An obvious point consistently overlooked for reasons of PC. In fact relatively close to home at the moment since my 'boss' answered the door about 2am Monday morning to find Ann standing there who promptly punched him in the eye and took a kick at his crotch when he deflected her. Luckily he had the phone and called the police. We don't know what happened after they followed her home but last heard, she had moved out from her mentally unstable son and brother into the flat of an alcoholic mostly in hospital awaiting liver transplant and was reported with "two black eyes and a broken nose" claiming Des responsible. The cops know better so we guess that one hell of a fight broke out because the police followed her to house. It's sad, but our suspicion is that the cancer has now reached her brain, though she was always only the best of a family that at another time might all have been put away.
By Ned Holstein and Glenn Sacks | Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Police recently concluded that former NFL star Steve McNair was fatally shot in his sleep by girlfriend Sahel Kazemi in a murder-suicide. Yet while there are more than 10,000 media entries on Google News for Steve McNair, only a few of them even mention the phrase domestic violence.
Violence by women against their male partners is often ignored or not recognized as domestic violence. Law enforcement, the judicial system, the media and the domestic-violence establishment are still stuck in the outdated "man as perpetrator/woman as victim" conception of domestic violence.
Yet more than 200 studies have found that women initiate at least as much violence against their male partners as vice versa. Men account for about a third of domestic-violence injuries and deaths. Research shows women often compensate for their lack of physical strength by employing weapons and the element of surprise -- just as Miss Kazemi is thought to have done.
The most recent large-scale study of domestic violence was conducted by Harvard researchers and published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, which surveyed 11,000 men and women, found that, according to both men's and women's accounts, 50 percent of the violence in their relationships was reciprocal (involving both parties). In those cases, the women were more likely to have been the first to strike. Moreover, when the violence was one-sided, both women and men said women were the perpetrators about 70 percent of the time.
New research from Deborah Capaldi shows the most dangerous domestic-violence scenario for both women and men is that of reciprocal violence, particularly if that violence is initiated by women. Moreover, children who witness their mothers assaulting their fathers are just as likely to assault their intimate partners when they are adults as those who saw their fathers assault their mothers.
There are solutions to protect all parties affected by domestic violence:
c Just as we've properly stigmatized men who hit women, we need to encourage women not to attack their men. Ms. Capaldi says she thinks the best way for women to be safe is not to initiate violence against their male partners. "The question of initiation of violence is a crucial one .... much DV is mutual, and initiations -- even that seem minor -- may lead to escalation," she says. Ms. Capaldi's research found that a young woman's domestic violence was just as predictive of her male partner's future domestic violence as the man's own past domestic violence.
c When safe, the domestic-violence system needs to treat violent couples as violent couples, instead of shoehorning them into the "man as perp/woman as victim" model. Counseling services for violent couples are rare. Domestic-violence author and authority Lonnie R. Hazelwood says the misguided domestic-violence establishment "has been very effective in passing laws to prohibit couples counseling and eliminate programs which use gender-inclusive strategies."
c Establish services and help for male domestic-violence victims. Denise Hines of Clark University found that when an abused man called the police, the police were more likely to arrest him than to arrest his abusive female partner. This is partly the result of primary aggressor laws, which encourage police to discount who initiated and committed the violence but instead look at other factors that make them likelier to arrest men. When the men in Ms. Hines' study tried calling domestic-violence hot lines, 64 percent were told the hot lines helped only women, and more than half were referred to programs for male domestic-violence perpetrators.
c Work to ensure that male domestic-violence victims will not lose their children in custody proceedings. Ms. Hines found that the biggest reason male domestic-violence victims hesitate to leave their wives/girlfriends is concern for their children. If they leave, their children are left unprotected in the hands of a violent mother. If they take their children, when they're found, the children will be taken away and given to the mother. Moreover, the men probably would lose custody of their children in the divorce/custody proceeding anyway, again leaving their children in harm's way.
Perhaps none of these policies would have saved Mr. McNair. However, domestic violence by women isn't rare, it isn't trivial, and ignoring it harms couples and their children.
Dr. Ned Holstein is a public health specialist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the founder of Fathers & Families. Glenn Sacks is the organization's executive director. Their Web site is www.FathersandFamiles.org.
I don't think ANYONE on this board would trivialise domestic violence by women (any more than they would by men.)
From a personal point, Mike and I have a friend who WAS a battered husband. He would regularly trot out all the excuses, such as walking into doors, falling over on pavements, putting up shelves that fell down on him, and so on.
Eventually a girl at work who had been in an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend talked to him about it. He burst into tears and said that he still loved his wife and that he felt that he had to stay married for the sake of their daughter.
We also talked to him about it and in the end managed to persuade him to end the relationship. Because his daughter was willing to testify in court about the mother's abuse, most unusually, he got custody of her.
The point is that it is wrong whoever is doing it.
I agree that it tends to be mainly focused upon women but then (leaving aside the figures which STILL show that women are MORE commonly victims than men even though the ratio is getting much closer) that's largely because for many years there was not ENOUGH focus on battered women.