Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Sault Ste. Marie, ON Some Domestic Violence Supplemental Information for the Editor

The Editor, The Sault Star
145 Old Garden River Rd.
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5M5

Re: Ashley Caputo Letter Saturday, May 23, 2009 Help Prevent Abuse Of Women

Ashley has done a good job of researching issues related to a single gender in the realm of Domestic Violence (DV). She is to be congratulated for her efforts. I want to advise there is further information on this serious issue but it involves two genders. In Canada, as it is in most western democracies, DV is pretty much equal between genders. Statistics Canada reports in "Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2005" An estimated 7% of women and 6% of men representing 653,000 women and 546,000 men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004.


Police reported violence is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Men only report about 10% of the time and so they do not appear in overwhelming numbers in these statistics. They do not report for a variety of reasons related to social mores. Men are socialized to "suck it up". After all we are "manly" men. In many cases, where mandatory arrest policies exist, the police will arrest the man if the woman makes false accusations which are pretty common even though she started the dispute. In one study conducted by the Centre for Disease Control it found 71% of the instigators of a physical dispute were females.

Christina Hoff Sommers, author of "Who Stole Feminism" published in 1994 said in a recent lecture in January 2009, "The dominant philosophy of today's women's movement is not equity feminism--but "victim feminism." "Victim" feminists don't want to hear about the ways in which women have succeeded. They want to focus on and often invent new ways and perspectives in which women can be regarded as oppressed and subordinated to men."

Our daughters and sons are being taught this kind of mythology and one sidedness. Both men and women can be victims and a new paradigm is needed in order to come to grips with treating it properly. It needs family intervention not a one gender approach. I have experienced emotional, financial and physical abuse. Many of you know me and realize I am not a 99 lb weakling, a shrinking violet or overly shy and introverted. My book when published will chronicle instances of female on male abuse and start with the following which is only one of many instances of abuse my research and experience has uncovered. Emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse but the irony is the scars can last a lifetime.

"What if… your best friend, life partner, lover, wife and soul mate committed theft, fraud and forgery against your former employer?

What if … the partner causes you the worst humiliation in your life and loss of career …

Michael Murphy

The letter to the editor which initiated my response is as follows:

Help prevent abuse of women

According to the report Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile

(2008), there were more than 38,000 incidents of spousal violence reported to police in 2006. Of these, 83 per cent of victims were female and 61 per cent were assaulted by a current or ex-spouse.

Abuse can happen to women of all backgrounds, regardless of education, race, religion or social status.

Clearly, abuse of women is a serious, ongoing societal issue.

While doing research for a class assignment about woman abuse, I discovered an excellent resource, Neighbours, Friends and Families. It is an Ontario public awareness initiative that educates the community about the signs of woman abuse and encourages those close to a victim or abuser to help.

In addition to outlining signs of abuse, it provides practical information about safety planning and recommends helpful community resources for both victims and perpetrators.

Even though many health-care providers are trained to screen women for past or present abuse, the first ones to notice a problem may be the woman's family or friends. They can support her by listening and by helping to increase her safety and the safety of her children.

Everyone in the community has a role to play in helping to prevent the abuse of women.

Visit www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca for more information.

Ashley C.


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