Monday, April 26, 2010

DEAR ABBY: I know most of your readers are women, but could you please spread awareness of female-on-male domestic violence? You have done a great job with male-on-female abuse awareness, and I think American society is fairly well saturated with it. But there is little out there for men who have been or are being abused. -- MINNESOTA READER DEAR READER: Domestic violence is not restricted to any social, racial, religious, economic group or particular gender. And while male victims may be embarrassed to disclose it, men can be victims of domestic violence, too. In years past, men were hesitant to call a domestic abuse hotline when there was a crisis because they were ashamed, had been bullied into thinking they "deserved it," or were afraid they wouldn't be believed. That is no longer the case. Male victims of domestic violence can find help by contacting the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women. The organization's toll-free helpline is (888) 743-5754 or log onto its Web site at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Study examines domestic violence:

Study examines domestic violence: Study examines domestic violence By Sarah Wiggins-Goff Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 UH doctoral candidate Venus Tsui, under the supervision of Monit Cheung, the doctoral dissertation chair at the Graduate School of Social Work, is conducting a survey of male victims of domestic violence in order to better understand the issue. “It is definitely a challenging and tough topic,” Tsui said. “Although underreported and less common, male victims of domestic violence suffer negative physical and psychological consequences which are similar to their female counterparts.” Tsui said the underreporting of domestic violence toward men is due to two main inhibitors: society and men themselves. “Related literature and extant studies reveal that men are often discriminated against by domestic violence service providers and law enforcement systems in the help-seeking process,” Tsui said. This and other forms of exclusion breed a stigma in men that causes them embarrassment and is often the ultimate provocation to keep the abuse to themselves, Tsui said. “They face the challenge of masculine identity when reporting the abuse,” she said. “Socialization affects how men behave, and seeking help is often thought (of) as a sign of weakness.” Cheung’s interest in the subject dates back to 2006 when she was a radio talk host for the Houston-Hong Kong Radio, AM 1050 and AM 1180, during a live phone-in program. “In this 25-week program, I found that very few men called in, but for those who called, eight of them expressed that they were abused – physically and/or emotionally – by their partners/wives,” Cheung wrote in an e-mail interview. “I started to research more about male victims/survivors of domestic violence.” Similarly, Tsui’s personal interest in the subject developed when she was living in Hong Kong and witnessed men as victims of domestic violence. The two researchers’ shared curiosities eventually led them to co-creating this survey. “With my research, I hope to identify the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking among male victims of partner abuse as well as to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies that are gender-sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of male victims,” she said. Both researchers recognize that the sheer secretiveness behind this issue is the very root of the problem. “To help male victims in need, it is important to not only encourage them to ask for help, but also dispel the myth and acknowledge their need for services in the society,” Tsui said. The survey, which is completely anonymous, is available both online and in paper format. It can be found online at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abusers | | Sacramento, California | News

WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abusers WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abusers | | Sacramento, California | News SACRAMENTO, CA - When they first opened their doors and became incorporated in 1978, they likely had no idea how their role might evolve as a provider of crisis intervention services in Sacramento. Even their name indicated they were going into business with the intent of helping women -- not men. The founders called their organization WEAVE: Women Escaping A Violent Environment. 32 years later, the name endures. But the times have changed, as has the clientele. According to people who have used WEAVE services, the perception of the group remains largely the same as it was 30 years ago. "I didn't know about them, and I didn't know they would help men," said Paul Smith, a WEAVE client. Another WEAVE Client, Michael Dimmitt, said he also thought the organization might not be for him. "It's not well known among men that WEAVE services are available to them," Dimmitt said. "Men don't talk about it with each other." The "it" he's referring to is domestic violence. Four years ago, Dimmitt and Smith both would have had a hard time talking about their situations. Now, they have no problem sharing details they once considered mortifying. "I had a physically abusive wife who did things such as slug me, and grab me," said Dimmitt. "It began on the honeymoon." "My ex-wife started smacking me about year two of our marriage," said Smith. "She just beaned me clean across the face. I hadn't been hit that hard since football." Both of their marriages ended in divorce in 2006. But in the aftermath, Dimmitt did one thing that Smith did not. Dimmitt remembers that moment when he first walked into WEAVE headquarters, asking himself if he was going to the right place. "When I first came here, I had trepidation," Dimmitt said. "Five minutes after being here, there was absolutely no concern on my part of being in there with the women. They accepted me. It was very comfortable." It's a moment Smith never experienced because he thought WEAVE was just for women. "I didn't understand what they were all about, for men," Smith said. "You don't know much as a man, because there are no services available for men. There's no WEAVE for men." The organization's leader says it is a false perception they are constantly working to change. "I know that there are men out there who need help," said WEAVE Executive Director Beth Hassett. She said her organization has had to reinvent how it does outreach in the community because the realm of domestic violence counseling has changed so much since the late 1970s. "All agencies like WEAVE grew out of the women's movement," Hassett said. "We were organizations that were formed by women, for women. "When I first got here, men were not allowed in some of our drop-in groups that are open to the community, so we made those co-ed," explained Hassett. Still, she said one of their biggest challenges is putting male victims at ease. According to Hassett, many are too embarrassed to step forward and admit that they've been abused. "We've got to figure out how to reach these people, because every victim needs help, and we're here for every victim," said Hassett. According to the Department of Justice, about 835,000 men are assaulted by an intimate partner every year. For women, the number is 1.3 million. "We're serving children, we're serving men," said Hassett. "We're serving victims of all sorts that don't fit into the mold they're imagining." Dimmit convinced himself to break through that mold four years ago. "It's provided balance and an openness to the future," he said. "I don't think I would have achieved that in other circumstances had it not been for WEAVE." Smith said he wishes he'd taken the same approach. "Had I had a different mind set, I probably would have been in the next day to WEAVE," Smith said. The organization has had such a hard time changing the perception they're only for women, that they're considering a name change, or at least some kind of public awareness marketing campaign. The goal is to make sure men realize WEAVE is a place for them to seek domestic violence counseling, just as it is for women. By Will Frampton, News10/KXTV Copyright 2010 / All Rights Reserved
Response to Femi-Nothing: A human rights issue By Lex Reynolds Westhampton College '10 To quote: “What kills me about news reports on this issue is that they focus on what feminists think … Do people claim that the Holocaust was a Jewish issue or that slavery was an African issue? … This is not simply a feminist issue and to write it off as such is to do the human population at large a major injustice.” I readily agree with you that the Holocaust was not a Jewish issue, nor was slavery a black or African issue. However, where you err is in claiming that human populations write off violence aimed at women as feminist issues, without stopping to think about why this is done. You simply imply that society is ignorant of the effects of violence and gender issues to all and wish to disregard said issues. After the Holocaust, the Jewish people accepted the help of non-Jewish peoples. Former slaves after the Civil War, and later, black advocates during the Civil Rights Movement, recognized the help of non-blacks. This is simply not the case for gendered issues at large. Feminists often (though of course, not always) are quick to construct their counterpart as the enemy. In other words, men are not “part of the problem,” they ARE “the problem.” From this popular feminist perspective, men are not just allowing violent video games about rape to be on shelves; they are buying, creating and playing the video games. They are the rapists in the games. Thus, men are seen as a source of the problem and cannot be part of the solution. (Please note here that I do not support the inclusion of gender or sexual violence as entertainment in any form.) Feminist rhetoric in the media focuses on the separation of gender, emphasizing a dichotomy in society, and then women wonder why men seem unconcerned with “gender” issues. After you’ve isolated men, told them they are rapists, perpetuators of violence, oppressors of women, pigs and chauvinists, and constructed them as the enemy, is it any wonder they are not rushing forth to support what should indeed be considered a social issue? I’ve sat in classes and heard self-proclaimed feminists tell male classmates they had no right to comment on female genital mutilation or on issues with female body image because such topics didn’t affect them. With any other group of people sharing a common factor, be it age, race, ethnicity, etc., when a stereotypical comment is made, the offender is an ageist, a racist or ethnocentric. When comments are made about men, it is feminism or female liberation. Take the quote made popular by feminist Gloria Steinman (see Ms. Magazine): “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” Now if I were a man, that would make me want to run right out and declare myself a feminist. Feminism as a whole would do better, and would gain more people willing to work for its causes, if it focused on gender issues framed in terms of how they affect both men and women, or by merely hailing concerns as social issues and downplaying gender stereotypes. Take, for instance, another traditionally female issue: domestic abuse in our society. Domestic abuse is commonly constructed by feminists as having male abusers with female victims. What about domestic abuse aimed at men? According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 835,000 men are physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner in the United States every year, and 36 percent of victims of domestic abuse are men. Yet their victimization is downplayed and often ignored in favor of the more popular feminist refrains of wife beater and justifications of female violence towards men as battered wife syndrome. When was the last time you saw a public service announcement or campaign calling for acknowledgment of or help for male victims? In fact, Ellen Pence, feminist founder of Domestic Abuse Intervention Project and a leader of the battered women’s movement, told the New York Times in an interview, “Domestic violence against men is just not a social problem”—can’t imagine why many men don’t see women’s issues as pressing social problems. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of gender equality in our society has come about because of traditional feminism. I like having the right to vote and drive, and knowing there are laws to protect my personage. But when constructing discourse on issues like rape in video games, feminist refrains do isolate men and create apathy in society in ways that mirror discussion of social issues like real rape or abuse. And this apathy, this predominantly female involvement, will continue to occur in relation to feminist issues until men are seen as fellow victims of social concerns and as having the potential to heal and help, rather than just hurt. The time for, “I am woman, hear me roar” is over, and we must move toward an era of “We are fellow human beings, roar for mankind.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WXXI: Study Examines Relationship Violence in Deaf Community (2010-04-12)

WXXI: Study Examines Relationship Violence in Deaf Community (2010-04-12) ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) - The RIT study compares incidences of relationship violence between Deaf and hearing students, and also delves into the experiences of gay and lesbian students. But the most dramatic finding relates to men. Researchers found that of the four types of relationship violence that they studied, Deaf men were more likely to experience all four. Deaf women were only more likely to experience one category of abuse more frequently than their hearing counterparts. Laverne McQuiller Williams started the study back in 2000. "I think it's very important to highlight, especially these findings in males, because a lot of the research and previous literature simply ignores males as victims, especially victims of dating and relationship violence." McQuiller Williams don't know why Deaf men are reporting more relationship violence. It could be because of efforts to raise awareness about what actually qualifies as abuse, or it could be that women experience abuse more before college, skewing the results. But either way, the data shows that Deaf and hard of hearing people, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, are more often targets of abuse.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beyond absurd: Analyzing the IPADV training guide

Reading this article that Richard wrote about our (Maine) police officers training guide brings me back to the conference I went to when this training guide was just coming out. I left that conference feeling so sad and thinking that all good men who are in relationships should leave the State of Maine in a hurry if they don't want to end up in jail just for being MEN. Beyond absurd: Analyzing the IPADV training guide