The issues of child protection and domestic violence have been hijacked by politically motivated feminist cliques, according to a coalition of men’s groups.
The claim came after an ombudsman’s report found bureaucrats guilty of “unreasonable and wrong administrative action” after failing to correct false and misleading information that promoted the idea men were overwhelmingly responsible for domestic violence.
South Australia’s Office for Women presented erroneous statistics, such as 95 per cent of domestic violence involves a male perpetrator and a female victim, the ombudsman found. Raw data show that, overall, at least one in three victims are male.
Men’s Health Australia spokesman Greg Andresen said the SA Ombudsman’s report should make the Gillard Government think twice about rolling back the shared parenting reforms introduced to family law by the Howard government — which effectively guarantee fathers some level of access to their children in the event of marital breakdown.
“The picture seems to be emerging of offices of women around the country — who advise state and federal ministers — having taken deeply feminist lines on domestic abuse and child protection,” Mr Andresen said.
“These bureaucrats have a strong feminist perspective — and that’s probably appropriate for people concerned with women’s issues.
“But the problem is that when governments roll out programs relating to children, what gets rolled out is a program for women, not one that has equal regard for men and women.
“The conventional wisdom among these people is that the only perpetrators of domestic violence are men and the only perpetrators of violence against children are men.
“There is a wealth of research that shows that men are almost as likely to suffer domestic violence or abuse.”
Laurie Nowell, Sunday Herald Sun, 12 September 2010, Section 1, page 28.