01 January 2006
What are concerns about Neville Robertson?
Neville Robertson became integrally involved in an "Abuse Intervention Project" where men, usually directed to the programme from the courts, are counselled about their violence. That's ok by itself, but he has lost sight of the FULL community with his relatively narrow experience of violence that reaches the court system.
His experience is with violence by men, and his statements show that he has swallowed the belief that violence is only a problem associated with men
All his statements on gender issues appear to have this underlying assumption. Men are bad, and need to change. Women are victims.
His complete lack of experience or study of wider issues where men are also victims have not stopped Robertson from commenting on such issues - using his qualifications as a Community Psychologist to support his opinion, rather than any objective study.
It's a sloppy and simplistic approach, to treat only men as perpetrators. And it's extremely harmful because it focuses on gender rather than the problem: violence.
Neville Robertson needs to get out of his ivory tower and visit the real world. He claims to be a community psychologist, but the concerns about his work center around his lack of appreciation of what a community consists of.
In the real world there are both men and women. Neville Robertson ignores the concerns of men, and even worse speaks out against those concerns. In doing so he condones abuse suffered by men including physical, emotional and financial abuse, and false allegations of abuse. Blind advocacy of women in custodial disputes also condones the abuse of children where the woman may be responsible or partially responsible for unnecessarily alienating the child from the father.
Finally, Neville Robertson is entitled to his opinion, but when he speaks out as a University Community Psychologist the community is entitled to expect that his statements have more of an academic basis than a personal opinion.