A whole industry has grown up around domestic abuse. Don't believe its propaganda.
November was Domestic Violence Awareness month. Truth in advertising suggests it should be Y-Chromosome Apartheid Month. Far from promoting "awareness" of a social problem or remedies for men and women with anger issues, the month is basically a radical feminist war dance around the Original Sin of maleness, cheered on by "progressive" media sympathizers.
The annual verbal pogrom will find its apotheosis in today's 19th observance of the Montreal Massacre anniversary, our Domestic Violence industry's shrine to feminism's Big Lie of male unilateralism in domestic violence.
It's awkward that the December 6, 1989 massacre of 14 women at École Polytechnique in Montreal -- unlike ritual wartime massacres of men and boys, such as the 8,000-death horror of Sbrenica -- remains a freak one-off in the west, perpetrated by a lone sociopath, with neither prequel nor sequel to suggest a pattern. But emotion, not reason or facts, drives the Domestic Violence industry.
The truth is that the more precisely identified phenomenon of "intimate partner violence" (IPV) in western culture is gender-neutral, an acting-out of psychological problems around intimacy that afflict men and women alike. IPV is initiated by both sexes in about equal proportions. Self-defence is rarely the motive for women's violence against men. Literally hundreds of peer-reviewed, community-based studies, including StatsCan's, confirm this. But they don't reach the public. (Under pressure from feminist organizations, for example, a Quebec health agency recently sequestered a commissioned psychosocial study showing men and women are equally culpable of IPV.)
But most damaging is the suppressed fact that even bilateral IPV in general is a relative rarity in our culture. A woman is more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by her spouse. IPV simply isn't the systemic epidemic that hysteria-mongering feminist organizations so shamelessly project.
Since 1980, the Quebec government has sanctioned the "fact" that 250,000-300,000 women over the age of 15 suffer IPV from their partners or husbands annually. Actually, about 14,000 Quebec women and 2,500 men annually report themselves victims of conjugal violence. Allegations deemed worthy of trial, however, are dramatically fewer in number.
Recently, the Quebec government abruptly withdrew its wildly conjectural 300,000 figure from Google-accessible circulation, after a pertinacious group of independent researchers demanded to know its source through the Access to Information Act. There was no source, of course. Yet financial allocations remain pegged to the mythical 300,000 and are exclusively awarded to women's projects.
This year, the Quebec Auditor-General's report focused an accusatory light on fiscal profligacy and lack of oversight in the women's abuse industry. Grants to abuse-related women's projects have soared from $30-million in 2002-2003 to $60-million in 2007-08. One six-bed shelter's grants in that period bounced from $58,832 to $406,817, even though the shelter only served nine women throughout 2006-07.
Almost half a million dollars to house nine women? Yet a bamboozled public believes thousands upon thousands of battered women are seeking refuge.
Reality just doesn't jibe with that picture. In 2004, the Yellow Brick House, an Aurora, Ont. shelter closed during a labour dispute. It emerged that of the eight women and three children residing there, only one woman was fleeing abuse. The others were homeless.
Exceptions, believers will say. Everyone "knows" violence against women is epidemic.
Really? Edmonton Police Service reports from 1999-2000 indicate the police responded to 3,000 domestic incidents. They referred exactly 24 women -- less than 1% -- to shelters.
That 1% figure recurs again and again. The co-ordinator of Cornwall Commmunity Hospital's Assault and Sexual Abuse Program in Cornwall, Ont. claims that "17-30% of all women treated in hospital emergency departments are victims of domestic violence." Reality check: Her own hospital's screening for abuse of 157,000 in-patients turned up only 150 IPV- related injuries (both sexes).
I'll conclude with the words of a former batterer, Linda Kinsella. When her unprovoked anger turned to rage, Kinsella used to scapegoat her disabled husband by tipping over his wheelchair and otherwise abusing him. Adding to his nightmare, the police (typically, stupidly) arrested him when called to the scene.
Therapy for Linda saved their marriage. A repentant Kinsella asks: "If women are able to do all the good things that men can do in [the] professions ... then why [do] we, as a society, deny that women can do the bad too? It is my fondest hope that someday there will be true equality in our society and that domestic violence will be seen not as a gender issue but as a societal one that will end when we work together to stop it."
Amen, brothers and sisters.
Barbara Kay "Fed on myths, preying on men." National Post, (Canada) 6 December, 2008.
Reprinted with permission of the author, Barbara Kay, and the National Post.
Barbara Kay is a Montreal-based writer. She has been a Comment page columnist (Wednesdays) in the National Post since September, 2003.Copyright © 2008 National Post
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