A “manopoly” of the media

Where are the women?

Excerpt:

The news is not encouraging, though NPR is trying to do something about it.

Admittedly, the relative lack of female voices reflects the broader world. The fact remains that even in the fifth decade after the feminist revolution; men are still largely in charge in government at all levels, in corporations and nearly all other aspects of society. That means, by default, there are going to be more male than female news sources.

Myths, stereotypes and lies…oh my!

The myth of mean girls

But this panic is a hoax. We have examined every major index of crime on which the authorities rely. None show a recent increase in girls’ violence; in fact, every reliable measure shows that violence by girls has been plummeting for years. Major offenses like murder and robbery by girls are at their lowest levels in four decades. Fights, weapons possession, assaults and violent injuries by and toward girls have been plunging for at least a decade.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports, based on reports from more than 10,000 police agencies, is the most reliable source on arrests by sex and age. From 1995 to 2008, according to the F.B.I., girls’ arrest rates for violent offenses fell by 32 percent, including declines of 27 percent for aggravated assault, 43 percent for robbery and 63 percent for murder. Rates of murder by girls are at their lowest levels in at least 40 years.

Believe women

Cries of child abuse bounce back on mums

CHILD protection campaigners say women who accuse their former partners of sexually abusing their children are being unfairly labelled as mentally ill in the Family Court.

Child sex abuse researcher Freda Briggs and child protection advocate Charles Pragnell say recent cases show the emphasis on shared parenting responsibilities is putting children in danger.

Professor Briggs and Mr Pragnell are part of the Safer Family Law campaign and argue that amendments to the Family Law Act in 2006 were geared towards the rights of parents rather than those of children.

Professor Briggs, from the University of South Australia, specialises in research into child sex abuse. Mr Pragnell is from the National Council for Children Post-Separation, which is part of the Safer Family Law campaign. He has been called as an expert witness in child sex abuse cases in Australia, Britain and New Zealand.

They cite a Sydney case of a child who was allegedly put at risk of danger by being forced to live with her father.

An interim decision was made to order the six-year-old to live with her father, at whose house she was photographed in pornographic poses by one of his friends.

A court counsellor alleged the girl’s mother was manipulative and might suffer from a mental illness.

“The courts should focus on the needs and wants of the child, and the rights of a child to be protected from abuse,” Mr Pragnell said.

“Too often we see that a parent’s right to contact is given at all costs.”

Amendments to the Family Law Act in 2006 emphasised “co-operative” parenting and shared responsibilities.

In January, Attorney-General Robert McClelland released three reviews into these amendments.

A review by the Australian Institute of Family Studies accepts that some of the consequences of a focus on shared parenting responsibilities have been “less than favourable”.

Child Abuse Prevention Service manager Karen Craigie said women and men contacted the service regularly after raising concerns of sexual abuse and being labelled mentally ill.

“We get lots of calls about this. It is common. Women involved are often subjected to domestic violence and are very traumatised,” Ms Craigie said.

“I have heard of cases where women are so afraid of losing their children and solicitors will advise them that raising concerns of sexual abuse will make them look like they are being obstructive.”

Angela Lynch, a solicitor for the Women’s Legal Service in Queensland who has advised women in these situations, said the family court system was too “pro-father involvement”.

“In a nice family, that is a great thing. When there are issues of abuse and domestic violence, it is a huge problem,” Ms Lynch said. “If you raise sexual abuse in court, you are seen as an unfriendly parent, which is the worst thing you can be in family court.”

The Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court of Australia would not comment.

Source: The Sun-Herald