Don’t let activists spook you into thinking that there is an epidemic of male violence in Australia

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in cities across Australia to protest an alleged epidemic of domestic violence.

It used to be one woman a week. But this year, an Australian woman is being violently killed every four days,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Australians are rightfully horrified by three recent deaths of women – on top of a mass killing in a busy shopping mall in Bondi Junction, in Sydney. On April 13, a schizophrenic man stabbed six people to death before a policewoman shot him dead. Five of his victims were women.

It has been a ghastly Easter for Australians.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says that the federal government has doled out about A$2.3 billion since 2022 to solve the problem of domestic violence. Whatever they spent it on, it’s not working.

“It's a national shame that we have such high levels of family domestic and sexual violence in this country,” says the social services minister, Amanda Rishworth.  The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, told a rally that family violence has become a "national crisis".

Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner Micaela Cronin has convoked a national roundtable on May 7 to discuss practical solutions.

At the centre of this moral panic is a tally of women’s deaths kept by the feminist group “Destroy the Joint” on its Facebook page. So far there have been 27 – 11 more than last year. Ergo, there is an epidemic of violence against women.

I’m sceptical. The figures compiled by “Destroy the Joint” don’t support this. Violence against women is inexcusable wherever it happens, under any circumstances. But before Australians panic over a “national emergency” or demand a Royal Commission, they ought to study the available information.

Here are some of facts surrounding the deaths of these 27 women -- although it should be borne in mind none of these cases has been thoroughly investigated or come to trial. This sample may not be representative of all female homicide victims, either.

  • Of the 27 deaths, only 16 can plausibly be labelled sexual violence – and this includes the 5 ambiguous deaths in Bondi Junction.
  • 4 of the women were killed by one of their own children – 3 by a son, and 1 by a daughter (who was shot dead by police).
  • 2 of the 27 women who died were killed by women.
  • It appears that 5 of the murders were committed by unmarried partners or ex-partners. Only 2 were committed by the husband of the woman.
  • In at least 13 of the 27 murders mental illness may have been responsible. 



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Talk of a national emergency suggests that most murder victims are women. This simply isn’t true. According to 2022 figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 69% of homicide victims are male.

At least at the ABC, journalists decrying “domestic violence” often imply that matrimony is murderous. But only two of the murderers were married to the victim. Marriage might be protective rather than a risk factor.

The vibe of the demonstrations was that young women are being murdered by violent young men. But the median age of the victims was about 40.

The 28 (in one case, a man and a woman have been charged) murderers include stereotypical patriarchal murderous males. But a closer examination suggests that Australia has a mental health crisis, not a gendered violence crisis. The oldest victim was an 80-year-old who was beaten to death in a hospital emergency department by a patient who had never seen her before. Was that a case of domestic violence or of drug-induced psychosis?

In 2021 Australia went absolutely bonkers over the #MeToo movement after Brittany Higgins accused a colleague in Parliament House in Canberra of rape. “Believe all women” was the mantra du jour. For two years, not a day went by without fresh developments in the scandal. But that case collapsed into a smouldering heap surrounded by the rubble of ruined reputations and shattered lives. Journalists and politicians had failed to ask simple questions.

Australia is already spending $1 billion a year to fight that “epidemic of male violence” and apparently we have nothing to show for it. Before politicians spend even more on believing all statistics about women, they should think again. 

How should we deal with domestic violence? Leave your comments in the box below. 

Michael Cook is editor of Mercator.

Image credits: New South Wales Premier Chris Minns looks on during a demonstration against gendered violence / screenshot 9 News Australia 


Showing 19 reactions

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  • Roger Symes
    commented 2024-05-11 09:59:09 +1000
    Politicians want to be seen to be doing something, anything, to avoid looking like they are doing nothing. The Left, with its predisposition to class warfare, would pit women against men, ‘gays’ against ‘straights’, transwomen and transmen against real women and men, a vocal minority against a silent majority. Making one sex out to be the culprit and the other the victim fosters a sense of victimhood and shortchanges underlying issues like mental health. A “war on men” will be no more successful than the “war on drugs.”

    Here’s an article with some more statistics debunking the “gendered violence crisis”, along with some focussed recommendations for effective action:

    “Stopping ‘men’s violence against women’ is in the same category as the promise by a previous Australian Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke that ‘no child would live in poverty.’

    Men kill, and are violent, at greater rates than women, and that’s why they are more likely to be the perpetrators of domestic violence, not because of a relationship between the sexes. And even though they are in the minority, women also kill women, as well as men. If men are driven to kill because of gender, what are women driven by?"
  • Malcolm McLean
    commented 2024-05-06 19:32:04 +1000
    David. You must love the sinner. But not make out that she has not sinned. Or that it doesn’t matter when, in fact it’s not about something trivial like cheating you out of some money you can easily replace. This is serious. And unfortunately virgin man with sexually exerienced woman just doesn’t work out. At least in my experience. However you try to play it. And rejection of me (an Oxford graduate, so for 95% of people, a real catch), on the basis that I am a virgin is aso a serious sin against me.
  • John Joseph
    commented 2024-05-06 19:01:55 +1000
    Janet Grevillea wrote in a comment below that “It’s happening in schools”. What she provided to us are some pretty damning statistics. So, whose fault is it that women are being disrespected by men in the 21st century?

    Australian journalist Miranda Devine has written a column in the New York Post which touches on this topic.

    Devine writes…

    “But none of it can close the growing ideological gulf between the sexes, which has its roots in the unjust treatment of boys and young men in recent decades.”

    Read the whole thing –
  • Michael Cook
    commented 2024-05-06 13:51:51 +1000
    Hi gentlemen, please remember that personal provocation is outside the boundaries of acceptable commenting on this site.
  • Peter
    commented 2024-05-06 13:11:28 +1000
    David Page, you have a pretty distorted view of Scripture friend. Firstly, that story is not a parable, and secondly, it’s about a woman caught in the act of Adultery, not prostitution. Best not to cast stones, or look at specks in other brothers eyes, when you probably have a plank in your own.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-06 13:05:08 +1000
    Peter, John 8:7-11
  • Peter
    commented 2024-05-06 11:06:51 +1000
    David Page, don’t know what version of the Bible you’re reading, but there’s no parable of a prostitute in mine.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-05-06 10:44:38 +1000
    Malcolm, all women have the right to decent treatment, regardless of their sexual history. Why would you think otherwise? I suggest you read the Parable of the Prostitute. It is one of my favorites. And keep in mind, all saints have a past and all sinners have a future. Perhaps you need to talk to someone?
  • Janet Grevillea
    It’s happening in schools.

    A survey of teachers in South Australia has revealed growing used of misogynistic language by boys, some as young as five, against female teachers and students. Some of the abuse is physical, for example, corralling girls and women in corners out of the sight of male staff. A quote from the article by Samantha Schulz in The Conversation:

    ’Other respondents noted the use of terms such as “slut” and describing women as “rapeable”. They also reported male students making animal noises (“meowing or barking”) or making offensive gestures (“grabbing their genitals and making other rude gestures”) at girls and women in the school.

    One primary school teacher described how several students in her Year 1 class have been making “sex sounds” to herself a co-teacher and other students.’

    The causes? Well one factor is the online influence of men like Andrew Tate.
  • Malcolm McLean
    commented 2024-04-30 21:56:29 +1000
    And I am one if those nutters. I am bipolar. But not the sort of nutter who attacks women in the streets. No, a far more dangerous type of nutter than that.
  • John Joseph
    commented 2024-04-30 21:17:17 +1000
    Well, all I can say is that good men have been aware for generations that not all men are good and have been brought up to be protective of their sisters, mothers, girlfriends and wives. The idiots in society call that protectiveness a sure sign of ‘the patriarchy’, but that’s just too bad. No way do any of my sisters or female friends get to walk home alone at night on a badly lit street. Come to think of it, nor are any of my brothers. It only takes one nutter and you’re a statistic. And the world has had ‘nutters’ ever since Lazarus played full back for Jerusalem. Those who try to demonise all men, or want to throw $millions at ‘empowering’ women, can do so until the cows come home, but that won’t rid the world of nutters.
  • Terry
    commented 2024-04-30 17:20:10 +1000
    The family, a man and a woman and their children ideally born within that marriage, has proven, over the ages, to be the best way to ensure respect for people everywhere in all societies. We have lost sight of that in our self-centred, self-righteous society. Instant gratification is a byword for all not just for infants. Pray and work for change.
  • Peter
    commented 2024-04-30 17:13:12 +1000
    I watched the rally on last night’s news and wondered if this was an astro-turf movement, but couldn’t come to a conclusion on the motivation behind the movements agenda (aside from the obvious advertised position). Can anyone shed some light on what the hidden agenda might be behind this potential astro-turf movement?
  • Alison Marsh
    commented 2024-04-30 17:06:15 +1000
    I note the recent headline of a 10 year old girl being stabbed to death by her 17 year old sister. No talk of gendered violence there! As Michael Cook rightly points out, “Australia has a mental health crisis, not a gendered violence crisis.”
  • Malcolm McLean
    commented 2024-04-30 13:12:04 +1000
    Well Janet, I’m a virgin. And I’ve tried relationships with women who are not, and somehow that just doesn’t work out. And women who have had sexual experience just can’t relate to men in that way any more. And of course Jesus also died a virgin.
  • Trotsky Lives!
    commented 2024-04-30 09:05:39 +1000
    Whoa, with friends like you, who needs enemies? Because some sheila wears short skirts in Melbourne, you’re cool with bashing to death an 80-year-old woman in the emergency department in Bankstown? Chill, Malcolm, chill.
  • Janet Grevillea
    Hmm, Malcolm McLean. I wonder what Jesus had to say about ‘fallen’ women.
  • Malcolm McLean
    commented 2024-04-30 05:17:44 +1000
    Women need to understand that if they have casual sex, they forfeit all their rights to decent treatment from men. All of them.
  • Michael Cook
    published this page in The Latest 2024-04-29 17:16:16 +1000