Susan Berman is president and CEO of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
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This is very sad. One thing I never understand is why in the world do women stay with people who beat them up? Was Jennifer's Ex-boyfriend also the father of the child? Why would you let someone who beats you up impregnate you? I think domestic violence victims need a handgun, then support. May solve two problems.
"Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting women in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background."
I just wanted to point out that domestic violence doesn't just affect women. It affects men too, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Granted, these cases almost never make it to the media - but having personally known two men who were the victims of abuse, it DOES happen.
Engaged - There was a study done many years ago, which surveyed men and women in relationships. They found women were far more likely to use violence in a relationship than men. It's a lot like pitbulls. They aren't the breed most likely to bite, but they are capable of so much damage, when they do bite, it is very, very bad.
Jennifer was a fool to come to Arizona. Arizona, backward in so many many ways, is absolutely no better in terms of understanding and addressing domestic violence. In fact, the previous posters pretty well illustrate the mindset in Arizona. "Why do they stay" reveals the ignorance about the dynamics of domestic violence. "Men are victims too" reveals the power of the patriarchy that has a stranglehold on Arizona politics, including in terms of how domestic violence crimes are handled by police, courts and the legislature. Notice that that poster says NOTHING about how d/v affects children; his only concern is the men. The last poster, typical of an Arizonan, alleges that "a study was done" but provides no citation. This is how decisions are made in Arizona; someone's opinion, unsupported by fact but only based on allegation, becomes how laws are made and enforced in this State. Domestic violence victims: DO NOT MOVE HERE.
Studies have shown that once a woman enters an abusive relationship, it is difficult to break free. Unfortunately, our conservative friends want to cut social services to the bone and could care less what happens to a woman and her children in an abusive relationship. After all, our erstwhile Representative Flake was one of the cosigners of the House bill to redefine forceable rape as acceptable.
It's a complicated subject. Families in domestic violence situations need support. Restraining orders do little to protect victims since a piece of paper does not stop the perpetrator from acting out. Women, with children, who stay in these situations perpetuate the cycle by exposing their kids to the trauma and drama. It's good to speak about this so the message reaches any victim out there to let them know there is help for them. I agree, cutting social services will cut off access to avenues of help for those who need a safe place to stay to begin their journey away from domestic violence in the home.
" Why do women stay with people who beat them up?" I can't speak for all women, but for me from age 18-20 I stayed because I was immature, lacked self esteem, was ashamed that I was being abused, and most of all I was afraid he would kill me if I left (he said he would). He also threatened to kill my family. When my son was born I began to grow up and realized he would eventually threatened him too. This woke me up and I finally reached out to other people, told them what I had been going through. With the help of an older sister I finally got away. The abusive boyfriend quickly moved on to another young, easily intimidated girl and left me alone. That was 35 years ago. He is now in prison for assault (second time). These guys rarely change.
JMJ, your comment that "Women, with children, who stay in these situations perpetuate the cycle by exposing their kids to the trauma and drama." So, its the woman's fault this kind of violence continues?
aarrghh - If you want to plug your ears and shout la-di-da rather than have an adult conversation, be my guest. It's typical liberal tactics to resort to distortion and emotional attacks (you're a misogynist/racist/meanie) rather than address the point being made.
Reason said he doesn't understand why they stay. He didn't say they deserve to be beaten up. Engaged shares personal knowledge of domestic abuse, and you mock him for it.
And I didn't include a link to the study because it was something I read over ten years ago. I didn't make it up. But there is this thing called Google. If you objected to my mentioning the study, why didn't you go do your own research and present links to studies refuting that claim? Or are you afraid of what you'll find?
"Men are victims too" reveals the power of the patriarchy'What an ignorant, sexist thing to say. Men ARE victims too. This is a fact.
"his only concern is the men"Another ignorant, cowardly piece of slander. I said no such thing.
Dear aaarrrggghhh, please note that misandry is as idiotic, bigoted, and detestable as misogyny. Sexism is sexism. Please think about it before perpetuating more.
Well, frankly, AZGirl55, yes. If a woman with children stays in the situation, the children will be exposed to the violence. Is the perpetrator going to wake up and say, "Oops. I need to stop doing this" ? Doubtful. I think the whole point of this opinion piece is to let victims [male or female for those of you who needed to bring up that men are victims of domestic violence, as well...] know that there IS a way out.
You said, yourself, that you were in that situation. That was, I'm sure, a horrifying time of your life. WHO decided it had to change? You, right? Because you wanted a better environment for your son.
Yes, the victim needs to be proactive and find help. The perpetrator will not admit s/he is doing it [unless arrested and forced to face that]. The victim needs to take action.
The perpetrator is at fault. The victim is then, after the fact, perhaps, but also at fault if the victim doesn't find a way to remove him/herself from the abuse.
Splitting hairs on verbage, but it is a sad state for the victim/s [if there are also children involved] because it WILL continue unless a responsible adults says ENOUGH! and finds a safe place.
Is that clearer for you?
"or those of you who needed to bring up that men are victims of domestic violence"
I find it quite amusing that I am being attacked for supplying factual information.
I wonder, if the article had only mentioned male victims of domestic violence, and I had pointed out that women are also victims, would I still be slandered and marginalized for saying so?
My guess is no. ;)
Sexism and gender bias are as despicable as racism. Period.
I don’t have complicated tax returns to file; so at the end of the year when I file my state income tax return, near the bottom is a voluntary gift section where I designate a portion of my return to Domestic Violence Shelters. If there is a more effective or EASIER way, I am sure someone will tell me.
Otherwise, I urge all those who can afford to spare few dollars to give to domestic violence shelters like Fresh Start.
LOL! The trouble with none of us "knowing" each other is that sarcasm is lost in a comments forum.
I agree that Domestic Violence is an equal opportunity baddie that happens to both males and females. But, that is really no laughing matter.
The germ of the article is to seek help.
Seek help if you or someone you know is a victim [of either gender].
Engaged, trying to evade the subject about women being in abusive relationships by presenting men as victims holds no credibility. Yes, men are abused at times, however, this whole article is about women, and women only. Trying to detract from the main subject does not add to the argument. I was involved in an abusive relationship as well, and because he was physically stronger than me, he always got the upper hand. That can rarely be said about women. Looking at abusive relationships is never the same unless having been in one. One would think looking at things from a woman's perspective might bring more clarity to the situation.
Twin - No, is isn't only about women. It's about domestic violence.
"this whole article is about women, and women only."
It is? And yet the TITLE OF THE ARTICLE is:"Domestic violence victims need support to make positive change in their lives"
No mention of gender there.
"Trying to detract from the main subject does not add to the argument. "The main subject is domestic abuse. And I agree, trying to detract from that does not add to the argument, so please stop.
"One would think looking at things from a woman's perspective might bring more clarity to the situation."Lose the sexist bias. One would think looking at things from a victim's perspective, regardless of gender, might bring more clarity to the situation.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
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