Ally Fogg · @AllyFogg

6th Jun 2014 from TwitLonger

.Hi Marina, thought it would be easier to address your points like this.

First of all, I think we can just agree to differ on David Futrelle's post. As I see it, the Mankind Initiative advert was just that, an advert - not a peer-reviewed report of a scientific experiment or evidence presented to a court of law. So to critique it in that way just struck me as a little excessive and silly. We all know how you make films like that - recording for several hours from multiple cameras then editing it down into a convenient narrative. I'd have thought the only rationale for the exercise would be if you wanted to deny that 'we' as a society generally react differently to male on female violence and vice versa. I don't think that's even really up for debate. But whatever, that wasn't the main issue here.

"2) Your contempt for the point Women's Aid make about the scope & type of abuse men suffer from women vs. the opposite is troubling. There is solid research to show that not only do men suffer less serious physical & psychological abuse, they are far more likely to report on the very first instance, which skews the available statistics dramatically."

I do not dispute (and never have) that male victims, as a group, experience abuse differently and the consequences are typically different. However it is not groups that experience domestic abuse but individuals, and the individuals who suffer pain, hardship, injury, terror and other dehumanising consequences of abuse include both men and women. I think both you and Women's Aid are responding to a point that neither I nor the Mankind Initiative have ever made - that male victims' needs are identical in nature and scope. We're not asking for the same resources, the same attention or whatever, just asking that victims get the help they need irrespective of gender.

Incidentally, your point about male victims being more likely to report is one of those factoids that gets repeated regularly, but I tried to track down the source once and it appeared to originate in one non-peer-reviewed, non-academic local study in Australia, and all other references just refer back to that one. If you can point me to a better source I'd be very grateful. But it is anyway beside the point, because nowhere in this discussion are we talking about reports to police (a very poor guide to prevalence) we are talking (primarily) about BCS/CSEW stats which are entirely different and obviously cannot be skewed by reports to police.

"3) You throw away comment about "charities shouldn't interfere with other charities" is bunk. Gay charities campaign against religious charities all the time. Fathers 4 Justice at various times called the women's shelters movement an industry & a hoax."

Hang on, you're not seriously holding up F4J as a model for how NGOs should behave? Apart from the fact that they are not a charity, they are riddled with bitter misogynists and behave like spoiled toddlers most of the time. As for the other example - yes, sometimes there are charities whose aims and objectives are profoundly, fundamentally opposed, but this ignores the point that WA and MI are meant to be broadly on the same side and are addressing the same issue with different client groups, indeed WA (or their federation members) actually take commissions to work with male victims.

"4) You dismiss WA's statistics as outdated or wrong but provide no alternatives. "

Oh dear, I hoped this wasn't coming! OK, you asked for. Let me go through the stats from that quoted section one by one. (Quotes from Polly Neate)

"It’s important to remember that domestic violence, the type of abuse where you are living in utter fear of your partner, isn’t a one-off incident: it’s about ongoing and repeated violence."

And yet Women's Aid's own definition of domestic violence is: "Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse"
"Women make up 89 per cent of those who experience four or more incidents of domestic violence."

This stat comes from Walby and Allen's analysis of the 2001 British Crime Survey. The most recent stats are on Appendix Table 4.12 here: but let me help you with a screengrab:

You'll see that the data is no longer categorised as 'four or more' but if you add up all the groups above 'three or more' you get 21% of male victims and 21% of female victims.

Once you get to six or more there is a significant difference (8% of male, 13% of female) but that vanishes again with the most severe - those suffering 21 times or more in a year. And again, I stress, I don't think anybody wants to argue that only 13% of female DV victims are "real" victims do we?
"It’s also really important to recognise that in the remaining 11 per cent, men are more at risk when they are in same sex relationships."

Only around 5% of BCS respondents are in same sex relationships. Even if what PN says were true (and it is unsourced, I don't know where she gets it from) it could not account for more than a miniscule proportion of the data. I must also point out that the stats for female victimisation include those abused in a same-sex relationship, and there is plenty of evidence (eg the recent cross-Europe study of DV) that shows women in same sex relationships are actually at slighty greater risk of partner abuse.

"Despite this, female perpetrators are three times more likely to be arrested than men."

This originates in a misreading of Marianne Hester's data which I discussed here. It is complicated, but the tl;dr version is that this is almost certainly because female perpetrators tend to only be arrested when there is overwhelming evidence of their immediate and severe violence. What we have here is NOT the ratio of how many men/women are arrested against how often they have committed an offence, but the ratio of how many men/women are arrested against how often a police officer decides that, on the balance of probabilities, they might have been more at fault.
"As men commit 96 per cent of all violent crime"

I have no idea where this stat comes from, it is not one I recognise but obviously this is a very difficult 'fact' to state because it depends what we mean by 'violent' and what we mean by 'crime'. Normally criminologists quote figures in the region 80%-90% of all violence being male. I think the best guide is possibly arrest figures for violent crimes. Last year there were 75,000 women arrested and 350,000 men, which is about 82%


"In conclusion: your post shows a disregard for careful analysis, & instead takes its superficial credibility from prevailing modes of so called "common sense" that are rooted in misogyny, specifically in this instance in two deeply embedded myth: a) that women lie about the amount & extent of violence we experience, & b) that feminism has 'gone too far' & that palliative organisations like shelters & charities are really a form of unfair advantage & 'reverse sexism'."

Oh please Marina.

First, I'm taking nothing from 'common sense' far less misogyny - absolutely everything I've written is rooted in cold analysis of hard evidence. In many respects it is so-called common sense that I am challenging.

Where have I said anywhere that women lie about the amount and extent of violence you experience? What I am suggesting is that at least some women are (to be charitable) mistaken about the amount of violence MEN experience. That is what we are discussing here. Nowhere have I suggested anything like this.

Where do I say that feminism has gone too far, or say anything like it?

Where have I said that palliative organisations like shelters & charities are really a form of unfair advantage & 'reverse sexism' or anything like it? I want more shelters and support infrastructure for female victims. I want every women who needs help to get the help she needs. I want to do everything we can to prevent any more women becoming victims of domestic or relationship violence. Can I say that any more clearly?

I also want more support infrastructure for male victims. I want every man in need to get the help he needs. I want to do everything we can to prevent any more men from becoming victims of domestic or relationship violence.

Will you join me in saying that?

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