Category Archives: Domestic Violence

False Accusations and the Denial of Men’s Emotional Pain

I keep hearing that false  accusations of rape make it harder on real victims of rape.  Really? There may be a kernel of truth in this idea but it completely ignores the trauma and pain of the man who is falsely accused. The knee jerk reaction of most people is to worry over the woman and ignore the pain of the man.

This pattern to focus on females in emotional pain and offer help whilman-164216_1280e ignoring the emotional pain of men and boys is the default in the United States.  This not only leaves our men and boys without help, it also leaves us with an ignorance about their emotional pain.

To get a sense of the emotional pain of the falsely accused listen to the words of a young man falsely accused of rape via an article on slate.com:

“My girlfriend was raped several years ago.  I was falsely accused of rape less than a year ago.  I contacted her (I had known her before her incident) because I was desperate for someone to talk to who would understand what I was going through.  To my great relief, it turned out that we understood each other very well.  From the initial stages of suicidal thoughts and not being able to function to the long-term fear, mistrust, and guilt that are facts of our lives, it turns out that her experience of being raped and mine of being falsely accused of rape were very similar. …”

He touches on some of the hallmarks of a false accusation which he and his girlfriend realized were very similar to her reaction to having been raped.  The loss of functioning, the suicidal thoughts, the long-term fear and mistrust along with the potent guilt are a few of their similar reactions. 

It often starts out innocently enough.  He hears that she has accused him of something he didn’t do.  He is not so worried, at least not at first.  He knows he did nothing wrong and figures that when people get the facts that this will blow over like a dark cloud that never rains a drop.  But, to his shock, he starts seeing that even when he speaks the truth about what actually happened he is still considered a criminal.

But our young falsely accused man goes a step farther in his descriptions of his situation.  Listen to what he says:

“One important difference, though, is that when she was violated, she received a great deal of help (medical, legal, psychological).  Apart from family and friends, I was on my own.  My legal and psychological problems had to be dealt with by me at a time when I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think (except, of course, about killing myself).”

He sees very clearly that very few believe him while nearly everyone believes the woman. The system and our culture are failing him. His pain is invisible while hers is treated with reverence, even though she is lying. 

He must be shocked by the amount of coddling and care that she gets from friends, family, the university, the authorities, and so many others.  He is likely shocked again when he compares this to the reaction he receives.  Almost no support, but plenty of negatives.

In most instances the woman is believed no matter what. The police ignore his side and treat him like a rapist, the media is more than happy to paint him as if convicted and throw his name around willy nilly with at least the inference that he is a rapist. Rape centers make demands that all those claiming to have been raped should be believed no matter what.  While it might be a good idea to put your trust in someone in crisis it quickly turns to crap if you put your trust in someone who is lying.  The rape centers refuse to admit there are liars out there and they will go to great lengths to shame the police, the hospital, the media, the public or anyone who might even ask a question about the veracity of her claims.  This sets us up for a real mess. By giving the liars a pass you set up the falsely accused for chaos.

As time goes on he realizes that he is basically alone in his knowledge of the truth.  No one believes him.  Even his friends are wondering.  He starts to feel way out on a limb and also very shocked.  It is just hard to believe that your entire universe of friends, teachers, adults are looking at you sideways due to the lies of a woman.  It’s hard to believe that a system of “justice” has gotten things so wrong and is intentionally and wrongly painting you as a criminal.  The world which not long ago seemed safe and predictable has now become unsafe and very unpredictable. This promotes confusion and  the devastating isolation that is so common for the falsely accused along with the potent fears of the world being a big unpredictable booby trap.  They feel isolated, profoundly judged and labelled, unsafe and alone and in a world that has gone mad.

This is a billboard that says double standard.  While the emotional plight of the young woman is given support at every step by friends, family, the police, courts, the media and others the emotional state of the young falsely accused male is ignored and denied.  He is viewed as the problem. She is automatically seen as a victim simply because she accuses him, he is seen as a pariah simply for being accused. He is in great pain and turmoil but no one lifts a finger to be of assistance.  The sad fact is he is presumed guilty prior to trial. He is now seen as an object, not as a human being.  He is profoundly objectified. The double standard could not be more stark.

The larger problem is that this pattern of catering to the emotional pain of females and ignoring the emotional pain of males is not exclusive to false accusations.  You see this same pattern most everyplace you look.  In my work with traumatized men over the past 30 years I have seen it repeatedly.  Time and again I would see that in a traumatized family the men’s wives would be the focus of help and the man’s pain would be ignored.  Often times people would approach the father and rather than ask about his situation they would say, “How’s your wife holding up?” The woman gets the support, the man, gets asked about his wife.

This same pattern is seen when our culture, media, and academia all focus on female victims of domestic violence and ignore the male victims.  They do this even though research shows that men are about 1/2 of the victims.  Congress sets up a billion dollar service for women and men get ignored or even blamed.

We see the same ignoring of men’s emotional pain when we see that males are 80% of completed suicide but there are no services specifically for males who are suicidal.  There is also not much research looking into why men are 80% of completed suicides.  It seems it is much easier to get funding to study women, the men get left out.  And of course, the media fails to inform the public of men in pain.  Dead silence.  Same thing with workplace deaths where men are 93% of the dead.  People simply don’t care.  If these deaths were female or even some minority the media would be screaming loudly.  But when men are the victims, we get silence.

Our culture is now and always has been very gynocentric. (for more information see http://gynocentrism.com)  One definition of gynocentrism found on that site is “any culture instituting rules for gender relationships that benefit females at the expense of males across a broad range of measures.”  When it comes to emotional needs it is clear in our culture that a woman’s emotional pain is a call to action while a man’s emotional pain is ignored.  Some try to cover this profound bias by claiming men are cold and don’t want to deal with their emotions.  But this has simply been a cover to excuse oneself from even needing to pay the slightest attention to the man’s emotional pain. Epic fail.

The contrast is great between the cultural response to female and male emotional pain.   One gets compassion and the other gets ignored, shamed, or both.  This contrast is so great that it behooves the label of bigotry. Just as we saw whites create a system where whites automatically got services superior to that of blacks today we see our government and charities  developing services where women get care and compassion far superior to that of men and no one even notices. No one.  Reminds me of a bigoted 1950’s southern town that didn’t think its action were in any way a problem. In today’s world, the status quo, that is nearly everyone, are guilty of bigotry by not having compassion for the emotional pain of men. Which side of the fence do you stand on? Are you a bigot who has little compassion for boys and men? 

Perhaps someday we will look back on this era and see its bigotry just as we now look back on the racism of the 1950’s.  I do hope that day comes quickly.

 

Original Men’s Issues Video w/ audio

 

Here is the original Men’s Issues Video with the audio:

 

After being on youtube for nearly 8 years Youtube decided that the background music in this video was a copyright infringement and without any warning simply muted the audio.  This was the first video I had done and at the time I simply didn’t think that using background music in a free, non-commercial, educational video was going to cause a fuss.  I guess I was wrong.

 

Lesson learned.

 

 

The One-Sided Narrative of Domestic Violence

Möbius_strip
The Mobius Strip only has one side and is not too dissimilar to the narrative on domestic violence.

The public is convinced that domestic violence is all about aggressive men beating up on defenseless women. While this is in some ways correct, it is only a fraction of the story.  The reality is that domestic violence is quite complex and women can be the perpetrators and men can also be the victims.  That side of the story though has been deeply buried and ignored.

How did the public come to be so misinformed?  It’s a long and involved tale.  Activists, clinicians, the media, academics and researchers have all played a part in this.  Each group has for many years only told a part of the story, the part about women as victims and men as perpetrators.  To get a good sense of this remarkable and lopsided tale you could read a report to Maryland lawmakers written by the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health that tells the story plainly about male victims of domestic violence. It does not pull punches and goes into more detail than this short article.  

It’s not hard to imagine how an activist, a clinician or the media might have a strongly biased stance that focused only on women as victims. They are all likely to have a vested interest. The activist wants more funding for their specific work, the clinician is tied to their patients and their plight, and the media will print whatever sells more papers. Female victims sell papers, male victims don’t. But how about academics and researchers? How could they play a role in this deception? One might assume that they would have an interest in getting the entire story in the open but that is far from the case.  There is no simple answer to this question but there is a fine piece of writing by Murray Straus,  a renowned family violence researcher that explains his take on this problem. (the Straus report is briefly referenced in the Maryland Men’s Health Commission report cited above) The Straus article describes seven methods used by feminist domestic violence researchers  to conceal and distort evidence on symmetry in partner violence. In other words Straus tells us how these researchers avoided talking about men as victims and women as perpetrators. The article is a remarkable story of a researcher explaining how his craft has been manipulated to tell only part of the story and therefore create a false perception among the general public, the perception that women are the sole victims of domestic violence. It is a must read for anyone who is baffled by this scenario.

Here are the Seven Methods outlined by Straus:

Method 1 Suppress Evidence
Method 2 Avoid Obtaining Data Inconsistent With the Patriarchal Dominance Theory
Method 3. Cite Only Studies That Show Male Perpetration
Method 4. Conclude That Results Support Feminist Beliefs When They Do Not
Method 5. Create “Evidence” by Citation
Method 6. Obstruct Publication of Articles and Obstruct Funding Research That Might Contradict the Idea that Male Dominance Is the Cause of PV
Method 7. Harass, Threaten, and Penalize Researchers Who Produce Evidence That Contradicts Feminist Beliefs

In this article we will be having a look at Method three which shows how researchers can choose to only cite evidence that shows male perpetration and simply omit any mention to alternatives. Straus explains that their own data may in fact have evidence of male victims but they simply choose to not include it in their studies.They simply ignore it and only promote one side of the story: female victims and male perpetrators. 

It is hard to believe that someone invested in the scientific method would stoop to such standards but Straus is 100% correct.  This has been done for years both in research and in the keeping of statistics.

In order to understand how this can happen let’s take a recent example that can show us how this works and also give us some insight into the mentality of those who might utilize such tactics.  

In September of 2014 in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine an article was published titled “Characteristics of Men Who Perpetuate Intimate Partner Violence.”  The article, as so many others before it, focused solely on men as perpetrators and women as victims. It estimated that 1 in 5 men admitted to being violent toward their spouse.  The media caught wind of this and a flood of articles were published with the headline “1 in 5 men admit to violence toward spouse.”

Here are a couple examples of the types of headlines that were seen:

psychcentral

webmd

Seeing these articles motivated me to contact the researcher, Dr Vijay Singh, and ask a few questions.  We exchanged numerous emails. In his defense, I must say that he was very generous with his time and civil in our discussions. He seems like a very nice chap but he did say some things that will help us in understanding the mentality of researchers who ignore male victims.  

The Gatekeeper

One of the first things I asked the researcher was if he had posed the same question to females about their violence towards men.  One of his eventual responses to this is below.  

“As I’d like physicians to think about asking men about IPV, a place to start is from the traditional heterosexual model of women as victims, and men as perpetrators. Eventually, physicians may get to a point of asking women about perpetration, and men about victimization. The medical community is not there yet, and may not be there for many years.”

So he is basically saying, doctors are not ready to hear about male victims or female perpetrators.  He would like them to be ready to hear about this but well, they just aren’t there yet.  This is somehow used as an excuse to not focus on male victims and female perpetrators?  It’s as if he is saying, “Maybe we will get to the men someday, maybe years from now.”  Imagine a doctor saying, “We have lots of diabetes deaths and let’s start with the white patients since that is where most physicians are comfortable, maybe someday we will get to the blacks. But let’s not talk about them since doctors may not be ready to hear about them.”  Would that go over very well?  Absolutely not,  It would be seen as hateful and racist but somehow if you do the same thing to men no one really cares.  It is also very clear that he is not willing to  point out to M.D.’s that males are indeed victims or females perpetrators.  That isn’t even on the radar.  Not to mention that the “heterosexual model” he mentioned has nothing to do with female victims and is a complete non sequitur.  (in this researcher’s defense he claims to have published research that points out females as perpetrators)

But Women are More Often the Victims!

This is a very common claim that researchers make in justifying ignoring male victims or in only serving women.  Listen to what this researcher says:

“Though women may report higher rates of perpetration, they receive more injuries from IPV, and women constitute 70% of those killed by an intimate partner. Because of the greater burden of injuries and deaths from IPV, we chose to focus on men as aggressors in our study.”

This is a very common excuse for those who are inclined to tell only half the story.  Let’s examine this just a minute.  Most research tends to show that males are a large percentage of the seriously injured in domestic violence.  The J Archer meta analysis estimated that 38% of the injuries from domestic violence were to males so I think it is safe to take this kind of claim with a grain of salt and understand it is just an excuse, not a good reason to avoid bringing up male victims and female perpetrators.  But look at the stats he quotes.  Women are 70% of those killed by an intimate partner. Yes.  Last I checked that would mean that 30% of those killed were males.  Therefore he is willing to turn his back on nearly a third of those killed each year.  To me this is bizarre and indefensible.  Blacks are 25% of those who die from heart disease. Should we have a “Heart Disease Against Whites, Hispanics and Asians Act?”  It’s an act that funnels money and services to the majority of the victims, right?  By this researcher’s logic that would be just fine.  Or maybe the Cancer Against Heterosexuals Act?  Would that work?

It turns out this researcher was aware of the fact that females reported higher rates of perpetration (we will get to this in just a minute) but he was happy to simply focus on 1 in 5 men being violent in relationship.  The only explanation that comes to my mind is that he is motivated by a gynocentrist attitude that thinks of serving females first and males as an afterthought.  

The Catch 22

This researcher claims that he was reluctant to alert physicians that men were also victims of domestic violence since, as he says, there are no interventions available.  Here’s the quote:

“…There is no effective intervention for male victims of IPV, or female perpetrators of IPV. Without an intervention, physicians don’t want to ask men or women about those behaviors. Your point that many domestic violence service agencies not wanting to work with men also complicates this issue.”

So here is the Catch 22.  Only those who have interventions available get referred and discussed.  Men get omitted since they have no interventions.  But how will men ever get interventions and service if they are not discussed? Seems like a fool proof plan to permanently exclude men and justify focusing only on women.  I do wonder what he would say if I suggested that there was a serious disease or problem where researchers didn’t have adequate services or interventions. Would he want to just keep that quiet since there were not interventions available?  I would bet not.  What we see is a callous disregard for males who have troubles.  He is insulated from any criticism  due to the profound lack of anyone in our culture standing up for the needs of boys and men.

It’s worth noting that it could be said that the interventions for female victims and male perpetrators are far from being proven effective but that doesn’t keep us focusing on women only and spending a billion dollars a year on the problem.

But wait a minute. It gets worse.

The STUDY

A public database was used for this research.  I asked the researcher for the raw numbers for females admitting violence and he refused saying I needed to find a statistician to help me obtain that data.  That smelled a little stinky to me and it made me wonder if he had something to hide.  I went about figuring a way to get the data myself and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was open for anyone to see and was online to boot!   

I taught myself the basics to get to this raw data and first looked into the ways the data was collected. They used two questions which were drawn from a nationally representative database. (NCS-R) One of the two questions asked about the respondent’s usage of minor violence towards their spouse and the other asked about severe violence.  The responses were broken down into four possibilities which detailed how often the behaviors occurred:

a. never
b. rarely
c. sometimes
d. often

These categories gave one a sense of the frequency of the behaviors being studied.  But here is the kicker.   The researchers didn’t use these four responses even though they were available on the database.  Here’s a quote from the research paper that describes what they didi:

In brief, the dependent variable IPV perpetration was assessed by asking: “Over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of these things (pushed, grabbed, or shoved; threw something; slapped or hit; kicked, bit, or hit with a fist; beat up; choked; burned or scalded; threatened with a knife or gun) to your current spouse/partner?” Responses included often, sometimes, rarely, or never. We dichotomized responses into any/none.

In other words, by “dichotomized” they mean they turned all the different four responses into either “yes” I committed violence or “no” I did not commit violence.  They took any answer that was not “never ” as constituting an incident of domestic violence. With no way of interpreting the frequency of these behaviors we are left just guessing unnecessarily.  This limits the usefulness of the data. The chart below gives you a quick look at all the answers that were not “Never.” It shows all of the positive responses (the admissions of violence) to the two questions from the database where respondents answered “Rarely”, “Sometimes” and “Often.” Notice that 87% of these responses were “Rarely.” Knowing that the vast majority have answered rarely puts a very different spin on the data.  But since the study has removed this information it leaves the reader unaware of any frequency information and it is anyone’s guess what people will assume. If you only read their study with their dichotomized data and don’t know about this detail of the data you might assume that all of those responses were incidents of serious violence. Have a look at this chart and see how the vast majority of answers were “Rarely” (457) and there were very few “Sometimes” (63) and fewer still “Often.” (7)   

all-responses

Why would researchers do this sort of thing? I am not sure what their reasons were but it is clear that by counting the incidences as they did it will tend to inflate the appearance of domestic violence.  This gave them the ability to make the claim that 1 in five men “admitted” to being violent towards their spouse.  Just imagine if they had not dumbed down the data.  They would have had to say “One in five men admitted to rarely being violent towards his spouse and one in 1000 answered “Often.’  It just loses its sexiness doesn’t it?  

Then the question arises why would any researcher want to diminish the information in his data?  It might have been very instructive if they could differentiate the different levels of frequency of violence.  They could then say things like “Those men who claimed to “often” use violence towards their spouse were more likely to x than the men who said “rarely.”  This could be very helpful information to clinicians, law enforcement, and many others but we simply don’t see that level of detail since the data has been “dichotomized.” My guess is that the motive here is to inflate the appearance of domestic violence and by doing this they get more likelihood of funding for their next study.   But this is just my guess.

When people think about domestic violence they are often thinking of someone being severely beaten. They are not thinking of someone who gave a gentle push or grabbed an arm in a moment of irritation and both parties then calming down shortly thereafter.  But the way these questions were asked all of the “rarely” responses could be just that: a momentary irritation.  One of the questions asked a list of behaviors including if you had ever pushed or grabbed  your spouse.  If you pushed your spouse 20 years ago and never pushed her again you would answer yes to this question and would be counted as someone who admitted to violence in relationship. The way the questions were worded leaves us wondering about the severity of violence associated with the “Rarely” responses. It is possible that with the wording of the questions that the “Rarely” category might be a slight push every twenty years. So just to experiment, let’s exclude these “rarely ” responses and only count the “sometimes” and “often” responses as being evidence of more serious domestic violence the situation changes dramatically.  Now instead of being 1 in 5 it is more like 1 in 50.  Even that I think is not accurate.  If you exclude the sometimes responses and only count for the question about severe violence the figure drops to 1 fifth of one percent .17% (about 1 in 500) Very very low but these researchers tried to paint a picture using all of the positive responses as being a “yes” thus creating the appearance of a more widespread problem. 

But with these caveats let’s accept this as it is and move on.

We have seen how this researcher harbors ideas that are likely to diminish the chances of male victims being highlighted.  We have seen how the data was “dichotomized” and how this may have altered the meaning of the numbers to the general public.  Now let’s turn to the stunning fact that the database he used for this study to show how 1 in 5 men admitted to being violent with their spouse actually showed that women admitted to more violence in relationship than did the men, sometimes by as much as double.  Let’s look at each of the two questions. 

Here’s the first:

MR42. F (RB, PG 56)
People handle disagreements in many different ways. Over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of these things on List A to your [(current)] [(spouse/partner)] – often, sometimes, rarely or never?

         List A
          ·  Pushed, grabbed or shoved
· Threw something
· Slapped, hit, or spanked

Let’s have a look at a chart that shows both men’s and women’s response to that question.

admits-min-viol-full2

Note that the majority of responses were “Never” with “Rarely” coming in a distant second.  Then note that the “Sometimes” and “Often” responses are a very small number in comparison.  You will see that of the responses that admitted to any violence (rarely, sometimes, and often) the female totals were always higher than the males.  In the sometimes and often responses they were almost double. This is remarkable but it got buried by the researchers only focusing on male violence.  Also note that the males admitting to minor violence are about 15.5% of the total while the females admitting minor violence are about 21%.  That is quite a gap.

So we can easily see that the researcher simply ignored the female data.  It was there but he chose to turn his head. 

Next up is the question about severe violence. Here is the question as it was asked:


MR44. F (RB, PG 56)
Now looking at List B, over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of the things on List B to your [(spouse/partner)] – often, sometimes, rarely, or never?

LIST B
Kicked, bit or hit with a fist
Beat up
Choked
Burned or scalded
Threatened with a knife or gun

See the chart below and notice that the same patterns play out in this chart with the major difference being that the numbers are sharply diminished.  Again notice that the female numbers are always higher than the males and in the “sometimes” and “often” responses are double or more.

admit-seve-viol-full2

This seems like a very important difference that is contrary to the stereotype that has become the norm.  The least that needs to be done is for the researchers to attempt to explain this difference.  I am willing to bet that their explanation would  focus on the man’s unwillingness to tell the truth.  This explanation might have some credibility since men are far more likely to face harsh judgement and shaming for admitting hitting a woman while women do not face nearly the same sorts of judgements for hitting men.  But the data does not support this idea.  There were other questions on this same database about domestic violence and one of those asked the respondent for the frequency of how often the spouse hit them.  If we assume that men were lying about their violence we would expect that the women’s responses to how often their spouse was violent towards them would show that their masculine partners were more violent and the women’s numbers about the men being violent would be greater than the men’s numbers.  But that is not what the responses show.  The responses show that women reported that men hit them less than the men report the women hitting them.  This seems to support the idea that women are more violent in relationships (at least in this sample) just as the raw data from these questions suggests.

It is also worth noting that just as the researchers “dichotomized” the Rarely, Sometimes and Often responses into yes or no, they have also combined the question about severe violence and minor violence into one unit that is expressed as a yes or no.  If someone answered affirmatively to either of these questions it was counted as an incident of violence. But keep in mind that there were nearly seven times as many affirmative responses to the question about minor violence when compared to the severe violence.  These important differences disappear when the data is simply totaled and you ignore both the frequency and the severity. Again, the same theme plays out that “dichotomizing” the data and now the questions puts strong and unnecessary limits on its usefulness.  The only reasons I can imagine they would want to do this would be to inflate the appearance of domestic violence. Just as the activists, media and so many others try to paint an exaggerated picture we now see the researchers apparently taking a similar path.

It seems to me that List B is more representative of what most of us consider domestic violence.  Kicking, beating up, choking, threatening with knife or gun etc.  These are indicators of serious violence.  If we only look at the percentages of this question we see that the number of females admitting severe violence totaled 3.1% (approx. 1 in 32) while the males admitting severe violence totaled 2.2% (approx. 1 in 45).  That says that nearly 60% of those admitting to severe violence are women.  What?  Has anyone heard any research that points to those numbers?  No.  And that is the point of this article.  We have heard only half the story and as evidenced by this research the numbers were there, the researchers simply opted to ignore them thus leaving most of us in the dark about the realities of domestic violence.

Conclusion

We have seen how the ideas and attitudes of the researcher played out in only reporting one side of this story.  We have seen how the “dichotomizing” of the data and the questions basically dumbed down the data and made if less useful by making it a simple yes or no. We have seen how very shocking and informative data that conclusively shows that women admitted to being more violent in relationship was ignored and unreported.  This all facilitates the promotion of the default narrative of women as victims and men as perpetrators by only telling the story about male perpetrators and female victims.   We have seen how this works and the powerful national media’s willingness to promote this half story on a national level.

Look at the headline below. Now you know this headline should actually read “1 in 4 American Women admit to domestic violence.”


feministing2

Can you imagine seeing an article like the one pictured below in  a mainstream media publication?  I would bet not.  But like it or not, that is actually the truth.

newspaper (1)

It’s time we started holding researchers, the media and all of those connected to domestic violence accountable.  This charade has gone on far too long.

Domestic Violence Double Standards: Men Get Shackles, Women Get Chuckles

Ray-Rice-married.final

Ray Rice got a raw deal.  

We are living in a world of huge double standards when it comes to domestic violence and our men are on the bad end of the deal.  When a man commits domestic violence  he is punished very harshly.  But when a woman commits domestic violence she gets cheers, chuckles or is all too often ignored.

Just look at what happened to Ray Rice.

The video of the incident showed Rice’s girlfriend (and soon to be wife) hitting him twice, once before getting on the elevator and once on the elevator.  Then it shows her moving aggressively towards him in what appears to be an attempt to strike him a third time. (please note this not a defenseless woman cowering in the corner) Rice responds by hitting her in the face and she hits her head on a handrail which then knocks her out.  The eventual response to this incident?  Ban Ray Rice from his lucrative association with the NFL, and be fired from his team, the Baltimore Ravens.  These two things obviously shame him, put a big DV on his forehead, cut off his income, his prestige, and his association with his friends and teammates.  A very harsh and far too stringent response in my opinion.  But wait.  What would happen if we reversed the roles here?

Let’s see.

Imagine this: Ray Rice hits his girlfriend before getting on the elevator and then again on the elevator.  Then moves aggressively towards her in what appears to be a third attempt to hit her.  As he moves in to hit her she hits him in the face and he hits his head on a handrail knocking him out. What is the response to this?  My guess is she would get accolades and be seen as a hero, a woman who successfully protected herself from an abuser.  She would likely be on talk shows and be held up as a role model for all women.  Rice would likely be arrested for domestic violence while she is seen as a hero.

Do you see the problem here?   For the same behavior she is a hero and he is shamed and banished.

So Ray Rice was not guilty of beating up on a completely defenseless woman.  No.  As we previously described this was not some cowering woman in the corner covering her face with her arms and hoping not to be hit, this was an aggressive woman who had already struck him twice and was moving in for the  third blow.  This is very different from a defenseless women.  Yes, Ray needs to take responsibility for hitting her but doesn’t she need to take responsibility for hitting him? Isn’t she clearly guilty of domestic violence?  I read quite a few articles on this incident and I simply don’t remember ever seeing her violence addressed. No one ever mentioned it.  Just another example of the huge double standard we face.  It is so powerful that the media simply ignores the violence of women.  The youtube with this article shows numerous women who were violent in relationship and what was the response?  Laughter and very little.

I think the NFL really blew it on this one.  

The punishment he received was far from helpful.  What sort of help might he get from being banished from his profession?  What sort of help might it give his wife?  None. The sad fact is that the NFL acted like a cowardly white knight who was more than willing to throw Mr Rice under the team bus in order to appear that they didn’t hate women and had uber concern about the issue of domestic violence.  It just seems like one big disgusting play for image by the NFL.  A play that ignores the humanity of both Rice and his wife.

What happens to the man on the street who hits a woman?  Is he tossed out of his job as punishment?  No.  Is he banned from working in his profession?  Highly unlikely.  Is he offered some form of counseling or educational opportunity that might help him deal with his mess?  Yes, usually, and in severe cases people go to jail but apparently the Ray Rice situation found that he was best served by this former alternative but the NFL stepped in and amped up the ante to an extremely humiliating degree.  

Does the fact that she didn’t hit as hard matter?  Not really.  If a 5’ 7” 150 lb man came to me in therapy and said that he had hit a pro football player twice in an elevator and was moving towards him again to land a third blow and he got knocked out what would I tell him?  Would I tell him that he should have the pro football player arrested and that he was a victim?  Or should I tell him that his behavior was a part of this equation.  Duh.  Why doesn’t Mrs Rice get the same treatment?  Because we are living in a gynocentric world that holds men accountable and fails to do the same for women.

If we are going to let women off and not hold them accountable for domestic violence than we need to do the same with men.  If we are truly equal it is the only fair thing to do.

Why is it dangerous to bring up that men are victims of DV?

This is anyone’s guess. My own sense is that the entire domestic violence industry is built on the Duluth Model which holds men as being violent and the perpetrators and women as the victims. The system has been built from the ground up with that thesis. One needs only look at the public service announcements that any domestic violence center produces and it is easy to see that the over-riding assumption is that women are the victims and men the perps. Have you ever seen a public service announcement that is directed towards men who are victims of domestic violence? I would bet not.

The domestic violence emergency shelters are only for women. They only allow female residents and staff. No men allowed. Most shelters will not allow young boys above the age of 12 in the shelters. They are considered dangerous. The staff of the shelters is largely volunteer driven and many of the volunteers are women who have been victims of domestic violence. These women obviously have a viewpoint that is skewed towards believing that men are the violent ones and that women are the victims.

There are a number of reports from ex-staff members of shelters who discuss the blaming of men that goes on. The staff are largely radical feminists who already have an ax to grind in blaming men and add to that the volunteer staff who have personal experiences that lead them in a similar direction. This leaves us with the paid staff and the volunteers likely being anti-male.

Information about Domestic Violence

There is an interesting battle of information going on in the domestic violence scene. The service providers and legislators offer statistics that show the ever increasing incidence of domestic violence. It faithfully shows that men are the perpetrators and women are the victims. Importantly most of their numbers come from hospital and police records or their own statistics. This gives them a decidedly biased flavor. The flavor is that women are nearly the only victims and men the only perpetrators. Keep in mind that the services they offer are for women only. Imagine that we built a hospital for only Caucasian diabetics our statistics would reflect that whites were the overwhelming majority of people we served. We could easily make a case for the need for more services for whites who had diabetes and disregard the need for other races. In the same way, the domestic violence industry’s reliance on their own statistics is skewed and misleading and fails to count the male victims due to its bias.

But what if someone else studied the problem from a different perspective? A perspective that relied on scholarly research in peer reviewed scientific Journals? That is just what has happened. There is an alternate voice that paints a very different picture. Bonafide peer reviewed research. When you look at the scientific research on domestic violence done by legitimate scientists in studies that are supervised by other non-partisan scientists you get a very different story. What you find is that women actually initiate domestic violence more often than men. You also find that men are a significant portion of the injured victims of domestic violence. The Archer meta-analysis published in Psychological Bulletin (2000) looked at all the previous research and found that when they were all tallied that men comprised 38% of the injured victims! Starkly different figures than you get with the stats offered by the domestic violence industry.

For a quick look at a listing of numerous scientific studies you can go to Martin Fieberts page. Skim through the entries and get a sense of the number of studies that have come to the same conclusion: that domestic violence is a two way street with both men and women being victims and perpetrators. In fact Murray Strauss PhD., one of the grandfathers of domestic violence research, states that domestic violence is 25% men beating women, 25% women beating men, and 50% brawl between the two.

The obvious question is why do we have no services for men?