Thursday, October 30, 2008

Power, Police and Domestic Violence

A post on Vintage Berry Wine blog discusses the huge problem of members of law enforcement who are abusive to their spouses and children. Since domestic violence is so much about power and control for the abuser, what do you do if you are a victim of domestic violence and your abuser is in a legal position of power over you?

The Purple Berets list statistics and other information about police brutality at home:
"Domestic violence is 2 to 4 times more common in police families than in the general population. In two separate studies, 40% of police officers self-report that they have used violence against their domestic partners within the last year. In the general population, it's estimated that domestic violence occurs in about 10% of families."

Domestic violence laws apply to everyone, including soldiers and police officers, but it may seem extra difficult if your abuser is one of those. You can read more about your rights on

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Abuse Among Teens

In a study conducted by Liz Claiborne in 2008 it was reported that 62% of 11-14 year-olds who had been in a relationship knew friends who had been verbally abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Now there are more resources for teens than ever before to address this problem. Loveisrespect and Break the Cycle are two great resources on the internet. Also, take a look at this graphic novel by Safe Space. It is a great illustration of what abuse looks like among teens.

The graphic novel, titled "He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not", comes in Spanish and English and you can print it out yourself and use it as a tool in your own work with domestic violence! The cover of the down-loadable version is blank so you can include the information of your local resource.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Woman Murdered When She Changed Her Facebook Status

(This Facebook Profile is not real. It is meant to be an example of what a profile looks like.)

An article by the BBC reports a man murdered his wife of 15 years after she left him and then changed her Facebook status to "Single". In a critique of the BBC article, points out that not once is the term "domestic violence" used to explain what happened. By interpreting the crime as a direct result of the woman changing her Facebook status, the serious issue of domestic violence in our world continues to be ignored or understated. Most often men do not just murder their wives and girlfriends after being faithful, loyal, supportive, loving husbands. Generally, there is a long history of emotional and physical abuse before a man commits murder.

Unfortunately, what this article does rightly point out is the danger of technology to women in domestic violence relationships. If you are in an abusive relationship or you know someone who is read about Internet Security on for tips on how to stay safe.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Take Back the Night

A recent article in the Troy Record tells the story of a woman who survived such extensive abuse from her husband for so many years, she fell into a coma months after leaving him due to a brain aneurism. Her chances for survival were very slim, but she recovered and was at the Troy Take Back the Night to share her story.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Take Back the Night, it is a community rally against domestic violence and sexual assault, generally held by local colleges or universities. Survivors share their stories, people unite to protest rape and sexual assault, and then everyone marches off "into the night". Below is a video of a group of people walking for Take Back the Night.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Domestic Violence Increases with Unemployment

Womensenews reported yesterday:

"An extensive 2004 report by the National Institute of Justice found that the rate of violence against women increases as male unemployment increases. When a woman's male partner is employed, the rate of violence is 4.7 percent. It's 7.5 percent when the male experiences one period of unemployment. It's 12.3 percent when the male experiences two or more periods of unemployment.

A female victim's lack of money, meanwhile, is a common reason why she may refuse to leave an abusive partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence."

As the economy suffers, so do more women and children across the country. Its more important than ever to turn our attention towards ending domestic violence and helping women currently in abusive relationships reach safety. You can read more on about what you can do to help yourself or someone you know.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Obama and McCain on Domestic Violence

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Senator Barack Obama issued a press release about domestic violence. We also found a video on YouTube of Obama answering a question from a voter about what he would do to address violence against women and children:

We would love to hear what McCain thinks about the issue, however we can't find any record of McCain addressing domestic violence on his website, Google searches or on YouTube. If you know of anything that he or his running mate Sarah Palin have said about violence against women and children in this country (a problem that will effect 1 in 4 women) please let us know by leaving a comment on this post.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Teaching About Abusive Relationships Before They Happen

Rhode Island recently passed a new law called the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, named after a young woman who was murdered by her high school boyfriend at the age of 25. The Associated Press reports, "[This law] requires all public middle and high schools to teach students about dating violence in their health classes." The call for legislation came from Lindsay Burke's parents who felt that better education about the issue could have helped Lindsay to see the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Hopefully, over time, other states will adopt this law and teaching about dating violence will be just as commonplace as teaching sex ed and drug ed.

Thanks to for the heads up.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thank you Joe Biden!

Senator Joe Biden, a proven ally for women's rights, has done it again. Last week the senate passed The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2008, based on a law written by Joe Biden, which was set to expire this year. The goal of the legislation is "designed to help eliminate the nationwide backlog of rape evidence kits and bolster DNA testing of criminals and crime scene evidence."

Here is a sample from the Press Release:

"It is estimated that 40 percent of the unsolved rape cases could be solved by taking the DNA sample collected after a sexual assault and comparing it to the existing DNA databases of convicted felons and rapists. The U.S. Department of Justice has estimated that there are at least 221,000 rape kits currently on the shelves in evidence lockers, untested and gathering dust. The Debbie Smith Grant Program has helped alleviate some of the backlog and has expanded testing to solve more crimes, but much more needs to be done.

"If there's a rape kit left sitting on a shelf, there's a victim without justice. This program must be kept alive until the backlog numbers total zero," said Senator Biden. "It is unconscionable that we have the ability to solve these crimes and hold the perpetrators responsible, but because of red tape and lack of funding, the criminals are free and their victims continue live in fear. In the past five years, we've made headway in the backlog, but we still have a long road to go before it is eliminated."

Thank you Joe Biden!! And thank you to for the heads up.