Luke Batty was killed by his father at a cricket ground in Victoria in 2014.
No one would want to diminish Rosie Batty’s loss for a second - but that doesn’t mean we don’t wish she’d handled the loss of her son differently.
What a crying shame it is that she didn’t become an advocate for mental health. Her estranged 54-year-old husband had a long history of mental illness.
What was incredibly interesting watching Cassie Jaye, director of The Red Pill documentary, interviewed on The Project was how we have all taken one strand of the tragic circumstances and now presume that to be correct.
It was Luke’s father who killed him and therefore this is about gender.
However, it isn’t about gender is it? Violence is not about gender. We should all be united in our battle against all violence; our only fight should be against all dv – together.
According to the ABC, Luke’s father “had suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness for two decades.” With all due respect to Rosie Batty, this violence was nothing to do with a gendered narrative. Learning about feminist constructs of “power” and “control” in a classroom would not have changed his father’s mental illness.
Over the weekend three interesting things happened which I want to piece together.
Firstly, Senator David Leyonhjelm posted on his social media, “I’ve been worried for a while that the domestic violence lobby might be straying from it’s original mission… I question why ‘gender inequality’ seems to be the focus, rather than the many socio-economic factors that are the main contributors to domestic violence.”
His point was underlined by a sponsored post that was doing the rounds on social media from feminist lobby group Our Watch with an image stating, “Violence against women is not a ‘women’s issue’, it is everyone’s issue.” The copy alongside the post said, “Everyone can do something to help prevent violence against women and their children. Find out how you can take action…”
With this transparent gender war and anti-men agenda as a goal, it’s clear to see how useful Batty has been to push the feminist narrative. Can we also note here the use of the words, “violence against women and their children”? Violence is not a gender issue, and children do not solely belong to their mothers, neither are they property to be fought over.
The third piece of this weekend jigsaw was speaking to Erin Pizzey. I first spoke to her about a year ago and am now proud to call her a mentor and friend. Pizzey opened what became known as the very first women’s refuge in London in 1971.
“When I opened Chiswick Women’s Aid it was a small community centre for women to meet with their children and work in our local community,” she tells me. “Almost immediately a woman came in and exposed her livid bruises and said to me, ‘No one will help me.’ I resolved to help this woman. As a child I had asked for help and was ignored even though I had physical evidence of my mother’s brutal whippings with her ironing cord. Within a few weeks we had women knocking on the door of the community centre from all over England. Some were sent by their social workers and others heard by word of mouth. The community centre became the first refuge/shelter in the world.
“I very quickly recognised that of the first 100 women who came into the refuge, 62 were as violent or more violent than their partners.
“I also recognised that women who were victims of their own intergenerational violent and dysfunction childhoods needed immediate therapeutic intervention to help them learn to control their violence and frustration. Most of them had been battered and abused as children and we needed to ‘mother the mothers so they could in turn mother their children’.
“The mothers who were ‘innocent victims’ of their partner’s violence also need support, legal advice and refuge, but because they had been properly parented they did not need our long term therapeutic programmes.
“In 1974 we held a small conference where we hoped to share our expertise with other groups that had sprung up all over the country. Unbeknown to us, the newly emerging Feminist movement was establishing refuges of their own - but this was a movement without any reference to intergenerational family violence.
They saw domestic violence as an expression of the power that men wielded over women, in society where female dependence was built into the structure of everyday life.
“From their own extensive experience of working in refuges they concluded that wife-battering was not the practice of a deviant few, but something which could emerge in the ‘normal’ course of marital relations.
“Across the Western world the feminist movement was looking for a just cause and funding. The whole subject of domestic violence fitted into their political Marxist/Feminist ideology.
“At that time the only research that had ever been done was by myself. The concept of domestic violence had never been publicly discussed but all family agencies, the judiciary and medical profession knew but said nothing.
“Within a matter of a few years two things were established 1) all women were innocent victims of the patriarchy and 2) public funding was needed to create refuges/shelters. Within a few years the feminist movement had a billion dollar industry. It was ring-fenced against men who were not allowed to work in refuges or sit on boards, and boys of ages of nine or twelve could not enter the refuges/shelters.
“For the last nearly fifty years a gigantic fraud has been perpetrated by the feminist movement. It claims that men, and only men, are perpetrators. They have deprived the subject of domestic violence of its real context - that intergenerational family violence needs therapeutic intervention. With help and understanding all victims of family violence can be helped.
“Feminists have falsely accused all men. In their training of family agencies, the police and the judiciary, their political ideology has resulted in brainwashing the public at large to lay blame at the door of thousands of innocent men, loving fathers and destroyed the whole concept of family life by declaring that the family is not a safe place for women and children.”
How different society could be today if those in power had listened to Erin Pizzey. With that in mind, I wholeheartedly wish Rosie Batty had not been snapped up by the feminist domestic violence industry. Her loss is a tragic story about undiagnosed mental illness.
It is not until the feminist agenda is unraveled from this narrative that we can start making genuine progress. This is not about anti-men messaging, it’s not about hate – this is a discussion that needs to come back to what Senator Leyonhjelm referred to as “its original mission”.
We should not be talking solely about “violence against women”.
We should be addressing the real contributing factors of domestic violence.
We should be acknowledging that intergenerational family violence needs therapeutic intervention.
We should be talking about true equality and respect for all human beings.
* All evidence based international research can be found on Erin’s website www.honest-ribbon.org. Here is an extensive body of IPV research, Partners Abuse State of Knowledge Project (PASK), the world’s largest domestic violence research database – 2,657 pages with summaries of 1,700 peer-reviewed studies. Evidence has shown for many years that the figures for domestic violence between men and women are about equal. The truth is that domestic violence is not, and never has been, a gender issue. Children born into violent and dysfunctional families are damaged little boys and girls, and without therapeutic intervention many will grow up to repeat the cycle of violence.