Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (18:03:18):
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence. It could have been equally directed to the Minister for Crime Prevention or the Minister for Mental Health as it relates to the Jesuit Social Services Men’s Project and the response to recommendations from the family violence royal commission.
The Jesuit Social Services’ Men’s Project has, not surprisingly to anyone, recognised and identified that we have a problem, and we have a problem with our men and boys. It is not all of them by any means, but nine out of 10 of our prisoners are male; on average, every 4 hours a male commits suicide; and 95 per cent of victims of violence experience that from a male perpetrator.
But, most importantly, these issues are completely connected to men’s attitudes to masculinity. This men’s project did a very interesting report into this. They basically found that men in the ‘man box’, and this actually accounts for 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the people that they surveyed—who agree or agree strongly that men should act tough, figure out their personal problems themselves and use aggression to get respect; that a man should never say no to sex; and that men should bring home the money, not women—are far more likely to perpetrate bullying, be involved in traffic accidents, perpetrate physical violence or sexual harassment and, given that it is World Suicide Prevention Day, have suicidal ideation.
When they looked at these men, 75 per cent of them were having suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts. What Jesuit Social Services are asking for is a solution to this, and the solution to male suicide is to address masculinity attitudes.
The action tonight that I seek tonight is that the government explicitly recognise the influence that men’s attitudes towards masculinity can have on family violence and that the minister, in acting on the recommendations of the Men’s Project, develop a coordinated response to adolescent family violence pursuant to recommendations 123 to 128 of the royal commission.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment matter raised 10/9/19