Topeka, KS: Reinstate Funding for Domestic Violence Law Prosecutions!
  • Petitioned Shelly Buhler

This petition was delivered to:

Shelly Buhler
Mary Thomas
Ted Ensley
Topeka, KS
Shelly Buhler
Topeka, KS
Shelly Buhler
Topeka, KS
Ted Ensley
Topeka, KS
Mary Thomas
Topeka, KS
Topeka Commissioners

Topeka, KS: Reinstate Funding for Domestic Violence Law Prosecutions!

    1. Claudine Dombrowski
    2. Petition by

      Claudine Dombrowski

      Topeka, KS

This is WHY Topeka Kansas 'Decriminalized Domestic Violence" within the City. LACK OF FUNDING!  We Demand that Funding be restored so that Domestic Violence will be Prosecuted in Topeka, Kansas.

Domestic Violence Victims Need Justice Now!

"A Victims First Scream is for Help; A Victims Second Scream is For Justice." 

 

The Shawnee County Commission needs to make the ‘Safety’ of Domestic Violence Victims a ‘priority' and get adequate funding in place for the prosecution of Domestic Violence case's and seek Justice for Victims.

1. Shawnee County Commissioners Cut the District Attorney’s office funding by 10%. (After there was a request for an increase due to the high crime rate).

2. Shawnee County District Attorney as a result of the Budget Cuts was forced to place all Misdemeanors including Domestic Violence charges on the City of Topeka Court.

3. The City of Topeka, did not want to pay to do 'Domestic Violence' cases (Although quite capable)

4. The Topeka City Council, City Manager and Mayor then caused a national outrage by 'Decriminalizing Domestic Violence' and repealing the ban on Domestic Violence within the city limits so that they would not be jurisdiction. http://bit.ly/rgk8TL

5. Thereby forcing the Shawnee County District Attorney to 'review' the Domestic Violence Cases, as a State law.

6. Since the City of Topeka, 'Decriminalized' Domestic Violence, the Shawnee County District Attorney of course is now forced to review these cases. (Although the DA's Office does not have sufficient funding and in fact suffered a 10% budget cut)

7. The Shawnee County Commissioner's still have not provided adequate funding for District Attorney.

8. District Attorney is now forced to lay off 17% of his staff effective December 23, 2011. http://bit.ly/ogHoer

 

The BOTTOM LINE:

The District Attorney's Office is underfunded, under staffed (unlike the City of Topeka) and still only the most severe crimes will ever make it to trial with most pleading out to avoid cost of trial.

Domestic Violence Cases - will remain completely without consequence to batterers. At best they will be plead out to 1.) disorderly conduct or 2.) destruction of personal property. To get them out of the system quickly so that what remaining resources can be used for higher level crimes of felony.

The City of Topeka has ‘repealed’ the ban on Domestic Violence so victims no longer have the City of Topeka Court as an option to fall back on.

Currently, Domestic Violence Victims now have a better chance of winning the lottery, than having the crimes committed against them ever be prosecuted and Justice still remains denied.

We strongly urge the Shawnee County Commissioners: Shelly Buhler, Ted Ensley and Mary M. Thomas to make ‘Safety’ a priority and act swiftly to provide adequate funding for all crimes, especially the crime of Domestic Violence in Topeka, KS.

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TIMELINE http://bit.ly/qFY00Z
Jan. 6: Shawnee County Commission Chairwoman Shelly Buhler asks county elected officials and appointed department heads to review their 2011 general fund budgets and prioritize cuts if they had to reduce planned expenditures by as much as 10 percent. District Attorney Chad Taylor instead submits a letter saying cuts would impair his office’s ability to perform its statutory duties.
Aug. 18: Commissioners vote to tentatively reduce 12 separate county budget line items by 10 percent or more, including cutting the district attorney’s budget for 2012 by 10 percent, or $347,765, from its 2011 amount of $3,477,651.
Aug. 21: Taylor says a 10 percent cut would force his office to stop prosecuting misdemeanors occurring within city limits, referring them to Topeka Municipal Court.
Aug. 25: Commissioners finalize a 2012 county budget that includes the 10 percent cut to the D.A.’s budget.
Sept. 8: Taylor announces he no longer will prosecute misdemeanors committed in Topeka, including domestic battery, saying the city attorney’s office should prosecute those cases. Interm city manager Dan Stanley says the city is unprepared to do so.
Sept. 15: Taylor and Stanley begin meeting to discuss how to ensure the efficient prosecution of city misdemeanors.
Sept. 20: Stanley provides the city council potential options. Those include repealing the city ordinance banning domestic battery, which the city attorney’s office says would force Taylor’s office to begin prosecuting domestic batteries committed in Topeka.
Sept. 30: District attorney’s spokesman Dakota Loomis confirms Taylor offered the city a settlement through which he would review for prosecution all state statute misdemeanors committed in Topeka if the city made a one-time payment of $350,000 to his office.
Oct. 11: The city council repeals the city ordinance ‘banning’ domestic battery within the City..
October 12: District Attorney takes Domestic violence that were decriminalized by the City.
October 12: District Attorney forced to lay off 17% of Staff
October 14: Shawnee County Commission still has not provided adequate funds or even reinstated the funds cuts.

 

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 10 months ago

      Women and children rights are human rights.

      Violence causes more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year.1 More than 90% of these occur in low- and middle-income countries.1 Violence is one of the leading causes of death in all parts of the world for persons ages 15 to 44.1 But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to change that. CDC is committed to building a world free of violence.

      CDC conducts research on violence, its causes, and effective prevention strategies. Studies have shown there are personal, peer, family, and social factors that may increase or reduce the chances that a person will become a victim or perpetrator of violence. CDC and its partners use this science-based information to help agencies and governments around the world develop programs to prevent violence-related injuries and deaths.

      The November 2003 National Institute of Justice Journal (N. 250) article Reviewing Domestic Violence Deaths, reports that domestic violence can provoke suicide. The 2003 Massachusetts Domestic Violence Homicide Report notes that suicide can be attributed to domestic violence deaths. The Utah Domestic Violence Council reports that the majority of domestic violence related suicides are not covered in their yearly domestic violence-related deaths report. The 2005 Utah Department of Health documents that there were 44 suicide and 21 homicide domestic violence-related deaths. Using data from the Surveillance for Violent Deaths -- National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2005 it is possible to infer that as many as 7,832 male and 1,958 female domestic violence-related suicides occur annually. When combined with domestic violence homicides, the total number of domestic violence-related deaths would be higher for males than females. This article recommends that to properly understand the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence, further research is needed concerning domestic violence-related suicides.

      Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.

      Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

      Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair-pulling, biting, etc. Physical abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use.

      Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

      Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.

      Economic Abuse: Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.

      Psychological Abuse: Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

      Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

      Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.

      In the introduction of the 2003 Massachusetts Domestic Violence Homicide Report (MDVHR), the authors write, "The human toll from domestic violence is grossly underestimated." The authors also note:

      Domestic violence homicides represent just the tip of the iceberg regarding mortality and morbidity resulting from domestic violence. Suicides that can be attributed to domestic violence deaths that result from life-long battering also need to be examined. Within the category of homicide, alone, it is difficult to claim with any certainty that we were able to identify all domestic violence homicide incidents.

      It has become obvious that when the primary focus is on domestic violence homicide while ignoring domestic violence precipitated suicide, our ability to identify domestic violence-related deaths is severely limited. The majority of the nationally recognized domestic violence organizations and researchers agree that the issue of domestic violence homicide and suicide is far more complex and multifaceted than previously thought and the human toll of domestic violence-related deaths of men has been grossly underestimated.

      The Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women notes on page iii, "The data show that violence is more widespread and injurious to women's and men's health [italics added] than previously thought." The aforementioned authors also note on page 1, the majority of contemporary research about violence against women is in the context of feminist ideology.

      The core belief of feminist ideology as expressed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV):

      The NCADV believes violence against women and children results from the use of force or threat to achieve and maintain control over others in intimate relationships, and from societal abuse of power and domination in the forms of sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, able-bodyism, ageism and other oppressions.

      The NCADV is recognized as the national voice for domestic violence organizations. The NCADV does not specifically claim that all of the above is "caused by men." However, it does so implicitly by acknowledging only women and children as the victims of domestic violence while ignoring any mention of men as victims.

      Hence the implication to the reader is that men, who are not the victims, is that men must be the offenders or the "cause" of all the above. Where and when the NCADV finds it is impossible to ignore male victimization, the NCADV will often minimize or marginalize male victimization.  The NCADV makes it implicitly clear that the mission of the NCADV and its concerns are only for the safety of "all women and children."

      The NCADV, it appears, also may act as the voice for the majority of our federal and local policy makers. The 110th Congress H.RES.590 is a resolution that purports to raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States and its devastating effects on families and communities. The assumption should be that the 110th Congress is concerned about raising awareness of all victims.

      Apparently the 110th Congress does not consider men as victims. If you read the above resolution you will discover the 110th Congress, similar to the NCADV, minimizes, marginalizes and ignores males' victimization. When the Congress does mention men they are presented as offenders and not victims. It is difficult to grasp how the 110th Congress intends to raise awareness about domestic violence when its members display either an ignorance of or a lack of concern about the victimization of men.

      This deep seated inherent ideological bias, that females are the primary or exclusive victims and males the primary or exclusive offenders, may be the reason why the media, interveners, public policy makers and the general public have yet to become aware of the negative consequences of domestic violence against males.

      The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is not supportive of the exploration of men's domestic violence victimization. In fact, VAWA research funding and programs often demand that male victimization be ignored. It is argued by many researchers that VAWA has caused many feminists to replicate the very behavior they railed against in the last century. The VAWA, by definition, has created biased stereotyping of men and VAWA has become the nexus of the exclusion of an entire group of our population simply because of their gender.

      Feminist ideological research, by its very nature, creates an implicit bias which fosters subjective not objective research. In the report Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence the authors conclude on page iv:

      These findings [from the National Violence Against Women Survey] support the theory that violence perpetrated against women by intimates is often part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control [by men].

      However, examination of their report reveals they present no empirical evidence-based data that can support their conclusion. A thorough examination of the literature reveals that it is evident that ideological researchers often reach subjective rather than objective conclusions despite empirical data to the contrary. This lack of objectivity may be due to firmly held ideological feminist beliefs which create a sympathetic and empathic bonding between the researchers and their subjects.

      Â

      The Complexities of Domestic Violence

      The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) notes:

      Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.

      Clearly all the nationally recognized domestic violence agencies understand that domestic violence can not be measured only through lethality or injurious physical assaults. Psychological abuse can produce emotional victimization that is far more damaging and longer lasting than a physical assault.

      The OVW defines emotional abuse as:

      Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children [italics added].

      It is clear here the OVW understands "domestic violence" should not be limited to physical assaults. Furthermore the data document that far more people die from suicide than homicide. The majority of suicides involve male victims. Is it possible that domestic violence research, free of feminist ideology, will demonstrate that emotional abuse and suicides account for far more domestic violence-related deaths than homicides?

      This question returns us to page 8, of the MDVHR report which reveals in Utah the majority of the state's 65 domestic violence deaths in 2005 were suicides that did not occur in the context of a homicide. Domestic violence-related death by suicide is a road not traveled by many researchers. Most domestic violence suicides are explored only in the context of a homicide followed by a suicide.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to preventing the violent deaths of children, women and men in the United States. The CDC notes that its prevention goal has been and continues to be hampered by fragmented and incomplete data collection.

      The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is researching, without any apparent gender bias or specific organizational agenda, the toll violent deaths takes on individuals, families, and communities in the United States. The NVDRS documents that violent deaths, including homicides and suicides, cost the United States more than $52 billion in medical care and lost productivity every year.

      An April 2008 report by the CDC "Surveillance for Violent Deaths -- National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2005" (SVD) provides revealing data collected by the NVDRS. The SVD documents that approximately 30% of suicides are precipitated by intimate partner problems.

      The NVDRS collects data about the violent deaths of all victims regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. The NVDRS data is less fragmented and more complete than any previous data collection of violent deaths. This broad scope of data allows the NVDRS to explore the full scope and in depth, the tragic impact of domestic violence-related deaths.

      While approximately twice as many females as males attempt suicide, the rate of completed suicide in the SVD report is nearly 4 times greater for males than females. Studies report that many people who commit suicide suffer multiple risk factors, such as clinical depression, mental health disorders and a number of difficult and life altering stressors. Other studies also document that some of these same risk factors contribute to the multiple causes of many domestic violence homicides.

      Table 9, of the SVD reports intimate partner problems (IPProb) precipitated 2,031 of the male and 439 of the female suicides. An IPProb is defined as a problem with a current or former intimate partner that appears to have contributed to the suicide. Some of the IPProb's are a divorce, break-up, argument [verbal abuse], jealousy, conflict [perhaps physical and verbal] or discord [perhaps psychological or emotional].

      In 2005, 32,637 suicides were reported [tinyurl.com/cc3r5v]. The SVD reports 30% of the suicides reported were IPProb related. Hence, it is possible that approximately 7,832 male and 1,958 female suicides were precipitated by intimate partner problems. These intimate partner suicides far exceed the number of intimate partner homicides. When I presented the above data online some readers wondered how many of these intimate partner problem deaths did not demonstrate a direct or indirect association with domestic violence. That question needed to be explored.

      However, it is important to remember that the OVW acknowledges the violence in contemporary domestic violence can include "constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationships with his or her children." There is general agreement that females and males are equally capable of exhibiting this form of violence. The NVDRS data appears to reveal that the "conflict" and "discord" found in the "forced leaving" of intimate relationships may be far more lethally dangerous for men than women.

      Domestic Violence-Related Deaths

      This again brings us to the MDVHR, which in turn directs us to the 2005 Utah Department of Health (UDH) Â study that reported there were 65 domestic violence-related deaths in 2005. The UDH notes there were 44 suicides and 21 homicides.

      Six of the suicides were males who killed themselves after committing a homicide. The homicide victims were 10 male and 11 females. The suicide victims were 42 male and 2 female. This data is documented by the UDH, Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP). VIPP gets its information from the Utah Violence Death Reporting System (UTVDRS).

      In the following year, 2006, the Utah Domestic Violence Council (UDVC) did not report the majority of suicides. This is because UDVC only report domestic violence-related deaths that appear in public sources; such as newspapers and the electronic media. The UDVC does acknowledge and report the suicides which occur in the context and circumstances of domestic violence incidents are domestic violence-related deaths.

      These UDH (2005) report defines the issue of domestic violence as follows:

      Domestic violence (DV) is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. This includes violence between family members, roommates, and current or former partners.

      For this report, a suicide is considered domestic violence related if one of the circumstances surrounding the suicide involved violence or the threat of violence between intimate partners, family members, or roommates.

      Email correspondence with researchers at the Utah Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) reveal that the reason for the apparent dramatic differences in the number of domestic violence-related deaths as documented by the UDH and the UDVC are twofold. One is the definitions they use and the second is their source of information.

      The data by VIPP comes from the Utah Violence Deaths Reporting System (UTVDRS) which includes medical examiner and police reports. The UTVDRS data is a lengthy process that can take up to 18 months to complete. The UDVC reports only public media information at the end of each year.

      The VIPP researchers did clarify that suicides defined as domestic-violence related fatalities are reported for incidents only when there is actual violence or the threat of violence surrounding the incident. These domestic violence-related deaths do not include incidents where there was only a verbal argument or a separation.

      A Kentucky study used NVDRS data to examine studies from 1999 to 2005 and concluded that IPPs suggest that violence against a partner and homicide are contirbuting factors concerning suicide (Walsh, Clayton, Liu & Hodges (2009).

      On the front page of the 2006 Utah Domestic Violence Related Deaths it found, "These troubling statistics document, in summary form, the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence in Utah." What should be apparent to the UDVC is that exploring domestic violence-related deaths only in summary form provides a very limited examination of the problem.

      The authors of the MDVHR are correct to note in its introduction, "The domestic violence homicides and suicides that are reported in the public print and electronic media represent just the tip of the iceberg regarding mortality and morbidity resulting from domestic violence." They are right. The NVDRS may reveal more of that iceberg as more states join the effort.

      Each year the Boston Globe's In Memoriam column reports the number of homicides resulting from domestic violence. In 2005 the Globe reports that there were 14 of these domestic violence-related deaths in Massachusetts, eight women and six men. The column asks how could these deaths have been prevented.

      In a very stark demonstration of the validity of the MDVHR claim concerning suicides is the fact that in 2005 the NVDRS documents there were 14 female and 75 male intimate partner precipitated suicides in Massachusetts. The number of female suicides alone matches the total number of 2005 Massachusetts domestic violence homicides. By ignoring these intimate partner precipitated deaths as domestic violence-related we will continue, as the MDVHR notes, to grossly underestimate the human tragedy suffered from domestic violence as defined by the OVW.

      The 2005 In Memoriam column notes that Jane Doe and Harvard Law School fellow Diane Rosenfeld will issue annual reports and analyze long-term trends concerning domestic violence. It would be enlightening if Jane Doe and Rosenfeld would analyze and include the intimate partner precipitated suicides from the NVDRS in their annual report. NVDRS data documents approximately one of three domestic violence homicides is the result of a homicide/suicide, hence appropriate and inclusive interventions might save two lives.

      It is the goal of the NVDRS to develop a national system that actually can, in an unbiased and non-ideological process, document the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence. For now the data is only reported from 17 states.

      And Utah is the only state, to my knowledge, that has published a more complete picture of the tragic impact domestic violence has on men, women and children. Let us hope that before long, the NVDRS will set truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth free from contemporary, fragmented and incomplete ideological research.

      Perception and Polarization

      Many of the national recognized domestic violence organizations and researchers who write about domestic violence from a feminist ideological perception argue that some men's rights groups are guilty of extracting only data from studies that present their perception that men and women are equally guilty of domestic violence. A review of the literature documents this is true.

      However, the vast majority of the national recognized domestic violence organizations, for decades, have done the same. It is written ubiquitously that around the world, 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. An unbiased review of the literature documents that when researchers use the same methodology in gathering data, the data will reveal the same is approximately true for 1 in 3 men.

      It is now written ubiquitously that, 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. An unbiased review of the literature documents that when researchers use the same methodology in gathering dating violence data, the data will reveal the same is approximately true for male high school students.

      It is a fact, if one reviews the literature, that the nationally recognized domestic violence organizations, similar to the NCADV, have for decades now, been presenting only data that favors their perspective and their concerns. And when an organization similar to the NCADV does so, while it may not be an honest presentation of the data, it is understandable why the NCADV does so. The NCADV is only concerned, as its website clearly documents, with women and children.

      It is far less understandable when our public policy makers do the same. I think that most people believe that our public policy makers should be equally concerned about males and females. House resolution 590 and the VAWA are just two of many examples of where our policy makers are placing their concerns about females before males.

      On March 11, 2009 President Obama announced the formation of a White House Council on Women and Girls. As the father of three daughters and two sons, I would like to commend President Obama for establishing a council that is intended to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges that my daughters will confront in this 21st century.

      However, as the father of three daughters and two sons, I find it impossible to understand why President Obama believes it is not necessary to establish a council that is intended to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges that my sons will confront in this 21st century.

      Does President Obama believe that my sons are living in the promised land and my daughters are not? The White House Council on Women and Girls is being established to ensure that agencies across the federal government, not just a few offices take into account the particular needs and concerns of women and girls. I would like to suggest a few of the particular needs and concerns of men and boys.

      Our sons are being raised in a society where the government focuses on the victimization of our daughters while ignoring or minimizing the victimization of our sons. Our sons are growing up in a society where far more males than females are dropping out of high school. Our sons are growing up in a society were almost 60% of students entering college are female. Our sons are growing up in a society where males serve longer prison sentences than females. Our sons are growing up in a society where women live longer than men. Our sons are growing up in a society, as the NVDRS data clearly documents, where far more males are taking their own life than females. And sadly, this is only a partial list of some of our son's particular needs and concerns that are not being addressed.

      Those of us who voted for President Obama did so for a variety of reasons, however, the most prominent reason was we believed we were voting for change. Perhaps President Obama might consider a White House Council on Men and Boys that would meet regularly to serve as a forum for all involved federal agencies to focus on helping our sons as well as our daughters.

      Â Conclusion

      Perhaps neither contemporary dueling position (men are more violent than women vs. men and women are equally responsible for domestic violence) in the academe or those working in the field will find solace in the NVDRS findings as the NVDRS is gender neutral and the NVDRS provides data both for and against each position.

      It is generally agreed by both sides that more men need to become concerned about the issue of domestic violence. Two primary reasons for men avoiding the issue are: (1) many if not most men believe that that domestic violence is is not a problem for them and; (2) many if not most men think that the majority of domestic violence interveners and public policy makers believe that “men are the problem.” It is the hope of this author that men, domestic violence interveners and public policy makers might recognize that domestic violence-related deaths are a problem for both men and women. If interveners and public policy makers provided more concern, professional resources and assistance for men, there might be fewer suicides and homicide-suicides.

      Homicide Trends in the United States and other Bureau of Justice Statistics data clearly document that men commit more lethal and injurious violence than women. However, NVDRS data documents that the vast majority of lethality, both inside and outside the home, is directed at other men or themselves. Given the OVW definition of domestic violence, it becomes impossible to responsibly claim that females do not commit at least an equal amount of violence as defined by the OVW.

      What has not been recognized until now, as the NVDRS data demonstrates, is that it appears the majority of domestic violence-related deaths are suffered by males not females. The question that now must be explored is how much of the female violence, as defined by the OVW, is responsible or at least a factor for the high rate of domestic violence-related deaths suffered by males?

      Researchers Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft have suggested that some women are driven to suicide because of power and control issues. Women request and are issued restraining orders far more often than men and women are twice as likely as men to initiate marital separation. Restraining orders and divorces are most often based on the perceptions of those involved rather than empirical evidence-based data.

      It is most often men who lose the children, the home, and perhaps their sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem along with being ordered to pay alimony and child support. All of the above are issues that include emotional and psychological life altering stressors that may depress some men and drive some to suicide because they now have lost everything they have worked for. The NVDRS may have revealed that some of the least recognized wounds may be the most lethal.

      And if that divorce follows years of constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, followed by the issuance of a restraining order that often damages a man's relationship with his children, this behavior might fit the OVW definition of "abuse." Most often society views the divorce process as "a person's right to choose" and rarely is that process viewed as "abusive behavior."

      These findings join the ever growing list of data that document domestic violence-related fatalities are a problem for adult heterosexual women. However, the NCDRS reveals that domestic violence-related fatalities are not exclusively or primarily a problem for adult heterosexual women.

      Also fatality reviews and NVDRS data clearly document that the deaths inside and outside of home, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation have far more complex and multifaceted causes than sexism and oppression.

      It was the MDVHR that led me to the Utah report and the CDC to the NVDRS. The MDVHR clearly documents, despite the inability or unwillingness of the authors to recognize the many different and complex circumstances of domestic violence incidents even when they document those many multifaceted complexities, contexts and unreasoned or irrational circumstances and happenstances of some domestic violence homicides.

      Despite the data to the contary the MDVHR authors conclude that social norms (although their report does not specify or acknowledge what these social norms are), are the primary cause for these horrific homicides. The authors further conclude that these homicides could be prevented if the media properly reported the homicides. This subjective conclusion lacks any evidence-based data in their report and probably rests on the dated mid-20th century hypothesis that violence against women is very different from violence in general and that violence against women is exclusively or primarily caused by sexism and the oppression of women.

      The report from the National Research Council, Advancing the Federal Research Agenda on Violence Against Women concludes:

      Finally, there is emerging and credible evidence that the general origins and behavioral patterns of various forms of violence, such as male violence against women and men and female violence against men and women, may be similar.

      Perhaps the NVDRS data will set some researchers, domestic violence interveners and policy makers free from concluding they have already discovered the single correct answer to this enigma which continues to plague children, women and men.

      In Canada, it is estimated that each year 800,000 children are exposed to a woman being abused. When children witness abuse they receive the message that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict and therefore a normal part of a relationship.

      The impact of witnessing abuse depends on the age and developmental stage of the child, the frequency and severity of the abuse along with the support systems in place for the child.

      Children often become victims of physical violence as well. Children are harmed in 10 percent of spousal assaults against women and 4 percent of spousal assaults against men.

      Statistics

      In 2004, 7% of women and 6% of men reported having been assaulted by an intimate partner in the previous five years.

      Almost 30,000 women and dependent children were admitted to Ontario shelters between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004.

      53% of Ontario women escaping abusive situations were admitted with their children; 65% of these children were under the age of 10.

      51% of women and 34% of men who reported to the police that they had been assaulted by their spouse said their children had witnessed the violence; of those, 62% of woman and 49% of men feared for their lives.

      16% of women who were victimized by their spouse were sexually assaulted.

      Almost 45% of women and 19% of men assaulted by a partner suffered physical injuries.

      22% of men and women accused of spousal homicide or attempted spousal homicide had a history of police-reported spousal violence.

      Only 37% of women and 17% of men who were victims of spousal abuse reported it to the police.

      The November 2003 National Institute of Justice Journal (N. 250) article Reviewing Domestic Violence Deaths, reports that domestic violence can provoke suicide. The 2003 Massachusetts Domestic Violence Homicide Report notes that suicide can be attributed to domestic violence deaths. The Utah Domestic Violence Council reports that the majority of domestic violence related suicides are not covered in their yearly domestic violence-related deaths report. The 2005 Utah Department of Health documents that there were 44 suicide and 21 homicide domestic violence-related deaths. Using data from the Surveillance for Violent Deaths -- National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2005 it is possible to infer that as many as 7,832 male and 1,958 female domestic violence-related suicides occur annually. When combined with domestic violence homicides, the total number of domestic violence-related deaths would be higher for males than females. This article recommends that to properly understand the broad scope and tragic impact of domestic violence, further research is needed concerning domestic violence-related suicides.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • L'Tomay Douglas BRONX, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is important because I am a survivor. I know how vital it is to know that you are not alone, have support and protection during the process of healing. I did not and at times my way out appeared to be death. I survived and overcame, others may not. Please help and Reinstate Funding for Domestic Violence Law Prosecutions!!!

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    • Linda Zetterberg MUNKFORS, SWEDEN
      • about 2 years ago

      Because I am a woman and because violence breeds violence!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bonny Stroebel PRETORIA, HI
      • almost 3 years ago

      We demand JUSTICE!

      If you care about JUSTICE for Woman and Children of violent sexual assault, please stand together for change~http://www.change.org/petitions/the-south-african-justice-system-to-sentence-rapists-pedophiles-to-50years-to-life-imprisonment?te=seia

      Also see: ROSIE FOR CHANGE~to see her Blog: http://www.memoirofaredemptivelife.com/2011/12/another-incident-of-child-sexual-abuse.html#links

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    • Angelina Wilson DOUGLAS, MA
      • almost 3 years ago

      For my friend Claudia.

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