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Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence
Gender Polarization in Domestic Violence

Who benefits from the lie?

The Super Bowl Sunday Myth

© 1999 by Bert H. Hoff

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Who Stole Feminism?
Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women
by Christina Hoff Sommers
Hardcover: Order on-line

Pie chart - 36& of victims of intimate assault are men.

Super Bowl is coming up. And the Super Bowl Myth, that "Super Bowl Sunday is the most dangerous day in America for women." Washington Post reporter Ken Ringle checked into it back in 1993, and quickly found this "factoid" was a lie.

But we hear it every year. Christina Hoff Sommers lays out the story in Who Stole Feminism. The ironically-named "watchdog" group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and others held a press conference just before the January 1993 Super Bowl to put the factoid in circulation, citing an Old Dominion study. Jan Katz, one of the principal authors of that study said, "That's now what we found at all." Their study, on Washington Redskins regular-season weekends, found that an increase in emergency room admissions "was not associated with the occurrence of football games in general." Ms. Sommers says:

Though Ringle exposed the rumor, it had done its work: millions of American women who heard about it are completely unaware that it is not true. What they do "know" is that American males, especially the sports fans among them, are a dangerous and violent species.

Who gains from these lies and deceptions? For one, feminists and activists in the "violence against women" industry fueled by $1.8 million under the federal Violence Against Women Act. VAWA II pending before Congress has a $2.8 billion price tag. (The National Violence Against Women survey conducted by the woman-oriented Center for Policy Research and sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control found that each year 1.5 million and 835,000 men are assaulted by intimate partners, but a provision in VAWAII would specifically prohibit domestic violence programs from serving battered men.)

Who loses? For one, the 835,000 men battered each year. That same NVAW survey showed that of those reporting assault by an intimate, 10.8% of the men and 4.1% of the women were knifed. Some 39.2% of the men (and 35.2% of the women) were threatened with a knife or gun, or had one used on them. Some 43.2% of the men were hit with an object, while 22.6% of the men were. None of these men can benefit from the proposed $2.8 billion for domestic (read "women-only") violence.

And kids suffer. Domestic violence advocates are quick to point out that people who abuse their spouses are very likely to abuse their kids, as well. Women who need help controlling their anger aand can't get it, and kids who live with the women who batter these 835,000 men a year pay the price--too often, with their bodies. These kids are sacrificed on the alter of an ideology that says that domestic violence is only about violence against women, and denies that some women, too, are violent.

In another sense, all men lose. The vast majority of men never use violence in an intimate relationship, all the studies show, but the Super Bowl Sunday myth perpetuates the stereotype that men are violent.

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Domestic Violence in Washington: 25,473 Men a Year
According to a Nov. 1998 Department of Justice report on the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1,510,455 women and 834,732 men are victims of physical violence by an intimate. In Washington, that's 42,824 women and 25,473 men. That includes 2,754 on whom a knife was used, 5,508 threatened with a knife and 11,016 hit with an object. Here are the data.

Help for Battered Men Practical suggestions, Hotline numbers, on-line resources. Print it out and hand it to a man you think may be battered--your caring opens him up to talking about it.

Men's Stories Here are some personal stories by battered men, and links to sites with more of them. The more we talk about it, the more we tell our stories, the more we increase public awareness that men are battered and encourage battered men to get the help they need. Send us your story, so we can post it here (anonymously, of course, unless you tell us differently.)

What's Wrong with the Duluth Model? The "Duluth Model" is the approach most widely used for perpetrator treatment--but it gender polarizes the "people problem" of domestic violence.. What's wrong with the Duluth Model? It blames and shames men. It's based on ideology, not science. It ignores drinking, drugs and pathology. Only one cause, only one solution. There's no real evidence it works. It ignores domestic violence by women. Women who need help can't get it. It's taught by wounded healers.

Latest Research Findings National Violence Against Women survey shows 37.5% of victims each year are men. Men are at real risk of serious physical injury. Murray A. Straus looks at controversies in DV research. Martin Fiebert examines reasons women give for assaulting men. JAMA emergency room study shows equal number of men, woman victims.


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