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Debunking Domestic Violence FAQ's.
March 18, 2007
8:09 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Q: "There are studies showing women are actually more involved than men in the physical abuse of children. Is this true?"

A: "There are a few studies that indicate women cause more physical injury to children, however all studies agree that serious injury is overwhelmingly caused by men."

False.

According Bureau of Justice report of family homicides in 33 urban counties:

"In murders of their offspring, women predominated, accounting for 55 percent of killers."

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/p.....cii/mf.txt

March 18, 2007
8:59 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Thank you WD. I knew that, but I guess I want to know how can I join into your thread. It is a subject right up my alley.

March 18, 2007
9:19 pm
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I'm surprised at this.

I would expect men to be much more abusive than women. I'm not sure why. Perhaps personal experience.

free

March 18, 2007
9:27 pm
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bevdee
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Maybe it's because there are so many single mothers. Without a man anywhere around?

March 18, 2007
9:34 pm
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Matteo
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Or maybe not enough mothers who are single with men close to them driving them insane?

More (very slightly) women abuse their children, but how many men are primary caregivers and how much time do they spend caring for their children 24/7 trying to raise bunch of kids and please their partners and everybody else at the same time? How many of those who killed, killed as a result of post partum depression? There are, or at least were countries where the killing of an infant up to 12 months old was not punishable by a prison, and the mothers were send to mental health hospitals instead; although one may question what is worse.

March 18, 2007
9:35 pm
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Matteo
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I should say: mothers who are single instead of with men close to them driving them insane?

March 18, 2007
9:56 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Matteo:

Might have a good point there. If a woman has a man to vent to, scream at, focus her anger on then the kids don't take the brunt of mom's frustration w/ a hard life coz mom and dad are not together.

Does make some sense yes. What could be done to give single women an outlet for their anger, frustration, sleep deprivation, etc.??

March 19, 2007
10:14 am
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Zinnie
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I have to agree with the above point as to why there are more women who are abusive to the children - woman are generally the primary care-givers. In so many situations (sadly) we are seeing that the man (Dad) is not involved in the upbringing of the children leaving it to fall on Mom.

Perhaps due to the bad parenting Mom received she is only repeating what she knows? OR as also suggested above, she is frustrated.

Interesting facts to ponder.

Z.

March 19, 2007
9:37 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Oh good, I got bites without getting bitten.

I have 2-3 agendas here.

First is of course to stimulate conversation and speculation.

Next is just what the title says--Debunking. Changing the world for the better--one web page at a time.

The mere act of reading a DV FAQ that gives a wrong answer--can instantly endanger, disempower, injure, disable, or cripple victim(s) while simultaneously facilitating the nasty work of perpetrators.

Since actual human beings can be either killed or saved depending on whether a given web page contains correct or incorrect information--and since typing some text into a word processor is so very cheap and easy, I think it is a worthwhile investment.

Finally, I think it is time for the state state of the art of medial understanding for family violence to improve--and that better understanding of abuse in family contexts can help us be wiser in dealing with violence in wider contexts--terrorism, war, national politics, you name it.

I think this particular issue--child abuse, particularly child murder is a good place to start--it is about the ultimate taboo, and a worthwhile cause for just about everyone. It's a rich tapestry of horror.

The "Women do more child care" idea came up again here, and I want to work with that idea some--because I think it is a web of fallacy.

March 19, 2007
9:49 pm
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bevdee
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What is the ratio of women who are primary caregivers to those women who have husbands who share equal parenting responsibilities?

March 19, 2007
9:50 pm
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Worried_Dad
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mammacinnamon,

I suggest you just role up your sleeves, fire up your googler and wade right in.

I sure appreciate every mind and heart on the job.

I want it to end, everywhere, forever. I don't know how to make that happen but I am pretty sure it has something to do with achieving a better understanding of human nature.

March 19, 2007
10:07 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Bevdee,

I am interested in grinding through that math--but I am also interested in getting around it--it feels false to me.

I submit the hypothesis that the likelihood of a child being murdered by a father versus a mother is proportional to relative abundances of murderous men versus murderous women, and NOT proportional to the percent of time that a given parent spends in "child care activities."

March 20, 2007
3:42 pm
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The most serious injury for anyone would be death. But does brain trauma count as a serious injury, or only death?

Are we only counting deaths as serious injury? If so, that may be true based on that webpage, although that study is from 1994, and it's based on arrests & convictions (court records)... many times, women get dragged into their husbands murders & possibly less so visa versa?

SC

March 20, 2007
3:46 pm
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Matteo
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Aha, and what do you have to support your giving you warm feelings hypothesis? What is your theory? I am all ears.

March 20, 2007
3:47 pm
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Matteo
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(that was a question for WD)

March 20, 2007
5:43 pm
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Hi SC,

Yes, there is a possibility of confound if people are found guilty of murders that they did not commit.

I think of "serious injury" as being a popular term meaning injury requiring medical care. Men and women of course have different thresholds of what that means. Children, too because they usually don't get to decide if they get medical care or not.

Actually I think that there are many kinds and levels of injury and that even non-physical abuse can lead to brain injury by neuronal cell death.

I am a strong believer that many people are "severely injured" in but never diagnosed as having been "injured" at all. "It's all in their head."

See Battered Syndrome. See Depression. See Vietnam and Iraq War related PTSD.

But that topic is for another day.

I chose death of children in this case because it is such an unambigous measure of abuse.

I think I can say with a high degree of certainty that every child killed by a parent is a victim of child abuse, and that the parent who does the killing is most likely, an "Abuser."

March 20, 2007
5:50 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Matteo,

"Warm feelings?"

Please don't be arch when we are talking about a very serious topic.

March 20, 2007
5:57 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Anyway, that hypothesis is based on what seems to me to be common sense and also based on things that are known about abusers and abusive relationships.

Then we can do math-probability thought experiments with the hypothesis and do data mining and so on.

I wish I could remember the thought-form... but I think the the counter-hypothesis has already been proven fallacious, so we are probably re-inventing the wheel here. Oh, well.

March 20, 2007
6:26 pm
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Oh, I almost forgot, SC.

Of course, I understande that men, by virtue of their physical strength and the traditional training in violent arts that males get from birth, are more capable in fighting and inflicting injury than women.

Does it surprise anyone that male batterers might send their victims to the emergency room more frequently than female batterers?

ER data can confuse our search, too.

To me, the big question is not "is it more 'dangerous' to have a battering wife/mother or husband/father?"

It is more about "Is gender the strongest predictor of being an 'Abuser?'"

But what we are trying to get at here is really the proprtion of men vs women who have distored mental

March 20, 2007
8:15 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Oops.

But what we are trying to get at here is really the proportion of men vs women who have distorted mental models of relationship that add up to an "abusive personality."

March 21, 2007
11:09 pm
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Wehre are your numbers coming from wd?

"Crime statistics further reveal that of the children under 5 killed from 1976 to 1999, 30 percent were murdered by their mothers while 31 percent were killed by their fathers. And while the strangers, acquaintances, and other family members who kill children skew heavily toward males (as does the entire class of murderers), children are as likely to be murdered by their fathers as by their mothers."

And listen to this:

"The consistent idea is that women usually kill their children either because they are angry at themselves or because they want to destroy that which they created, whereas more often than not, men kill their children to get back at a woman—to take away what she most cherishes."

http://www.slate.com/id/2063086/

March 21, 2007
11:23 pm
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Matteo
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Hi free ~ I guess this is one of those times when WD feels like arguing for the sake of it.

WD ~ who is/are "we"?

"Common sense" is many different things for different people so I wonder since when it became a good basis for any hypothesis. There are many "things" known about abusers and abusive relationships, and there are bunch of very different theories about them. Which "things" did you have in mind?

March 22, 2007
12:08 am
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hi matteo~

I, too, like to argue for the sake of arguing. For me, it brings about new thoughts and things to consider.

I consider the reasons men and women kill their children to be highly relevant.

A woman who kills her newborn and leaves it in the trashcan kuz she has no means with which to support this child, is to me, a different person than the man who kills the newborn to punish mom for leaving him, or to punish mom for having an affair, or to punish mom for ANY reason.

Some motives, for me, trigger loathing, while other motives trigger a sense of helplessness and sorrow.

What about physical abuse?

free

March 22, 2007
12:18 am
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Well here it is:

"Mothers are almost twice as likely to be directly involved in child maltreatment as fathers. Mothers are more likely to abuse or neglect their children than fathers because they bear a larger share of parenting responsibilities in two-parent families and because a large percentage of families today are headed by mothers. In some communities, they are the majority.33 Perpetrator patterns differ, however, by type of maltreatment. Mothers are not more likely to be the perpetrator when it comes to sexual abuse; fathers are more likely to be reported for this crime.34"
http://www.childwelfare.gov/pu.....rthree.cfm

well, it makes sense. My ex husband doesn't abuse my kids anymore. But then, he doesn't see them anymore either. So if they're gonna be abused, it would be by myself- their mother, or my husband, their stepfather.

My best friend's ex husband doesn't abuse her daughter either, but he hasn't seen her since she was a toddler. 13 years. so, if this child was to be abused, it would be by her, the mother.

I don't think we can make comparisons unless the mothers and fathers are put on the same playing field.

Not trying to man-bash here wd, or undermine your efforts. I realize I'm biased. I'd like not to be, or to be so correctly.

free

March 22, 2007
12:23 am
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bevdee
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Free

"I don't think we can make comparisons unless the mothers and fathers are put on the same playing field."

This was my first thought when I saw this thread. Thanks for the info.

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