Why free speech matters, even for those accusing firefighters of wife beating

The Greens have proven exactly why free speech, they so detest, is so important. It is by this inalienable right that we get to see the true colours of people or movements. We don’t have to like what it is said. In this case the very party that gave a platform to the individual in question has now distanced itself.

During the bushfires, these unhinged lunatics within The Greens have spoken of the government as “borderline arsonists” and promoted domestic violence advocate, Sherele Moody, who said,”Women become extremely unsafe when, generally, the men return home from the fires and subject them to domestic violence.

So instead of heaping praise on the brave souls defending lives and property, often as volunteers, Moody accuses them of being wife beaters. By that logic, maybe some of the brave female fire fighters go home to beat their husbands because cataclysmic events cause domestic violence to peak. It is a ridiculous assertion.

Has Moody got the full facts?

Let’s explore the research. According to a UK study,

“Male victims  (39%) are over three times as likely than women (12%) not to tell anyone about the partner abuse they are suffering from. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police (26% women), only 23% will tell a person in an official position (43% women) and only 11% (23% women) will tell a health professional.

The number of women convicted of perpetrating domestic abuse has increased sevenfold since 2004/05. From 806 in 2004/05 to 5,641 in 2015/16…In 2015, 119,000 men reported to English and Welsh police forces stating they were a victim of domestic abuse. 22% of all victims who report to the police are male. In 2012, 73,524 men did…

Men don’t leave abusive relationships for various reasons – the top reasons being: concern about the children (89%), marriage for life (81%), love (71%), the fear of never seeing their children again (68%), a belief she will change (56%), not enough money(53%), nowhere to go (52%), embarrassment (52%), not wanting to take kids away from their mother (46%), threats that she will kill herself (28%) and fears she will kill him (24%). 

Of those that suffered from partner abuse in 2012/13, 29% of men and 23% of women suffered a physical injury, a higher proportion of men suffering severe bruising or bleeding (6%) and internal injuries or broken bones/teeth (2%) than women (4% and 1% respectively). 30% of men who suffer from partner abuse have emotional and mental problems (47% women). Only 27% of men sought medical advice whilst 73% of women did.

The percentage of gay or bi-sexual men (6.2%) who suffered partner abuse in 2008/09 is nearly double the number for heterosexual men (3.3%). Lesbian women (12.4%) as a percentage also suffered far more partner abuse compared to heterosexual women (4.3%).

The US National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey (NIPSVS) conducted in 2010 showed that 25 million men had claimed they were victims of some form of sexual violence by an intimate partner or acquaintance. Heather Jo Flores wrote in The Independent with respect to disrespecting women, 

Men, it’s not our job to keep reminding you. Remind each other, and stop abusing. It’s as simple as that. Until men speak out against men who abuse, this will never stop. How about y’all post “I ignored it and I won’t anymore” instead? Because #hearyou doesn’t cut it. Just hearing us doesn’t cut it. Taking action, speaking out, and showing zero tolerance for abuse is the only way through. Silence enables. Be the change..So why do men need to have multiple victims come forward before anybody says a damn thing”

Flores went on to say, “Yes, I know men get abused too. Once in a lifetime, maybe a handful of times, in extreme situations. And they get abused by men, mostly. Just like us…I write this to ask: why are we still demanding that women out themselves as survivors, again and again and again, rather than demanding that men out themselves as abusers? Violence against women is a daily reality,.”

In the 12 month period conducted in the NIPSVS survey, 6.46mn women and 6.1mn men were victims of sexual violence by their partner, an acquaintance or stranger. 4.74mn women were victims of physical violence by men and 5.365mn men were victims of physical violence by women. Hardly a handful of times, nor at the hands of men.

1.555mn men claimed their intimate female partner hit them with fists or a hard object vs 1.289m women making the claim. 3.13mn men were slapped by their women vs 1.85mn women being slapped by men.

Awful stats on any measure. Still, it puts paid the notion that men are generally victims of other men once a blue moon. When it came to psychological intimidation around 20.5mn men were victims of it vs 16.5mn women.

The NIPSVS survey was conducted again in 2011 and revealed much the same trends.

Moody was foolish to say that people who sacrifice so much to save lives seek to balance their spiritual yin by bashing their partners. Anyone can see how silly her remarks were although the ABC is probably quietly kicking itself for not inviting her into the Q&A panel the other week with the rest of the radical feminists who want to kill rapists and burn things.

This is why free speech is important. Sometimes we need to get such people out in the open to undermine themselves. Her credibility is duly shot. This hopefully sends a message that the people who may seek to pick up Moody’s mantle look to use better balance when prosecuting a legitimate problem without having to smear those who are worthy of our deepest praise in the process.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

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