Monday, November 05, 2007

My Efforts at Educating Officialdom

So I received this card in the mail announcing the new domestic violence reporting requirements for the Tennessee Department of Health. I decided to check out their website and found it to be lacking in the recent research on the role women play in domestic violence. I also noticed that the reporting form had the word "female" listed first under "patient" and under perpetrator in the first column listed:

o Husband
o Ex-husband
o Boyfriend
o Ex-boyfriend

So I sent them this letter:

Division of Health Statistics/DV
4th Floor, Cordell Hull Building
425 5th Avernue North
Nashville, TN37243

Dear Domestic Violence Reporting Coordinator:

As a licensed psychologist, I recently received a card on the new domestic violence reporting requirements that states that licensed professionals are now required to report cases of suspected or confirmed domestic violence/abuse to the Tennessee Department of Health. I am writing out of concern after reading the information on your site and noticing that much of this information is not updated with the most recent research on domestic violence.

I am a psychologist who has worked with numerous patients who have been victims of domestic violence over the years. As you may well know, domestic violence is not just perpretrated by men against women, it is also perpretrated against men by women. Many professionals do not know this and it is not apparent in your literature. For example, your information to EMS workers states:

"Approximately 98% of documented domestic assaults are committed by men against women. As a result, throughout this text, we will refer to the perpetrator as “he” and the survivor or victim as “she” even though some domestic violence is initiated by women and some cases involve people of the same sex."

Recent studies are finding that both men and women act out physically in relationships and in one recent study, women initiated violence in over 70% of cases. Here is some information from the head of the American Psychological Association:

"Several studies of domestic violence have suggested that males and females in relationships have an equal likelihood of acting out physical aggression, although differing in tactics and potential for causing injury (e.g., women assailants will more likely throw something, slap, kick, bite, or punch their partner, or hit them with an object, while males will more likely beat up their partners, and choke or strangle them). In addition, data show that that intimate partner violence rates among heterosexual and gay and lesbian teens do not differ significantly."

The source is here.

Another recent study in the journal "Violence and Victims" found that nearly twice as many women as men perpetrated domestic violence:

"The study, published in the journal Violence and Victims, also found no independent link between an individual's use of alcohol or drugs and committing domestic violence. In addition it showed that nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year, including kicking, biting or punching a partner, threatening to hit or throw something at a partner, and pushing, grabbing or shoving a partner, said Herrenkohl."

The source is here.

Psychiatric News also reports a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that stated that men should not be overlooked as victims and that reciprocal violence leads to injury in men more often than women:

"Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women. This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

As for physical injury due to intimate partner violence, it was more likely to occur when the violence was reciprocal than nonreciprocal. And while injury was more likely when violence was perpetrated by men, in relationships with reciprocal violence it was the men who were injured more often (25 percent of the time) than were women (20 percent of the time). "This is important as violence perpetrated by women is often seen as not serious," Whitaker and his group stressed."

The source is here.

In summary, I would just like to request that professionals receive information on female on male domestic violence and that your website be updated to reflect the findings of current research in the field of domestic violence. My fear is that professionals will only report male on female violence and the men and perhaps children that are victims of domestic violence will be left out of the equation to suffer on their own.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter.

Helen Smith, PhD, HSP
Licensed Psychologist

So what do you think the chances are that they will respond or make changes to update their website with current data on domestic violence?



Blogger KG2V said...

Update their forms and web site? Surely you jest

8:15 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Parker Smith said...

They'll probably send a man around to slap you - just to keep the statistics correct.

8:24 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing that with us.

8:43 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

I do find it a bit weird, but do really appreciate that you have become so much a champion of men. As a guy, it is natural to assume that we men would be out in the forefront of our own defense.

In any case, thanks, and good luck.

As for your statistics there, I am not surprised. There seems to be an unwritten rule that guys are just supposed to take it. Thus, the one time I was involved in domestic violence, a girlfriend hit me a couple times in frustration. And, as I was supposed to, I just shrugged it off. Of course, if I had hit back, I am sure that I would have been the one to spend time in jail.

8:44 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I think your letter is too long. I've written many letters to politicians and government agencies and have learned to get to the point in the first paragraph and keep it simple. That last paragraph of yours sums up your point perfectly. The rest of the letter, although extremely informative and accurate, sort of puts me to sleep.

Also, you might have taken the time to find out the name of the violence reporting coordinator. Better yet, to heck with the coordinator, you should have addressed it to the Director of the Health department and cc'd the dvrc. My guess is that the dvrc will ignore your letter, but if you had sent it to the director they would have delegated the necessary changes to the dvrc and the problem might be fixed.

Another nice gesture would have been to offer to help make the necessary changes to the website. I doubt they would take you up on your offer but it would have shown that you aren't trying to be a thorn in their side but someone that is trying to help. If they had asked for your help then you could actually be able to influence this department in many other things that in which you feel strongly.

8:52 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Thanks, good tips!


"I do find it a bit weird, but do really appreciate that you have become so much a champion of men. As a guy, it is natural to assume that we men would be out in the forefront of our own defense."

Well, then where are you?

9:55 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:04 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Looking at the EMS worker training, this is very similar to what Kentucky had for online domestic violence training about 8-9 years ago. Kentucky stated they considered all domestic violence to be male on female. To back up their statistics, they had done a survey where they only asked females.

I've looked several times and can no longer find this online.

The "emotional" and "economic" abuse stand wide open for interpretation. While still married I was a stay at home Dad for a while. My ex was a master of emational and economic abuse. Indeed, this article titled The Emotional Terrorist could have been written about her. I doubt if I'd gotten any mileage out of claiming that in court though.

Visit the sites of state, local and the federal governments. Newrly all will have women's issues/female related sites. Visit the sites of your Senators and Representatives. You will find the same. If you find a government related site on men's issues, please let me know. I haven't found one yet. A couple of years ago I check every Senator's site - zilch.

Tennessee is simply further demonstrating how firmly entrenched the feminazis are in our government. Men are to toe the line or suffer the feminist prescribed consequences.

This governmental bias is a BIG reason why men should be very, very careful about getting married as discussed in your previous post.

10:06 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Tossing pearls to swine, doc: beware the stampede.

10:16 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Dan Patterson said...

If a women injures a man "Everybody Knows" he "Deserved It". Just watch any movie on LifeTime and you'll be convinced.

Dan Patterson
Arrogant Infidel

12:07 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Kim du Toit said...

"So what do you think the chances are that they will respond or make changes to update their website with current data on domestic violence?"

Trick question, surely?

12:42 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Dad said...

You might also ask them about the overwhelming majority of juvenile abuse, Helen. Turns out it's not committed by evil 'ole dads...

12:59 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I guess we'll have to wait and hope. But it is important that you wrote this letter explaining the new findings.

1:05 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger JJW said...

Let's not forget the "dirty secret" of the lesbian community: Those gals hammer the tar out of each other with alarming frequency. How do we blame males in that scenario? (There must be a way.)

1:09 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger cf said...

Recently I got a call from the D.C. Health service doing a medical survey of women. Aside from the usual, the interviewer kept pushing me (it seemed to me) to say that I'd been sexually molested or the subject of domestic violence. She kept saying if I couldn't speak freely, here is the number to call. I kept insisting I never was and that I was alone and speaking freely. Finally, I refused to continue the interview and received a follow up call the next day asking me to continue and I refused.
It seemed to me they were looking for high numbers of abuse claims--probably to get more federal duns to deal with "abuse".

2:39 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger cf said...

federal FUNDS (not duns)

2:40 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger RebeccaH said...

Good for you.

Whether they make changes depends on their politics and how much pressure is brought to bear on them.

2:53 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Larry Sheldon said...

I'm thinking "duns" is not far off the mark.

"So what do you think the chances are that they will respond or make changes to update their website with current data on domestic violence?"

I guessing that the laws of mathematics is all that prevents an answer of "less than zero".

And have you ever had occasion to visit the doctor with a bruise visible? (Did it make a difference if you were the male or the female?)

3:04 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger KoryO said...

Thanks for sending the letter to them, Dr Helen. I once believed that it was rare that a woman would abuse her partner....and then I went to work for a police department. Even though men were reluctant to admit what was blindingly obvious, there were plenty of violent, abusive women out there.

And don't get me started on who usually slaps the kids around. I unfortunately could have told you that from personal experience when I was a seven year old. I am convinced that one of the major reasons my dad stayed married to my mom was simply to protect his kids, since a dad getting custody was never going to happen in the late 70's.

3:11 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger 64 said...

Can't you just sue them? Sounds like blatant sexual discrimination to me. Plus, they'll definitely read a summons.

3:16 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Roger J. said...

At the risk of being excessively cynical, I don't believe "officaldom" can be educated. Once they have gone through the internal deliberations, their positions tend to take on the character of holy writ. They will respond to external publicity or political pressure only. I would submit your letter should be sent to Governor B and the editorial boards of the states major dailys in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. Good luck in redressing this nasty stereotype.

3:32 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your post on this subject, makes plain to see how and why I got raked over the coals in Johnson City. Bias against males? Many people say many things. Then proof like this pops up.

Attention all males with questionable spouses or S.O.'s: Get the hell out of Tennessee, asap!

3:54 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger ErikZ said...

Even if they wanted to correct the issue, they're the government. Doing things in a timely manner isn't something they're capable of.

4:10 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Roger J. said...

With respect to spousal abuse in Tennessee, the case of Mary Winkler comes to mind. Apparently, extremism in the face of (alleged) abuse is not a vice--well, it is, but only worth 28 days behind bars for whacking hubby.

4:17 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your letter (and perhaps the studies you cite)does not address the seriousness of injuries as they relate to the sex of the perpetrator of the violence. Common sense suggests those kind of statistics would tell a much different story about the issue. I am not saying women should have license to try to harm men because they are normally less able to inflict serious injury, but on the other hand I don't believe you can ignore the idea that usually most women are at far greater risk of serious injury in domestic violence cases than are men. If minimizing physical harm is an primary aspect that government wants to focus on, and it has limited resources, there is simply more bang for the buck in focusing on man-on-woman violence than the other way around. Having said this, I agree that it would be of minimal expense and effort to correct there forms to reflect that woman are perpetrators of violence too.

Always enjoy your blog. Lots of thoughtful posts here.

4:38 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Nice apologia for woman on man domestic violence Richard. It almost sounds reasonable.

4:49 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Dad said...

Richard, I'll match the "common sense" of that veiled appeal to anecdotal wisdom with some of my own:

As long as there are Mercedes, bathtubs, kitchen knives, and shotguns in bedrooms, there'll be plenty of rather ample female on male violence. Call it equal opportunity.

And we as a nation may want to one day address the preponderance of child abuse being perpetuated by women. That one is not anecdotal.

4:57 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with sending the info to all major papers in TN. Sending it to the Governor, or any "official" will be a waste of time. Trust me, it will get lost, or at least buried.

And DO include the Johnson City Press!!

5:01 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Dad said...

For something a bit less speculative, has the hard data on domestic violence by gender, as well refuting the media and State's conventional wisdom.

The real offense here is the use of conventional wisdom to form DV policy that harms men willfully. That little knowledge is a very dangerous thing and it's where Baskerville's book becomes so valuable...

5:04 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swell up, richard.

5:07 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a female retired from the New York City Police Dept for two years. Over the years I responded to hundreds of family disputes. I agree with you that the system seems to presume the male is the aggressor- from the police on the scene to the District Attorneys Office.
I was often surprised that I seemed more willing to give the husband a fair chance than many of my male partners. We would frequently be called to a dispute and be greeted by the female with "I want him out", despite no crime having been commited. Many male officers seemed to take this for granted and would strongly suggest the male "take a walk". I would tell the female that I could not make him leave, however, if she truly feared for her safety I would be happy to wait while she packed a bag and then escort her out of the location. I never once had a women take me up on that offer. To me that indicated that she truly was not fearful and was simply trying to use the police to get revenge on her spouse. After seeing me handle a dispute this way, many of my fellow officers were surprised. When I asked them if they felt they should be thrown out of their home in the middle of the night of course they agreed, it would be wrong. Yet somehow this was seen as an acceptable practice.
Maybe its because I am a women and am well aware of just how mean & nasty women can be but it seemed to me that the men often gave the women more play.
It would be interesting to see which gender actually came up with that form.

5:31 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger submandave said...

I don't have the artistic talent, but for years I've seen in my head two single-panel cartoons side-by-side.

In the first a husband is coming home late from drinking with friends and the wife is waiting behind the door with a rolling pin in hand. In the second, a wife is coming home late from shopping with friends and the husband is waiting behind the door with a baseball bat. The caption says "Which one of these is funny, and why?"

5:35 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


I wish we had more on the force like you or maybe the police need more training in how to handle domestic disputes, sounds like you would be a good candidate.

5:41 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger The Gaunt Man said...

Why don't men stand up against abuse? I can think of a few reasons:

1. "A real man doesn't get abused". The myth is that a "real man" is always in control of his circumstances, and admitting to being out of control makes you "a wuss".

2. "A real man doesn't complain". Big boys don't cry, keep a stiff upper lip, walk it off: the message is always the same.

3. "You're a guy, you can take it". Society makes it very clear that you won't get any sympathy, and you will be thought less of for speaking out.

5:57 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Phoenix_Blogger said...

Dr. Helen,

Thanks for going to all the effort to try and correct perceptions. Great info.


6:04 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Trudy W Schuett said...

Here in Yuma AZ, the Yuma County Victim Services Dept. held a candlelight vigil to honor victims killed by their partners.

Among other presentations they had two victims speak: one woman, and one man, who also happened to be a Marine.

So in some places, at least, the light is going on!

6:19 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

br549 said: "Attention all males with questionable spouses or S.O.'s: Get the hell out of Tennessee, asap!"

Where should they go? This strikes me as one of the milder variants of bias in state officialdom. At least not as bad as the "arrest the man" policies pushed on police departments around the country. 'course I wouldn't be surprised if Tenn is doing that too.

6:45 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

"So what do you think the chances are that they will respond or make changes to update their website with current data on domestic violence?"

Well, let's see... Has Hell frozen over yet?

7:07 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger SC Mike said...

Hokey smokes, but it does look like South Carolina is more up to date. See this:

The very first PDF file -- a brocure on DV -- has this:
Are males the primary perpetrators of domestic violence?

No. Although batterers are largely male and victims usually female, men are also victims of domestic violence. However, domestic violence against men mostly goes unreported.

7:41 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great work, Helen. You may have nudged some bureaucrat in a good direction.

I'll never forget the day, while in training to become a psychologist, that a female DV worker looked me straight in the eye and explained female-on-male DV: when a woman becomes violent (and that is exceedingly rare, according to her) it is because she is defending herself and/or the man was asking for it.

Had I ever reversed the genders in that explanation, I probably would have been dismissed from my graduate program after a miserable "probation" period.

7:49 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Quentin0352 said...

I had a very abusive ex-wife and even though I filed for divorce based on abuse and infidelity that I had proof of, the judge refused to even look at it. It had to be changed to incompatibly instead before even being looked at.

5 years, $20,000+, being stalked, threatened harassed, my personal info passed out on the internet, the police raiding my house looking for child pornography, questioning me repeatedly on claims I molested the children and much more. I still can't get anything done to stop her but they are after me like wolves for any claim she makes. Even after a dead infant they are more interested in her claims than anything else.

But hey, extreme stress and depression, losing jobs over police coming to them to take you for questioning and etc are no reason to have problems paying support or anything else.

The statistics hey use show only men as really being abusive because they won’t accept reports of abusive women and will blame the guy anyways.

8:41 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger RightWingNutter said...

"So what do you think the chances are that they will respond or make changes to update their website with current data on domestic violence?"

They'll probably ask Slim Pickens and former Senator Sam Nunn to advise them. And those are the chances, Slim and Nunn.

10:03 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Jeff Y said...

Dr. Helen, thanks for doing stuff like this. I really, really appreciate it.

11:12 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger SC Mike said...

This thread brings to mind a conversation one Monday morning about thirty-five years ago while I was defending the frontiers of freedom in the city that used to have a wall, West Berlin. A fellow GI, Bill, in recounting an argument he’d had with his wife over the weekend, told us how he’d countered her attempt at the last word. His reply to her charge that “Even my mother thinks you’re effeminate” was “Well, compared to your mother, I am.”

Abuse knows no bounds.

11:52 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Ed C:\> said...

Domestic violence in Ohio amounts to "possession of a penis" - the guy is summarily tossed out of his house, civil protection orders are instantly issued (consent being a condition of bail), gun rights are taken away (unless you are a cop, of course). I've seen judges sit on the boards of what are essentially lobbying arms of women's "victim" groups.
Let's not forget the victims rights advocates who, I'm afraid to say, fit to a tee the stereotyped "all men are woman beaters who just haven't been caught" former victims. I bet witness/victim advocates would provide an interesting study in their own right.
I've had clients found not guilty of the domestic violence, but tossed in jail for violating the protective order after being called on the phone by the woman saying "I'm sick and have no one to help me", only to have the cops waiting when the guy arrives with medicine and chicken soup. I've had witness/victim "advocates" threaten women for failing to actively pursue prosecution.
Like all political "sin crimes" (I guess you can legislate morality) you can't get a DV expunged from your record.
It's rigged. Too many jobs and grants depend on it. I'll try to use some of your material, but no one really cares. After all, the accusation proves the fact.

12:28 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've some experience with trying to get such things changed. Based on my experience the most likely response is no response, followed closely by taking down all information on family violence (that's how the RCMP responded to the 'problem').

Change for the better does happen, it does not happen very often.

on Cham's point: I believe, quite strongly, that we need women in the lead for men's rights. I see it as a duty issue as well as a human rights issue.

Without picking up the duties that go with equality, women will never arrive at full equality. One of those duties is looking out for men in those areas of life where the men are in the weaker spot.

3:01 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Reading things like this makes me very glad I don't live in Tennessee.

It must be something in the water...

6:28 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

I believe, quite strongly, that we need women in the lead for men's rights. I see it as a duty issue as well as a human rights issue.

Without picking up the duties that go with equality, women will never arrive at full equality. One of those duties is looking out for men in those areas of life where the men are in the weaker spot.

I just threw up in my mouth a little. How very sad for southern men that they are going to lay down and let this happen -- let the women protect them as victims. Very sad.

6:30 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

What I want to know is why does Helen have to write this letter? If the state is not tabulating female on male abuse, why aren't men making sure that the fine state of Tennessee makes then necessary changes? Instead, we have comments from men, like the chance of this changing is slim to none, that hell will freeze over first and government doesn't change. I don't want to hear the usual excuses that men are too busy to write an email or make a phone call. The stiff upper lip thing grows a little old too.

It's nice that Helen is fighting men's battles for them, but when are the guys going to jump in and take some action themselves? I email the government all the time and about 95% of the time I get a positive response with an outline for change, so don't try to convince me it doesn't work.

7:52 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger TullimoreDu said...

"...when are the guys going to jump in and take some action themselves?"


In terms of how often or how stridently men are taking these issues on, I can only speak from my personal experience, and from that, I can tell you that there are a fair number of men speaking out, but they are being ignored. I'm not in my congressman's/ senator's/ assemblymen's offices to hear the reasons why, though I suspect that there are two things at work: 1) as you imply, too few men as speaking out (and frankly I agree with you, the stiff upper lip crap has about run its course); 2) the women's vote is a seductive influence on election politics. Justice be damned, they have to get themselves re-elected.

And finally, I just don't think enough men see themselves as being affected by the discrimination, at least not to the point where it's painful for them. Men are being complacent: as long as they're able to provide for their families and they're not going to jail, they think everything is okay.

And then another thing comes in to play: you have people like r2k, here, who are so angry and strident in their views that 'normal' men really don't want to be around them or even associated with them no matter how correct they might be.

As for myself, over the last year I've written letters to the editor of multiple newspapers (including of all things Variety), emails and phone calls to editors and politicians (the folks at Congressman Chris Smith's office now recognize my name), and I started a non-profit dedicated to advancing men's health.

If more of my male neighbors would just show up once in awhile, I be satisfied.


And as for you, Mary, have you always hated men? Or is just a hobby for you? And oh by the way, you sound a lot like my cousin. Do you live in Titusville?

8:30 AM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen.

Excellent article, and references are greatly appreciated.

Previous posters are correct. Change will not begin at the bottom of the bureaucratic food chain. This particular coordinator either:

1. Agrees with existing policies and materials (most probable, in my view), or
2. Has already failed to get them changed, or
3. Is just hunkered down and waiting for retirement.

None of these conditions argues for a successful update. That will probably take a serious, extended campaign. Please follow up with any reply you might receive, as it will likely illuminate the reality in that sector of your state government.

10:07 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Thanks for your comments and I will certainly follow up with any feedback that I get.

10:57 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Christo said...


1:36 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Christo said...

Dr. Helen:

Thanks for column; and also the interesting responses. The fact that women, although they initiate many acts of domestic violence, are much more likely to suffer serious injury, points to another problem unique to all of America and perhaps the UK.
Why are women being placed in the military service, the fire and police departments, and many other taxing professions in numbers far outstripping their capacity to perform? More indicators as to how truly feminists have sidelined America from reality.


1:48 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger TullimoreDu said...


Did you consider taking your treatise to the local newspaper and asking that they publish it as a feature?

Given your credentials, they may well do it, and it would get far more exposure (and perhaps supporting responses) than just sending it into the bureaucratic abyss.

5:03 PM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

virgin mary, who are you mad at, anyway? I say virgin mary because there is just no way you have ever had a boyfriend. Is that what you're mad about? Are you a bowzer?
Just asking.

Serket, the CIA has a web site. It's called the World Fact Book. They just moved the site, so here it is:

Every known country is on the site, with all pertinent info of each country, including birth and death rates, ratios of men to women, etc., etc. Interesting site. It's pretty amazing how close the ratios of birth and death rates, men to women, in western style or otherwise developed countries.

6:28 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


That is certainly a possibility.

7:30 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

There's certainly an education issue here, most men do not know the issues and thus do not know to take a stand. There's also a very strong component of men saying "if that's what you want" to the women. There's also a misogyny issue at hand, no man wants to be accused of hating women and in these issues such accusations are VERY easy. There's also a competition factor at play, anything which helps other men may strengthen the competition. There's also an economy issue here, people with fat wallets are less likely to complain. The matter is not a simple one. Good leaders can overcome the issues, but we've not had enough good leaders among the MRA's.

As for writing government officials: I've written, easily, more than 500 letters on gender issues and never once had a positive response. On the other hand, I've certainly written 100 letters on non-gender issues and usually gotten a positive response.

In the face of the Government bigotry, I think that most men try and give up. If there was a few really good leaders, then things would be different. There are now a few good leaders and that should make a difference.

4:26 AM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I got a little more curious and find EMS domestic training manual at the Tennessee Dept. of Health site. An example of the content:

One of the most difficult steps a battered woman must take is to identify herself as a victim.
Although experiences may differ, this checklist may help determine if she is battered.

Does her partner:
constantly criticize her and her abilities as a wife or partner or mother?

behave in an over-protective manner or become extremely jealous?
threaten to hurt her, her children, pets, family members, friends, or himself?

prevent her from seeing family or friends?

get suddenly or uncontrollably angry or lose his temper?

deny her access to family assets such as bank accounts, credit cards, or car?

control all finances and requires her to account for what she spends?

use intimidation or manipulation to control her or her children?

prevent her from going where she wants to when she wants to?

force her to have sex that makes her uncomfortable?

humiliate or embarrass her in front of others?

abuse alcohol or street drugs?
threaten to kill her?

have access to a firearm or weapon?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, she may be a victim of domestic violence.
She is not to blame. She is not alone. Millions of women are abused by their partners and
often don’t know that help is available."

Every reference in the 49 page manual is to the male as the perpetrator and the female as the victim except in gay/lesbians circumstances.

Guys, if you think the odds are stacked against you, you're right.

BTW - I would have answered "Yes" to 8 of the items as to how my ex treated me when we were married.

4:34 PM, November 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes to 10 for me, dadvocate. No guns in my house, though. However, the kitchen has many weapons, usage dependent.

It may be abuse, but it is mental illness that is the cause, I believe.
And way too many people are co-dependent. Some don't ever realize it, or even know what the hell it means. I didn't. It unveiled the curtains. I was told to pack up the kids and go (by her psychiatrists and psychologists), and not tell anyone where we were going. Especially her. Worked well. Forced her to get help. Made her life much better, made ours immeasurably better. Over time, she was able to re-connect with the kids.

7:15 AM, November 09, 2007  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...


You ask a ways above why I don't do anything about male advocacy. I think that it ties somewhat into this discussion about domestic violence and society's response to it.

The problem is that it just feels almost wrong for men to gang up together against women to assert their rights. Almost as if we are trying to bully them. And I suspect that I, along with many other males, have been programmed, both by evolution and by society, to not hit women.

Intellectually, I think it needs to be done. But emotionally, it is a very different story.

3:45 AM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger Bruce Hayden said...

The comments above have reminded me of a couple of things on TV.

First, was a long ago Tom Snyder show where he had some battered men on his show. He somewhat tried to hide their identities because of their embarrassment of being beaten up by their SOs. Shortly thereafter, the show was parodied on SNL, where the guy playing Snyder essentially gave away the battered guys' identities.

On another note though, there was an episode of, I think, Desperate Housewives, where the wife locked the husband out of their house. The husband broke a window to get in, and she called the cops. Since they didn't have anything from a court giving her the house (yet), he had a legal right to be there. The cops showed up, and she indicated that even though she didn't have the house yet, she would, since women always get the house in a divorce. The cops apparently had gone through divorces themselves, losing their houses to their ex-wives, and weren't sympathetic. They ended up arresting her for assaulting them and leaving the husband in the house.

As if it were to ever happen in real life.

3:51 AM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger Maxine Weiss said...

Women are made of sugar and spice and everything nice

12:32 PM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger bmmg39 said...

Allow me to join the chorus of people praising you for helping to set the record straight, Dr. Smith. Perhaps if a few others turn the heat up a bit, they'll be forced to change their literature and approach. Should we help?

5:33 PM, November 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the one hand they are, maxine.

7:20 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Alain said...

Hi Dr Helen,

My name is Alain Roy and I'm involved in a men's right organization in Québec (Canada). I'd like to express my gratitude about speaking loudly that domestic violence is not only a men's issue. In fact, our provincial statistical bureau has come up with conclusions that are pretty much like yours.

The published "La violence conjugale envers les hommes et les femmes, au Québec et au Canada, 1999"

I didn't find an english version for these files but you will find official information that confirms what you are stating in your message.

Thanks for joining your voice to ours to tell the true facts.

4:31 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

my wife was at her doctors when the attending nurse asked- "do you feel safe in your own home?"

my wife, who has a wicked sense of humor, replies "yeah - but my husband's scared shitless."

to date no one has asked me if i feel safe.

6:38 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Sebbydad said...

Arizona is better with gender nuetral language but they also have an entire counseling session for offenders titled, "women don't hit" Officers recieve no training regarding male victims, and often women may be charged with assault but not domestic violence.

4:27 PM, November 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:58 AM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:10 AM, April 07, 2009  
Blogger Anna Moss said...

This issue is too big and too costly [in lives and dollars] to indulge in hairsplitting.
Whether a woman instigates with a slap or a man finishes it with a punch, shame on both of them for acting like savages.
We would do well to get informed [the best cure for apathy] and focus on prevention instead of just throwing money at wound dressing.
We would also do well to out abusers so that they have to deal with consequences. And that could be done with little or not cost.
Abuse is a prey-predator behavior. We all need to wise up and stand up. I know.

11:12 AM, November 01, 2009  

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