Perhaps it really was a quiet news week. Apart, that is, from the Budget, Johnny Depp’s dogs, double-dipping mothers and the Rohingya refugee crisis. But perhaps with domestic violence in some of the news, Mark Latham decided to single dip and write another opinion column.
And he’s done it again. Or to use the academic expression, more research is required before a conclusion can be drawn.
As I waded through this column, looking for insight, I found it. But I had to ignore all the flim-flam frippery about Tim Watts, Peter Walsh, the ALP, Government intervention, Parliamentarians Against Family Violence, Attila the Hun (some interesting juxtapositions there), Paul Keating, government intervention (again), until Latham finally, finally, at last, made his point. “This is an issue where politicians have struggled with their own behaviour, let alone found solutions for the rest of the country.” True. And I thought to myself, does he have a solution?
And he does. He diagnoses the root cause of domestic violence easily, simply and elegantly. But perhaps he’s been watching too much Struggle Street. The cause is self-evident. Poverty and unemployment. Wife bashing (as he calls it) can be solved by making the poor rich and giving them a job.
If I was a heavy-duty latte-sipper I would’ve spilled froth everywhere. But being a mere flat white drinker, I just skimmed the rest.
And my conclusion. Mark Latham does not know what he is talking about. His focus is too narrow. Domestic violence is wife bashing. But domestic violence is intimate partner violence.Domestic violence won’t be solved through fighting poverty and unemployment important as those issues are. Domestic violence would then have been solved as the rich and employed wouldn’t commit it. But domestic violence isn’t confined to class, or race or creed or sexual preference. A glib answer. A slick solution.
Domestic violence is an attitude.
And my advice. Don’t read the column. Don’t get mad at Mark. Talk to him about it. Talk to him about poverty and unemployment. Talk to him about the victims of domestic violence. Let him do his research and then draw his conclusions.