St. Petersberg, FL–In Domestic violence cannot be ignored (St. Petersburg Times, 10/1/08), JoAnne M. Clay writes:
The month of October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time for communities to collectively come together with their local domestic violence program and like-minded organizations, such as the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc., that are committed to the reduction and elimination of domestic violence.
The goal is to enhance the community’s awareness on the dynamics of domestic violence and the impact it has on the victims and the impact that violence has on the community. Last year in Florida, there were over 120,000 victims who reached out to Florida law enforcement and reported incidents of domestic violence. However, please know there remain more women who continue to suffer in silence at the hands of their abusive partners. These women are afraid to seek the services of a local domestic violence center or seek legal remedies. In the United States, 1 of every 4 women will experience some type of abuse within their intimate relationship and every nine seconds a woman is battered at the hands of an abusive partner. No woman is exempt from potentially finding herself in an abusive relationship. Domestic violence reaches within all walks of life. Domestic violence is not a race issue, economic status issue, or lack of education issue. Domestic violence takes on various forms from verbal and psychological abuse, economic abuse, pet and property destruction, and often times graduating to physical abuse.
As we’ve noted many times, research clearly shows that men suffer a third of all domestic violence-related injuries, and women are just as likely as men to initiate violence in the home. The same studies which show significant incidence of violence against women show similar incidence of violence by women against men. In the vast majority of cases, the violence is trivial, or mutual, or both. Moreover, stories like these encourage a further crackdown on domestic violence, which in practice means that more innocent men will be victims of draconian arrest laws, “no drop” prosecution policies, and restraining orders based on spurious allegations. These accusations often separate innocent fathers from their children. I doubt Ms. Clay is trying to deceive anybody–she probably just doesn’t know the truth. I suggest readers write Letters to the Editor of the St. Petersburg Times by clicking here. If your letter is printed, please let me know so we can feature it on my blog. Letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum, as a rule) and must contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Also, I suggest you submit comments to the story by clicking here. To learn more about the domestic violence issue, see my co-authored column October”s Domestic Violence Awareness Month Ignores Many Victims (Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/4/06) or click here.