National Institute of Justice Report
Monthly Archives: June 2011
Measuring the Effects of Domestic Violence on Women’s Well-being, by By Adrienne E. Adams, Michigan State University Department of Psychology
Custody Disputes Now Tougher for Battered Moms.
Mothers on Trial: The battle for children and custody, By Phyllis Chesler
” . . . battered women are losing custody to their batterers in record numbers. Children are being successfully brainwashed by fathers, but many mothers are being falsely accused of brainwashing. Worse: Children with mandated reporters–physicians, nurses or teachers–who report to them that they have been sexually abused by their fathers are usually given to those very fathers. The mothers of these children are almost always viewed as having “coached” or “alienated” the children and, on this basis alone, are seen as “unfit” mothers.
These mothers said that social workers, mental health professionals, guardians ad litem and parent coordinators–especially if they were women–actively “disliked” and were “cruel and hostile” to them as women. (Perhaps they expected women to be more compassionate toward other women. In this, they were sadly mistaken.)
Also, many mothers found that female professionals were often completely taken in by charming, sociopathic men (“parasites,” “smother-fathers”), dangerously violent men, and men who sexually abused their children.
For more information:
Phyllis Chesler’s Web site:
Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department imposed a 36 month suspension of an attorney convicted in Virginia on charges of domestic violence.
The court cited mitigating factors:
In its report dated June 14, 2010, the Hearing Panel noted the following as factors tending to mitigate respondent’s culpability: (1) respondent’s long and exemplary work record and attestation to his good character from colleagues; (2) the connection of respondent’s misconduct to a dysfunctional marital relationship that is now coming to an end through divorce; (3) the initiation of the altercation by respondent’s wife; (4) the causal connection between respondent’s abusive conduct and his intermittent explosive syndrome, a recognized psychological condition for which he is being treated, and was being treated before the incident; (5) the confinement of respondent’s physical aggression to his personal life; and (6) the substantial criminal sanctions, including a period of imprisonment, that have already been imposed on respondent.
We find, in the exercise of our discretion, that respondent should be suspended for 36 months in view of the gravity of the offense of domestic violence and his prior history of similar misconduct. While respondent may not have engaged in physical aggression in his professional life, it cannot be overemphasized that his abuse of his spouse reflects adversely on his fitness to practice law.
(Comment: Since most batterers are physically aggressive only toward their victims, it is interesting that the court considered it a mitigating circumstances in this case.)
Domestic Violence In Pregnancy Linked To Depression, Postnatal Domestic Violence And Child Behavioural Problems
Domestic violence in pregnancy is linked to depression and childhood behavioural problems, suggests new research published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Domestic violence has significant health consequences and it is estimated that around 24% of women have suffered from it. In particular, abuse during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications such as pre-term labour, reduced birth weight, miscarriage and fetal death.
This study looked at the long term impact of antenatal domestic violence on maternal psychiatric morbidity and child behaviour.
The study involved 13,617 women. A strong link was found between antenatal violence and violence post-birth: 71% of women who experienced antenatal domestic violence pregnancy also experienced violence postnatally.
Louise Howard, Professor in Women’s Mental Health, from the Health Services and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and senior author of the paper said:
“This strong link between antenatal and postnatal violence should help health workers identify future problems. Pregnancy is a time when women will come into frequent contact with health professionals and therefore are more likely to talk about domestic violence being suffered and psychiatric symptoms.”
SHARE provides confidential services for victims of domestic violence in an outreach location in Akron weekly on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the First Presbyterian Church East 3rd and Ash Street. For more information phone (970) 768-9212.
As always, services are available full time to Washington County residents through the office located in Fort Morgan. The office and 24-hour crisis line telephone is (970) 867-4444; toll free 1-877-867-9590.
Mara Hvistendahl is an award-winning writer and journalist specialized in the intersection of science, culture, and policy. A Beijing-based correspondent for Science magazine, she has also written for Harper’s, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and other publications.
Her book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men discusses what happens in a world that has skewed the natural ratio of men to women.
There are over 160 million females “missing” from Asia’s population. That’s more than the entire female population of the United States.
From the website:
There are over 160 million females “missing” from Asia’s population. That’s more than the entire female population of the United States. And gender imbalance—which is mainly the result of sex selective abortion—is no longer strictly an Asian problem. In Azerbaijan and Armenia, in Eastern Europe, and even among some groups in the United States, couples are making sure at least one of their children is a son. So many parents now select for boys that they have skewed the sex ratio at birth of the entire world.
Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live,” she writes. “Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent.” As examples she notes that high sex ratios were at play as far back as the fourth century B.C. in Athens—a particularly bloody time in Greek history—and during China’s Taiping Rebellion in the mid-19th century. (Both eras featured widespread female infanticide.) She also notes that the dearth of women along the frontier in the American West probably had a lot to do with its being wild. In 1870, for instance, the sex ratio west of the Mississippi was 125 to 100. In California it was 166 to 100. In Nevada it was 320. In western Kansas, it was 768.
“Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live. Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent.”
There is indeed compelling evidence of a link between sex ratios and violence. High sex ratios mean that a society is going to have “surplus men”—that is, men with no hope of marrying because there are not enough women. Such men accumulate in the lower classes, where risks of violence are already elevated. And unmarried men with limited incomes tend to make trouble. In Chinese provinces where the sex ratio has spiked, a crime wave has followed. Today in India, the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income but sex ratio.
A high level of male births has other, far-reaching, effects. It becomes harder to secure a bride, and men can find themselves buying or bidding for them. This, Ms. Hvistendahl notes, contributes to China’s astronomical household savings rate; parents know they must save up in order to secure brides for their sons. (An ironic reflection of the Indian ad campaigns suggesting parents save money by aborting girls.) This savings rate, in turn, drives the Chinese demand for U.S. Treasury bills.
And to beat the “marriage squeeze” caused by skewed sex ratios, men in wealthier imbalanced countries poach women from poorer ones. Ms. Hvistendahl reports from Vietnam, where the mail-order-bride business is booming thanks to the demand for women in China. Prostitution booms, too—and not the sex-positive kind that Western feminists are so fond of.
The economist Gary Becker has noted that when women become scarce, their value increases, and he sees this as a positive development. But as Ms. Hvistendahl demonstrates, “this assessment is true only in the crudest sense.” A 17-year-old girl in a developing country is in no position to capture her own value. Instead, a young woman may well become chattel, providing income either for their families or for pimps. As Columbia economics professor Lena Edlund observes: “The greatest danger associated with prenatal sex determination is the propagation of a female underclass,” that a small but still significant group of the world’s women will end up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage.
Book Review in the Wall Street Journal