Q&A slammed on Twitter for choosing more men than women to discuss family violence

Coming up: <i>Q&A's</i> panel on family violence (from left) Rosie Batty, Natasha Stott Despoja, Tim Cartwright, Charlie ...

Coming up: Q&A's panel on family violence (from left) Rosie Batty, Natasha Stott Despoja, Tim Cartwright, Charlie King and Simon Santosha. Photo: ABC

A storm has blown up online over the number of male panellists on the ABC's Q&A program on family violence, to be held on Monday.

A furore has built on Twitter over why Q&A has chosen more men than women to discuss an issue that has claimed more women than men as victims.

"It's one issue where there actually are loads more female experts than men," Jess Hill said on Twitter. 


Respondents to her tweet nominated "more worthy" panellists, all women, such as the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Gabrielle Upton, the chief executive for Domestic Violence Victoria Fiona McCormack, the chief executive of Safe Steps family violence response centre Annette Gillespie, as well as Julie Oberin, who is the chief executive of Annie North Women's Refuge and Domestic Violence Service in regional Victoria. 

Daily Life columnist Clementine Ford said on Twitter "that imbalance itself is part of the structural landscape of violence where men's voices are valued and listened to more". 

A series of male Twitter users lambasted her comments. 

Q&A took to Twitter to reply.

Fairfax Media journalist Rose Powell responded.

The three men on the panel are Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright, ABC radio sports broadcaster and campaigner against domestic violence Charlie King, and the managing director of Men & Family Counselling and Consultancy on the Gold Coast Simon Santosha.

The other two panellists are Australia's ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott Despoja, and 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty whose 11-year-old son Luke was killed by his father.

Q&A executive producer Peter McEvoy said the panel had been chosen to gather a "wide range of views".  

"Family violence is not 'a women's issue'. It involves men, women and children," he said.

"Each person on the panel brings a particular point of view and you can never include a panel with every point of view.

"The audience will also bring their own personal experience, perspective to the discussion through their questions and comments."

McEvoy said Batty and Stott-Despoja were obvious choices due to their work in domestic violence.

He also said the police would play an important part in the discussion because they are on the "front line addressing family violence every day" and both Santosha and King have longstanding credentials in their work on domestic violence.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports women are more likely than men to experience violence by a partner.

Its last Personal Safety release shows an estimated 17 per cent of adult females have experienced violence since the age of 15 compared with 5 per cent of adult males.