Just Say Goodbye – ‘Devoted’ Mothers Kill?

When our government excuses filicide by a mother in the belief that she is devoted, but demonises the same act by a father in the belief that he is evil, it becomes extremely apparent that the narrative of ‘gendered’ domestic violence is an agenda, not a reality. 

by Bernard The Benevolent 

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The tax payer funded Victorian Domestic Violence Resource Centre stated in their 2013 “Just Say Goodbye” report[1] that mothers who murder their children do so out of altruism and “are generally devoted to their children and strongly invested in being good mothers” . The report openly acknowledges there are “relatively equal proportions of mothers and fathers killing children”, but goes on to say that filicide, the killing of children by their parents, is a “gendered issue”; specifically we should judge men and women who murder their children differently. On the Internet it’s pretty difficult to distinguish between extreme views and satire, but there can be no mistake when you’re reading an academic journal or research report.

To any reasonable thinking person these statements are bizarre. It’s impossible to reconcile being a good mother with murdering your children. To any reasonable person concerned about violence against women these statements are outrageous, because almost half of these children are female. What ridiculous research methods do they use to arrive at such outrageous conclusions. In the DVRC’s own words they use “feminist research principles”[1.1]

By trying to justify away the unjustifiable, the DVRC is part of the largest group of domestic violence apologists in the world – those that try to justify the violence executed by some women as being the fault of men. They do this because they are wedded to the Duluth model which is that “all domestic violence is either male physical abuse to maintain power advantage or female defensive violence, used for self protection”[2] This view is now the mainstream view. It is the position of the Victorian Government, the Victorian Police, and government funded domestic violence agencies such as Domestic Violence Victoria, the Men’s referral service, the Domestic Violence Resource Centre and 1800 RESPECT and the initial position taken by the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence. It is a view that doesn’t fit the empirical evidence.

The Duluth model cannot explain the high proportion of female perpetrators of family violence against children. Children do not form part of the patriarchy, and they cannot be protected by being killed. National statistics from the Australian National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) (1997-2008) reveal that of the 176 child homicides committed by a single parent, 106 were undertaken by the mother alone, and 70 by the father alone. There were a further 23 fatalities involving both parents and a further 40 incidents involving a stepfather. This means that 60% (106/176) of children killed by a natural parent alone were killed by their mother.

Similarly studies have shown [3] that only 21% of women who admitted to committing intimate partner violence gave self-defense as a reason. This was similar to men of which only 27% had cited self defence as a reason.

Believing in the Duluth model is hard work requiring copious mental gymnastics. To do this the apologists have successfully redefined self-defence, violence and asked us to judge men and women differently. Caroline Counsel, a practicing family lawyer who leads the family violence portfolio at the Law Institute of Victoria said that “coercive and controlling behaviour, such as dictating what someone wears or who they can see is as unacceptable as breaking a bone or blackening an eye”.[4] She is of course completely wrong. If had to choose between having my leg broken, or being told what to wear I know what I would chose.

We know that there is never an excuse for a man or a woman to murder a child. We know that we shouldn’t blame women for acts of violence perpetrated by men, nor men for acts of violence perpetrated by women except where the perpetrator has an excuse such as self defence. And by the way, despite what feminists tell you, cutting your partners throat in their sleep is unlikely to be an act of self defence. If you think otherwise then you are a domestic violence apologist.

But you don’t have to go as far as believing that “mothers who murder their children are good mothers” to be a domestic violence apologist. Downplaying the prevalence or impact of female perpetrators, universally blaming male victims or trying to silence those of us who speak of them, is enough to make you a domestic violence apologist.

Don’t be that person.

Guest post written by ‘Bernard The Benevolent’

[1] http://www.dvrcv.org.au/…/discussion-papers/just-say-goodbye
[1.1] http://www.dvrcv.org.au/knowledge-centre/our-research
[2] Dutton, Donald G.; Nicholls, Tonia L. (September 2005). “The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1 — The conflict of theory and data” . Aggression and Violent Behavior 10 (6): 680–714.;Dutton, D. G. (1994). Patriarchy and wife assault: The ecological fallacy. Violence and Victims ,9(2), 125–140
[3] Michelle Carrado, M.J. George, Elizabeth Loxam, L. Jones and Dale Templar, Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships, Aggressive Behavior, Nov-Dec, 1996, Vol.22(6), p.401(15)
[4] http://www.smh.com.au/nati…/out-of-order-20131216-2zh5e.html

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Bernard The Benevolent