Lunch and Movies – Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event October 14th

DVAM Flyer

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2015

TAKE A STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

Join us for lunch and movies from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Bloedorn Room at Morgan Community College.

Showing two movies.

Private Violence

A film exploring a fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home. Through the eyes of two survivors, the film provides a lens into a world that is largely invisible – a world we have locked behind closed doors.

You’re Hurting Me, Too!

Exposes the long and short term effects of domestic violence on children.

RSVP for Free Lunch: Gisela Mendez (MCC) 970-542-3170 Or Alicia Fierro (S.H.A.R.E.) 970-867-4444 ext. 29

No reservations necessary if you don’t want lunch

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Ending Domestic Abuse

Nearly one week ago E’Dena Hines, the granddaughter of A-list actor Morgan Freeman, was allegedly brutally murdered by her boyfriend. A few days before Ms. Hines was killed, Valerie Jackson, her six children and her husband were reportedly killed execution style by Mrs. Jackson’s ex-romantic partner. Days later, Alma Hernandez’s ex-partner showed up at her place of employment and shot her to death before killing himself.

To be clear, these are only the individuals I am aware of and nowhere close to the actual number of women killed in the last seven days in what’s called intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic violence (DV). Every day three women are killed by a current or ex-romantic partner in the United States. Nearly five million women “experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.”

Where is the outrage for the taken lives of these women? Where are the marches and protests in resistance of male violence against women? This issue should headline every Sunday news show; talks of the prevalence of IPV should be on the front page of local and national newspapers tomorrow morning (and every morning). Occasionally an online search engine will footnote an article with a vague description of events such as “two people shot dead in murder suicide.” This phraseology misrepresents the issue ignoring the gendered nature of the crime, in that a male killed a female before ending his own life.

I prefer the phrase male violence against women as calling this abuse ‘domestic violence’ does not acknowledge that it is often men abusing women. To be clear, men are also victims of family violence; however, male perpetrated IPV is more severe and women are more likely than men to be homicide victims of IPV. The crime is also grossly under-reported; we can therefore reasonably presume that the overall numbers of women being abused is much higher than above.

Keep in mind that IPV is more than physical assaults. Male violence against women is any attempt to exert control over a partner, ex-partner, and family member. This includes (but is not limited to) financial control, any type of manipulation, verbal and non-verbal threats, attempts to instill fear, intentional or unintentional controlling behavior, gestures, looks, or correspondence designed to manipulate, any form of stalking, attempts to check up on whereabouts, asking her friends, family, acquaintances, or children about her whereabouts, cyber-stalking, cyber harassment, using social media accounts to control or manipulate, or seeking to manipulate and abuse through spreading information about her in an attempt to destroy or defame her character. The reader is referred here for a more exhaustive list of the types of abuse.

The endorsement of patriarchal socialization and its concomitant traditional gender roles contributes to male violence against women. In the context of domestic violence, men internalize a sense of entitlement to control their female partners. Violence against women is then seen as an aspect of systemic oppression which serves to perpetuate male privilege and thereby male domination of women. Abuse is therefore a choice that the abuser makes to sustain his control over his partner, not a reflection of ‘lost control.’

Black women are three times more likely than their white peers to be killed by a known male acquaintance. Nearly one third of black women have endured physical or psychological abuse by a current or previous intimate partner. Black female IPV victims likely do not receive marches or protests, and their stories are often unheard. A combination of racism and patriarchy, both deeply seated into every fabric of American society ignores the brutality inflicted on Black women and women of color in general.

To be clear, male violence against women is endemic in U.S. society and pervasive across diverse ethnocultural communities. In her seminal book “We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity” author bell hooks explained “white patriarchy is just as misogynist as black patriarchy and offers death as the price all women must pay if they ‘get out of their place’… black male violence simply mirrors the styles and habits of white male violence. It is not unique” (emphasis added). In the same book hooks later revealed “sadly and strangely, individual black males have allowed themselves to become poster boys of brute patriarchal manhood and its concomitant woman-hating.”

It has been said that black male abuse of women is a reaction to enduring a racist world intent on preventing black male participation in society. I believe there is validity to this notion; I also believe that black male domestic abuse is about patriarchal socialization as well as coping with a racist world.

I am sick and tired of hearing questions like “why does she stay in that relationship”? As author Christi Paul rightly revealed this is “the wrong question” to explore. Fact is her risk of being killed is at its highest when she disconnects from the relationship.

For men especially, the question we should be asking is “who the hell told him he had the right to abuse her? What gave him the right to menace, threaten, or control his partner/ex-partner”? I hope you are looking into a mirror when you ask yourself that question my brother, because the answer is staring right at you!

To the degree that we collude in promoting patriarchal masculinity we are culpable for male violence against women.

To the degree that we collude in promoting patriarchal masculinity we are culpable for male violence against women. It is my belief that each time we blame women for being abused with ridiculous comments such as “she hit him first” or “why would she take him back.” Each time we refuse to speak or write about the prevalence and brutality of domestic abuse we are condoning such behavior. Each time we refuse to call out other men on their abusive behaviors we are sending the message that domestic violence is acceptable. We are responsible. The good news is, we can all play a role in eradicating male violence against women.

Being part of the solution requires a respectful, non-abusive, egalitarian approach to all relationships. However more is needed to eradicate domestic violence. We must confront the abusive behaviors of other men. We cannot allow intimate partner abuse to breed in our communities. The problem of domestic violence is that males are choosing to be emotionally, financially, sexually, verbally, and/or emotionally abusive towards females. Therefore eradication of domestic abuse requires males holding themselves and every other male accountable to being non-abusive. This also means we have to stop asking questions like ‘why does she stay’ in an abusive relationship and declaratively stating ‘he should not be abusing her.’

When a male chooses to abuse his partner or someone in his family the entire community suffers. In order to help reduce the prevalence of male violence against women and children I believe men must be willing to become outspoken critics of patriarchal terrorism and domestic abuse.

Reducing domestic violence requires redefining ideas about male identity away from power and control over others. Additionally, we must break the community silence about male violence against women. In order to do this we must commit to talking about domestic violence in our churches, schools, community centers, hospitals etc… Furthermore, more needs to be written about the insidious nature of male violence against women.

We need to do a better job of connecting maleness and masculinity to the affirmation of emotional vulnerability while rejecting narcissistic rage. Also we have to be willing to confront the men in our lives on their misogyny. All too often the chore of challenging domestic abuse falls on the shoulders of women, yet as men, I believe we have a responsibility to be among the first to draw attention to this issue. This can include talking with your sons, nephews and young males and educating them about male abuse instilling in them the idea that male violence is wrong.

By Bill Johnson II

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Volunteer Advocate Training Begins September 19

S.H.A.R.E., Inc. will conduct training for volunteer advocates on Saturdays beginning September 19. The training is free of charge.

24 hours of interactive training and shadowing will qualify successful participants as a confidential domestic violence advocate in the State of Colorado.

Trainees must attend all sessions and be available for evening and/or weekend crisis call duty or other volunteer responsibilities.

LGBTQ advocates welcome. Bilingual (Spanish) skills are helpful.

For an application call 970-878-4444 ext. 23 or 26 or download and complete the Volunteer Application Form.

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Advocates Warn of New Dangers as Sheriff Urges Domestic Violence Victims to Arm Themselves

A brutal murder in a small Louisiana town reignites debate about women, guns, and self-defense. Here’s the story the data tells.

By Jennifer Mascia
On the night of August 9, police responded to a domestic dispute at a home in the small Louisiana town of Geismar. In the backyard, they found the bludgeoned body of Monica Johnson. The 45-year-old held an active restraining order against her estranged husband, who police arrested the next morning and charged with murdering his wife with a baseball bat.

As the community processed the horrific crime, local law enforcement and pro-gun establishments offered a simple response: arm domestic violence victims to prevent more deaths. Appearing on a CBS affiliate two days after the murder, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley urged women to get concealed-weapons permits.

“When you’re in a situation like this, shoot him in your backyard before he gets in your house,” Wiley said. “Drop him. Take the extremes necessary to live a life where you don’t have to worry about your kids and your life.”

Twenty-two miles north in Baton Rouge, Wade Duty, the owner of Precision Firearms in Baton Rouge, called the sheriff’s comments “motivational” and announced that he was offering free concealed-carry training to women with restraining orders against abusers. “If you find yourself in this situation, you need to have some options,” said Duty, an attorney and NRA-trained instructor. Wiley and Duty did not respond to a request for comment.

But now some local domestic violence prevention advocates are pushing back, arguing that adding a firearm can add new risks to an already volatile situation.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to eliminate domestic violence homicide, and we’re never going to be able to eliminate the need for women to defend themselves,” Beth Meeks, executive director of Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, tells The Trace. “But there’s an overwhelming pile of evidence that says that a woman who wields a gun against her abuser is much more likely to have her own weapon used against her.”

Christy Salters Martin is one of the more high-profile examples of what can go wrong: The professional boxer and licensed concealed carrier armed herself against her husband during a violent 2010 altercation at their home in Florida. Martin’s husband, also a concealed carrier, grabbed Martin’s pink Glock and shot her with it. Overall, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide five-fold, according to a 2003 study. An analysis of 2010 homicide data by the Violence Policy Center found that women in relationships are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined.

Another survey, which gathered responses from more than 400 women in California battered women’s shelters in 2004, found that only 1.4 percent of domestic abuse victims had used a long gun in self defense against their abuser, and only 3.1 percent had used a handgun in self defense.

Meeks also warns that when women do use firearms to successfully defend themselves in domestic incidents, there can be unforeseen consequences. It’s what she calls the “Marissa Alexander situation.” Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing what she argued was a warning shot to scare her abusive husband at their Florida home in 2012. She was released on house arrest after overturning the conviction on appeal, but had already served three years behind bars.

That same year, Tammy Romero was charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting her live-in boyfriend after years of dysfunction and abuse. The Louisiana woman pled guilty to negligent homicide and filed a federal lawsuit against local police, arguing that officers actually caused Wirtz’s death because they did not do enough to protect her from him.

“None of these things are predictable,” Meeks says. “We could run what-if scenarios all day. But we need to be responsible about the information we give these women.”

Full story

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It’s not a mystery – it’s domestic violence

Houston bore witness to a horrific mass murder over the weekend: Valerie Jackson, her six children, and her husband, Dwayne Jackson, were shot to death in their home. Police have arrested David Conley, who is Valerie Jackson’s ex-boyfriend and presumed to be the father of her eldest son and one of the victims, Nathaniel Conley, 13. After negotiating with the hostage team for hours, David Conley finally surrendered and has been charged with murder. Conley had been previously charged with domestic violence for attacking Jackson in the home she shared with her husband.

“We do not and cannot understand the motivations of an individual who would take the lives of so many people, including children,” Chief Deputy Tim W. Cannon said in a news conference about the murders on Sunday. The urge to write off this level of horror as incomprehensible—as a form of unfathomable evil—is understandable.

But the blunt fact is that we can understand the motivations of someone who would do this. Domestic homicide is committed almost entirely by men who feel off-the-charts levels of male entitlement—men who feel so entitled to control a woman just because they’ve dated or married her that they resort to violence to reassert control.

Indeed, the 2015 Pulitzer for Public Service went to the Charleston Post and Courier for their chilling but thorough examination of South Carolina’s domestic homicide problem. For anyone under the illusion that domestic homicide is mysterious—for anyone who cares about preventing violence at all, really—the seven-part series, titled “Till Death Do Us Part“, is a must-read.

One of their interviewees was Therese D’Encarnacao, who survived her husband shooting her in the head after she told him she was leaving. “If I can’t have you, nobody can,” he told her right before he pulled the trigger.

“Some of this is rooted in this notion of women as property,”  state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told the Post and Courier. That notion persists in prominent ways. Just look at the recent dust-up between singer Ciara and her rapper ex-boyfriend Future. As Lonnae O’Neal of the Washington Post pointed out last week, when Ciara posted Instagram pictures of their son cuddling her new boyfriend, Future melted down, and sadly, a lot of people on social media—along with New York radio host Ebro Darden—defended Future’s tantrum. It’s another way of corroborating the idea that a man gains ownership over a woman simply by having a relationship with her.

And if a man feels entitled to control a woman, it’s not a huge leap for him to resort to violence to get his way. Domestic violence, even when it ends in tragedy as horrifying as the Texas murders, is probably the least mysterious form of violence there is.

Source – Full Article

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Men Kill Women in the U.S. So Often That It’s Usually Not Even Newsworthy

When news emerged that a middle-aged white man in Lafayette, Louisiana, opened fire at a showing of the Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck, I immediately had this sinking feeling that the movie choice wasn’t a coincidence—that this was, like the Elliot Rodger and George Sodini killings, an act of rage at women. While Trainwreck is a fluffy rom-com, it’s also a popular topic of chatter in the feminist-sphere and therefore likely to be noticed by the seething misogynists who monitor the online activities of feminists with unsettling obsessiveness.

That fear is now moving from the uneasy-feeling column to the likely possibility column, with Dave Weigel of the Washington Post reporting that alleged shooter John Russell Houser was a rabid right-winger—he even went to one of those unranked conservative Christian law schools—who had particularly strong anger toward women for their growing independence and rights. Former talk show host Calvin Floyd had Houser on as a frequent guest, knowing that his off-the-wall opinions would generate audience interest: “The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights,” Floyd said. “He was opposed to women having a say in anything.” Houser also had a history of domestic violence.

It would be nice, as Jessica Winter argued in Slate after the Charleston shooting, if this country could have a grown-up conversation about gun control in the wake of crimes like this. Instead, we’re just going to hear a bunch of ridiculous rhetoric about how more guns will fix this problem, as if Lafayette isn’t one of those parts of the country where everyone and his poodle is packing heat. But since that’s not happening, maybe we can talk about the continuing role that misogyny plays in the relentless drumbeat of gun violence in this country.

Complete article

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Women Lawmakers Revive Gun-Control Effort By Making It About Domestic Violence

Gun control’s weary warriors have been searching for a way to appeal to Republicans and give the issue a pulse in Congress. A couple of Midwestern women Democrats may have found a way to do it, by tying it to domestic violence.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell are pressing legislation to take guns out of the hands of men who abuse women. On Wednesday, Dingell introduced a bill along with a Republican, Robert Dold of Illinois, mirroring legislation Klobuchar reintroduced earlier this year in targeting those convicted of stalking and abusive dating partners.

For both women, the issue is personal. As a county prosecutor, Klobuchar helped establish some of the first domestic violence service centers in the nation before coming to Congress. Dingell grew up in a household where domestic violence and guns were a constant worry.

“I understand what a gun in the wrong hands can do and the fear and the anxiety that you live with for a lifetime,” Dingell said in an interview. Dingell’s husband, former Representative John Dingell, is a gun owner who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association. “No one should assume where I am on guns,” she said. “This is a very narrow bill.”

Efforts to revive gun control in Congress have been virtually non existent for the past two year. In 2013, Republicans and a handful of Democrats refused to support even modest changes to firearms background check laws in the wake of school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, prompting activists to shift their focus to the state level. It’s there, in places like Illinois and South Carolina, that lawmakers have agreed to stiffen penalties and bar those convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns.

Now proponents are trying to recreate that success in Washington by focusing on specific categories of individuals who are at elevated risk of becoming violent. The approach also broadens the traditional gun coalition to women’s groups that target domestic violence, like MomsRising and National Network to End Domestic Violence.

“I have not given up hope by any means on these more pragmatic focused approaches,” said Klobuchar, who noted that “you have a state as red as South Carolina doing something on gun violence related to domestic violence.”

Current law bars people convicted of domestic abuse from possessing firearms. At an event to unveil the Dingell-Dold bill on Wednesday, state-level bills were spotlighted that accomplish the same objectives. As of this month, bills addressing domestic abuse and gun violence have been passed or introduced in 23 legislatures, including Oregon, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Advocates for toughening U.S. gun laws say the lesson from the 2013 failure of legislation to expand background checks to Internet sales and gun shows is that comprehensive gun legislation is impossible in the current Congress.

What is possible, they believe, is advancing legislation to focus on specific categories of individuals, including domestic abusers, those on the terrorism watch list and individuals with a mental health condition that poses a threat to the safety of others.

“This is a pretty modest deal on something that’s already publicly accepted as what we can do to safeguard our daughters, our sisters,” Dold said in an interview.

Even so, Klobuchar has yet to attract a Republican co-sponsor for her bill, and the Republican champion of the 2013 effort, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, said he doesn’t know much about it.

The National Rifle Association, which has squashed major gun legislation for two decades, opposes both bills. According to an NRA fact sheet, it will “not stand” for taking away a “fundamental civil right for a misdemeanor conviction.” The bill, the NRA argues, “cynically manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearms prohibitions.”

The domestic violence issue has a powerful correlation to firearms possession, according to a study by the Center for American Progress in Washington. From 2001 to 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the U.S. by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entire Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Of all women murdered by intimate partners during this period, 55 percent were killed with guns, and women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high-income countries. Seventy-six percent of women killed with a gun had been stalked in the previous year, Dingell said Wednesday.

After the shootings in Newtown in 2012, Dingell began to share her personal story. “I found my voice a few years ago,” she said Wednesday.

In January, she penned a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder asking him to veto a bill allowing concealed-weapons permits to be issued to individuals with a history of violence. “I will not forget the nights of shouting. The fear. The dread that my brother, my sisters and my parents would die,” Dingell wrote. “I will not forget locking ourselves in closets or hiding places hoping we wouldn’t be found. Calling for help, but finding no one willing to help.”

“I had a father that I’m sure loved me but could snap like that,” Dingell said Wednesday. “When a gun was near you didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Dingell’s younger sister suffered from years of anxiety and eventually committed suicide. “I don’t think she ever recovered,” Dingell said Wednesday. “She was always afraid for her life and had anxiety the rest of her life.”

In addition to the recent law in South Carolina, supporters say they are optimistic that the legislation can gain traction because Congress has in the past acknowledged the nexus between guns and domestic violence. In 1994 and 1997, Congress acted to take guns away from domestic abusers and those under restraining orders. Yet Klobuchar, Dingell are Dold are arguing that serious loopholes remain.

“I don’t look at this as a gun bill,” said Dingell. “I look at this as a domestic violence bill.”

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