Domestic Violence - Newsbytes

Menstuff® has compiled newsbytes on the issue of domestic violence. Unlike most other national, regional, local and web site resources on Domestic Violence, we don't exclude information pertaining to women as perpetrators and men as victims. We're one of very few to actually provide information written for men who are in an abusive relationship. If you know of others, please let us know.


NO MATTER WHAT SEX YOU ARE


Trudy Schuett's Column

8:05
"Tonight" Elton John


PSAs I helped produce with members of the Summer
Youth Training Academy in June, 2016 in Crescent City, CA.
See them before YOU pop.'

Real Time Death Toll as of

Alternatives to Violence Resources (Includes services for male and female perpetrators and male and female victims)
Books on Abuse - Boys, Abuse - Children, Abuse - Ritual, Abuse - Sexual, Circumcision, Anger, Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Womens' Violence
Related Issues Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, Abuse - Ritual, Abuse - Sexual, Circumcision, Violence, Sexual Harassment, Womens' Violence and Prisons.
Resources: Alternatives to Violence programs. The Duluth Model
Q&A Slide Guide on Gangs
Journals - on Child, Emotional, Religious, and Sexual Abuse and Trauma

Harry Reid: Smoke, Mirrors and Misandry



Version 10:04

Print version: On February 22, Senator Harry Reid stood on the senate floor, telling fellow legislators and the American people that we needed to pass the new jobs bill because “Men, when they’re out of work, tend to become abusive.” Of course he added for the benefit of his feminist constituents that “Women aren’t abusive most of the time.”

 

The subtext here is clear. We don’t need to create jobs because American men are suffering from unemployment and are finding it tough to provide security for their families. We need jobs so those abusers-waiting-to-happen don’t take out their frustrations on their wives by beating the crap out of them. If that’s the case, perhaps we should just divert VAWA funding to the jobs bill and kill two birds with one stone. Or is that expression too violent?

Thing is, of course, Reid is entirely out of line. Domestic violence is roughly a 50-50 proposition; a now well known fact that is commonly ignored for the sake of political expedience and bloated government programs. It’s a matter not so shocking in our political system. Politicians lie for money and votes, and we have come to expect as much without getting too troubled over it.

We do, however, expect their lies to have at least a vague resemblance to the truth. And when they don’t, we can usually expect the media to check things out and play gotcha for the sake of making their own money. We can expect them to do some truth mining on just about everything politicians say, from statements about the need for bailout money to the particulars of health care reform. Everything, that is, except in the realm of socio-sexual politics.

And the conduct of the mainstream media following Reid’s gaffe are a clear testament to that.

Like many concerned citizens, I contacted Reid’s Washington office and spoke with his press reps about the statement. They would not discuss it over the phone but asked for my email address, and sure enough within a couple of minutes I got an email claiming that Reid was accurate, citing a 2006 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on domestic violence.

The only problem is that the study didn’t support Reid’s claims at all. In fact, it contradicts him entirely. I had to run it down myself because the link they sent me went to a “page not found” message. I suppose that explains why they didn’t read it carefully, or perhaps they didn’t expect me to.

While the study confirms that financial stress (unemployment) is one variable in predictors of domestic violence, it doesn’t assert anywhere that the violence correlates any more in men than it does in women. It is a generic analysis of factors that exacerbate problems of violence in the home, but, don’t even mention gender, much less support Reid’s claims.

His press office is simply waving a piece of paper and saying “We have documentation!” And they do. Documentation of Reid’s unquestionable skills with smoke and mirrors.

Being the intrepid investigator that I am, I decided to go one giant step further than Reid’s office and actually look for some facts. What I found was that Reid has no support for his statement at all. The one study that comes closest is a 2004 report by the National Institute for Justice. They found that the risk of intimate partner violence goes up for women incrementally with each period of repeated unemployment by their male partners.

But in the politically rich environment of “justice” studies, there are other factors that elucidate matters more clearly than the study itself.

That last one is a matter of some significance. Unemployment is caused by a number of reasons other than a bad economy. Mental illness, alcoholism and drug abuse among others, all known to have an impact on the incidence of violence. Chronic unemployment, even in a bad economy, is usually indicative of other overarching difficulties. So attributing it to intimate partner violence without the consideration of other factors is like offering the following

That outlandish and myopic conclusion is, scientifically speaking, no less valid at all than Harry Reid’s statements. This is why the National Institute for Justice Study couldn’t, with any credibility, generalize their findings to men. It is the same reason Harry can’t either. Unless he is just trying to increase his chances for reelection and doesn’t care how he gets there.

Were Reed the only culprit, this would be a slam dunk for the truth. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Elements on the media are now coordinating to help Reid spin the story away from what he said into a different dialogue.

CNN nationally televised proof of that when they broadcast a “fact check” on Reid’s comments, the night after he addressed the senate, and supported his claims. They did so by waving the same study by the CDC, which they, like Reid, either didn’t bother to read or didn’t mind that the study wasn’t supportive of his position. Apparently their research into the matter consisted of a phone call to Reid’s press office, and retrieving a shopworn rubber stamp from a correspondents desk drawer.

CNN offered a little extra help in the process. They switched the focus of the message, citing that financial stress did result in increased domestic violence, but they seamlessly pulled back from pinning that on men when drawing their conclusion. In doing so they validated Reid without even addressing what he said.

Players in the print media have followed suit as well. In a glaring example of playing fast and loose with headlines, The Las Vegas Sun, who has given Reid glowing editorial endorsement, announces that “Domestic Violence Workers Find Truth in Harry Reid’s Jobless Comments.”

The story under that headline was straight out of the CNN playbook, with some added refinement. And it appears that The Sun assumes readers won’t be any more interested in the content of their articles than the average CNN viewer is interested in the factual conclusions of a CDC study on domestic violence. For within the body of that article the truth starts to raise it’s inconvenient head, making the headline read, in retrospect, like the shameless snow job that it is.

First a telling quote for the paper from Reid himself. He says, in defense of his remarks, “I’m just telling you what two people working in the field say every day. There is no question that people being out of work causes more people to be involved in domestic violence.”

Aye, there’s the rub. So it’s people now who commit domestic violence, not just men. Heck, they don’t even commit it, they become involved in it. This is where Reid continues with what CNN started and begins to further remold the story himself. Caught with his political pants down, uttering a bald falsehood, he now joins the enlightened and informed intelligentsia, addressing domestic violence in oh so open minded gender neutral terms. Smart fella’, that Harry, unless you are paying attention.

The rest of The Sun Article reveals more.

Maria Outcalt, a spokesperson for SafeNet, a domestic violence outreach group, is quoted in the article as saying “People that are not abusive are not all of the sudden going to become abusive because they lose their job. Abusive behavior is not just because somebody is having a hard time.”

Another quote was provided by Sue Meuschke, the director of the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence. “The economy doesn’t cause domestic violence, but certainly economic conditions can impact the circumstances.”

In all the quotes, including one that directly affirmed Reid’s remarks, all the language was sex neutral.

It's massive spin. The focus is being taken off the sexist and unsupported remarks by Reid, and reframed into a sexless dialogue designed to diffuse reactions to what he actually said. Reid and the media are doing the two step together, and counting on the public not to notice that they changed the tune in the middle of the dance.

And it may be a desperate last move for Reid. For the first time since taking office, his senate seat is not secure. He is lagging in polls, and come the next election, he could be out of a job.

Perhaps his wife should contact a shelter and make her escape plan now.
Sources: Paul Elam is Editor-in-Chief for Men’s News Daily and the publisher of A Voice for Men.
CDC Report
www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/ipv_factsheet.pdf
NIJ Report
www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=199709
Las Vegas Sun
www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/feb/23/domestic-violence-workers-find-truth-harry-reids-j/
Fiebert Annotated Bibliography
www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

6 Posed as Abuse Victims to Get Rent Subsidies


In a notoriously expensive city, people will do anything to get a break on housing costs. They might hide a relative, change their name or suggest they earn less than they really do.

But six women went too far and were arrested in a particularly imaginative scheme for seeking the government’s help with rent payments, officials said on Tuesday.

The women have been charged with submitting fraudulent documents — including forged police reports and court orders — to portray themselves as victims of domestic violence in an apparent attempt to jump to the front of a long waiting list for government subsidized apartments, said Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Investigation.

Since she took her position in 2002, Ms. Gill Hearn has seen hundreds of housing fraud cases a year “of different permutations,” she said. “But this is the first time that D.O.I. has investigated and uncovered individuals who are engaging in housing fraud by posing as victims of domestic violence.”

The desire for lucrative government subsidies is deep.

As of Sept. 22, there were 127,764 families on the New York City Housing Authority’s waiting list for Section 8 vouchers, said Howard Marder, a spokesman for the agency.

The voucher program can be worth thousands of dollars a year; tenants who qualify for the subsidy must pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income toward the rent, while the remainder is taken care of with federal money passed through the authority to a landlord.

The city Housing Authority is accepting Section 8 applications from only three groups of people: victims of domestic violence; those referred by prosecutors who are deemed intimidated witnesses in criminal cases; and certain people referred by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services.

It was similarities in some police reports and other documents — picked out by a Housing Authority manager — that drew attention to the six women in the current series of cases, officials said. The manager reported the irregularities, and the Department of Investigation began an inquiry in May.

On July 1, three people were arrested: Barbara Goss, 52, of Manhattan; Chevelle Richardson, 38; and Ms. Richardson’s daughter, Chandera Richardson, 20, officials said. The elder Ms. Richardson filed an application for Section 8 housing on Jan. 29 claiming that her daughter had been the victim of domestic violence, the officials said.

The application, and a similar one from Ms. Goss, included a court-issued temporary order of protection, a domestic incident report from the Police Department and a letter from Safe Horizon, an agency that works with domestic violence victims. All of the documents were forged, officials said.

On July 15, Shanelle Reed, 28, of Queens, was arrested and on Tuesday, Neri Garces, 44, of Yonkers, was arrested, officials said. The sixth woman, Deshanna Graham, 29, is in custody in Pennsylvania, officials said.

All of the cases are being prosecuted by the office of Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney. The women face charges including criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and third degree, and offering a false instrument for filing.

It was not immediately clear if the six women collaborated. Asked about the cluster of cases arising at once, Ms. Gill Hearn said that the women were charged separately, but that the investigation was continuing.

A call to the Legal Aid Society, which has represented some of the women, was not immediately returned. Enrico Demarco, a lawyer appointed by the court to represent Ms. Garces, said after her arraignment on Tuesday that “at this point she is denying the allegations and has entered a plea of not guilty.”
Source: www.nyc.gov/html/ocdv/html/home/home.shtml

Domestic Abuse Fraud: It’s Rarely Suspected and Rarely Detected


In the city’s rich history of fraud schemes, the cases described this week by the city’s Department of Investigation would not seem to rank up there with mortgage scams or fake Medicare patients: Six women were accused of posing as victims of domestic violence to gain subsidized housing.

6 Posed as Abuse Victims to Get Rent Subsidies, Officials Say (October 21, 2009) Such cases are so rare, and the issue so sensitive, that city officials and advocates for domestic violence victims said that they are not usually on the lookout for fraud when people come forward with claims of abuse.

“The screening process that we have is really designed to understand what situation the person is in and how to best go about developing a safety plan for the individual and their children,” said Yolanda B. Jimenez, the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence , which operates two free drop-in centers, one in Brooklyn and one in Queens. “For everybody who calls, everyone who walks through the door, their claims are taken at face value.”

More than 36,000 people have sought help at the centers since 2005 and can receive legal support, counseling and emergency shelter, among other services. Ms. Jimenez said she believed that there was no fraud involved in any of those cases.

There would not seem to be much financial gain to domestic violence fraud. But there are a range of public benefits available to women who have been beaten by their spouses or companions. The women who were arrested forged documents, including police reports, identifying themselves as abuse victims to gain priority for government subsidized housing, officials said this week.

There are long waiting lists for the housing, and only three groups of people are given priority: former foster care youths, intimidated witnesses referred by prosecutors, and victims of domestic violence.

Nonprofit organizations offer services including immigration assistance, financial counseling and free legal advice to domestic violence victims. Victims who are not legal United States residents can gain eligibility for a so-called U visa, which will eventually lead to a green card, said Chris Rhatigan, a spokeswoman for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services . The agency screens applicants through law enforcement agencies, which provide referrals and documentation, Ms. Rhatigan said.

In certain cases, victims of domestic violence who receive welfare are granted a waiver from work requirements. They also can stay in one of 42 emergency shelters for abuse victims, which are often smaller and more nurturing than typical shelters, with a higher staff-to-client ratio.

At the city office in the Bronx where families apply for shelter, people who identify themselves as domestic violence victims are interviewed for up to an hour to determine if they need emergency shelter.

No documentation is required to prove abuse, said Barbara Brancaccio, a spokeswoman for the city’s Human Resources Administration , which operates domestic violence shelters.

At the shelters, employees occasionally discover that women have exaggerated their abuse, but they are not forced to leave the facilities, Ms. Brancaccio said.

Bonnie Genevich, a division director for Good Shepherd Services , which runs a 20-bed shelter in Brooklyn for domestic violence victims, said staff members conduct thorough interviews. “We ask them a lot about the relationship to the abuser, the level of abuse, if there is a criminal record, if there’s been drug abuse, whether they’ve been abused during pregnancy, how often the incidents have occurred, where they occurred,” she said. “As you go on and on, you could tell if the story doesn’t hold together.”

That said, the system is not “set up to catch people,” she said, adding that she has never encountered a case of fraud.

Howard Marder, a spokesman for the New York City Housing Authority , where the suspected housing scheme was uncovered, said the agency reviewed all applications to check for “irregularities or alterations.”

At least two forms of documentation are required to obtain abuse victim status, and they could include a police report, order of protection and family court petition.

But in many cases, agencies will provide help even if victims of abuse have not called the police or sought treatment for injuries.

“Some of them can’t or don’t have the documents they need,” said Maureen Curtis, the associate vice president of Bronx Criminal Justice and Community Programs for Safe Horizon. “Does it mean that the person is not a victim of domestic violence? No.”
Source: www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/nyregion/23domestic.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1258909539-KOPSBp/xTkGUABn2Tp3rUw

Sports and Courts


Dwight Gooden was arrested in Tampa, FL for allegedly punching his ex-wife in the face, police said. The former All-Star pitcher was charged with domestic violence battery and was being held in jail without bond. Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said the dispute occurred at the home of Monique Moore, Gooden's ex-wife. "She threw a handset from a telephone at him and he punched her in the face," McElroy said. "She called 911. We responded. There was a bruise forming on her face and he was arrested." (Editor: Sounds like they both should be locked up for violent acts towards each other. However, it appears that if you physically attack first, or if you're a woman, you get to go free to provoke again.)

Studies Challenge Domestic Abuse Myth


New research shows that women assault their male partners more often than thought, prompting researchers to call for re-evaluation of domestic violence treatment programs nationwide. Section D Page 6. U. S. Today, 6/23/03

Physicians Less Likely To Screen, But More Likely To Intervene, On Domestic Violence


Despite the fact that only a small percentage of physicians screen new patients for domestic violence compared to other health problems, their interventions are more intensive, according to new findings.
Source: Center for the Advancement of Health, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/9105/342/352335.html

CDC Funds Five Additional State Coalitions To Address Domestic Violence Prevention


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded more than $1.2 million to five state domestic violence coalitions to develop and coordinate activities that will prevent domestic violence in communities across the country. This brings a total of more than $3.8 million provided in the last five months to 14 state domestic coalitions who are joining forces with CDC to focus on prevention efforts to stop domestic violence.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/8010.html

Alcohol, Drugs And Violence Between Intimate Partners


As a disturbing sign of the times, perhaps, or because of a search for clarity, the term 'domestic violence' no longer means - as it was first coined 30 years ago - husband-to-wife violence. The term now encompasses all types of violence in the home, including spousal violence, elder abuse, and parent-to-child violence.
Source: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/9105/342/348649.html

"Teach Early" About Domestic Violence


"What they learn as boys, they do as men. That's why we need to teach our sons and other boys in our lives that violence against women is wrong. Now, when they need to hear it most." That's the message behind "Teach Early", the new public education campaign sponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and The Advertising Council. The new campaign encourages Fathers, coaches, teachers, uncles and mentors to shape the attitudes and behaviors of boys. "Violent behavior is learned, and men have the power to teach boys that violence against women is wrong," said FVPF President Esta Soler.
Source: endabuse.org/newsflash/index.php3?Search=Article&NewsFlashID=316
Editor's Note: I want domestic violence to end, no matter who the perpetrator is. I also want to end violence against children. And, your piece singling out boys to take responsibility around domestic violence is a smaller part of the real story. Especially, when you say "What they learn as boys they do as men." If this is true, "What they do as girls they do as women." And the real problem that children have to face is violence from moms, not dads. As well as emotional abuse, neglect, maltreatment, etc. So, because we don't address the subject, the lessons our daughters are learning are (1) It's okay as a girl or woman to be violent, (2) And, it must be the boy's fault. Boys who slap a girl have a chance of going to prison. Girls who slat, hit, kick, punch boys (many of them learning from what they received from their mothers) it's okay. "I have a right after what he said." (See also TV Violence used as acceptable humor.)

When are we going to hold mother's and women responsible for being the primary abusers of children (overall and in all categories except sexual abuse - which they still represent 25% of the perpetrators) and start teaching our boys and girls that physical, emotional and sexual abuse just aren't okay, no excuses, no question, no matter which sex does it?

Report: Maine Conference on Domestic Violence Against Men


Transitions magazine reported on A Conference on Male Victims of Domestic Abuse Friday, May 18, 2001 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. The event was sponsored by the Maine Battered Men's Helpline (www.mensactivism.org ) and the Bangor Daily News. Speakers included David Burrougs, Mary Cleary, Cathy Young, and Richard Davis.

Men Don't Tell


The CBS movie "Men Don't Tell" is the only movie I know of that addressed the problems of male victims of domestic violence. The link below is for an Amazon.Com company that allows you to vote for your favorite movies. If you saw this movie, you can sign on and register a vote and comments about the movie and the subject in general. us.imdb.com/Title?0107553

Turn in Your Electronic Trash and Hellp Fight Domestic Violence


From May 1 to July 31, 2001 RadioShack is accepting old cell phones and accessories in any condition. The phones will be reprogrammed with 911 and local emergency numbers so domestic violence victims can access help quickly. Donate any junk phones you may have and if you work at an office where others use a lot of phones, please consider posting a notice and/or talking to your administration people to donate phones the company might otherwise be discarding. More information is available at www.wirelessfoundation.org/12give/

Another athlete busted for domestic violence


Technically, that still counts as news, though there have been so many of them. Two months after teammate (and fellow All-Star) Penny Hardaway was accused of threatening a girlfriend with a gun, Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd has been busted for allegedly striking his wife Joumana in the face during an argument. According to the January 18 police reports, the 6-4 athlete struck his wife in the face while holding a yogurt container. He did this in full view of his 2-year-old son. He also kicked the locked bedroom door in to pursue his wife further. More details and the police report can be found at www.thesmokinggun.com/doc_o_day/doc_o_day.shtml

Battered males: A domestic abuse secret By Ruth-Ellen Cohen, the Bangor


It took Kevin Juneau almost seven years to end the cat-and-mouse game that was his marriage. In the meantime, he took the insults, punches and slaps his wife routinely heaped upon him.

Later, he'd listen stone-faced to her tearful apologies and heartfelt assurances that it never would happen again.

Terrified that she'd make good on her threat to keep him from their three children, he stayed, never knowing when — or why — she would become enraged.

One day, when it all became too much to bear, he packed his bags and drove away.

"Everything had built up, and I had no one to lean on, no one to talk to," the South Portland man said recently.

"I just came to the point where I had to take the leap — I was either going to leave or kill myself."

With October set aside as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Juneau was one of a number of men to point out that women aren't the only ones who fall prey to abusive spouses.

Although these men receive little, if any, attention, they are not a rarity, according to Department of Justice reports, FBI crime statistics and academic studies.

A National Family Violence Survey conducted several times during a 30-year period indicates that half of domestic violence victims are men. And much, much more.

For the complete story check out: www.bangornews.com/cgi-bin/article.cfm?storynumber=23006

Missed opportunities in the fight against domestic violence, Business & Health Magazine


For an unbalanced view, read the following:

Half the women who are victims of domestic abuse say it has invaded the workplace, often costing them their jobs, yet many employers have found ways to support employees who are in trouble.

The Risk and Insurance Management Society reports that harassment—including stalking, threatening phone calls or e-mail and trespassing—is the leading form of on-the-job workplace violence, affecting 16 million workers each year.

According to a 1998 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office, up to 52 percent of victims have lost their jobs because batterers typically engage in behavior that makes it difficult to work. Donna Norton says a batterer "will try to get a victim fired to increase dependence on him."

And more at www.medec.com/html/products/productpages/businhealframe.html and go to the bottom of the page, choose: Visit the Business and Health web site.

Health Salad: Domestic Violence, Clare Oh hosted excellent DV discussion


"Welcome to Health Salad, a weekly Live Online discussion with washingtonpost.com Health Producer, Clare Oh. Health Salad covers a wide range of health issues that offer readers practical advice they can use.

"Domestic abuse continues to be a serious problem in the nation. Physical violence is only one among several different forms of abuse that can occur in an intimate relationship. According to the Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, about one-third of of American women report being physically abused by their husband or boyfriend in the past year.

"Joining us to help us understand signs of domestic violence and laws protecting victims is Rita Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Rita's career in advocacy and domestic violence assistance began when she served as a crisis line advocate in a shelter for battered women in the early 1980s.

"Additionally, she has co-authored a legal manual for attorneys working with domestic violence victims in Colorado, and in the fall of 1997, co-authored an article on child custody and domestic violence published in The Judges Journal (An American Bar Association publication)."

So began one of the best open discussions on domestic violence. You may read the complete transcript at: discuss.washingtonpost.com/zforum/00/healthsalad102600.htm Write Ms. Oh and say "thanks" for hosting such a balanced discussion at webnews@washpost.com

Violence by Women


Psychology Today looks at women's violence, finally. Check it out! "Violence by women has skyrocketed in the latter part of this century. Have they taken 'women's liberation' one step too far - or are they just showing their natural killer instinct?" This isn't new news to many of those who have worked with men's issues over the years, but this may bring much needed awareness to those in "Family" Services and many of the Alternatives to Violence programs solely focused on women as victims and men as perpetrators. We have listed all of the programs we could find that provide services for women perpetrators and male victims and well as male perpetrators (Alttoviolence). Hopefully, local and county services will be started in the rest of the country to serve the entire spectrum of violent people, regardless of their sex. NOTE:  If you are a male victim, refer below to important information you should know.


False Image that Men are Violent, Women Passive, has Negative Effects, Kathleen Parker,


"I'm reading Ann Landers, who reprints a list of warning signals to help women figure out whether they're married to a batterer. Not to diminish the value of lists, perish the thought, but here's a clue: (1) If he or she hits you, he or she is a batterer. But Landers' column and list aren't about he or she; they've about him. For as everyone knows, men are batterers. Everyone knows that "the most dangerous place for a woman to be is in the home."  Everyone know that "men batter because they can."  So go the headlines and billboards these days. On the other hand, not everyone knows when she's being battered, according to Landers. Hence, the list of warning signs "to help women determine if a mate or date is a potential (or actual) batterer." As I read the list, I kept thinking, why is this about men?  Item for item, the warning signs could as easily - even more easily in some cases - be associated with female behavior. Consider a few:  jealous of your time, controlling behavior, blames others for problems, says cruel, hurtful things, has sudden mood swings and unpredictable behavior, says, "I'll kill you," breaks things, uses force in arguments, holds you down, pushes, slaps, or shoves." I'm sure you don't personally know any women who have mood swings or say hurtful things. I'm certain you've never known a controlling, jealous woman or one who, in a flash of anger, has thrown or broken something. Slaps?  Blames others?  Why are these warning signs only of male batterers?  Or is it that batterers are guilty unless proven female?  With only one exception having to do with forceful sex - rare is the woman who can rape a man - not one item on the list is more likely to be associated with men than with women. No one wishes to trivialize the horror of domestic violence, nor to suggest that women and children haven't suffered grievously at the hands of violent men. But domestic violence, like all stories, has two sides. Are we willing to examine the whole cloth of hard data, or is it easier to piece together anecdotal scraps for greater effect?  The truth of domestic violence is that men kill and cause serious damage more often than women, according to the National Family Violence Survey. The truth also is that women initiate violence as often as men. Which is to say, batterers come in both sexes, and warning lists, if they're to be meaningful, should be gender-neutral. What's discomforting about Landers' list and similar messages is that they continue to feed the public perception that men are violent creatures and women passive victims. Such perception not only is false buy poses serious, far-reaching cultural and policy repercussions, not the least of which is the demonization of all men. Domestic violence is an individual problem, not, as feminist theorists have championed, a patriarchal manifestation. By telling half-truths based on ideological dogma, we merely reduce the likelihood that the story of domestic violence - potential or actual - will ever change." (See Women's Violence.)

Source: Kathleen Parker is a columnist for the Orlando (FL) Sentinel and has a weekly column in the Grass Valley (CA) Union

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