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Richard L. Davis

Let’s Talk [Or Not]

January 18th, 2010
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Domestic abuse/violence, Richard L. Davis, discrimination against men

Let’s Talk [Or Not]

January 18, 2010

One day I sat thinking, almost in despair; a hand fell on my shoulder and a

voice said reassuringly: cheer up, things could be worse. So I cheered up and

things got worse.                                                                     (James Hagerty)

Most researchers and interveners agree that intimate partner violence (IPV) does not mysteriously or suddenly appear the day heterosexual intimate partners reach adulthood nor is IPV limited to heterosexuals. Many interveners believe that teen dating relationships are the primary gateways to adult IPV.

Perhaps this is one reason that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met on December 3, 2009 with teen leaders, their parents and the program directors from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships. The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) is the National Program Office for Start Strong.

The meeting was also in conjunction with nationwide events as part of the 6th annual It’s Time to Talk Day, organized by Liz Claiborne Inc. (LCI). This meeting was to draw national attention to the importance of talking about domestic violence, teen dating violence and intimate partner abuse.

The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said something that I believe with ever fiber of my being:

For too long we’ve been unwilling to face the reality [emphasis added] that teen dating violence occurs. It’s been a taboo subject folks would simply not talk about. [emphasis added] But we can’t afford to do that any more: too many young people are getting hurt. We must all do our part to break the silence and work toward eliminating teen dating violence.

However, both Holder and Duncan appear unable or unwilling to recognize that the FVPF and LCI, as their websites clearly document, rarely acknowledge female offending or male victimization.

The Facts

The Facts on Teens and Dating is on the FVPF website. The first sentence of the opening paragraph reports that, “While dating, domestic and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable.” The FVPF does not talk about the fact that dating, domestic and sexual violence also affects men regardless of their age.

In the same paragraph the FVPF talks about the victimization of women and for a second time does not talk about the victimization of men. In the same paragraph the FVPF cites a study that reports huge numbers of young people are affected by partner violence. And once again the FVPF does not talk about male victimization or female offending in the above study they cite:

Prevalence of Partner-Violent Acts Committed During the Past Year Within Couples and Separately for Men and Women [This data is from the study the FVPF cited above]

Violent act

Couple

Male-to-female

Female-to-Male

Any Violence

21.45

13.66

18.20

Severe Violence

8.64

3.63

7.52

In the first sentence under “Prevalence of Violence” the FVPF talks about girls “Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner - a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.”

The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly reports that in 2003, 8.9% of boys and 8.8% of girls were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. Holder and Duncan should question why the FVPF ignore talking about the victimization of boys.

What is more troubling is the 2007 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly reports that years later the percentage of victimization remains the same for girls at 8.8% and the victimization for boys increased to 11.0%.

Perhaps this increase in male victimization is due, at least in part, to the fact that dating violence programs, similar to the FVPF and LCI do not talk about female offending. When they do talk about female offending they excuse female offending as being primarily self defensive and they claim that the motivation for girls is different than boys. However, the empirical data found here Let’s Talk About Dating Violence does not support their claims.

A study sponsored by LCI documents that both boys and girls suffer from approximately the same rates of verbal abuse. Most studies indicate that girls do suffer more emotionally from teen dating abuse. However, there should be no question that boys are still raised to conceal their emotions far more than girls.

The Sad Silence

Nothing speaks to the gender bias of FVPF and LCI more clearly than the LCI A Parent’s Guide to Teen Dating Violence. The LCI guide always uses “he” when referring to offenders and “she” when referring to victims. Incredulously and without shame, LCI ignores the studies it sponsors and claims that this implicit bias is because the U.S. Department of justice estimates more than 90% of all relationship abuse victims are female.

The FVPF and LCI rarely talk about the plausible theories and scientific data concerning cause, offending and victimization because of their ideological held belief that males are almost always the aggressive offenders and females are the passive victims - concerning IPV. Is it logical for organizations that, as their websites document, refuse to talk about male victimization and female offending, should be leading educational programs for our sons and daughters?

Holder, Duncan, the FVPF and LCI choose to ignore contemporary research and recommendations from a recent study and workshop that was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and Health and Humans Services that recommend the following:

Because girls engage in high levels of physical aggression and psychological abuse and most abusive relationships are characterized by mutual aggression, prevention efforts must be directed toward both males and females, and interventions for victims should include services and programming for boys and girls.

For the safety of our daughters and our sons, dating violence education needs to be based in science and not ideology. The websites of the FVPF and LCI demonstrate that these organizations have little to no interest in talking about our sons victimization or our daughters offending.

2010 Senatorial Styled Awareness

Apparently Holder and Duncan are not alone. Just as the 110th House of Representatives did not talk about male victimization or female offending House Resolution 590, so goes the Senate in 2010.

Senate Resolution 373 seeks to designate the month of February 2010 as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. I agree that it is time that we talk about dating violence. However, the 111th Congress, similar to the 111th, has chosen not to talk about male victimization or female offending.

The resolution talks about, “Whereas dating, domestic, and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, and teens and young women are especially vulnerable. The 111th Congress, similar to the FVPF and LCI has chosen not to talk about the victimization of men regardless of their age.

Further the resolution talks about, “…approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner…” Apparently the two Senators who introduced the bill, Senator Crapo and Senator Lieberman are unaware of or do not want to talk about the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System that is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been reporting for the last few years that more boys report being victims of dating violence than girls.

I sit here on a cold January snow filled New England morning and feel a chill. The chill is not due to the weather. It is due to the fact that, as a father of three daughters and two sons, I know that few domestic violence interveners, public policy makers, or members of the electronic and print media will face reality and talk about female offending and male victimization next month because it is a taboo subject that FVPF,  LCI, the 110th and 111th Congress, do not  talk about. And no one is willing talk to our daughters about the fact that the number one reason for being hit or injured in a teen dating relationship is to hit your partner first.

The Senate Resolution 373 claims that it is intended to support communities and to empower teens to develop healthier relationships. Parents should expect support for both their daughters and their sons. Just what is it that the FVPF, LCI, the 110th and 111th Congress are waiting for before they are willing to talk about male victimization and female offending. ?

Is there not a single member of the 111th Congress or a member of the media that is able to connect the dots between this continued refusal to talk about or minimize male victimization and excuse female offending with the fact that the victimization of our daughters does not decrease and the victimization of our sons continues to increase?

____________________________________________________

If you are reading this in print please use this URL http://tinyurl.com/yabl6z3 to read it online at www.Gather.com You have read my opinion. Now you can use the online version to instantly research, read and form your own opinions about the validity of the studies and decide for yourself if The Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Liz Claiborne Inc websites present the issue of dating violence in a fair and unbiased fashion. And you can decide if their websites fairly and without bias do or do not talk about female offending and male victimization. Regardless of what you decide I ask that you contact your Senator with this hyperlink because, as Secretary Duncan notes, we need to talk about dating violence.

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Intimate-Partner Homicide and Suicide

October 16th, 2009
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Domestic abuse/violence, Richard L. Davis

Richard Davis

By Richard Davis

All truth are easy to understand once they are discovered, the point is to discover them.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

On October 13, 2009, a columnist for the Boston Globe writing about domestic violence noted that Dan Walsh, the CEO of the ROSE fund said, “It’s an issue that most people know little about.” A female domestic violence victim in the column is quoted as saying, “The fact that this is somehow characterized as a ‘women’s issue’ is nuts.” If you read the column you may discover just how right they really are.

My research paper about domestic violence-related deaths explains why so many people continue to know so little about domestic violence, which is not merely a women’s issue since it impacts all of us.

The 110th Congress passed H.Res. 590 proclaiming that the House of Representatives is concerned with raising awareness about domestic violence and its devastating effects on families and communities. However, the resolution wrongly and exclusively mentions males as offenders while ignoring victims and female perpetrators.

Staffers for our elected representatives need to learn and understand about the goals and objectives of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). One specific goal is to provide decision makers, public policy makers, program planners, and domestic violence interveners with more complete information about domestic violence related deaths. Criminal justice and related suicide data leave no doubt men kill other men and themselves far more often than they kill women.

The hyperlink to the research paper in the second paragraph above contains detailed information about homicides and homicide-suicides reported by the NVDRS for 2005.

The 2006 NVDRS data documents 559 intimate-partner homicide incidents which accounted for 616 deaths, as reported by the 16 states submitting data. There were 370 female and 246 male intimate-partner homicides. Of the 5831 offenders a little more than 3 of 4 (77.9%) are male. However, the gender of the offender does not alter the fact that approximately 4 of every 10 intimate-partner homicide victims are male.

The 2006 NVDRS data also documents that of those 616 intimate-partner related homicides 166 offenders committed suicide, 157 of who were men. Combining the homicides and suicides the total would approximate 379 female and 364 male lives lost in the 16 reporting states.

It is imperative that we understand the risk factors for both victims and offenders in order to develop effective interventions and help family members better understand what might have been done differently to prevent such tragedy.

Table 7 of the 2006 NVDRS shows there were 1,951 male and 452 female suicides precipitated by an intimate-partner problem. That same year there were 26,308 male suicides and 6,992 female suicides. All of which suggests that in 2006, 7,890 male and 2,097 female suicides, approximately 30%, may have been precipitated by an intimate-partner problem.

In 2005 in my home state of Massachusetts, there were 14 female and 75 male reported intimate partner precipitated suicides. The number of female suicides alone matches the total number of male and female 2005 Massachusetts domestic violence homicides.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month during which most domestic violence organizations, institutions, and the media at large showcase violence against women with little or no mention of female offenders or male victims, even though substantially more men may lose their lives from intimate partner violence than women. There is something seriously wrong with that.

Again, I ask Congress and the majority of domestic violence organizations, why male victims and female offenders are minimized or ignored. I recognize that females suffer more sexual and injurious intimate-partner violence than do males, except perhaps for the incarcerated. However, must we wait until males and females are victimized in the same manner and number to be deserving of equal compassion and recognition for their victimization? I think not.

1 There were 583 offenders for 559 incidents because more than one person can be charged for a homicide, which is often referred to as a “joint venture”.

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Domestic Violence-Related Deaths

March 18th, 2009
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Domestic abuse/violence, Richard L. Davis


Domestic Violence-Related Deaths

 

What persuades men and women to mistake each other from time to time for gods or vermin is ideology.

 

Terry Eagleton (1941 — )

In the introduction of the 2003 Massachusetts Domestic Violence Homicide Report (MDVHR), the authors note, “The human toll from domestic violence is grossly underestimated.” The authors also note:

Domestic violence homicides represent just the tip of the iceberg regarding mortality and morbidity resulting from domestic violence. Suicides that can be attributed to domestic violence deaths that result from life-long battering also need to be examined. Within the category of homicide, alone, it is difficult to claim with any certainty that we were able to identify all domestic violence homicide incidents.

It has become obvious that when the primary focus is on domestic violence homicides (the rarest form of violence) or injurious physical assaults, our ability to completely identify the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence victimization is severely limited. The majority of the nationally recognized domestic violence organizations and researchers concur the issue of domestic violence is far more complex and multifaceted than previously thought and the human toll of its victimization against men has been grossly underestimated.

The Context of Feminist Ideology

The Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women notes on page iii, “The data show that violence is more widespread and injurious to women’s and men’s health [italics added] than previously thought.” The aforementioned authors also note on page 1, the majority of contemporary research about violence against women is in the context of feminist ideology.

The core belief of feminist ideology is expressed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV):

The NCADV believes violence against women and children results from the use of force or threat to achieve and maintain control over others in intimate relationships, and from societal abuse of power and domination in the forms of sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, able-bodyism, ageism and other oppressions.

The NCADV acts as the national voice for domestic violence organizations. As you may note the NCADV does not specifically claim that, all of the above is “caused by men.” However, it does so implicitly by acknowledging only women and children as the victims of domestic violence and ignoring any mention of men as victims. Hence the implication to the reader is that men, who are after all not the victims, must be the “cause” of all the above. Where and when the NCADV finds it is impossible to ignore male victimization, the NCADV then minimize or marginalize male victimization. The NCADV makes it explicitly clear that the mission of the NCADV and its concerns are only for the safety of “all women and children.”

The NCADV, it appears, also may act as the voice for the majority of our federal and local policy makers. The 110th Congress H.RES.590 is a resolution that purports to raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities. The assumption should be that the 110th Congress is concerned about raising awareness of all victims. Apparently the 110th Congress does not consider men as either family members or victims. If you read their resolution you will discover the 110th Congress minimizes, marginalizes and ignores males’ victimization and when it does mention men they are presented as the abusers. It is difficult to grasp the absolute and utter ignorance displayed by the 110th Congress.

This deep seated inherent ideological bias, that females are the primary victims and males the primary offenders, may be the reason why the media, interveners, public policy makers and the general public have yet to become aware of the negative consequences of domestic violence against males.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is not supportive of the exploration of men’s domestic violence victimization. In fact, VAWA research funding and programs often demand that male victimization be ignored. It is argued by many researchers that VAWA has caused many feminists to replicate the very behavior they railed against in the last century. The VAWA has created biased stereotyping and VAWA has become the nexus of the exclusion of an entire group of people simply because of their gender.

Feminist ideological research, by its very nature, creates an implicit bias which fosters subjective not objective research. In the report Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence the authors conclude on page iv:

These findings [from the National Violence Against Women Survey] support the theory that violence perpetrated against women by intimates is often part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control [by men].

However, examination of their report reveals they present no empirical evidence-based data that can support their conclusion. A thorough examination of the literature reveals that it is evident that ideological researchers often reach subjective rather than objective conclusions despite empirical data to the contrary. This lack of objectivity may be due to firmly held ideological feminist beliefs which create a sympathetic and empathic bonding between the researchers and their subjects.

The Complexities of Domestic Violence

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) notes:

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.

Clearly all the nationally recognized domestic violence agencies understand that domestic violence can not be measured only through lethality or physical assaults. Psychological abuse can produce emotional victimization that is far more damaging and longer lasting than a physical assault.

The OVW defines that emotional abuse as:

Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children [italics added].

It is clear here the OVW understands “domestic violence” should not be limited to physical assaults. Furthermore the data document that far more people die from suicide than homicide. The majority of suicides involve male victims. Is it possible that domestic violence research, free of feminist ideology, will demonstrate that emotional abuse and suicides account for far more domestic violence-related deaths than homicides?

This question returns us to page 8, of the MDVHR report which reveals in Utah the majority of the state’s 65 domestic violence deaths in 2005 were suicides that did not occur in the context of a homicide. Domestic violence-related death by suicide is a road not traveled by many researchers. Most domestic violence suicides are explored only in the context of a homicide followed by a suicide.

The National Violence Death Reporting System

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to preventing the violent deaths of children, women and men in the United States. The CDC notes that its prevention goal has been and continues to be hampered by fragmented and incomplete data collection.

The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is researching, without any apparent bias or agenda, the toll violent deaths takes on individuals, families, and communities in the United States. The NVDRS documents that violent deaths, including homicides and suicides, cost the United States more than $52 billion in medical care and lost productivity every year.

An April 2008 report by the CDC “Surveillance for Violent Deaths — National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2005” (SVD) provides revealing data collected by the NVDRS. The SVD documents that approximately 30% of suicides are precipitated by intimate partner problems.      

The NVDRS collects data about the violent deaths of all victims regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. The NVDRS data is less fragmented and more complete than any previous data collection of violent deaths. This broad scope of data allows the NVDRS to explore the full scope and in depth, the tragic impact of domestic violence-related deaths.

While approximately twice as many females as males attempt suicide, the rate of completed suicide in the SVD report is nearly 4 times greater for males than females. Studies report that many people who commit suicide suffer multiple risk factors, such as clinical depression, mental health disorders and a number of difficult and life altering stressors. Other studies also document that some of these same risk factors contribute to the multiple causes of many domestic violence homicides.

Table 9, of the SVD reports intimate partner problems (IPProb) precipitated 2,031 of the male and 439 of the female suicides. An IPProb is defined as a problem with a current or former intimate partner that appears to have contributed to the suicide. Some of the IPProb’s are a divorce, break-up, argument [verbal abuse], jealousy, conflict [perhaps physical and verbal] or discord [perhaps psychological or emotional].

In 2005, 32,637 suicides were reported. The SVD reports 30% of the suicides reported were IPProb related. Hence, it is possible that approximately 7,832 male and 1,958 female suicides were precipitated by intimate partner problems. These intimate partner suicides far exceed the number of intimate partner homicides. When I presented the above data online some readers wondered how many of these intimate partner problem deaths did not demonstrate a direct or indirect association with domestic violence. That question needed to be explored.

However, it is important to remember that the OVW acknowledges the violence in contemporary domestic violence can include “constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationships with his or her children.” There is general agreement that females and males are equally capable of exhibiting this form of violence. The NVDRS data appears to reveal that the “conflict” and “discord” found in the “forced leaving” of intimate relationships may be far more lethally dangerous for men than women.

Domestic Violence-Related Deaths

This again brings us to the MDVHR, which in turn directs us to the 2005 Utah Department of Health (UDH)  study that reported there were 65 domestic violence-related deaths in 2005. The UDH notes there were 44 suicides and 21 homicides.

Six of the suicides were males who killed themselves after committing a homicide. The homicide victims were 10 male and 11 females. The suicide victims were 42 male and 2 female. This data is documented by the UDH, Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP). VIPP gets its information from the Utah Violence Death Reporting System (UTVDRS).

In the following year, 2006, the Utah Domestic Violence Council (UDVC) did not report the majority of suicides. This is because UDVC only report domestic violence-related deaths that appear in public sources; such as newspapers and the electronic media. The UDVC does acknowledge and report the suicides which occur in the context and circumstances of domestic violence incidents are domestic violence-related deaths.

These UDH (2005) report defines the issue of domestic violence as follows:

Domestic violence (DV) is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. This includes violence between family members, roommates, and current or former partners.  

For this report, a suicide is considered domestic violence related if one of the circumstances surrounding the suicide involved violence or the threat of violence between intimate partners, family members, or roommates.

Email correspondence with researchers at the Utah Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) reveal that the reason for the apparent dramatic differences in the number of domestic violence-related deaths as document by the UDH and the UDVC are twofold. One is the definitions they use and the second is their source of information. The data by VIPP comes from the Utah Violence Deaths Reporting System (UTVDRS) which includes medical examiner and police reports. The UTVDRS data is a lengthy process that can take up to 18 months to complete. The UDVC reports only public media information at the end of each year.

The VIPP researchers did clarify that suicides defined as domestic-violence related fatalities are reported for incidents only when there is actual violence or the threat of violence surrounding the incident. These domestic violence-related deaths do not include incidents where there was only a verbal argument or a separation.

On the front page of the 2006 Utah Domestic Violence Related Deaths it found, “These troubling statistics document, in summary form, the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence in Utah.” What should be apparent to the UDVC is that exploring domestic violence-related deaths only in summary form provides a very limited examination of the problem.

The authors of the MDVHR are correct to note in its introduction, “The domestic violence homicides and suicides that are reported in the public print and electronic media represent just the tip of the iceberg regarding mortality and morbidity resulting from domestic violence.” They are right. The NVDRS may reveal more of that iceberg as more states join the effort.

It is the goal of the NVDRS to develop a national system that actually can, in an unbiased and non-ideological process, document the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence. For now the data is only reported from 17 states. And Utah is the only state, to my knowledge, that has published a more complete picture of the tragic impact domestic violence has on men, women and children. Let us hope that before long, the NVDRS will set truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth free from contemporary, fragmented and incomplete ideological research.

 

Perception and Polarization

 

Many of the national recognized domestic violence organizations and researchers who write about domestic violence from a feminist ideological perception argue that some men’s rights groups are guilty of extracting only data from studies that present their perception that men and women are equally guilty of domestic violence. A review of the literature documents this is true.

However, the vast majority of the national recognized domestic violence organizations, for decades, have done the same. It is written ubiquitously that around the world, 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. A unbiased review of the literature documents that when researchers use the same methodology used in gathering that data, the data will reveal the same is approximately true for 1 in 3 men.

It is now written ubiquitously that, 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. An unbiased review of the literature documents that when researchers use the same methodology used in gathering dating violence data, the data will reveal the same is approximately true for male high school students.

It is a fact, if one reviews the literature, that the nationally recognized domestic violence organizations, similar to the NCADV, have for decades now, been presenting only data that favors their perspective and their concerns. And when an organization similar to the NCADV does so, while it may not be an honest presentation, it is understandable why the NCADV does so. The NCADV is only concerned, as its website clearly documents, with women and children.

It is far less understandable when our public policy makers do the same. I think that most people believe that our public policy makers should be equally concerned about males and females. House resolution 590 and the VAWA are just two of many examples of where our policy makers are placing their concerns about females before males.

On March 11, 2009 President Obama announced the formation of a White House Council on Women and Girls]. As the father of three daughters and two sons, I would like to commend President Obama for establishing a council that is intended to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges that my daughters will confront in this 21st century.

However, as the father of three daughters and two sons, I find it impossible to understand why President Obama believes it is not necessary to establish a council that is intended to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges that my sons will confront in this 21st century.

Does President Obama believe that my sons are living in the promised land and my daughters are not? The White House Council on Women and Girls is being established to ensure that agencies across the federal government, not just a few offices, take into account the particular needs and concerns of women and girls. I would like to suggest a few of the particular needs and concerns of men and boys.

Our sons are growing up in a society and government that both focus on the familial victimization of females over males. Our sons are growing up in a society where far more males than females are dropping out of high school. Our sons are growing up in a society were almost 60% of students entering college are female. Our sons are growing up in a society where males serve longer prison sentences than females. Our sons are growing up in a society where women live longer than men. Our sons are growing up in a society where far more males are tanking their own live more than females. And sadly, this is only a partial list of some of our son’s particular needs and concerns.

Those of us who voted for President Obama did so for a variety of reasons, however, the most prominent reason was we believed we were voting for change. Perhaps President Obama might consider a White House Council on Men and Boys that would meet regularly to serve as a forum for all involved federal agencies to focus on helping our sons as well as our daughters.

 

Conclusion

 

Perhaps neither contemporary dueling positions [men are more violent than women vs. men and women are equally responsible for domestic violence] in the academe or those working in the field will find solace in the NVDRS findings.

Homicide Trends in the United States and other data clearly document that men commit more lethal violence than women. However, NVDRS data documents that the vast majority of lethality, both inside and outside the home, is directed at other men or themselves. Given the OVW definition of domestic violence, it becomes impossible to responsibly claim that females do not commit at least an equal amount of that type of violence. What has not been recognized until now, as the NVDRS data demonstrates, is that it appears the majority of domestic violence-related deaths are suffered by males not females. The question that now must be explored is how much of the female violence is responsible or at least a factor for the high rate of domestic violence-related deaths suffered by males.

Researchers Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft have suggested that some women are driven to suicide because of power and control issues. Women request and are issued restraining orders far more often than men and women initiate divorce or separation more often than men. Restraining orders and divorces are most often based on perceptions of those involved rather than empirical evidence-based data.

It is most often men who lose the children, the home, and perhaps their sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem along with being ordered to pay alimony and child support. All of the above are issues that include emotional and psychological life altering stressors that may depress some men and drive some to suicide because they now have lost everything they have worked for.

And if that divorce follows years of constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, followed by the issuance of a restraining order that often damages a man’s relationship with his children, this behavior might fit the OVW definition of “abuse.” Most often society views the divorce process as “a person’s right to choose” and rarely is that process viewed as “abusive behavior.”

These findings join the ever growing list of data that document domestic violence-related fatalities are a problem for adult heterosexual women. However, the NCDRS reveals that domestic violence-related fatalities are not exclusively or primarily a problem for adult heterosexual women.

Also fatality reviews and NVDRS data clearly document that the deaths inside and outside of home, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation have far more complex and multifaceted causes than sexism and oppression.

It was the MDVHR that led me to the Utah report and the CDC to the NVDRS. The MDVHR clearly documents, despite the inability or unwillingness of the authors to recognize it even when they report it, the many multifaceted complexities, contexts and unreasoned or irrational circumstances and happenstances of domestic violence homicides.

The MDVHR authors conclude that social norms (although their report does not specify or acknowledge what these social norms are), are the primary cause for these horrific homicides. This subjective conclusion lacks any evidence-based data in their report and probably rests on the dated mid-20th century hypothesis that violence against women is exclusively or primarily caused by sexism and the oppression of women.

The report from the National Research Council, Advancing the Federal Research Agenda on Violence Against Women concludes:

Finally, there is emerging and credible evidence that the general origins and behavioral patterns of various forms of violence, such as male violence against women and men and female violence against men and women, may be similar.

Perhaps the NVDRS data will set some researchers, domestic violence interveners and policy makers free from concluding they have already discovered the single correct answer to this enigma which continues to plague children, women and men.

_____________________________________

Although this is only a 6 page paper, because of the hyperlinks, it actually contains hundreds of studies and reams of data used to reach the above conclusions. For those who have received this paper in a traditional hard copy I have provided URL’s after the hyperlinks that will allow you access the information on a computer.

Richard L. Davis

 

Richard L. Davis served in the United States Marine Corps from 1960 to 1964. He is a retired lieutenant from the Brockton, Massachusetts police department. He has a graduate degree in liberal arts from Harvard University and a second in criminal justice from Anna Maria College. He is a member of the International Honor Society of Historians and the American Society of Criminology. He is a college instructor for Quincy College at Plymouth, MA in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Domestic Violence. He is the vice president for Family Nonviolence, Inc. www.familynonviolence.com in Fairhaven, MA. He is an independent consultant for criminal justice domestic violence policies, procedures, and programs. He is the author of Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies by Praeger publishers and Domestic Violence Intervention, Prevention, Policies, and Solutions by CRC Press. He has written numerous articles for newspapers, journals, and magazines concerning the issue of domestic violence. His columns concerning domestic violence at policeone.com, and californiamenscenters.org/wordpress. He is a distance learner instructor in Introduction to Criminal Justice and Domestic Violence for the Online Police Academy and has a website at policewriter.com.  He lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts with his wife the youngest of five children. He experienced domestic violence professionally for 21 years as a police officer and personally as a child and as an adult. In his retirement he continues to use his education, experience, and training to help the children, women, and men who have had to endure violence from those who profess to love them. He may be reached at rldavis@post.harvard.edu.

First published with permission by californiamenscenters.org/wordpress March 2009, all rights reserved by Mr. Davis.

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Law Enforcement and Intimate Partner Violence

January 27th, 2009
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Domestic abuse/violence, Richard L. Davis

This January 26, 2009 article by Richard L. Davis is intended for law enforcement personnel. However, anyone interested in Inter Personal Violence (IPV), also known as domestic violence, should read this. The article contains some new twists, current research, and fresh information regarding which gender does what. This article probably will not be well received by law enforcement and protectors of the status quo. This article might make a great handout to encourge policy makers to reconsider aspects of related laws, like the Violence Against Women Act and legislation spawned therefrom.

Click here for the full article: Law Enforcement and Intimate Partner Violence

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Harmful or Helpful

January 15th, 2009
By Harry Crouch
Article Source
Posted in Domestic abuse/violence, Richard L. Davis

By Richard L. Davis MS, MA and Robin M. Davis RN, B.S., CSN, MS/CH

The knowledge of truth, combined with the proper regard for it and its faithful
observance, constitutes true education.

Joseph F. Smith

We believe that the January 6, 2009 ABC World News report by Charlie Gibson, Protecting Teens From Dating Violence was well intentioned as are all dating violence interventions and programs. However, the ABC report, similar to most media and educational presentations about dating violence, primarily or exclusively proffer girls as docile and passive victims and boys as assertive and aggressive offenders. Hence they are actually “Violence Against Girls” presentations rather than about dating violence victimization. Domestic violence websites demonstrate the same model concerning adult heterosexual domestic violence.

Gibson begins with, “For millions of teenage girls, the first high school boyfriend is a rite of passage. What most [girls] don’t realize is that the relationship can spiral into something they never considered – violence.” Gibson does not consider, nor mention that first high school girlfriends can present problems of dating violence for boys.

Gibson then notes… click here for the rest of the article: Harmful or Helpful

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