Istanbul Convention: Approaching UK Ratification

I have today sent the letter below to my local MP (copied to Philip Davies). You may wish to do the same (use your own words).

Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill 2016-17

Tomorrow (Friday 16th December 2016) the above Private Members’ Bill comes before the House of Commons for its second reading. The Bill is to be presented by Dr Eilidh Whiteford, SNP Spokesperson for Social Justice, Work and Pensions.

The purpose of the Bill is to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – known as The Istanbul Convention.

I urge you to vote against the Bill going forward.

The reason is that the Bill is profoundly antithetical to equality, despite being presented in the guise of equality.

The basis of this view is laid out in the attached Appendix.

Appendix: Basis of the view that The Istanbul Convention is Antithetical to Equality

The Istanbul Convention calls for the protection of women and girls ONLY

The Convention is concerned solely with the protection and standing of women and girls.

The natural chivalry of men, and their desire to protect women, has led to a perception of domestic violence (DV) in which men appear only as perpetrators of violence and only women are its victims. This is factually incorrect (see below).

It is important to realise that this seriously false perception persists because, as a society, we have failed to embrace equality.

Unfortunately, the Istanbul Convention is a further reinforcement of this inequitable predisposition to which we are prone as a hangover from our historically gendered society. This is explicit within the Convention itself, which openly espouses a “gendered approach” (see below).

In other words, the Istanbul Convention is the opposite of what it purports to be: it proposes a deepening of inequality in the guise of advocating for equality.

The Reality of Domestic Violence

The Crime Surveys for England & Wales have consistently indicated for many years that one in three victims of partner abuse are men. This is broadly consistent with survey data from other Anglophone countries.

No issue in the social sciences has been so well studied as domestic violence. The research literature is immense. To name just a couple: (i) Martin Fiebert has complied data from 286 studies comprising over 370,000 case histories, (ii) The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project was conducted by 42 scholars at 20 universities and research centres and is extremely comprehensive. These authoritative sources conclude that “women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in controlling behaviours, at comparable rates to men“. A broadly consistent picture emerges from the most recent UK research, e.g., from the University of Cumbria, the University of Central Lancashire and Teeside University.

23% of reports of domestic violence to the police in the UK in 2015 were from victimised men, despite the reluctance of men to report domestic violence.

The number of convictions of women for domestic violence was 5,641 in 2015/16, and this number is rising steeply.

Adults and Children

Traditionalists who are unable to make the cognitive leap required to acknowledge that adult men might need protection should note an even more pernicious aspect of the Convention: the gendered approach is to be applied also to children. Thus, whilst the protection of women and girls is promoted, boys feature only alongside men as potential perpetrators. Article 12(4) states,

Parties shall take the necessary measures to encourage all members of society, especially men and boys, to contribute actively to preventing all forms of violence covered by the scope of this Convention” (i.e., against females)

Boys are not otherwise mentioned in the Convention. This actively promotes the view that, whilst boys, of however tender an age, are to be regarded as potential abusers, they are not considered as needing protection. This observation alone is sufficient to reject calls for the ratification of this Convention.

Discrimination is not discrimination

Article 4(4) states,

Special measures that are necessary to prevent and protect women from gender-based violence shall not be considered discrimination under the terms of this Convention.”

This would be an extremely unfortunate legal precept. It would give carte blanche for the pre-emptive arrests of men just in case they might have been thinking of doing something. The “special measures” are not defined. So, it could mean anything that someone, somewhere deems “necessary”…..to prevent something they’ve just made up. This would sanction a serious infringement of individual liberties and illustrates the danger that ratifying this Convention could have extremely serious unintended consequences.

Not just about violence

To amplify the risk of unintended consequences of ratification, the Convention attempts to smuggle-in far broader issues than just violence against women. For example, Article 1(1b) states,

Contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and promote substantive equality between women and men, including by empowering women.”

Under the aegis of protection, the Convention would smuggle in the whole gamut of “substantive equality” – which is code for affirmative action (or preferential treatment).

Similarly, Article 12(6) states,

Parties shall take the necessary measures to promote programmes and activities for the empowerment of women.”

which is essentially the same point in different words, and is not ostensibly related to protection from violence.

Enforcement

Article 1(2) states,

In order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties, this Convention establishes a specific monitoring mechanism.”

whilst article 66(1) states,

The Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (hereinafter referred to as “GREVIO”) shall monitor the implementation of this Convention by the Parties.”

This is particularly chilling. Here “experts” can be taken to mean people with suitable ideological purity, adhering to the ‘gendered approach’. Ratification will expose the UK to ‘monitoring’ by this Council of Europe body. They are modern-day witch-finder generals tasked with enforcement. They will work with local groups sympathetic to the ‘gendered approach’ to ensure that “progress” against the Convention’s objectives are being made. Ratification of the Convention will provide them with a mechanism for putting the squeeze on the UK if “progress” is not to their liking.

Give us the money

Article 8 states,

Parties shall allocate appropriate financial and human resources for the adequate implementation of integrated policies, measures and programmes to prevent and combat all forms of violence covered by the scope of this Convention, including those carried out by non-governmental organisations and civil society.”

To what level of funding would ratification of the Convention commit us? Does anyone know?

Finally…

I close with a quote from Dr Jessica McCarrick, DV researcher at Teeside University,

Forty years of feminist campaigning and the influence of gender stereotypes have had a major impact on how society views intimate partner violence (IPV). The argument in this article is that both genders can be affected by partner violence, but currently there exist a number of biases in addressing this. Campaigners and researchers made waves in the 1970s, which had a positive impact and improved service provision for women. I argue that it is time to do the same for men. More media coverage addressing the IPV experiences of both men and women is needed in order to educate people about this issue. Promoting awareness of the plight of male survivors may encourage men to report abuse and feel assured that they will be taken seriously.”

I wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately ratifying the Istanbul Convention would be a further step in the wrong direction.

10 thoughts on “Istanbul Convention: Approaching UK Ratification

  1. Daddy Bones

    Just a reminder than Feminism represents the opposite of truth, inverted along the sex axis.

    You state above that ‘these authoritative sources conclude that “women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in controlling behaviours, at comparable rates to men“.’ This is, much to the chagrin of even ‘gender equality’ moderates in the MRM, wholly untrue. Police and crime survey data are always beyond useless, firstly, and so much of the IPV research data commonly touted by ‘equalists’ focus too heavily on mutual aggression, most of which is female-initiated anyway.

    Partner control, coercion, manipulation and violence are biologically-embedded female-perpetrated phenomena, driven by a genetic need for mate control. Not only is such a need in men much lower, but we have a neural inhibitor in the brain preventing us from aggressing against females. True violent abuse of females by males is virtually always aberrant, displaced, sociopathic (and thus not gender-based) or plain retaliatory, but in all instances rare in comparison to that meted out by women. Male violence is virtually all directed at other men and property. This has been understood throughout human history and that (now almost wholly-erased) knowledge has been compounded by the latest neurological research. If rates of IPV were indeed comparable between the sexes, injuries suffered by women would be greater than they are by a staggering factor, just due to size difference between the sexes alone. Accepting sex parity in perpetration is a ‘2 + 2 = 4.5’ result and of little real use if it became accepted as truth.

    Oh, and the Bill was always going to pass. You know that nothing could have stopped this. Thankfully, any Act based on the Bill (such as the 2010 Equalities Act) can be safely ignored due to its wilful abrogation of our Common Law rights, which supercede any Parliamentary legislation.

    Reply
  2. Alan Bowker

    Re: Istanbul Convention
    AB
    alan bowker
    Reply|
    Today, 22:53
    GIBSON, Patricia (gibsonp@parliament.uk)
    Thank you for your response and your understanding of this Bill, Ms Gibson.
    I cannot share your confidence that it is anything other than yet another piece of feminist inspired potential legislation.
    It is, therefore, by definition, sexist.
    The detail that I sent gives evidence of that.
    Perhaps it would be more pertinent to focus upon Children and Babies, rather than Women and Girls.
    Wouldn’t that be gender-independent?
    The latest category showing that the most innocent of the UK population – babies under one year – is the very category that attract the most killings. (almost a staggering 40% of all according to ONS).
    It is most unlikely that any of these victims “deserved” their fate, all were innocent, all vastly weaker than their assailants, all totally dependent upon them.
    Due to the nature of such abuse, the availability of evidence or personal witness etc is difficult – so that the 40% of all murders is likely to be understated.
    The baby murderers mostly tend to be female, the victims male, the prosecutions rare and the sentences tend to be “sympathetic”.
    Feminists, however, stay totally silent upon these outrages as they would prefer that a child is abused rather than a female accused.
    My own experiences of child sex abuse by a mother simply underlines and gives anecdotal evidence of how both our society and justice system is gynocentric.
    Perhaps we ought to all consider these facts when the next discussion centres almost exclusively on Violence Against Women and Girls?
    Best regards,
    Alan.

    From: GIBSON, Patricia
    Sent: 16 December 2016 09:56
    To: alan bowker
    Subject: RE: Istanbul Convention

    Dear Mr Bowker,

    Thank you for your email.

    I am not able to be in the Commons today for the Private Members’ Bill to which you refer as I had to attend a long-standing meeting regarding an issue at West Kilbride Medical Centre as well as a meeting at NAC regarding the future of the Ardrossan to Arran Ferry.

    However, I should say, in the interests of clarity and honesty, that I am supportive of Eilidh Whiteford’s Bill, even though I know, as a Private Members’ Bill, it is extremely unlikely to succeed.

    Regarding the concerns you raise about the Istanbul Convention, this does not perpetuate violence or discriminate against children. Article 4 of the Convention specifically states that government’s should take “the necessary legislative and other measures to promote and protect the right for everyone, particularly women, to live free from violence in both the public and private sphere.”

    Article 12 enshrines the importance of the contribution that men and boys can make in order to prevent all forms of violence covered by the Convention.

    The Convention also explicitly says that boys and men may fall victim of certain types of violence that fall within the scope of the Convention, particularly domestic violence. It is for this reason that governments are encourages to extend the application of measures set out in the convention to boys and men.

    The Istanbul Convention calls for extra public spending only to guarantee women’s right to access specialist services such as refuges and rape crisis helplines, not for any particular ideology.

    Best wishes

    Patricia Gibson MP
    North Ayrshire & Arran
    Unit 1 | 78 Princes Street | Ardrossan | KA22 7DF
    Tel: 01294 603774
    Email: patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk

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    cid:ec51a1e1-685e-4f31-a802-05d8af63f512

    From: alan bowker [mailto:alanbowker@hotmail.com]
    Sent: 15 December 2016 20:08
    To: GIBSON, Patricia
    Subject: Istanbul Convention

    Ms Gibson,
    My apologies for such a late communication, but I have just returned from holiday and I believe that tomorrow;s reading of the Private Members Bill by your colleague, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, SNP Spokesperson for Social Justice, Work and Pensions. comes before parliament tomorrow, 16th December 2016.

    I strongly oppose the progression of this Bill as it is based upon Inequality rather than Equality. It will, I believe, prove to be damaging to our society and our nation and I ask you to vote to OPPOSE and against this Bill going forward.

    The Road to Hell is often paved with good intention.

    Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill 2016-17

    The purpose of the Bill is to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – known as The Istanbul Convention.

    The reason is that the Bill is profoundly antithetical to equality, despite being presented in the guise of equality.

    The basis of this view is laid out in the attached Appendix.

    Appendix: Basis of the view that The Istanbul Convention is Antithetical to Equality

    The Istanbul Convention calls for the protection of women and girls ONLY

    The Convention is concerned solely with the protection and standing of women and girls.

    Reply
  3. Douglas Milnes

    Regrettably, despite some desperate filibustering from Philip Davies, a vote went ahead and PASSED with only two votes against.

    Did your MP vote for it? Tell them off, politely but firmly objecting to them introducing a law that is against the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; that is against the interests of men, their children, and therefore women; that is against the principles of equality; that will do more harm than good for children and adults alike.

    Did your MP vote against it? Write a quick thank-you for caring about UK sovereignty, about British values, about the rights of the accused, and about the real situations of domestic violence.

    Did your MP not vote? Wrtie and ask them to oppose this legislation in future. You can use the draft letter on this page, or just drop them a quick tweet/email asking them to read this page.

    The ‘Istanbul Convention’ – full title “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” is NOT about helping UK women who have suffered from domestic abuse, and it is unreasonable to expect it to prevent more domestic abuse. On the contrary, implementing the Convention can only split up more families who could have been saved through caring intervention and by blaming men and treating women always as the victim, it is clearly ideological, not social, in nature.

    Reply
  4. Alan Bowker

    Written to my SNP MP. They are very closely whipped. Nonetheless, I’ve urged her to oppose by email and added to my FB page to ask others to do the same. Also forwarded to Suffragents to add to page . Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It really is an insidious piece of feminist work.

    Reply
  5. Partridge

    A private member’s bill may be ‘talked out’, or a single shout of ‘Object!’ will delay the reading to a future date. Here’s hoping our hero Philip Davies or one of our other sensible MPs will do the necessary..

    Reply
  6. Meinaime

    Too late for a letter, so I sent a short email to my (Labour) MP and added the bulk of the above as an appendix. He replied quickly indicating his full support for the Istanbul Convention, supported by the usual talking points. Ah well, I tried.

    Reply
    1. William Collins Post author

      Of course we will not convince those with entrenched positions with one or two emails. But it’s still necessary to do this – partly because, perhaps with sufficient such emails/letters, minds might begin to be flexible – and partly because it’s a moral obligation to oppose such things. I admit, being a pessimist by nature, the latter is my dominant motivation.

      Reply
      1. David

        Absolutely, William, well done and thank you. I copied and amended yours, too and managed to get it off to 35 – on the basis that we will have had clients from their constituency. Don’t know if it will get read but if it’s not sent then it sure as hell will not get read.

        Reply

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