Monday, March 30, 2009

Spot Light: Florida

In light of recent reports, women in Florida are bearing the brunt of the national economic down turn through the increase of abuse they receive at home by their unemployed partners. Statistics show violence in the home increases during economic hardship, and what is being reported by the Florida State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) is exactly that.

From an article in the Miami Harold, "The [FCADV] says in its report to the Legislature that when perpetrators are laid off, the severity and frequency of violent assaults increase because the perpetrators are home more often."

Violence against women increases for other reasons as well. The deepest root of domestic violence has to do with our social definitions of masculinity. Being a man in this society means, among other things, being strong, dominant and in control (see The Man Box for more details). Domestic violence, a pattern of behavior defined by one partner holding power and control over the other, is a way for men to both personally and publicly satisfy that definition of masculinity. When a man feels inadequate or weak, by way of unemployment, suppressed childhood violence, or unregistered emotional pain, he may take it out on his wife or girlfriend.

Other states besides Florida are suffering in the same way. According the National Network to End Domestic Violence Annual Census, the economic crisis affects victims of violence in 2 major ways. First, incidents of domestic violence significantly increase as the economy falls. Second, funding is cut and service providers are unable to provide as many services as needed. This inverse correlation is incredibly problematic for those women who need help now more than ever before. is a free website and email hotline with legal info (like how to get a restraining order) for every state in the USA, including Guam, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. If you or someone you know needs help or support, check us out or email us for more assistance. We're here for you.

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