Shoddy statistics sometimes have a habit of becoming facts. Many will remember the telethon promotion from the 80s which claimed (I think) one in four women are raped, half by their own father. It was only as people pondered whether one in eight fathers really rape their daughters were the statistics checked out and found to be bogus.
Now Lindsay Mitchell brings us news of the statistic that seven women have been killed through domestic violence so far this year. This statistic came from Women’s Refuge, was then quoted by a Human Rights Commissioner, and now appears in an NZPA story.
Now is it true? Well one can’t be definite but Mitchell has checked with the sensible sentencing trust website of homicides and finds no record of any, let alone seven, domestic violence killings. Also online media and police site checks finds no mention.
To have seven domestic violence murders in two months would be almost 50% of all murders.
So that statistic looks very doubtful – not impossible, but unlikely on first glance.
So how about a journalist out there checks with the Police or Women’s Refuge if the figure is correct. I hope it isn’t.