Bettina Arndt newsletter

Hi Everybody,

Now for a jaw dropping story that will leave you marveling at the brilliance of the feminist enterprise. I’m talking about extraordinary success of last year’s pandemic fundraiser – the mighty domestic violence scare campaign built around COVID lockdowns.

Like all great fundraising campaigns, the concept was simple and based on a tiny kernel of truth – namely, a real risk for women who are locked up for weeks on end with dangerous men. As I have discussed in detail before, there are hundreds of research articles showing this is actually a rare scenario. Most family violence involves aggressive women as well as men and children are more likely to be cowering from abusive mothers, particularly mentally ill or drug-addicted women, than their fathers. We are spending billions of dollars on a domestic violence industry which misrepresents the truth about family violence and fails to address the real causes.

Naturally no hint of these complexities emerged in the frightening anti-male narrative that quickly dominated our media stories. Within days of our first lockdown warnings emerged that women would be “trapped with their abuser with nowhere to go’’. UN Women declared a “shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls” would result from lockdowns across the world.

The ABC naturally was right in there, declaring it was “a particularly dangerous time”, and quoting Women’s Safety NSW CEO Hayley Foster, saying “It’s going to be massive, there’s no two ways about it.”

The push was on for more funding for the domestic violence industry to deal with the looming crisis. “Conditions are akin to a perfect storm”, claimed The Saturday Paper. Experts were trotted out predicting huge increases in DV reports. Kate Fitz-Gibbon, director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre warned that leaving a relationship during the pandemic would not be a safe option for many women: “It is terrifying to think what those statistics will be for Australia in 2020.”

Sure enough extra money quickly started to flow in, with Victoria promising an additional $40.2M, Queensland $5.5M boost in funding, and WA adding more than $28 million – adding to massive amounts from the Commonwealth, which I’ll discuss later.

The vanishing second pandemic

But then, disaster. Data started to emerge on actual rates of domestic violence during lockdown, throwing an almighty spanner into the works. In NSW, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research analysed police crime data and found no evidence of an increase in domestic violence since social distancing was implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Next a bunch of academics analysed recorded rates of violent crime in Queensland and revealed that, if anything, domestic violence reduced slightly. This inconvenient finding was underscored by a drop in DVO applications to Queensland courts.

Victorian data also showed a slight decrease: “Since stage 3 restrictions were reintroduced in Victoria in July, Victoria Police have reported a slight decrease in family violence reports around the state.”

And Ambulance Victoria noted a slight decrease in callouts to family violence related incidents.

So here it was- clear evidence that our media and our governments had been hoodwinked by the feminist propaganda, wrongly maligning all those good Aussie blokes locked up with their families.

But naturally none of this received much of a run – the feminist control of mainstream media ensured this profitable fundraiser wasn’t going to be derailed by any awkward real statistics.

Manufacturing data to fit the narrative.

The search was on for a means of producing new findings to detract from the true data. Three stars to the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, the first contender to find a way through the impasse.

Boy, was their scheme audacious. They would simply ignore the troublesome data and instead survey people in the DV industry for their opinions about the extent of the crisis. They quickly started surveying members of the army of workers now part of the huge government-supported domestic violence workforce, starting in Queensland and Victoria.

To no one’s surprise, they found that the DV industry thought things were terrible and they needed much more money. And the media responded predictably by spreading this “news.” Here’s The Guardian claiming domestic violence soared in Australia during Covid-19 – “our worst year”.

The DV umbrella group Women’s Safety NSW was next off the rank, surveying its own workers. Results were the same – the DV industry thought things were terrible and they needed much more money. The media obligingly broadcasted the findings. Here’s the ABC quoting DV support groups reporting a surge in demand for services.

And so it went on, with QUT Centre for Justice next surveying 362 domestic violence agencies and individuals across the country, and ABC dutifully trumpeting results which revealed “the fear of a shadow pandemic was warranted.”

Isn’t that just so clever? Members of the DV industry continuing to survey each other, using their claims of increased demand for their services to drown out the real evidence that the second pandemic was a total fizzer. That’s quite a Stalinesque plot.

And then their ship came in

Well, what about the loot? Ok, we are starting with a domestic violence industry already receiving about $100 million annually from the Federal Government, with additional funds rolling in from all state governments, corporate and private donors.

But the great COVID fundraiser produced an astonishing 150% increase in their annual handout from the Feds – leaping from $100 to $250 million per annum at least until 2022-23. Not bad, eh? Particularly for a scare campaign which proved demonstrably wrong.

How pathetic that this latest feminist boondoggle has attracted so much more funding than evidence-based causes. In 2020-21 funding for suicide prevention was $65.2m (most of which shamefully goes to initiatives targeting women even though 6 of the 8 people who kill themselves every day are male). There are around 3,128 deaths per year from suicide, according to the most recent data, as compared to 35 female deaths from intimate partner violence.

The other night I listened to Paul Murray on Sky News as he ran through all the damage being done by COVID lockdowns. Sure enough, increased domestic violence was on his list. Even conservative commentators have bought into this latest of feminist myths – now part of the popular narrative of COVID’s legacy. And woe betide anyone who tells the truth.

By the way, Quadrant Online has just published my story about the COVID fundraiser – see link here. It would be great if you could circulate this as widely as possible, particularly as it includes promotion for my newsletter.

Cringe moments

There’s an intriguing revelation in a recently published YouTube video chat between two Canadian legal experts, speaking about the acquittal of a young male student accused of rape by another student. As part of their Not on Record series on false allegations, criminal defence lawyer Joseph Neuberger talks with legal researcher Diana Davison about the key motivation for the allegation in this case – namely, “a cringe moment”.

Davison explains that cringe moments are all about embarrassment, when people, usually women, are caught out in humiliating sexual situations. She reports that a common thread in many false allegations cases is young women realise they are facing a cringe moment but then decide the easiest way to cover themselves is to allege they have been raped. “You are aware people are going to hear about you and one of the ways to get ahead of the gossip is to say, ‘It’s not my fault. I was assaulted,’” says Davison.

Davison explains that the accuser of the male student they successfully defended was embarrassed after their sexual encounter because she shouldn’t have hooked up with her college roommate’s recent ex-partner. So, she alleged he had raped her despite multiple witnesses reporting she was all over him at the college party, grabbing him by his shirt and pulling him into the empty room, saying “Let’s go, let’s go.”

As Neuberger/Davison’s conversation reveals, the problem with hastily blurted out cover stories is they can so easily become unstuck. That’s what happened to the accuser in their case. She claimed she was too drunk to have consented to sex yet contradictory evidence emerged during the court hearings undermining her story. Funnily enough, as the case progressed a steady stream of her backers moved seats in the courtroom to sit with students and family supporting the accused. Luckily the judge seems to have had similar sentiments and the case was dismissed.

Here in Australia, it is not hard to think of an absolutely spectacular cringe moment, where the young lady in question risked public exposure which was bound to lead to a total media frenzy. How much easier to go public and blame it all on rape, be elevated to victim status and reap all the adoration and riches that then follow.

Men are always responsible

In the Canadian case both the accused and accuser admitted they had sex, but she claimed she couldn’t consent because she’d been drinking. As Neuberger and Davison point out, there’s a lesson here that should worry all parents, particularly those whose children end up going to university and staying in colleges. In Canada, as in Australia, all university students are now required to attend sexual consent courses where they are being taught that if young people drink alcohol and have sex, the young man is inevitably guilty of sexual assault.

Diana Davison explains: “Two people become equally drunk. One, the female, becomes less responsible for their actions and then other, the male, becomes doubly responsible – for her as well as him.”

That’s the message these young people are receiving – providing a ready-made out for any female student suffering a cringe moment such as finding themselves in bed with the wrong man at the wrong time, or ‘regret sex’ of any description. We’re already seeing these cases ending up in court – one I have been following was thrown out here just a few months ago.

It’s chilling how many teenage boys are being charged. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, males aged 15-19 show the highest offender rate for sexual assaults recorded by police. How come the impact on these youngsters’ lives is never discussed?

Cringe moment cases have such worrying implications, demonstrating that these scenarios can easily bring out the worst in young women. That should be enough to terrify all young men – and their parents.

Presuming guilt: surviving a false rape accusation.

Coming soon, a live chat on thinkspot with New Zealander Peter Joyce, the author of Dry Ice which documents the seven-month ordeal which followed a false allegation of historical rape.

Peter, a retired English teacher, first heard about the allegation when a detective turned up at the door and announced Peter had been accused of rape by a daughter of a friend – whom he had never met. It turned out that she had accused her father of repeatedly and systematically raping her in her childhood and recruiting his friends, including Peter, to do the same.

It was a complex case with many suspects involved and alleged events occurring decades ago. Peter was able to compile evidence that could easily have cleared him, but the police weren’t interested. They were so completely in thrall to the “believe the victim” dogma that they refused to conduct a proper investigation.

Dry Ice is the most extraordinary book, based on Peter’s diary during that time, as he shifts from assuming the case would easily be dismissed to realising the justice system had no interest in his version of events. During this time, Peter acquired extensive knowledge of the issue of false allegations and now hosts a website – – devoted to the topic.

The chat will take place at 10 AM AEST on Wed Aug 25 and on 8PM New York time on Tues 24th August. Great if you can sign in for the event here.

That’s it for now.

Cheers, Tina

Bettina Arndt

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