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Helen has been writing at the Cast Iron Balcony since 2003. She has been a proud contributor to the Australian Group blogs Road to Surfdom, Larvatus Prodeo and Progressive Dinner Party. She's a blogger, she's a grinner, she's a mother, she's a sinner. She plays her music in the sun.

23 Responses

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  1. agnes
    agnes at |

    Veering a little off topic, but you see the same statistical gloss on articles about the increase in female-instigated violence in general. There was a headline in the SMH a few weeks ago – “30% increase in lady violence! (oh no!)!” but on reading the article it became apparent that female-instigated violence was still much less prevalent than male-instigated violence.

    I wish I could actually find the article instead of giving a (biased) summary, but it really shitted me at the time.

  2. DeusExMacintosh
    DeusExMacintosh at |

    So… men are too scared to defend themselves from domestic violence in case they get charged with it (which you mention is already happening to women). Sounds remarkably like “men are too scared to date in case they get charged with rape”?

    I wonder if the problem at the heart of domestic violence really is gender… obviously abusive same-sex relationships would be the minority of a minority, but is anyone collating domestic violence figures for them? Are men any more or less likely to use violence when their intimate victim is another man?

  3. mcduff
    mcduff at |
    I commented on this topic, in response to someone’s earlier comment, at Pollytics [see link #26 aka fredex].
    My emphasis was on the change in procedure protocol for police attending DV incidents.
    To KISS, keep it simple, for the police they were instructed to take note of all and any allegations of violence by any at the scene. To make no judgments, just defuse.
    Hence an increase in women as ‘persons of interest’.
    That is the main factor in the statistical change.

  4. SunlessNick
    SunlessNick at |

    There’s a project to open a number of domestic violence shelters for men in the UK (if they all open, it will increase the number of them by three or four times). It’s not, however, men’s groups who are doing this – it’s a feminist group. Men’s groups are more interested in closing women’s shelters or wrecking their anonymity than opening men’s shelters.

  5. su
    su at |

    There is a case of this in Dorset now. The council is closing a refuge because it doesn’t cater equally for men and because, says Anthony Wilsdon senior douchebag with said council, “We have identified a need to support more people in their own homes.” WTF? So forcing women to remain in a house with a violent partner is now official policy??

  6. hedgepig
    hedgepig at |

    Helen, great post. Thankyou.

  7. Mortisha
    Mortisha at |

    For the Daily Telegraph et al domestic violence against women is part of the boring wallpaper of life – hell no one is interested in it.

    But they jump at topics where they can use the hackneyed formula for generating webclicks …wait for it…..setting up yet another a “gender war”.

    god they are so predictable and boring.

  8. Linda Radfem
    Linda Radfem at |

    Yeah great post. There seems to be a lot of people going to a lot of trouble to construct discourse about how rough and violent women really are.
    Women are also being imprisoned at more than twice the rate of men, these days, with the number of women in the prison system doubling over the ten years leading up to 2006.

  9. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    Women are also being imprisoned at more than twice the rate of men, these days, with the number of women in the prison system doubling over the ten years leading up to 2006.

    Wait, I’m not sure that maths works out. The number of women in prison doubling doesn’t mean that they are being imprisoned at twice the rate of men. It doesn’t even mean that women are being imprisoned at twice the rate that they were 10 years ago. Absolute numbers and rates of incidence are two very different measures.

  10. Mindy
    Mindy at |

    I thought it was tongue in cheek and just the sort of crappy reporting that the Terror would run with?

  11. Linda Radfem
    Linda Radfem at |

    Those are two separate statistics, from a Community Restorative Centre training workshop I was at a couple of years ago. The figures are based on the NSW Inmate Census 2006.

  12. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    I’m frankly quite surprised at the assertion that women’s rate of imprisonment is twice that of men. For the rate of increase in imprisonment figures I would not find at all surprising, but absolute rate? I am quite skeptical.

  13. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    Linda, it appears that I am very right to be skeptical. The breakdown by gender from the NSW Inmate Census 2006 [pdf] are as follows:

    Statistical Summary

    Total persons 9775
    Male 9064 (92.7%)
    Female 711 (7.3%)

    There is no way that those figures can possibly be accurately represented as women being imprisoned at twice the rate of men.

  14. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    And here’s the gender breakdown from the NSW Inmate Census 1996 [pdf]

    Total 7691
    Male 7253 (94.3%)
    Female 438 (5.7%)

    So, the whole prison population now is greater by 9775/7691 (127%) – a 27% increase from 1996 to 2006.

    The male prison population has increased by 9064/7253 (125%) – a 25% increase from 1996 to 2006
    The female prison population has increased by 711/438 (162%) – a 62% increase from 1996 to 2006

    So while the rate of female imprisonment has increased faster than the rate of male imprisonment over those 10 years, it has not yet doubled and women are definitely not being imprisoned at twice the rate of men.

    Someone at that workshop definitely got the wrong end of the statistics stick.

  15. Linda Radfem
    Linda Radfem at |

    I just dug out the entire training package from that work shop, and the figures aren’t quite the same. I don’t have an explanation for that, but I feel that I have to say that the people who work at CRC are an amazingly dedicated bunch of people who are committed to assisting and supporting offenders and their families (in other words, women and their children), with bugger all funding and even less recognition or community support, and the work shop served to enlighten service providers about the issues surrounding offenders and the reasons behind recidivism. This helps people from severely disadvantaged backgrounds to be treated with some dignity by workers at places like Centrelink and Dept. Housing. They work hard to protect and uphold the human rights of the least empowered people in the community. Overall, women *are* being incarcerated at a faster rate than men. I thought that fact tied in with the point Helen was making in her post. I felt that I had something to add to the discussion.
    I’m sorry you felt the need to go to so much trouble to discredit not only what I said but the work of CRC, in the process. It’s really disappointing.
    I hope you enjoy being ‘right’ but I don’t think it’s the most important thing in a discussion like this.

  16. Linda Radfem
    Linda Radfem at |

    “if we are wrong, we never hear the end of it.”

    Yeah I do realise that, and it’s just been reified right here hasn’t it? And I didn’t actually say that I thought tig tog had *deliberately* set out to discredit an organisation that has been operating for over half a century, I just wanted to make the point that her mission to discredit me was also minimising the work of CRC, and the ability to google stats does not make you an expert on an issue.

    “I think someone at that workshop got things wrong!” IS dismissive of their work and a massive display of unexamined privilege.

    Here is a link:

    I’m really too upset and disgusted to participate any further here.

  17. Deborah
    Deborah at |

    I don’t see where the CRC’s work is being discredited, or where anyone on this thread, least of all Tigtog, is deliberately setting out to discredit another person at all. I’m not sure where the privilege is showing in carefully working out which claims about the imprisonment of women are plausible. Those are pretty hurtful things to say, particularly when they don’t seem to be at all justified by the previous conversation in the thread.

  18. orlando
    orlando at |

    When I read this thread, including Tigtog’s updates, last night, it made me feel proud and grateful to be in the camp where respectful, detailed discussion of the facts surrounding an issue is the way things are done, instead of generalised pronouncements and dogma. I thought: this is how we know we’re on the right side. Because we’re prepared to deal honestly and factually with our argument; unlike the anti-feminists, who deal in myth and unsupported claims. It does a huge disservice to what is most admirable here to characterise it as a “mission to discredit”.

  19. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    [this comment’s content has been transferred to a new thread so that this thread is not derailed any further ~ tigtog]

  20. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    [this comment’s content has been transferred to a new thread so that this thread is not derailed any further ~ tigtog]

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