December 7th, 2011 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
The Verizon Foundation has joined with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to issue a misandric and factually false domestic violence video called “Monsters.” The 2:34 minute video is posted on the internet and can be seen here.
The video is an animated piece voiced-over by what’s meant to sound like a little girl.
Needless to say, all the victims of DV in the video are described as female. So, according to the video, the only children who are victims of DV are girls. The same holds true for adults; only women are victims.
And of course the perpetrators are invariably men.
Then there’s the inevitable claim that “one in four American women are victims of DV.” I’d like to say that’s simply false, but it’s in fact merely misleading. It’s one of the salient features of the DV movement that its spokespeople and publications routinely define DV to fit their purposes.
So, if you define DV broadly enough, then certainly 25% of women are victims of DV. Given some of the “definitions” of DV, I’m surprised the figure isn’t higher. After all, when you define DV to include something called “financial abuse,” the sky’s the limit. Did Dad ask Mom more than once to control her spending? He’s an abuser and she’s been abused.
In Australia, euthanizing a terminally ill pet constitutes domestic abuse. Just a few days ago I read a piece in a college newspaper that raged against “digital abuse.” Yep, that occurs when a girl or woman is criticized on Facebook or some other social media site. According to the indignant radical feminist author, that’s something that happens to women and girls, but apparently not to men or boys. If it does happen to the male sex, she didn’t mention it and certainly doesn’t think it’s cause for alarm.
So when the DV establishment wants to flash a really large figure at the reading/viewing public, it defines DV broadly enough to include virtually any human behavior that someone might find unpleasant. Of course they don’t tell their readers/viewers what their definition is, but that’s what it must be in order to come up with the inflated figure.
But when the subject is the effects of DV, they (again without saying so) define DV to include only the battering, controlling behavior the social scientists have taken to calling “intimate terrorism.” That injurious behavior is committed by a tiny fraction of the population, against another tiny fraction, but the DV establishment doesn’t admit that. It’s content to hide its dueling definitions and let readers/viewers believe that 25% of American women are battered and terrorized.
That of course is pure bunk, unsupported by any evidence and contradicted by much.
So that’s the Verizon Foundation’s video in a nutshell. It, like so much of the public narrative about DV, is not aimed at combating DV but at demonizing men. It’s aimed at convincing women that men are dangerous and particularly that the man they’re living with is dangerous. Did he shout at her while under stress? He’s an abuser and she’s abused. Did she shout at him? It’s not the same; she was stressed and it’s her right to express her discontent. After all, women don’t commit DV, so her behavior, whatever it was, couldn’t be that.
The unsurprising result of all that is the separation of fathers from their children via the routine issuance of DV restraining orders by family and criminal courts. There, the mere allegation that a woman was placed “in fear” by her husband, partner or boyfriend, is sufficient to get him kicked out of his house and removed from his children’s lives.
Don’t believe me? Ask Bellevue, Washington’s Solomon Metalwala, whose mentally challenged wife accused him of child abuse during their custody dispute. Despite the almost entire lack of evidence to support the charge and her well-documented record of mental illness, the restraining order was issued and was still in place a year later when Mom either murdered or abducted the couple’s two-year-old son.
By misrepresenting known facts about DV, by pretending that all abusers are men and all victims are women, Verizon Foundation not only purveys falsehoods, it actually promotes DV. Reliable science shows that women who hit first are likely to be hit in return and suffer injury as a result. If the DV establishment including Verizon admitted that women hit and tried to get them to stop, they’d save a lot of injury to women. By refusing to admit the facts, they perpetuate the injury of women in DV incidents.
So why would an organization that claims to oppose DV actually end up promoting it? The answer in the case of, for example, the shelter system is obvious – money. The more the DV problem is inflated, the more federal and private money flows into the system. Although the Verizon Foundation gives money away, it’s part of the same DV establishment that’s made big bucks peddling the “woman as victim, man as victimizer” narrative. Indeed, according to foundation head Rose Kirk, it’s been doing so for 10 years.
And it’s not about to change. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (S.A.V.E.) has taken on the Verizon Foundation’s radically incorrect, radically misandric video “Monsters” asking that it be pulled from the airways and replaced by an accurate, non-gender-biased one. VF has refused saying that national crime statistics back up their claims.
As attorney and vice president of the National Coalition for Men Marc Angelucci rightly states in response,
To begin with, when we mention soldiers in Iraq, we say “men and women” regardless of the fact that over 90% of them are men. That’s to make sure the minority are not excluded. Why aren’t domestic violence victims given the same respect?
Good question. It’s one Rose Kirk and the Verizon Foundation don’t have an answer for. They also can’t explain why almost 300 studies conducted over 35 years all show that men and women commit DV equally.
Interestingly, Kirk made a video of her own about Verizon and DV. In it she touts Verizon’s “partnership” with the Liz Claiborne, Inc. in its take on DV.
That’s telling, because several years ago LCI commissioned a very large study of teen dating violence, but didn’t like what its own figures revealed. As the scrupulous and thorough Richard Davis pointed out in this article, LCI’s Teen Relationship Abuse Survey (TRAS) found that teen boys and girls reported the following levels of violence and controlling behavior in their dating lives:
On page 11, the TRAS documents that 17% of boys and 13% of females report that their partner hit, slapped or pushed them…
On the top of page 3 of the TRAS survey it notes, “[P]ower and control actions and attitudes are pervasive in teen relationships – many young people have dealt with a boyfriend or girlfriend who tried to control their whereabouts.”
The survey asks if the boys or girls had partners who want to know:
Who were they with all the time, 32% of boys and 39% of girls responded yes.
Where they were all the time, 31% of boys and 35% of girls responded yes.
Tried to tell them what to do a lot, 33% of boys and 31% of girls responded yes.
Asked them to only spend time with him/her, 24% of boys and 24% of girls responded yes.
Tried to prevent them from spending time with family or friends, 22% of boys and 21% of girls responded yes.
Hence, the LCI’ sponsored TRAS clearly documents boys and girls equally attempt to control or monitor the whereabouts of their partner.
So LCI’s own survey revealed that girls actually commit violence in dating relationships more often than do boys, and that controlling behavior is statistically a dead heat between the sexes. Fine; in that regard, the TRAS is like many other surveys of dating violence.
What’s different is that LCI, in its publicity about teen dating violence completely ignores female-on-male violence. It commissioned the study and then ignored the parts it didn’t like. The intellectual dishonesty of DV zealots has been known for a long time, but it doesn’t get much more blatant than that.
LCI of course is the Verizon Foundation’s “partner” in DV advocacy. Great minds think alike.
The opposition to VF’s video has gone international. Not only is S.A.V.E. opposing it with a write-in campaign, it’s now getting folks to leaflet Verizon stores. The National Coalition for Men is doing the same thing. That effort has taken root in several states.
It’s also happening in Canada as our good friend Paulette McDonald has informed us.
Close your Verizon account and encourage your friends to do likewise. Help S.A.V.E and the NCFM force Verizon to take down its false and misandric video.
The demonization of men has gone far enough.