When Domestic Violence Becomes a Mass Shooting

It happens more often than you think. So why don't we ever talk about it?

When Domestic Violence Becomes a Mass Shooting

Kelly O

AFTERMATH OF A SHOOTING The assailant killed his girlfriend in their Federal Way apartment, and then two neighbors in the parking lot, and then another neighbor in a nearby apartment, before he was killed by cops.

On Sunday, April 21, around 9:30 p.m., 24-year-old Justine Baez was shot to death by her 27-year-old boyfriend, Dennis Clark III, in their Federal Way apartment. Neighbors began frantically calling 911 as soon as the first shots were fired. "I heard it so clearly, somebody dropped... I heard someone falling," said one woman. "I am so worried about Justine," said another.

Then Clark exited the apartment and made his way down two flights of stairs and into the parking lot, where he came upon Ceasar Valdovinos, 23, and Bradley Fischer, 47, "minding their own business," according to a Federal Way police commander speaking to a room full of shell-shocked neighbors a few days later. No one knows precisely what happened in that parking lot, since none of the three men survived. Presumably, Clark was trying to flee the scene. Whatever occurred in the parking lot "delayed the assailant," according to the police commander, Kyle Sumpter. "Unfortunately, it cost those two heroes their lives." Clark "cowardly shot them as they were trying to get away," and then for some reason decided to go back upstairs, "back into his apartment, where Justine lay."

On the 911 tapes, bursts of gunshots go off, sounding like popcorn. As Clark went back upstairs to the apartment, two residents stepped out of their doorways. One was Roland Scobee, 62, known by neighbors as a sort of watchdog for the building. Scobee told the other neighbor to get inside and call 911, and they both retreated back into their apartments. "As far as we know," said Sumpter, "those are Roland's last words." Clark shot down Scobee's door with a shotgun and killed him, too. When Clark stepped back out of Scobee's apartment, he was confronted by the first officers on the scene. "He had two weapons, and he used both," said Sumpter.

In a brief firefight, Clark was shot dead.

At this point, Sumpter said, "We didn't know yet who were victims." Arriving officers knew only of the two bodies in the parking lot, and Clark. "We had to start searching every nook and cranny... During that process, we found Roland. And, eventually, we found Justine." Medics were called, but it was too late. No one could be saved, explained Sumpter, "because of the manner in which the assailant did his ugly work."

A woman being killed by her boyfriend is a horrifying crime, but it's not unusual. Domestic-violence deaths, especially with a gun, are relatively common occurrences—two-thirds of women killed with a firearm in the United States are killed by an intimate partner, according to federal crime statistics. What splashed this story across national news was the death count—a domestic-violence homicide that became a mass shooting.

At the same meeting where Sumpter retold the night's events, a parade of city leaders stepped up to the podium, trying to assure the terrified crowd that the city was safe. Federal Way deputy mayor Jim Ferrell, a longtime King County deputy prosecutor who worked with the late and much beloved King County prosecutor Norm Maleng, spoke. He quoted Maleng as saying that "domestic violence tears at the very fabric of our community," and said Federal Way would "bind the fabric of our community back up." Ferrell also said that in 18 years as a prosecutor, he'd "never seen or heard of witnesses" being taken out like this.

Which was odd, because there have actually been quite a few recent mass shootings on the national news that escalated from domestic-violence situations.

One was Aziz Yazdanpanah, a 56-year-old man in a Dallas, Texas, suburb killing his estranged wife, their kids, and three more relatives—and then himself—on Christmas Day in 2011 while wearing a Santa suit. Another was Radcliffe Haughton, 45, opening fire at the Wisconsin spa where his wife worked in October of 2012, killing her and two other women at the spa, and wounding four others, before killing himself. This past January in Seattle, 33-year-old James Anderson stormed into the Twilight Exit, a cozy dive bar in the Central District, and shot his girlfriend, who was seated at the bar, along with bouncer Greg McCormick, before being killed by police. Both of Anderson's victims were rushed to the hospital and survived.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors from around the country, recently released an analysis of mass shootings since January 2009, shootings in which four or more people were killed with a gun. "There was a noteworthy connection between mass-shooting incidents and domestic or family violence," the report states. That connection? A majority of the mass shootings in the four-year period were domestic-violence related. In 32 of the 56 mass shootings, or 57 percent, the perpetrator "killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or other family member."

If we as a society have any interest in preventing mass shootings—crimes that seem so senseless, so unpredictable—we have got to look at domestic violence.

Professionals working to stop domestic violence know this well. After a mass shooting makes the news, says Kelly Starr, communications director at the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), "when you're freaked out and scared, you just want to hole up in your home. But actually, that's the most dangerous place for a lot of people."

Considering its prevalence, "It's basically impossible that you don't know someone who has been affected by domestic violence," Starr continues. "You feel scared and hopeless when you think about stranger danger, but when you have to come to terms with the fact that this is your neighbors and friends... that's hard."

WSCADV runs a domestic-violence fatality review every year, looking at each domestic-violence-related death in our state—including cases that involve the death of people not in the abusive relationship, like family members, coworkers, new partners, and law enforcement—to see how it escalated to the point of homicide.

The domestic-violence fatality review began, she tells me, because advocates working to end domestic violence started noticing something creepy. "Advocates said, 'We've been at this for about 25 years, since we started the [anti-domestic-violence] movement. And we're not seeing the rate of homicide going down." Rates of other violent crimes were going down, but domestic-violence homicides weren't budging, despite the best efforts of national and local policymakers. So the fatality review was born, in which review panels "put together chronologies of what happened before the homicide. Where were missed opportunities?"

"What we found was it was less about factors x, y, and z, [where] if you add them together, you get homicide," Starr says. "What people were facing were systems."

The system fails people, and it fails them big time.

In her office, Starr points to the most depressing bar graph in history. It's a review of the criminal legal response to 48 cases of domestic violence, part of a comprehensive, multiyear report WSCADV released in 2010. The first line on the graph shows the number of incidents: 157. The line is the length of my pinky finger, almost exactly. The next line, which is less than half the first one, represents the number of arrests after those incidents: 63. Smaller still are "charges filed" (55) and "sentenced" (38). Then the smallest line of all, so short it's barely half my stubby fingernail: "Complied with sentence." The number is seven.

WSCADV comes up with all kinds of solutions to various gaps in victim services and punishment for offenders, many so simple that you want to slap your forehead. "I remember one of the first reviews I did," says Starr. "There was one judge that served two counties. So if you went to get a protection order on the day he wasn't there, you couldn't get one." They went to the judge directly, to see if anything could be done to fix the loophole. "So he said, 'Why don't you just call me? We can do a temporary one over the phone.'"

I ask Starr if they identified a basic pattern in the relationships and situations leading up to the homicides they review, a way to tell which ones will end with bloodshed. "There is not a formula," she says. "There is not a trajectory." Does that mean there are cases where there was no physical abuse in the relationship prior to a murder? "There are several incidences where the first physical violence we saw was the homicide," she affirms.

So what about a pattern to the violence itself? She says that, yes, "there are things that increase lethality risk." The main one: "The presence of guns."

And by no small amount. A 2003 study published in the American Journal of Public Health determined that access to guns increases the risk of intimate partner homicide more than five times. And according to WSCADV's local analysis, in all the domestic-violence homicides from 1997 to 2010, abusers used a firearm in 55 percent of cases—more than all other methods (knives, strangling, beating, fire, poison, drowning) combined.

"So," says Starr, rattling off her statistics, "we know that domestic violence is one of the leading causes of injury to women... When there's a gun around is when it escalates to lethality—you're five times more likely to be killed if there's a gun around... Two out of three women killed by guns in this country are killed by a partner. A majority of mass shootings are domestic-violence related."

So what do we do?

"There isn't one fix," she says. "Domestic violence is a really complex issue. Access to firearms is a complex issue. There isn't one solution that's going to keep everyone safe. But there are a lot of things we can do to improve [safety]." And they're mainly simple, straightforward things, like aligning our state law with federal law by forcing abusers to surrender firearms after a protection order is given. This was an issue discussed in a scathing article in the New York Times this spring, which identified Washington State as a problem state when it comes to not confiscating abusers' weapons or enforcing existing gun laws. That's a whole section of WSCADV's policy recommendations in their overview of 13 years of fatality reviews: "Maximize the use of existing legal means to restrict abusers' access to firearms." Not pass new, more stringent gun-control laws. Enforce the laws we already have.

As the report points out, there's a glaring flaw in Washington State's protection-order system: "With very few, recent exceptions, law-enforcement agencies did not have protocols in place to remove firearms from protective-order respondents or convicted domestic-violence offenders."

In a case they give as an example, "the abuser had been convicted of domestic- violence assault, and the court ordered him not to possess any firearms. Because of his conviction, he was also prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms." The report goes on: "However, the court had no mechanism for enforcing these restrictions or monitoring whether he surrendered his weapons; instead the court relied on him to turn over the guns voluntarily."

In the jurisdiction for this case, which is not specified, the report says if a victim asked law enforcement what to do about getting their abuser to relinquish guns they weren't supposed to have anymore, "the law-enforcement agency would confirm that it is illegal for the offender to have guns but would not make any efforts to remove the weapons."

Unsurprisingly, that was not effective at eliminating the convicted abuser's access to guns in this particular case. "The victim's ex-husband came to her home armed with four firearms and shot and killed her new husband and then himself in front of their 4-year-old child."

In the windowed offices of the King County Courthouse, I'm sitting in between two of the fiercest advocates against domestic violence: Sandra Shanahan, who runs the county's protection-order program, and David Martin, the deputy prosecutor in charge of the domestic-violence unit.

When I tell them I'm looking into the connection between mass shootings and domestic violence, they nod their heads knowingly. And it's not just shootings, they say. "Domestic violence is the single greatest predictor of future violent crime," says Martin, especially if it reaches the felony level. He's citing a risk assessment tool, based on the criminal histories of hundreds of thousands of offenders, that uses an offender's convictions to determine their risk of committing future violence. Someone who has been convicted of felony domestic violence in the past is more likely to commit future violent crime than someone who's been convicted of kidnapping or robbery.

Shanahan mentions high-profile local cases where future violence toward strangers was preceded by domestic-violence charges—like the case of the Cafe Racer shooter, Ian Stawicki. Or the heartbreaking case of Justin Ferrari, the 43-year-old father of two who was shot in the head at a Central District intersection in 2012, apparently by accident. His alleged killer, Andrew Patterson, had been charged with fourth-degree domestic-violence assault and had been ordered not to possess a firearm a month before the shooting.

"A public-health response would be to do everything we can to get these guns out of [these situations]," says Martin.

I ask them what can be done, and the first thing Shanahan mentions is the problem the New York Times identified: "Having state law mirror federal law" when it comes to yanking people's guns after a protection order would be a good start. Right now, she has to be honest with the victims she works with when talking about firearms and protection orders. She has to explain to these victims that here in Washington State, it's basically an "honor system—if he doesn't do it, nothing's going to happen." She says "there is no workable mechanism right now" to make abusers served with protection orders relinquish their guns. Even though it can be a violation of federal law to refuse to surrender weapons, local law enforcement doesn't enforce federal law. She says when she tells victims that, nine times out of ten they don't bother to stipulate in their protection order that their abuser should hand over firearms—after all, it's likely to only enrage the abuser, and no one's got the victim's back.

To be clear, if you're convicted on a criminal domestic-violence charge in King County, the law-enforcement tools are in place to seize your guns. But that's not true in every county. And if you're served with a domestic-violence protection order in civil court, where Shanahan works, those tools are not in place. Federal law says people served with domestic-violence protection orders in civil court should forfeit their firearms, but that's not happening anywhere in Washington State.

"You can't prosecute your way out of domestic violence," Martin says about this gap in state law. "You need to have more tools. And those things should be as potent as the thing you're responding to."

Which is why state representative Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) introduced House Bill 1840 in Olympia this year, a bill that according to its official summary "requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies and procedures regarding the acceptance, storage, and return of weapons required to be surrendered."

Goodman tells me in an interview over the phone: "In our effort to address the gun-safety issue, a no-brainer is to identify known dangerous people and prevent them from having access to firearms. And people who are ordered by the court to stay away from their victims, and who have been identified by the court as a credible threat, shouldn't be allowed to possess firearms. It's already prohibited under federal law."

So isn't this a no-brainer? Who in the world would oppose this common-sense legislation? The NRA? Nope, not even the NRA—it supports this proposed legislation. "We worked out the language with the NRA," Goodman explains, adding that Washington State's constitution "guarantees the individual right to bear arms to a greater degree" than the Second Amendment. This bill actually goes further than federal law to protect gun owners' rights, requiring both specific language in the protection order regarding a threat of bodily violence or injury and a separate court finding that the person the order is against is a credible threat. "The NRA testified, they said they'd have no objection to the bill with the language we added." Both Martin and Shanahan testified at the bill's hearing in Olympia. Though, honestly, Shanahan says, it would likely "touch very few cases," it's certainly one step in the right direction.

HB 1840 passed the house, 61 to 37. "We had Republican votes," Goodman says. They also had enough votes to pass the bill in the state senate, Goodman believes, but it was never moved out of the rules committee controlled by the power-hungry Republican-led majority caucus in charge of the senate. "The only opponents [of the bill] are those to the right of the NRA," says Goodman.

He continues: "I do think, of all the firearms-related bills that we considered this year, this one is the most reasonable, most appropriate measure to protect people from making what is already an explosive situation into a lethal situation."

But it won't see the light of day this year. "That bill is not on the agenda," Goodman says.

The senators who opposed this bill or prevented it from coming to a vote didn't return calls for comment. I left messages for senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler, senate majority leader Rodney Tom, and even Republican senator Pam Roach, who opposed the bill in committee.

And all that's not even going into the more politically controversial gun-show loophole, which allows people to buy guns from private dealers without going through the background check that would reveal criminal convictions or protection orders to the seller and prohibit the sale. That yawning chasm of a loophole is now subject to a citizen initiative aimed at closing it, since our NRA-fearing state lawmakers have so completely failed to do so.

Domestic-violence cases are complicated, and they won't necessarily be solved by just knocking off one of the points on a checklist of policy recommendations. Martin and Shanahan talk a lot about the difficulty of their work—putting traumatized abuse victims into an adversarial legal system, say, or how often victims recant their testimony out of fear of their partner. Or how the law can be so far behind the times—Washington State only recently amended its third-degree rape and indecent liberties statutes so that the crimes could even be committed by a spouse. (Those laws used to read that actions that otherwise would be criminal were magically rendered legal by the circumstance of being married. Sexual abuse is a very real component of partner abuse. As of only last month, this horrifying oversight has thankfully been rectified.)

Dennis Clark, Justine Baez's killer, had some run-ins with the law relating to domestic-violence incidents in the past. He allegedly shot his high-school girlfriend in the buttocks with a BB gun after she broke up with him, but the charges were dismissed after he turned 18. Another woman more recently called police after Clark terrorized her in her apartment, but she wasn't physically assaulted, so police let it go. In other words, he just slipped through the cracks. And his guns were, by all accounts, perfectly legal for him to own. He's not a poster child for a particular policy or law.

Fortunately, Cheryl Bozarth, executive director of the Domestic Abuse Women's Network (DAWN), has some broader ideas. She says DAWN is heavily engaged in domestic-violence prevention aimed at young people and at men in particular.

"Domestic-violence issues are deeply rooted in culture," she tells me over coffee. "Attempts to solve them on an individual level can only go so far." Which is funny, considering that her organization is first and foremost organized around emergency services to victims—shelter, legal support, counseling. But while they do that emergency work, they also want to "get upstream" on the issue, as she puts it.

So they run prevention programs, from middle- and high-school classes on healthy relationships to community trainings and presentations. This fall, they're also launching a "call to men," a two-and-a-half-year initiative to "train men to speak and teach about... a healthy view of masculinity," says Bozarth.

"Domestic violence is a men's issue," she tells me, laughingly conceding, "If feminists could solve this, we'd have done it." So DAWN will continue to provide services, but they're broadening their focus way, way out into the community.

WSCADV is doing that, too. "I can't tell you how many times people ask me, 'What are the red flags?'" says Kelly Starr. "And I would tell them... 'Why are you waiting till you're worried to have this conversation?'... We have to talk not just about labeling abuse, but what does a healthy relationship look like?"

There is one thing everyone can do, right now, to mitigate this problem, Starr says: Prepare yourself to be someone's ally. In virtually all the cases WSCADV has studied, "the victims told at least one person" about their abuse. But "people aren't turning to all of us with 'domestic violence' in our titles. They're turning to people that are already in their lives." Way more often than they call a hotline, way more often than they go to police, "people turn to their friends, family, and coworkers."

So "a very tangible thing we can do," she says, is be ready to be supportive—and call a domestic-violence organization for advice. You can call a resource hotline for advice about other people's abuse, not just for yourself, she advises. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-7233.

"If there's one thing to do, it's that we all start talking about it," says Starr. And not just after people die—we need to get out ahead of it. "It's so illogical to not pay attention to this."

Back in Federal Way, outside the nondescript apartment complex where Justine Baez and Dennis Clark lived, it's one of the first nice days of spring, and kids in bright clothes disembark from school buses on the street out front. It looks normal, until you notice the TV news vans, their spiraling antenna arms sprouting from their roofs, clustered nearby. In the apartment building's parking lot, multiple cars have bullet holes in their windshields. A biohazard cleanup crew has been working hard all day removing all the ruined furniture, cleaning up all the blood, disinfecting multiple scenes. A man rips down and replaces the faux-wood siding that's pockmarked with bullet holes. In another part of the complex, signs warn that the property is protected by a monitored alarm system and a neighborhood watch. The neighborhood-watch sign has the dark silhouette of a cartoon villain inside a red circle with a slash—as if bad guys are always skulking around in the shadows in hats and trench coats.

Under the "Pinewood Village Apartment Homes" sign, a memorial blooms. Candles, white crosses, flowers, Mylar balloons. I talk to a woman named Lisa, who stopped by to bring balloons, one for each of the victims. "Right in my own community," she sighs, telling me she's been crying a lot while watching the news. In almost the same breath, she says that doesn't mean we should "change the Constitution... Do not take away the gun rights." Then she doubles back: "I didn't know there was a way to get a gun without going through a background check," she says, invoking the gun-show loophole without realizing it. "That should be gone."

At the memorial, a white piece of printer paper has photocopies of two pictures of Justine: one of her as a baby, 10 months old, and one of her at 16, a grainy black-and-white picture that will be on newscasts everywhere by that evening.

Beneath the photos is a handwritten note:


We miss you so very much. We will always have you in our hearts and love you so much. You were a good person & you didn't deserve what happened to you.


Your loving family recommended


Comments (90) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Why don't we talk about it? Because gun violence is much less prevalent today than it was 25 years ago. This trend has been declining since then. Gun violence is at a low in the US, right now.

When the media sensationalizes every single gun-related incident, it's clear that the media is paid to convince the public that the 2nd Amendment needs to go away.

Considering that central bankers have either controlling stakes in, or direct control, over most of the world's mainstream media, and that these central bankers are anti-Constitutional for the purpose of replacing individual rights with community rights that will be defined by the bankers, it's clear what's going on.

Where are the sensationalized news stories about the 300,000 Americans who die a slow, painful, financially-debilitating death from cancer every year in the US? This trend is increasing. Where is the news coverage?
Posted by Siddha on June 12, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Yes, and if you could only now ask Crystal Brame "Judson" about this very topic.
Posted by Gray Panther on June 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
The whole Domestic Violence Protection Order scheme is a sham. Why? Because a piece of paper doesn't protect anyone. Further, women lie. They lie in what they write in these petitions for DVPOs. I've been witness to it. I've read the court paperwork after having been witness to the incident in question, and I'm here to tell you: women lie and are never held to account for it. I would like to ask the prosecutors interviewed in this article how many women they have prosecuted for perjury for lying on their petitions.

I find it so ironic that statist-progressives want to empower women - except when it comes to protecting themselves. "I am woman - hear me roar!" - oh but go ahead and make it harder for me to obtain a gun to protect myself, and ridicule me for carrying a gun in self-defense.
Posted by dean.fuller on June 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Oh, yay. The bitches of the Stranger blame every woe on men (week 2!)
Posted by AssMinard on June 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Just remember this: It's always the guy's fault. Always.
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on June 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Siddha, how about for actual facts from unbiased sources? No? Than shut the fuck up.
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on June 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
"It's basically impossible that you don't know someone who has been affected by domestic violence," Starr continues.

But it is not impossible to know someone affected by it and still be a clueless, inconsiderate, deflecting rotter of a SLOG commenter. I wonder how many of the above commenters have abused their partners and didn't think it was that big a deal because guns weren't involved.
Posted by Lotta Dick Spitfires here early in the AM on June 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Is this really an appropriate article to include your newspaper's personal ads in? If I had advertised for romance with your paper, and found my ad featured in a story on domestic violence that had escalated to murder, I would not be happy.
Posted by Perhaps on June 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Great article. It's really a shame that such a progressive state like Washington could be so backwards when it comes to common-sense measures to reduce gun violence.

I hope this article at least gets a few more people thinking about the situation.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on June 12, 2013 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Maybe bitches shouldn't hang out with/date/marry/have kids with/ run back to dirt bags. Oh, wait. Women have no responsibility for their own actions.
Posted by MakeYourOwnChoices,Bitches on June 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
Rujax! 11
Let's hear more of you misogynistic fucks show just how much you really hate women.

Keep going, assholes.
Posted by Rujax! http://rujax.blogspot.com/ on June 12, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
The above posters seem to know very little about intimate partner violence, statistics, and cold hard data, or have trouble accepting reality because to do so would create a strong case for relinquishing their irrevocable "right" to carry and use a deadly weapon, and taking some responsibility for a system that allows women to die at the hands of their intimate partners at disturbingly high rates. Women lie? Men lie. People lie. Stfu and stop using misogynistic generalizations to minimize a very real problem. Babies cry when you enforce rules by taking away their toys, adults look at the facts before them and make decisions accordingly.
Posted by babiesdontunderstandstatistics on June 12, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Anna. This story is absolutely why the Violence Against Women Act, established in 1994, must be kept actively enforced so that people can get the protection they need against domestic violence.

Individuals of either gender can and do lie, and are equally capable of committing violent abuse. But nobody asks to get brutally raped or blown away by a loaded firearm.
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
I love how men are getting all butt hurt about how there have been TWO articles about women's issues. Oh boo hoo, you whiny little babies. How many articles have we had to endure in the Stranger about how we should try out every porn-fueled dude fantasy because it's not porn that's the problem, it's us, or how we need to just accept that all guys want to fuck multiple women, blahblahblah...

How many ads featuring half-naked women do we see every single time we open this site? How many Charles M. sexy lady posts? This ain't exactly Jezebel over here, dickheads. It's called equality, and I think this issue's a lot more newsworthy than what kind of blow job you feel you deserve.
Posted by Get the fuck over it on June 12, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
"When the media sensationalizes every single gun-related incident, it's clear that the media is paid to convince the public that the 2nd Amendment needs to go away."

Not exactly.
More like "if it bleeds, it leads".
The more sensational the story, the bigger the audience which means more advertising money.

"Where are the sensationalized news stories about the 300,000 Americans who die a slow, painful, financially-debilitating death from cancer every year in the US?"

Occasionally you will see stories like that.
But someone dying over 6 months is not as sensational as a shooting.
And cancer usually hits later in life so there's not much "his life was cut short" that can written.
And most "journalists" want to do as little work as possible to get a "story" out.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on June 12, 2013 at 1:13 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 16

So what? Why do you care? A domestic violence protection order simply tells the accused to stay the fuck away from the accuser. It's not a prelude to a criminal investigation, it's not a jail sentence, it's just telling an individual to stay away from another individual. If some batshit liar got a DVPO against me under false pretenses, I would *want* to stay the fuck away from that person. But then, I don't have an ax to grind against battered women.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 12, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
This article reminds me of how frustrated and angry I get every year on May Day, and every time I talk to an anarchy-minded person who thinks *we don't need police*

"Just call a family friend," one anarchy fan once told me.

When you're getting your face pounded in, or god forbid, watching your mother getting HER FACE pounded—by someone who's eyes are blank with pure, blind rage—the last thing on your mind is to call your Auntie or that nice mailman down the street to come and make it stop.

I think the people who scream "FUCK THE POLICE" at every protest have never really ever needed to call one.
Posted by Kelly O on June 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
@10 — I know you're a troll, but think about what you just wrote.

Just wow. ALSO: Fathers and Step-Fathers?
Posted by Kelly O on June 12, 2013 at 1:43 PM · Report this
My goodness some of the comments here.
Yes both male and female can and do inflict abuse upon one another.
But when this Abuse and Violence is use to "Control" another person true intervention needs to take place.
In many circumstances Domestic Violence will escalate to out of control behaviors by the perpetrator, then sadly will lead to a victim's, and if others are on the scene, maiming or death(s).
Just ask anyone in law enforcement which type of 911 call they take extra precaution responding to.
And the Fire/Medics Department will stand by and do not enter until a scene is secured.
Posted by Gray Panther on June 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Everybody talks about statistics but never sources them. Could someone just spoon feed me some of them, please? I'd really appreciate having them bookmarked.
Posted by Bloated Jesus is Bloated on June 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
briantrice 21
Thanks for a well-written article about an important topic. I'll be a pedant about one issue: Why can't we get a picture or depiction of the actual graph described in a paragraph of text instead of numbers and some emphatic phrasing? It would make this part much more effective.
Posted by briantrice http://www.briantrice.com on June 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM · Report this
delirian 22
@3: Holy fuck you are an asshole. I'd respond to your points, except there are so many lies and so much victim blaming that I'd get caught in the muck. It would be like debating the ethics of sexual violence with a rapist.
Posted by delirian on June 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this
delirian 23
@3: Oh, and do you know why shit like this occurs? Because of people like you who think women are always lying about abuse. Please fuck off and die.
Posted by delirian on June 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM · Report this
@16 "So what? Why do you care? A domestic violence protection order simply tells the accused to stay the fuck away from the accuser. It's not a prelude to a criminal investigation, it's not a jail sentence,"

"Shall not be deprived of life (the ability to defend oneself with a gun) liberty (the ability to purchase or carry or posses a gun) or property (the gun itself) without due process of law"

Heard of that? It's from the Constitution. A typical temporary DVPO issued without court review and without the chance for the respondent to challenge, defend himself, or confront his accuser is a due process violation, pure and simple.

A DVPO is usually issued as a consequence of a criminal complaint being made. "My boyfriend of 3 weeks raised his voice to me causing my eyes to water a little bit" may be all that is needed for a criminal investigation and a DVPO to issue, since violence apparently no longer requires physical contact.
Posted by dean.fuller on June 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM · Report this
"The above posters seem to know very little about intimate partner violence, statistics, and cold hard data, or have trouble accepting reality because to do so would create a strong case for relinquishing their irrevocable "right" to carry and use a deadly weapon,"

My fundamental human rights to life and self-defense are not subject to anyone's data or statistics, or a public vote. That's not how we run this country. Same with someone's right to marry: not subject to data or stats or a public vote, right?
Posted by dean.fuller on June 12, 2013 at 6:54 PM · Report this
This is a one sided article. It seems that women are never respondents in restraining order cases according to this article. But some are. Some women drop their restraining order cases after a few days and then ask for divorce, child support, the house and the works.
And sometimes people, male and female, lie in these petitions. Or lie in response to these petitions.
So a good question to ask is what is the standard of proof in a restraining order case. And the answer is the petitioner wanting it. Even if we have the two week hearing, if the petitioner continues to want the restraining order and claims that her husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend threatened to kill her but no one else witnessed this, the black robe can find this to be sufficient evidence that "domestic violence" did in fact occur, being the verbal threat that no one but the petitioner witnessed. The respondent can deny this all day long but the very fact that he/she seems to be a little bit emotionally affected by such accusation seems to indicate that the petitioner is "more likely" telling the truth than the respondent and thus the restraining order is granted.
There is no jury in a retraining order case.
Which the respondent would get if he/she were to be charged with perjury for denying the accusation in the court hearing. Funny how that does not usually happen.
Therefore, for the purpose of restraining orders, we can say "There is no excuse for raising your voice and sounding irritated" for that after all is considered sufficient proof of sufficient "domestic violence" to justify granting the order.
Here is another good question to ask. What percentage of restraining order respondents actually go out and use their guns to commit a violent crime? All of them? No. A majority of them? No. Even 1% of them? No.
Just compare the total number of restraining orders granted with the number of murders and attempted murders and other violent gun crimes and do the math.
So here is the scoop on restraining orders: For those FEW cases where they are actually necessary, they are completely ineffective. Why? Because a man, or woman, intent on murder will find a way to do it. He or she will almost never buy the murder weapon at a gun show. That is why closing the "gun show loophole" will have zero affect on this.
But for everyone else, the restraining order is a gross violation of the Constitution, starting with the complete lack of genuine due process of law in the granting of it.
Posted by Roger Knight on June 12, 2013 at 8:51 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 27
you boys are SO sensitive! you'd think we were trying to cut off your dick! you need to chill out and get laid.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on June 12, 2013 at 10:12 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 28
@25 and, of course, in your world the 'lying woman' has no rights to protect herself from her abusers.

Gotcha. No one mate with dean.fuller.
Posted by femwanderluster on June 12, 2013 at 11:14 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 29

And smile! You look so much more handsome when you SMILE!
Posted by femwanderluster on June 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM · Report this
I'm thinking that the guys who wrote the anti-woman posts in thread are the sort of guys who, when the cheesy singer in the country-western bar sings "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille", join in by chanting "Bitch! Slut! Whore!".

Some of them probably WILL kill a woman at some point.

Seriously, dudes...switch to decaf.
Posted by AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell on June 13, 2013 at 12:31 AM · Report this
In fact, I'm kind of amazed we've made it this far into the comments without somebody posting
"What about battered men?".
Posted by AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell on June 13, 2013 at 12:32 AM · Report this
Perhaps we could ask Travis Alexander what he thinks of all of this.
Perhaps we can get in touch with him with a OUIJA board. Or perhaps sitting around a table with burning candles and holding hands.
Posted by Roger Knight on June 13, 2013 at 3:04 AM · Report this
Indighost 33
I have neighbors who argue a lot and sometimes it sounds like domestic violence. I asked my landlord what to do. He said talk to the police if it's noisy. I called a domestic violence hotline. They said talk to the police. I talked to the police. He took notes but said he can't do anything unless there's actually domestic violence happening. I can't ever be sure of that because it's just muffled violent-sounding voices through the wall once every 2 weeks. I thought about knocking on the door and asking what's up. I read an article where a guy did that, got into a fist fight, and went to jail for assault while there was no effect for the real assaulter. More than anything I just wonder, "Why does this woman stay with this man? What possible reason could there be? Is she afraid of being beaten? She might already be being beaten. Is she afraid of more violence? Why doesn't she just go to the police? Why doesn't she call the domestic violence hotline?"
Posted by Indighost on June 13, 2013 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Women initiate more violence than men in relationships, and women's initiation of violence is the best predictor that they will be injured.

Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Lissa 35
@32: Actually your example undercuts your argument. The reason this case got so much attention is because it was a novelty. Men kill the women they are involved with every single day. When the situation is reversed it is cause for a network circus because it happens so seldom.
But you know that.
Posted by Lissa on June 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM · Report this
I am a man. I am a man who thinks we need a men's movement, who sees *some* real anti-man discrimination in the world (as a conscientious father who's paying attention, you can't NOT see it). I really do. I also see blind spots that represent damaging double standards for men in our society. I also also think that many of our institutions are built to guarantee the failure of a unnecessarily high percentage of boys and men. There are loads of facts and data to support this.

But my experience, the numbers, facts of my family, my community, etc don't lie: men also have a violence problem and gun culture makes it exponentially worse. I also think rape culture is a real thing and is men's problem, not society's or women's. That's relevant here too. Great article.
Posted by nullbull on June 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Lissa 37
@34: It's ok if women hit men!
said NOBODY EVER when discussing the problem of intimate partner violence.
Oh wait I take that back!
Stupid people say that, which is why smart people don't take that sort statement into account.
Which makes you.........?
Posted by Lissa on June 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM · Report this
I love when the MRA crowd shows up to trot out research studies presented out of context as proof teh menz are being oppressed... because reminding folks these douchebags exist becomes less of a hassle when they do it for me.
Posted by squirrely girl on June 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
@37 The number of tv shows, movies (Sideways, Waiting to Exhale [yes, destroying someone's property counts as domestic violence]), popular songs (Before He Cheats), etc. that use female violence against men as a punchline or portray it as a justified response belie your claim that no one thinks it is ok for women to hit men.

But that aside, if we asked the average person what the gender ratio of domestic violence was, what do you think they would say? 80% male perpetrators 20% female? And the average feminist would probably guess 90%/10%. After all, we have a national Violence Against Women Act and major public figures making "there is no excuse for violence against women" PSA's, with nothing similar for men.

If you look at the true numbers, intimate partner violence is about even between the sexes. Don't you think, if we are going to talk about this issue, we should use real facts, not grossly wrong assumptions?
Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM · Report this
@38 Yet the MRA have no tears for their fellow men who were gunned down by crazy men with guns and domestic violence charges: what's up with that? You'd think men would believe they have a right to live without some crazy or angry SOB w/gun shooting whomever in a frenzy because of relationship trouble. You'd think they'd post about that. You'd think they'd garner some support from women who also believe they have a right to live without some crazy or angry SOB w/gun... so why do we see so few of those posts, while the trolls post shrill inanities? Where is the challenge to the ways traditional, patriarchal policies adversely impact men?

I'm suspecting they are poorly paid astroturfers who, unable to participate in a fruitful discussion about how domestic violence hurts innocent men and women, settle for misogynistic issue misdirection. Certainly they aren't persuading anyone.
Posted by Flowers for Baez, Fischer, Scobee & Valdovinos on June 13, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
@39- I'd love to know where you found those numbers. I don't believe it for a second, but will change my mind if I can peruse the data.

The numbers I use in my safe dating curriculum presented to 8th grade students is "95% of known victims of intimate partner violence are females abused by male partners." also "Intimate partner violence is the most common cause of injury for women ages 16-44 in the US, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined" Those both come from the DOJ.

There is, sadly, quite a bit of science behind the claims that boys, especially minority boys, are set up to fail in our current education and juvenile justice systems. 'The War on Boys' was a pretty good read.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on June 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this

Could you tell me where I could find those figures showing that intimate partner violence is about even between the sexes? I find this really hard to believe, but if presented with solid evidence I will believe it. But that evidence is needed.

As for all of the misogynistic comments on the thread. And all of the "but women hit men too" comments. Once you start to question the patriarchal society we live in, and once you start to call into question the oppression of women, and once you bring to light the violence perpetrated by men against women, then all of the men who feel threatened by the possible loss of power and priviledge come crawling out of the woodwork.

In my opinion we should be talking about violence against women committed by men (like in this article), but also a second discussion would be in order discussing men's violence in general. Men behave violently toward women, but toward other men as well. Why are men so violent in general and what could be done about it?

I am a man.
Posted by Pate on June 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
@41 here's enough numbers to keep you busy for awhile:


And the CDC found in 2010 that 4.7% of men experienced "physical violence" from an intimate partner in the last 12 months, vs. 4.0% of women. When rape and stalking are included, the numbers are 5.0% men vs. 5.9% women.


(see tables 4.1 and 4.2 on page 48.)

So you might not believe that it is 50/50, but it certainly looks like your 95%/5% number is way, way, off. Where does it come from?
Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this

From the CDC report:

More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

You provided the evidence, I stand corrected.
Posted by Pate on June 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Lissa 45
@39: I wrote a short post which you did not read.

Nothing in your response refutes mine.
STUPID PEOPLE think that it's ok for women to hit or abuse men, which is why, when discussing intimate partner violence, SMART PEOPLE, don't make that argument.
Since no one here is making that argument, because we all agree that it is NOT OK for women to hit or abuse men we are force to conclude that you are bringing it up in bad faith.
Or that you are stupid.
Orr both.
I'm going to go with both.
Posted by Lissa on June 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
So only stupid people like that Carrie Underwood song, or enjoyed the movie Sideways, in which Sandra Oh beats the hell out of Thomas Hayden Church with a motorcycle helmet? Or the car commercial where the sexy female robot drop-kicks a guy into a wall, and it is played for laughs? (Visualize that with the genders reversed).

It's even on TV Tropes: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Ma…

But hey, boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them.
Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 2:54 PM · Report this
I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45 to $85 per/h. Without a doubt this is the easiest and most financially rew. job I've ever had. I actually started 6 months ago and this has totally changed my life. Here's what I do http://going1.com
Posted by DarDar on June 13, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
delirian 48
@43: Jesus Christ, not this again. You have cited the same article you did before and YET AGAIN you have failed to look at section 5!!!!!!

This would completely undermine your entire point, right? You are not an honest person. You cherrypick parts of reports and then ignore their conclusions.
Posted by delirian on June 13, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
delirian 49
@44: Read section 5 (or better yet, the entire report). Adversary cherrypicked the one part of the report that would support his conclusion. He then ignored all of the other parts that ripped it to shreds.
Posted by delirian on June 13, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Delirian, what is your fucking problem? The report says exactly what I said it says: men experience as much or more intimate partner violence as women. If you think other numbers in the report are more important, make your case. Personally I think the counterintuitive fact that women hit men as much or more as men hit women, in a world where most people believe men are more violent by far (and where that has major legal and social consequences), is pretty important.

And it isn't just this study. I cite this one because it comes straight from the government, so it doesn't get attacked as some kind of MRA conspiracy. But if you'd like some other studies confirming women's violence, here's a link to 286 of them, with 371,600 total participants:

Here's a nice link from noted MRA serpents' nest, The Huffington Post:

That last one shows that the biggest risk factor for women getting injured (which I guess is what you are latching onto, that women are more likely to be injured) is women's own initiation of violence.

Relationship violence is a problem. But it isn't the one-sided problem of men abusing women that it is portrayed as.
Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
delirian 51
@50: You lie out of your fucking ass. You glossed over the 'minor' part of the report that showed that women suffer PTSD symptoms 4 times as often as men, are injured 4 times as often, and needed medical care 5 times as often as men.

Fuck off troll.
Posted by delirian on June 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
How about we think about the victims? There are women, children, men, extended families, and friends that domestic violence affects. This article can help to raise awareness about domestic violence and work towards finding solutions to the loopholes that allow further domestic violence to occur. Obviously this article isn't saying ALL men smack women around or ALL women sit there and take it or ALL women/men lie about it. We do need to start talking about domestic violence, talking about healthy relationships and what they look like, and offering our support to those who may need to escape emotionally or physically violent situations/environments. It's not always as simiple as walking away and staying away.
Posted by gallagirl on June 13, 2013 at 4:21 PM · Report this
@51 Not talking about what you think I should be talking about is not "glossing something over." Accurately reporting figures from reputable studies is not "lying." You sure are touchy when your sexist stereotypes (men are brutes, women are innocent victims) are threatened.

You are entitled to prioritize and place more value on some numbers than I do, just like I am entitled to think other numbers carry more weight. But you aren't entitled to your own facts. The numbers on use of violence are there in black and white and I have cited them accurately. Stamping your feet like a toddler because it isn't what you want to hear isn't going to change anything. Don't blame me, blame the hundreds of social science researchers who are doing the studies.
Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
delirian 54
@53: You don't think it is important that that women suffer PTSD symptoms 4 times as often as men, are injured 4 times as often, and needed medical care 5 times as often as men? You didn't think that was an important part of the report?

You are a fucking liar.
Posted by delirian on June 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM · Report this
@54 read the Huffpo link. "...the most likely [scenario] to result in future injury to women is when she initiates violence against him and he responds..."

'...of women who were in a battered women's shelter, "67% of the women reported severe violence toward their partner in the past year."'

Women getting hurt because they attacked their partners is rather a different picture than women getting beaten by abusive men, wouldn't you say? The fact that you needed medical care doesn't mean you aren't the one at fault.

Earlier in this comment thread we had someone who teaches a safe dating curriculum talking about women as victims 95% of the time. That is far from true. Anyone who truly cares about reducing intimate partner violence, not to mention not unfairly stigmatizing men and boys as violent abusers, should care about what the real data says.
Posted by Adversary on June 13, 2013 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Lissa 56
@46: Again, in a discussion regarding the problem of intimate partner violence, which, of course, none of the examples you have cited happen to be, no one but a stupid person would make that argument.

And I never said boys were stupid, I said you, personally, Adversay, were stupid.
Posted by Lissa on June 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM · Report this
delirian 57
@55: Why don't you think it is important that that women suffer PTSD symptoms 4 times as often as men, are injured 4 times as often, and needed medical care 5 times as often as men?

Your answer: "because they deserved it".

You are a misogynist and a liar.
Posted by delirian on June 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM · Report this
@49 Okay I need to take the time to read the entire thing. I picked up the stat from the report´s intro.

It might be that men and women get abused at somewhat the same rates, but women then appear to be injured seriously more often? But are we talking about intimate partner abuse or severity of injury?

It would also be nice to see some data on rates of death as a result of intimate partner violence. I have the feeling that women end up being killed more often by their male partners than the other way around, but this time as well I will wait to see (find) the evidence before jumping to (incorrect?) conclusions.
Posted by Pate on June 14, 2013 at 4:47 AM · Report this
I never cease to be amazed at just how quickly any article on DV becomes a giant bitch fest over stats.

Wake up folks. This is what the MRA crowd does and they do it on purpose.

If everybody is arguing about stats nobody is actually doing anything about the problem.
Posted by squirrely girl on June 14, 2013 at 8:10 AM · Report this
@59 Don't you think that "Understanding what the problem is" should precede "Doing something about the problem"? If you believe the problem is 95% men abusing women, like @41 thought, that suggests pretty different solutions than if you believe that women initiate most violence in relationships, and are most often injured after violence they initiated. Which is what the research I've cited actually shows.

If that research is correct, "Doing something about the problem" could mean *arresting more women for domestic violence.* For one thing, they are starting it; simple justice demands they get arrested. For another, put yourself in the shoes of a man whose female partner gets crazy and violent with him. The one thing he *cannot* do under present conditions is call the police. If he does, he'll be the one to go to jail.

So, without law enforcement to turn to, he may wind up defending himself in a way that hurts her. Paradoxically, if men knew that they would get fair treatment from cops and courts (rather than confronting a system that believes they are the abusers 95% of the time), fewer women would get hurt.

I agree, let's do something about the problem. Let's arrest the real-life Sandra Ohs and Carrie Underwoods of the world.
Posted by Adversary on June 14, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Indighost 61
Here's a paper arguing that domestic violence against women is more common than domestic violence against men.


Here's a paper arguing that the surveys used to determine rates of violence by gender are inaccurate because of under-reporting.
Posted by Indighost on June 14, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Indighost 62
Here's some papers showing that women are roughly 300% more likely to be murdered by a partner/spouse than men.




Posted by Indighost on June 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Lissa 63
@61: In Washington State if a man calls in a DV on his female partner she will be arrested because intimate partner violence is intimate partner violence either way you slice it.
But you knew that.
Posted by Lissa on June 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
@63 Sure, that is the way it is supposed to work. You are naive if you think it works that way in practice. I am a criminal defense attorney who used to practice in Washington State. I rarely ever saw a woman prosecuted for DV, and saw a lot of questionable prosecutions of men.

Here's a study in one major city that found that 47% of women arrested for DV against a male intimate partner had their cases dismissed by the prosecutor; another 16% were dismissed by the judge. "Female defendants arrested for offending against a male intimate partner were treated more leniently than male defendants and women arrested for domestic offenses involving other types of relationships..."

Have you heard of the "primary aggressor" doctrine? See, what happened is, feminists got mandatory arrest laws passed, requiring police to make an arrest if they had probable cause to believe domestic violence had occurred. To the feminists' surprise, this led to "a proportionately greater increase in arrests of women compared to men...." So they argued for a policy of requiring police to determine who the "primary aggressor" was.

Here's a study that found that "primary aggressor and dominant aggressor laws, although written in gender-neutral language, are gender biased (mostly against men)..."

But I guess you didn't know about this?
Posted by Adversary on June 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
I too am sick to death of these gender advocacy stories, especially on domestic violence. The 2011 CDC survey on intimate partner violence (they didn't use the term "domestic violence," obviously for political reasons), showed that nearly as many men as women reported to be the victims of domestic violence; in fact, it reported that in the prior twelve month period, 25 percent more men than women reported being the victim of domestic violence. At that rate, in another ten years more men than women may report to be the victim of domestic violence, and still everyone will ignore it. The Jodi Arias murder case, if nothing else, showed that women can lie about domestic violence, and their advocates are so biased that they will believe anything they say. It also showed that the reason why advocates ignore domestic violence by women--that men are "bigger"--is much less a factor than the myth; "smaller" women can nullify any size "advantage" by attacking men when they are in a vulnerable position--including taking advantage of a "passive" temperament. And let's be real about these "studies" that women's advocates always use to back-up their claims: They are compiled by advocates who use twisted "definitions" that always insure that their claims are "proven."
Posted by constans on June 15, 2013 at 1:36 AM · Report this
hmmm my ex wife got caught messing around when i went to file for divorce a flood of domestic violence charges followed.i was arrested every time i turned around, even the cops in my district told desk cop "no we know that guy if that big mother effer hit her you would know it! she just came in here looking like she was a ebony fashion fair model" when a baltimore county female judge told her "lady i thought told you get a divorce attorney your marriage is over!!"she ran into the city of baltimore lying to them.women have lied so much in baltimore they are less safe today that the late 80's when my ex was doing all this lying. now the courts do not rush to kick men out of the house making women less safer today
Posted by satch on June 15, 2013 at 2:44 AM · Report this
Oh, and I should point out one other thing about that CDC report: Also in the prior 12-month period of the survey, 75 percent as many men as women reported "serious" injury from domestic violence incidents--not the 10 percent as some fanatic here claimed from another female-biased "study."
Posted by constans on June 16, 2013 at 6:32 AM · Report this
This article would have been better balanced if the mass shooting that occurred in September 2010 in White Center was also evaluated. It was a grandmother that shot her family.
Posted by needs more on June 16, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
@68 The grandmother shooting would be better suited to a "mentally ill people shouldn't own guns" article, lots of Seattle-area material for that. I didn't see any domestic violence charges for Chhouy Harm/Saroeun Phan, but she had been in and out of institutions. I did not see Chhouy/Saroeun's name in Seattle Municipal Court, nor Washington State court records, so she was not charged with domestic violence while living in this state.
Posted by Crazies & babies with guns = American freedom on June 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Another thought about why articles about DV turn into "giant bitch fests" over stats:

Suppose people regularly wrote articles proclaiming that the vast bulk of child sexual abuse was committed by gay men. I would certainly hope that each and every one of those articles turned into "giant bitch fests" over stats. Similarly, each and every article proclaiming global warming a myth should turn into a "giant bitch fest" over the stats/science.

As long as people keep hiding the ball on the facts, the bitch fest will continue.
Posted by Adversary on June 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Step 1: Men, over the course of centuries, create a culture where their dominance is assumed, and where women are treated as delicate, emotional, manipulative, untrustworthy, and in need of protection from men.

Step 2: Men are shocked, SHOCKED to find that they are assumed to be the aggressors when violence involving "the weaker sex" occurs.
Posted by Orv on June 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM · Report this
Thank you for this article. I am Justine`s mom. We struggle with grief each and every day. People need to learn to respect each other, to treat others the way you'd want to be treated. Justine, and the other victims, didn't deserve to die the way they did. No one deserves to suffer from dv, whether physical or verbal. I would not wish what we are going through on anyone. Thank God we have Justine`s memories. Her ashes are home with us, in a handmade wooden urn, where they should be.
Posted by susanmeyer on June 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM · Report this
blip 73
Oh, I see the women-are-worse-at-DV guy found his way into this thread, citing the same, isolated statistic that contadicts the remaining data of the 50+ page report it came from. One would think that, were this one figure representative of reality and not an outlier, he would have more than one stat from one report. But of course this would require that one could think.
Posted by blip on June 17, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
sugar2s 74
@72 (susanmeyer), I'm so sorry for your loss.
Posted by sugar2s on June 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
@73 One would think if you could read, you'd read up higher in this very thread @50, links to hundreds of other studies.

E.g., Anderson, K. L. (2002). Perpetrator or victim? Relationships between intimate partner violence and well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 851-863. (Data consisted of 7,395 married and cohabiting heterosexual couples drawn from wave 1 of the National Survey of Families and Households . In terms of measures: subjects were asked "how many arguments during the past year resulted in 'you hitting, shoving or throwing things at a partner.' They were also asked how many arguments ended with their partner, 'hitting, shoving or throwing things at you.'" Author reports that, "victimization rates are slightly higher among men than women <9% vs 7%> and in cases that involve perpetration by only one partner, more women than men were identified as perpetrators <2% vs 1%>.")

And Arias, I., Samios, M., & O'Leary, K. D. (1987). Prevalence and correlates of physical aggression during courtship. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 82-90. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 270 undergraduates <95 men, 175 women> and found 30% of men and 49% of women reported using some form of aggression in their dating histories with a greater percentage of women engaging in severe physical aggression.)

"In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles…

So how about this: all you smug assholes with your sexist ideas about men as brutes and women as innocent victims, give me one--just one--study showing men as, let's say, 80% of the perpetrators of domestic violence. This must be a social science (not criminological) study with a significant sample size, done by an independent governmental or academic body (not an advocacy group). C'mon, you can do it. I've given you hundreds of studies. You're so sure of yourselves. I am sure you have facts to back it up.

Come on, just one little study.
Posted by Adversary on June 17, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
blip 76
@75, I've been over this with you before. I am an epidemiologist. Conducting and analyzing large studies is what I do for a living, so I bristle when people from outside the field play loose with epidemiological research for their own ends.

The list you posted (which you've posted before) was curated with prejudice by someone seeking out studies that arrived at a specific conclusion; it is not an exhaustive analysis of all available data, nor does it offer any insight into methodology of any of the papers on the list. All it tells you is that sometimes studies contradict the larger body of evidence, which is not a controversial or entirely rare event in scientific research. If I were so inclined I could compile a bunch of studies that show there is no link between smoking and cancer, but that wouldn't tell you anything resembling the truth.
Posted by blip on June 17, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
blip 77
@75, BTW, there are currently 6502 replies to the query "domestic violence" on pubmed, which means the 286 studies on your list represent about 4% of available, published research into the topic.
Posted by blip on June 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM · Report this
@77 ...and still not one study. I didn't think so.
Posted by Adversary on June 17, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
blip 79
@78, What? If you want to actually understand this topic on its own terms, go to www.pubmed.gov, type in "domestic violence" and have at it. It is not my responsibility nor my concern to educate you.
Posted by blip on June 17, 2013 at 5:52 PM · Report this
@78: I googled "domestic violence perpetrator statistics"; this was the first hit:


It states that "85% of domestic violence victims are women." The footnotes show that the number came from here:


This might be too criminological for you, but it's interesting because it directly addresses the role methodology plays in differing measurements:

NIJ researchers have found, however, that collecting various types of counts from men and women does not yield an accurate understanding of battering and serious injury occurring from intimate partner violence. National surveys supported by NIJ, CDC, and BJS that examine more serious assaults do not support the conclusion of similar rates of male and female spousal assaults. These surveys are conducted within a safety or crime context and clearly find more partner abuse by men against women.

For example, NVAWS found that women are significantly more likely than men to report being victims of intimate partner violence whether it is rape, physical assault, or stalking and whether the timeframe is the person's lifetime or the previous 12 months. [3] NCVS found that about 85 percent of victimizations by intimate partners in 1998 were against women. [4, 5]

The studies that find that women abuse men equally or even more than men abuse women are based on data compiled through the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), a survey tool developed in the 1970s. CTS may not be appropriate for intimate partner violence research because it does not measure control, coercion, or the motives for conflict tactics; it also leaves out sexual assault and violence by ex-spouses or partners and does not determine who initiated the violence. [6, 7]

A review of the research found that violence is instrumental in maintaining control and that more than 90 percent of "systematic, persistent, and injurious" violence is perpetrated by men.

BJS reports that 30 percent of female homicide victims are murdered by their intimate partners compared with 5 percent of male homicide victims, and that 22 percent of victims of nonfatal intimate partner violence are female but only 3 percent are male. [9] Researchers that use city- and State-generated databases for analysis, however, attribute 40–50 percent of female homicides to intimate partners. This discrepancy likely results from omission of ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends from the Federal Supplementary Homicide Reports that are used by BJS. Ex-boyfriends account for up to 11 percent of intimate partner homicides committed by men, and ex-girlfriends account for up to 3 percent of intimate partner homicides committed by women.

My conclusion from this is that if you ignore severity (serious injury and death), men and women perpetrate domestic violence on a somewhat equal basis. If you take severity into account, men are the main (but not the only) perpetrators.

Minard's article is specifically about DV abusers who go on murder sprees, so severity is a relevant consideration for the matter at hand, regardless of your personal feelings on the subject.
Posted by phony_handle on June 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM · Report this
@80 Interesting link. I followed from the link you provided to the source document, here:

On pages 22 and 23 it talks about the difference between the methodology of the National Family Violence Survey, and the methodologies of the National Violence Against Women survey and the National Criminal Victimization Survey. (NFVS shows gender parity in committing DV, the others show men as majority perpetrators.)

The difference is, the NFVS asks about both what acts you *committed*, and what acts you were a victim of. The others only ask about victimization. In the NFVS, if a woman says she hit her male partner, that counts as a male victim. But in the other two, a male victim only gets counted if the man himself says he is a victim.

I.e., the evidence for gender parity comes from *women themselves* saying yes, I hit/kicked/threw something at my partner. It stands to reason that men are unlikely to admit being victimized by a woman (or even to perceive the act as an assault). I'd compare this to sexual assault: it is widely accepted that women are reluctant to report sexual assault, due to socialization/shame/etc. The same socialization may lead men to under-report physical assaults by women.

2 other points: regarding murders, while it does seem that more men kill their female partners than vice versa, the discrepancy isn't as extreme as this makes it sound. In 2010, 241 men and 1095 women were killed by intimate partners. That means of the total 1336 people killed by intimate partners, 18% were men. Stating it as a percentage of total murders, rather than looking at the percentage of domestic murders, magnifies the difference, because men are much more likely to be murdered overall.

The number of women who kill their partners may also be understated, because cases where women hire killers, or get boyfriends or some local teenage boys to do the deed may be counted as multiple-perpetrator homicides rather than intimate partner homicides.

Finally, as for the CTS not capturing motives, such as control or coercion, here's a report indicating that motives like anger, control, and jealousy are significant factors in women's use of intimate partner violence: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles…

E.g., one study found that "38% of women who used IPV stated that they had threatened to use violence to make their partners do the things they wanted him to do."
Posted by Adversary on June 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
The same socialization may lead men to under-report physical assaults by women.

But there's a difference between failing to report a crime to the police and lying in a survey. I don't think I've ever see anyone suggest that rape victims (or domestic violence victims) under-report in surveys, though I would assume there are instances where respondents fail to recognize their experiences for what they were.

That means of the total 1336 people killed by intimate partners, 18% were men.

Since murder isn't vulnerable to under-reporting bias, your statistic demonstrates that women make up 82% of DV murder victims, which is consistent with the 80-90% range for female victimization cited by various sources.

The number of women who kill their partners may also be understated, because cases where women hire killers, or get boyfriends or some local teenage boys to do the deed may be counted as multiple-perpetrator homicides rather than intimate partner homicides.

Or the number of women perpetrators could be overstated if the statistics include cases where a woman kills a man in self-defense. Since the 82% number tracks pretty closely with the ratio between male and female murder perpetrators generally (90% male in the US), I don't see any reason to be overly suspicious about gross underestimation or overestimation here.

I have to say, this whole men vs. women fight is a major derail; Minard's article doesn't suggest that laws (or law enforcement) should be gender-specific. So why does it matter who abuses more? Even in the examples Minard cites, at least four of the victims were men who got too close to someone else's domestic violence. It would seem both men and women would benefit from depriving abusers of guns.
Posted by phony_handle on June 18, 2013 at 6:46 PM · Report this
I never said women are not killed more often by intimate partners than men are. My original claim was, "Women initiate more violence than men in relationships, and women's initiation of violence is the best predictor that they will be injured."

It's true, I was not responding to the article itself, but to the beliefs I felt were being expressed in the comments.
Posted by Adversary on June 18, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
inquiastador 84
as soon as you get the "why are we talking about this, why arent we talking about bankers, etc" the discussion goes over to the wingnuts.
Posted by inquiastador on June 18, 2013 at 10:12 PM · Report this
@72 (susanmeyer): I'm really sorry to read about the loss of your daughter, Justine, and of all the grief you and your family are experiencing. My heartfelt condolences for all.

@83: What on earth makes you think that women exclusively initiate domestic violence in sexual relationships with men?! Neither gender ever asks to get brutally raped, beaten, or blown away by a loaded firearm. Have you ever been in an abusive relationship, before? Well, I have and my ex was the one--NOT I---who repeatedly wanted to "bring it on", and send the "game" into double-overtime. Despite his highly stressful job way back when, my ex had a serious anger management problem and was damaged goods long before I foolishly married him. I finally had no choice but to leave him, and am fortunate that I never had any children with him.
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 18, 2013 at 11:56 PM · Report this
Ahhh, shit--wrong choice of words.
I meant "In addition to his highly stressful job..." instead of "Despite".

But seriously, nobody asks to get raped, beaten, or shot.
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM · Report this
@85 Not "exclusively." Just "more often." And what make me think this is the social science research.

"As in many studies of IPV, the OYS found that much IPV is bidirectional (meaning both are violent), and in unidirectional abusive relationships, the women were more likely to be abusive than the men."

Posted by Adversary on June 19, 2013 at 5:36 AM · Report this
@87 Adversary: Um, okay. You can bring on all your IPV studies and data you want, but I'm still sticking with my comment @13. Glenn Sack's analysis tells some, but not the whole story, and from what I read, it's a bit distorted. Not everyone's situation is exactly the same. While I agree that BOTH men and women can and do lie, and BOTH genders are equally capable of committing violent abuse, contributing equally to toxic unhealthy relationships, the likelihood of just who is most guilty of initiating the violent abuse cannot be pinned exclusively on either sex. Blanket statements often prove inaccurate in their analyses, and Glenn Sack's article reads to me like a vicious backlash on women who have faced abuse from dangerously violent intimate heterosexual partners.

In the number of reported domestic violence cases surveyed and used statistically in Glenn Sack's article, was the majority of IPV victims female? Was this finding determined by a number of incidents in which the cops showed up JUST in time to see a female abuse victim getting caught hitting her attacker back in self defense after FINALLY HAVING ENOUGH? And if female abuse victims, particularly those with children by abusive spouses or boyfriends, start defending themselves after their expressed non-violence only proves ineffective, and that suddenly labels them "unfit parents" by Child Protection Services, who exactly then is really doing the "initiating"?

I did absolutely nothing to "initiate' my ex-spouse's violent behavior. He was habitually brooding, ill-tempered, domineering, overly argumentative, aggressively controlling and manipulative, repeating the ugly cycle of abuse already conditioned in him by his father and grandfather. My ex may have been a reliable, hard working and greatly respected colleague among his peers and employers, but in truth he was a vicious tyrant at home behind closed doors. And you sure didn't want to drink with him. Alcohol only made things worse. Again, this goes both ways, but did Sack's article offer analyses on victims of PIV whose significant others forced aggressive, drunken, unwanted sex on them?
I had no choice but to leave a toxic relationship behind, finally after having to fight a man 40 lbs heavier than I was, literally for my life.

In conclusion, I find Glenn Sack's article that pins the blame on non-violent victims of abuse, regardless of their gender, a bit hard to swallow.
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM · Report this

Again, this goes both ways, but did Sack's article offer analyses on victims of PIV whose significant others forced aggressive, drunken, unwanted sex on them?

Your suspicions are warranted. The studies that support Sacks's claims about women being the initiators of domestic violence don't count sexual assault as domestic violence. They use Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) to identify DV, which also has the flaw of omitting motive. According to CTS, hitting someone as they tried to sexually assault you would be considered domestic violence, but the sexual assault itself would not. CTS is widely criticized for this reason. My post @80 refers to my source on this.
Posted by phony_handle on June 19, 2013 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Posted by tgirl4cwpity on June 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM · Report this

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