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From Bettina Arndt
Another extraordinary story this week – involving a Victorian man, Igor Rogov, who was sent to a batterer programme for re-education. Yet this only happened because Igor called the police during a violent attack by his wife. But then he ended up being thrown out of the programme because he upset his handlers by challenging the ideological claptrap they were being taught. Despite a magistrate ruling that Igor s hould be required to return to the programme, the administrators went into hiding and refused to let him come back. Amazing stuff, eh?
The ironic twist in the story is Igor is Russian, his grandfather was sent to the Gulag and tortured by the KGB. During the long period I was in contact with Igor throughout this whole saga, his regular emails, some quite hilarious, documented the many ways his “re-education” process had echoes of Stalinist totalitarianism.
I’m sure you will find this video entertaining – please help me promote it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUktWq7fFY8
It has a funny side but the heart of this story is deadly serious, exposing one of the major lies being promoted by the massive domestic violence industry. For those of you not familiar with batterer or perpetrator programmes, the most famous is the Duluth Model, based on feminist notions that men use violence within relationships to exercise power and control. The Duluth programmes are aimed at teaching violent men to change their behaviour by focussing on unequal gender power relations, teaching men about their entitlement.
There’s never any mention of the decades of research showing most domestic violence is two-way, involving male and female perpetrators. The programmes are only for men who, like Igor, are coerced into attending by magistrate’s orders.
Yet the overwhelming evidence (see attached) is that this approach simply doesn’t change violent men. A 2011 review of the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs found that “there is no solid empirical evidence” supporting they actually work.
A few years ago there was a Royal Commission into domestic violence in Victoria where promoters of Australian perpetrator programmes were challenged by some of our sensible experts who pointed out their results were lousy. So what happens? The Victorian government gave $77 million over four years for similar programmes and asked for a proper evaluation of their effectiveness. And who was put in charge of this evaluation? One of the feminist DV organisations, ANROWS, which is notorious for distorting key statistics to demonise men. The fox is in charge of the chicken pen.
There’s never any money DV programmes which address the true causes of the problem – like helping troubled couples deal with conflict without resorting to violence, or offering programmes targeting violent men and women which focus on the way drug and alcohol issues, or mental illness triggers violent behaviour.
Don’t tut-tut, take action
Now I am sure many of you will watch this video and shake your heads over this appalling waste of money. But don’t just sit there. Do something. Write to your local MP, do some homework and find out about perpetrator pr ogrammes in your area. Check out which government department is funding them and start writing to politicians pointing out they are funding programmes of no proven value, which put victims at risk and avoid the hard decisions about proper targeted approaches. Whenever these programmes are mentioned in the media, use comments sections and social media to expose what is going on. We need large numbers to start a concerted campaign on this issue – otherwise the whole thing will just keep rolling on.
More generally I’ve been thinking a lot recently about whether it is a waste of time to produce videos which highlight problems without inspiring people to actually act on proper solutions. My plan is to work to change that. Watch this space.