Men railroaded by corrupt family violence research
Friday, August 19, 2005
One in Three Campaign

For thirty years now, researchers have known that wives kick, punch, stab, or shoot their husbands about as often as husbands kick, punch, stab, or shoot their wives. But federal law ignores the facts and instead uses the power of the purse to get states to impose Kafkaesque policies that punish victimized men and reward violent women.

Back in 1975, the First National Family Violence Survey turned up results that surprised even the sociologists conducting the survey. Wives attack husbands about as often as husbands attack wives. And wives attack first about as often as husbands attack first, which is strong evidence that women’s assaults on men can’t be explained away simply as self-defense. But battered women’s advocates were intent on portraying domestic violence as something only men do and only women suffer from. So they’d conveniently leave out the part about women’s assaults on men whenever they cited the study’s results.

Susan R. Paisner is a criminologist and longtime advocate for abused women and men. She recalls being stunned by the hostile attitudes toward male victims that she encountered at one of the nation’s first conferences on domestic violence. She naively thought that “we were all there to do good -- for all who needed it.” Yet when she mentioned having read a brief newspaper article about male victims, many of the other women at the conference turned on her, saying, “This is OUR issue, OUR cause. If men are battered, then let other MEN do something for them.”

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Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
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