DV Industry Wrong Again

July 14, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.,

The domestic violence industry has its story and it’s stickin’ to it.  This, or course, is no surprise.  For decades, those feeding at the deep DV trough that’s periodically filled and refilled by federal and state agencies and private foundations have had one story to tell about domestic violence – that victims are invariably women and perpetrators are invariably men.  Now, it’s true that after 40 + years of telling that particular fib, they’ve grudgingly come to admit that, oh, maybe five percent of victims are male.

But year after year, their story remains the same despite an ever-growing body of scientific evidence that for decades has contradicted virtually everything the DV industry claims.  The more science there is on the subject, the more doggedly the DV industry clings to its patently false claims and, of course, it’s funding.

So this article comes as no surprise (Journal Star, 7/11/13).  Just last week, the Journal Star ran a piece by two attorneys reporting on the important Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project that I’ve written about twice.  To Nebraskans reading the Journal Star, those attorneys brought the information contained in PASK, the single most broadly-based, authoritative work on domestic violence ever.  Good for them.

But, I suppose as an effort to provide “balance” to the topic, the Journal Star has now run the linked-to op-ed by Lynne Lange, executive director of the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition.  It’s kind of like giving equal time to “creation scientists” to “balance” the ideas of those who teach evolution.  Face it, the ideas of those who ignore the truth in order to keep their place at the trough are not the moral equivalents of non-gender ideologues doing scrupulous scientific work in the field of domestic violence.

We know Lange’s making stuff up from the outset.  Here’s her second paragraph, referring to PASK:

While the study did represent sizable research, it unfortunately failed to factor in the type of violence that was considered for the study, and it highlighted misleading information with regard to the actual act of domestic violence.

Lange either hasn’t read the PASK summary or she’s deliberately misrepresenting it.  First, PASK is not a study, as anyone who’s read the first page of the executive summary would know.  Lange’s claim that it is a study turns out to be far more than a simple “slip of the tongue.”  Actually it’s carefully calculated to make the reader believe PASK has less intellectual heft than it does.

By falsely telling readers that PASK is a “study,” Lange allows herself to pretend and, she hopes, readers to believe that PASK researchers ignored DV as a “pattern of control” of one’s partner.

While the study did represent sizable research, it unfortunately failed to factor in the type of violence that was considered for the study, and it highlighted misleading information with regard to the actual act of domestic violence.

But of course PASK does all of those things and much, much more.  Has Lange not read PASK, or is she willfully misrepresenting its contents?  Whichever it is, her methods are what we’ve come to expect of the DV industry – an unbroken line of intellectual dishonesty reaching back to the early 70s.

PASK isn’t a study, it’s a meta-analysis of some 12,000 peer-reviewed studies of domestic violence since 1990.  Once you know that, Lange’s misrepresentations of it become obvious.  What are the chances that, out of those 12,000 studies, a fair number of them considered every single thing Lange claims PASK ignores?  That’s right, of course PASK deals with the aspect of DV that involves control of an intimate partner.  Of course it deals with reactive violence, self-defense and the like.  It deals with those topics and countless others in astonishing breadth and depth, but because Lange doesn’t like its findings, she misrepresents what PASK is and what its conclusions are.

In fact, PASK researchers included over 200 peer-reviewed studies in their analysis of power and control factors in domestic violence cases.  They found “40% of women and 32% of men reporting expressive aggression (i.e. verbal abuse or emotional violence in response to some agitating or aggravating circumstance) and 41% of women and 43% of men reporting some form of coercive control.”  Lange doesn’t want to admit the truth, so she ignores it.

Apparently uncomfortable with the most authoritative source on the science of domestic violence ever published, Lange hastens on to last year’s publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.  The NIPSV has been the subject of much comment since its publication with the DV industry picking and choosing what data is most conducive to maintaining its funding and ignoring all the rest.  Needless to say, Lange runs to type.

Gone from her narrative on the NIPSV are the facts that 6.8% of men and 6.5% of women said they’d been the victim of intimate partner violence in the previous 12 months.  Missing in action are the 32% of women and 29% of men who say they’ve been victimized in their lifetimes.  No, those facts, all easily visible in the NIPSV write-up of the data, don’t get a mention by Lange because, again, they contradict the story she’s telling.

Like others in the DV industry, she reports the NIPSV’s finding that “1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetimes, compared to 1 in 71 men,” a ploy much favored by apologists for our current dysfunctional approach to domestic violence.  Of course they do; after all, it’s a telling statistic, but it’s misleading.

The problem with the rape statistic is that it defines “rape” to effectively exclude men as victims.  But the NIPSV does something that few other studies do and that Lange doesn’t want you to know about.  In addition to asking women if they’ve ever been coerced into sex, the researchers asked men if they’ve ever been coerced into penetrating another person.  In other words, without calling it rape, the researchers gathered data on how common it is for a woman to coerce a man into having sex against his will.  It turns out that when you include those figures, some 43% of those coerced into sexual intercourse are men, a far cry from Lange’s “1 in 71” figure.  Needless to say, Lange scrupulously avoids any mention of male victimization in sexual assault cases.  Again, it doesn’t fit her “woman victim, man perpetrator” message, so she just ignores it.

Then there’s the amusing matter of Lange’s definition of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse to establish and maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Well, that’s what it is for Lange in her op-ed, again because defining it that narrowly serves her purpose of pretending that only women are victims and only men are perpetrators.  Of course even that is wrong as the PASK analysis shows, but desperate times call for desperate measures and Lynne Lange is desperate for people to believe that DV doesn’t affect men.

One of the many problems of limiting the definition of domestic violence to “a pattern of controlling behavior” is that so little of what we call domestic violence has anything to do with control.  The overwhelming majority of domestic violence is an occasional or one-time thing that comes about under conditions of stress brought on by financial or other problems and often exacerbated by drugs or alcohol.  Indeed, if DV activists went to their various funding sources armed only with those instances that meet Lange’s definition, their bank accounts would quickly have zero balances.

And just imagine.  A woman calls the police to her house one night claiming her husband has engaged in domestic violence.  Sure enough, when the police arrive, they see the woman with a mouse under her eye, a lump on her forehead with blood streaming from it.  What happened?  Her husband beat her up.  But wait!  He can’t be arrested just for that.  The police must first ascertain whether the attack has been part of a pattern of coercion and control, and, since this is the first time this has happened, they walk away.  Hey, no pattern of control, no DV, right Ms. Lange?

The scenario is absurd.  Of course the husband would be arrested.  He’d also be charged and a protective order issued against him.  Why?  Because for decades the DV industry has lobbied for laws that punish one-off events like the one described.

But now they’re faced with the uncomfortable fact that women are as likely or more likely to commit domestic violence as are men, so they want to change the definition.  Or, to be precise, they want one definition when it suits them and another when that one does.  What else is new?

As time goes on, more and more people know the DV industry for what it is – a dishonest attempt to live off the public dole while doing everything it can to allow domestic violence to continue.  It’s deeply shameful from top to bottom and Lynne Lange’s thoroughly shady article is just the latest chapter in a sorry story.

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