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Activist links firefighters to domestic violence.


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#1 GlitteryElfFarts

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:08 AM

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this.

https://www.news.com...27455a380a7b072

#2 Riotproof

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:17 AM

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that ptsd is a very real problem and can lead to domestic violence. It’s also not unreasonable to say that mental health services are under resourced and could do with more attention.

It’s also not unreasonable to say that women have the right to be safe.

#3 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:24 AM

I mean, it's fair to say that there's data out there to support the idea that DV increases after natural disasters. I just don't know if in the thick of these fires is the right time to be making broad statements in the media that the fireys are going to go home and commit DV. Obviously, it's probably worth making sure the people involved in controlling these fires are well supported both emotionally and materially - some of them will have lost their property or have been defending within their own community if I'm hearing right. So it stands to reason that there's the possibility of mental health issues or even just the increased stress that comes with an event like this.

I'm not sure how this should be addressed, TBH. They are doing an amazing job. I hope everyone affected in whatever way is well supported but I dare say there will be plenty of gaps in support...

#4 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:32 AM

I have no issues with it because it’s based on facts.

Thee firefighters are doing a great job but that doesn’t change the reality that this event will likely see rises in DV.

#5 GlitteryElfFarts

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:39 AM

I understand all of that Riotproof. I agree women need to be able to feel safe etc.



#6 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:54 AM

My issue is that she’s directed it at fire fighters. The research doesn’t indicate that the increase in DV is due to fire fighters, it is ALL people affected by natural disaster events. Of course there will be firies who commit DV but they aren’t the only ones. I feel that her message has been lost because she focused on one group which is a shame. The message that DV increases after these events, and proper support is needed, is an important one.

#7 kadoodle

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:56 AM

Well, she made a pig’s ear of getting her point across there. Smh.

#8 Kallie88

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:01 AM

I don't think she's said anything wrong, like a pp above, it's based on facts. I actually think the backlash is probably because we haven't (as a society) really got it into our heads how widespread DV is to begin with. I think enough people still think "well nobody i know would do that" when likely they do know people that do, just don't realize they're doing it, and until that's accepted as basic fact more nuanced information like this is just going to get defensive reactions. DV is everywhere, firefighters, police, engineers, teachers, nurses, sales people etc. I don't think this is meant as an attack on firefighters. We know violence increases after/ during grand finals, so I'm not surprised it would also increase after natural disasters.

#9 doubledelight

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:02 AM

Having a partner who is an ex-RFS he was very well aware of who in the crew was an abuser and did in fact challenge two crew mates on separate occasions over treatment of their partners.

Although there is an argument for timing etc. this is a national epidemic and needs to be addressed as the emergency it is.  The time for civility and etiquette has well and truly passed.

#10 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:10 AM

#NotAllFireFighters, but you can't ignore the increased risks for some families.

Just because someone is a hero in a bushfire emergency events doesn't mean that they treat their family well at home.

Pretending it doesn't happen isn't helpful either.

#11 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:11 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 14 November 2019 - 07:17 AM, said:

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that ptsd is a very real problem and can lead to domestic violence. It’s also not unreasonable to say that mental health services are under resourced and could do with more attention.

It’s also not unreasonable to say that women have the right to be safe.
agree with all of the above.

PTSD expresses itself in many ways. And some people, irrespective of what they do, are abusive.

#12 MooGuru

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:14 AM

I think it is an important topic to discuss that, based on this article, hasn't been raised in the best way potentially to the point it may detract from the conversation.

I think raising the topic that DV is likely to increase post an event like the fires is important.
For me, I'd prefer an article that said:
- we know DV is likely to escalate.
- these are some of the known risk factors i.e. previous levels of DV likely to escalate.
- the importance of recognising that people can act in a heroic way in one environment can also be DV perpetrators in another. So not to excuse/dismiss behaviour because "he's such a hero"
- ways people can get support - both those who are likely victims and those who may perpetrate.
- warning signs re PTSD or that you aren't coping appropriately post the event.
- getting services like the firies on board to publicly give out info on what support they offer to their members in a way that hopefully decreases that real blokes don't get help type stigma. Eta and also to show that they themselves acknowledge this could be a problem within their service.

Edited by MooGuru, 14 November 2019 - 08:20 AM.


#13 JRA

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:17 AM

 Kallie88, on 14 November 2019 - 08:01 AM, said:

I don't think she's said anything wrong, like a pp above, it's based on facts. I actually think the backlash is probably because we haven't (as a society) really got it into our heads how widespread DV is to begin with. I think enough people still think "well nobody i know would do that" when likely they do know people that do, just don't realize they're doing it, and until that's accepted as basic fact more nuanced information like this is just going to get defensive reactions. DV is everywhere, firefighters, police, engineers, teachers, nurses, sales people etc. I don't think this is meant as an attack on firefighters. We know violence increases after/ during grand finals, so I'm not surprised it would also increase after natural disasters.

No, it was based on facts that DV is higher after cataclysmic events. The studies are not about fire fighters, but cataclysmic events and ALL people affected by them.

She took an important message and make a complete **** up of it, stuffing up what should have been an important message.

Edited by lucky 2, 14 November 2019 - 04:37 PM.


#14 **Xena**

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:28 AM

I don't think she's said anything wrong. She is advocating not only for the women who may end up victims but also for the men to have access to more therapy after these types of events. She's speaking based on facts and surely the best time to bring something like this up is before it happens?! She also doesn't just mention firefighters but all emergency personnel and anyone fighting the fires.

I think the real issue is that people take these things so personally. People seem to think that pointing out the facts is actually a personal attack against all men/firefighters etc. The hurt feelings of a few though is worth it if it saves lives.

Edited by **Xena**, 14 November 2019 - 04:20 PM.


#15 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:37 AM

I don’t know how people got just firefighters from what she said anyway, she didn’t single them out, people decided that’s what she meant!!

It would be nice if these men could just be heroes but realistically a decent percentage of them are in some way abusive to their families.

#16 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:40 AM

View Post~J_F~, on 14 November 2019 - 08:37 AM, said:

I don’t know how people got just firefighters from what she said anyway, she didn’t single them out, people decided that’s what she meant!!

It would be nice if these men could just be heroes but realistically a decent percentage of them are in some way abusive to their families.

Her Facebook post does specifically mention firefighters and emergency service workers. I agree with her message I just think she’s muddied it through her delivery.

#17 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:42 AM

Yes but it wasn’t  just firefighters like everyone is banging on about...

#18 Riotproof

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:48 AM

View Post~J_F~, on 14 November 2019 - 08:37 AM, said:

I don’t know how people got just firefighters from what she said anyway, she didn’t single them out, people decided that’s what she meant!!

It would be nice if these men could just be heroes but realistically a decent percentage of them are in some way abusive to their families.

That’s pretty much how I read it. She’s only referring to firefighters as being at risk. And I think it’s reasonable to say that emergency workers of all colours would be more at risk of ptsd by the very nature of the work they do.

It says so much about domestic violence that every single ducking time someone brings it up, everyone gets defensive.

Edited by Riotproof, 14 November 2019 - 08:49 AM.


#19 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:48 AM

I didn’t hear what she said in person. From reading the Facebook post it comes across as specifically talking about fire fighters but perhaps this is because she was clarifying what she said in person?

#20 CallMeFeral

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:48 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 14 November 2019 - 07:56 AM, said:

Well, she made a pig’s ear of getting her point across there. Smh.

Yeah, this.

It's an important point, but her timing and delivery sucked. To the extent that she may have done more damage to all concerned than good.

Now is not the time to say stuff to potentially demonise firefighters, apart from the fact that they are under enough strain, they are currently being focused on by society as heroes, so she's going to create opponents out of people who at some other time may have listened.

Additionally, people who suffer from PTSD need help too, not just their families. If she'd talked about the emotional effects on firefighters and the need to support them after the fire is over, and then slipped in the DV bit as one of the consequences of them not being helped, I think people would have taken it better, because it would be phrased as helping their heroes. Some would still take offence, but it would be harder because she would be seen as advocating for them.

And more minor point, creating the image of burly male firefighters going home and beating their wives is the same association that Bettina Arndt made - i.e. firefighters are men. Perpetuating that association doesn't sit right, even when it is and a (failed) attempt to raise women's issues. Plus of course her likely having no evidence that it's the firefighters responsible for the increase in DV after a stressful event. It's a little like looking at the statistics that there is a rise in DV after a team loses a big sporting competition, and saying it must be the team members going home and beating their wives.

It was probably well intentioned, and certainly factual, but she's completely muffed it.

#21 hills mum bec

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:49 AM

View PostCrazyone26989, on 14 November 2019 - 07:54 AM, said:

My issue is that she’s directed it at fire fighters. The research doesn’t indicate that the increase in DV is due to fire fighters, it is ALL people affected by natural disaster events. Of course there will be firies who commit DV but they aren’t the only ones. I feel that her message has been lost because she focused on one group which is a shame. The message that DV increases after these events, and proper support is needed, is an important one.

This.  I think it's a very badly worded article with a very badly worded headline.  The headline makes it sound like she is claiming that firefighters are more likely to commit DV than other members of society but in actual fact she is claiming that men who commit DV are more likely to do so after a traumatic event and some of those people are likely to be firefighters but realistically could be from any industry.

#22 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:51 AM

Ah and now that I read more carefully I do see that she’s spoken about all victims of these fires not just fire fighters. My apologies, I didn’t see that on my first read.

#23 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:52 AM

The media is spinning what she said to suit themselves and make grand headlines to cause anger, it’s crap!!

Edited by ~J_F~, 14 November 2019 - 08:53 AM.


#24 Crazyone26989

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:54 AM

View Post~J_F~, on 14 November 2019 - 08:52 AM, said:

The media is spinning what she said to suit themselves and make grand headlines, it’s crap!!

Absolutely! The media have a lot to answer for.

The comments on the fb post are just vile....

#25 **Xena**

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:55 AM

She specifically says firefighters, emergency personnel and victims of the fires. Surely that covers everyone that's likely to be directly impacted by the fires.

I find it rather telling though that people think it would have been better received if she had just talked about the men needing help and then just slipped in the bit about DV at the end. So many women die from DV annually and we have to be careful what we say because these very real statistics and issues might offend people.

Edited by **Xena**, 14 November 2019 - 08:57 AM.





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