The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Quickie: Compare and Contrast

[I’m belatedly adding a trigger warning for child violence to this post.]

Family First:

“The popular public perception is that women and children need to be protected from men, but this ‘gender’ focus is misleading. Mothers killed 15 (45%) of the 33 child victims, comprising 10 daughters and 5 sons,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “If we’re really serious about reducing family violence, we need to talk about family violence, and our violent culture, and the role alcohol and drugs play in fuelling this environment.”

White Ribbon:

“While Family First is stating a fact, they are being irresponsible by not presenting the numbers with all the specifics. “Only two out of the 15 deaths where mothers were responsible for the child, was physical assault the cause of death. Contrast this with the 10 out of 10 deaths where fathers and step-fathers were responsible for the death of a child and were caused by assault.

Every time I think Bob McCroskie and his cronies could not be any more vile, I am wrong.

9 responses to “Quickie: Compare and Contrast

  1. Moz September 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    So you’re saying that when mothers kill their babies it’s non-violent, while fathers tend to be violent? Thus there is no cause to consider women killing their babies in an anti-violence campaign?

    If so, that’s the sort of twisted pedantry that stops me supporting Rape (of women and children) Crisis.

  2. tallulahspankhead September 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Seriously, Moz?

    I’m not saying that, nor do I believe White Ribbon is. What they are saying is that to compare the deaths of infants in the care of women, which include concealing pregnancies and accidentally leaving babies in baths, is the same as physical assaults is disingenuous at best.

    Which is not to say it is non-violent, but that to deliberately fudge statistics when you are talking about THE DEATHS OF INFANTS is dishonest and morally reprehensible. More so when you are doing it so you can scream BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?

  3. Moz September 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I assume there’s more detail in the links that fills in the gaps, then. If the White Ribbon women mean “accidental death while in the care of” they should say so, and ideally you should quote accordingly. Because that would seem to be the key place where Bob is drawing false parallels.

    I’m not keen to wade through the crud spewed by family first and random anti-violence-against-women types to see whether your quotes are accurate. Too often the latter are really nasty for men who’ve been on the receiving end of violence from women.

    • tallulahspankhead September 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      In the very first paragraph of the White Ribbon release is the comment “a statement that includes deaths that are not usually included in family Violence Statistics.”

      I understand you not wishing to read the releases, but the reason I did this as a quickie, and not a full post is that I have neither the time nor the spoons for a full discussion of family violence. Perhaps if you aren’t willing to read the links, you shouldn’t be so quick to comment and accuse me of twisted pedantry?

  4. muerknz September 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    [Tallulah here: I am just adding a trigger warning for child violence to this particular comment, as it has specific examples.]

    Moz: Here’s a link to the actual document released by the Police.

    http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/resources/family-violence-death-review-2004-2011.pdf

    Out of the 15 children killed by mothers, 5 were newborns who would almost certainly have survived if their mothers had sought medical treatment. Some of that 5 were killed directly, some by leaving the babies to die, two were possibly still born or lived briefly before being killed.

    Six children were murdered and then the mother committed suicide. Out of that 6, 3 were suffocated, 2 killed by head injury and 1 was drowned.

    Three children were drowned, 2 of those by being left unattended in a bath, the other child was the single child drowned by the suicidal mother noted above. The 2 left unattended were aged between 1 and 2 years of age.

    The other 2 children were killed by physical assault.

    So, out of 15 dead children, 2 were possibly still born, 3 were either left to die or killed, and 2 were killed by gross negligence. The others were murdered directly by an act of violence.

    Seven children were killed by an assault from their stepfather and 3 were violently killed by their father.

    • Moz September 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Muerk. Doesn’t sound as though Bob is as misleading as Tallulah would have us think, then.

      And Tallulah, I appreciate you being willing to wade through offensive material in the service of the community, but I asked because I wanted to be sure the quotes were accurate and didn’t want to do the wading myself. I was hoping you’d come back and say “I’ve used a slightly different quote that addresses your point” rather than “I don’t like you saying that”.

      From the Police report I think it’s interesting that babies killed by their mothers are not normally included in family violence statistics. It makes sense in that narrow statistical sense of “deaths by violence”. But it means that the your quote from White Ribbon appears to be accurate, as is my objection.

      • tallulahspankhead September 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        Again, there’s a reason I did this as a quickie, because I wanted to highlight FF’s disingenuousness, in suggesting that these statistics say those organisations who work with men are wrong to do so, not get into a discussion of who commits what kind of violence.

        However, since you are intent on me copying and pasting the entirety of the releases here, White Ribbon (which incidentally works with men to end violence, and does a power of work in, for example, the Pacific) says

        To combat family violence and create change in our society, we need to look at the real figures and I believe that men are ready to face up to this inconvenient truth, that the most serious violence is perpetrated by men. It’s very sad when figures are being misused to undermine the work being undertaken in our communities,”

        Family First is right to say it isn’t about gender. It’s not. Both men and women are on the receiving end of violence, and both men and women commit violence against children. It’s about working to end violence. And possibly if Bob McCroskie wasn’t so committed to shutting up the uppity feminists, Family First could get on that.

        • muerknz September 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

          First up, thanks for putting the trigger warning on my post.

          Second, I don’t have a problem with Family First’s press release. What the Police statistics say to me is that women who cause their children to die act violently to both their children and themselves for the most part. Not seeking pregnancy care, or a midwife for labour, and killing their children and then themselves is clearly about despair and fear.

  5. Draco T Bastard (@DracoTBastard) September 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    This is going to sound anti free-speech but FF shouldn’t actually be making a statement about that at all. As they didn’t do the research it’s not for them to tell people what it says. That right belongs solely to the people who did do the research.

    And, no, I’m not surprised to find that FF misrepresented the facts.

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