Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why haven’t we heard more about battered men?

Few people realize that women abuse men, why is that? According to Betsy Lucal[1] in order to bring attention to a social problem a number of factors must come together. There must be a social movement, professional and mass media attention and appropriate gender images. The movement that defined domestic violence was encompassed within the feminist movement. This movement in the 70s helped to establish wife beating as a social problem. Images of wives beaten and fleeing their homes helped us to comprehend violence against women by men. Although the men’s movement worked to make husband beating a social problem they were unable to produce the same attention and empathy. Read the rest of this article on the WE tv blog site Be sure to catch: Husband Beaters Tuesday, December 22 at 3am | 2c On WE tv In America, the term "Domestic Abuse" is typically associated with a victimized woman mercilessly beaten by an overbearing ogre of a husband. The fact is however, that more than a third of all DA cases feature males as victims, and even that number is considered low due to the relatively low reporting of these cases by men who are ashamed and afraid to do so. The stories in SLOW: Husband Beaters will provide an inside look at Domestic Abuse done to men from a variety of perspectives and shed light on a very dark and violent corner of America. Watch the Videos >>

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The Domestic Abuse Helpline (DAHMW) celebrates an anniversary! The DAHMW celebrates nine years of offering supportive services to victims, survivors, concerned family members and friends as well as bringing public attention to the needs of victims of domestic violence today! DAHMW does not have any paid staff so it is only through the generosity of volunteers who work tirelessly to bring this issue to the forefront and provide much needed support and services that we continue to do this work. Please consider making a donation to help us increase our ability to do outreach and make services available to men, children and women! Thanks Please donate today:

ALFRED, Maine — Kimberly Spampinato gave little reaction Thrusday in York County Superior Court when sentenced to life in prison for killing her husband, but tearful sorrow was seen among family members of the murder victim.

Spampinato, 42, who pleaded guilty in August to killing 39-year-old Christopher Spampinato by setting him on fire while he slept, also was sentenced Thursday afternoon to a concurrent 30-year sentence for one count of arson. She has the right to appeal.

“There is only one sentence that can be imposed,” said Justice Paul Fritzsche after reiterating the reasons for the sentences.

Both sentences, he said, were the maximum the state of Maine could issue, although “there is nothing we could do that is meaningful to assist the (family of the Christopher).”

On Jan. 8, while Christopher slept, Kimberly Spampinato, doused him and rolled up newspapers in gasoline, setting the paper and her husband on fire in his Wells apartment, said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese, a state prosecutor in the case.

Christopher ran out of the apartment and was found by police badly burned and sitting in a snow bank that night, she said.

He died nine days later on Jan. 17 in the burn unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, according to court records.

Spampinato set her husband on fire because he wanted a divorce and was having a phone relationship with a Texas woman, Nicki Lowhorn, according Marchese.

Though her attorney, Sarah Churchill, was arguing for a lesser sentence, Kimberly Spampinato told the court she'd be “relieved” to get life in prison. Amy McGarry is Spampinato's other defense attorney.

Fritzsche said that although it was Kimberly Spampinato's right not to apologize or show remorse for her actions, the lack of such during the sentencing showed that a life sentence without parole was applicable.

The York County judge also noted that from letters written from Kimberly Spampinato to Christopher's family it appeared that she “enjoyed” or “reveled” in his death, which was a certain rarity among even most murders.

During the courtroom sentence hearing, members of Christopher's family gave emotional statements encouraging that she has a history of violence and should be sentenced to life.

“Sometimes I can wake up and smell the burn unit where I watched him die slowly,” said Christopher's sister, Jennifer Cabot, reading from a statement. Cabot said she wanted to be able to remember her brother for the “amazing person that he was.”

Kimberly Spampinato's attorneys said she had a terrible childhood, mental illness and did positive things in her working -life, where she was a nurse's assistant.

Churchill said her Spampinato's youth included sexual abuse and that she was working through her struggles with counseling and medication.

Fritzsche acknowledged those circumstances, but said by Spaminato setting her husband on fire, the situation became “extreme cruelty,” which was due cause for the sentence.

He also noted that public safety was a major concern by Maine courts.

While a few people, including Spampinato's ex-husband, gave statements that she should get life in prison, no one spoke on Spampinato's behalf.

She was quickly ushered out of the courtroom after the sentencing, while the victim's family gave each other hugs.

Outside the Alfred courthouse, Christopher's mother, Ann Cabot, convened with other family members. She was wearing some of her son's ashes around her neck.

Jennifer Cabot was, too.

“It's all done; everything is done,” Ann Cabot said, pausing to look up at the nearly cloudless sky. “She wanted life. She got it.”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women is in America's Giving Challenge—Let's win $50,000!

Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women is in America's Giving Challenge—Let's win $50,000!

Hi everyone, Our cause just entered in America's Giving Challenge, which gives us a chance to win $50,000! Please donate today: To win, between now and November 7th we have to get the most donations to our cause (every person can donate once per day and have it count as a unique donation). We can also win daily awards of $1,000 and $500 if we can get the most people to donate in any 24-hour period. The great thing about this Challenge is that it doesn't matter how much you give, but instead how much you do to encourage friends and family to get involved in our cause. We all need to come together and start promoting the cause if we want to win. Each of us has tons of friends on Facebook who we can ask to donate to our cause. But let's think big too—can you put our cause in your email signature, can you throw a party and get people to donate through the cause when they enter, can you organize other people to go out and fundraise from all of their friends? As you reach out to your friends be sure to tell them why this cause matters to you. The possibilities are endless so let's talk about what we can do to win on the Wall of the cause or by replying to this bulletin. FYI, you do not have to be a member of Facebook to donate to the cause. I think we can do it! But it's going to take all of us. Check out the Giving Challenge ( ), then visit our cause to see how we're doing so far and get involved. Donate right now by going to Let's win $50,000 for our cause!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interview with Jan Brown

Interview with Jan Brown: Founder of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women - Part One

September 18, 9:31 AMTucson Abusive Relationships ExaminerKayla Wardlow

Interview with Jan Brown: Founder of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women - Part Two

September 23, 6:52 PMTucson Abusive Relationships ExaminerKayla Wardlow

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Woman Arrested for Unwanted Hugging

Brooksville, Florida - The Hernando County Sheriff's Office says they arrested a Brooksville woman for giving an unwanted hug.

Deputies say they responded to the home of Lori Smith and Kevin Connelly shortly after midnight Monday. When they got there, deputies say Lori told them she tried to hug Kevin twice, however he pushed her away because he did not wish to be hugged. Kevin claims Lori grabbed him several times, so he threw her on the bed to get away from her.

read more....
read the arrest report here (in pdf)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Domestic violence: Men are victims of abuse, too

Domestic violence: Men are victims of abuse, too BY DOUG HARLOW Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 02/22/2009
HARMONY -- Every 21 seconds, somewhere in America a woman is raped or battered, according to a November 2000 Department of Justice report on the National Violence Against Women survey.
And every 38 seconds, somewhere in America a man is battered or raped by his intimate partner. An estimated 1.5 million women and 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence each year. The reports show a raw, new face of spousal abuse -- where men and boys are also victims, said Jan Brown, director and founder of Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women, based in Harmony. Brown, 52, and members of her support staff are to be the subjects of an upcoming documentary about male victims of domestic violence. The one-hour documentary is part of the series called "Secret Lives of Women" and will be aired this spring on WE tv, a cable-TV outlet. "For 30 years, we've giving women more rights than men," Brown said in a recent interview at her rural home. "That's what has developed over the last 30 years; the pendulum has swung way too far." Brown said the general public was previously taught domestic violence happens because of men's need to dominate and control women. While that may have appeared to be the case in the 1950s and 60s, it isn't today. Women aren't all at home taking care of the kids, but have high-paying jobs. In some cases, it's the man who is home taking care of the children. "We've switched that around, (so) why do we have this antiquated belief about domestic violence?" Brown said. Nick Verbitsky, with his brother Paul, and Blue Chip Films, a production company from Norwalk, Conn., traveled to Harmony recently to film the documentary. read more of this article

Petition to gauge the public's views on domestic violence victim's services

I have noticed over the last two years that the subject of female on male perpetrated domestic violence appears to be "less vehemently opposed" and has become more "accepted as self evident" by society. For this reason I thought it was time to formally gauge the public's views on services for victims. To sign the petition click here Here is the wording from the petition: For decades domestic abuse has been looked upon as a social problem of violence against women by men. Battered women's advocates and others concerned about domestic violence have created and funded over 2000 non profit agencies across the country that help victims. For more than 20 years these agencies have specialized in offering a full spectrum of services to what has been considered the traditional victims of domestic violence, women and children. Yet society has changed a great deal since we first became aware of the violence that goes on behind close doors. Men are now stay at home dads, some do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, change diapers, give the kids their baths and food shop...all the things that were unheard for men to do back in the 1950's and 60's when we first started recognizing the social problem of domestic violence. Women have changed quite a bit also. Many work outside the home, some hold high powered jobs and others run cement mixers. Women are also doing things that were unheard of in the 50's & 60's. They also get violent with their spouses/boyfriends and children. Our current system that offers supportive services to victims of intimate partner violence, everything from obtaining a court order to keep victims safe to clothing and transitional housing, for the most part, still runs under the antiquated notion that 95 - 98% of domestic abuse victims are women abused by men. This means that services for men abused by women or other men in same sex relationships are nearly non existent in these federally funded shelter programs. If you believe that federal and state funded domestic violence victims shelter programs should be mandated to support any victim and give them same opportunities and services regardless of their gender, age, able-ism, ethnicity, religious beliefs or race etc. please sign our petition.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Participation is needed for a study on domestic violence against men

A lack of research and a drive to create awareness that men, too experience domestic abuse, has prompted Kathleen Kline, a doctoral candidate with Walden University School of Psychology, to conduct a study on male and female victims of dating violence in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships among college students. If you’d like to participate in this study, you must fit into the following criteria: • You must be 18-25 years old • You must be currently attending college • You are or have been in dating relationships and have experienced at least one incident of physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse within this dating relationships, especially men in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. The study requires you to take a simple survey. You may exit the survey at any time, but please note, all your of the questionnaires which constitute the survey must be completed in full for your response to count. This survey is also completely confidential and anonymous and others, including this researcher, will know no personal information. The survey will take approximately 25 minutes of your time. What do you gain by participating in this study: • You may gain valuable insights into yourself and/or relationship • You may contribute to social change efforts designed to create awareness that men are victims too and the need to develop services and resources designed to assist male victims who might not otherwise seek help. • You will be helping others in a similar situation. To access the survey, hosted on a secured, password-protected survey site, please click here. enter the password: Butterfly007 Your participation in this study would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or problems accessing the survey, please feel free to e-mail Kathleen at her personal and confidential e-mail address: