Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Mary-Jane

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 20
President's Paws / Update From Bettina Arndt Wed 18 April 2018
« on: April 18, 2018, 09:39:29 PM »
FROM: Bettina Arndt 18 April 2018

Hello Everyone,

Why on earth would universities choose to get involved in the messy business of determining which story to believe in a date rape case involving two students?  UTS in Sydney now has a committee of staff and students conducting investigations and recommending punishments for accused students.

The university has caved in to demands from activists and is foolishly blundering into legal territory potentially undermining proper process in what could be serious criminal matters.

For the past eight months I’ve been supporting a PhD student at Adelaide University under investigation by a similar committee after being accused of sexual assault by another student. The committee had no idea what they were doing, failing to even provide the student with full details of the accusation. I found a criminal barrister to advise the young man on how to handle the ham-fisted efforts of the committee to force him to comply with the investigation. Scary stuff for the young man given that the committee had the power to recommend the university withhold his degree.

The university ended up dropping the case and backtracking madly when the Uni’s General Counsel realized the committee was at risk of denying basic legal rights to the male student.

I’ve made a YouTube video talking to the young man about his harrowing ordeal.

I think you may find it fascinating. I hope you will help me circulate it – this is a very worrying development in our universities.

The Adelaide Advertiser is publishing a news story about all this tomorrow and an opinion piece from me. Plus I am on The Outsiders on Sky News tomorrow night with my good friends Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. I will also attach a feature to be published in Spectator Australia on Friday, which gives international context to what’s happening.

So that’s this week’s video effort. You may have noticed we posted a video from my Sky News interview with Laura Jaye. That was good fun but boy, was it hard to get the ball tampering story out there. Such reluctance to talk about men’s dangly bits!

I also want to mention The Friedman Liberty Conference, May 25-27. . This is a rare opportunity for people to get together and discuss free speech issues, including the male-bashing territory that interests me most. I’ll be speaking at the conference and hope to see many of you there. If you are booking in you can quote this Discount Code: arndt18 for a 10% discount.

I’ve been talking to the people from IPA who are doing such good work on campus freedom issues and we are considering having an informal get-together at the conference of everyone who is keen to get active promoting free speech on campuses and finding ways to take on the ideologs controlling our universities. We will announce details at the conference. 

I’ve been asked to give details of other public events where I am speaking so I thought I’d also mention a talk at the Australian Institute for Progress event in Brisbane on Wednesday, May 2. See details here: If you enter BABRIS in the “Enter Promotional Code” field you will get a cheaper deal.  It would be fun to catch up with some of our Brisbane people.

Cheers, Tina


Self-Fulfilling Fakery: Feigning Mental Illness Is a Form of Self-Deception
By pretending to be sick, people can convince themselves they really are

People who fake symptoms of mental illness can convince themselves that they genuinely have those symptoms, a new study suggests. People will also adopt and justify signs of illness that they never reported themselves when presented with manipulated answers, according to the study published online July 9 in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. Not only do the findings demonstrate that deliberately feigning illness can evolve into an unconscious embellishment of symptoms, they indicate that self-perception of mental health is susceptible to suggestion. The study has particularly serious implications for cases in which people fake mental illness to take advantage of the legal system.

"This study shows a couple ways people come to believe they have troubles they wouldn't otherwise endorse," says Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, renowned for her research on misinformation and false memories. "One way is to give them misinformation about what they reported before, but this study shows yet another kind of suggestion, which is to induce people to, in essence, lie. And it leaves them with a residual effect to keep doing so. Once you get people to report a particular symptom, like 'I have a little trouble concentrating,' even if they would never say that on their own, you turn them into someone who later on says they do have trouble concentrating."

In the new study psychologist Harald Merckelbach and colleagues at Maastricht University in the Netherlands first asked 31 undergraduates to read a story about a criminal defendant who had trespassed on a medieval building, dislodged some stones that fatally wounded a young girl, and received a charge of manslaughter. The experimenters told all participants to pretend they were the defendant in the story and complete a 75-item true-or-false self-report survey of mental health called the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS). The SIMS includes "very bizarre and extreme symptoms that most real patients would not endorse," Merckelbach says, such as hearing ever-present voices or the sensation of 1,000-kilogram weights attached to one's legs. The researchers asked one subset of the subjects to fill out the survey honestly, instructing the rest to exaggerate their symptoms in hopes of feigning a mental illness and minimizing criminal responsibility.

Once the undergraduates had completed the survey, they were asked to spend an hour on games and tasks like sudoku puzzles before completing the SIMS once again. This time, the researchers instructed both subgroups to fill out the survey honestly (although still playing the role of defendant): participants who had feigned illness were told that they had been detected as fakers and needed to complete the survey with truthful answers; the other group was told that sometimes people change their minds about their symptoms and so they should fill out the SIMS again. The group that initially reported their symptoms honestly hardly changed their answers. But the mental illness pretenders continued to exaggerate their symptoms, despite the request for sincerity.

In a second experiment the researchers asked a group of 28 different undergrads to complete the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90)—a 90-item self-report survey of general psychiatric stress, including difficulty concentrating, social anxiety, depression, sadness and panic attacks as well as somatic symptoms like headaches. Participants rated how frequently they experienced each item using a five-point scale, where 0 meant "not at all," 2 meant "occasionally" and 4 meant "all the time".

Once more, the experimenters had undergrads busy themselves with sudoku puzzles after completing the survey—but this time the researchers secretly changed some of the participants' answers while they were distracted. Specifically, the researchers manipulated two items: one about concentration difficulties and another about social anxiety, increasing low scores by two scale points or decreasing scores by two points if the participant had circled a 3 ("a lot") or 4.

Then the experimenters returned the answer sheets to the undergraduates and asked them to explain their scores on 10 items, including the two tweaked answers. Fifty-seven percent of the subjects failed to notice both manipulated answers, and more than two thirds of the subjects justified scores they had never actually reported. For example, if the researchers had switched a participant's original score on concentration difficulties from 0 to 2, the participant would explain the answer by citing an excess of coffee or anxiety about exams. The experimenters subsequently provided the participants with an abbreviated 30-item version of SCL-90 and found that on the second time around people who had justified their manipulated answers filled out the SCL-90 in the direction of the manipulation. Although this shift was statistically significant, Merckelbach and his colleagues would like to independently confirm it with more research, they noted in their study.

"If you play the role of having a disease, then at some point the symptoms may become very real to you," Merckelbach says, adding that the progression from purposefully faking symptoms to truly believing them could be exacerbated by doctor–patient relationships. "For example, when you talk about whiplash or chronic fatigue disorder, you can imagine a patient who starts out playing these symptoms, but when he is asked by a physician, 'Do you also have this or that?' and the questions are posed over and over again, the patient may lose sight of the fact the they are playing a role."

Loftus thinks the new study also shows how people can delude themselves. "The second experiment is more like the misinformation experiments I have done," Loftus said, referring to studies in which intentionally manipulative questions affected people's memory of footage from a car accident. "They don't know they are being deceived. But this study shows you can deceive yourself, too. In the first experiment, they [the participants] know they are deliberately faking. It's like a lie—a kind of a lie. But later on, they don't stop lying, even though they know they don't need to. They've deceived themselves."

Both Merckelbach and Loftus think the recent study is particularly relevant to malingering in legal procedures—when people feign illness or injury for a specific personal gain, like decreased criminal responsibility or increased financial compensation. Merckelbach drew inspiration for the study from the 20th-century Russian playwright Leonid Andreyev's The Dilemma, in which a character who malingers a disease eventually develops the symptoms that he faked. "Andreyev was the first to describe this phenomenon, and he was a court reporter," Merckelbach says. "He may have seen it with his own eyes."

Faking illness to benefit oneself can actually be a form of self-harm, Loftus says. "In some ways this is suggesting that when people get into litigation and have a motivation to act somewhat more injured than they really are to get a better settlement, they are actually harming themselves by pretending. They're becoming delusional."

Merckelbach agreed, pointing out that malingering could affect how defendants remember events as well. "A lot of perpetrators who are arrested by the police claim amnesia: Their genuine memory for the crime is undermined by faking of memory loss," he says.

"The whole area of malingering research is booming right now," Merckelbach adds, "with new instruments and tests to detect malingerers—almost an epidemic of tools and tests and tactics. I think what this study shows is that people can stick to the role of the malingerer, even when instructed to be honest. If you really want to screen malingerers, you need a test that accounts for both the intentional and unintentional components. It's not enough to have a simple self-report list because you don't know whether the person is really faking or deceiving themselves."

Loftus also sees therapeutic potential in the new study, musing on a hypothetical strategy she calls "feigning good," which could motivate patients by helping them believe in improved cognitive skills and diminished symptoms of illness. "Should clinicians be prescribing a form of feigning? You wouldn't want patients to feign anxiety, but maybe they could feign the opposite. Maybe they could feign crystal clear concentration," Loftus says.

Merckelbach thinks the idea is fascinating. "The whole idea is new to me," he says, "I didn't think of it myself…. But if it could be applied in a more therapeutic way, it might be worth doing some experiments on that."


Ferris Jabr is a contributing writer for Scientific American. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker and Outside.

General Discussion Law / Insanity defense
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:27:39 PM »
Insanity defense

The insanity defense, also known as the mental disorder defense, is a defense by excuse in a criminal case, arguing that the defendant is not responsible for his or her actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the criminal act. This is contrasted with an excuse of provocation, in which defendant is responsible, but the responsibility is lessened due to a temporary mental state.[1]:613 It is also contrasted with a finding that a defendant cannot stand trial in a criminal case because a mental disease prevents him or her from effectively assisting counsel, from a civil finding in trusts and estates where a will is nullified because it was made when a mental disorder prevented a testator from recognizing the natural objects of their bounty, and from involuntary civil commitment to a mental institution, when anyone is found to be gravely disabled or to be a danger to themselves or to others.[1]:613

Exemption from full criminal punishment on such grounds dates back to at least the Code of Hammurabi.[2] Legal definitions of insanity or mental disorder are varied, and include the M'Naghten Rule, the Durham rule, the 1953 British Royal Commission on Capital Punishment report, the ALI rule (American Legal Institute Model Penal Code rule), and other provisions, often relating to a lack of mens rea ("guilty mind").[1]:613–635[3] In the criminal laws of Australia and Canada, statutory legislation enshrines the M'Naghten Rules, with the terms defense of mental disorder, defense of mental illness or not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder employed. Being incapable of distinguishing right from wrong is one basis for being found to be legally insane as a criminal defense.[1] It originated in the M'Naghten Rule, and has been reinterpreted and modernized through more recent cases, such as People v. Serravo.[1]:615–625

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States, use of the defense is rare;[4] however, since the Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991,[5] insanity pleas have steadily increased in the UK.[6] Mitigating factors, including things not eligible for the insanity defense such as intoxication[7] (or, more frequently, diminished capacity), may lead to reduced charges or reduced sentences.

The defense is based on evaluations by forensic mental health professionals with the appropriate test according to the jurisdiction. Their testimony guides the jury, but they are not allowed to testify to the accused's criminal responsibility, as this is a matter for the jury to decide. Similarly, mental health practitioners are restrained from making a judgment on the issue of whether the defendant is or is not insane or what is known as the "ultimate issue".[8]

Some jurisdictions require the evaluation to address the defendant's ability to control their behavior at the time of the offense (the volitional limb). A defendant claiming the defense is pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity" (NGRI) or "guilty but insane or mentally ill" in some jurisdictions which, if successful, may result in the defendant being committed to a psychiatric facility for an indeterminate period.

General Discussion Law / The mental disorder defence
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:23:46 PM »
The mental disorder defence
Sunday 7 June 2015 5:05PM

In 1843 Daniel M'Naghten shot and killed the Prime Minister of England’s private secretary—mistaking him for the Prime Minister. M'Naghten was under the delusion that he was being persecuted by the British government. This story provides the basis of a defence on the grounds of mental disorder in our modern law.

We examine when and how mental impairment influences whether one is found guilty by the legal system and if the symptoms of mental illness are sometimes faked for a better outcome.

General Discussion Law / Citizens Advice Bureau Western Australia
« on: April 18, 2018, 11:48:45 AM »
Citizens Advice Bureau Western Australia


To connect people with information and services so they can make independent and informed decisions.

Get Legal Advice

We provide a low-cost legal advice service on a wide range of issues and prepare various simple legal documents. Legal Appointments are available at our Perth head office and our branches throughout Perth metropolitan area and the South West.

Our staff can provide information, referral and simple legal advice on a broad range of issues.
Please note that if our legal appointments are fully booked we can offer appropriate information and referral.

Areas we cover

    Family law – including divorce, children's and property matters
    Consumer law
    Criminal law
    Dividing Fences
    Employment law
    Equal Opportunity law
    Housing and Tenancy
    Insurance law
    Land Sales
    Personal injury (including criminal injuries compensation)
    Property law
    Traffic Accidents
    Workers Compensation


How to book an appointment
To book an appointment at our Perth office, call (08) 9221 5711 between 9:30am-4pm Monday-Friday (excluding Public Holidays).

Appointments with our lawyers last for 20 minutes. There are a limited number of appointments available,  so it’s a good idea to call as early as you can when the lines open. Appointments are released 14 days in advance. We may not always have an appointment available for the area of law that you require - if that's the case, we'll do our best to refer you to someone else who may be able to help you.

Legal appointments are also available in our branches across Western Australia.   For more information, please contact the branch you would like to attend directly. Please note that not all of our services are are available in all of our branches.

We can only make an appointment with the person that will be attending the appointment - we are unable to make appointments on behalf of someone else.

We do not operate a waiting list for appointment cancellations.

If you can't attend your appointment, please cancel it as soon as you can.

2 Hobbs Drive
(08) 9497 5311
Email CAB Armadale

Coordinators - Kerrie Schilling
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans  - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Justice of the Peace - Wednesday & Thursday 10.30am to 1.30pm

1 Stirling Street
(08) 9721 6008
Email CAB Bunbury

Coordinator -  Lou Milordis & Ingrid Franklin
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 1.00pm           
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - by appointment

Unit G4, 19 Cammilleri Street
(08) 9751 1199
Email CAB Busselton

Coordinator - Elena Mauen
Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10.00am to 1.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Service - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

Shop 41, 13 Cantonment Street
(08) 9335 4522
Email CAB Fremantle

Coordinator - Pat Baxter
Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 3.00pm
Friday 9.30am to 2.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Suite 5, Lotteries House
70 Davidson Terrace
(08) 9301 2833
Email CAB Joondalup

Coordinator - Diane Cook
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

2 Robbos Place
Kwinana Town Centre
(08) 9439 1251
Email CAB Kwinana

Coordinator - Kerry Smith
Tuesday Wednesday & Thursday 10.00am to 3.00pm
Information & Referral Service
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

Mewburn Centre,
Sholl Street
(08) 9535 3101
Email CAB Mandurah

Coordinator - Philip Gilbey
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 2.00pm
Information & Referral Service
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Justice of the Peace - Thursday & Friday 10am to 12noon

23 Old Gt Northern Highway
(08) 9274 3000
Email CAB Midland

Coordinator -  Mary Shaw
Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 3.00pm
Friday 9.00 - 1.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October
Justice of the Peace - Wednesday 10am to 1pm
25 Barrack Street
(08) 9221 5711
Email CAB Perth

CEO - Kathryn Lawrence
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm
Phone hours 9.30am to 4.00pm
Information & Referral Service
Legal Advice - by appointment
Mediation Service
Justice of the Peace

Room 4,
14 Council Avenue
(08) 9527 6671
Email CAB Rockingham

Coordinator - Max Stewart
Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 3.30pm
Friday 9.30am to 1pm
Information & Referral Service
WA No Interest Loans - by appointment
Tax Help - July to October

General Discussion Law / Restraining Orders From Kean Legal
« on: April 18, 2018, 11:23:09 AM »
Restraining Orders From Kean Legal

Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO”), Violence Restraining Orders (“VRO”) and Misconduct Restraining Orders (“MRO”).

Restraining orders can be made by the court to protect a person who experienced violence in the family or any form of violence against them. These individuals can also file for a restraining order in the event of threats, harassment, intimidation or any other circumstance that puts the individual at risk or in a dangerous situation. The law in Western Australia changed on 1 July 2017. It is therefore very important to know when the application for a restraining order was made.

Breach in restraining orders is a criminal offence. It is often carries a penalty of a fine or imprisonment. Restraining orders can be differentiated into three types.
Types of Restraining Orders
Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO)

Application for Family Violence Restraining Order can be applied against a person to who you have or had a family relationship. This includes a spouse, ex-spouse, partners, siblings, kin, or any other person you have been involved with in a family-like relationship.

Our lawyers are able to help you with the documents that you need to complete to apply for a violence restraining order. Call our 24/7 hotline to set up an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

Violence Restraining Order (VRO)

Violence restraining orders are for persons who you do not have a family relationship with. These include colleagues, friends, your boss or neighbour. Our lawyers are able to help you with the basic court procedures for a Violence Restraining Order application as well as the documents that you need to complete to apply. Call our 24/7 hotline to set up an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

Misconduct Restraining Order (MRO)

Misconduct Restraining Orders are applied to persons whom you have no family relationship with and are not permitted from doing the following acts:

    Intimidating and offensive actions against the complainant
    Damaging a complainant’s property
    Breeching the peace

Our lawyers are able to help you with the documents that you need to complete to apply for a misconduct restraining order. Call our 24/7 hotline to set up an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

When Does the Magistrate Court Grant a Restraining Order?

The Section 11A of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 stipulates that the Magistrate Court may grant a VRO if the Respondent has committed an act of abuse against the Applicant. A VRO will also granted if in the circumstances the Court see fit to do so. Even though the Act clearly distinguishes “family or domestic violence” and “personal violence” as different circumstances, both include instances wherein there is emotional abuse, and intimidating behaviour against the Applicant.

A VRO is also considered appropriate by the Court if will stop a behaviour or hardship caused by the Respondent for the protection of the Applicant. It is also most likely granted in situations where the well-being of a child or children will be benefitted by the grant for the restraining order.

What Happens When a Restraining Order is Breached?

A VRO will not appear on the criminal record of the Respondent. However, if there is an offence that breaches the terms of the VRO, it is reported to the police and considered as a criminal offence.

Section 61 of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 governs such breaches. Penalties can include Mandatory Imprisonment, fines as well as other orders the court see fit. Call our 24/7 hotline to get advice today: +61 8 6323 8697

In need of legal advice or help in applying for a restraining order or defending a breach? Kean Legal Barristers & Solicitors can help you.
Call our 24/7 hotline to set an appointment today: +61 8 6323 8697

Underground networks help parents breach Family Court custody orders
Renee Viellaris | News Corp Australia

CHURCH and domestic violence groups have been accused of aiding underground networks that help parents breach custody orders and go on the run with their children.

Parents, unhappy with Family Court custody decisions, are kidnapping their own children, and are using family, friends and other resources to stay under the radar.

The parents left behind, who are legally entitled to custody of their children, are having to dip into their own pockets to ask the courts to hear their applications for recovery orders.

The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Queensland are issuing about three recovery orders a week, with 156 of the "last resort" orders made in the last financial year - the most in the country.

Applications for them are considered urgent, but depending on how busy the court is, orders can take days or weeks to be heard.

Once granted, an order is sent to the Australian Federal Police, which can use state police to help find the children.

It is understood that once a recovery order is made most parents co-operate, however some continue to hide their children from authorities.

The parents hunting for their children can be up against church-associated groups or women's centres, such as domestic violence groups, which can link parents to services that help keep them under the radar.

Family law experts claimed the Family Court was under-resourced and not able to help some parents, while lobby groups said some parents were forced to steal their children because the courts refused to acknowledge domestic violence or sex abuse.

Dan Bottrell of Jones Mitchell Lawyers, Queensland's largest family law firm, said he suspected the large number of recovery orders being made in Queensland was because of southerners seeking tree or sea changes in the state.

Mr Bottrell said once relationships broke down, one parent often wanted to return home to their former state, causing some friction in relation to parenting arrangements.

One parent, who cannot be named by law, claimed a domestic violence group and others had helped a former spouse hide two children from the courts and investigating federal police.

When six officers finally found the children - who had been missing for a month - they had been given new SIM cards for their phones and had access to a number of different computers.

The parent who had illegally taken the children had limited funds at the time.

The aggrieved parent, who applied to the court for a recovery order, was told by the children they had been moved between a number of houses when the AFP were close to finding them.

The offending parent repeatedly denied knowledge of the children's whereabouts to police.

New South Wales Victim Support Unit executive director Robyn Cotterell-Jones said she wouldn't be surprised if some people tried to help hide some children.

"If the courts continue to fail parents' expectations of keeping their children safe, people will be forced to take protective action in which, of course, breaching court orders is regarded as much more unlawful than failing to protect a child," Ms Cotterell-Jones said.

A highly placed source associated with parental disputes acknowledged being told of anecdotal evidence that church groups had also helped some parents.

Griffith University's Clinical Legal Education Program director Zoe Rathus, an expert in family law, said the courts had to deal with complex and emotive issues.

"These are highly discretionary issues, in how people (the courts) understand violence and abuse," Ms Rathus said.

"I do think some of the experts who are used a lot in the courts don't necessarily have the relative expertise in domestic violence."

In a statement, the AFP told The Courier-Mail its role in the family law process was to act on specific orders of the court.

General Discussion Law / Restraining Orders
« on: April 18, 2018, 11:02:12 AM »
Restraining Orders (Western Australia)

If someone commits family violence or personal violence towards you, threatens you or your property, harasses or intimidates you and you are concerned that it will continue and put you at risk, you can apply to have a restraining order taken out against them.

A restraining order makes it against the law for that person to come near you or your property. A restraining order also makes it illegal for the person to use other people to contact you or to try other means of contact; for example, SMS, mail or email. These are breaches of the restraining order and the person can be charged by the police with a criminal offence. If this happens the court will deal with the person.

A restraining order is designed to prevent family violence or personal violence and stop threats in the future. It is an order of the court requiring a person to behave in certain ways and the conditions imposed in the order will vary according to the circumstances under which the order is sought.

The 'applicant' is the person applying for a restraining order. The 'respondent' is the person against whom the order is sought.

There are three types of restraining orders:

    family violence restraining order
    violence restraining order and
    misconduct restraining order.

An application for a restraining order can be made by:

    a police officer on behalf of a person or a group
    a person seeking protection
    a parent or guardian of a child and
    a guardian of a person.

Applications for restraining orders can be made at a Magistrates Court or, if the respondent is a juvenile, in the Children’s Court.  If the person seeking to be protected is a child and the respondent is not a child, the application can be made at either the Magistrates Court or the Children's Court. Courts are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

If an urgent order is required to prevent family violence or personal violence, and it is not possible to make an application to the court (e.g. it is outside of court hours or you are in a remote location), police can issue 72 hour police orders or apply for a Telephone Order.

To request that police make an application on your behalf, telephone 131 444. Call 000 for emergencies.

The Family Violence Service or your local Victim Support Service office can help with information regarding taking out a restraining order.

For legal advice or assistance, contact your solicitor, Legal Aid on 1300 650 579, your nearest Community Legal Centre, Aboriginal Legal Service or Women's Legal Service.

General Discussion Law / Same Sex Relationships Perth
« on: April 18, 2018, 10:26:47 AM »
Same Sex Relationships Perth

When it comes to property settlement and parenting issues, Australian family courts treat same sex couples no differently to married and de facto couples. The only thing that had previously distinguished same sex couples was the fact they could not marry under the Marriage Act 1961.

On 15 November 2017 the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed Australia’s historic “Yes” vote in the federal government’s same sex marriage survey.

Subsequent to this, the Australian Parliament passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage on 7 December 2017.

This bill took effect on 9 December 2017. As of this date, same-sex couples can lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage to commence the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnization of marriages under the Marriage Act.

The first day same sex couples will be able to get married in Australia is 9 January 2018.

As long-time supporters of marriage equality we are proud that marriage equality has now become enshrined in Australian law.
Same Sex Relationships and De Facto Relationships

People in a same sex relationship who choose not to get married can be considered to be in a de facto relationship, provided that they meet certain criteria.

Australian family courts treat same sex de facto relationships no differently to heterosexual de facto relationships.
What constitutes a same sex de facto relationship?

Section 13A of the Interpretation Act 1984 (WA) sets out the various factors used in determining the existence of a de facto relationship in Western Australia, such as:

    the length of the relationship;
    whether the parties have resided together;
    the degree of financial dependence or interdependence; and
    the degree of mutual commitment by the parties to a shared life.

Section 13A of the Interpretation Act also states that “it does not matter whether the persons are different sexes or the same sex.” The de facto relationships of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are all legally recognised.

Under the Family Court Act 1997 (WA), the Family Court of Western Australia may only make property orders in relation to a de facto relationship if:

    the parties have lived together in a de facto relationship for at least two years; or
    there is a child of the relationship under 18; or
    a party has made substantial contributions and failure to make property orders would result in serious injustice to that party.

Am I entitled to anything if my same sex relationship breaks down?

If your relationship meets the criteria for a de facto relationship, then the Family Court of Western Australia can make property orders, including orders on your entitlements.

Property settlement in a same sex separation is treated the same as any de facto property division in Western Australia and the division of property of a de facto couple is largely the same as the division of property of married couple

The difference is in the apportionment of superannuation. In Western Australia, there is no right  to split or roll over superannuation entitlements.

The limitation period for applying for de facto property orders in the Family Court of Western Australia is two years from the date of separation.

The Family Court of Western Australia uses a four-stage process for determining de facto property settlements.

Learn more about the process and Property Settlement here.

Same Sex Divorce Lawyers

Our Perth and Joondalup family lawyers have represented many LGBT clients.

CS Family is proud to be a progressive, inclusive, forward-thinking legal practice that supports marriage equality and equality before the law.

We can help LGBT clients with:

    Property and Financial Issues
    Child Custody and Parenting Issues
    Binding Financial Agreements
    Child Support Agreements
    Restraining Orders

Magistrates Court of Western Australia Civil Matters

The Magistrates Court deals with civil matters that involve:

    claims for debt or damages of up to $75,000;
    minor claims for debt or damages up to $10,000;
    consumer/trader claims over the sale, supply or hire of goods or services;
    residential tenancy matters involving amounts up to $10,000; and
    claims for the recovery of 'real property' up to a gross rental value of $75,000.

There are a range of forms for use in all civil proceedings initiated in the Magistrates Court

To download any of these, select the relevant Act, rule or regulation from the left-hand menu.

A range of fact sheets are also available to guide you through civil proceedings in the Magistrates Court.

If you are aware of a risk to yourself or others in relation to a matter, please contact the court location at which the matter will heard to advise the court of that risk.

General Discussion Law / Separation and Divorce Statistics
« on: April 18, 2018, 10:14:01 AM »
Separation and Divorce Statistics

Article By Jarred Johnstone, Lawyer, #Divorce & #Separation   

Separation and divorce have unfortunately become a way of life in today’s modern world. On the one side is “for better or for worse”, and on the other the reality for many is being in an unhappy marriage or relationship due to love being gone, adultery, abuse or various other reasons. In those circumstances it can perhaps be said that separation is a good thing.

Regardless of whether separation is a good or a bad thing, unfortunately for a large number of Australians separation and divorce is part of life.

Divorce statistics in Australia

The number of #divorce applications granted in Australia in 2015 increased by 4.34% from the previous year, with:

    the highest number of divorce applications being made during the 4th year of marriage; and
    the median length of marriage to separation being 8.5 years.

Of the divorce applications granted in Australia in 2015:

    43% were made by the husband and wife jointly;
    32% were made by the wife; and
    25% were made by the husband.

In 2015, 47.5% of the divorce applicants had more than one child.

How many marriages end in divorce?

An average of between 40 to 45% of marriages end in divorce. In last 5 years there were 119,750 registered marriages per year and 48,301 divorce applications per year.

One in five registered marriages in Australia in 2015 involved a party that had previously been married.

Of the registered marriages in Australia in 2015:

    54% of the marriages were between people who were both born in Australia.
    14% of marriages were between people who were born in the same overseas country.
    32% of marriages were between people who were born in different overseas countries.

What to do if it is time to get a divorce

While these statistics may be alarming, modern day perspectives on the divorce have changed and viewed more as a necessity than an evil.

Divorce applications can be handled quickly and efficiently without drawn out legal proceedings, emotional battles and unnecessary cost.

Our Family Law team can help you explore your options and guide you through the divorce process in Perth so you can start moving forward in your life again.

Learn more about Divorce here.

Source: ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics, catalogue 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2015’.

Yahoo slapped with lawsuit for gender discrimination against men

By Amy Graff, SFGATE Updated 9:19 am, Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gender issues are a hot topic in Silicon Valley, and with a new lawsuit filed against Yahoo, things are taking a surprising turn.

A former Yahoo employee is suing Yahoo, alleging that CEO Marissa Mayer and other execs implemented an employee review system that led to an illegal mass firing of employees targeting men.

Scott Ard led the editorial team at Yahoo for three and a half years and was fired from the company last year. He filed the suit this week in federal district court in San Jose, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"Mayer encouraged and fostered the use of (an employee performance-rating system) to accommodate management's subjective biases and personal opinions, to the detriment of Yahoo's male employees," the suit said.

This isn't the first time Yahoo's review system has come under fire. Earlier this year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on another lawsuit filed by a "former media executive who alleged that he was unfairly fired for not meeting performance goals because there was nothing wrong with his work." This suit also claimed the review system was detrimental to male employees.

In an effort to turn around a faltering company, Mayer introduced the quarterly performance review (QPR) system shortly after joining Yahoo in 2012, and both lawsuits claim it led to the termination of hundreds of employees.  Managers were required to place their employees into one of the established categories: "greatly exceeds," "exceeds," "achieves," "occasionally misses," and "misses." Mangers were given a target percentage of employees to assign to each.

The system allowed Yahoo to reduce staff through terminations rather than lay offs.

Laying off an employee can be more cumbersome from a company  because the action must be reported to the state and requires a 60-day waiting period, while a firing can happen immediately.

Ard's lawsuit also accuses Yahoo management of changing review scores for employees whose work they never observed and specifically identifies Kathy Savitt, former chief marketing officer, and Megan Liberman, editor-in-chief of Yahoo News, as discriminating against men.

The lawsuit states that Savitt favored female employees over men, intentionally hiring and promoting them while "terminating, demoting or laying off male employees."

When Savitt began at Yahoo the top managers reporting to her ... including the chief editors of the verticals and magazines, were less than 20 percent female. Within a year and a half those top managers were more than 80 percent female," the lawsuit stated.

According to the lawsuit, Liberman fired Ard in January 2015 on a phone call, telling him that his performance was unsatisfactory.

Yahoo spokesperson Carolyn Clark told the Mercury News she couldn't comment on Ard's pending litigation and defended the company's review process as being fair.

When A Woman Hits A Man It’s Justified

One of the most misunderstood pieces Paul Elam has ever written at A Voice for Men, the most prominent website in the men’s rights movement, is called If You See Jezebel in the Road, Run the Bitch Down. The Jezebel he is referring to is the website, owned by Gawker Media called Jezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women, Without Airbrushing. In response to an article published in Psychiatry News, which explored men as overlooked victims of domestic violence, Jezebel commenters and editors contributed stories of violently assaulting their partners, often with a disturbing sense of glee and remorseless.

Writer Tracie Egan Morrisey “decided to conduct an informal survey of the Jezebels to see who’s gotten violent with their men. After reviewing the answers, let’s just say that it’d be wise to never ever fuck with us”.  She goes on to say that one of the editors at Jezebel “went nuts on her guy and began violently shoving him”, a different editor “heard her boyfriend flirting on the phone with another girl, so she slapped the phone out of his hands and hit him in the face and neck… “partially open handed.”

Mysteriously, another editor “slapped a guy when ‘he told me he thought he had breast cancer.”  Personally, I cannot fathom why you would slap someone for thinking they might have cancer, or perhaps Jezebel editors do not realize men can also get breast cancer?  At any rate, the editors collectively declared “Okay, that one made us laugh really hard.” And finally, “one Jez punched a steady in the face and broke his glasses. He had discovered a sex story she was writing about another dude on her laptop, so he picked it up and threw it. And that’s when she socked him. He was, uh, totally asking for it”.

If you think that’s depressing, and I hope you do, the commenters won’t make you feel any better. I will leave it to interested parties to go and scroll through the comments themselves and note the date stamp. The oldest comments are the ones that recall with sadistic delight the pleasures of hurting another human being, sometimes in really awful ways.

Let’s address the most common argument for why it’s okay for women to slap, hit, punch, kick or otherwise hurt a man, but never okay for a man to hurt a woman in any way. It goes something like this:  men on average are bigger and stronger than women, and strong people shouldn’t hit weak people so that makes it okay. The first thing that always pops into my mind with this argument is are you crazy why would you hit some clearly bigger and stronger than you?!?, but the answer to that question is actually very revealing. Women implicitly trust men not to hit them back. They rely on the profound decency of most men. They count on the kindness of an average man. Even devout feminists, like the editors at Jezebel, who have called masculinity “toxic”, who have called men “emotionless dickbots” and “scum” and “assholes” and much worse feel free to violently attack men because they know most men are decent and kind and will not hit them back.

The truth about domestic violence is that it is roughly mutual – men and women hit each other at about the same rates. What is also true is that men really are bigger and stronger and if they decide to hit back, women tend to get the shitty end of the stick. None of this means that women can’t physically hurt men. A kick in the balls is not excruciating pain? A slap across the face hard enough to knock his glasses off is not also painful?  Being kicked or punched or slapped or bitten somehow hurts less just because the victim is a man and the attacker is a woman? Nonsense. Women can and do hurt men, but when they run into a man who hasn’t quite bought into the whole “never hit a girl” narrative, who defends himself vigorously against physical attack – she will likely come out the most seriously injured party.

What Paul Elam did in his article was engage in satire – he flipped the genders to highlight just how awful it is to hurt another person, and dramatically highlighted our double standards when it comes to who got hurt. I have often used this particular technique myself because it is just so effective. For example, I once wrote about a man who broke a beer glass across his aspiring model girlfriend’s face, driving the glass shards in deep enough to sever an artery and leave permanent nerve damage not to mention some nasty scars. On her face. He walked free from court, because they just didn’t think severed arteries and nerve damage and a ruined career was serious enough. Of course, it was not a man who did this to a woman, but rather a woman who did it to a man. And yes, she really did walk free after slicing his face down to the bone.

While it is absolutely true that women suffer most serious injuries from domestic violence, simply because they are going up against opponents who are generally bigger and stronger than they are, this is no way negates the very real physical pain that women can and do inflict on men. Relying on the goodness of men to not fight back is a coward’s strategy, if you ask me. Domestic violence is generally, but not always, a story about two combatants throwing punches with equal ease. To condemn the men, but not the women is an example of what we call “misandry” in the men’s rights movement. It is a real, measurable, verifiable discrimination that men face for no reason other than being men.

So the next time that someone says “men are not discriminated against”, or “men are not oppressed,” consider the staff at Jezebel. There are 3 editors, 5 staff writers, and 2 editorial assistants.  Of those 10 women, 4 admit to violently attacking their male partners. 40% of Jezebel’s senior staff team admits to being domestic abusers, but since their victims were men it doesn’t count? If 40% of Gawker staff admitted to beating women, what would the response from the general public be?

Actually, not hard to answer. It would be the same amount of hate and scorn and wrath that Paul Elam received when he wrote his piece pointing to the violence of women. Violence against women is never a joke. Even when it is. And violence against men?

Well we have to admit, that one made us laugh.


Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence

National Study: More Men than Women Victims of Intimate Partner Physical Violence, Psychological Aggression

Over 40% of victims of severe physical violence are men

© 2012 by Bert H. Hoff, J.D. *Adjunct Faculty, University of Phoenix School of Criminal Justice and SecurityMay be cited as: Hoff, B. H. (2012), National Study: More Men than Women Victims of Intimate Partner Physical Violence, Psychological Aggression. Over 40% of victims of severe physical violence are men. MenWeb on-line Journal (ISSN: 1095-5240 article is available in Microsoft Word (52 KB) and Adobe PDF (197 KB) format.

According to a 2010 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Justice, in the last 12 months more men than women were victims of intimate partner physical violence and over 40% of severe physical violence was directed at men. Men were also more often the victim of psychological aggression and control over sexual or reproductive health. Despite this, few services are available to male victims of intimate partner violence. This paper explores the extent of intimate partner violence against male victims. It looks at the domestic violence system response to male victims. It re-examines data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, research on the impact of IPV on male victims and the system´s response to it. More research is needed on IPV against men, its impact on men and the domestic violence service response to male victims. Public education is needed on the extent of IPV against males, and services need to be provided for these victims. Increased domestic violence education directed at women and services to men should lead to a reduction of DV against women as well as men, since woman aggressors frequently are themselves victimized subsequently.

Public education efforts about intimiate partner violence should not be gender-neutral, but should be specifically addressed to woman and girls as well as boys and men. State programs need to ensure that domestic violence services are provided to men across the state.

Physical violence

More men than women were victims of intimate partner physical violence within the past year, according to a national study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Justice. According to the National NISVS - More men than women victims of IPV - pie chartIntimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (hereinafter NISVS) released in December, 2011, within the last 12 months an estimated 5,365,000 men and 4,741,000 women were victims of intimate partner physical violence. (Black, M.C. et al., 2011, Tables 4.1 and 4.2) 1 This finding contrasts to the earlier National Violence Against Women Survey (Tjaden, P. G., & Thoennes, N., 2000)(hereinafter NVAWS), which estimated that 1.2 million women and 835,000 men were victims of intimate partner physical violence in the preceding 12 months. (One-year prevalence "are considered to be more accurate [than lifetime rates] because they do not depend on recall of events long past" (Straus, 2005, p. 60))

If one adds in rape (606,000 victims) the total is 5,427,000 women-but there is an issue of double-counting of an incident as both rape and intimate partner physical violence. 2 Of the lifetime rape victims, 82.8% were also victims of physical violence. This suggests that a sizeable portion of the 606,000 rape victims are included in the 5,427,000 physical violence victims. But even if one ignores the double-counting of rape and physical violence, the number of female victims of rape and/or physical violence is 5,427,000 for women, contrasted with 5,365,000 male victims of physical violence, so it is safe to say that about half of the victims of physical violence are men.

There is a significant difference between the NVAWS and NISVS surveys, in the number of victims of physical violence (4,741,000 vs. 1,300,000 women and 5,365,000 vs. 835,000 men), for which I have no explanation. 3 Surveys - IPV Bar chartIn the 2001 NVAWS survey, some 38% of the victims of intimate physical violence were men, but in the 2011 NISVS survey 53% were men. This is consistent with earlier studies showing that between 1975 and 1992 (Straus and Gelles, 1988, Straus, 1995), between 1998 and 2005 (Catalano , 2005) and between 2009 and 2010 (Truman, 2011, Table 6) violence against women dropped but violence against males stayed steady. (As a point of reference, Statistics Canada (2006, 2011) reports that 45.5% of the victims of present or former spousal violence were men. The 2010 National Crime Victimization Survey (Truman, 2011, Table 5) shows only 407,700 female and 101,530 male victims of intimate partner violence: for women that's less than a tenth of the victims reported in NISVS.)

This drop in intimate partner violence against females and steady rate of violence against males raises an interesting policy question. Given that there are many thousands of support programs, Web sites and public-interest media items for female victims of domestic violence, and no programs and only a handful of Web sites for male victims, perhaps males, but not females, have got the message that domestic violence is wrong. There are many programs for men to stand up against domestic violence by men, and no programs urging women to stand up against domestic violence by women.

This ratio of men to woman victims of intimate partner physical violence is not reported in the Executive Summary or other fact sheets of the NISVS survey. Instead, the NISVS focuses on severe physical violence-but omits a major contributor to severe physical violence against men reported in the earlier NVAWS survey. Some 21.6% of the male victims in that 2001 survey were threatened with a knife, contrasted to 12.7% of the women (Hoff, 2001, Table 1). The NISVS omission of threats by knife or gun is not only curious, but it flies in the face of the Centers for Disease Control's own recommendations on data for intimate partner violence (Salzman, T. et al, 1999) NISVS - Over 40% of severe IPV is against menThe section of that document that covers the victim's experience of intimate partner violence includes sections on sexual violence, physical violence, threats of physical or sexual violence and "psychological / emotional abuse." (Salzman, T., 1999, §3.3) 3 But NISVS survey respondents were not asked about being threatened with a knife or gun.

Notwithstanding that omission, the NISVS 2011 survey reports that in the last 12 months, 41.7% of the victims of severe physical violence were men. (Tables 4.7 and 4.8) 4 Of the 4,741,000 female victims of violence, two-thirds (3,163,000 or 66.7%) were subjected to severe physical violence. (Table 4.7) For men, over 4 out of 10 (2,266,000 or 42.3%) were subjected to severe physical violence. The number of men is smaller, but that is still 2.26 million men. Well over $1 billion is spent to help female victims, but there are virtually no services available in the country for over 2 million men who are victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.

Psychological aggression, control of reproductive or sexual health

What is more violent, brandishing a knife at your spouse in the heat of an argument, refusing to wear a condom, or calling your spouse fat or stupid? NISVS did not ask about knife-wielding, but did ask about condoms and name-calling. Men were more often the victims of both psychological aggression ("expressive aggression" and "coercive control") and control of reproductive or sexual health.

Name-calling is one of the forms of "expressive aggression," which includes acting angry in a way that seemed dangerous, name-calling and insulting remarks. 5 The other category of "psychological aggression" is "coercive control," such as restricting access to friends or relatives and having to account for all your time. 6 In the last 12 months, 20,548,000 men (18.1%) and 16,578,000 (13.9%) women were subjected to psychological aggression. NISVS - Men more often victims of psychological aggression - pie chartFor women, this was split fairly evenly between expressive aggression and coercive control, while for men, 15.2% were subjected to coercive control and 9.3% to expressive aggression. The main forms of expressive aggression against women were insults (64.3%) and name-calling (58.0%). For men the top items were being called names (51.6%) and being told they were losers (42.4%)

NISVS - more men victims of control of reproductive/sexual health - pie chartNISVS did not present detailed data on control of reproductive or sexual health. It summarized that "Approximately 10.4% (or an estimated 11.7 million) of men in the United States reported ever having an intimate partner who tried to get pregnant when they did not want to or tried to stop them from using birth control." (p. 48). "Approximately 8.6% (or an estimated 10.3 million) of women in the United States reported ever having an intimate partner who tried to get them pregnant when they did not want to." P. 48)

What services are available for men?

Studies show that men are less likely than women to seek help, and those that do have to overcome internal and external hurdles. (Galdas et al., 2005)(Cook 2009)

There has been little research on responses to male victims of intimate partner violence, in part because agencies refuse to fund such research. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice solicitation of proposals for Justice Responses to Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking (p. 8) stated "What will not be funded: 4. Proposals for research on intimate partner violence against, or stalking of, males of any age or females under the age of 12." In the few studies done, many men report that hotline workers say they only help women, imply or state the men must be the instigators, ridicule them or refer them to batterers' programs. Police often will fail to respond, ridicule the man or arrest him. (Cook 2009)(Douglas and Hines, 2011)

In 2008 Douglas and Hines conducted the first-ever large-scale national survey of men who sought help for heterosexual physical intimate partner violence. (Douglas and Hines, 2011) Some 302 men were surveyed. This study found that between half and two-thirds of the men who contacted the police, a DV agency, or a DV hotline reported that these resources were "not at all helpful." The study elaborates:

A large proportion of those who sought help from DV agencies (49.9%), DV hotlines (63.9%), or online resources (42.9%) were told, "We only help women." Of the 132 men who sought help from a DV agency, 44.1% (n=86) said that this resource was not at all helpful; further, 95.3% of those men (n=81) said that they were given the impression that the agency was biased against men. Some of the men were accused of being the batterer in the relationship: This happened to men seeking help from DV agencies (40.2%), DV hotlines (32.2%) and online resources (18.9%). Over 25% of those using an online resource reported that they were given a phone number for help which turned out to be the number for a batterer's program. The results from the open-ended questions showed that 16.4% of the men who contacted a hotline reported that the staff made fun them, as did 15.2% of the men who contacted local DV agencies. (p. 7)

Police arrested the man as often as the violent partner (33.3% vs. 26.5%) 7 . (p. 8) The partner was deemed the "primary aggressor" in 54.9% of the cases. In 41.5% of the cases where men called the police, the police asked if he wanted his partner arrested; in 21% the police refused to arrest the partner, and in 38.7% the police said there was nothing they could do and left.

Some 68% of the men turning to mental health professionals said the professional took his concern seriously, but only 30.1% offered information on how to get help from a DV program. Although 106 men suffered severe physical injury, only 54 sought help from a medical provider. Some 90.1% were asked how they got their injuries, and 60.4% answered truthfully. Only 14% got information on getting help from a program for intimate partner violence.

The best source for help was friends, neighbors, relatives, lawyers, ministers and the like. 84.9% turned to one or more of these sources, and 90% found them helpful. Two-thirds of the men sought online help and support, with half the men surveyed using Web sites and a quarter using an online support group. Some 69.1% found online support helpful; 44.9% used a resource for male victims and 42.6% for anyone experiencing partner aggression.

The study concludes that informal help, mental health and medical services were the most helpful. The services least helpful were

    those that are the core of the DV service system: DV agencies, DV hotlines, and the police. On the one hand, about 25% of men who sought help from DV hotlines were connected with resources that were helpful. On the other hand, nearly 67% of men reported that these DV agencies and hotline were not at all helpful. Many reported being turned away. The qualitative accounts in our research tell a story of male helpseekers who are often doubted, ridiculed, and given false information. (p. 10)

This failure of service impacts men's physical and mental health.

Specifically, for each additional negative experience with helpseeking, men's odds of meeting the cut-off for PTSD increased 1.37 times. For each additional positive experience, these helpseekers were about 40% less likely to have abused alcohol in the previous year. These findings hold even after controlling for other traumatic experiences, such as childhood victimization and being injured by a partner. (p. 10)

The NISVS survey makes a half-hearted effort to remedy this situation. Buried in its recommendations is the sentence "It is also important that services are specifically designed to meet the needs of a wide range of different populations such as teens, older adults, men, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people." We can do better than this.

What should we do?

We need to recognize intimate partner violence by women, understand it, and recognize it as a serious social problem.

Public service announcements need to be de-gendered. Right now, they focus almost exclusively on intimate partner violence against women. There needs to be more public education about violence to men. There are many Web sites on intimate partner violence against women. These are all woman-centered, or use gender-neutral language. They tend to minimize violence against men. There is only a handful of sites addressing domestic violence against men. None of these (except for the Clark County IN prosecutor's site) receive any government, foundation or corporate support.

Feminist theory states that intimate partner violence is an accepted form of "power and control" by men in a patriarchal society. But according to Straus (2011) the predominant immediate motives for violence, by women as well men, are frustration and anger at some misbehavior by the partner. "They are efforts to coerce the partner into stopping some socially undesirable behavior or to practice some socially desirable behavior. … Studies have found that women engage in coercive control as much as men."

Further, intimate partner violence is more likely to be mutual or female-initiated than male-initiated. In an analysis of 36 general-population studies on IPV and dating violence, Straus (2011) found that women were half again as likely to perpetrate serious physical violence. The 14 studies which also examined whether the violence resulted in physical injury showed that men inflicted injuries more often than women, but the difference was not that great. The rate for women injuring a partner was 88% of the male rate. Studies with a high percentage of men inflicting injury are, without exception, also studies with a high percentage of women injuring a partner.

Straus found that the typical pattern is that when there are severe assaults, in almost half couples, both severely assault. The two studies with extremely high rates of mutual assault (68% and 78%) are studies of very young couples and those results are consistent with a large number of studies that have found extremely high rates for very young couples. Studies which asked specifically about self-defense found that only a small percentage of female assaults were in self-defense, such 5, 10, or 15. For one study that found high rates of self-defense, the percentage was slightly greater for men (56%) than for women (42%) (Harned, 2001).

There is other evidence which casts doubt on the idea that intimate partner violence by women is primarily in self-defense. Eight studies providing data on who hit first have found that women initiate from 30 to 73% (median=45%) of violent incidents. One found high rates of violence by women, even when male violence was statistically controlled.

Is there "gender symmetry" in intimate partner violence? As Straus (2011) points out, studies often confound symmetry in perpetration with symmetry in effect. Women do experience more physical injury and psychological impact, but men experience these as well (Douglas & Hines, 2010). As IPV expert Strauss puts it, saying that violence by women is not a serious social problem "is like arguing that cancer is not an important medical problem because many more die of heart disease." (2011, p. 284)

In the last 12 months 5.4 million men were victims of intimate partner violence, 2.3 million victims of serious physical violence, yet there are virtually no programs to serve them. Intimate partner violence by women increases the chances that they will themselves be victims of intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence is morally wrong and criminal, but there are few programs for women batterers to show them better ways to resolve conflicts in a relationship.

Public education efforts are need to focus on girls and women. As Straus (2011, p. 285) states,

It is not sufficient for prevention programs to be gender neutral. They need to be explicitly directed to girls and women as well as boys and men. In addition, more than just awareness of female perpetration is needed. The target audience of women and girls also needs to be informed that PV by a woman is morally wrong, a criminal act, and that it is a danger to women because it increases the probability of her partner being violent (Straus, 2005).

States need to offer domestic violence services to men. Many say they do, but none have data on the number of men served. Some of these programs for men are male batterer programs. The Valley Oasis Center in California and a program in Longview, WA are two of only a handful of DV programs offering equal services to men. In King County (Seattle) when I asked about services for battered men I was referred to a male better program. The Snohomish County program north of Seattle says they serve males, but men who have tried to get help inform me they were sent away. Courts in California and West Virginia have found that DV programs discriminate on the basis of sex, in violation of equal protection provisions of their constitutions. (Woods v. Horton, 2008).

In short, we need to recognize that intimate partner violence is a people problem, not a women's problem.


I would like to thank Dr. Denise Hines (Clark University, Clark Anti-Violence Education, CAVE) and Dr. Murray Straus (University of New Hampshire, Family Research Laboratory) for comments and suggestions which aided in revising the paper.


Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at:

Catalano, S. (2005). Intimate partner violence in the United States 1993-2005. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from: National Crime Victimization Survey data.

Cook, P. W. (2009). Abused men: The hidden side of domestic violence (2nd ed.). Westport: Praeger.

Douglas, E.M. and Hines, D. (2011) "The helpseeking experiences of men who sustain intimate partner violence: An overlooked population and implications for practice." J. Fam. Vio. 2011 Aug;26(6):473-485 Published online 04 June 2011. National Institute of Mental Health Grant Number 5R21MH074590. Available at:

Galdas, P. M., Cheater, F., & Marshall, P. (2005). Men and health helpseeking behaviour: literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 49(6), 616-622

Hines, D. A., Brown, J., & Dunning, E. (2007). Characteristics of callers to the domestic abuse helpline for men. Journal of Family Violence, 22(2), 63-72. Available at:

Hoff, B. H. (2001), The Risk of Serious Physical Injury from Assault by a Woman Intimate: A Re-Examination of National Violence Against Women Survey Data on Type of Assault by an Intimate. MenWeb on-line Journal (ISSN: 1095-5240 Retrieved from Web on Jan. 18, 2011.

Saltzman LE, Fanslow JL, McMahon PM, Shelley GA. Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform definitions and recommended data elements, Version 1.0. Atlanta (GA): National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 1999. This is the most current version of this document, as of January 19, 2011.

Statistics Canada (2011 January). Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile Catalogue no. 85-224-X, pp. 7-8. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada (2006, October). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends 2006 (Catalogue No. 85-570-XIE). Ottawa, ON: Author. Retrieved from (654,000 women and 546,000 men - men 45.5%)

Straus, M.A. (2011). Gender symmetry and mutuality in perpetration of clinical-level partner violence: Empirical evidence and implications for prevention and treatment. Aggression and Violent Behavior 16 (2011) 279-288. Available at:

Straus, M. A. (2005). Women's violence toward men is a serious social problem. In D.R. Loseke, R. J. Gelles & M. M. Cavanaugh (Eds.), Current controversies on famlly violence, 2nd Edltlon (2nd Edition ed., pp. 55-77). Newbury Park: Sage Publications. Available at:'s%20Violence%20Toward%20Men.pdf

Straus, M. A. (1995). Trends in cultural norms and rates of partner violence: an update to 1992. In S. Stith & M. A. Straus (Eds.), Understanding partner violence: Prevalence, causes, consequences, and solutions (pp. 30-33). Minneapolis: National Council on Family Relations. Available at:

Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (1988). How violent are American families?: Estimates from the National Family Violence Resurvey and other studies. In G. T. Hotaling & D. Finkelhor (Eds.), Family abuse and its consequences: New directions in research (pp. 14-36). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Tjaden, P. G., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Full Report of Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research Report, Nov. 2000. NCJ 183781

Truman, J.S., (2011). National Crime Victimization Survey: Criminal Victimization, 2010. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. NCJ 235508

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice (2005, Nov.). Solicitation for Proposals: Justice Responses to Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 16.560 CFDA Title: National Institute of Justice Research, Evaluation, and Development Project. Grants Funding No. 2006-NIJ-1207 SL 000734. The 2007 solicitation, Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking: Research for Policy and Practice, CFDA No. 16.560, the last year of the research for policy and practice funding, states: "Within these priority areas, applicants may submit proposals that examine the criminal justice response to intimate partner violence and/or stalking as it occurs within diverse populations. This might include, but is not limited to, studies that focus on ethnic, racial, and language minority groups including immigrants; Native American women; women who live in rural areas; women with cognitive, developmental, or physical disabilities; women with vision impairments; elderly women; women living in institutional settings; women who are migrant workers; women involved in prostitution; and homeless women." (p. 5)

Woods v. Horton (2008), 167 Cal.App.4th 658 CA Ct. of Appeal 3rd Dist. 08 C.D.O.S. 13247 "We find the gender-based classifications in the challenged statutes that provide programs for victims of domestic violence violate equal protection. We find male victims of domestic violence are similarly situated to female victims for purposes of the statutory programs and no compelling state interest justifies the gender classification. We reform the affected statutes by invalidating the exemption of males and extending the statutory benefits to men, whom the Legislature improperly excluded." See Men & Women Against Discrimination v. The Family Protection Services Bd., Kanawa County (VWA) Circuit Court, Civil Cause No. 08-C-1056. Decision filed Oct. 2, 2009.

    Bert H. Hoff, J.D., is Adjunct Faculty at the University of Phoenix, where he teaches classes in criminal justice, management, political science and policy planning. He is formerly affiliated with the School of Social Policy at The American University and a former research scientist at the Battelle Human Affairs Research Centers, is publisher of Men's Voices quarterly. He is WebMaster of MenWeb, the only resource in Washington that offers public education and victim education/outreach for male victims of domestic violence. His prior research has been published in the Journal of the Association of Advancement of Psychiatry and the Law, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Evaluation and Reseasrch, Journal of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, and numerous government-funded research reports.

End notes

1 Respondents were surveyed between January and December, 2010 and asked about victimization within the 12 months before being surveyed.

2 The number of women who were raped, subjected to physical violence and/or stalked is 6,982,000 according to NIPSVS Table 4.1, but when one adds the three individual items in Table 4.1 the sum is 8,780,000. There are no data to differentiate double-counting of rape and physical violence, physical violence and stalking, or any other combination. Over their lifetimes, 4.4% of female victims of rape, physical violence or stalking were subjected only to rape. Another 8.7% were subjected to physical violence and rape, and 12.5% subjected to rape, physical violence and stalking. Thus, 83% of the rape victims were also subjected to physical violence, and appear in both the rape and physical violence categories. 

3 Similarly, the CDC definition of physical violence includes throwing an object which could cause harm. (Salzman, T., 1999, §3.1) In the NVAW survey this happened in 59% of the cases of violence against men in the NVAW survey (Hoff, B.H., 2001, Table 1) but no questions about throwing an object were asked in the NISVS survey.

4 Tables 4.7 and 4.8 show that there were 5,429,000 victims of severe physical violence. Of these, 3,163,000 (58.3%) were women and 2,266,000 (41.7%) were men. 

5 "Expressive aggression" includes acting angry in a way that seemed dangerous; being told they were losers, a failure or not good enough; being told they were ugly, fat, crazy or stupid; being insulted, humiliated or made fun of; or being told nobody else would want them. 

6 "Coercive control" consists of the following, roughly in order of frequency: being kept track of by demanding to know his or her whereabouts (63.1% of men, 61.7% of women), making decisions it was the other person's to make, trying to keep someone from seeing family or friends, making threats of physical harm, threatening to harm one's self or commit suicide, destroying something important, being kept from leaving the house, saying "if I can't have you, nobody can," kept from having your own money to use, threatening to take the kids away, threatening to take a pet away, and hurting someone you love. In the last 12 months. 

7 One author informs me that the difference here is not statistically significant. Hines, D., personal communication, Jan. 23, 2012. 

5 Ways Society Discriminates Against Men
By Janet Bloomfield, August 22nd 2014

In my last article I showed you five legal rights that women have and men don’t, and now I would like to discuss some things that are not technically legal rights, but might as well be, because they benefit women at the expense of men. Here are 5 ways that society is sexist against men, in favor of women.

1. Men get longer prison sentences than women for the same crime

Nowhere it is written in law that men are to receive harsher sentences than women but the fact is they do.  And not just a little bit longer. When Prof. Sonja Starr looked at federal criminal sentencing, she found that men received, on average, 63% longer sentences than women for the same crimes, and women were twice as likely to not even be jailed when convicted.  That’s something to consider when you see things like “men commit the most crime”. It appears that men are sentenced for the most crime. Going to jail apparently has only a tenuous relationship with committing a crime, as long as you are a woman. Men are punished far more harshly than women, and women are likely to escape being punished at all.

2. Boys are more likely to be on psychotropic medications than girls

By the time he reaches high school, a little boy growing up in America has a 1 in 5 chance of being prescribed powerful Schedule II psychotropic medications to calm his behavior so he will sit quietly and obediently in female-dominated classrooms. Boys are diagnosed with ADHD at twice the rate of girls, and while there is no law written anywhere that says boys are to be drugged into submission, that is in fact what is happening. Girls are largely exempt from pharmaceutical behavioural controls and boys are not.

3. Far more men than women die on the job

Again, there is no employment law anywhere that says women are to work in cushy, air-conditioned offices and men are to work in dangerous mines, factories and roadways but the reality is that very few women work in any occupation that will lead to death, while lots of men do. When you hear media feminists calling for quotas in boardrooms or in tech giants like Google or Amazon, ask yourself why these same women are not calling for quotas on heavy equipment or oil rigs? Why is it that women seem to want equality for the sweet jobs, yet have no problem watching the bodies of men crushed, trampled, burned or pulverized pile up on the really dangerous, crappy jobs? Women are largely protected from workplace fatalities and men are not.

4. Most of the homeless are men

There is no law anywhere that states women are to be protected from homelessness and given social resources to prevent that from occurring, and yet, that is exactly what happens. Most of the homeless in the US are men, but most of the homeless women have children with them, and are thus able to avail themselves of social services not available to homeless men. The end result is that women are protected from the full effects of homelessness and are afforded special protections to ensure it does not happen, and men are not. There are some deep structural reasons for that, but if you are going to be homeless, it’s best to be a woman. You’ll get some help. Men won’t.

5. Over 40% of victims of severe physical domestic violence are men but 99.3% of shelter spaces are for women only

This one is a little bit tricky, because while the domestic violence law is written in gender neutral terms that do not exclude men, the act itself is called VAWA – the Violence Against WOMEN Act. Technically, men are legally protected from intimate partner violence, but in practice, men are likely to be the person arrested, even when they are the seriously injured party.  Here is a summary of surveys that show time and time again that women are more likely to initiate violence, and yet men are arrested 85% of the time. This is not codified in law, but seems to be the law of the land. We know that 40% of senior staff at Jezebel openly admit to violently abusing their male partners, and none indicated any repercussions for that behavior, so it stands to reason that most women can freely abuse men and assume no consequences. That is not the case for men.

My goal in drawing attention to the ways in which men are, in fact, at a distinct disadvantage is to highlight the importance of what feminists like to call “intersectionality”, or the study of the ways in which different forms of oppression and discrimination interact with one another. It is a truism of feminism that the simple act of being male confers a privilege that is not available to women, but neither legal nor social examination of male privilege bears this out. Women have more legal rights than men and men are discriminated against in some very important ways that are not codified in law but might as well be. Gender really does not tell you anything meaningful at all about what forms of oppression or discrimination any given individual is likely to face. A homeless male war vet up on a felony charge of assault is both legally and socially at a huge disadvantage over someone like me. To simply point to his gender as if that confers an advantage is not only deeply inadequate, it’s worryingly reminiscent of fascism. When facts and realities cannot penetrate deeply held prejudice, it’s time to start dismantling the source of that prejudice.

It’s time to dismantle feminism and realize that we are all humans.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 20