Barbara Kay, National Post · Dec. 21, 2011 | Last Updated: Dec. 21, 2011 2:06 AM ET
One of first-wave feminism’s great achievements in the 1970s was to end the denial surrounding wife abuse in even the “best” homes. Resources for abused women proliferated. Traditional social, judicial and political attitudes toward violence against women were cleansed and reconstructed along feminist-designed lines.
But then a funny thing happened. The closet from which abuse victims were emerging had, everyone assumed, been filled with women. But honest researchers were surprised by the results of their own objective inquiries. They were all finding, independently, that intimate partner violence (IPV) is mostly bidirectional.
But by then the IPV domain was awash in heavily politicized stakeholders. Even peer-reviewed community-based studies providing politically incorrect conclusions were cut off at the pass, their researchers’ names passed over for task force appointments and the writing of training manuals for the judiciary. Neither were internal whistle-blowers suffered gladly. Erin Pizzey, who opened the first refuge for battered women in England in 1971, was “disappeared” from the feminist movement when she revealed what she learned in her own shelter: She committed a heresy by asking women about their own violence, and they told her.
The most extreme IPV is certainly male-on-female, but hard-core batterers and outright killers are rare. In violence of the mild to moderately severe variety that constitutes most of IPV – shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, throwing objects, even stabbing and burning – both genders initiate and cause harm in equal measure.
Every major survey has borne out this truth. In fact, the most reliable, like Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey, found not only that most male and female violence is reciprocal, but also that the younger the sample, the more violent the women relative to men. A meta-analysis of more than 80 large-scale surveys notes a widening, and concerning, spread – less male and more female IPV – in the dating cohort.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just published its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey to great fanfare. The survey’s central finding is – yep – that men and women inflict and suffer equal rates of IPV, with 6.5% of men and 6.3% of women experiencing partner aggression in the past year. More men (18%) suffer psychological aggression (humiliation, threats of violence, controllingness) than women (14%). Feminists often define IPV as a “pattern of power and control,” but the survey finds that men were 50% more likely to have experienced coercive control than women (15.2% vs 10.7%).
(While the CDC survey does not reference Canadian data, our IPV statistics vary significantly from the U.S.’s in certain respects. “Minor” wife assault rates as measured on the commonly employed Conflict Tactics Scale are identical, but “severe violence” rates in Canada fall as the violence ratchets up. For “kicking” and “hitting,” Canadian rates were 80% of the American rate; for “beat up,” they were 25%; and for “threatened with or used a gun/knife,” they were only 17%.)
By now there is no excuse for the failure of governments at all levels to follow through on – or at least acknowledge – the settled science of bilateral violence. Yet just last week the Justice Institute of British Columbia issued a lengthy report on “Domestic Violence Prevention and Reduction,” and sure enough, it defines domestic violence as “intimate partner violence against women,” recommending only that government work “to bridge gaps in the services and systems designed to protect women and children.”
In Rethinking Domestic Violence (2006), his third in a series of comprehensive interdisciplinary reviews of IPV and related criminal justice research, University of British Columbia psychology professor Don Dutton cuts through the politicized clutter in this domain. Dutton concludes that personality disorder, culture and a background of family dysfunction, not gender, are the best predictors of partner violence. To further IPV harm reduction, Dutton recommends individual psychological treatment or couples therapy to replace the ideology-inspired thought-reform model, imposed only on male abusers, that has been common (and largely ineffective) practice for many years.
Ironically, and unjustly, abused men today are where women were 60 years ago: their ill-treatment is ignored, trivialized or mocked; there are virtually no funded resources for them; and they are expected to suffer partner violence in silence. Which most of them do.
Who will have the courage to bell this politically correct cat? When will revenge end and fairness begin?
Is the VAWA Constitutional???
Michael Patrick Schmitt, Long Island Libertarian Examiner, March 13, 2010
VAWA, the “Violence Against Women’s Act”, is one of the most disturbing laws ever passed and is an abomination of every concept in the United States Constitution.
VAWA “is a United States federal law. It was passed as Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 HR 3355 and signed as Public Law 103-322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994. It provided $1.6 billion to enhance investigation and prosecution of the violent crime perpetrated against women, increased pre-trial detention of the accused, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted.
VAWA was drafted by then-U.S. Senator Joseph Biden’s office with support from a number of advocacy organizations including Legal Momentum and The National Organization for Women, which described the bill as “the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades.” VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 5, 2006. VAWA will be up for re authorization in 2011.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act
VAWA allows the government to arrest and hold men without a trial. A mere accusation of abuse or rape, without anything else, is sufficient for a man to be held indefinitely without a trial. This goes against all legal precedent.
Since the passage of VAWA, countless men have been falsely arrested or have had unwarranted restraining orders placed against them. VAWA has led to a rash of innumerable false accusations of rape such as the Duke and Hofstra University false rape arrests. In these cases, men were arrested, without any evidence, and had their lives destroyed. The women who later recanted their stories or had them disproved conclusively with video tape, became celebrated in the Femi-Nazi movement. No charges were filed against the women who attempted to send innocent men to jail for the rest of their lives. Rape convictions are routinely granted on no more than questionable testimony of a single “victim”. Race is often a factor. The Duke accuser was black accusing white men, and the Hofstra woman was mixed race accusing black men. Rather than being put in jail, these women were rewarded by being giving special counseling and status.
VAWA is routinely used in countless other areas for women to have an advantage over men in divorce, child custody, immigration, marriage fraud, domestic disputes, and any civil litigation where a woman is a party against a man. For example, a woman who defrauds a man into marriage for a green card gets automatic residency with the mere allegation of abuse in the marriage. A woman who claims abuse gets automatic possession of the marital home in a divorce and custody of the children. The man is automatically incarcerated without a trial and can remain in jail for years.
This is not the way America should be. Men should not be treated as second-class citizens. ALL people, men and women, black and white, should be equal in the eyes of the law.