Sunday, August 9, 2009

The domestic violence double standard

From MSN.com, on the double standard when men are the victims of domestic violence:
Four Sacramento County Sheriff's cars pulled up in front of David Woods's house. He tried to explain to them what happened. But the lead deputy cut him off: "Yeah, that's fine. Put your hands behind your back."

David said, "No, wait, she stabbed me ... there's the knife. See the knife? See my neck wound? See?"

"Put your hands behind your back. Turn around," the deputy replied.

"No," David protested. "She stabbed..."

The deputies drew their weapons. David's little daughters came running out of the back bedroom pleading, "Leave Daddy alone! Mamma tried to hurt him with a knife!"

One deputy, a woman, took the children in the bedroom and shut the door. David stood there, cuffed.

How the fight began

David's wife Ruth had taken the kids out for a walk in 39 degree weather -- for seven hours.

"By the time she got back their fingers were blue, their lips were blue, their ears were blue," David says. The children were soaked; she was soaked. We argued for an hour. "We had to put them in a warm bath to warm them up; they were hypothermic.

Then she started cutting up vegetables for dinner. She had a serrated vegetable knife with a blade about seven inches long. She turned around and she stabbed at me.

"I tried to block it, but I was surprised. I was off balance...the knife went right through my collar and gave me a little nick on my neck.

"She reared back to stab me again. I tried to block it again...I hit her in the mouth. She dropped the knife, ran to the telephone, called 911, and told them, 'My husband is hitting me! I think he's gonna kill me.'

"When she dropped the knife, I stood over it. I wouldn't let her hide the knife. I was going to say to the police, 'See? She tried to stab me.'"

The truth came from the kids

After 15 minutes, the female deputy returned from the bedroom after talking to David's children. She told the other deputies, "It's true. Both of the daughters saw it. She tried to stab him with the knife."

They took the cuffs off David. "Your wife obviously needs help," the lead deputy said. "She works for Kaiser, you've got health insurance that covers mental health, you need to call the emergency number and get her an appointment."

David says there's a double standard when it comes to charging men. "Now, isn't that strange? When she had a fat lip, it was a felony and I was going to jail. But when they finally realized that she tried to stab me in the neck, it stopped being a crime, and instead it was a mental health issue." [emphasis added]...

Read the rest here. A worthwhile read. The article cites this interesting statistic:
Domestic violence committed by women against men is generally ignored or minimized, yet more than 200 studies have found that women initiate at least as much domestic violence (DV) against their male partners as males initiate against their female partners. Research shows that men comprise about a third of DV injuries and deaths. Women often compensate for their lack of physical strength by employing weapons and the element of surprise -- just as David Woods' wife did, and just as recently murdered former NFL star Steve McNair's girlfriend allegedly did. [emphasis added]

And a CDC study:
The most recent large-scale study of DV was conducted by Center for Disease Control and Prevention researchers and published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, which surveyed 11,000 men and women, found that according to both men's and women's accounts, 50 percent of the violence in their relationships was reciprocal (involving both parties). In those cases, the women were more likely to have been the first to strike. Moreover, when the violence was one-sided, both women and men said that women were the perpetrators about 70 percent of the time. [emphasis added]

As the Woods' case shows (as detailed in the article), not only does a double standard exist, but some women know how to use that fact to manipulate the system to their advantage, and to disadvantage their male partners. The losers are often the children.

1 comment:

Sailorcurt said...

The losers are often the children.

The children ALWAYS lose in these situations...but don't forget the men who get a bogus DV conviction and lose their rights forever as a result (even if it was only a misdemeanor conviction.