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Domestic Violence system in NZ is fatally flawed !

The system run in NZ is fatally flawed as it assumes only a Battered Partner situation ( 4%) can exist and is therefore destructive to families where this is not the case. 96% of situational violence incidents do not lead to further abuse, and the opinion

A letter to the Editor
The Press NZ

Dear Sir,

Regarding the article Focus on NZ Families in Thursday May 28th 2009 edition.

It is incredulous to read statements of belief from Ms Pryor who says Our belief is that as intolerance to violence grows, it will make it less likely that another Nia Glassie will die. And from her own words this will be achieved from promoting the It's Not OK campaign, which was developed with the Families Commission leadership, funding and research in partnership with community organisations and other government agencies.

Ms Pryor is obviously unaware of the incredibly vociferous body of international work that exists to provide quality Family Interventional Programmes.  To our national shame, we ignore best practice and insist on continuing down the blind alley of not invented here or number 8 wire solutions such as the Its Not OK campaign.

The Book Family interventions in domestic violence
By John Hamel, Tonia L. Nicholls is quite clear about this.

page 219

Family violence research and intervention has become isolated from general standards of practice in social welfare, criminal justice, public health, psychology and behavioural intervention, with certifying agencies mandating training in an ineffective model based on tautological and pseudo-theory ( Dutton and Corvo ). specifically this is the DULUTH model that the Family Court system and Ms Pryors so called research is based upon.

and page 231

Unfortunately the domestic field has treated situational and characterological battering as one in the same, assuming that low level violence will escalate into severe domestic abuse ( Walker, 1979). However, the two types of violence may be qualitatively different ( Johnson and Feraro, 2000). The violence committed by family-only intimate partner abusers tends to be situational in context. In situational IPV women are as violent at least as men, although they usually do less damage.Left without intervention, most of these situationally violent marriages remain stable or de-escalate.They do not progress into characterological battery ( Dutton and Corvo, in press)

Refer to "The Duluth Failure"

The system we run in NZ is fatally flawed as it assumes only a Battered Partner situation ( 4%) can exist and is therefore destructive to families where this is not the case ( 96% ) .

Put another way, 96% of situational violence incidents do not lead to further abuse, and the opinion that it is an indicator of more violence ( especially towards children ) is incorrect for this group. Let alone the hushed up secret that Women tend to be just as violent as men in distress, which causes nothing but cognitive dissonance to academics like Ms Pryor when raised as an indicator of their faulty philosophical premise.

Ms Pryor and The Family Court appear blind to this accepted reality.  The recent attempts in NZ to replace the term Violence with Abuse so as to decrease the threshold or raise the sensitivity of the system is exactly the opposite direction that it needs to take.

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Not escaping notice also is the abysmal track record of youth suicide in this country, roughly correlating its increase, especially in young men, since the introduction of the DULUTH Model as part of the Family Court Legislative Imperative.






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The report Suicide in New Zealand I: time trends and epidemiology  in the Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 06-June-2003, Vol 116 No 1175 shows the distress increasing rate of youth suicide; and in its discussion section the author Annette Beautrais makes the following observation attributing possible causes to the possible increase in family conflict and decline in parental support associated with changes in family structures;

Other social issues such as the appearance of what are termed boy racers, young men without the male parental role model of restraint, are also anecdotally  attributable to the same source. That is, legislative intervention in family units, i.e. the removal of the male role model being its usual singular objective for fear of disciplinary abuse or some such nonsense, which is well disproved and has been for some time.  

Finding and assisting, rather than intervening with, at risk families and not punishing families in distress is surely the sensible course of action.

I feel very sorry for Ms Pryors genuine concern but terribly misguided, naive and uninformed premise for the entire operational basis of the Families Commission.

Doctorates are awarded basically in the art of Philosophy, and I emplore Ms Pryor to investigate the Utilitarian Philosophy where we simply assign numbers to concepts as a way of assigning priority of action. The overwhelming carnage to our society as a result of the DULUTH programme is a damming epitaph for A Data-impervious paradigm and a failed strategy, by Donald G. Dutton and Kenneth Corvo. The Duluth model: A data-impervious paradigm and a failed strategy

Ms Pryor, I urge you in the name of science, disband your faulty research immediately. That which is crooked and cannot be made straight.

Kick the Commission to touch as soon as possible, please Mr Key.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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