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The non-debate of Intimate Femicide and Race – Africa Check vs Hofmeyr, Bridges

By: KevinKing 2014-08-22 09:12
After posting my article titled “And the Straw Man’s name is Steve Hofmeyr” which questioned the conclusions reached by Africa Check and company regarding their statement that “the majority of white women are murdered by their white male partners”, I expected some sort of debate between the various parties involved.  Instead I received not one word from Africa Check (“Racial scare-mongering in South Africa makes light of women’s murders”), Julian Rademeyer (“Dodgy stats just a means to an end for Hofmeyr, Bridges”) or Thorne Godinho (“The uncomfortable truth about white masculinity”).  Instead of debate, all parties proceeded to block me on Twitter.  Only one word comes to mind…
“The white right, women's murders and a massacre of statistics”
Instead of a constructive debate, Africa Check’s Lisa Vetten has hit back with the above mentioned article which in my opinion is a poor attempt to wash away the vast amount of evidence against Africa Check’s argument.  Their key strategy remains to make use of terms like “white right”, “racially prejudiced”, “massacre of statistics” and “amateur statistics” to instil distrust in those who present well researched statistics that do not support their view.  The attack on the Straw Man continues.  So once again, I’d like to put it to you, the reader, to put on your objective hats and consider the facts I’m about to present.  Once again I’d like to emphasise that this is a response to claims made by Africa Check and Lisa Vetten, and not a “scare-mongering” exercise.
 “The majority of white women are murdered by their white male partners”
This claim is made by Lisa Vetten in an article published by Africa Check.  SHE cites a 2002 report by the Medical Research Council (MRC) that finds that slightly more than half of South African women (14 and over) murdered are murdered by their intimate partners.  But she ignores the racial breakdown which clearly shows that white women are least likely to die at the hands of their partners compared to all other races and that more white women are murdered by others than at the hands of their partners.  These are facts.
In here latest article, suddenly the racial breakdown is in play and she backtracks on her previous article:   “First, the study – which sampled national mortuary data from 1999 - found that in that year white women were killed more often by men other than their intimate partners. In statistical terms 2.8 of every 100 000 white women were killed by their intimate partners while 5.8 out of every 100 000 white women were recorded as having been killed by "others".  Second, 80.9% of killers in the "other" category were classed as "African". “.  She clearly admits that in the period 1999 to 2002, the majority of white women who were murdered were not murdered by their white male partners.  But now she guns for Steve’s statement “white women are likely to be murdered by "unknown black males””
 “White women are likely to be murdered by "unknown black males””
Firstly she questions the assumption that these “others” are unknown and that they might be “a brother, a father, an uncle, a colleague, a friend or an acquaintance”.  Basically what she is saying is that white women who are murdered by people other than their partners may have been murdered by their white uncles, acquaintances, friends etc.  Then she rightfully questions the assumption that these “others” kill members of other races in the same ratio:  
“That sort of finding can only be made when separate analyses of each group of women is undertaken by perpetrator race. The MRC study did not undertake such analysis so we therefore do not know the racial breakdown of perpetrators per category of women”.  
Strangely enough the MRC has this information but it just wasn’t disclosed in the final report.  So why does Vetten, who was part of the research team, not use this information to prove Steve Hofmeyr and company wrong?  Why plead the 5th?  Nevertheless I’m very surprised that she would argue this without first looking at a worst case scenario from Steve Hofmeyr’s point of view.
Worst Case Scenario (Based on MRC stats)
Out of 1,000 women murdered:
529 killed by Intimate Partners
471 killed by Non-Intimate Partners
131 white women killed in total
43 white women killed by Intimate Partners
88 white women killed by Non-Intimate Partners
Assuming ALL white women’s intimate partners are white men (worst case scenario) and assuming that the 3.1% of white men responsible for Non-Intimate Partners femicide ONLY target white women (worst case scenario) then:
43 white women killed by white Intimate Partners
15 white women killed by white Non-Intimate Partners (brothers, friends etc)
A total of 58 of the 131 (44%) white women killed by white men
The remaining 73 of the 131 (56%) white women are killed by non-white men 
What this WORSE CASE SCENARIO demonstrates regarding the 2002 statistics, is that even if white men ONLY kill white women, NEVER killing even a single woman from other race, at best she will be able to say that white women are more likely to be murdered by unknown black and coloured males and her statement that “the majority of white women are murdered by their white male partners” falls flat once again.
 Women abuse, Intimate Femicide-Suicide and Race
Ironically the issue of race was not first introduced by Hofmeyr and company, it was first introduced by Vetten and her team at the MRC.  Besides the excellent study of “Intimate Femicide” which was completed in 2002, the MRC undertook some other fascinating studies around the same period.  The first was titled “Men’s Relationships with and the Abuse of Women”, which was about domestic violence against women, and the second titled “Intimate femicide–suicide in South Africa: a cross-sectional study”, which looks at when perpetrators of intimate femicide commit suicide afterwards.
All three of these studies included a looking at the race of victims and perpetrators.  Obviously the decision to disaggregate the information into race was a conscious decision and obviously there had to be a reason behind this decision.  Whatever the reason, the results came up with the following findings:
Abuse  
48% of black men reported abuse
22% of white men reported abuse
54% of coloured men reported abuse
58% of Asian men reported abuse
Factors associated with abusing women which decreased the risk of abuse were identified as post matric education, participation in religion and age (the risk decreased as age of the perpetrator increased) while factors increasing the risk of abuse were identified as drugs, involvement in gangs, previous convictions and violent behaviour.  These findings further contrast Vetten’s statement that “The majority of white women are murdered by their white male partners” because this study finds that white men are less prone to domestic abuse, probably due to their access to education financial standing.  The assumption that all races were equally honest can be challenged if it’s proven that white males are more likely to lie about domestic abuse.  I wonder if the MRC would conduct a study of the honesty of the white South African male in order to dispute their own report.  
Intimate Femicide-Suicide
The study, which was a cross study of the prior research done on Intimate Femicide again stated that “the overall intimate-femicide (IF) rates were found to be lowest among white males”.  It had the following results:
74.9% of victims of IF were black, 79.7% of victims of IFS were black, 1:1 ratio
2.5% of victims of IF were white, 10.2% of victims of IFS were white, 3:9 ratio
22% of victims of IF were coloured, 5% of victims of IFS were coloured, 0.21:1 ratio
0.7% of victims of IF were indian, 5% of victims of IFS were indian, 6.85:1 ratio
The study found that “Suicide among intimate-femicide perpetrators was more likely if the perpetrator was white; employed as a professional or white-collar worker; and owned a legal gun”.  
It is 2014, not 1999
Vetten says:  “Importantly, arguing like it’s 1999 assumes that somehow the violent events of that particular year have remained miraculously preserved in time, creating a kind of template for female homicide that replicates itself identically every year. This is not a plausible assumption. Trends in homicide cannot be established from one year’s worth of data alone but must be discerned in patterns emerging over years. In other words we do not know how representative 1999 was of patterns and trends in female homicide generally and we certainly cannot claim that what was the case in 1999 is still the case fifteen years later in 2014.”
There are two things that Vetten does here:
She applies double standards - Initially it was Vetten who had brought up the MRC research to support her view that “the majority of white women are murdered by their white male partners”.  Her detractors then used this exact same research to challenge her and as admitted by Vetten, they proved her wrong, but only for the period in which the study was done (1999-2002).  But suddenly the same research she brought into play, when used by her detractors, is old and no longer applies.  How unbelievably convenient!
She issues a disclaimer – basically what she says is that her statement “the majority of white women are murdered by their white male partners” cannot be confirmed or denied on the account of lack of information.  This is most confusing because the MRC’s 2009 research, which Vetten participated in, has all the necessary data to extract the comparative information in order to smack Hofmeyr for a home run.  Instead of hiding this information as if it was related to Zuma’s spy tapes, why not just simply make this information available?  It looks like Hofmeyr is winning here.   
It seems that there will be no disclosure of all the 2009 research findings such as non-intimate femicide rates and the race of perpetrators, thus we need to rely on logic.
The 2009 research, which was a follow up to the 2002 research, had the following results regarding Intimate Femicide (rate per 100,000):
African – 5.7 (8.8 in 2002, down 35%)
Coloured – 10.1 (18.3 in 2002, down 45%)
Indian – 3.5 (4.9 in 2002, down 29%)
White – 1.5 (2.8 in 2002, down 46%)
Given the fact that Intimate Femicide decreased the most amongst the whites (46%), what chance is there that white men suddenly have an exponential increase in violence against white women who are not their partners?
Given the fact that the ratio of black men (15 and over) to white men (15 and over) increased from 6.5 : 1 in 2001 to 7.7 :  1 in 2013, what chance is there that white men would suddenly be committing a substantially larger number on non-intimate murders of white women than they did during 1999 to 2002?
There is overwhelming evidence in the media, where the murder of white women by white men is so rare that the average person can name most of these cases (Oscar, Griquastad Killer, Chanelle Henning), and where the murder of white women by non-white men (especially those on farms) is making the news every week.
In conclusion, what I’ve found is not one shred of evidence to support Africa Check’s claims.  All the information above strongly suggests that their statement is false.  Note that further evidence presented by Hofmeyr and Bridges that backs up their argument is not touched upon in this article.   Instead I’ve used only evidence from MRC research conducted by Vetten and company.  It seems that they will continue to non-debate this issue and ignore all evidence non in their favour, even if it’s their own research.
Why must some murders have more value than others?
According to SAPS, at least 90 people have been killed in homicides in South Africa each year since 1994.  That’s more that’s 650,000 dead in just 20 years.  This number includes black, white, coloured, indian, men, women, children, heterosexual, homosexual, atheist, Muslim, Christian etc.  No murder is more or less important than others, but why is so much research done regarding femicide when the majority of murder victims are men?  Why do research on Intimate Femicide when the rate of Iintimate Femicide is very small compared to the overall murder rate?  It’s because we are one of the crime capitals of the world and thus extensive research is imperative in order to understand all forms of crime in order to identify trends, obtain further understanding and to undertake to deal with crime.
As far as I’m concerned, any information that can be used to fight crime is valuable, regardless of whether it makes certain groups look bad.  If research shows that one group (race, religion, gender etc) is murdering another at a disproportionate rate, then it must lead to further research as to the causes so that action can be taken.  And when statements are made that are clearly false and intended to be politically correct or are part of an agenda, they should be condemned because they hinder our war on crime.
And lastly, I looked up the definition of “hate crime” on Google.  23 million hits.  I looked in the Oxford Dictionary, the terms “genocide” and “xenophobia” are there.  These things DO exist!  So yes, some forms of crime do have colour.  Not all crime is normal crime.  And disaggregating information about crime helps identify these scourges before it’s too late.

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