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Rob's letter to Rob Hulls Victoria Attorney General

Formal complaint being made to AG

The Hon. Rob Hulls
State of Victoria

From:Robert Duff
Director Cultural Harmony Institute

Dear Mr Hulls

With reference to my letter (reproduced below). In view of the fact that I have not received a satisfactory response to this letter, or indeed any response at all, I intend to make a formal complaint about the sexist language used by you and quoted below in assuming that all victims of DV are female.

I am aware that there are some very powerful lobby groups who are only concerned about DV where there are male perpetrators and female victims but your constituency is half male - dont you think you should serve them too?

Rob Duff

Letter to Attorney-General Victoria - The Hon. Rob Hulls
RE: The article of Leonie Wood dated August 13, 2007 reproduced in the Melbourne Age

With reference to this quote from you therein: "It is absolutely important that we do everything that we can to encourage women to speak out," he [Mr Hulls] said.

I would like to point out that, according the ABS Personal Safety Survey, 30.54% of criminal level assaults that occur in the home, between opposite sex couples, are cases of women assaulting men.

If you look at the 'reporting rates' you will see that men report DV at a vastly lower rate than women. It is in fact so low that the figures cannot be used for statistical purposes.

While obviously 'women' need to report DV when it occurs to them, these stats actually imply that there a much greater need to encourage reporting by men than by women.

I believe you may have fallen into a common error, that of using the terms for 'victims' synonymously and interchangeably with the terms for 'women', which unfortunately is a leftover from 'the bad old days' when DV was thought to be something only men did to women.

I suggest a thorough review of the Personal Safety Survey. It has many enlightening revelations, eg the converse of the above is that the terms for 'perpetrators' are often used synonymously and interchangeably with the terms for 'men' yet approximately one third of the people who assault women are actually other women.

Not only is it inaccurate the use of the terms for 'women' and 'victims' interchangeably, it is sexist, ie a discrimination based on sex. This is an extraordinary gaff for an Attorney-General to make. I will not make a formal complaint at this stage however I do think it is appropriate and request you to publish a 'clarification' on this point.

Robert Duff

Coordinator, Equal Parenting Movement

Co-director, Fathers4Equality

We are extremly concerened about the sort of response (In this case lack of) we are seeing from such an authority.

If you review various news articles posted on this site you can see where this is all heading. MUCH more activity needs to commence from our affiliates and collegue lobby groups both in Victoria and NSW to combat what clearly is an anti male bias in new legislation coming to the table.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity

Hulls and HREOC

I am currently seeking formal dvice from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission that using the terms for 'victim' and the terms for 'women' synonymously and the terms for 'perpetrator' and the terms for 'men' synonymously is deemed by them to be 'sexist language'.
Keep us in touch with the results Rob. Is there anything the Council can do for you to assist at this time?

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
All the best Rob. You have hit one of the problems on the head. Let me give you another example:
Lets say there was report which suggested that children from single parent homes were suffering.

Now the research agenda could be to look at that a number of ways. One way would be to examine the correlation between low incomes and happy children or step father violence and happy children. Hence one could paint a picture of children doing badly because of male violence and lack of money for women. and publicize this widely - get laws passed and MORE money.

Another way to look at this problem may be to say ' the most significant factor is that these children are being raised by women'. There would be a natural correlation - it seems on he face of it an unavoidable conclusion. The problem with this conclusion would be that its anti women (or single mothers). people would shout and complain and say 'not all single mothers are bad' 'they aren't to blame' 'you have got the whole story wrong you sexist …' 'you need to go away and do more research'

Some conclusions are much more readily accepted by society than others. (and hence the money and abuse flows)

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough

DV: Katherine Mary Knight

Has the AG ever spoken about also looking at dv where men are the victims?

Beyond the Darklands on TV this week (Seven Network, 9:30pm Monday 7 Sept 2009) was a documentary about a NSW woman - Katherine Mary Knight - who murdered, beheaded and skinned, etc a man (partner) who saw it coming and vainly tried to seek help, including from police.

One of his adult daughters said that she heard her dad say if he ran for it, she may have gone after his kids.

Perhaps the AG did or will add, and… encourage men to speak out.

But what will actually happen when they do, that reassures all that speaking out willrecieve an improved result?
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