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Table of Contents for Eeva Sodhi's Web pages at Fathers for Life
Eeva Sodhi's Website (Archived)
 
 

The truth about family violence in Canada


...continued from section 2

Canadian Family Violence Statistics — Section 3

5. The United Way's Education Wife Assault (EWA)

EWA spells out in detail how the (in)justice system works in this respect. (For a baker's dozen of URLs for similar web sites, refer to the links page of "Family" Transition Place)
    When you read their questionnaires addressed to women and men separately: women the victims, men the abusers, you will find that their definition of abuse encompasses all human interaction, provided it is reported by women, men are not given a chance to reply in similar manner. Likewise, the questions about perpetrators are not addressed to women.

The following are clippings from the EWA site.

Reflections: Mandatory Arrest Policy

    Introduction:  'Mandatory Arrest/Charging' policy refers to guidelines that require police officers to lay criminal charges against the abusive partner in all cases of wife assault where there are "reasonable grounds" [My note: "probable" has been removed from the directives. Who's going to tell a woman that she is not reasonable?]. In addition, officers are directed that their decision to lay charges should not be influenced by such factors as: "the victim's unwillingness to attend court proceedings or the officer's belief that the victim will not attend...[and]...the officer's concern about reprisals against the victim by the suspect". This policy is located in Ontario's Policing Standards Manual (1994), which directs the activities of police officers province-wide. This policy responded to ongoing lobby by the battered women movement for a stronger criminal justice response to wife assault, as well as a 1982 Federal Solicitor General initiative which urged all police departments to adopt more aggressive charging policies in cases of wife assault.

 

Domestic Violence Courts Project

North York

    The project targets first time offenders where there is no significant /visible injury to the person abused.
    Cases are screened by the Crown Attorneys, who identify those eligible for the Pilot court. Women victims are given information cards by the police which urge the woman to contact the Victim Witness Assistance Program at the Courthouse. Cases are then also screened through the victim witness co-ordinator's individual contact with victims. These identified cases are directed to attend the specialized court. [My note: At this stage there can only be "alleged" victims or "alleged" offenders. also, there is considerable reward to any woman who claims to have been a "victim" of sexual assault, it's $25,000, I think]
    At the court, a group of both the men and their partners are introduced to the project. The women then go to a different room as a group, and meet with a Crown Attorney. There is group discussion and, most importantly, each woman has an opportunity to talk about what she wants out of the court process [My note: mass hysteria].
    If an individual before the court on abuse charges agrees to plead guilty, and assuming his partner is agreeable, the court will accept the guilty plea [My note: That is a violation of due process of the law]. His plea will be entered and he will get a series of court orders from the judge. The orders will be Bail Conditions which will include mandated attendance at an intervention program for batterers. His Bail orders will also be changed to allow him to reside with his partner [My note: Enough of a reason to plead guilty? Knowing the costs, both mental and financial, few men will opt to defend themselves but agree to plead guilty as they do not have the finances or stamina to engage in prolonged litigation, or because they do not understand what is involved] It is specified that if his partner feels threatened or afraid she should contact Police immediately and the Bail condition can be changed to get him out of the house [My note: Out of personal experience: Women's empowerment?? The man may have been arrested in the first place because he disagreed with his wife or plain simply wanted to walk out of a potentially explosive situation, not because he abused her].
    While the women are speaking with the Crown Attorney and Victim Witness Co-ordinator, the men have the opportunity to meet with the centralized intake staff person, provided by the Metro Woman Abuse Council, who is responsible for assigning individuals to the intervention programs. As the men meet with the centralized Intake staff they begin to decide if they will plead guilty and if so, they are assigned to an appropriate agency.
    Once all of the women have had an opportunity to identify what they want, the full court reconvenes. At this point those charged who are willing to plead guilty and enter the program appear before the judge.  [My note: Even Kafka and Orwell would have not been able to come out with a better one] and are mandated to attend the already identified intervention program.
    The offender is then given new bail conditions which cite that he is expected to attend the full program of sixteen weeks.
    At the conclusion of the intervention program, assuming that all has gone smoothly, with no risk or threat to the woman [My note: If the case was based on false allegations, there is a likelihood that now the embittered man may actually assault his wife, especially if she is making life hell for him. Then the courts can boast with another statistic of the violent man], the offender will reappear before the specialized court and he will receive his final sentence. The final disposition will be a conditional discharge with one year probation.

It is no wonder that men will opt to plead guilty in order to escape bankruptcy, both financial and emotional, loss of employment and a possible criminal record.

Though all the questions in the following EWA surveys are equally applicable to both genders, the "are you a victim" types are addressed to women, "are you an abuser" are addressed to men. The results end up as national statistics, alongside of statistics collected by the UCR method from police, which report the number of charges, as per "zero tolerance" policies, not guilty verdicts. The guilty pleas do not give us a realistic picture of the number abusers either as they are obtained by questionable methods [see EWA description about the proceedings in the family violence courts]. The only way to arrive to some sort of understanding is to conduct gender neutral research. When it is done, the outcome is always that women are at least as aggressive as men. Usually only the results obtained from women are published. It is not surprising that some men resort to violence as a result. That only so few do, is a miracle.

When you read the following, replace the word: "women" with "persons". Maybe, you will be able to see the bias.

Quotes from EWA questionnaires:

    Are You Emotionally Abused? Questions for Women in Heterosexual Relationships.
    Many women find that emotional abuse is difficult to name or even talk about. They often wonder if it is serious because you cannot see it, like bruises or broken bones. Emotionally abused women state that one of the biggest problems they face is that others seldom take it seriously. [My note: surveys on aggressive children and young people indicate, females are more likely to perpetrate emotional abuse]
    These questions will help you identify if you are being emotionally abused, and provide some ideas on what you can do about it.

    What is your relationship like?

    Do you feel that something is wrong with your relationship, but you don't know how to describe it?"  [My note: every single human being would be able to answer that affirmatively at some point of life, irrespective of gender and/or age. Furthermore, even an cretin knows what abuse is.]
    etc....

Then the scare tactics:
Know that emotional abuse can lead to physical violence or death.
The only purpose of the above is to create panic.

Then the questions to men. For a balanced analysis, use "person" instead of "men" and "your partner" instead of "her". Wonder how many of us, men and women alike, would be labelled as abusers based on this, the same way as all of us would qualify to the victim status based on the questionnaires to women?

Are You Emotionally Abusive? Questions for Men to Ask Themselves. [no "heterosexual" here!]
    Emotional abuse in intimate relationships is a serious problem. Many people [My note: why gender neutral suddenly? Would it mean that even EWA cannot make such a preposterous claim that no woman is capable of violence?] believe that physical violence is the only legitimate form of abuse. Women [My note: back to gender specific] say that emotional abuse effects them as much, if not more, than physical violence. Emotional abuse can lead to family breakdown, mental distress and physical illness, death, and has a negative impact on the children in the family. [My note: considering the fact the women are more likely to resort to emotional abuse, this would indicate that men are the major victims]
The following snippet from EWA could be understood in the context of learned behaviour, i.e. women who participated in the workshops learned more effective ways to file false allegations:
In a 1998 study, a program designed specifically for women with histories of sexual victimization was evaluated. This modified program was not effective in reducing the incidence of sexual assault amongst participants regardless of their sexual assault histories. A 1999 evaluation of a one-hour information session delivered by a large American university's rape education and prevention office evaluated knowledge and incidence of sexual assault after a seven-month follow-up period. The study found that while an increase in knowledge about sexual assault was maintained during this time, the program did not reduce participants' risk of sexual assault during the seven months following the presentation. During the seven-month follow-up period, 15% of women without sexual victimization histories had been victimized; 39% of women with histories of sexual victimization were victimized during the follow-up period. [could it be that they had learned to take advantage of false allegations?]

Some violence prevention programs have also demonstrated an impact of increasing participants' social activism around violence issues.
    This one particular aim of the Youth Relationships Program described above. Requests for service at local shelters and for counseling of abused women have also showed considerable increase after the school primary prevention intervention.

______________
In the US, there are an estimated 520,000 false rape allegations a year — 98.1% of all reported cases.  (Eeva Sodhi, Debunking Domestic Violence Statistics; Rape

 

Coordinating Men's Programs

By: Vivien Green, Metro Woman Abuse Council

All interventions programs must regard the safety and protection of potential victims as the highest priority. Towards this end, all intervention programs must ensure that women partners are made aware of advocacy services through community/education outreach strategy.
    In working with men who abuse, the physical safety and psychological, emotional well being of potential victims must take priority over the abuser's right to confidentiality [note the definitive "abuser". There can not be an abuser if the victim is only "potential"].
    We need to seriously reflect on how to continue to monitor behaviour and demonstrate the community will, indeed, hold men accountable [My note: all perpetrators, irrespective of gender, should be held accountable] for their abusive behaviour. But we must also continue to find ways to reach out to women victims in order to provide support and resources to them such that they can have a real choice in creating a violence free life for themselves and their children [My note: research shows that most child abuse is perpetrated by women. Correctional Services Canada reports that when women kill children it is usually the end result of long lasting abuse in the hands of the perpetrator. There is no dearth of excuses for this in the feminist advocacy publications, though their catch phrase is "There is no excuse for abuse."]

Last but not least,

6. Some U.S. data:

Battering is the major cause of injury to women in the U.S.  More women are beaten by husbands or boyfriends than are hurt in auto accidents, rapes and muggings combined.

But how true is that?  U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics in its "Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends". – NCJ-167237. – March 1998. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics  [by] Jan M. Chaiken, Ph.D. Director  presents the following data:

Females accounted for 39% of the hospital emergency department visits for violence-related injuries in 1994 but 84% of the persons treated for injuries inflicted by intimates. Among those treated for violence-related injuries and with a known relationship to the offender, about 50% of the women and 8% of the men had been injured by an intimate.

The above statement is a contradiction in itself. In the first part it issues a certain definitive percentage, in the second part it states that though the figure is definitive, it is based on speculation.
    It is not possible to estimate what percentage of females or men were treated for injuries inflicted by intimates as the figures given are of known relationship to the offender. This quite clearly is a significant factor to consider as the unknown relationship for men is 35.29% (figure is rounded) and for women it is 18.75% (rounded).

The "Unrecorded relationship" for men is almost twice as high as that for women. Considering the number of unrecorded relationships, and further considering the fact that men are more reluctant, as noted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics itself on various occasions, to report injuries caused by intimates, the sex-specific data are highly questionable. Also, there are no victimization surveys targeted at men, and therefore we do not have any corresponding data for gender comparison. One is inclined to assume that most, if not all, of the relationships that are not reported by men fit the category of "intimate violence".

Women injured by intimates accounted for about 1 in 5 visits to hospital emergency departments for injuries arising from intentional violence

Table 3

Number of injury cases treated in hospital emergency departments

 

Intimate Violence

Other types of Violence

Unrecorded Relationship

Total

243,316 

700,777 

383,633 

Males

38,958 

487,814 

287,233 

Females

204,358 

212,963 

96,400 

Note the definitive assertion again: "women ... accounted".

Based on these figures, the number of total victims is: female 513,721, male 814,005. All considered, the maximum number of women who are victims of intimate violence would be 300,785, men 362,191, or males would be 1.20 times more likely to be victimized by an intimate than females. 
    If we allow that 50% of the unreported relationships for both men and women are actually intimates, the corresponding figures would be: women 252,558, men 182,575, or females would be 1.38 times more likely than males to be victimized by an intimate. 
    Assuming that true intimate violence is as given in the table above, females would be 5.2 times more often victimized by intimates than males. That still is a far cry from the unqualified "5 to 8 times more" as is stated in the next paragraph and in various other sources.

Though less likely than males to experience violent crime overall, [females] are 5 to 8 times more likely than males to be victimized by an intimate.

Note the definitive "are", though the known intimate victimization is only a fraction of the total.

Among male victims of violence, strangers and friends or acquaintances accounted for the highest rates of victimization

For female victims of violence, strangers and friends or acquaintances rather than intimates were responsible for the highest rates of crime. * Intimate violence accounts for about a fifth of all violence against females. The two categories of violence by friends and acquaintances and violence by strangers are each over a third of the victimisations. Violence by relatives other than intimates is less than a 10th of all violence that women, age 12 or older, experience

And what are the results of intimate violence?

Diagnosis of injury: Bruises: 48.6%

I know a young woman who had succeeded in destroying her marriage. She is an avid soccer player, both summer and winter. Once, when angry again at her husband, she dialed 911 and claimed that she had been assaulted by him and supported this assertion with a tiny bruise on her leg, most likely received during a recent soccer game. She made sure to take his personal papers and credit card before going to next door to call the police. She subsequently forgot the documents at the neighbours, and had to go and retrieve them while the police watched on. Why did she fly to the phone? He did not remember a stew recipe (she played soccer, he cooked, looked after the kids and did everything else in the house), first she ran after him with the butcher knife, and when he locked himself into the guest room she ran to the neighbours.
    All this happened in front of two very young children. He wanted to walk out in order to escape her wrath, but she reached the door before he got his bag packed and had to stay behind as the children could not be left alone. 
    The police found him sleeping in the guest room, yet arrested him, as per zero tolerance. 

I suppose you guessed it, she got sole custody and handsome support payments. The problem is, she no longer has as much time for soccer.

For a more balanced research see:

A study including 516 patients who presented at the emergency department of Charity Hospital, New Orleans, La, was made in July 1995. Using the index of spouse abuse (ISA), a validated survey tool, researchers determined the prevalence of domestic violence in 4 areas: physical violence that occurred recently or more than a year ago and nonphysical violence that was recent or had occurred in the past.
    Based solely on ISA scoring, the researchers said 19% of the women patients and 20% of the men had experienced recent physical violence. They pointed out that some experts fear attention to domestic violence against men will de-emphasize the importance of services for women.

Recognition of the global nature of violence may be more realistic than assuming that only women are victims," the researchers wrote in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.. (JAMA. 1997;278:620) 

See also Rethinking Spousal Abuse Laws, by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Sincerely,

Eeva Sodhi

RR 1 McDonald's Corners
Ontario, Canada, K0G 1M0
e-mail: rajeeva@ripnet.com

Back to Section 1 (Index)

__________________
Posted 2000 05 04
Updates:
2000 05 07
2001 03 26 (format changes)