Men’s rights campaigner Bettina Arndt has drawn attention to a new advertising campaign by Australian Christian charity Mission Australia which aims to shine a light on homelessness.
However, the ad instead portrays a domestic violence situation where the frighten mother Heather hides in her son Lucas’ room while her abusive husband Chris on is on a rampage. They escape outside the bedroom window with the tagline of the ad being ‘what’s scarier than homelessness?’.
In her response video, Bettina Arndt accuses Mission Australia of only portraying half the story and engaging in an anti-male advertising campaign. Bettina quotes statistics that show women make up the majority of child homicides in Australia and that children are just as frightened by witnessing domestic violence at the hands of their mother. Bettina quotes Australian clinical psychologist Kim Halford whose research has found that only 1% of family violence cases in Australia are dangerous men controlling their family.
Bettina accuses that Mission Australia of cynically exploiting our natural sympathy for women and children by continuing to perpetuate lies on the issue of domestic violence. She claims they chose this campaign and are playing to the feminist script on this issue because they want to get some of the government money that has been thrown at combatting domestic violence over the past decade.
Bettina then invites viewers to join her in calling out Mission Australia for selling out children by not warning them of the real risks they face in violent homes. She has started a change.org petition calling on Mission Australia to stand up against all family violence and to cancel their offensive, anti-male campaign.
The petition was shared on Mark Latham’s Outsiders Facebook page and Bettina promoted it and discussed the Mission Australia campaign on yesterday’s episode of Miranda Devine Live.
A fact that was not mentioned in Bettina’s video but was included in many comments that of the 116,000 homeless people in Australian 75% are male. In defence of Mission Australia their ‘Story of Us’ video begins with a father and son embracing, the homeless statistic is represented by male and so is the 1 in 5 Australians being affected by mental illness.
Bettina and other men’s rights campaigners recently had a victory when Lifeline Australia succumbed to public outcry and cancelled a panel event in Melbourne on domestic violence which featured abusive feminist writer Clementine Ford. The petition to remove Ford as a speaker gained 14,000 signatures with many pledging to no longer donate to Lifeline.
Bettina Arndt has also been championing the cause of Perth counsellor Rob Tilley who was sacked by Relationships Australia for sharing on his personal Facebook profile an article by Bettina on domestic violence. She has established a crowdfunding campaign for him to take his case to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal and so he can set up his own private counselling service. She has also encouraged people to complain directly to Relationships Australia WA.
Some might say that Bettina’s petition against this advertisement and Outsiders’ Ross Cameron’s call to not give to Mission Australia is an overreaction to a charity that on the whole does good work with the homeless and disadvantaged. But certainly where misinformation is spread around domestic violence and the damage that has on men as a whole needs to be called out.