Background: The domestic violence establishment is not telling us the full truth about domestic violence, and many destructive family law and criminal law policies have been based on misinformation. Research clearly establishes that women are frequently the aggressors in domestic combat, often employing the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for men’s strength. Yet arrest and prosecution policies are stacked against men, as is the public dialogue on this important issue. Perhaps worst of all, misguided women’s groups’ distortion of the domestic violence issue has been the leading impediment to passing shared parenting legislation.
Last year dozens of leading authorities in the domestic violence field formed the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center (NFVLRC) to change the domestic violence system. The NFVLRC advocates for non-discriminatory and evidence-based policies and seeks to correct the many damaging laws and policies which have been based on misleading claims. NFVLRC co-founder John Hamel, LCSW, a court-certified batterer treatment provider and author of the book Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, explains:
“The founding members of NFVLRC have recognized for some time that current policies are politically driven rather being based on scientifically sound information, and are seeking to change them. As a result of flawed policies, many children are being denied the same range of services simply because of their victimized parent’s gender. Current policies have in many instances also resulted in a loss of civil liberties, and research indicates that they have sometimes resulted in increased danger to victims…NFVLRC believes that unless domestic and family violence policies are reformed, victims, children and future generations will continue to suffer from this social problem.”
Last year over 50 of these authorities signed a letter urging the California legislature to stop the state’s policy of excluding male victims and their children from domestic violence services.
The California Alliance for Families and Children is sponsoring an historic, one-of-a-kind conference–“From Ideology to Inclusion: Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence.” The conference will be held Friday/Saturday, February 15-16, 2008 in Sacramento, California, and will feature speakers from the NFVLRC.
There will be 5 Plenary Sessions and 15 Breakout Sessions. Topics include: Current Policy Issues * Research Trends * Male and Female Victims* DV in the LGBT Community * DV in Ethnic Minority Groups * Restraining Orders* Female Perpetrators * DV and Child Abuse * DV and Child Custody * Co-ed Shelters * Gender-Inclusive and Research-Based Interventions * DV and Adolescents * Family Treatment * Working with Victimized Children.
Many of the leading authorities in the domestic violence field will be speaking at the conference. These include: Erin Pizzey, founder of one of the world’s first battered women’s shelters in 1971; author and psychologist Don Dutton, who served as a domestic violence expert on the prosecution team in the OJ Simpson trial; Linda Mills, PhD, LCSW, JD, New York University; Murray Straus, PhD, of the University of New Hampshire; clinical psychologist Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling of the University of South Alabama; Philip Cook, author of Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; Janet Johnston, PhD; forensic psychologist Dr. Tonia Nicholls; Marlene Moretti, PhD, coauthor of the book, Girls and Aggression: Contributing Factors and Intervention Principles; Miriam Ehrensaft Ph.D, of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, at Columbia University; Nicola Graham-Kevan, BSc, PhD, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Central Lancashire [UK]; and numerous others.
The conference will be held at the Clarion Hotel Mansion Inn in Sacramento, CA, and discounted hotel rates are still available. For the conference schedule and to register, visit www.NFVLRC.org and see the bottom of the home page.
Mike Robinson of the CAFC says:
“We already have had a great response in registration, with several county probation departments registering, one state’s Supreme Court staff and justices, family court and private mediation groups, custody evaluators, attorneys, and many more.”
To donate to help support the Conference, click here. To learn more about the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center, visit their website at www.nfvlrc.org. To contact them, write to John Hamel by clicking here.
[Note: If you or someone you love is being abused, the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women provides crisis intervention and support services to victims of domestic violence and their families.]