The Daily Beast has an article by Philip W. Cook titled In Cases of Domestic Violence, Men Are Also Victims (H/T Dr. Helen). Cook explains that despite the perception crafted by domestic violence advocacy groups, women commit domestic violence as often if not more often than men:
Straus and his colleagues found that in minor violence, the incident rates were equal for men and women. In cases of severe violence, more men were victimized than women, with 1.8 million women victims of severe violence and 2 million male victims of severe violence a year. Women suffer a greater amount of total injuries ranging from mild to serious, but when it comes to serious injuries where weapons and object use come into play, the injury rate may be about the same.
Hundreds of scientific studies support what every experienced law-enforcement officer knows: half the time, it is a case of mutual combat; a quarter of the time only the woman is violent; a quarter of the time only the man is.
While I applaud Mr. Cook for his efforts to make the true facts of the situation known, the problem is domestic violence advocacy is seldom about simply protecting actual victims of abuse, and almost always involves a naked attempt by feminists to cow men (especially husbands) into submission, just as feminists have done with divorce.
Feminists are getting away with this because almost no one notices the bait and switch. As with the sign pictured above, domestic violence groups claim their focus is to “save a life”, using what at first glance are gender neutral terms. But as with the billboard, once you look just a bit closer it is clear the only people they are focusing on protecting are women. Moreover, while the headline advertises stopping violence and saving lives, if you go to the site listed on the sign another agenda becomes clear.
Are you being abused? Take the Dating Violence Quiz at the Women In Need website. As the page explains, if you answer yes to even one of these questions, “you may be in an abusive dating relationship”. As is standard for this kind of quiz, actual abuse is presented alongside scenarios where men aren’t doing what women want. ”Shove you, slap you, or hit you?” is presented along with:
Threaten to break up with you?
In a bit of truly amazing rationalization, one question manages to create a scenario where it is abusive if one partner takes the other’s money, makes the other ask before handing over money, or refuses to give the other money:
Take your money, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
But if one partner taking the other partner’s money is abuse, then how can failing to turn your money over, or even failing to do so without being asked also be abuse? The answer of course is it depends on which partner we are talking about. A man who takes his girlfriend/wife’s earnings is implied to be an abuser, as is a man who doesn’t allow his wife/girlfriend to take his money (or only does so after being asked). More importantly, how did we move from hit/slap/shove to he doesn’t give me money?
On the site’s advocacy page they explain that one sign of abuse is a man who believes in traditional sex roles, what they call “Rigid Sex Roles”. I can only assume they make an allowance for traditional roles when it comes to which sex spends money earned by the other sex. Either way, the conflation of traditional sex roles with abuse is getting to the heart of the matter.
This issue is as I mentioned above far too often about the power dynamics of marriage (and other relationships) instead of being about real abuse. Feminists object to men in the role of head of household, and domestic violence laws and advocacy are an incredibly effective club feminists are using to beat down traditional husbands. The highly influential Duluth Power and Control Wheel is as upfront about this as one can imagine. From the Duluth Model website:
Everyone can take steps to end violence.
Here are some key ways to stop violence in your community:
Don’t ignore violence or tactics of power and control you see in relationships of friends, family or neighbors.
Download a copy of our Power and Control Wheel to help identify common tactics used and spot abuse as it happens. Help victims and offenders get the help they need before it is too late.
One of the spokes in the Power and Control Wheel is:
Using Male Privilege
Treating her like a servant
making all the big decisions
acting like the “master of the castle”
being the one to define men’s and women’s roles
They offer their Equality Wheel as the antidote to domestic violence. The Equality Wheel includes gems like:
Listening to her non-judgmentally
being emotionally affirming and understanding
valuing her opinions
On the same page they explain the need to indoctrinate law enforcement with their material:
Help your community start a “coordinated community response” to domestic violence.
When everyone from 911 operators to judges have a plan of agreement of how to appropriately respond, battered women and their children are safer and batterers are held accountable and given opportunities to change. Contact our National Training Project at 866-417-6111, option 1, or visit our training and resource materials pages to learn more about starting a coordinated community response in your community.
In their FAQ they explain why they don’t take a gender neutral approach (emphasis mine):
The battering of women by men continues to be a significant social problem–men commit over 85% of all criminal assaults and women are killed 3.5 times more often than men in domestic homicides. Not naming this gender disparity, and the continued underlying social, cultural and institutional structures that support it, keeps us from naming the social problem for what it is. While we do recognize there are cases of domestic violence other than male perpetrated violence against women, even in those cases the perpetrator’s sense of entitlement to control or dominate another remains the predominant cause of violence.
In the answer to another question they explain that women abusing men is different than men abusing women (emphasis mine):
When women use violence in an intimate relationship, the circumstances of that violence tends to differ from when men use violence. Men’s use of violence against women is learned and reinforced through many social, cultural and institutional experiences. Women’s use of violence does not have the same kind of societal support. Many women who do use violence against their male partners are being battered. Their violence is used primarily to respond to and resist the violence used against them. On the societal level, women’s violence against men has a trivial effect on men compared to the devastating effect of men’s violence against women.