specifically, police will be able to issue orders to force an alleged offender to leave the home (remember, this is a domestic violence bill) for up to five days. In effect, it’s a temporary eviction order.

Idiot/Savant is upset about the increase in police powers. He thinks they already have enough power to deal with domestic violence, via their capacity to arrest alleged offenders, and that given the history of police in New Zealand as heavy-handed, it’s a dangerous extension to their powers to punish people, and a serious infringement of the fundamental human right to due process.
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Driftnetting is best

According to some parts of the NZ blogosphere (in the comments here), asking all women who are admitted to hospitals questions about domestic violence implies that all men are abusers. The simple act of asking a woman these questions says that the person who asks the question, or the person who causes them to be asked, thinks that the woman’s partner is abusive.

I think there’s a much more positive way to look at it.

At my local supermarket, everytime I go to the checkout with a bottle of wine, the checkout operator is required to summon the supervisor, who makes the decision about whether or not I look old enough to be legally allowed to buy alcohol. As it turns out, even a schoolkid on minimum wages who can barely string together a coherent sentence would only need to glance at me to see that I am well over the age of 18, and for that matter, well over the age of 25 (the ‘safety’ age that most supermarkets use – if you look younger than 25 you will be asked to produce ID). I have greying hair, which I don’t colour (a form of vanity in itself), a figure that shows some evidence that I have had three children, and my clothing is fairly conservative – no crop tops for me! But insisting that the checkout operator calls the supervisor means that there is no room for capricious judgement. I don’t feel insulted – it’s just the system, and an utterly impersonal one at that. And it’s a good one. It means that I can’t stand over the checkout operators and put pressure on them. Not so important in my case, given that I am legally allowed to buy alcohol anyway, but there are three secondary schools within walking distance of the supermarket, so there are plenty of kids around who might like to be able to buy alcohol. Plus no one is making personal judgements about me: they are just working within the rules that have been set up by that supermarket.

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Arresting abuse

I have been sickened by the stories of child abuse that have hit our newspapers in the last few days. At first, I could hardly bear to read them, and even after I did read them, the only way I could console myself was to hug our own little princesses, and reassure myself that they would never, ever, be treated in that fashion.

Yet they might be. Not now, while they are children, in their father’s and my care, but in the future, at the hands of their partners or the people they date.

That’s why I’m glad about the initiative to ask all women who present at hospital three questions:

* Has anybody hurt or threatened you?
* Have you ever felt controlled or always criticised?
* Have you been asked to do anything sexual that you didn’t want to do?

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