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Dear Editor: Baldeosingh suggests ‘gender feminists’ use ‘specious facts’ on domestic violence

“The available data suggest that 40 percent of women are abusive towards their partners, with an even higher rate likely to initiate violence.

“This is why the other frequently cited statistic ‘that one in three women are victims of domestic violence’ is meaningless, since it does not take account of mutual violence—which, by the way, applies to a mere eight percent of couples in T&T according to a UNDP report.”

The following Letter to the Editor on domestic violence against women was submitted by Kevin Baldeosingh of Freeport:

Photo: A couple arguing.
(Copyright OMG Voice)

In war, the first casualty is truth, and it seems the same applies to domestic violence. So, as happens every year on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, gender feminists present to a non-sceptical media a set of specious ‘facts’ which make it seem as though there is a war against women and girls—waged, logically, by men.

So the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy yesterday said the police had recorded 845 incidents of domestic violence for January-October 2018 and, unlike most such claims, the Minister noted that 27% of these reports were made by men.

However, while gender activists invariably say that reports are always underestimates when it comes to women, this logic is never applied to the 25 percent of DV reports made by men, even though the stigma here would make under-reporting even greater. And, in fact, the available data suggest that 40 percent of women are abusive towards their partners, with an even higher rate likely to initiate violence.

This is why the other frequently cited statistic ‘that one in three women are victims of domestic violence’ is meaningless, since it does not take account of mutual violence—which, by the way, applies to a mere eight percent of couples in T&T according to a UNDP report.

Indeed, in a recent letter to the editor, Catherine Ali, a lecturer at UWI’s Institute of Gender and Development Studies, went even further to assert that “One in every two women, locally and globally, experiences domestic violence.”

Photo: Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs) Ayanna Webster-Roy.
(Copyright News.gov.tt)

But even the one in three statistic needs to be hedged by loose definitions of domestic violence and flawed methodologies. Ms Ali goes on to claim “men trace their right to beat women to patriarchal power over women.”

This implies that her 50 percent of women are being beaten by men, which is simply false. Moreover, every opinion survey on this issue shows that the majority of men do not think it acceptable to hit women. In fact, the 2017 IADB report referenced by activists also found that just six percent of women were experiencing abuse and even that report had a fundamental methodological flaw in that it surveyed only women.

Meanwhile, one Sunday newspaper cited a UN statistic that “38 percent of women are murdered by their partners”, implying that one in three women are killed by their spouses, when the statistic really means that, of all women murdered, one-third are killed by their partners.

Minister Webster-Roy went on to assert that “gender-based violence has no boundaries, regardless of women’s educational, economic or professional status.” This is true only to the extent that DV happens in all cohorts. However, the rate of violence is drastically different according to the women’s status—that is the women least likely to experience domestic violence are upper- and middle-class, married, and educated.

Finally, there is the statistic that an average of 25 women are murdered every year in DV incidents, described as a “crisis” by Sabrina Mowlah-Baksh from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence. But such incidents comprise five percent of all murders—although there was an eight percent spike in 2017.

Photo: Arisa Van David was strangled to death at her Chaguanas home on 2 January 2018. She was 25.

If this is a crisis, what term can we apply to the remaining 95 percent of murders of men, of which 85 percent involve young black males? Doesn’t the concentration of violence among this cohort relate to the fact that unmarried Afro-Trinidadian women are more likely to be victims of DV murder as well?

It is a fundamental principle that anyone who is really interested in solving a social problem—as distinct from pushing an ideological agenda—will stick to the facts. Gender feminists routinely fail to meet this basic standard.

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9 comments

  1. Let’s see how the US compares. Granted the following is a 2010 report, but still interesting results.

    These are results a significant part of interested parties will not discuss.

    https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_victimization_final-a.pdf

  2. Very creative use of figures. Mr B

  3. 180/845 isn’t 27%…. just if we want to be factual.

    40% of women are abusive towards their partners is a stat from what study?

    The 2017 study was a study on women and IPV so hence the reason men aren’t included…

    25% of DV reports made by men… again what’s the source of that stat?

    Why does 8% of couples experiencing mutual violence make the stat from the 2017 study that 1/3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of their partner over the course of their lifetime meaningless…

    Who says the general murder rate in this country isn’t a crisis? And why can’t more than one thing be a crisis at the same time?

    Why didn’t he cite the recent UN study concluding that the home is the most dangerous place for a woman and that 8/10 partner homicides are women killed by men if the point here wasn’t to undermine the severity of IPV facing women?

    • Based upon the 2010 CDC report of IPV by sexual orientation a number of interesting nuggets emerge:

      1) Rates of IPV from Lesbians or Bisexual women are significantly higher than heterosexual women;

      2) Bisexual men and heterosexual men show higher rates of IPV than gay men;

      3) No matter the sexual orientation or sex of the persons, about 25%+ of persons involved in an intimate relationship will experience violence in that relationship.

      https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_victimization_final-a.pdf

      A more comprehensive reporting of data presents a clearer picture of the issue.

  4. Kevin Baldeosingh is usually provocative, clever and engaging and I enjoy his work for those reasons. I struggled with this op-Ed because it is a detractor and distraction! He presents some numbers which for the most part as an intelligent and caring Trinbagonian man I find somewhat demeaning. Strong words. Why? Simple! All ah we know plenty woman getting emotionally, verbally and eventually physically abused, at home, play and work. All ah we read de papers and peruse social media and VERY often see pictures and stories of women bloodied and often lifeless. We read the stories. Aren’t we as men moved? Why bullshit with numbers to make the point that (1) men are violated and abused too and also under-reported (2) it’s not as big a problem as the activists make out ( 3) DV is only a small percentage of murders.

    When as men we read and hear of women being violated, killed, objectified etc., don’t we experience a pang of disgust, disappointment and outrage? Aren’t we moved emotionally? Weren’t we appalled, angry and sad when Shannon Banfield was killed?

    The empirical evidence says that it’s an issue threatening the very fabric of our families and society and that the safety and security of our sisters are at risk. Forget the f$&$@$g statistical analysis and let’s form a coalition with our women to create s society that we can all be proud of.

    • Answer to your questions…. “No”, I dont think men are remotely moved by those incidences. Too few are.

      Remember we have a culture of “You look fuh dat”. The culture laughs at personal stumblings, falls, and misfortunes.

      It is acknowledged by psychologists and psychiatrists that this is not a society of compaddion and empathy, no?

      Everybody says and knows, ‘unless you on the road naked and dragging, no one believes you going through a hard time’

      If these things are true, can the affirmative be answered for your question.

      And he is documenting for posterity

      Of course, his hatred for said feminists might loom cosmic than any earthly tragedy. I see that a lot too with regards some uwi people and womantra.

      A whole setta women serm to have nothing but bile for womantra.

      This place of hate
      Only complicated because of our denials.

    • Maven,
      Womantra is plagued by association/supporting a call for legalizing abortion. That will never sit well with mature women who have hearts or mature men that see it as a denial of their right to raise children.

      Mature women see abortion as a copout. A reduction of pregnancy to merely a disease rather than the gift of a child. They see it as turning a womb into an execution chamber. The sanctuary of life turned into a house of death. They also see that the woman carries the guilt for years after and the possible physical scars as well. To know such a woman who can no longer bear children is to know how deep that pain resides.

      From a mature man’s perspective it is gross prejudice to suggest a woman can garnish our wages for a child she wanted and we immaturely didnt but can abort a child she immaturely didnt want that we did.

      With regard to domestic violence. Men are just as capable of being abused when their inbuilt training screams only cowards would hit a woman. Additionally they face the shame of laughter when reporting such abuse (I know a gent with no toes from a cutlass wielding wife).

      The partiality imparted to women when divorce and separation proceedings are done incurs further pain. So justice is blind to males that suffer tabanca/horn etc..That blindness can enrage/render insane an already emasculated male. The approach of many to these issues is to only see the victim and the monster that wreaked his outrage upon the victim. To admit our society creates the circumstances and attitudes that create these monsters is our weakness and cannot achieve any positive outcome since it is by our prejudiced actions that the monsters are reared.

      Kevin always does tongue in cheek. Nothing new here. Bringing up Womantra’s P.R. problems however wont earn a single point with mature women and mature men.

    • Perhaps the point being made is that society should tackle Domestic Violence as a whole and not domestic violence only where women are victims.