To Donna Cunningham:
I would also like to commend you on your thorough post regarding
the domestic abuse discussion.
A couple of small items:
1) You note that one of the problems with statistics regarding spousal
abuse and murder is that they don't take into account actions about
women acting in self-defense. It should be noted that they also don't
take into account men acting in self-defense.
2) The Census Bureau's National Crime Survey indicated that women
acknowledged using weapons against men three times as often as men
acknowledged using weapons against women. And the women responded
that they physically hit men more than men hit women.
Of course, there are two problems with these findings. First, there
is no distinction here about self-defense actions. Second, because
it was a survey (60,000 households every 6 months for 3 1/2 years),
perhaps the women were responding more openly and truthfully than
the men, which skewed the results (that's one possibility).
I think we can agree on the following:
1) Violence in the home is a tragic social problem. Social policy
should be directed against protecting those less powerful in violence
situations, which should be prioritized 1) children; 2) wives; and
2) The potential for violence in the home exists for all members of the
family relationship -- initiating it as well as being victimized by it.
Domestic violence intervention plans, therefore, should take into
account the family as a system.
3) The media are often careless with the presentation of "facts" and
"images" about many social issues, including domestic violence, and
should be urged to do a much more careful job.
4) Listening is a skill that most of us (myself definitely included)
could use a lot of work on. Perhaps the discussion of the O.J. and
spouse abuse link would have been less heated had there been more
listening going on (to which I plead guilty in a couple of incidents).
University of Bridgeport