Myths and Realities or All the Facts that Fit we Print

John Coochey - A paper presented to the Australian Crime Prevention Council

Pru Goward Head of Office of the Status of Women 1997 when criticizing the Women’s Electoral Lobby for telling the United Nations that seventy per cent of police time in NSW was spent on domestic violence. She omitted to say that the figure came from the Office of the Status of Women in 1995.

“Family violence is probably the only situation where women are as or more violent than men. If men have a genetic predisposition to be violent, one would expect them to be more violent at home than their wives. Yet, an examination of violence between couples and violence by parents towards children reveals that women are as violent or more violent than men”


Graham Stockdale MA, Melbourne Australia

Such is the current state of domestic violence research and debate that it is possible to state that domestic violence is a complex, contentious and highly political issue, and still be accused of an understatement. It might also be said that there is more confusion between myths and realities in this area than just about any other social research. It is difficult to imagine an issue that has more profound implications for so many aspects of human life that we value highly: personal identity, interpersonal relationships, sexuality, family, sense of community, economic well-being, and the care and nurturing of children. Until relatively recently, the focus of domestic violence research has been on female victims and male perpetrators of violence. These foci are understandable when viewed in the context of the history of domestic violence research, but are coming under increasing scrutiny and criticism by ‘victims’ who do not fall into these categories.