I’m not a fan of violence against anyone, irrespective of their gender.
But I don’t give a toss about ‘violence against women’, any more than I give a toss about ‘violence against ginger people’ or ‘violence against taxidermists’.
If women were disproportionately likely to be the victims of violence, then perhaps there would be some sanity in focusing campaigns about violence against them. The shooting of a young black man is no more or less bad than the shooting of an old white woman, but focusing anti-gun-crime efforts on young black men does make sense, as they’re the most likely to suffer from it.
But since men are twice as likely as women to be the victims of violent crime, that logic doesn’t seem to apply here.
So, while I’d urge anyone reading this blog who commits acts of violence against people to stop, I wouldn’t be backing Amnesty’s OneTen campaign even if it were honestly promoted and based on real evidence.
But it isn’t.
According to the press release for said campaign: “Each year, around 1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other violence”. This is an epic piece of dishonesty, and anyone with any integrity at all should rail against Amnesty for it, no matter how much they oppose wifebeating.
For one, we know, based on the most accurate data collated – the British Crime Survey linked above – that the figure is one in 40, not one in 10.
More importantly, even the one in 40 figure is for all violent crime. Bringing rape, which is perpetrated on less than one in 100 men or women, into the mix is tabloid chicanery at its absolute worst – it is the same literally true but completely misleading statistic as this piece’s headline. Anyone who quotes the incidence of something less serious, but mentions something more serious in the same sentence, is deeply suspect – no matter which particular political direction they’re trying to nudge you in.
And finally… shouldn’t Amnesty be campaigning against abuses of government power, rather than against crime? It’s as if the RSPCA were suddenly to start funding schools in Africa – whether or not it’s a good thing, it’s certainly not what they’re for.
In conclusion: 1:10pm, March 6, 2009 – Time To Finally Give Up on Amnesty International Forever.
Update: oops. Sorry. No, the people who tweeted this campaign aren’t idiots and don’t lack integrity – they’re well-meaning people who presumably didn’t expect a respected and generally good organisation like Amnesty to base its campaign on dishonesty, and who’ve been conned into repeating lies. And that’s precisely why I’m so fucking angry about it..