DV Conference Report #12: 'Every time we tried to say that women's intimate partner abuse is different than men's, the evidence did not support it'
Sacramento, CA--Background: The historic, one-of-a-kind conference "From Ideology to Inclusion: Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence" was held in Sacramento, California February 15-16 and was a major success. The conference was sponsored by the California Alliance for Families and Children and featured leading domestic violence authorities from around the world. Many of these researchers are part of the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center, which is challenging the domestic violence establishment's stranglehold on the issue. The NFVLRC promotes gender-natural, research-based DV policies. I have been and will continue to detail the conference and some of the research that was presented there in this blog--to learn more, click here. Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling (pictured, photo by Kevin Graft) of the University of South Alabama specializes in Juvenile, Family, and Intimate Partner Violence. Her email address is [email protected]. At the conference, she co-presented the Plenary "Family Roots of Adolescent Violence in Relationships and Effective Interventions: A Developmental and Relational Perspective" with Marlene Moretti, PhD. Some of the points Jennifer made include: 1) When grappling with the emerging reality that women commit Intimate Partner Violence as often as men, she said, "Every time we tried to say that women's intimate partner abuse is different than men's, the evidence did not support it." 2) Jennifer interviewed women in shelters about whether they had stalked their intimate partners. She wanted to ask them if they had committed violence against their intimate partners, but was not allowed to. She says that 25% of the women who were being stalked by their intimate partners said they had stalked their partners too. 3) Jennifer wondered why some of the women were leaving the battered women's shelter in less than a week. The answer, she said, is that they too were engaging in violence against their partners, and in some cases had left to pick up the battle again. Jennifer explained, "We weren't helping these women because we were ignoring their paradigm." 4) Jennifer also said that many women who stay with their batterers or abusers are not staying out of fear or because of their kids. "Love has a lot to do with it," she explained. 5) She said that some of her work has been "suppressed," and that people in positions of authority have refused to publish it. 6) She believes that in some ways Intimate Partner Violence researchers have not done enough to bring their findings to the media and to present it in ways that are commonly understandable and digestible. She says that among researchers in many fields, there is a perverse desire to make the academic journals as difficult for the layperson to understand as possible. She criticized this.