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The hidden half of domestic violence

How to have eternal life


Another newspaper falls into deep sexism
This newspaper printed a false citation backing up its claims.
A search of the BJS website for the keywords "special report and violence
against women"
turns up 20 reports, none of which have the stated title, and none of which
appear to
make the wild assertions below.
Try the search for yourself at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/search97cgi/s97_cgi
Please note that the reports by the BJS on domestic are not highly respected in
the scientific community because they rely very heavily on information garnered
either
solely or predominantly from information recieved from women's abuse centers,
which
of course do not ask about women's abuse of men, and do not interview men about
women's abuse of men.
-------------------------------------------
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=1437172&BRD=1897&PAG=461&dept_id=123365&rfi=6
Domestic abuse: a view from the inside
By Shannon Sollinger	February 21, 2001
Call her Jane Doe, because she is anonymous but she is legion. She lives in
Loudoun, east and west. She's the woman across the street, the girl at the
checkout counter, the teacher, the volunteer. She's a blue collar worker and
a lady of leisure out on the golf links.
Domestic violence statistics Domestic abuse resources Purcellville mourns
two victims School counselors make good listeners
And she lives in fear, every day, of her husband, significant other,
ex-husband. She fears for her children, and she fears for herself. She fears
that she will end up like Peggy Thompson, shot in front of her children in
her own home, by her husband, a week ago.
This specific Jane Doe refuses to hide in the house. If he shoots her, she
says, he'll have to do it in public.
"Don't call it domestic violence," she says. "Call it abuse."
Her one experience is highly personal, but too much like too many others.
The divorce process she calls "legally sanctioned spouse abuse." From the
police to the magistrates to the lawyers to the judges, the battered woman
finds only obstacles, never support, she says.
During the divorce process (Virginia demands a one-year separation), her
soon-to-be-ex-husband would send process servers in the middle of the night
rather than send paperwork by certified mail. The process server always
seemed to be a "really big, threatening guy. He would bang on the door till
I answered, wake the kids, yell through the door. They would be scared to
death. It's all legal."
If he was hanging around the house she moved to with the children and she
called the Sheriff's Office, they would say, "Call your attorney." If you
don't have an attorney, call the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter, which keeps
one part-time attorney on staff and she can't deal with contested divorces.
Several tries to get a protective order have ended in failure, nixed by a
judge who clearly thought she was lying to advance her case in the divorce.
And, as one Sheriff's Deputy told her, "No piece of paper can protect you."
Once, he threw firecrackers in the driveway. "Fear is very controlling," she
says with a grimace. When the deputies arrive, three hours after her first
call, they say they can't do anything, they haven't seen anything.
Another judge found him not guilty of trespassing and "argued with me about
where the property lines are in court. She accepted his story that he was
not directly on the property. Not Guilty."
She is "very critical of the legal community in Loudoun. Every attorney in
domestic relations, she says, should be required to take a course in family
abuse. The bar exam includes only one question in that area, and it deals
with division of property.
"When you end a relationship, you don't realize you will not be believed."
She seemed to have it all. A charming, affectionate husband. A lovely home
in the country. A good car.The financial means to stay home and be a
full-time mother. Lots of things.
Today she lives in near poverty and devotes seemingly endless hours to court
appearances. Nobody, she says, would do this lightly. She left because she
feared for her children. The day he loosed his rage on a family pet, "I knew
that moment I had to get the kids out."
"People can't believe what you're doing. They see the guy in public, all
those possessions."
They were introduced by friends and dated for two years. And don't ask her
if she "noticed something" while they were dating. The first signs of
trouble came after the birth of their first child; he was strangely
negligent. He'd leave the crib rail down, accidentally double the dose of
Tylenol.
She insists that she didn't give up easily. Marriage counselling, therapy,
medication. Like many abused women, she tried to change her behavior, to
keep him happy. Maybe if I spent less money, or kept the house cleaner, or
keep the kids quieter, he will be calm. None of it works.
There have been two assault and battery encounters with him since then. She
only exchanges the children for court-ordered visitation in a public place.
Her request for a protective order was turned down by the court when a key
witness refused to testify. She knows more about the three levels of courts
and multiple law enforcement systems in two counties and two states than
anyone should.
Yet another judge concluded that she is "willfully unemployed" and refused
to award child care expenses. Without child care, steady work is nearly
impossible.
"Money is a huge issue, a huge impediment for a woman leaving an abusive
relationship." She offers a "for instance": you can only buy food, not
supplies at the food banks. You can't buy diapers with food stamps, but day
care centers will only accept clients who bring disposable diapers with them.
Because in most abuse cases the woman has the children and the least
resources, the children are left without a voice in court, she insists. The
courts overlook the effect of abuse of the mother on children who see it.
Counselling sessions, especially the children's group at LAWS, help every
day. She's getting over it, but "incrementally. Every day is a stepping
stone. Loudoun County does not respond to a call from a terrified woman. I
focus myself and my children on positive experiences."
And next month, she'll be back in court, again. Domestic violence:
By the numbers
·Domestic violence crosses ethnic, racial, age, national origin, sexual
orientation, religious and socioeconomic lines.
·By some estimates, 4 million American women experience a serious assault by
an intimate partner during an average 12-month period.
·Nearly one in three adult women experience at least one physical assault by
a partner during adulthood.
·Twenty-eight percent of all annual violence against women is perpetrated by
intimates.·Five percent of all annual violence against men is perpetrated by
intimates.
·Domestic violence is statistically consistent across racial and ethnic
boundaries.
·Batterers and victims may experience domestic violence at any age.·Women
ages 19-29 reported more violence by intimates than any other age group.
·An overwhelming majority of domestic violence victims in heterosexual
relationships are women.·Domestic violence has immediate and long term
detrimental effects on children.
·Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by
family members against their mothers or female caretakers.
·In homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely
to be abused.
·Immigrant women may suffer higher rates of battering than U.S. citizens
because they come from cultures that accept domestic violence or because
they have less access to legal and social services than U.S. citizens. In
addition, immigrant batterers and victims may believe that the penalties and
protections of the U.S. legal system do not apply to them.
·Battering tends to be a pattern of violence rather than a one-time
occurrence. During the six months following an episode of domestic violence,
32 percent of battered women are victimized again.·Forty to 60 percent of
men who abuse women also abuse children.
·Many battered women attempt to physically defend themselves from abuse.
·Marital homicide differs significantly by gender: a large proportion of the
killings by women are acts of self-defense, while almost none of the
killings by men are acts of self-defense.
·Female victims of violence are 2.5 times more likely to be injured when the
violence is committed by an intimate than when committed by a stranger.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women

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