Solving the Problem of Domestic
with the Bigger Picture
By Kenneth Lynch
Speech presented at
Toronto Mensa's Annual Regional Gathering
Novotel North York Hotel
Saturday, October 19, 2002
Hi, I hope everyone is doing fine today. My name is Kenneth Lynch and I am an expert in
martial arts and self-protection as well as trained in mediation/dispute resolution and
negotiation. I teach and train both privately and publicly. I have never felt a need to
name my system but rather concentrate on its practicality for our everyday lives. I was
always in and out of scrapes as a kid, and I started seriously training around the age of
ten. That gives me nearly 22 years of experience in martial arts. I have felt that there
are many facets to the martial arts that have been left unused. So I have tried to expand
the field by developing my own style of martial arts.
Confidence in ourselves should be the ultimate goal, to make each of us independent and
strong, courageous enough to meet the world head on and to strive for our heights as
individuals, male or female.
Today I intend to cover some sensitive areas, and some people may feel offended or
distraught by them. Because of that, I am going to ask that we put our objective hats on,
to allow me to finish and to honestly look at the issues rather than the emotions. My
intentions are to make some challenging statements against the current norm for ideals.
I am going to speak for about 20 minutes to half an hour. After that, you will have an
opportunity to ask questions, and then I will demonstrate the mediation process. In any
event, Im hoping for some crowd participation. And feel free to bring up other areas
of related interest not covered in my speech. I want to cover a particular ground-piece
that I feel is the central focus that I think will branch off into other areas.
To an individual who teaches and practices Self-Protection it is important to look at all
areas of our lives where violence can be found. For spouses and siblings and dating
couples, violence can occur and does for many reasons. It is my opinion that violence in
the home front happens in large because of coercive tactics. Simply put, people do not
know how to negotiate for their own 'wants' and 'needs', as a result, abusive tactics
On that note, today I would like to honour one of my favourites,
Erin Pizzey, and dedicate this speech to her. I admire
Erin Pizzey for her objectivity when it comes to violence in the home and for her constant
efforts to search for a solution by looking at the whole picture and not to create a
Erin Pizzey is accredited with having opened the first modern shelter for abused women and
is the founder of the womens shelter movement. That was in 1971. She is the
author of numerous books, including probably the first book on the subject of domestic
violence, Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear, as well as Prone to
Violence, which is now an online book that was
originally published in paperback. The paperback is a rare find and, according to some,
worth a tremendous amount. To my understanding
it is now in
Erin has been doing her work in the field for over 30 years.
It's funny, you'd think we would be having an Erin Pizzey day, or parades in her honour,
even memorabilia or a constant mention of her contribution, on television, radio or
newspaper, each time the issue comes up. Hell; even mention her on all those numerous
pamphlets that are circulated or on billboards about Domestic Violence that can be seen
all across the U.K., Canada the US, right down to Australia and New Zealand.
What she got instead was ostracism and death threats. Erin was cast out of many circles
because of her statements. She has been denied web space at nearly every Domestic Violence
site there is.
You wouldn't think that people would be burning or trashing her books in every
English-speaking country in the world to the point that it has been found that there are
only about two known copies of her book Prone to Violence left in Canadian
How did this pioneer come to deserve such wrath from fellow DV counselors and feminists;
what did she do to elicit such hatred? Erin stated that women, too, are abusers, that they
are often violent, and not just in self-defense. Studies show that they are equally
likely, or even more likely than men, to be the ones who initiate violence the ones
who attack and elicit a self-defense response from their partners.
During Erin's book tour, she had to have armed guards escort her across the U.K. because
she was getting bomb threats and death threats everywhere she went. According to her, they
were not by men or angry husbands trying to suppress Erin's work. They were in fact by the
very counselors and feminists who were screaming the mantra of the day, that men were the
sole perpetuators of violence and women the sole victims.
Erin was preaching that some women are prone to violence, that they hungered for it, and
that they agitated their spouses for the thrill of it. Erin was pointing out how women
were abusive to their own children and how she wanted to work towards a solution to help
women, women who needed help to control their violence and anger, women who were addicted
Erin's observations are reinforced by every objective data ever accumulated in the last 30
The research team of Richard Gelles, Murray Straus, and Susan Steinmetz, who started their
research in the early 70s, provided good examples of unbiased, objective research.
Research conducted without a political agenda. The team began
its work while labouring under the traditional assumptions about Domestic Violence. They
believed that women were the sole victims and that men were the sole victimizers. 
Gelles later realized that he had made a giant mistake. Gelles had made a note of a knife
attack on a husband by his wife. Gelles had made this as a footnote but not as a primary
note in his original research. It was years later that he realized that what he had made
an error. The wife had not attacked in 'self-defense' but rather in malice. It boggled his
mind that he did not consider a knife attack an act of violence. He realized his
perception had been skewed by politically correct assumptions.
The team soon changed its course of research, and now includes female-on-male violence.
Ultimately the team came to the conclusion, as Erin Pizzey had on the other side of the
Atlantic, that women were contributing to the violence in homes at equal rates, and that
women were just as violent as the men they were living with, that the violence was not
always in self-defense but the result of a multitude of variables. And they found that men
were being injured just as often.
The team so far has conducted research that has been backed by over a hundred studies by
objective researchers involving 77 000 participants. Twelve percent of families are forced
to deal with this problem. Findings (in narrow estimate) were that it involves about 25%
of the time men on women, 25% of the time women on men, and 50% of the time it was a
mutual affair, which, in Erin Pizzey's own words, was about the same as the summation of
In the most recent study by Murray Straus, he concluded from his research that much of the
violence between dating couples is an act of coercion, that the perpetrators were trying
to get the other person to do something, and that ultimately it was not one sex over the
other that was more responsible.
And, just like Pizzey, when the team started including women's violence against men in
their research, they also received death threats, bomb threats, and were the victims of
libelous personal attacks. In fact, Suzanne Steinmetz had to stop her research because her
children were threatened so much she felt she couldnt risk it. These attacks were
not made by angry or insane men, they were made by DV counselors, shelter workers and
self-proclaimed feminists of all sorts.
Erin, in her own words, stated that the Domestic Violence shelters were
"hijacked" by 'feminists' with a clear-cut anti-male agenda. Erin, in her own
admission, did not attempt to discredit this right away; because she feared that federal
money would be cut from the services and that all her work would go into retreat.
Erin eventually realized that she could take it no longer as she sat by and witnessed how
the shelters became an industry and perpetuator of anti-male indoctrination and
propaganda. She describes how the shelters turned into lesbian seduction camps, that women
were not getting the help they really needed, and how unreasonable formulations were
created out of these institutes. The view that is constantly held is that women are not
responsible for any and all of the abuse done to them, that any and all of the abuse that
violent women have done towards men and children is not their fault, that they are
innately the victims, and that any other way to look at it was to blame the victim.
Erin asserts that women with severe violent tendencies are not getting the proper help and
treatment they desperately need, that by not taking responsibility and accountability for
their actions the shelters are putting children and men at risk from further abuse as well
as the women themselves and thereby not breaking the cycle of violence. For many reasons
like this, Erin feels that the domestic violence industry is really just promoting more
Erin makes further accusations against what she calls "an industry". Counselors,
lawyers, politicians and professors. Many professions gain from it. The printing industry
itself must make an absolute fortune in government and grant money that is used to print
pamphlets, among other things.
Erin points out that the industry is desperately trying to get into the rural areas, not
to help communities but to destroy families and to create anti-male bias and ultimately
hostility between the sexes. Erin makes many harsh remarks about how many of these places
are run. Erin even cites a few cases where some lesbian women could not go to a local DV
shelter because the women that were abusing them were working there. Routinely seminars
are given to judges, jurists, lawyers, police officers, high school teachers and an
endless assortment of professionals, and they are all told the same one-sided rhetoric.
The unfairness is established deep in government as Warren Farrell's research points out. He writes:
In Canada, a University of Alberta study found 12 percent of husbands to be victims of
violence by their wives and 11 percent of wives to be victims, but only the violence
against women was published. Even when Earl Silverman, six years later, was able to get
the data from an assistant who had helped prepare the original study, and then wrote it up
himself, he was unable to get it published.
Similarly, another major Canadian study of dating couples found 46 percent of women vs. 18
percent of men to be physically violent. You guessed it. The 18 percent male violence was
published immediately. Not only was the 46 percent female violence left unpublished, but
also the authors did not acknowledge in the Canadian Journal of Sociology that their study
had ever included violence against men.
When a Canadian professor found out, he requested to see the data and was refused. It was
only when he exposed the refusal in his next book, combined with another three more years
of pressure, that the information relating to the 46 percent female violence was released
and published. By that time ('97) Canadian policy giving government support for abused
women but not abused men had been entrenched, as were the bureaucracies; as were the
private funding sources like United Way.
This type of stigma continues even in research regarding sexual harassment in high
schools. While the harassment against the girls is being widely publicized, the harassment
against boys is completely ignored, despite that the research most commonly cited,
'Hostile Hallways', found that the girls were doing just as much harassing.
Even Mary Koss's research that was highly publicized in Ms. Magazine states that college
women were raped at a ratio of 1 in 4. Another woman who is well recognized in the field
of sexual assault took it upon herself to do the research in reverse. She asked the 'guys'
using the same research model. Just like Mary Koss did for the girls, she too found that
men (under those guiding principles) were raped at a ratio of 1 in 4. Kate Fillion cites
the work in her book Lip Service. She also
points out how Mary Koss, who stated she wanted to do the research to find the unknown
amounts of rapes from people who don't talk about it. Mary Koss claimed that she didn't
survey men because 'they don't talk about it'. Sort of ironic. But those who did
ask the 'guys' like Dr. Charlene Muehlenhard or Mary Craig, co-authors of Sexually
Agressive Women, found basically the same outcome
for the guys as they did for the girls. Simply put, in my opinion, translating an unwanted
attempt at a kiss into a sexual assault stat doesn't serve the truth about rape
Amber Pawlik is the founder of a women's club at Penn State College, known as the IWC
(independent women's club). She describes how the victim mentality is pervasive and that
events like 'Take Back The Night' only encourage hatred, to never let the scab heal, that
those events and organizations in fact appeal not to the best in women but to the worst.
In order to keep their "cause" going and their numbers high, feminists need
to keep women angry. They have a heavy amount invested in angry women. Not just their
cause, but certain feminist's careers, tenure, and livelihood are invested in ensuring
that women are being oppressed and that they stay upset over it.
Amber's club focuses on creating an atmosphere of dating and positive imagery for men
and women coupled together.
It is not my intention today to demonise women. My intention here was to give a look into
whats going on in the unpopular circuits. Erin Pizzey is the very first woman to
open a modern shelter for women, and she has received nothing but ill repute from her
adversaries. So far the only real truthful angst against her that I have found is that she
is pro-marriage. Erin even advocates that men should most certainly be allowed to work in
shelters, that it is the anti-male mantra that is telling victims to hate men in general
and not the individuals that have harmed them. Erin indeed had men working with her in her
shelters as well as that she advocated for shelters for men.
Erin Pizzey is a woman who should be honoured and remembered for her enduring work, not
threatened. She should be remembered by the rationale and the peacemakers of the world, by
people who are truly looking for a solution to diminishing violence between married
From a college student's club to scientists' research, we will have to develop studies
that produce objective truthful results, not results that have been massaged, formed and
chopped, or fabricated altogether, to fit the mould of a political agenda. These new data
and the results of previous good, but suppressed research need to be considered in making
We will have to lower our guard and redevelop trust, to consider concepts like
negotiation, forgiveness, compassion, and empathy, making the law a last resort rather
than a first option, to work soft on the people and hard on the issues, to open up that
path that can lead us as men and women; lovers, and co-authors of our happy fate.
© Kenneth Lynch
Write to Kenneth Lynch