Saturday, October 18, 2008

California Appellate Court Finds Law Discriminatory Against Abused Men

A recent ruling of the California Appellate Court found that California domestic violence laws violate battered men's rights because they provide state funding only for women and their children who use shelters and other programs. Finally! Common sense wins out over ideology. Our agency specializes in working with men who are in relationships with abusive women so the question of why domestic violence shelter programs make it a rule not to offer abused men services has come up quite often. With over 2000 shelter programs in 50 states that specialize in services for battered women and children and NO shelters for battered men the question is a valid and important one. Although battered men have been treated like abusers and made invisible for the last 30 years of the battered women's movement they do exist and in greater numbers than many have been led to believe. No doubt research has found that women are the more injured group of victims but there are many facets to domestic violence and physically injury is just one of them. The movement that has brought public awareness and services to domestic violence has not been so much a movement to end domestic violence as it has been a movement to end violence against women. What's the difference you might ask. Well it's the difference between being able to protect yourself and your children and being in a great deal of danger. What if we gave military men the appropriate protective gear, guns, and hand grenades as they went into a battle and then turned around and told military women that there aren't enough of them to be concerned with so no equipment for you-- just duck and run really fast? That wouldn't go over too big now would it? Yet this is what our current domestic violence system does to battered men everyday in this country. According to the appellate courts decision 85% of California women's shelters offer services to battered men. That's not what we hear from battered men on our helpline. Domestic violence shelter programs responses to men calling for help run the gamut from, "we don't help men," to (although this isn't said directly it's inferred) "IF we believe he is a victim and not a perpetrator we may pay for one or two days in a hotel or refer him to a homeless shelter." If homeless shelters are appropriate and safe for male victims of domestic violence (and their children) to stay in then why is it that we have specialized shelters for victims of domestic violence?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Suicide Caused by Domestic Violence in India

Police invoke Domestic Violence Act in suicide case 4 Oct 2008, 0247 hrs IST, Asseem Shaikh,TNN Pune, India. A woman committed suicide by jumping off her sixth-floor apartment building after pushing her two daughters, ages 5 and 4 years, to their death ahead of her. The deceased woman's husband, his brother, and a young woman friend of theirs have all been arrested and charged under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DVA) of 2005. Four other people including the the deceased woman's father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and another woman have also been booked. Using the DVA for criminal matters is new and it isn't clear what type of charges can be made under it against offenders. You can read more about the DVA in India here. The police justified the arrests by stating that the deceased woman's brother made a statement that his sister was constantly being harassed by her husband and in-laws for not getting some kind of financial assistance to help them by a flat (apartment). The brother claimed that his sister was fed up with daily harassment. She also complained to him about her belief that her husband was having an affair. This is the first time the DVA has been used to arrest someone, it has only been used in civil litigations in India prior to this time. The Assistant public prosecutor justified the police's action on the grounds that '“the accused had committed domestic violence on his wife Sunita by making frequent money demands to buy a flat”'. My opinion: With a suicide rate of 154,000 (recorded for whole of India in 2002) if this case is successful in opening up the DVA to be used in criminal cases when woman commit suicide men will be wise to avoid romantic relationships and stay single for life in India. The danger of hooking up with a mentally unstable person (after all mentally healthy people don't usually commit suicide) is significant and would seem hardly worth the risk.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month - Are You Aware? It's that time again, time for thousands of newspaper articles across the country that will educate and enlighten readers about domestic violence. However, the main theme of most if not all of these articles will be on violence against women by men as it has been for the last few decades. So if you are suffering from intimate partner violence and you are not a heterosexual women being beaten by a male partner then there won't be much if any acknowledgment about your situation. The other theme for this season of awareness is on what men (the non abuser kind) can do to stop violence against women. Although research on domestic violence over the last twenty years has found that both men and women in heterosexual and same sex relationships can be abusive towards their intimate partner this fact has been lost on the media and the mainstream domestic violence advocates. If one mentions that men can be on the receiving end of domestic violence the average person usually replies, "I never thought of that," or "Men can't be victims, they are much bigger and stronger than women." Since we as a society have been taught to define domestic violence as a women's issue funding, services and public awareness for anyone other than women (and children) abused by men is sorely lacking in this country. And the extent to which advocates for women will go to keep the focus on abused women and discredit, refute and ignore male victims never ceases to amaze me. The fore-mothers of the battered women's movement had little use for men early on in the movement especially since, according to them, men are the reason we have this social problem. However, over the last five years or so there has been a big push to get men involved in ending men's violence against women. There is a whole list of things that good men can do all year round but especially during October to end violence against women. *In Florida guys can wear high heels to raise awareness of domestic violence and march down the street *In Indiana, men can rally on the public square carry banners and wear t-shirts and lapel ribbons that proclaim the message: “Another Man Against Violence Against Women. And then there are the ten things that men can do everyday to end violence against women: 1. Acknowledge and understand how sexism, male dominance and male privilege lay the foundation for all forms of violence against women. 2. Examine and challenge our individual sexism and the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive. 3. Recognize and stop colluding with other men by getting out of our socially defined roles, and take a stance to end violence against women. 4. Remember that our silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out against men’s violence, we are supporting it. 5. Educate and re-educate our sons and other young men about our responsibility in ending men’s violence against women. 6."Break out of the man box"- Challenge traditional images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand to end violence against women. 7. Accept and own our responsibility that violence against women will not end until men become part of the solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence against women. 8. Stop supporting the notion that men’s violence against women is due to mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc… Violence against women is rooted in the historic oppression of women and the outgrowth of the socialization of men. 9. Take responsibility for creating appropriate and effective ways to develop systems to educate and hold men accountable. 10. Create systems of accountability to women in your community. Violence against women will end only when we take direction from those who understand it most, women. It's really great that we are all encouraged to be a part of the solution to end violence against women but domestic violence won't end by stopping part of the problem. It will only end when we as a society acknowledge that both men and women can be perpetrators as well as recipients of family violence and take steps to end all family violence.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Domestic Violence Victims Services and the Male Heterosexual Victim

Having been an advocate for victims of domestic abuse for over a decade I have done my homework with regard to what services are available for men abused by women. The question, "What services do battered women's shelter programs offer male victims?" has come up more times then I can count over the years. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the issue having called, emailed and faxed a great number of these shelter programs across the country on behalf of our clients in the last eight years. Here is what I have discovered. When I contact an agency my call goes something like this, "Hello, my name is Jan and I am with the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women. I have just had caller on our helpline that lives in your county and I have screened him (more about that later) and found that he is a victim of domestic abuse." Then I might give a few details about his situation such as the types of violence he has suffered at the hands of his intimate partner (never revealing his name, address or phone number) and then ask the hotline advocate, "What services does your agency offer abused men?" or "Can I refer him to your agency?" The responses generally go like this, "We don't help men....hold on let me ask are referred out (usually to a batterer's intervention program)....we offer the same services to all victims but we only shelter women and children...except for adolescents boys we don't shelter them...and we do not have support groups for male victims but if more men called we would consider starting one. Domestic violence shelter programs were never meant to house or serve men. The founding mothers of domestic violence services were advocates for battered women not advocates for battered person's. That being the case it's really no surprise that many of these programs have nothing to offer male victims. To Be Continued....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Any given day on the helpline

A variety of calls come into a toll free domestic abuse is a sampling of today's: A 24 year old woman today called to talk about a recent situation with her "newly" ex boyfriend. She said that she had sent her boyfriend "packing" a couple of days ago because he had gotten aggressive with her. Well Bravo for you sister! She set a healthy boundary and made her abusive boyfriend's first physical attack upon her his last. Then came the rest of the seems that they were both drunk at the time and they were having an argument over the fact that since he moved in a few months ago she no longer wanted to go out at night as they used to do when they were dating, she preferred to stay at home with her pets. The argument got heated and she threw an ashtray at him and according to her "scratched the hell out of him." At some point he went to take a laundry basket out of her hands, she said he was a little rough about it, and he shoved her. The next thing she knew she was on the floor having fallen down three stairs. She got a little bruised up as a result. She made this call at her mother's insistence. Her mother was also encouraging her to press criminal charges against the abusive boyfriend, however, she didn't want to do so. She hasn't heard from him or seen him since she "sent him packing." When asked if she feared him she said no she wasn't afraid of him. This was the first time in their two year relationship that he had ever used physical "violence." Truth be told she said, he was more battered than she was from the incident. She asked if there were any women's support groups that she could get involved in. Did she tend to pick guys that were abusive? No, this was the first one but her mother thought she should get involved with a women's support group. In conclusion, she was being encouraged to press criminal charges against her boyfriend although she wasn't afraid of him, he hasn't made any attempt to contact her since she sent him packing and according to her he was more "battered" than she was after the incident. Something to ponder: One of the key elements of domestic violence is that one person has more power and control over the other in the relationship and that the one being controlled is in fear of the other person. A 19 year old young woman called and hung up after giving her name to the advocate. She called back shortly after that, her boyfriend had gone out again. She was crying and sounded terrified. She said she had just moved to the state with her boyfriend and they were living with one of his relatives. He had just beat her up, he pulled her hair and knocked her down and she was scared. It wasn't the first time he has beat her up and he has been in jail before. She said, "I gotta go, I gotta go," and hung up again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Same-sex relationships face domestic violence too

A recent article in the Natchez Democrat newspaper out of Mississippi discusses the fact that lesbians and gay men face domestic violence in their relationships just as heterosexuals do. Experts believe that the problem may be even more common in same-sex relationships. Domestic violence in same-sex relationships has many similarities to heterosexual violent relationships; the abuse can be physical, sexual and/or emotional and the purpose of the violence is for the abusive partner to have power and control over their partner. However, important differences exist between heterosexual and homosexual violent relationships. One key difference is that gays and lesbians have more difficulty finding appropriate support and services to help them to leave an abusive relationship. Some gays and lesbians may not be "out" about their sexual preferences to family, employers and others which makes seeking support extremely difficult for those individuals. Additionally, stereotypes and bigotry against homosexuals still do persist so many are reluctant to acknowledge social problems such as domestic violence within their community. Information and special services for gays and lesbians in violent relationships are becoming more abundant. To find out what services are available in your area go to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program's website: To read the entire article go to:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Country singer Chris Nagle found not guilty of domestic violence

Back in May of this year Chris Nagle AND Jennifer Tant were arrested after the police were called to Nagle's home on a domestic dispute. Both Nagle and Tant were alleged to be drunk at the time. The story they both told was that Tant struck Nagle in the head with a "weapon" i.e. umbrella and Nagle then pushed her away to protect himself from further abuse (for more of the story read my previous blog post on this in June). According to a July 25th article on a Live Daily blog, Nagle went to trial recently for the alleged domestic assault and was found not guilty. Two things played a major role in his acquittal. First, Tant plead the fifth at Nagle's trial, she refused to testify against him lest she incriminate herself and second, the police officer that was at the scene of the incident testified that Nagle told him that he pushed Tant to protect himself after she struck him on the head with the umbrella. Not surprisingly, the ADA (Jenni Smith) decided not to prosecute Tant and her case was dismissed. Comment: Pushing someone away who is hitting you with a weapon used to be called self defense. And hitting someone with a weapon i.e. umbrella used to be called domestic assault. If the situation were reversed and Tant pushed Nagle to protect herself after Nagle hit her with a weapon i.e. umbrella Tant would be defending herself and what Nagle did would be consider domestic how come it isn't in this case? Maybe I am belaboring this but I don't understand why the state is wasting tax payer's money prosecuting someone who defending himself against a domestic assault? Unfortunately I believe it happens more than we know...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Man to Serve 9 Months in Jail for Wife Visiting Him in Jail

Marshall Crandall IV is either the most in love guy or the dumbest guy on the planet, but does he deserve jail time for his wife coming to visit him when he was in the county jail? Evidently yes.... Marshall Crandall of Vassalboro, Maine was sentence to nine months jail time this week after pleading guilty (not surprising given the "advice" accused guys are given by their attorney's....) to three counts of violating conditions of release by allowing his alleged victim to have contact with him in his jail cell. Wait a minute, am I hearing correctly? That's right, even though his wife told the judge the domestic assault for which Marshall was arrested was mutual and admitting that she, "picked him up three or four times and slammed him on the ground," that didn't matter. What mattered was that when his wife came to visit Marshall in jail he didn't remind her (HELLO her paperwork says the same thing) that he was to have no contact with her, the victim, he didn't "shoo" her away. Yep, that's the law in Maine (and elsewhere) if your alleged victim approaches or calls you and you allow the contact it's "my bad" as far as the law is concerned. Read more about Marshall Crandall IV situation below: AUGUSTA, MAINE — As soon as an inmate from Vassalboro had a visitor at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, he was violating a court order. Marshall Crandall IV, of Vassalboro, was sentenced to serve nine months in jail Tuesday at a Kennebec County Superior Court hearing after he pleaded guilty to three counts of violating conditions of release for having contact with the visitor. Crandall, 39, had been arrested April 4 and charged with domestic assault. That charge was dropped Tuesday in exchange for his plea to violating the court order. A condition of release on the domestic assault charge banned him from contact with the woman — the same woman who visited him at the jail. The violations occurred April 5, 10 and 15, when the woman named as the assault victim visited Crandall, according to jail records. The woman told the judge on Tuesday the domestic assault was mutual, and that she could have been charged with the same offense in the incident. “I picked him up three or four times and slammed him on the ground,” she said. The incident ended when the woman said she asked a neighbor to call police. “All I wanted was for them to take him for the day so I could move my stuff out of the house,” she said. Crandall was indicted in 2002 on charges of assault, violating conditions of release, violating a protective order, aggravated criminal trespass and tampering with a victim, among other offenses, and was on probation for some of them when the April 4 domestic assault charge was lodged. Crandall’s attorney, Hank Hainke, said afterward he expects Crandall to be successful on probation this time. “My client’s been in jail for 82 days, and he thinks this is a good way for him to handle this matter,” Hainke told Justice Donald Marden. Now that the assault charge is dropped, Crandall is not prohibited from seeing the woman. Asked how an inmate could have avoided contact with a banned person while incarcerated, District Attorney Evert Fowle said Crandall should have notified jail officials. “He should have said, ‘I’m not supposed to have contact,’” Fowle said. Url where this article can be found:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Domestic Assault In the News

Country music singer Chris Cagle and his girlfriend Jennifer Tant got into a verbal argument that turned into what has been called a drunken brawl a few weeks ago. Tant hit Cagle in the head with an umbrella [could be consider a dangerous has a pointy thing at the top that could poke your eye out] and Cagle retaliated (some would say defended himself) by hitting Tant with her own purse [Not so much a dangerous weapon unless she has a rock in it or it is made of a heavy metal]. The reports state that Cagle had a raised area on the side of his head i.e. bump, from the altercation where she apparently struck him with the umbrella and Tant had a scrape on her lip and a sore, red upper left arm. None of the injuries seem to be life threatening but who knows what could have happened if the police had not shown up on the scene when they did. Both Cagle and Tant were arrested and taken into custody. Tennessee state domestic violence laws consider both Cagle and Tant primary aggressors. Hearing that both people in a domestic dispute were arrested as primary aggressors may have you scratching your head thinking, primary means first or most important so how can both of them be primary aggressors? One would think that whoever struck first with the larger more dangerous weapon i.e. umbrella vs. purse would be designated the primary aggressor. That's not usually how it works when the police determine the woman to be aggressor. E! online made both Cagle and Tant's affivadits filed by the county prosecutor available online. See the affidavitt's here: Our domestic violence laws in the USA are ever evolving. In the 1980's mandatory arrest laws gave law enforcement a tool to arrest if they have probable cause in a domestic dispute, they no longer have to witness the abuse happening. This was a positive step in preventing domestic violence because far too many times the abuse happened behind closed doors with only the victim and perpetrator as witnesses. The challenge with mandatory arrest laws as with all new things when the kinks and bugs aren't quite worked out yet is that both men and women were getting arrested at times because the police couldn't determine which person had the most fault. This doesn't fair well for battered women's advocates who believe that all domestic violence is patriarchal in nature. How can a women be a perpetrator if men are the dominant, controlling and oppressing sex in all circumstances? I would love to hear your comments on this.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Group Health Center for Health Study finds that Men experience domestic violence, with health impact

From the Home office: A press release on May 19, 2008 on a study done about abuse of men indicates that domestic violence can happen to men, and that domestic violence against men is under - studied and often hidden. This study also debunks five of myths about abuse of men. See our website for other myths. It's great to see this research get media attention as that helps to promote public awareness so that society can see the need and start to address the problem. Men experience domestic violence, with health impact SEATTLE—Domestic violence can happen to men, not only to women, according to Group Health research in the June American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “Domestic violence in men is under-studied and often hidden—much as it was in women 10 years ago,” said study leader Robert J. Reid, MD, PhD, an associate investigator at the Group Health Center for Health Studies. “We want abused men to know they’re not alone.” His findings confirm some common beliefs but also debunk five myths about abuse in men: Myth 1: Few men experience domestic violence. Many do. In-depth phone interviews with over 400 randomly sampled adult male Group Health patients surprised Dr. Reid and his colleagues: 5% had experienced domestic violence in the past year, 10% in the past five years, and 29% over their lifetimes. The researchers defined domestic violence to include nonphysical abuse—threats, chronic disparaging remarks, or controlling behavior—as well as physical abuse: slapping, hitting, kicking, or forced sex. Myth 2: Abuse of men has no serious effects. The researchers found domestic violence is associated with serious, long-term effects on men’s mental health. Women are more likely than men to experience more severe physical abuse, said Dr. Reid. “But even nonphysical abuse——can do lasting damage.” Depressive symptoms were nearly three times as common in older men who had experienced abuse than in those who hadn’t, with much more severe depression in the men who had been abused physically. Myth 3: Abused men don’t stay, because they’re free to leave. In fact, men may stay for years with their abusive partners. “We know that many women may have trouble leaving abusive relationships, especially if they’re caring for young children and not working outside the home,” said Dr. Reid. “We were surprised to find that most men in abusive relationships also stay, through multiple episodes, for years.” Myth 4: Domestic violence affects only poor people. The study actually showed it to be an equal-opportunity scourge. “As we found in our previous research with women experiencing domestic violence, this is a common problem affecting people in all walks of life,” said Dr. Reid. “Our patients at Group Health have health insurance and easy access to health care, and their employment rate and average income, education level, and age are higher than those of the rest of the U.S. population.” Myth 5: Ignoring it will make it go away. Not so. “We doctors hardly ever ask our male patients about being abused—and they seldom tell us,” said Dr. Reid. “Many abused men feel ashamed because of societal expectations for men to be tough and in control.” Younger men were twice as likely as men age 55 or older to report recent abuse. “That may be because older men are even more reluctant to talk about it,” he added. For the rest of the press release see:

Monday, May 5, 2008

We're still ignoring abused straight men

From the National Post: What Canadians would know if the article was better researched is that men are almost equally likely to be assaulted by their female partners, and that children are statistically more likely to be abused or killed by their mothers than fathers. Homophobia is presented as a serious social problem: “[T]here is real concern that talking publicly about troubled relationships will only feed homophobia.” Well, talking publicly (non-stop in this country) about man-on-woman violence definitely feeds misandry, but apparently there is no “real concern” about that. In eerily familiar narratives in all but gender, Anderssen describes patterns of gay and lesbian couple violence. In one, extreme possessiveness periodically explodes into physically dangerous rage, but the victim can’t bring herself to leave. In another a physically powerful, but unprotesting lover accepts episodic batterings by his smaller lover — very much like strong but chivalrous men who stoically endure battering by women — while in both cases the victim keeps making excuses for the batterer (“He had a rough childhood”), just as women so often do with abusive men. These stories reinforce credible research proving that intimate-partner violence has no gender, but is rooted in individual pathology.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lies By Omission, An Open Letter to Congress re DV Awareness Month by R. Davis

The Lies By Omission, An Open Letter to Congress regarding Domestic Violence Awareness Month March 28, 2008 The Lies by Omission Chapter 12 of Domestic Violence: Intervention, Prevention, Policies, and Solutions is an open letter to the members of the U.S. Congress. Reading from September 25, 2007 of the Congressional Record it seems to me that the members (it passed 395 – 0) who voted for resolution, H. Res. 590 (view below), may not be aware of what they voted for. Representative Dan Burton claims that Congress is very much aware of domestic violence statistics while in reality, as the resolution obviously documents, he and Congress are either unaware of the statistics concerning male victimization or they purposely choose to exclude those statistics. Representative Jim Costa notes that, “We must remember that domestic violence victims are our sons. They are our daughters. They are our sisters and our brothers, even our parents and our neighbors.” Representative John Kline claims we only think of women and not men as victims of domestic violence. Kline seems unaware that he plays an integral role in that misrepresentation. All the members of the 110th Congress seem unable or unwilling to understand that their resolution implicitly presents males as violent and aggressive abusers and females as their passive and docile victims by its exclusion of statistics concerning male victimization. Apparently when he voted Costa forgot to remember the victimization of our sons and brothers. It appears that Burton, Costa, Kline and all the members of Congress do not recognize that the resolution they voted for is clearly filled with the lies of omission. The resolution begins with, “Whereas one in four women will experience domestic violence sometime in her life.” Apparently no one in Congress noticed this very clear and purposeful exclusion of male victimization. And with this omission of male victimization and female offending comes the thinly veiled implication that males are the cause of domestic violence. The resolution reports that 13 percent of teenage girls who have been in a relationship report being hit or hurt by their partner. The resolution does not report the fact that the same study on the same page documents that 17 percent of teenage boys report being hit or hurt by their partner. The resolution, through the use of a single study about “abusive” fathers not fathers in general, implicitly paints all fathers who have been involved in custody disputes as little more than violent and cruel men who abuse both their wives and children. The resolution includes some statistics concerning the homicides of women and the attempted suicides of girls while it excludes any mention of the homicides of men and the suicides of boys involved in intimate relationships. Regardless of percentage differentials, excluding the murders of men and boys in intimate relationships both minimizes and trivializes their deaths. Because I do not believe that many, if any, members of Congress will read my book I have decided to place Chapter 12 of my book, in its entirety, on the internet in hyperlink format for use by anyone concerned about domestic violence awareness. I urge anyone that wants to remember the victimization of both their daughters and sons to place this introduction and Chapter 12 on their website. And please pass this open letter along to others who will do the same. I also ask that the readers pass this open letter on to whoever represents them in Congress. Afterword 12 ____________________________________________________________________ William Jennings Bryan: “I do not think about the things that I do not think about.” Clarence Darrow: “Do you ever think about the things that you do think about.” Inherit the Wind Introduction This is intended to serve as an open letter to the members of the U.S. Congress. The very weekend I intended to submit the manuscript for this book I received an email from http:// concerning the following Congressional resolution, H.RES. 590. which was waiting the approval of the 110th Congress. I absolutely agree with the 110th Congress that it should become involved in raising awareness about the devastating effects domestic violence has on families and communities. The most important goal of this book, in general, and this chapter, in particular, is to help our public policy makers to ruminate on the things they are thinking about when they think about domestic violence. If the members of Congress do not have enough time to read this book, I request that, in the interest of raising awareness, the members of Congress find the time to read this short chapter. When the members of the 110th Congress thought about domestic violence they did think about women, and, as the bill clearly documents, they did not think about nor report about men as victims. In the Congressional resolution that follows men are portrayed as abusers, not as victims; boys are portrayed as abusers, not as victims. Although members of Congress may want to raise domestic violence awareness, in their resolution they simply ignore the victimization of men when they write, “Whereas one in four women will experience domestic violence sometime in her life.” The Resolution 110th CONGRESS, 1st Session, H. RES. 590 Supporting the goals and ideals of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 31, 2007 Mr. POE (for himself, Mr. COSTA, Mr. AL GREEN of Texas, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Mr. MARKEY, Mr. MOORE of Kansas, Mr. COHEN, Mr. ORTIZ, Mr. HOLDEN, Mrs MALONEY of New York, Mrs. TAUSCHER, Mr. FILNER, Mr. JEFFERSON, Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. ELLISON, Mrs. DRAKE, Ms. GINNY BROWN-WAITE of Florida, Mr. ALLEN, Mr. CLEAVER, Mr. MICHAUD, Mrs. BIGGERT, Ms. DELAURO, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. REICHERT, Mr. BISHOP of Georgia, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. NADLER, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Mr. CARNEY, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. WYNN, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. CONYERS, Ms. MATSUI, Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California, Mr. RUPPERSBERGER, and Mr. SHAYS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor Resolution Supporting the goals and ideals of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities. Whereas one in four women will experience domestic violence sometime in her life; Whereas domestic violence affects people of all ages, racial, ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds Whereas women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates, per capita, of intimate partner violence; Whereas 13 percent of teenage girls who have been in a relationship report being hit or hurt by their partners and one in four teenage girls has been in a relationship in which she was pressured into performing sexual acts by her partner; Whereas there is a need for middle schools, secondary schools, and post-secondary schools to educate students about the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking; Whereas the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is estimated as $727,800,000 with over $7,900,000 paid workdays lost per year; Whereas homicides were the second leading cause of death on the job for women, with 15 percent of the 119 workplace homicides of women in 2003 attributed to a current or former husband or boyfriend; Whereas landlords frequently deny housing to victims of domestic violence who have protection orders or evict victims of domestic violence for seeking help, such as by calling 911, after a domestic violence incident or who have other indications that they are domestic violence victims; Whereas 92 percent of homeless women experience severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lifetimes; Whereas Americans suffer 2,200,000 medically treated injuries due to interpersonal violence annually, at a cost of $37,000,000,000 ($33,000,000,000 in productivity losses, $4,000,000,000 in medical treatment); Whereas people aged 15 to 44 years comprise 44 percent of the population, but account for nearly 75 percent of injuries and 83 percent of costs due to interpersonal violence; Whereas 40 to 60 percent of men who abuse women also abuse children; Whereas male children exposed to domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners; Whereas children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, and engage in teenage prostitution; Whereas adolescent girls who reported dating violence were 60 percent more likely to report one or more suicide attempts in the past year; Whereas 13.7 percent of the victims of murder-suicide cases were the children of the perpetrator and 74.6 percent were female while 91.9 percent of the perpetrators were male; in 30 percent of those cases the male perpetrator also committed suicide; Whereas a 2001 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined; Whereas according to one study, during court ordered visitation, five percent of abusive fathers threaten to kill their spouses, 34 percent of abusive fathers threaten to kidnap their children, and 25 percent of abusive fathers threaten to physically hurt their children; Whereas 88 percent of men think that our society should do more to respect women and girls; Whereas homicide is the third leading cause of death for Native American women and 75 percent of Native American women who are killed are killed by a family member or an acquaintance; Whereas men say that the entertainment industry, government leaders and elected officials, the sports industry, schools, colleges and universities, the news media and employers should be doing more to prevent intimate partner violence; Whereas individuals and organizations that are dedicated to preventing and ending domestic violence should be recognized: Whereas there is a need to increase funding for programs carried out under the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005), Public Law 109-162, aimed at intervening and preventing domestic violence in the United States; and Now, therefore, be it resolved, That the House of Representatives-- Supports the goals and ideals of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month; and Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should continue to raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities. Thinking about Thinking I suggest that if the members of Congress want to raise awareness about domestic violence and its devastating effects on families and communities the members of Congress need to become more aware themselves of the complexities of domestic violence. This Congressional bill demonstrates that the members of Congress are unaware of or have chosen to ignore the data reported in the following studies funded by Congress. Although the 110th Congress Resolution 590 claims that Congress wants to raise awareness of domestic violence, it actually demonstrates the lack of awareness they have about male victimization, i.e., the Resolution claims that “one I four women will experience domestic violence sometime in her life.” This claim most likely results from the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS) which shows that nearly 25 percent of women report victimization. However, why does Resolution 590 make no attempt to raise awareness about the fact that 7.6 percent of surveyed men also report being domestic violence victims (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000a, p. 111)? Congress is most likely not aware that the NVAWS also reports that women are twice as likely as men to report their victimization. Resolution 590 also claims that “13% of teenage girls who have been in a relationship report being hit or hurt by their partner.” There is no reason to dispute that, but what the Resolution does not report is that claim most likely comes from the Teen Relationship Abuse Survey, which reports on the same page (11) that 17% of teenage boys report being hit or hurt by their partner. Is the 110th Congress not aware of that data, or has it chosen to raise the awareness of the victimization of our daughters while ignoring the victimization of our sons? Resolution 590 does nothing to raise awareness that domestic violence can affect all people of all ages, racial, ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds (Wallace, 2002). It does nothing to raise awareness that women who abuse men also abuse children (McDonald, Caetano, Green, Jouriles and Ramisetty-Mikler, 2006). In fact, a careful reading of the Resolution shows that it often reports male offending and rarely documents data that now report male victimization (Fiebert, 2005). "Advancing the Federal Research Agenda On Violence Against Women” The Federal public policy makers and their staff, as I have previously noted, need to become aware of the “Advancing the Federal Research Agenda on Violence Against Women” (Kruttschnitt, McLaughlin & Petrie 2004) . The Congressional resolution herein clearly documents that the members of Congress have either ignored or are unaware of the above report. "The Exposure Reduction or Backlash? The Effects of Domestic Violence Resources on Intimate Partner Homicide” A National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sponsored study that Congress needs to be read is The Exposure Reduction or Backlash? The Effects of Domestic Violence Resources on Intimate Partner Homicide (Dugin, Nagin, and Rosenfeld, 2001) This report notes simply being willing to prosecute cases of protection order violations may aggravate already tumultuous relationships. As prosecution willingness increases, we observe increases in homicide for white spouses… Also, more white females are killed by their boyfriends. The largest effect is for white married females… As the willingness index increases by 1, the expected number of white wives killed nearly doubles. "Controlling Violence against Women: A Research Perspective On the 1994 VAWA’s Criminal Justice Impacts” Congress also needs to be aware of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) report, Controlling Violence Against Women: A Research Perspective on the 1994 VAWA’s Criminal Justice Impacts (Ford, Bachman, Friend & Meloy, 2002, p. 75) which concludes the following: But strong evidence that one policy is more effective than another in addressing recidivism is elusive. We still have much to learn about the differences in offenders and differences in populations of victims to justify advocating one policy over another without qualification. On the next page it concludes that: Above all, they [public policy makers] need to know that their policies and practices will not endanger women [emphasis added]. Unfortunately, there are too few preventive impact evaluations of policies already in place and fewer still that approach methodological standards insuring sound data for shaping policy (p. 76). The fact that there are no evaluations in place, no methodological standards and no data that can demonstrate that mandatory domestic violence policies and practices will not endanger some victims did not prevent federal and local public policy makers from implementing those policies. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV): Overview The members of Congress, particularly those who sponsored the above resolution, H.RES 590, provided in its entirety herein, because it includes the victimization of females and excludes the victimization of males, need to become more aware of the findings from National Violence Against Women Survey that is cosponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control (Tjaden and Thoeenes, 2000a, p. iii). This research has been available to the members of Congress since July of 2000. Intimate partner violence is pervasive in U.S. society. Nearly 25 percent of surveyed women and 7.6 percent of surveyed men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime; 1.5 percent of surveyed women and 0.9 percent of surveyed men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a partner in the previous 12 months. According to these estimates, approximately 1.5 million women and 834,732 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. Because many victims are victimized more than once, the number of intimate partner victimization exceeds the number of intimate partner victims annually. Thus, approximately 4.8 million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated against U.S. women annually, and approximately 2.9 million intimate partner physical assaults are committed against U.S. men annually. These findings suggest the intimate partner violence is a serious criminal justice and public health concern. On page 24: For example, 40% of surveyed women and 54% of surveyed men said they were physically assaulted as a child by an adult caretaker. On page 29: Research on violence in same-sex relationships has been limited to studies of small, unrepresentative samples of gay and lesbian couples. Results from these studies suggest that same-sex couples are about as violent as heterosexual couples. On page 49: The survey found that women who were physically assaulted by an intimate were significantly more likely than their male counterparts to report their victimization to the police (26.7% and 13.5%, respectively). On page 50: A comparison of police responses to reports of physical assault committed against women and men by intimates showed that police were significantly more likely to take a report and to arrest or detain the perpetrator if the victim was female. And the final sentence in the report on page 57: Given these findings, criminal justice practitioners should receive comprehensive training about the safety needs of victims and the need to conduct community outreach to encourage victims of intimate partner violence to report their victimization to the police. Conclusion As stated in the resolution the Congressional goal is to, “raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities.” Perhaps it is time that Congress become aware that domestic violence has devastating effects on children, siblings, spouses, intimate partners and the elderly regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Perhaps sometime in the 21st century Congress will become aware of the reams of data that document male victimization and female offending _______________________________________________ Richard L. Davis President,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

California Conference and Other Things

I understand that the conference in California mentioned in my last post was well received by the 250 (approx.) attendees and that there are plans in the works to have another conference next year. Great Job All! Conference dvd's will be available shortly according to their website: (scroll to the bottom). I am looking forward to getting a copy of the conference dvd. I was invited to speak at the conference and had every intention of doing so, however, life had other plans for me and my husband Tedd. About a week before the conference date Tedd went to the doctors because he was having a slight pain that would come and go in his chest. Although it wasn't a constant pain is was consistent in that it would come on a couple times a day for about 15 seconds and then be gone. The doctor looked at his EKG and didn't like what he saw so he sent him for more testing. After additional testing it was determined that he had five severely block arteries in his heart and the doctor concluded that he should have heart by pass surgery immediately. Tedd didn't accept this information well or right away, who would? He kept saying (out loud to me and to himself), "I am only 43 years old, I don't have high blood pressure, I just don't understand." Since his surgery we have found out that it is not at all uncommon these days for men and women in their forties to have this condition and that smoking is a major factor. The doctor scheduled Tedd's surgery for Monday and told us that he wanted Tedd to stay at the hospital until then. This was on Friday. So Tedd and I had all weekend to reflect and prepare. It was a pretty unnerving time waiting for surgery but I was just grateful that we didn't get on that plane because I doubt that he would have survived the flight knowing what we know now. To make a long story short Tedd's surgery went very well and after 11 days in the hospital he is now at home recuperating and we are taking a day at a time. Jan

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Upcoming Conference Announcement- in Sacramento, California - From Ideology to Inclusion

For all who work within the field of domestic violence this is a "not to be missed" conference! National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center Presents: From Ideology to Inclusion:Evidence-Based Policy and Interventionin Domestic Violence The founders, pioneers and today�s most respected experts together in this historic, one-of-a-kind conference! Erin PizzeyFounder of theBattered Women Shelter Movement Linda MillsPhD, LCSW, JDNew YorkUniversity MurrayStraus, PhDUniversity of NewHampshire DonaldDutton, PhDUniversity ofBritish Columbia Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, PhDUniversity ofSouth Alabama And also featuring:Phillip Cook * Miriam Ehrensaft, PhD * Nicola Graham-Kevan, PhD * John Hamel, LCSWJanet Johnston, PhD * Marlene Moretti, PhD * Tonia Nicholls, PhD5 Plenary Presentations + 15 Breakout Sessions. Topics Include: Current Policy Issues * Male Victims * Use and Misuse of Restraining Orders * DV in the LGBT CommunityResearch Trends * Female Perpetrators * Effects of Mandatory Arrest * DV in Ethnic Minority GroupsDevelopmental Perspectives * Power and Control in the DV Industry * Abuse Versus AlienationLimitations of the Patriarchal Paradigm * Gender-Inclusive Interventions * Model Batterer Programs* Co-ed Shelters * The Shelter Movement & Public Policy * DV, Children & Adolescents* Interventions in Disputed Child Custody Cases * Couples/Family Treatment * Working with Child Victims Friday/Saturday, February 15-16, 2008 Sacramento, California For updated information about location, conference schedule and registration, visit the website of the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center at Continuing education credits available for LCSW�s, MFT�s, PhD�s, Batterer Intervention Providersand Family Court Mediators/Evaluators * MCLE credits available for attorneys Conference co-sponsors: Family Violence Treatment & Education Association (,California Alliance for Families and Children (

Defender of abused women finds a new cause: male victims

Erin Pizzey, one of the pioneers of the battered women's movement in England has found a new cause: male victims. This article comes from The Independent newspaper in the UK. By Emily Dugan Published: 17 January 2008 Erin Pizzey, the campaigner who pioneered treatment for abused women by setting up Britain's first refuge centre for victims of domestic violence in the 1970s, is now turning her attention to another group of often overlooked victims: men. Launching an online campaign and research project aimed at bringing the issue out in the open, Ms Pizzey is hoping to raise awareness of abuse perpetrated by women against men – a subject she describes as "one of the last taboos". She has put a questionnaire on the website that allows women to answer questions anonymously about how they treat men. As many as one in six men are thought to suffer physical and mental abuse at the hands of women, yet the topic is widely seen as insignificant or implausible. "I feel that this kind of violence is one of the last taboos – men are reluctant to talk about it, and so are the women who are doing it," said Ms Pizzey, whose father was abused by her mother. "Much is known and studied about male violence, but very little is written about women, and any attempt to discuss female violence is met with rabid attacks and howls of 'blaming the victim'." During the 1970s, Ms Pizzey created safe havens for hundreds of abused women, but she found it increasingly frustrating that people could only see females as victims. As she tried to create similar sanctuaries for men, she discovered that even those who had been generous towards her women's centres would not consider giving funding. "I imagined people who had given money to my women's projects would also give it over for the men, but not one gave money," she said. "It's shocking that across the world there are no facilities giving sanctuary for men, and no sympathy. I think it's a deeply held taboo that if a man is assaulted by a woman he is weak, but if a woman is assaulted by a man she is a victim. It's social conditioning." Samantha Wilson, a therapist working in London and Manchester who specialises in domestic abuse, says she often sees men who were injured by women. "I've been working with cases of violence for 20 years, and many of them have been women abusing men," she said. "This could be happening to people you know and you simply wouldn't realise." According to Ms Pizzey, the issue is greeted with scepticism by police and social services who, she says, often "refuse to believe" it. She hopes that by discussing violent women in the open she may be able to bring about change. Next month, she is travelling to Sacramento, California, to attend the first conference on domestic abuse to deal with men and women as perpetrators. View the rest of the article at:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Researchers Are Looking for Men Who've Been Assaulted by an Intimate Partner

"The Men's Experiences with Partner Aggression Project is a research study at Clark University and is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Denise A. Hines, Ph.D., Clark University Department of Psychology, is the lead researcher on this project. She is conducting this project in conjunction with Emily M. Douglas, Ph.D., Bridgewater State College Department of Social Work and the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women. Our goal is to better understand the experiences of men who are in relationships with women who use violence. Extensive research has shown that men are at risk for sustaining partner violence in their relationships, yet few studies have investigated their experiences, and there are few resources available to such men. This is an under-recognized problem in the United States, and by conducting this research project, we hope to provide much needed information on these men, their relationships, and their needs. If you are a man between the ages of 18 and 59 and you have been physically assaulted at least one time in the last 12 months by a current or former intimate female partner you may be eligible to participate in this study. If you are interested in participating, please call the DAHMW at 1-888-743-5754 or email for information about the study and directions for participating. For more information about DAHMW visit their website:

Help Us Win America's Giving Challenge!

DAHMW is competing in America's Giving Challenge sponsored by the Case Foundation and Parade Magazine. Please help us reach our goal of being one of the 100 nonprofits with the greatest number of unique donations so that we can win the $1,000 award! Each personal contribution, no matter what size counts as one unique donation! The challenge ends January 31st at 3pm EST so please hurry! Please help DAHMW by making a donation and passing this message along to others. Thanks for your support! Click on the url to our Charity Badge below and donate!