13 15.4.2018 University Frankfurt
Approximately 150 participants took part at the Conference on family and partnership conflicts at the weekend of the 13th till 15th April 2018. The Conference presented a differentiated view of partner violence and its origins that international research has been developping for some time now on the basis of the empirically proven symmetry of violence between men and women.
The presentations by scientists from the USA, UK and Israel met with great interest. They gave an insight in the state of international research in the field of the partner and family violence and described processes that precede acts of violence and are important to understand in fields such as health policy. The Conference was not able immediately to deliver guidelines for counselling and therapy. The assimilation of new knowledge in praxis needs to be done “on the job”. Future conferences should however focus more on bringing science and professional practice closer.
The Conference was accompanied by protests and massive disruptions. They were directed against the Organizer, the Conference and the Speakers who had to battle false allegations and slander with court-backed orders to cease and desist against, inter alia, the (left-wing) Frankfurter Rundschau and the website Hessenschau.de (public broadcaster) . Surprisingly, the President of the Goethe University gave credibility to the false allegations and required that the organizer provide (on behalf of the speakers too) written consent to the University’s basic values as a condition of the Conference proceeding as planned. Ultimately media coverage, demonstrators and the university fell prey to a number of false allegations.
The Conference was a success, because it opened a perspective on the research landscape abroad. The German government would be well advised to do more for local research. It is evident that control of research on family violence, especially by the Ministry of Family Affairs, inhibits progress and obstructs realistic perspectives.
Presentations are now available at this address.
Vienna, the 21st April 018