Monthly Archives: October 2014

“The Duluth Model” Wins Prestigious International Prize for Best Policy Worldwide

Duluth, MN – On Tuesday, October 14, the Duluth Model’s “Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence,” a partnership between Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), and criminal justice agencies of the City of Duluth and St. Louis County, was named world’s best policy. Out of 25 international nominations, the “Duluth Model” was the only policy to be awarded the 2014 Future Policy Award for Ending Violence against Women and Girls, or Gold Award. The Future Policy Award is the only international award which recognizes policies rather than people, and the “Duluth Model” is the first humanitarian policy to be honored in the history of the award.

Presented by World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, Representative Michael Paymar, co-founder of the “Duluth Model,” accepted the prestigious 2014 Future Policy Award for Ending Violence against Women and Girls in Geneva today.

“This is a great honor,” said Rep. Michael Paymar. “We never imagined the global impact that the Duluth Model would have, but more importantly how many lives would be saved.”

The “Duluth Model” won the Gold Award for prioritizing the safety and autonomy of survivors while holding perpetrators accountable through community-wide coordinated response, including a unique partnership between non-profit and government agencies. This approach to tackling violence against women has inspired violence protection law implementation and the creation of batterer intervention programs in the United States and around the world, including in countries such as Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Romania, and Australia.

“What I love about this award is that it celebrates our policy and model to end violence against women. By giving the recognition to the policy we hope that it will be replicated worldwide,” said DAIP executive director (also executive director of Advocates for Family Peace (AFFP)), Melissa Scaia. “While DAIP continues to lead this work it couldn’t happen without the commitment of local leaders and their staff.”

On November 25, 2014, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the World Future Council and its partners, UN Women and the IPU, will host an interactive panel discussion on the preconditions of successful policy-making and implementation at UN Headquarters in New York. Policy-makers from Austria, Burkina Faso, the Council of Europe, and Minnesota, including Melissa Scaia, Executive Director of DAIP (and AFFP) and Rep. Michael Paymar, will participate.

More information on “the Duluth Model”, the award and the other winning policies can be found at: and

All Is Unfair in Love and Domestic Violence

The principle of fairness is often misapplied in our media. It’s simply not true that “what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.” The mere assumption that equal treatment, regardless of gender is “fairness,” is to say that the details and history don’t matter.

You would be hard-pressed to find a dedicated capitalist argue that the equal distribution of wages, regardless of education, training and personal initiative would be “fair.” Similarly, you’d be unlikely to find someone to convincingly argue that “crime is crime” and that all sentencing should be equal, regardless of circumstances or mitigating factors. We don’t sentence first-time offenders the same way we do repeat ones and that’s not by coincidence.

True fairness is not found through the exclusion of factors but by the inclusion of all of them.

The evolution of the contemporary debate surrounding domestic violence in sports has been flooded with hypocrisy, situational ethics and outright dishonesty. If you were one of the 7,000-plus people turning in your Ray Rice jersey in September, despite the fact that Janay Palmer was knocked unconscious seven months prior; your conviction is questionable at best. Those angry with LeBron James for simply changing employers began burning his jersey mere hours after the announcement, not waiting seven months to hopefully exchange them. I seem to have missed the videos of fans burning the Rice jerseys. Maybe changing teams is a greater offense than delivering a hook to the jaw of a woman in an elevator.

Just maybe…

Only 500 or so people showed up to turn in their New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez jerseys; the guy awaiting trial on multiple murder charges. There weren’t 7,000 people lined up to return wide receiver Dontae Stallworth’s jersey, although he was convicted of DUI manslaughter in 2009. If we are going to discuss fairness in the sense of how we publicly condemn or socially convict athletes, let’s be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge the obvious.

There have been 500 arrests of active NFL players in the past 10 years, across all 32 teams. Twenty-nine of those teams were forced to deal with domestic violence arrests during that time. Violence against women by professional athletes wasn’t invented in February of 2014; only our righteous indignation and fluctuating sponsorship ethics the following September. Just in case we’re more interested in actual fairness and less with public grandstanding, let’s be committed to the truth.

As common with situations like these, those in the media are quick to hold up the reverse/alternative scenario as proof of some “double-standard.”

Enter Hope Solo.

Yes, U.S. soccer national team goalie Hope Solo has been arrested on charges of domestic abuse. Yes, she is a professional athlete. No, she did not have her Nike endorsement stripped away in the way that both Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson did.

Most importantly, yes, I’m absolutely good with it.

The lack of a uniform response to any and all issues of domestic abuse in sports is not America’s problem. The problem is the historical willingness to deny the pervasive problem of misogyny in America.

The lack of a uniform response to any and all issues of domestic abuse in sports is not America’s problem. The problem is the historical willingness to deny the pervasive problem of misogyny in America. There is no long, sordid history of female athletes being arrested for domestic abuse against men in the past 10 years, much less in one sport. There is no history of men being denied the right to vote or any Equal Pay Act for men being voted down in Congress. Stop offering up Hope Solo as the response to Ray Rice and any other male athlete in the news in the interest of “fairness.” Stop making the false equivocation that Hope Solo must be shunned exactly as Ray Rice has as if all domestic violence is equal in nature and one size fits all.

I’m sure Hope Solo does not bench press 300lbs more than her alleged victim and was even less likely to kill a person with a single blow. I’m positive that U.S. soccer didn’t go to great lengths to deny the seriousness, severity or become complicit with the alleged crime. I’m clear that U.S. soccer doesn’t have a domestic violence problem and that the NFL in fact does. That’s saying nothing of the fact that U.S. soccer is not governed by the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement which affords its commissioner broad punitive powers.

Stop trying to change the subject, demanding that women take equal responsibility for abuse that is categorically unequal in every way.

Stop trying to change the subject, demanding that women take equal responsibility for abuse that is categorically unequal in every way.

As a fourth degree black belt in the martial art of Hapkido, I’m clear that putting my hands on a woman leads to different consequences than the average woman putting her hands on me… and I’m absolutely fine with it. We must stop trying to deny the realities of male on female domestic violence. Hope Solo is the exception which proves the rule.

There is no long, abominable history of women beating men into submission under the cover of marriage in America. There is no example of a female U.S. federal judge beating her husband while he was on a 9-1-1 call and later refusing to resign. There is no great scourge of sexual assault on college campuses or in the military by women against men. There has yet to be a major university scandal of abuse against children perpetrated by women on the collegiate level as there was at Penn State. There has never been any need to define what “no” means to sexually protect men. How we arrived at this point is just as important as how we’ve chosen to handle it. The moment we begin to approach true fairness is the moment we start telling the truth and stop grading press releases and press conferences.

Fairness is not connected to treating women exactly as men without exception. Fairness is instead no longer letting men off the hook historically or presently for the abuse of women.

Fairness is not connected to treating women exactly as men without exception. Fairness is instead no longer letting men off the hook historically or presently for the abuse of women.

Pass the Equal Pay Act and then we can talk about fairness along gender lines. Bring an end to sexual assault of women in the military and on college campuses and then we can broach the gender “double-standard” discussion. Most importantly, stop trying to compare the dozens of domestic violence arrests of men against women in professional sports annually with the outliers to the contrary. It is then and only then will we be getting serious about fairness in the punishment of domestic violence in America.

by Morris W. O’Kelly


Presidential Proclamation — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2014

The White House

Presidential Proclamation — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2014




Domestic violence affects every American. It harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our Nation, and hurts those we love most. It is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we acknowledge the progress made in reducing these shameful crimes, embrace the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, and recognize that more work remains until every individual is able to live free from fear.

Last month, our Nation marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Before this historic law, domestic violence was seen by many as a lesser offense, and women in danger often had nowhere to go. But VAWA marked a turning point, and it slowly transformed the way people think about domestic abuse. Today, as 1 out of every 10 teenagers are physically hurt on purpose by someone they are dating, we seek to once again profoundly change our culture and reject the quiet tolerance of what is fundamentally unacceptable. That is why Vice President Joe Biden launched the 1is2many initiative to engage educators, parents, and students while raising awareness about dating violence and the role we all have to play in stopping it. And it is why the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the newly launched “It’s On Us” campaign will address the intersection of sexual assault and dating violence on college campuses.

Since VAWA’s passage, domestic violence has dropped by almost two-thirds, but despite these strides, there is more to do. Nearly two out of three Americans 15 years of age or older know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and domestic violence homicides claim the lives of three women every day. When women and children are deprived of a loving home, legal protections, or financial independence because they fear for their safety, our Nation is denied its full potential.

My Administration is committed to reaching a future free of domestic violence. We are building public-private partnerships to directly address domestic violence in our neighborhoods and workplaces, and we are helping communities use evidence-based screening programs to prevent domestic violence homicides. At the same time, the Federal Government is leading by example, developing policies to ensure domestic violence is addressed in the Federal workforce. New protections under the Affordable Care Act provide more women with access to free screenings and counseling for domestic violence. And when I proudly reauthorized VAWA last year, we expanded housing assistance; added critical protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and empowered tribal governments to protect Native American women from domestic violence in Indian Country.

Our Nation’s success can be judged by how we treat women and girls, and we must all work together to end domestic violence. As we honor the advocates and victim service providers who offer support during the darkest moments of someone’s life, I encourage survivors and their loved ones who are seeking assistance to reach out by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visiting

This month, we recognize the survivors and victims of abuse whose courage inspires us all. We recommit to offering a helping hand to those most in need, and we remind them that they are not alone.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2014 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.