Los Angeles Daily Journal
- Letter to the Editor
Los Angeles Daily Journal
January 26, 2005
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
“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