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Los Angeles Daily Journal - Letter to the Editor

Marc Angelucci
Los Angeles Daily Journal
January 26, 2005

Dear Editor,

Your reporters consistently refuse to do their homework when they report on male domestic violence victims.  The one who covered baseball player Chuck Finley’s assault by his wife said there were “no hard numbers” on male victims ("Men Suffer Abuse Silently, Fearing Shame, Some Say,” 4/5/02). That is just false.  Another just claimed experts say “as many as 5% of the cases” are female-on-male.  (“Jurist Works Hard to Break Cycle of Domestic Violence,” 12/23/04.)   Honestly, they must be getting their facts from feminists.  The 5% myth is not supported by any current data at all, and there are plenty of "hard numbers."  To help break the cycle of misinformation, here are some hard numbers from government/academic sources.

“Approximately 1.5 million women and 834,732 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States” (i.e. men make 36% of the victims), according to the Violence Against Women Survey at www.ncjrs.org/txtfiles1/nij/181867.txt   In California, 18 percent of victims who called police for help were men and 18 percent of suspects were women in 1996, according to this official government report (p 48) at www.library.ca.gov/crb/02/16/02-016.pdf.

Sociological studies (which are more accurate than crime data) repeatedly find that “women are as violent, or more violent, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners,” as this Cal State University bibliography shows at www.csulb.edu/~7Emfiebert/assault.htm. One of the listed studies is a meta-analysis which found 38 percent of injured victims were men (Archer).

In a recent emergency room survey by the University of Pennsylvania, 12 percent of men reported being physically assaulted by a female partner in the past, often with weapons or hard objects (and, contrary to stereotypes about economic privilege, the male victims were disproportionately minorities with no health insurance).  The study is at www.aemj.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/8/786.

I work with male victims. They rarely seek help. They are shamed. They fear being falsely arrested.  They don’t want to hit back. They think they are few. But they're numerous. They’re just neglected by government, media, and the domestic violence industry. Health and Safety Code Section 124250 even defines domestic violence so that a male cannot be a victim.

We have been struggling for years to change this human rights violation. Trust me, misleading journalism such as yours does not help.  Please have your reporters read Professor Lisa Kelly’s law review article, “Disabusing the Definition of Domestic Abuse; How Women Batter Men and the Role of the Feminist State,” 30 Fla. St. U. L. Rev 791 (2003) at www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/304/kelly.pdf for a full understanding of this issue and a good refutation of the baseless arguments made by skeptics and feminist critics.

We’ll never break the cycle of domestic violence until we address it honestly.

Marc E. Angelucci