Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Could there be a double standard when it comes to arresting females vs. arresting males for domestic battery? Let's compare two celebs highly publicized domestic disputes and I will let you be the judge.
The police investigation into Portwood's alleged domestic assaults on Shirley, again caught on tape, began in September 2010. Reportedly there were at least three documented domestic violence incidences where Portwood is said to have assaulted Shirley between July 2009 and August 2010. Numerous viewers of the 'Teen Mom's" tv show were said to have called into the child abuse hotline to report Portwood's mistreatment of toddler daughter and Shirley back in August 2010.
The investigation dragged on leaving Shirley and the baby vulnerable to more of Portwood's rage and violence. Still on the loose, having not been arrested for the previous assaults, Portwood reportedly physically attacked Shirley yet again two weeks ago and threatened his new girlfriend Ashley.
An arrest warrant for domestic battery wasn't issued against Portwood until December 27, 2010 over three months after the start of the investigation. According to news reports Portwood turned herself in yesterday and was charged with two counts of felony domestic battery, one count of misdemeanor domestic battery and one felony count of neglect of a dependent. She was placed on a 24 hour hold in jail (24 hour hold is mandatory for these types of charges in Indiana) and her bail was set at $5,000.00.
Now back in 2009, Chris Brown, a popular R & B singer, age 20 (same as as Portwood), had a domestic dispute in public with his then girlfriend Rihanna. The altercation happened in an automobile and concerned passers by felt compelled to call 911 to report the incident. When the police showed up Brown had left the scene. Within hours an arrest warrant was issued against him for two felony counts, criminal threatening and domestic battery. Brown turned himself in the next day and was arrested. Brown's bail was set at $50,000.00.
I am not sure of what to make of the $45,000 difference in bail costs between Brown's bail and Portwood's. Sentencing and bail costs vary from state to state and given that Brown was in California when arrested and Portwood is in Indiana that could be why bail costs are so vastly different. However, what explains the inertia of the police in arresting Portwood? I find it interesting that the arrest didn't come until after she viciously attacked Shirley in public once again.
If Portwood was a man and Shirley was a woman would the investigation have taken over three months and an additional publicly witnessed physical assault before an arrest was made? If Brown had been a woman and Rihanna a man would Brown have been arrested within hours of the assault on Rihanna? Inquiring minds want to know.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Although I don't know Gary personally I know thousands of "Gary's" in similar situations. Gary, like other men in these situations who do not hit women or defend themselves against a woman's violence, know the rules of the game i.e. if a woman hits you stand there in take it because if you defend yourself you're going to jail. There is no excuse for abuse, unless it's a woman doing the abusing.
For years women's violence against men has been ignored, minimized and excused. However, this young women's violence, caught on tape, has been hard to ignore or brush off. Had her violence not been caught on tape it's likely that it would still be going on behind closed doors and no one would be the wiser...men don't tell.
To view a 55 second clip of her physical and verbal abusiveness towards Gary click here And there is a lot more where that came from. One wonders how long the camera crew and producers would have let Gary get away with hitting, slapping, choking and berating Amber before stopping or reporting the domestic violence had roles been reversed.
Still some will choose to make excuses for Amber's verbal and physical violence because Amber is a female and Gary is a male. Nothing new there, those entrenched in domestic violence issues have been making excuses for women's violence for decades.
Take, for instance, Lynn Harris's article for Salon, "Is female-on-male violence on the rise? '"Teen Mom's"' Amber Portwood has turned a spotlight on women who hit. We take a closer look at the supposed trend," (catch the "supposed" innuendo there?). Ms. Harris claims that women use violence out of frustration to get attention i.e. women are weak and needy of attention, while men use violence to assert their power and control over women, i.e. to keep them in their place and subservient to men. However, according to the comments made it seems few viewers of the show agree:
"I live in ambers hometown and...this crazy bit?h is 100 percent real! The stories about her fighting her neighbor over a parking spot, true! Her abusing Gary, true! She is an embarrassment to her entire town...." "...I think Amber and Gary need help, but i defiantly (sic) think Leah is better off with Gary then Amber I do not think she is safe with Amber." "...Gary is far calmer and needs to have custody of Leah...Now she dumped Gary and has a new guy that she's bringing around the baby. Has that new guy seen the show? Cause he might want to buy some protective gear." http://tinyurl.com/25awxz6
"...GREAT JOB GARY 4 putting LEAH first! Amber would love it if u were 2 b sneaky & disobey the laws..thus hurting Leah. Keep that monster AWAY until she is fit & allowed the privilege 2 b a mother again. If it ever even happens!" http://tinyurl.com/25udo6j "I am so happy that the Amber abusive chick is getting what she deserves. Not only does she smack Gary around, but she is a risk for the baby. what if she goes crazy? like the time she locked the baby in the room because she was crying for her daddy. She can snap at any x and at anyone it is scary to have a person like that in your home." http://tinyurl.com/37h2rfm
Bill at Bill's Pro-feminist Blog in his posting on (although not on the subject of Amber's violence but women's violence against men in general), "But women do it to! On acknowledging female violence towards men," also makes excuses for women's violence. He reiterates what Ms. Harris says about women's violence, ""First, we need to understand how women’s violence in relationships is often very different from men’s violence in relationships,"" and then he discusses how, and I'm paraphrasing here, women's violence is less injurious and more about attention seeking while men's is about, "...putting you back in your place, bitch."" Additionally according to Bill men are in full control of their faculties, their use of violence is patriarchal in nature used to dominate and control while women use violence is because (here comes the excuses) they have a mental illness and/or abuse hard drugs i.e. they can't help it. Hello, mental illness and hard drug use is not exclusive to women just as using violence as a means to control and gain power in a relationships is not exclusive to men.
Now back to Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley's (and their toddler who witnessed Amber's abuse of her father) situation, even with hard documented evidence of verbal threats and physical assault it took seven weeks before the police decided to charge Amber with two counts of felony and a misdemeanor. At this writing there has been no arrest because the DA still hasn't even filed the charges yet. I think we can all agree that the investigation might have taken tops 48 hours if Gary was doing the hitting and berating on camera. He would have been arrested and locked up before you could say "Patriarchy." ;-)
Although there are plenty of gray areas when it comes to domestic violence some still choose to continue to look at domestic violence as a black and white phenomonom; men's patriarchy and men as a group are the cause of domestic violence. These same people continue to turn a blind eye to research that doesn't fit their beliefs (see Dr. Daniel Whittaker et al http://ajph.aphapublications.
Friday, November 19, 2010
We are in the Pepsi Refresh Project challenge for the month of November. Please Vote for our Project to win by going to the Pepsi site, signing up and voting daily. Thank You!
- To raise awareness about the 834,000 male victims of dv annually
- To educate and empower victims and others with our publications
- To offer concrete help and support to male victims
The "Men are victims too" project has been in development over the last ten years of listening to and supporting tens of thousands of men in relationships with abusive partners. Research has shown that little information, outreach or supportive services exist for men (and their children) who want to remove themselves from the violence. Yet studies indicate men make up at least 25% of the reported cases of domestic abuse each year. Additionally, abuse against men is highly under reported due to the stigma associated with being a male victim.
We have informational booklets, brochures, and posters for and about male victims that we will make available to those who worked most closely with victims; Emergncy Room personnel and police departments. These materials will be invaluable tools for victims and beneficial to those in a position to assist them. This funding will be used to increase public knowledge of male victims and enhance our ability to offer victims services.
How will the 50K be Used?
|Budget Notes: The budget will not cover the cost of printing and mailing add'l materials requested from the original mailings, a social media relations professional donating 100 hrs of his time to help us promote our message on the internet or a Google grant that allows us up to 10K in free advertising a month.|
|$ 25,000||Printing of approx. 30,000 posters, booklets, & brochures|
|$ 5,000||Purchase of 2500 large envelopes and postage|
|$ 2,500||Stipends for volunteers|
|$ 16,000||Funds for victim services- more public awareness=more helpline callers|
|$ 1,500||misc.office expenses|
Thank you for voting!
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Text* 103820 to Pepsi (73774) *Standard text messaging rates apply.
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I want to Give under served victims of domestic violence a lifelineVote for this idea
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month the Co-Directors of DAHMW put together a press release/letter to the editor which read:
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the month domestic violence advocates and the media’s attention will be focused on bringing more public understanding to and promoting the eradication of men’s violence against women. However, not all intimate partner violence (IPV) fits into this neat little package.
IPV against men, especially against men by their female intimate partners, has always been a hot button issue. While domestic violence advocates may know men are victims they insist that their victims service agencies should focus exclusively on ending violence against women by men because women are the most injured and prevalent victims. As a result, serious outreach and services for male victims of IPV are sorely lacking.
Studies indicate that men are victims of assault by their partners in 36% of the reported cases in the U.S. each year. This disparity between the needs of those victims and the services available are large. The gap must be closed.
While resources for men are still scarce, awareness is increasing and hopefully more services will follow. IPV is not a gender issue, it is simply a human issue. The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women envisions a world where services are available to victims and survivors without prejudice.
In the past when we have sent out press releases and letters to the editors there wasn’t much, if any, response from the media. However, such was not the case this time. We asked our advocates who live in States all around the country (because as most know we are a virtually non profit agency) to send the letter to some of their local newspapers. Know that newspapers usually won’t publish letters that don’t have a local contact on them we asked them to send it out with their contact information on it. In hindsight we suppose it would be have been wiser to also include the names of the original writers too. However, just as those who work in battered women’s programs are in unison on their message, mission and philosophy, so to are the advocates of DAHMW. In addition, as we said, past responses being what they were we didn’t think we would get much response.
Were we ever surprised when newspapers in over six State published our letter! Finally, people want to hear our message.
One of the newspaper that published our letter was in the immediate area of a blogger named Suzie Siegel. Suzie is friends with the executive director of the local battered women’s shelter program, Linda Odmundson. I guess our letter touched a nerve because it prompted a call from Suzie to DAHMW.
Ms. Odsmundson, it seems from what Suzie said, was more than a little miffed by our letter. She claims she does help men at the program she operates. We understand that Ms. Odsmundson wrote a letter to the editor in reply to ours to the newspaper but we have not seen it.
A snippet of Suzie’s blog entry and the link to the rest is below.
To give you a little background information on why Suzie and Ms. Odmundson were so upset by our letter;
Over the years since the battered women’s/women’s rights movement began two camps have formed; the women’s rights camp and the men’s rights camp. For the few of us who are in the “middle of the road” camp there are no camp fires, marshmallows on sticks, sleeping bags or tents to sleep in. According to those in the women’s rights camp you are either with them or against them, there is no “middle camp.” You either believe what we believe, that domestic violence solely exists due to men’s patriarchal need to dominate, oppress and control women or you are in the men’s rights camp.
But what if you are a nonprofit agency that specializes in supportive services for male victims and also helps all other victims equally without prejudice? You don’t really fit in either the women’s or men’s rights camp. Still by some you are relegated to be part of that (what they consider) evil mens rights camp where all men who hate women congregate.
There has never been an agency quite like ours so no matter what we do, to some, we can never be seen as that middle of the road camp. We are an anomaly in the domestic violence service area, an organization to be criticized and then summarily dismissed as (in the words of some women’s rights advocates) just another men’s right group that is trying to send women back to the days when women were men’s chattels.So the fact that we have emergency sheltered a homeless female victim, taken care of her needs for food and clothing, taken her to doctor and other appointments and helped her to get into her own apartment doesn't matter. The fact that we have called around to other shelters on behalf of female victims (who didn't know where to call and who were not in an area where we could make direct services available to them) who were told that the local battered women's shelter couldn't accommodate them because they had too many children or the shelter was full doesn't matter. The fact that we have worked in conjunction with anti violence programs that specialize in supportive services for LGBTQ victims and survivors doesn't matter. And by the way, our lack of funding is the only thing that holds us back from offering more services. Yes, we have made more services available to male victims and their children. DAHMW was created due to the void left in this service area so it is only natural that we would do this. As comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to say, "I get no respect, I tell ya." All we want is to be respected and accepted for what we are, the middle of the road camp that helps victims of intimate partner violence without prejudice. Why can't we all just get along and work together? After all, we are all after the same thing aren't we, to put an end to domestic violence.
|Do domestic violence programs ignore men who are victims of women? Your answer may depend on whether you think feminism should focus on a gendered analysis of women in society or feminism must fight all injustices equally. We’ve often discussed these definitions on this blog. Or, perhaps you're a feminist who thinks feminism has gone too far, with society now discriminating against men, at least in some areas. Jan Brown, executive director of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women, seems to fall into this category. She says she’s a feminist but doesn’t want women to dominate services anymore than she wants men to dominate. Brown says she founded the helpline 10 years ago after a friend, a man abused by a woman, could find little help. Her web site says: “We specialize in offering supportive services to men abused by their female intimate partners.” The site lists resources where male victims can find help, including a lawyer who helps men fight false allegations of abuse and a law firm that has a father’s rights blog and “works hard to offset gender bias that minimizes or trivializes the importance of good men.” read more|