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Domestic Violence & Suicide

Summary
This page is focussed on Domestic Violence (DV; sometimes referred to as Domestic & Family Violence, or DFV), which is generally recognised as including psychological / emotional abuse as well as physical violence.  I also touch a little on other violence in the community, and include some observations on suicide - much of which appears to result from relationship problems (including DV), although the research on this seems to be extremely poor given the relative magnitude of the problem.
Unlike most other pages on my web site, my primary aim here is to present the existing evidence I've gathered & analysed, rather than any new ideas (it's also the longest, constantly growing page - sorry - as I keep coming across more relevant information).  Obviously this evidence should in turn inform the design of publicly-funded "human services" for addressing these problems, on which I offer some conclusions.  Yet despite the lack of originality here, I consider this one of the most important pages on my site, because it's about confronting the facts on why so many people are unhappy, and hopefully points in the direction of greater tolerance and understanding of differences, imperfections & failings, and then compassion & love for all.  However, despite this virtuous goal, I should warn that a combination of the facts & discussion - which may challenge many people's existing beliefs - plus my rather blunt Aspie-communication style, makes for a high risk of offence, especially for hard-line feminists.  It's not my intent to offend, only to present the truth as I see it, but if you think you might need a more sensitive introduction, I suggest you start by reading this.  Otherwise, dive in now to this summary & key conclusions:
  • Men & women are generally equally guilty of committing abuse in domestic relationships, although the nature of that abuse does have typical gender differences.
    • Women tend to be more psychologically abusive and men more physically aggressive, especially in extreme forms (but both genders are often guilty of either type of abuse).
    • DV in some form affects some 20-50% of relationships (depending on the type of abuse).  Men are typically half as likely as women to report abuse to authorities.
    • Contrary to feminist patriarchal doctrine, some studies indicate violence is most often caused by women's desire to control their partner, and of the roughly half of DV cases involving uni-directional violence, women are more than twice as likely as men to be the sole aggressor (as men generally avoid retaliation).
  • Women are often as likely or more likely than men to commit abuse when children are involved, especially in the context of a relationship breakdown, when many children are alienated from their other parent.
    • In Australia, of the more than 1 million children of separated parents, about a quarter see their non-resident parent (usually Dad) less than once a year (with 44% no more than 4 times a year), whilst half have no nights at all with them and almost a third eventually never see their father again.  Similarly, about 1-in-5 UK Dads experience challenges accessing their children or have completely lost contact with them, whilst in the USA & Canada, 30% of parents feel they are being alienated from a child by the other parent and about half of parents who have been alienated from their child have considered committing suicide within the last year.  Nearly half (44%) of all US children now live in a single-parent household, fifteen million, or 1-in-3, without a father.
    • The dramatic increase in "Dad-deprived boys" over the last 50 years is having disastrous consequences for society, including greater substance abuse, school failure, inter-generational mental, behavioural & relationship problems, suicide and crime (such as rape and other violence including even school shootings & terrorism).
  • Self-serving & corrupt family courts and the so-called "Child Support" agency are complicit in enabling much abuse, especially alienation of children from a separated parent.  The justice system needs drastic reform.
    • Sexism still exists amongst some "western" men (& women), but there's no evidence that this is a material cause of violence against women (and discrimination is much reduced from past decades, especially in employment, as girls are increasingly outperforming boys at school & beyond).
    • 'Mild' harassment of women may still be quite common, but an estimated 1% or less of Australian women are ever raped (implying a lot less than 1% of men are rapists, given many rapists are repeat offenders).  These rape statistics need to be reconciled to much higher claimed levels of 1-in-5 women experiencing "sexual assault or threats" (which can include mild unwanted advances).
      • To reduce the complexity, uncertainty, duration, cost & trauma of trials, rape laws should perhaps be simply and unambiguously based on requiring a verbal "no means no" (if freely able to).
      • It's worth considering potential alternatives to conventional criminal-court rules, with lesser evidence standards for some "non-violent", "civil rape" cases, but they must be fair and constitutional, to protect against material risks of false accusations.
    • Extreme cases of violence like murder are very rare (impacting about 0.01% of Australians), and do not provide useful evidence to inform actions to address the much more pervasive but milder forms of DV.
      • In Australia, about one man is killed by a partner (1 every 29 days) for every three women killed by a partner (1 every 9 days).
      • Including children - who are more often killed by mothers than fathers - there is one male victim of DV homicide every 10 days and one female victim every 6 days.
      • Whilst women killed by men are the single biggest category in DV murders, more life is lost from the total of men, children & other women killed by women.
    • Suicide kills vastly more people than murders. Men comprise 3/4 of all suicides, with over 40 Australian men suiciding in an average week (6 of 8 suicides every day).
      • Although suicide is commonly linked to "mental illness" & depression, which is a significant factor for women in particular, male suicides are more commonly linked to a range of distressing life events, with about 60% of male suicides related to relationship problems and at least one every week linked to child custody disputes.
      • The media & governments should stop ignoring suicides (which have been rising in Australia, unlike many other causes of premature death) and give greater priority to better understanding, predicting & preventing its causes.
    • Unemployment, poverty, gambling & alcohol are significant factors affecting DV, suicide & general crime, especially the disproportionately high rates in Aboriginal communities.
      • Cannabis could offer a less damaging alternative to alcohol and seems more popular with Aboriginal people, but its illegal status is currently contributing to their high levels of arrest, incarceration and disadvantage.  Therefore consideration should be given to legalising it (for everyone).
    • Many feminists are guilty of deliberately dishonest denial of these realities (because it doesn't fit their ideology of blaming everything on patriarchal control and "toxic masculinity") and of showing extreme intolerance & disrespect for alternative opinions and typical gender differences (especially inherently masculine traits), and no understanding or compassion for male problems.  The vast majority of men are naturally inclined to protect women, and Australia is the world’s safest country for women to live in, but fear-mongering has made them feel less safe than in any other OECD country.  Current feminist propaganda campaigns, including those in schools that instil fear in girls and teach boys to be ashamed of being boys, are inflaming gender wars and making things worse.  They need to be replaced with:
      • Universal programs that help people (children especially) better manage their emotions and develop respect for themselves (i.e. robust self-esteem) as well as for the differences of others.
      • Community support systems with flexible, evidence-based (data-driven) & technology-enhanced "human services" that are tailored to individual person & family needs (informed by research that needs a major improvement in objectivity and quality).
      • More efficient justice and mental health services to identify and intervene earlier in the more extreme (but less common) cases of abuse & violence affected by serious mental illness.
      • Sick-leave that provides for a broad range of difficult life events (rather than having a separate & narrow DV-leave entitlement).


    Click on the following links to pages that expand on the above points:
    And finally:
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    David Thorp,
    17 Oct 2019, 23:39
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