A 1999 report from: Family Resources & Research, Florida
A Florida non-profit corporation since 1999
Why we publish this report
We are sending this report to the media, and those persons and organizations who deal with family violence, in the hope that we can correct a serious misunderstanding about this very important issue.
We want to make it clear that we have been working to end family violence for over a decade. One of us is an original incorporator of our local women’s shelter. We were members of the “Century Club”, those who contribute over $100 annually. We have sponsored benefit events for our shelter that attracted national media attention. Since we began publishing scientific studies on family violence the womenï¿½s shelter has returned our contributions. Much of the womenï¿½s shelter movement is seriously misinformed about the causes and scope of family violence. We were also seriously misinformed. We have learned a lot during the last 10 years.
This misunderstanding of the family violence issue is so pervasive that city and county governments, the courts, law enforcement, prosecutorï¿½s offices, mental health clinics, and other tax supported agencies are now funding programs based on feminist propaganda rather than responsible scientific studies.
How can this be?
Violence against family members is something women do at least as often as men! There are dozens of solid scientific studies that reveal a startlingly different picture of family violence than what we usually see in the media. For instance: (complete citations attached to this report)
- Women are three times more likely than men to use weapons in spousal violence.
- Women initiate most incidents of spousal violence.
- Women commit most child abuse and most elder abuse.
- Women hit their male children more frequently and more severely than they hit their female children.
- Women commit most child murders and 64% of their victims are male children.
- When women murder adults the majority of their victims are men.
- Women commit 52% of spousal killings and are convicted of 41% of spousal murders.
- Eighty two percent of people have their first experience of violence at the hands of women.
Why we don’t know the truth.
How could we all be so mistaken about family violence? Have we been conned? Have we been taken in by one of the slickest “stings” ever executed? Here is how the truth has been hidden.
Misleading statistics – Men do not usually report their violent wives to police. Children do not usually report their violent mothers to the police. Women are far more likely to report men to the police. One study done of emergency room patients shows that only 1% of men who were injured by their wives reported the incident to police. As if that were not enough to be suspicious of police statistics on spousal violence, there is more than one reason for a wife to report a husband.
- Women are encouraged to report spousal violence by countless media reminders. Propaganda always includes the female victim and the male perpetrator. Men are discouraged from claiming to be victims of violent women.
- Some wives call police because they are frightened by a minor incident. Perhaps she thought calling the police was a “trump card” in an argument. These women do not realize that with one phone call they have invited the government and feminism into their home.*
- Some wives make false reports because there are legal, financial, and child custody rewards for making a false report.
- Some women need to call the police because there is a real need for intervention.
These factors distort police statistics beyond usefulness to anyone who is sincerely looking for the truth about family violence. Other factors also contribute to the truth being hidden and the public being “scammed”.
Anti male hate groups- It suits the political agenda of feminists to quote statistics that make men look bad. Most of the feminist empire depends on their success in demonizing men. Rather than use the term “family violence” which was inclusive of violent females and familiar to professionals, these gender bigots invented the misleading term “domestic violence”, meaning male abusers and female victims. This was necessary so the public focus would be on the only police statistics that made their scam look believable. Con artists call this the “hook”.
The Media – To make the “sting” complete; the media obsequiously seeks out the womenï¿½s shelter, or another feminist source, whenever they do a story on family violence. The feminist party line gets transmitted to the public almost verbatim. Scientific studies on family violence are ignored or are deliberately censored by most of Americaï¿½s media outlets.
This sting has been operating successfully for 30 years. It’s time to shut it down! This misuse of distorted police statistics to push a “female victims” agenda is widespread and very misleading. Feminists have high jacked the legitimate issue of family violence and turned it into “Americaï¿½s Most Successful Political Hoax”.
The promotion of family violence myths and misleading statistics detracts from the importance and scope of the family violence problem. A falsely framed issue skews understanding and jeopardizes justice. For example, former Massachusetts Bar Association President Elaine Epstein stated, “It has become essentially impossible to effectively represent a man against whom any allegation of domestic violence has been made.”
The other police statistics you don’t hear about
Men and children may not report when they are injured by a woman, however, the dead bodies of the men and children who are the victims of violent women are usually reported. Murder statistics are far more reliable than reported abuse statistics. The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report of family homicides in 33 urban counties. These quoted statistics represent convictions only:
- “In spouse murders, women represented 41 percent of killers.”
- “In murders of their offspring, women predominated, accounting for 55 percent of killers.”
- “Among black marital partners, wives were just about as likely to kill their husbands as husbands were to kill their wives: 47 percent of the victims of a spouse were husbands and 53 percent were wives.”
This is a long way from the feminist claim that “men are responsible for 90% of family violence”. Those who quote law enforcement statistics to support the “male villain-female victim” dogma are either misled or deliberately attempting to mislead.
The hidden victims
Scientists are saying that both men and women are violent to a far greater extent than police statistics reveal. The feminist embrace of crime statistics forces them to admit that such violence is rare. The picture changes, though, when social scientists look at spousal violence. This data shows that spousal violence is mostly unreported. In fact, some degree of violence occurs at a rate of 113 incidents per 1000 couples per year (husband. on wife) and 121 incidents per 1000 couples per year (wife on husband)! This is 20 times the rate of the crime statistics reports.
Many local women’s shelters want the statistic of “female victims reported to the police ” to prevail over awareness of all the other women, children and men who are also victims of violence. Some leaders in the women’s shelter movement are fully aware of the broader scope of family violence but hold fast to the villain/victim dogma. Why? They must maintain their power and fund raising base. If they lose their special “victim status” they will rapidly go out of business.
Feminism Vs Science and the Law
There is much confusion about whom to believe in the debate about spousal violence. On one side we have womenï¿½s shelter advocates and feminists who rely on law enforcement statistics. On the other side we have social scientists who rely on scientifically structured studies. Unfortunately, the results of scientific studies do not receive media attention. Americaï¿½s press is seemingly more interested in political correctness than scientific accuracy. Therefore, the public perception, and the perception of many well-intentioned domestic violence activists, is radically skewed away from the more balanced perception of social scientists.
Many abuse shelter personnel are unaware of the scientific studies even though they claim to be “domestic violence experts” and often conduct “training” sessions for government agencies. How could someone be an expert without awareness of the scientific studies in their field? There are towns and cities in our country where the entire legal establishment; law enforcement, family law attorneys, and judges are making decisions about family violence based on political propaganda rather than well established research.
Here is a comment on the subject from a judge who asked for our report. We have rescued him from any consequences resulting from his candor by disguising his identity.
Dear Revs. Sewell
Thanks for the interesting information. I am a judge in xxxxxxx who regularly hears requests for domestic violence orders of protection. The DV issue has been politicized big time in our area. We judges are ordered to attend “consciousness raising” seminars where we are harangued by feminist “experts”. Supervising judges have been courted and won over and now we have annual breakfasts honoring judges who cooperate with the feminist “agenda”.
As a former prosecutor and divorce lawyer I know that the best deterrent to violence by human beings is arrest, prosecution and appropriate consequences. With well-prepared cases, vigorous prosecution, and no nonsense consequences the cycle of abuse can be broken no matter who the abuser is. Humans become habitual abusers because they get away with it. It is impossible to make progress in reducing domestic violence until we recognize that women are violent.
As a member of an advisory committee for the local shelter I was shocked at the attitudes of the ladies who ran the center: The ONLY solution championed by the shelter was to get free from that big bad male. The committee expressed concern about the underlying anti-male bias which even showed up in the name of the shelter and recommended that the name be changed to The Center for Victims of Abuse – rather than Womenï¿½s Strength.
Anyway, I forwarded your piece on to a couple of other judges – some of whom will undoubtedly immediately reject itï¿½s premise.
Judge xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
The typical response of the abuse shelter feminists upon first hearing the results of the scientific studies is to “shoot the messenger” **. You can almost hear their minds snap closed. There is an almost cult like “party line” among victim advocates. Much of the belief system of their “cult” has no more scientific or rational basis than fanatical religious cults.
On the other hand, some abuse agency personnel have not accepted the feminist “party line”; particularly religiously sponsored family services organizations. They are eager to have accurate information upon which to plan and implement rational programs for prevention, intervention, and treatment for abusers and victims of both genders.
Are the family violence “experts” in your community aware of the scientific studies? What is happening at the abuse shelter in your community?
Spousal Violence in Other Countries
We think it is important to note that there have been the same kind of studies done in many countries. There is cross-cultural verification that women are more violent than men in family settings. When behavior has cross-cultural verification it means that it is part of human nature rather than a result of cultural conditioning. Females are most often the perpetrators in spousal violence in all cultures that have been studied so far. That leads many professionals to conclude that there is something biological about violent females in family situations. Researchers are now exploring the role of the “territorial imperative” as a factor in womenï¿½s violence against men. Women see the home as their territory. Like many other species on the planet, we humans will ignore size difference when we experience conflict on our own territory. So, the scientific results that reveal the violence of American women are not unique to our culture, and do not indicate a special pathology among American women. World wide, women are more violent than men in family settings.
One of the leading researchers in this field is Susan Steinmetz, Ph.D. She did a cross-cultural comparison of marital abuse. Journal of Sociology, and Social Welfare, 8, 404- Married couples from 9 different cultures. These studies yielded results very similar to results obtained in the United States and other nations. Another survey of couples in Canada found the same familiar pattern in that the rate of severe husband-to-wife violence was 4.8%, while severe wife-to-husband violence was 10%. Brinkerhoff & Lupri, Canadian Journal of Sociology, (1989)
The Propaganda Problem
Abuse shelter advocates and feminists have severely distorted the picture and deliberately produce fraudulent statistics and dis-information. Even when they quote well-grounded statistics, they misuse the information. Here is an example: One of the favorite statistics quoted by abuse shelter advocates is that a woman is the victim of spousal violence every 15 seconds. This statistic is deduced from a well conducted piece of research which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, a respected professional journal for marriage and family therapists. The Abuse Shelter advocates arrived at this figure by using one of the conclusions of the study, i.e.; 1.8 million women suffer an assault from a husband or boyfriend per year. What abuse shelter advocates always ignore is another finding of the same study, i.e.; 2 million men are assaulted by a wife or girl friend per year, which translates as, a man is the victim of spousal violence every 14 seconds. This is typical of the wide spread deception practiced by abuse shelter advocates. Americaï¿½s press establishment is a party to this deception and shares the blame for exacerbating the problem by perpetuating a false diagnosis.
Acknowledging that women are abusers leads to better solutions.
Women usually initiate spousal violence episodes (they hit first), and women hit more frequently, as well as using weapons three times more often then men. This combination of violent acts means that the efforts of finding solutions to the family violence problem need to focus on female perpetrators. We need to recognize that women are violent, and we need nationwide educational programs that emphasize the womenï¿½s role as perpetrators. Other studies show that men are becoming less violent at the same time that women are becoming more violent. Educating men seems to be working. Educating women to be less violent should now be the main thrust of public education programs.
Any family violence program which accepts the “male abuser – female victim” paradigm is based on a false premise. These kind of family violence programs actually perpetuate the problem of abuse and do not deserve to be supported by private citizens or government agencies. Many government agencies, and legitimate charities, have been funding a feminist political cause, rather than funding rational, solution focused, family violence prevention programs.
What kind of family violence program do you have in your community? Does your local program encourage the healing of families, or do they take the “divorce” approach? Does the family violence prevention program in your community devote as much attention to violent females, as it does to violent males? If not, why not?
“Knowing what we know, what then must we do?”Leo Tolstoy
Women’s shelters are usually feminist front organizations. We need a family friendly agency in our community that delivers services to all family members and works to preserve families, not tear them apart. We don’t need a feminist group with an anti-male, anti-family political axe to grind.
We need to separate gender politics from the issue of family violence. We need to look at the full spectrum of family violence, not just female victims. We need to consult scientific studies when we make policy decisions. We cannot hope to implement rational, solution-focused programs and policies until we face the fact that “behind closed doors” women are at least as violent as men.
What can I do personally?
- Be informed. Educate yourself about the scientific studies on family violence.
- Copy and distribute reports from Family Resources and Research. We will provide you with solid research and show you how to conduct an effective family violence education program in your community
Please do your part to strengthen and heal America’s families. Thank you for giving your attention to this important issue.
*(In our local community there is man enduring a 26 week feminist harangue called “Anger Management” for throwing a donut at his wife. This man’s wife is angrier at the courts than he is. In another minor incident with tragic consequences a family lost their husband and father to suicide, due in part to the effects of police and court intervention. He was depressed and angry, she was frightened, so she called the police and made up a story. Soon after the incident the wife advised authorities that she had lied about being physically abused. The prosecutor pressed charges as usual. One of the most significant contributions to this man’s suicide was the hostile and incompetent feminist counselor the court ordered him to see. . The widow has hired a civil trial attorney)
**(If you are helping to distribute this report, keep in mind that these “anti-violent” females have been known to be violent when someone attempts to take their “victim status” away from them. We haven’t experienced the violence suffered by other family advocates, but we hired a lawyer to protect us from slander by the director of our local women’s shelter.)
Comparative spousal violence data from three national studies*
*Tables prepared using data from “Change In Spouse Assault Rates From 1975 to 1992: A Comparisonof Three National Surveys In The United States”, by Murray A. Straus and Glenda Kaufman Kantor.
|MINOR VIOLENT ACTS:||SEVERE VIOLENT ACTS:|
|1. Threw something||1. Kicked/bit/hit with fist|
|2. Pushed/Grabbed/Shoved||2. Hit, tried to hit with something|
|3. Slapped or spanked||3. Beat up|
|4. Threatened with gun or knife|
|5. Used gun or knife|
Spousal assaults expressed as rate per 1000 couples
|Minor Assaults:||Year||Assault by husband||Assault by wife|
|Wives report they have been severely assaulted by husband||22 per 1000|
|Wives report they have severely assaulted husband||59 per 1000|
|Husbands report they have been severely assaulted by wives||32 per 1000|
|Husbands report they have severely assaulted wives||18 per 1000|
|Husbands & wives both report wife has been assaulted||20 per 1000|
|Husbands & wives both report husband has been assaulted||44 per 1000|
The study below is typical of the results of scientific studies on family violence done in many nations. This Canadian study was done by Reena Sommer, Ph.D. a research associate with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation.
Female vs. male perpetrated violence as a percentage of all respondents:
|Minor Violence||% of females||% of males|
|threw an object (not at partner)||23.6||15.8|
|threaten to throw object||14.9||7.3|
|threw object at partner||16.2||4.6|
|pushed, or grabbed||19.8||17.2|
|slapped, punched, kicked||15.8||7.3|
|Violence as self defense||9.9||14.8|
|My partner needed medical help||14.3||21.4|
Below, are some exceptions to the usual media silence on science based stories about DV.
- USA Today June 29, 1994
Spouse Abuse a Two-Way Street
By Warren Farrell, Ph.D.
Just as bad cases make bad laws, so can celebrity cases reinforce old myths. The biggest myth the O.J. Simpson case is likely to reinforce is the myth that domestic violence is a one way street (male-to-female), and its corollary, that male violence against women is an outgrowth of masculinity.
When I began seven years of research into these issues in preparation for “The Myth of Male Power”, I began with these two assumptions since I had been the only man in the United States to have been elected three times to the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Women in New York City, and these assumptions went unquestioned in feminist circles.
My first finding – – that in the U.S. and Canada more than 90% of the domestic violence reports to the police were by women, not men – seemed to confirm these assumptions. But, then the picture became more complex.
About a dozen studies in the U.S. and Canada asked BOTH sexes how often they hit each other, all of them found that women hit men either more frequently or about as often as the reverse.
Two of the main studies – – by Suzanne Steinmetz, Murray Straus and Richard Gelles – – assumed men hit women more severely, so they divided domestic violence into seven different levels of severity. They were surprised to discover that, overall, the more severe levels of violence were conducted more by women against men.
A caveat, though. Men hitting women did more damage than the reverse. However, this caveat carried its own caveat: it was exactly because menï¿½s hits hurt more that women resorted to more severe methods (i.e. tossing boiling water over her husband or swinging a frying pan into his face). These findings were supported by the Census Bureauï¿½s own survey:
As early as 1977, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted the National Crime Survey, surveying 60,000 households every six months for three and one half years. They found women use weapons against men 82% of the time; men use weapons against women 25% of the time. Overall, they found that even the women acknowledged they hit men more than men hit women.
The key issue, though, is who initiates this cycle of violence. Steinmetz, Strauss and Gelles found to their initial surprise that women are more likely to be the first initiators. Why? In part,the belief that men can take it – – they can therefore be a punching bag and not be expected to hit back.
I was still a bit incredulous. I asked thousands of men and women in my workshops to count all the relationships in which they had hit their partner before their partner had ever it them. and vice versa. About 60% of the women acknowledged they had more often been the first to strike a blow: among the men, about 90% felt their female partner had been the first to strike a blow.
I still felt violence was an out growth of masculinity. I was half right. Men are responsible for most of the violence which occurs outside the home. However, when 54% of women in lesbian relationships acknowledge violence in their current relationship, vs. only 11% of heterosexual couples reporting violence, I realized that domestic violence is not an outgrowth of male biology.
Why do we vigorously denounce domestic violence against women and not even know about domestic violence against men?
Women Abuse Men: Itï¿½s More Widespread Than People Think
Excerpt from Special supplement to The Washington Post, December 28, 1993 By Armin A. Brott. M.D.
“Despite all the evidence about female-on-male violence, many groups actively try to suppress coverage of the issue. Steinmetz received verbal threats and anonymous phone calls from radical womenï¿½s groups threatening to harm her children after she published “The Battered Husband Syndrome” in 1978. She says she finds it ironic that the same people who claim that women- initiated violence is purely self defense are so quick to threaten violence against people who do nothing more than publish a scientific study.
Steinmetzï¿½s story is not unique. Ten years after that study, R.L. McNeely, a professor at the School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin, and Gloria Robinson-Simpson published “The Truth About Domestic Violence: A Falsely Framed Issue.” The article examined various studies on domestic violence and concluded that society must recognize that men are victims “or we will be addressing only part of the phenomenon.”
Shortly thereafter, McNeely received letters from a Pennsylvania womenï¿½s organization threatening to use its influence in Washington to pull his research funding. Robinson-Simpson,who uncovered some of the most important data, largely was left alone. According to McNeely, “she, a young assistant professor, was assumed to have been ï¿½duped” by the senior male professor.” (end quote)
Researcher Claims Abuse Shelter Advocates Make the Problem Worse
Washington Times Jan 31, 1994 Section A, Joyce Price
Murray A. Straus, a sociologist and co-director for the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, blames “women in the battered [womenï¿½s] shelter movement” for denying that women physically abuse husbands, ex-husbands and boyfriends, or playing down such abuse. “Thereï¿½s this fiction in the shelter movement that in all cases, itï¿½s him, not her” whoï¿½s responsible for domestic assaults”, Mr. Straus said in a recent interview.
Mr. Straus said at least 30 studies of domestic violence – including some heï¿½s conducted – have shown both sexes to be equally culpable. But he said some of the research, such as a recent Canadian national survey, “left out data on women abusing men … because itï¿½s politically embarrassing.” Women and men “are almost identical” in terms of the frequency of attacks such as slapping, shoving, and kicking, Mr. Straus said.
Using information on married couples obtained from 2,994 women in the 1985 National Family Violence Survey, Mr. Straus said he found a rate for assaults by wives of 124 per 1,000 couples, compared with 122 per 1,000 for assaults by husbands.
The rate of minor assaults by wives was 78 per 1,000 couples, and the rate of minor assaults by husbands was 72 per 1,000, he said. For the category of severe assaults, he said, the rate was 46 per 1,000 couples for assaults by wives and 50 per 1,000 for assaults by husbands. “Neither difference is statistically different,”* Mr. Straus wrote in the journal Issues in Definition and Measurement. “As these rates are based exclusively on information provided by women respondents, the near equality in assault rates cannot be attributed to a gender bias in reporting.” (end quote)
*Dr. Strausï¿½s statistics do not reflect the latest study done by the Family Research Laboratory.
Claims of husband-beating gain prominence
by Alice Lovejoy – Brown University October 1997
October 1 marks the beginning of Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. Though most people believe this issue to be one-sided, there are forces at work attempting to modify common perceptions of domestic abuse. Armed with scientific data and polls, a select group of private individuals, as well as publicly funded researchers, purport that men are the victims of physical domestic abuse at rates equal to or even greater than women. For every Wilfredo Cordero, the Boston Red Sox player recently accused of assaulting his wife, these factions claim there is a woman somewhere slapping her husband.
Sam and Bunny Sewell
Two main proponents of this uncharted attitude towards domestic abuse are Sam and Bunny Sewell. The couple, from Naples, Florida, runs the “Best Self Clinic,” a group which provides counseling to couples. In the course of their work, the Sewells found an unusually large number of cases in which domestic violence was initiated by women. The couple, in the clinicï¿½s web page, explores the distinction between “LOVE” (“non-possessive and admiring”) and “love” (a kind of attachment which denotes a “lack of emotional self-sufficiency”). In relation to their concept of “LOVE” as a solution to domestic problems, and in support of the idea that violence in relationships must stem from a lack of “LOVE,” the Sewells have attempted to publicize the supposedly forgotten half of domestic abuse, that directed by women against men.
Sam and Bunny, in a mass e-mailing to various news organizations, quote Change in Spouse Abuse Rates from 1975 to 1992: A Comparison of Three National Surveys, a study by Murray A. Straus and Glenda Kaufman Kantor of the University of New Hampshireï¿½s Family Research Laboratory. The study found that, per 1,000 couples, 92 reported minor assaults such as pushing, grabbing and slapping, by the husband. Surprisingly, though, the study reported a rate of 94 minor assaults by the wife. 19 couples reported severe assaults such as kicking, biting, punching, or using a gun or knife, by the husband. Yet 44 couples reported severe assault by the wife, meaning that women are perpetrators of the crime at more than twice the rate of their male counterparts.
“The Menï¿½s Issues Page” quotes a 1989 study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, “Prevalence and Stability of Physical Aggression Between Spouses” that found that women were, overall, more often the aggressor in relationships than men. In unmarried couples, 31.2% of men and 44.4% of women had engaged in aggressive behavior. After eighteen months of marriage, these statistics changed to 26.8% of men and 35.9% of women. After twenty months of marriage, the numbers decreased to 24.6% and 32.2%, but maintained the notable discrepancy. Further, this study found that “the lower rates of overall aggression for men were not offset by higher rates of more severe type of aggression.” The same page uses a third study, The Marriage License as Hitting License: A Comparison of Assaults in Dating, Cohabiting and Married Couples which states similar findings showing that women are more often the aggressor in a marriage.
Lash or backlash
In contrast to the vocal advocacy for battered women, claims that men are often the victims of domestic abuse are likely to be dismissed as a mere backlash against todayï¿½s “politically-correct” sensibilities. Yet the data about husband-beating is, to a large degree, valid. Murray Straus verified the statistics from his report printed by “Sam and Bunny” and Richard Gelles of the University of Rhode Island and author of Intimate Violence and other studies, also validated the statistics used by matching it to previous research.
In fact, Gellesï¿½ most recent research supported his earlier data in finding that, in a quarter of domestic relationships, violence is exclusively male against female. In a second quarter of these relationships, violence is exclusively female against male. In the remaining half, violence is bi-directional, with an equal likelihood of initiation from either men or women. Yet anecdotal evidence on the part of womenï¿½s groups and police blotters suggests that the numerous studies detailing female violence are wrong or exaggerated. Domestic violence advocacy groups claim that most violence by women against men can be explained by examining the context of the violence; that it is, to a large degree, in reaction to violence or threats that women use violence against their spouse or partner. Deb de Bare, of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, stated “from our perspective, research is often misleading. This is an example of exactly that. Research might interpret the number of times someone was hit, but may not get the context. Women might react and slap, and the research would document that as abuse. The reality that we see is that well over ninety percent of cases of domestic violence involve women as victims. We see domestic abuse as the whole pattern of behavior in an abusive relationship.”
Gelles would argue, however, that womenï¿½s violence cannot be attributed to only self-defense in such a large percentage of cases. Domestic violence, like any form of abuse, is often a learned behavior. Victims of child abuse are more likely to abuse both their own children and their spouse or partner. Violence, to victims of abuse, is a way of expressing anger, which becomes a normalized means to interact with oneï¿½s partner. This is not to undermine the number of cases in which violence is a direct reaction to threats or aggression; these cases address an issue critical in the problem of violent relationships in general.
Looking in the mirror
The difficulty in assigning blame for domestic violence is evident in Gellesï¿½ study of unmarried college-age heterosexual couples. In these relationships, violence is perfectly symmetrical between men and women. Gelles termed these “modern aggressive relationships”: anger is translated as verbal or physical abuse. Though these relationships are just as violent as “traditional” cases of domestic violence, they receive little attention; abuse has become an accepted part of relationships between men and women of this age group. The violence of this particular portion of abuse came to the fore recently when last month a woman at the University of Michigan was killed by her own boyfriend, stabbed repeatedly by a kitchen knife. Claiming that “nobody wants to present the balanced view,” Gelles is dismayed that statistical ï¿½factsï¿½ are ceaselessly debated over while the victims of abuse gain little. Rhode Island, for instance, has standards for treating victims of domestic abuse which dictate a certain number of weeks for treatment, as well as a standardized and specific treatment content. In Gellesï¿½ opinion, these standards are “guaranteed to be ineffective” because they do not examine specific cases or situations of abuse. Thus, individuals with violent childhood experiences, though “treated”, return to relationships only to maintain a previous pattern of abuse.
Proponents of the husband-beating statistics see identity politics as an impediment to the eradication of violence in the home. Sam Sewell asserted that “a solution to [the domestic violence] problem requires that gender politics be excluded.” Gelles agreed, arguing that the only remedy to domestic abuse will come when advocates use “informed scientific judgment” to determine treatment standards, and when the focus of the domestic violence debate shifts from a search for the “real” victims to a search for a solution.
Domestic abuse: Itï¿½s not always his fault
Scripps Howard News Service 8/18/97
by Betsy Hart
Not long ago members of Virginiaï¿½s General Assembly considered a bill meant to keep husbands from abusing their wives: putting a warning label at the top of marriage licenses! It didnï¿½t get far. (Possibly calmer heads prevailed and pointed out that itï¿½s non marital relationships that are a major risk factor for abuse.)
Still, this attempt highlights the prevailing notion in domestic violence circles that “itï¿½s always his fault.” That, in fact, is the title of the cover article in the summer issue of “The Womenï¿½s Quarterly, ” published by the Independent Womenï¿½s Forum, an increasingly high-profile group thatï¿½s kind of an antidote to the National Organization for Women.
Author Sally L. Satel, psychiatrist and Yale medical school lecturer, shows how accepted Gloria Steinemï¿½s assertion that “the patriarchy requires violence in order to maintain itself” has become. I.e., abusive men arenï¿½t criminals, or drunks, or particularly troubled people some of whom may be redeemed. They are just men.
The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Womenï¿½s Network explains: “Battery is a fulfillment of cultural expectation, not a defiant or sick behavior.” This view pervades the activist groups dealing with this issue, and the bureaucracies that fund them with federal dollars.
Today a dozen states basically preclude treatment other than feminist therapy of domestic batterers, Satel notes, and more are following. Forget joint counseling when appropriate and desired-involving the battererï¿½s mate in treatment amounts to “blaming the victim .”
That despite the fact that many abuse experts unhindered by feminist blinders recognize abuse is often part of a “dance of mutual destructiveness” as psychologist Judith Shervin writes. And that women initiate violence in cohabiting relationships as often as men (often using weapons to make up for physical differences) according to leading abuse researchers-widely respected across philosophical lines – Richard Gelles and Murray Straus.
No matter. “Don,” a college administrator arrested for once slapping his wife (they are still together) was required to attend a typical “abuse” program. Every week “the message was clear,” Don told Satel. “Whatever she does to you is your fault, whatever you do to her is your fault. It would have been a lot more helpful if they taught us to recognize when we felt ourselves being driven into a position where we lash out. The message should have been “recognize it, deal with it, and quit hitting.” All Don got was guilt about his maleness.
Hand in hand with this agenda are feminist backed “must arrest” and similar legal policies which exist in hundreds of jurisdictions. These require police to arrest one partner-almost always the man-when called to a domestic dispute. Even when things have completely cooled down, there was no hitting, and the woman doesnï¿½t want the man arrested.
Common “no-drop” polices do not allow a woman to drop abuse charges once theyï¿½re filed, even if her motive was anger, not fear. In California, it is mandatory for judges to issue a restraining order separating the parties in all domestic violence cases.
Such practices treat women like children, and ensure that if couples stay together-and most in fact do-nothing really changes, Satel writes, though the woman might mistakenly. and dangerously be led to believe it has. While there is virtually no convincing data that this feminist approach to male violence is effective, Satel notes, several respected studies suggest that these typical legal practices can escalate spousal violence in some men by further enraging them.
The goal of these feminist treatments and legal responses Satel says, is to separate women from their abusive partner -no matter what the circumstances, and no matter how fervently the women wish otherwise.
These “one size fits all” policies might make a bit more sense if “abuse” always meant serious, systematic violence But the feminist politicization of the term “abuse” renders it virtually meaningless.A typical check-list, this from the Westchester Coalition of Family Violence agencies, tells women that if their partner behaves in “an overprotective manner,” “turns minor incidents into major arguments” or “insults you,” then “you might be abused.”
Sometimes, of course, no redemption is possible and leaving, or ensuring the violent spouse is locked up (preferably for good), is the only answer. And Satel rightly notes that the feminist agenda in this area has forced law enforcement to take domestic abuse seriously.
But once again, the radical feminist agenda of “man bad woman good” has permeated the culture on an a fundamentally important issue, and once again it has done a terrible disservice to the constituency feminists are supposed to help-women.
Betsy Hart, a former White House spokesman, is a weekly commentator on MS-NBC television news.
Citations for scientific studies of domestic violence
Gelles, R.J. The violent home: A study of physical aggression between husbands and wives
In 1974, a study was done which compared male and female domestic violence. In that study, it was found that 47% of husbands had used physical violence on their wives, and 33% of wives had used violence on their husbands (Gelles 1974). Half of the respondents in this study were selected from either cases of domestic violence reported to the police, or those identified by the social service agency. Very few men report being assaulted by their wives. This accounts for the lowered statistic for violent females, however it would be foolish to ignore 33% of the problem even if this was the only study available. Later studies are more accurate.
Chesanow, Neil, Violence at HomeNew Woman, February 1992, pg. 96-98.
[note: this is a very interesting article, particularly so since it appeared in a womenï¿½s magazine and argues that women are equally violent towards men in intimate relationships. One of the bases for Chesanowï¿½s arguments is that domestic violence among lesbian intimates is as common as domestic violence among heterosexual intimates—based on crime statistics.]
Curtis, L.A. Criminal violence: National patterns and behavior Lexington Books Lexington MA,
In 1974, a study was released showing that the number of murders of women by men (17.5% of total homicides) was about the same as the number of murders of men by women (16.4% of total homicides). This study (Curtis 1974), however, showed that men were three times as likely to assault women as vice-versa. These statistics came from police records.
Wolfgang, M. Patterns in Criminal Homicide Wiley, New York, 1958
- Mercy, J.A. & Saltzman, L.E. “Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1976-85” American Journal of Public Health 79(5): 595-9 May 1989
Curtisï¿½s murder statistic (above study) was no big news,. In 1958, an investigation of spousal homicide between 1948 and 1952 found that 7.8% of murder victims were husbands murdered by wives, and 8% were wives murdered by husbands (Wolfgang 1958). More recently, in a study of spousal homicide in the period from 1976 to 1985, it was found that there was an overall ratio of 1.3:1.0 of murdered wives to murdered husbands, and that “Black husbands were at greater risk of spouse homicide victimization than Black wives or White spouses of either sex.” (Mercy & Saltzman 1989)
Steinmetz, Suzanne K. The cycle of violence: Assertive, aggressive and abusive family interaction Praeger Press, New York, 1977
Steinmetz, Suzanne K. The Battered Husband SyndromeVictimology 2, 1977-1978
In 1977, Suzanne Steinmetz released results from several studies showing that the percentage of wives who have used physical violence is higher than the percentage of husbands, and that the wivesï¿½ average violence score tended to be higher, although men were somewhat more likely to cause greater injury. She also found that women were as likely as men to initiate physical violence, and that they had similar motives for their violent acts (Steinmetz 1977-78).
Nisonoff, L. & Bitman, I Spouse Abuse: Incidence and Relationship to Selected Demographic Variables, Victimology 4, 1979, pp. 131-140
In 1979, a telephone survey was conducted in which subjects were asked about their experiences of domestic violence (Nisonoff & Bitman 1979). 15.5% of the men and 11.3% of the women reported having hit their spouse; 18.6% of the men and 12.7% of the women reported having been hit by their spouse.
Straus, M.A., Gelles, R.J., and Steinmetz, S.K. Behind closed doors: Violence in American families, Doubleday, NewYork, 1980
In 1980, a team of researchers, including Steinmetz, attempted to address some concerns about the earlier surveys (Straus, Gelles & Steinmetz, 1980). They created a nationally representative study of family violence and found that the total violence scores seemed to be about even between husbands and wives, and that wives tended to be more abusive in almost all categories except pushing and shoving.
Straus, M.A. & Gelles, R.J. “Societal change and change in familyviolence from 1975 to 1985 as revealed by two national surveys” Journal of Marriage and the Family 48, po. 465-479, 1986
Straus & Gelles did a followup survey in 1985, comparing their data to a 1975 survey (Straus & Gelles 1986). They found that in that decade, domestic violence against women dropped from 12.1% of women to 11.3% while domestic violence against men rose from 11.6% to 12.1%. The rate of severely violent incidents dropped for both groups: From 3.8% to 3.0% of women victimized and from 4.6% to 4.4% for men.
Sexuality Today Newsletter “Violence in Adolescent Dating Relationships Common, New Survey Reveals” December 22, 1986
In 1986, a report appeared in Social Work, the journal of the National Association of Social Workers (Nov./Dec. 1986) on violence in adolescent dating relationships, in which it was found that girls were violent more frequently than boys.
Oï¿½Leary, K. Daniel; Arias, Ilena; Rosenbaum, Alan & Barling, Julian “Premarital Physical Aggression” State University of New York at Stony Brook & Syracuse University
Another report on premarital violence (Oï¿½Leary, et al) found that 34% of the males and 40% of the females reported engaging in some form of physical aggression against their mates in a year. 17% of women and 7% of men reported engaging in severe physical aggression. 35% of the men and 30% of the women reported having been abused.
Daly, M. & Wilson, M. “Parent-Offspring Homicides in Canada,1974-1983” Science v. 242, pp. 519-524, 1988Nagi, Saad Child Maltreatment in the United States Columbia University Press, New York,
Statistical Abstract of the United States 1987 table 277
The idea of women being violent is a hard thing for many people to believe. It goes against the stereotype of the passive and helpless female. This, in spite of the fact that women are known to be more likely than men to commit child abuse and child murder (Daly & Wilson 1988 report 54% of parent-child murders where the child is under 17 were committed by the mother in Canada between 1974 and 1983, for instance. The Statistical Abstract of the United States 1987 reports that of reported child maltreatment cases between 1980 and 1984 between 57.0% and 61.4% of these were perpetrated by the mother. Nagi 1977 found 53.1% of perpetrators were female, 21% male and 22.6% both.
Nisonoff, L. & Bitman, I “Spouse Abuse: Incidence and Relationship to Selected Demographic Variables” Victimology 4, 1979, pp. 131-140
found that men and women reported quite similar instances of violence both by them and by their partner
“The Battered Husband Syndrome” Victimology 2, 1977-1978, p. 499 Steinmetz, Suzanne K. The cycle of violence: Assertive, aggressive and abusive family interaction Praeger Press, New York, 1977
found that wives were *more* violent than husbands. Steinmetz later left the field of domestic violence studies after alleging that infuriated feminists had made death threats against her children.
Wolfgang, M. Patterns in Criminal Homicide, Wiley, New York, 1958
Mercy, J.A. & Saltzman, L.E. “Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1976-85” American Journal of Public Health 79(5):595-9 May 1989
Two studies, 30 years apart, showing that on average wives kill husbands at a similar rate to that at which husbands kill wives.
Straus, Murray, Gelles, R.J., and Steinmetz, S.K. Behind closed doors: Violence in American families, Doubleday, New York, 1980
addressed earlier methodological problems, shows spousal abuse to be almost gender-neutral in almost all categories of violence.
Straus, Murray” & Gelles, R.J. “Societal change and change in family violence from 1975 to 1985 as revealed by two national surveys” Journal of Marriage and the Family 48, po. 465-479, 1986
shows that domestic violence by women is increasing and violence by men is decreasing. A more recent study, reported at a conference by Straus, shows the trend is continuing
Jurik & Gregware 1989 andMann 1990.
You will find that much fewer than half the female murderers have history of being beaten. Most women who murder their husbands are impulsive, violent, and have criminal records. Jurik (1989) and Jurik and Gregwareï¿½s (1989) investigation of 24 cases in which women killed husbands or lovers found that the victim initiated use of physical forces in (40%) of the cases. Jurik and Gregwareï¿½s Table 2 shows that only 5 out of the 24 homicides (21%) were in response to “prior abuse” or “threat of abuse/death.” Mannï¿½s (1990) study of the circumstances surrounding partner homicides by wives shows that many women who murder their spouses are impulsive, violent, and have criminal records. Jurik (1989) and Jurik and Gregware (1989) also report that 60% of the women they studied had previous arrests.
Jurik, N. C. (1989 November).Women who kill and the reasonable man: The legal issues surounding female-perpetrated homicide. Paper presented at the 41Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Reno, NV.
Jurik & Gregware (1989) “A method for murder: An interactionist analysis of homicides by women. Tempe: Arizona State University, School of Justice Studies.
Mann, C. R. (1990). Glack female homicide in the United States, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 176-201.
Abstract: Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses
Oï¿½Leary KD. Barling J. Arias I. Rosenbaum A. Malone J. Tyree A. April, 1989. Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology. 57(2):263-8.
Community couples (N = 272) were assessed in a longitudinal study of early marriage. More women than men reported physically aggressing against their partners at premarriage (44% vs. 31%) and 18 months (36% vs. 27%). At 30 months, men and women did not report significantly different rates of aggression (32% vs. 25%). However, using either the self-report or the partnerï¿½s report, the prevalence of aggression was higher for women than men at each assessment period. Modal forms of physical aggression for both men and women were pushing, shoving, and slapping. Conditional probability analyses indicated that the likelihood of physically aggressing at 30 months given that one had engaged in such aggression before marriage and at 18 months after marriage was .72 for women and .59 for men. Furthermore, 25-30% of the recipients of physical aggression at all three assessment periods were seriously maritally discordant at 30 months.
Spousal Abuse Rates – Stats from UCR and Straus, Gelles
The data from the US National Crime Survey (NCS) states that 84% of the victims of “intimate” violence were female. (“Highlights from 20 years of Surveying Crime Victims”, NCJ-144525.) It also puts the occurrence of this violent crime (from “intimates only”) at 5.4 female victims per 1000 women per year – this is all crimes, some of which did not involve injury.
For comparison, the rate for “Accidental injury, all circumstances” is given as 220 per 1000 adults per year – a figure 40 times higher.
If one accepts data such as that from the NCS, one must (at least if one is consistent and intellectually honest) admit that such violence is rare. The picture changes, though, when different techniques of investigation (methodologies) are used, such as those by “Straus, Murray” and Gelles. This data shows that domestic violence is MUCH more common. In fact, some degree of violence (NOT injury, however) occurs at a rate of 113 incidents per 1000 couples per year (husband. on wife) and 121 incidents per 1000 couples per year (wife on husband)! This is 20x the rate that the NCS reports.
Family Homicides – rates by gender – DoJ, 94
In July 1994 the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice released a Special Report detailing the results of a survey of family homicides in 33 urban U.S. counties. The report covered ONLY convictions, which should respond to any contention that female-on-male family violence is almost always reactive. The report said:
“A third of family murders involved a female as the killer. In sibling murders, females were 15 percent of killers, and in murders of parents, 18 percent. But in spouse murders, women represented 41 percent of killers. In murders of their offspring, women predominated, accounting for 55 percent of killers.”
- “Among black marital partners, wives were just about as likely to kill their husbands as husbands were to kill their wives: 47 percent of the victims of a spouse were husbands and 53 percent were wives.”
U.S. Department of Justice
Conflict Tactics Scales
To give a little background on how the rates of violence were determined, by “Straus, & Gelles”, We include the following question from the published survey for the CTS methodology:
No matter how well a couple gets along, there are times when they disagree, get annoyed with the other person, or just have spats or fights because theyï¿½re in a bad mood or tired or for some other reason. They also use many different ways of trying to settle their differences. Iï¿½m going to read some things that you and your spouse might do when you have an argument. I would like you to tell me how many times in the last 12 months you:
- a. Discussed the issue calmly
b. Got information to back up your side of things
c. Brought in or tried to bring in someone to help settle things
d. Insulted or swore at the other one
e. Sulked and/or refused to talk about it
f. Stormed out of the room or house (or yard)
h. Did or said something to spite the other one
i. Threatened to hit or throw something at the other one
j. Threw or smashed or hit or kicked something
k. Threw something at the other one
l. Pushed, grabbed, or shoved the other one
m. Slapped the other one
n. Kicked, but, or hit with a fist
o. Hit or tried to hit with something
p. Beat up the other one
q. Threatened with a knife or gun
r. Used a knife or gun
- a. Discussed the issue calmly
To summarize, Straus & Gelles, using the CTS methodology described above found that rates for total (including less severe violence, such as pushing and shoving) between husbands and wives are quite close) for husbands and wives, with one survey showing husbands as more violent and the other with wives as more violent .
Other data, however indicates that the gender of the striker of the first blow is fairly uniform. Jan. E States and Murray A Straus, “Gender Differences in Reporting Marital Violence and Itï¿½s Medical and Psychological Consequences”, ch 9 in Straus & Gelles Physical Violence in American Families quote the following: Men claimed they struck the first blow in 44% of the cases, their female partners in 44% of the cases, and “couldnï¿½t remember” in 12% of the cases. The women claimed men hit them first in 43% of the cases, that they struck the first blow in 53% of the cases, and “couldnï¿½t remember” in 5% of the cases. However, data for injury rates based on these studies shows women seeking treatment for a doctor much more often than men did. In a study of 8145 families 7.3% of 137 women severely assaulted (i.e. 10 out of 137) and 1% of 95 men severely assaulted (i.e 1 out of 95) men needed a doctor.
(all figures are rates per 1000 couples per year, and the CTS figures are based on two national surveys of a representative population sample)
Recent Trends in Spousal Violence – Dept of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice released a study on domestic violence and spousal homicides on July 11, 1994. In this study it is reported that women kill men at approximately the same rate as men kill women in “spousal” homicides. (A “spousal” homicide is a husband or wife killing the other or a homicide perpetrated by a common-law marriage partner on the other partner.) In addition this study also reported that children were killed by mothers in 55% of all parental homicides.
The 13thWorld Congress of Sociology, on July 19, 1994 it was reported that for the U.S. for 1992:For the average of reports by males and females: Husband on wife severe assault occurred at a rate of 2.0%, whereas wife on husband severe assault occurred at a rate of 4.6%. and Husband on wife minor assault occurred at a rate of 9.9%, whereaswife on husband assault occurred at a rate of 9.5%
A rate of 2.0% means that during 1992 there were 20 instances of severe husband on wife assault for every 1000 couples.
Also reported at the conference was the fact that although male on female violence has been slowly decreasing over the last decade, female on male violence is now increasing sharply.
Various Spousal Violence Stats
In 1975 and again in 1985, Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles and others conducted one of the largest and most respected studies in family violence ever done. What they found, confounded conventional wisdom on the subject: Not only are men just as likely to be the victims of domestic violence as women, the study showed that between 1975 and 1985, the overall rate of domestic violence by men against women decreased, while womenï¿½s violence against men increased. Responding to accusations of gender bias, Straus re-computed the assault rates based solely on the responses of the women in the 1985 study and confirmed that even according to women, men are the ones more likely to be assaulted by their partner.
There is no question that while men on average are bigger and stronger than women, they can do more damage in a fistfight. However according to Professors R.L. McNeely and Cormae Richey Mann, “the average manï¿½s size and strength are neutralized by guns and knives, boiling water, bricks, fireplace pokers and baseball bats.”
A 1984 study of 6,200 cases found that 86% of female-on-male violence involved weapons, contrasted with 25% in cases of male-on-female violence. McLeod, Justice Quarterly (2) 1984 pp. 171-193.
Of every 100 families, 3.8 experience severe husband-to-wife violence, but 4.5% experience severe wife-to-husband violence. (Straus, Gelles, Steinmetz , Behind Closed Doors: Violence in American Families (1980).
A 1985 study of Texas University students, Breen found that 18% of men and 14% of women reported a violent act by a romantic partner. In the same study, 28% of married men reported that their wives had slapped, punched or kicked them. (Shupe, Stacey & Hazlewood. “Violent Men, Violent Couples (1986) Chapter 3.
In another study, 15.5% of men and 11.3% of women reported having hit a spouse while 18.6% of men and 12% of women reported been struck by a spouse. Nisnoff & Bitman, Victimology 4, (1979), pp. 131-140.
Sample of e-mail responses to our National Domestic Violence Education Project
(edited to preserve privacy)
Dear Revs. Sewell
Thanks for the interesting information. I am a judge in Illinois who regularly hears requests for domestic violence orders of protection. The DV issue has been politicized big time in our area. We judges are ordered to attend “consciousness raising” seminars where we are harangued by feminist “experts”. Supervising judges have been courted and won over and now we have annual breakfasts honoring judges who cooperate with the feminist “agenda”.
As a former prosecutor and divorce lawyer I know that the best deterrent to violence by human beings is arrest, prosecution and appropriate consequences. There is no question that the law enforcement agencies were wrong in not arresting and prosecuting persons who violently attacked a family member – but the reason they failed to do so is the fact that such cases rarely made it through the system without the victim either refusing to cooperate or requesting the matter be dropped. The action does not belong to the victims, but to the People, and law enforcement needs to develop ways to successfully prosecute even when a victim is hostile. This means evidence must be preserved at the time, sworn statements taken with sufficient corroborative details to prevent the reluctant victim from being able to sabotage the case, photographs and histories of past abuse and follow up interviews with other members of the family with knowledge. With well prepared cases, vigorous prosecution, and no nonsense consequences the cycle of abuse can be broken no matter who the abuser is. Humans become habitual abusers because they get away with it. It is impossible to make progress in reducing domestic violence until we recognize that women are violent.
As a member of an advisory committee for the local shelter I was shocked at the attitudes of the ladies who ran the center: The ONLY solution championed by the shelter was to get free from that big bad male. The committee expressed concern about the underlying anti-male bias which even showed up in the name of the shelter and recommended that the name be changed to The Center for the Prevention of Abuse – rather than Womenï¿½s Strength.
Anyway, I forwarded your piece on to a couple of other judges – some of whom will undoubtedly immediately reject itï¿½s premise.
Dear Sam & Bunny
The info you provide is compelling. This is particularly so to one such as I who, as an ex-cop, recognizes the under-reporting of “female on male” violence as a consequence of “macho image protection.” Similarly, husbands were (as I remember my limited experiences) more inclined to claim “innocent” causes of injuries to children when they had been committed by the wife than was the case when the situation was reversed and the batterer was the husband.
Keep up the good work.
high school teacher./ex-cop
Dear Sam and Bunny
I absolutely loved your M.A.L.E. web page!! It is positively the greatest thing on the internet today.
As a white male, I have been portrayed as the root of all evil. I was responsible for the war in Vietnam. I was responsible for the plight of blacks and other people of color. I was to blame for the miseries of women. I alone, bore the burden of polluting the planet.
While all this was going on, I was working as many jobs as I could so that I could go full time to college. I got married and worked 60+ hours a week just to keep our heads above water. I donï¿½t ever remember oppressing anyone. I was too busy working and studying to do that. I could never figure out why I was the bad guy, when I was working so hard to keep a wife, a child, and myself out of poverty.
While it is true I will never be a woman, I have a wife. I have a mother. I have sisters. I have many friends who are women. I work with lots of women. I do not have a daughter but if I did, I would love her very much. To suggest that womenï¿½s issues are not important to me (such as breast cancer) is to be extremely misleading. I want my wife and the women in my life to be treated with respect. I want them to have equal pay for equal work and a turn at bat.
But unfortunately, there seems to be some groups out there who insist upon portraying women as victims. Who seem intent on portraying men and women as enemies. But as long as there are courageous, truth telling Americans, such as yourself, the world will be a better place.
You can bet I will pass this information on to my sociology students.
Many thanks, sincerely
Prof. of Sociology
Note from a professional who is doing “family friendly” domestic violence counseling
Subject: Domestic Violence Programs and Native Americans – Not PC Enough
It is extremely refreshing to see a balance reached in the field of domestic abuse, i.e., that violence is more or less equal between men and women.
I operate a Domestic Violence program for couples only (Native in orientation and philosophy) in Terrace, B.C. Out of 126 people involved in our program we found the violence to be mutual both in degree and numbers. We have also faced serious opposition from a small but vocal group of non-native women over the last five years.
We have found that it is almost impossible to attain funding for our native programs because our traditional values towards families are not politically correct, i.e., they are family orientated. Our solutions to family violence are based on both people taking full responsibility for their behaviour, and not to fall into the “Blame Game.”
Unfortunately, current non-native approaches to family violence appear to be based on male-bashing, rather than healing relationships between people. We estimate that we have had about a 95% success rate to date. We do continuous follow-ups with our couples.
- Maurice L.B. Oates Jr., M.A
first of all, I’m sorry for my bad English…
I have received your article “Facts About Domestic Violence You Will Not See In The Media”; thank you!
I have published your article on the pages of my family law internet magazine, and it has liked to many readers.
I like also receive other your articles, for the same matter.
Italian Family Law Attorney
Dear Sam & Bunny
I couldnï¿½t have said it better myself…. I have a male friend who has been fighting a domestic violence charge for almost 2 years. (Let me state here that I have never considered myself a feminist, for the very reasons stated in your article. Equality I believe, but not unfair advantage) It wasnï¿½t until my friend shared his current dilemma that I realized how unjust and unfair and biased our entire society has become. He has personally seen documentation of the anti male bias in domestic court. His rights have been repeatedly violated. Everyone assumes that he must be guilty…heï¿½s a man, of course.
He has a vast amount of documentation in favor of his innocence and proof of numerous injustices by law enforcement, the courts and judicial system.
We would love to speak to you in more detail. And, we are extremely interested in any solutions, suggestions or assistance you, or others like you might be able to offer.
Please respond quickly.>
Real Estate Agent in California
Dear Best Self USA
Though I can imagine the vitriolic responses youï¿½re getting, I appreciate receiving your message. While I donï¿½t have the knowledge to assess its accuracy, I donï¿½t doubt that it is factual. I run one of the webï¿½s major legal info site, The Lectric Law Library, with 12,000+ hits a day and would like to post the message in appropriate areas of the Library.
Is this OK? If so, is it OK to leave your names/e-mail address intact, or would you prefer to remain anonymous?
No rush since Iï¿½m buried in work and wonï¿½t get around to it for at least a week.
> Thanks again,
> “Best legal resource that we have come across on the Web” – CNN
> “The most complete law library on the Web” – Point Reviews
> “Best damn site I’ve seen” – Chief Justice John Marshall
Dear Best Self Clinic,
I am the editor of the xxxxxxx Family Law REPORTER published by a leading legal publisher, “Butterworths”. This publication is a monthly digest of case law and commentary. Its subscribers exceed 400 and are largely Canadian familylaw practitioners and judges and a number of adjunct helping professionals. (court appointed clinical assessors etc.) County libraries and law schools subscribe as well. I would like to consider publishing your “Facts About Domestic Violence You Will Not See…”. Please let me know if I have your authority to do so. We can not offer any remuneration, nor have we at any time in the past for any of the commentaries or monographs that are prepared and published. Thank you.
Family Law Journal Editor
Thank you very much for your report. I represent many men accused of family violence and victimized by the very misunderstanding you are trying to correct.
Thank you for sharing the research with me. You must have read my column on alleged gender bias in schools. Did you see it in the xxxxxx Sun or in the xxxxxx News? Itï¿½s interesting that Ms. Sommers in Canada has the same name as Professor Christina Hoff Sommers, from whose book “Who Stole Feminism” I got most of my data for the column. Christina Sommers is a professor of philosophy at Clark University in Massachusetts. If you havenï¿½t read her book, I recommend you check it out. It points out much of the same kinds contradictions mentioned in the research you sent.
Dear Sam & Bunny,
Thank you for the information on Domestic Violence. I found your research thought-provoking and informative. Your viewpoint is very interesting, and I will take the information provided in serious consideration when dealing with this very important issue.
(identity included with permission)
Dear Sam & Bunny Sewell,
I saw your article in The ï¿½Lectric Law Libraryï¿½ — http://www.lectlaw.com—and I wonder if you could help with a project that is going here in Canada.
There is a group called NAANCP (National Association for the Advancement of Non-Custodial Parents) that is trying to organize statistical information on family issues. I would like to forward your material to them, especially if you have a fully-cited version.
A “Fatherï¿½s Shelter” for abused dads and kids is an initiative we are considering in the group that I represent (HEART), so we have a natural interest in the scholarly case.
I donï¿½t know where you are geographically, but cooperation may be possible, regardless.
Thanks for your article.
–xxxx, Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Equality Action & Resource Team (HEART)
Working for real equality
in family law since 1988.
Dear Mr. and Ms. Sewell:
I finally completed my reading of your information. Thank you again for sending me the two e-mails about anti-male bias. Youï¿½ve done a great job of compiling relevant data and opinions. I sent e-mail to the Compuserve address at the tail end of the second message. If thatï¿½s just another one of your addresses, please excuse any redundancy, but I do want you to know that I support your efforts to get out these facts. For too long, the militant feminists have held sway in the so-called Truth department, and the point made about young males growing up into a self-image of being part of a legacy of shameful behavior toward women is right on the money. I watched that happen with my own older son (now 18).
Dear Sam & Bunny
Thank you very much for your story suggestion. I will be sure to raise the issue at our Sunday story meeting. The issue of domestic violence is an important one and thank you for bringing this report to our attention. If we require any further information we will be sure to get in touch with you.
Dear Sam & Bunny
Thanks for your interesting take on the domestic violence situation. As a news organization with a large number of students in family housing, UHN takes note of situations which can affect those students. I have forwarded your message to this yearï¿½s news director for his consideration as a story idea on UHNï¿½s television newscasts. Thanks again for your input in this situation.
Dear Sam & Bunny
I am writing an article for my high school newspaper. I would like to get the full 20-page copy of your research/report. Please Email me at Dustinick@aol.com
My deadline is Wednesday a.m.—we publish weekly. I can send you a copy of our newspaper with my article if you are interested.
Thank you for your assistance.
Dear Sam & Bunny
Thank you for your e-mail on domestic violence. We just ran a cover story on crime on campus, and one of the violent crimes on the rise is domestic violence. I would be interested in receiving a copy of the full report. Can I just send this e-mail for my request or do you need us to write to you in Naples? Thanks in advance for your reply, and I look forward to hearing you soon.
Campus Chief of Police
Dear Revs. Sewell
Well written. I’ve added your article at:
Rod Van Mechelen
Publisher: The Backlash! http://www.backlash.com
Dear Sam & Bunny
Thank you for posting your article re domestic violence. I am doing a paper for my English class and your point of view (i.e., that domestic violence is a two-way street) is exactly the point I am trying to demonstrate in an argument paper. One thing I am adding that I have not seen much written about is the connection between children who were abused and abusive spouses. That is, children who are hit in anger (and I don’t mean a swat on the bottom) are being taught to do the same when they are older: to hit when they are frustrated or angry. So often I see on TV the very women who are teaching their children to abuse others complaining of domestic abuse. Apparently no one has made enough of a connection to realize what an enormous problem it is (similar to discussing the elephant’s tail, not realizing it is connected to the rest of the elephant!). As you might guess, I have seen the connection firsthand, which is why I wanted to thank you for the work you are doing in helping to educate and hopefully stop this in our lifetime. Take care.
Your letter is fascinating – although I’m not completely surprised. I’ve noticed over the years in my ministry that in family violence cases, as the discussions progressed, I realized the woman was most often at least as violent as the man!
I would like to have a copy of the complete report, if you could get that to me.