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Time to Tell the Truth about Domestic Violence - Why This Campaign?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month is designed to increase public awareness how to make our families and homes safe from partner violence.

Over 200 scholarly investigations point to the simple fact that women are as likely, or even more likely, to engage in domestic violence: http://mediaradar.org/media_fact_sheet.php

But for too long, special interest groups have misrepresented the truth, claiming that partner aggression is "overwhelmingly" perpetrated by men or citing statistics that have no basis in fact, such as "95% of all DV is committed by males." The myths continue to this day, as revealed by House Resolution 590, recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Ted Poe of Texas.1

Leading family violence researcher Richard Gelles has revealed that "policy and practice seemed to be more influenced by ideologies and political values than actual research and evidence."2 So it comes as no surprise that domestic violence programs have been found to be flatly ineffective in reducing partner abuse, and even harmful.3

The theme of the 2007 Domestic Violence Awareness Month is "It's Time toTell the Truth about Domestic Violence." RADAR and the 75 organizations of the VAWA Reform Coalition have come together to assure that the DV field follows sound research and proven treatment approaches.

Once the truth of partner abuse becomes known, we will be well on our way to solving the problem of domestic violence.

1 RADAR: Analysis of House Resolution 590. Rockville, MD: Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting, 2007. http://mediaradar.org/docs/RADARanalysis-HRES590.pdf

2 Gelles RJ. The politics of research: The use, abuse, and misuse of social science data – The cases of intimate partner violence. Family Court Review Vol. 45, No. 1, January 2007. http://www.familieslink.co.uk/download/july07/Politics%20of%20research.pdf

3 RADAR: Why Have Domestic Violence Programs Failed to Stop Partner Abuse? Rockville, MD: Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting, 2007. http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Why-DV-Programs-Fail-to-Stop-Abuse.pdf