The Women’s Aid 2020 Survey: Dishonesty and Misinformation

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Encouraged by the new International Alliance’s uncovering of the falsehoods of the Domestic Violence movement, we turned our attention to Women’s Aid which has been setting the agenda in this regard and has conducted many campaigns here. One is the #TooIntoYou campaign, running since 2011, warning young women about dating abuse.

It flags bad behaviour of young men to be watched out for such as  ‘Controlling Conor’, ‘Send Nudes Niall’,  ‘Needy Neil’ and others, 8 in all. The three week-long poster and social media advertising campaign runs from 14th February to 8th March (International Women’s Day).  Several striking things about this campaign are not only its length, the crude, vulgar putdowns but that it starts on St. Valentine’s Day the most romantic day in the calendar. It is certainly not calculated to increase trust in or encourage relationships with men. Rather to deepen suspicion and one is left in little doubt just how Women’s Aid views men as a whole.

The One in Five survey

Next we looked at the latest report titled One in Five based on an online survey of five-hundred 18 to 25 year olds in September 2020. The sample consisted of 245 women and 255 men which was something of a surprise. One of the key stats is that 1 in 5 young women and 1 in 11 young men have suffered intimate relationship abuse. There are many stats with very precise percentages:  Of the 1 in 5 young women who experienced intimate relationship abuse, 56% were threatened with physical violence, 32% experienced ‘severe’ physical abuse etc.

The #Too Into You Social Media Campaign starts on St. Valentine’s Day and goes on for three weeks

One needs to step back here since one fifth of 245 is 49 and one eleventh of 255 is c.23, small numbers indeed.

So why go in for the precise percentages above, why not just give the actual figures instead? So what is the difference between 55% and 56%?; it is half a person, a nonsense. Percentages for young men are given only when it suits the argument. Percentages typically are used when the sample size is  in the thousands and so, large enough to be extrapolated to the whole population. This exercise is dishonest and seems designed to mislead people into extrapolating the results to the population at large.

One needs to read the footnotes as there is an effort to cover itself in these. #2 on numbers of men includes this:

“The overall sample is very low for statistical analysis purposes n.23” Indeed it is. Footnote #19 includes: “This means that statistics referring to personal experiences of abuse are based on a small number of young women (n=66) and men (n=36)”. Both of these figures are wrong and should read 49 and 23 respectively as indicated above!

Footnote #21 reads “Only a small number of men responded to our survey saying that they had experienced intimate relationship abuse (23 men) and so we did not have an adequate sample size to comparatively examine abuse amongst young men and women”.

Sarah Benson CEO Women’s Aid

But if it was too small for men then it was also too small for women. Despite this the survey continues on its grandiose way flinging out yet more precise percentages but only for women.

Surveys cited

Section 1.2 purports to outline the International context. In Footnote #7 it cites percentages from the NISVS 2015 report from the US. This is a very selective quote and compounds the dishonesty. It conspicuously fails to mention by far the  most significant, indeed astounding finding of that report which is that men are now victimised more than women. But of course this would undermine their whole case. See Tables 9 and 11 of this survey for this finding.

It quotes a USI survey from 2020: “44% of third-level students in Ireland reported experiencing non-consensual behaviour such as sexual touching, attempted or completed, oral, vaginal or anal penetration”. There is more falseness here as this bundles together sexual touching with more serious sexual assault and rape which ought to be kept separate, a blatantly dishonest attempt to bamboozle the public. This survey was apparently carried out by a group in NUIG.

The NISVS 2015 report from the US is selectively cited but its most important finding is omitted

Online harassment and abuse appears on P.11 and 12 where two surveys are cited. One found that 58% of respondents had been abused but just 16% of this had been by a friend or ex-partner, so it is not clear how relevant this is or whether the abuser was male or female. It is known that much of the online abuse of young women is done by other young women but this percentage of course does not appear.

Next comes that old standby the EUFRA survey from 2012 which is cited three times. This must have the distinction of being the most quoted survey by groups such as Women’s Aid throughout Europe and it is easy to see why.

It was carried out by an EU Agency but it interviewed 42,000 women and no men. All respected scholarly surveys today are carried out on roughly equal numbers of women and men, since otherwise vital information is missed such as asking Was the violence bidirectional? Who initiated it? Was alcohol involved on both sides? This was a politicised survey whose aim was to push forward acceptance of the Istanbul Convention. It has not been repeated since. Experts in the field would simply reject any survey which limits its sample to one gender only as wilful blind prejudice.

The Main Findings

Male victims dont count

The main findings begin in Section 2 on P.15 where it goes into detail about different types of abuse, physical, emotional, sexual, financial. One feature of the pages from 21 to 26 is the side column where percentages are cited such as “56% of women had been threatened with physical abuse”,  “26% of women have experienced severe physical abuse more than once”.

While the main text does say that these percentages are out of those who had experienced intimate relationship abuse in the first place, nonetheless these side column figures picked out in large bold type, naturally grab the eye, and can deceive the unwary.

One very notable feature of the survey is the absence of references to first hand articles by reputable scholars in the field.

This is understandable: The great bulk of such articles do not carry data which suit the agenda, rather the contrary. It neatly underlines just how paltry is the evidence now available which is supportive of the ideological position espoused by Women’s Aid. On the other hand for anyone who wants a comprehensive account of the literature, an exhaustive list of references is contained in the article by Nicola Graham-Kevan who so memorably spoke at our conference in 2019.

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