July 7, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
We’ve known for decades that women and men are about equally likely to commit domestic violence. We’ve had solid information on the subject since around 1971 when Erin Pizzey opened the first women’s DV shelter in England. There she found that 62% of the women who came to her were as violent or more violent than the men they’d left.
That information didn’t sit well with gender feminists who, even at that early date, had come to see the issue of domestic violence as an important lever with which they could at once pry apart male/female intimate relationships and pry open government treasuries. So Pizzey was drummed out of the movement, fleeing to America in the face of death threats and the murder of her dog.
Since then, the issue of domestic violence has been a race between gender feminist ideology and reputable science. The race isn’t over yet by a long shot, but for four decades, gender feminism has left science in the dust. Essentially everywhere we look, what people understand to be the realities of domestic violence are the fictions peddled by gender feminists in the domestic violence movement.
Of course good science has opposed those fictions almost from the start. The idea that men are the sole perpetrators of domestic violence has long been known to be false and the DV establishment has retreated from that claim. But they’ve only retrenched, claiming that, whenever women are violent, it’s only in self-defense. That too is hocus-pocus, as good science by reliable scientists has long shown.
But whatever the state of the science may be, the domestic violence establishment and their many benefactors, both in and outside of government, don’t care. So rivers of dollars flow to domestic violence entities that routinely purvey notions, long established to be false. The unsurprising result is that those entities that supposedly address the problem actually do little but repeat the mantra of gender feminism – it’s all the fault of the Patriarchy. Even if that were true, it’s hard to figure how the information might do anything to reduce intimate partner violence. But of course, since it’s not true, we have organizations, paid by the U.S. government, preaching “male privilege” to men ordered by courts to listen to that nonsense in the quixotic belief that the experience might help them in their intimate relationships.
Of course a quick peek at the tenets of gender feminism will tell anyone that the point is not to improve relationships between men and women, but to separate them altogether. And achievements like the shelter system, restraining order legislation, mandatory arrest policies, dominant abuser policies, child support policies and the like go a long way toward exactly that. This is not to say that there’s no need for DV shelters; there is. But the concept of shelters springs from the same place as all the others – the desire to remove men from the lives of women.
What we’re left with, after all these years, is a system that’s massively funded, utterly incompetent to deal with the problem of DV and does substantial damage to due process of law in the process. Not much to crow about. Exactly why we’ve established a public policy that is, across the board, so dysfunctional, so unable to address the sole problem it’s aimed at, is a subject for another post.
But now there’s yet another study that tells us more of what we already know. Read about it here (Daily Mail, 6/26/14).
Increasing numbers of women can now be classed as ‘intimate terrorists’, meaning that they are verbally and physically violent towards a partner.
Psychologists at the University of Cumbria questioned 1,104 young men and women using a scale of behaviour which ranged from shouting and insulting to pushing, beating and using weapons.
They discovered that women were ‘significantly’ more likely to be verbally and physically aggressive to men than vice versa.
They concluded that violence was linked to controlling behaviour such as checking up on partners and persuading them not to see certain friends…
Study leader Dr Elizabeth Bates said: ‘The stereotypical popular view is still one of dominant control by men. That does occur but research over the last ten to 15 years has highlighted the fact that women are controlling and aggressive in relationships too.’
She said scientists may have to think again about the reasons for male violence against women, which previous studies said arose from ‘patriarchal values’ in which men are motivated to seek to control women’s behaviour, using violence if necessary.
She said other research also looked at men in prisons and women in refuges, rather than typical members of the public.
The study team were surprised at the level of violence shown by some women, revealed in answers to an anonymous questionnaire.
Dr Bates, who presented her findings at the annual meeting of the forensic division of the British Psychological Society, in Glasgow, said: ‘It wasn’t just pushing and shoving. Some people were circling the boxes for things like beating up, kicking, and threatening to use a weapon.’
She added men may be starting to report the issue more often. ‘A contributing factor could be that in the past women have talked about it more,’ she said. ‘The feminist movement made violence towards women something we talk about.
‘Now there is more support for men and more of them are feeling comfortable coming forward.’
The analysis showed that, while women tended to be more physically aggressive towards their partners, men were more likely to show violence towards members of the same sex, including friends.
One of the many problems with the gender feminist paradigm is that, because it denies the fact of women’s violence, also denies violent women any help with their problem. So, when they attack their male partners, the men often respond in kind, and that’s one of the main ways in which women are injured in intimate partner altercations. As previous studies have unequivocally shown, if women will refrain from initiating violence, they’ll be much safer. The concept of course is anathema to gender feminists, which adds evidence to the proposition that the domestic violence establishment is more about separating women from men than keeping women (or men) safe from their partners.
The fact is, we know a good bit about who commits DV, why and how to stop it. To a great extent, domestic violence is learned in the home at an early age. Children who are hit by their parents or who frequently witness their parents hitting each other are far more likely than others to grow up to do the same. Large numbers of people who engage in domestic violence can be helped to ameliorate their behavior. But they can’t do so if the only intervention available to them is the one that still says, against all the evidence, that “the Patriarchy” teaches men it’s OK to batter women in order to keep them under their thumbs.
If we wanted to fix our DV problem, we’d do a lot of things differently. That we don’t strongly suggests we’re happy with the status quo. That of course includes separating fathers from their children sometimes on the barest allegations of DV.
Still, like a steady drip of water on stone, the truth about DV as revealed by the science on it, will change our understanding, and ultimately our policy on domestic violence. Dr. Bates’s study is one of those small, but not inconsequential drips.
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