Help Change the Debate
Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 9:00AM
Dads on the Air in 2016, Discrimination, Domestic Violence, False Allegations, International Perspectives, Media Representation of Males, Misinformation, Political Activism, Relationships

With special guest:

When Bettina Arndt talked about sex on Australian national television and radio it was relatively easy to get the truth out in an area that tends to be covered up.

But our guest today must sometimes feel like a voice crying in the wilderness when she turns her attention to the domestic violence industry. It is hard to get the real story out when institutions such as the ABC and the daily newspapers generally contribute to the beat-up regarding domestic violence in our community.

Bettina has found that this important social issue is being grossly misrepresented by politicians and those who benefit from government grants. The industry, which has access to government grants in the millions of dollars, is determined to ignore evidence showing the complexities of violence in the home and avoid prevention strategies that would tackle the real risk factors.

It is so much easier to say that domestic violence is simply men attacking defenceless women. The image is powerful but it has been described by Eva Solberg, a Swedish politician, as “a tired gendered analysis” rather than a basis for going forward to deal with the issues. Based on a summary of 1700 scientific papers Ms Solberg said that we must recognise what many children already know, that in at least half of its occurrence domestic violence is carried out by female perpetrators.

The other misleading aspect is the frequent call to respond to the current “epidemic” of domestic violence. In fact according to the ABS figures violence against women has decreased across the 20 year period it has been studied.

Once you know that so many of the statements about domestic violence are going to be incorrect you see the false claims everywhere. As for example the claim that domestic violence is the leading cause for death or illness of adult women in Victoria. The real figure? Domestic violence does not rate in the top 10.

Today’s program is an opportunity to hear from an expert who does not shy away from a debate with powerful vested interests. It is a real treat to hear Bettina’s voice, the voice of clear reasoning with all the warmth and charm that has made her such a regular in all the media over many years. Most recently Bettina has been commissioned to write a series of articles for The Australian newspaper on our topic today which has never been more relevant.

Tune in to get the facts on this important social issue.

Bettina Arndt

Bettina Arndt was the Editor then publisher of The Australian Forum Magazine which led to frequent appearances on national television and radio where she is recognised as an expert on human sexuality. Bettina holds a Bachelor of Science degree from ANU and a Master of Psychology from UNSW. She has worked as a Clinical Psychologist and lectured on human sexuality to medical students and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners among other professional bodies. Bettina is the author of five books including The Sex Diaries and What Men Want - In Bed. Click here to follow her blog.

Song selection by our guest: Misty by a Central Coast Trio featuring Ian Esplin

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