Saturday, January 30, 2010
Kentucky Continues the War Against Boys
During February, a spotlight will shine on the issue of teen dating violence on all levels, from county to state.In my 58 years of life, I've never seen a teenage boy slap or hit a girl. I've seen teenage girls, and adult women for that matte, slap, hit, kick boys or men plenty of times. (Of course, they "deserved" it.) Kentucky is the state that as recently as 10 years ago declared all domestic violence is male on female. They based this partially on a study where they asked only females if they had experienced domestic violence. Kentucky is also the state that, with great fanfare, released convicted murderers from prison because their victims were male. But, no mention anywhere of the problems males face, especially that a female can have them imprisoned or get away with killing them by making false allegations of abuse or rape.
Mason County Judge-Executive James "Buddy" Gallenstein signed a proclamation Friday declaring February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month, a move echoed by Gov. Steve Beshear who signed a similar proclamation for the state.
Shari Staff, director of the Buffalo Trace Women's Crisis Center, said the proclamations shed light "on the fact that adolescence and young adulthood are critical life stages in the prevention of violence against women and that dating violence is an issue that affects thousands of young Kentuckians."
Additionally, the issue is getting attention in the state legislature with bills addressing domestic violence being considered by the House of Representatives next week. Specifically, House Bill 30 sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins and supported by Rep. Mike Denham would expand the protective order statute to allow those who are dating or have dated to petition for protective orders, even if they have never lived together or had a child together. The bill would also expand the warrantless arrest statute to cover those in dating relationships.I can only imagine the quality of that research. I am reminded of the time I sat in the Kentucky protective services office in Maysville to report child abuse. I picked up a brochure where I first learned that Kentucky considered all domestic violence male on female. I told the worker I doubted that. She replied it was true. I asked her how she knew. She replied that an instructor in a workshop had told the group that. There you go. Intellectually lazy, biased female social workers unquestioningly accept what's told them.
Becky Young, a representative for the Maysville Women's Crisis Center who serves as a liaison between the crisis center and law enforcement, said this is the first time a proclamation of this type has been made for teen dating violence.
Young had been conducting research when she came across statistics on teen dating violence.
"I didn't realize how big a problem it was," she said.
According to information provided by the Women's Crisis Center, young women between 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of domestic violence but lack access to protection. In House Bill 30, it is noted that 32 percent of college students report dating violence by a previous partner and 21 percent report violence by a current partner. Sixty percent of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or dating relationship, according to the bill.
It's also significant that Maysville has a women's crisis center and no comparable facility or services for men.
It appears Kentucky is quite proud in leading the way to further diminishing the male's status in our society, the persecution of males, making it ever easier to legally attack, imprison, or kill a man without moral justification, and ensuring a future for our young men that makes this a country not worth fighting for.
This post deserves a comment. In my previous life I was a pastor of two churches (Christian I am). In those years I dealt with MANY couples going through difficulties.
It astounded me when I discovered how many females could initiate violence in a relationship. Astounding! Really! But I guess it shouldn't have been. In my own marriage (now 30+ years and counting) I had plates thrown at me, and neighbors "worried" about us when we were in our early 20's.
That all ceased eventually, as my wife matured some...and as I quit giving her cause to throw plates. Nyuk.
Having grown up in a harmonious household, this was all VERY new to me.
But, the very idea that ALL domestic violence is "male on female" is truly laughable.
I'll give 'em that more often than not the gal takes the worst of it in a dispute. But, (and this is from my experience) not ALL. I could run on and on with stories, cases (both personal & professional) that prove this study to be just a pile of junk.
But, I won't.
You obviously have MUCH more knowledge of what's going on with this subject than I do. I just wanted to throw my two cents in.
Not every incident was instigated by the male half, but they were always the louder, more physically intimidating, visible situations.
I have to think that most abusive behavior, by men and women, can be reduced more effectively through peer pressure. Friends don't let friends abuse or get abused.
The thing is that abusers are that regardless of gender. It is astonishingly sexist for women to claim that they don't ever abuse, as if they don't have the power to. The number of child abuse cases by mothers gives the lie to that one. [~70%]
What it all boils down to is that the magnitude of the damage men can do is sometimes different. BUT, especially if a woman is armed, there is no difference.
It is rare that if a woman abuses physically, people won't say "he must have done something to deserve it." Instead of saying NOBODY deserves that.
Dunno, I don't think shelters for men would work, at least in our current civilization. Men cannot affor to act weak on this.
The downside is... men are disengaging, in a lot of facets. People are saying that guys should man up and get married and be mature, when there is nothing but downside for them. That no matter who is wrong they will be blamed for it. That when help is needed they wont get it. They have seen their fathers vilified as ignorant slobs on TV...
So why should they try to be any different? Dunno, my own teenager I think already gets the part where there isn't any advantage to being married. For all the times I am careful to explain the advantage of having a mate, he can see how making a mistake on picking a partner can cause distress and financial wreckage as it did for me.
I really can't in good conscience recommend it to him. I find I spend a lot of time telling him to be careful about the difference between what someone says they want and what their true intention is.
The experience of looking at every man as a potential abuser, really reinforces an overall attitude about men in this country. The sad thing is it's a slow motion catastrophe. Looking at other industrialized countries that are suffering similarly... you can see things happen from the side, but it's so slow that you can't convince them it's happening. Denmark has astonishing health/parenting/childcare benefits... and yet they aren't having children. It's an individual choice, but it is writing their country off the map. Japan is the same in another direction. They are very traditional about male and female roles in marriage, BUT women who don't like that are simply opting out of marriage all together. While women who do get married can be very demanding about how they are supported. Men spend a lot of time working and little interacting with children, and they too are opting out.
To me this goes far beyond what people see or don't see in abuse, but as a shift in the way people look at everything in regards to gender relations. Esp. in the ways we are different, and what roles we play in the life of our species.
There's no doubt that domestic violence goes both ways but this isn't how it is presented or will be if the sheriff talks with school kids. My son is now a junior in high school, in the 8th grade they had a presentation on date violence and it was all male on female. One of my son's friends was attacked by his ex-girlfriend in the gym at the local YMCA a year or 2 ago. She was slapping and hitting him. There were about a dozen witnesses to corroborate this, but the girl's parents got a restraining order against him. (I talked with some of the witnesses myself.)
Nothing came of the ordeal but it shows the attitude that female on male violence is OK. I'm going to tell my son to bring up this incident, not naming names, if the school has a presentation on dating violence again.
DrHelen has post today on how men who are victims of domestic violence usually don't report it
I have not been reading your work for very long. I know that I came across your blog from a comment that you left on another one that I read (but, I'm aging quickly and can't remember which one it was).
Regardless, I know that this is a subject that is dear to your heart, and which you write about with passion.
I'm sure that your experiences, research etc., lend to a great deal of frustration with how this issue is perceived by the public, and how it is "thrashed out" in the courts.
I know little about your journey, but the fact that you have a high school-aged son with you tells me some. My best to your boy...I hope that when he grows up, he has a peaceful, loving relationship with a nice girl that cares for him.
Two of my grown sons are married. One relationship is perfect. The other is a true hell on earth, due to an abusive (and self-abusive) wife. It's too long a story to bore you with, but I wanted to let you know WHY I dropped a comment in the first place.
Keep up the good work. People are reading.
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