Saturday, 12 March 2005

Repeating a lie does not make it true

by Charles Pooter

I watched Comic Relief last night. It was mostly un-funny, but one thing I found interesting was the increased number of reports about projects in the UK that are being funded by Comic Relief. Presumably this is because, rightly or wrongly, a subset of their potential donors have become cynical about their charity going to Africa.

One of the reports was about domestic violence and about Comic Relief's funding of women's refuges. This is all very admirable, but the one thing that put me off donating any money was the repetition of the following bogus statistic:

"1 in 4 women in the UK experience domestic violence in their lifetime".
You can read a thorough debunking of this statistic here. As I've said before, I'm amazed people think these kinds of obvious distortions of language and statistics in any way help the people they are intended to help. They just stop people like me from donating money.

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