[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.
[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
Among a rising chorus of folks speaking out about problems caused by America's obsession with football at every level, author (and fan) Steve Almond's voice stands out the loudest. His new book Against Football argues that "our allegiance to football legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia." In a nutshell "Fans should stop watching." Needless to say the book has provoked a strong reaction in fans (and defensive sportswriters), most notably in New York Mag, with Jonathan Chait's personal story of how football made him a better person: "In Defense of Male Aggression: What Liberals Get Wrong About Football". [more inside]
Arlena Lindley’s boyfriend Alonzo Turner beat her for months and murdered her child — so why was she sent to prison for 45 years? "...looking back over the past decade, BuzzFeed News identified 28 mothers in 11 states sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for failing to prevent their partners from harming their children. In every one of these cases, there was evidence the mother herself had been battered by the man." [article contains graphic descriptions of abuse]
Female football star Hope Solo was recently arrested and charged with two counts of domestic abuse in connection with an assault on her sister and 17-year-old nephew. Although domestic abuse has rightly ended the careers of male athletes like Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy, Solo continues to play for two teams (including the US National team) and maintains her sponsorship with Nike. The BBC asks; does domestic violence have a double standard?
Ray Rice Makeup Tutorial Learn all about how to cover up domestic violence just like the NFL and get a fresh face for fall. (DV trigger warnings).
Sarah’s abuser gained access to every password she had. He monitored her bank accounts and used her phone to track her location and read her conversations. She endured four years of regular physical and emotional trauma enabled by meticulous digital surveillance and the existing support services, from shelters to police, were almost powerless to help her. “We wish we could just stop the clock because we need to catch up,” said Risa Mednick, director of the Cambridge domestic violence prevention organization Transition House. To fight back, Transition House and others turn to the same methods used by intelligence agencies in order to keep their clients safe.
It Will Look Like A Sunset
Before our son turned two, we moved to Caleb’s home state of West Virginia. He wanted to be closer to his family. There would be more opportunity for work there. His parents owned a rental house that they would sell to us. There were many compelling reasons for the move, but once there, he was the only friend I had. The loneliness was inescapable. This was common, I told myself. My parents had been married for over thirty years, and I don’t remember my father ever having a close friend. I told myself that he was enough for me. When the older policeman saw the swelling, the black and blue, and the toes like little sausage links, his expression turned to dismay. “That’s bad. That looks broken,” he said. “Ma’am, does your husband have a phone number we can reach him at? We need him to come back.”
Here is a 1981 Pulitzer Prize winning article about the death of Playboy Playmate and rising star Dorothy Stratten.
Every year, women come from all over North America to prove themselves in Alaska's wildest competition [more inside]
The New York Times (Two Gunshots on a Summer Night) and Frontline (A Death in St. Augustine) collaborate to present the story of the death of Michelle O'Connell, who died of a gunshot wound on September 2, 2010. O'Connell was the girlfriend of St. John's County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Banks. She was shot with Deputy Banks' county-issued handgun. Her death was quickly ruled a suicide. [more inside]
Lakisha Briggs was a victim of domestic abuse, having been beaten unconscious by her boyfriend. When a neighbour called the cops, the boyfriend went to prison for assault. And then the police served notic to her landlord to evict her and her 3-year old son or lose his rental licence. The reason? She'd made three 911 calls in four months and a local Norristown, Pa. police ordinance calls for tenants who do this to be evicted. [more inside]
The first postcard on today's Postsecret is disturbing. (TW: murder, abuse) The text reads "I told everyone that she dumped me, but I dumped her (body)", along with a picture taken from Google Maps. It was determined that the location was likely Wooded Island in Chicago, IL. A search was made, though nothing was found. However, as a commenter on Dianna E. Anderson's blog posting about this points out, the postmark reads 2008. Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret has said he didn't go to the police, and instead sees this as a free-speech issue. [more inside]
"In reality, it's surprisingly hard to stop someone who really wants to murder you, especially if he has easy access to a gun. Restraining orders don't create a magic force field around the victim. Shelters help, but they are underfunded and depend on the victim giving up substantial rights to hold a job (which gives the abuser the ability to find you), have a social life, or even speak to family members," writes Amanda Marcotte, before summarising a Domestic Violence High Risk Team model of monitoring and escalating controls on the abuser, not the abused. Plus, the approach appears to be making a difference. [more inside]
Domestic violence becomes news - only when it turns into a mass murder As the report points out, there's a glaring flaw in Washington State's protection-order system: "With very few, recent exceptions, law-enforcement agencies did not have protocols in place to remove firearms from protective-order respondents or convicted domestic-violence offenders." [more inside]
The Men's Alternative Safe House in Calgary was the only shelter in Canada dedicated to helping battered men and their children. Lacking any other source of facilities or funding, Earl Silverman -- himself a survivor of an abusive marriage -- ran the shelter out of his own pocket and his own home, until mounting bills forced him to give up. The Men's Alternative Safe House closed last month, and Silverman announced he would have to sell his home. [more inside]
Nicole Ryan, a Nova Scotia teacher, offered a hit man $25,000 to bump off her husband because the police would not protect her from his abuse (longer, audio only). In her first 2010 trial, where she raised the defense of duress, she was aquitted; the Crown's 2011 appeal of that acquittal was dismissed, and her third 2013 trial resulted in a stay. But the victim didn't go on the stand to tell his side of the story. [more inside]
How to look your best the morning after (SLYT): makeup celebrity Lauren Luke aka panacea81 does a stealth PSA for domestic violence charity Refuge. (Interview)
When her boyfriend tried to kill the woman with a hammer, her fearless Great Dane jumped in the way, laying over her body and taking most of the blows until the man threw both of them out of a second story window. The dog suffered multiple broken bones in the attack, sparing his owner’s life in the process. [more inside]
Between 40 and 50 percent of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands, boyfriends, and exes. And, for about half of these victims, police had been alerted to previous incidents of abuse. There is, however, one exception to this grim trend: Maryland. Since 2007, domestic violence homicides in the state have fallen by a stunning 40 percent. What is Maryland doing that other states are not? The answer appears to lie with a former high school nurse, an ex-Washington, D.C., police lieutenant, and their ground-breaking efforts to protect the most vulnerable victims of abuse.—Fighting Back is an article by Tim Stelloh about new method to identify and protect abused women, developed by a group of law enforcement officers and academics (Note: The article features graphic descriptions of domestic violence and murder). The article focuses especially on the work of Prof. Jacquelyn Campbell. You can watch an interview with her here.
Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake': Reasons to listen (Ann Powers, NPR) "I'm choosing to do something else, though — to wrestle with the material at hand. As a music critic and, on a personal level, as someone who's long considered pop to be a crucial avenue for understanding the intricacies of the human heart and soul, I'm committed to engaging with the music that makes us sit up and take notice. I'm willing to try, even if those songs expose or even encourage aspects of behaviors that aren't so savory. I don't think "Turn Up the Music" tells us much; "Birthday Cake" is a different matter. So I'll continue trying to grasp what's happening in a song that makes many — but not all — of us want to turn away." (Potentially triggering all round.) [more inside]
In 1993, Lifetime released Men Don't Tell, a landmark film exploring female on male domestic violence. [more inside]
"If there's one thing I've learned from working in an emergency room, it's that people are terrible liars. Maybe I only think that because the good liars don't get caught? [...] And a lie I hear almost every day in the emergency room is "I fell down the stairs. My partner loves me. They would never hurt me." [...] For a long time, I just couldn't understand this. We'd get the victim in a private room locked away from the abuser, and they'd sit there with bruises or wounds or even broken bones, in a safe place surrounded by people who wanted to help them, and they'd tell us, often through tears... "I fell down the stairs." It drove me nuts. It made me furious at the victims. Why did they do this? Did they like pain? Did they want to get murdered? Were they just unbelievably stupid? Why the HOLY LIVING FUCK would someone choose to protect and return to a partner who just broke their arm? [more inside]
The birth of Wonder Woman - notes sent between William Moulton Marston and artist H. G. Peter show the genesis of the character . Meanwhile today is the 5th Annual Wonder Woman day - a Portland and Flemington, New Jersey event supporting Domestic Violence Programs. Not able to get over to Excalibur Comics or Comics Fusion to take part in the events or activities? There's still a few hours left in which you can take part by bidding on artwork online (previously).
Eminem's new video, featuring Rihanna, makes domestic violence sexy as only a (literally) smoldering Megan Fox can. [more inside]
Tomorrow the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument in a case that has gotten very little media coverage, on whether a private person protected by a restraining order may bring a criminal contempt action to enforce the order. The petitioner pled guilty to beating the respondent, on the condition that he not be prosecuted for a second beating inflicted after she obtained a restraining order. The respondent brought her own criminal action for contempt for the second beating, and the petitioner received more jail time. He asserts, however, that he has a due process right to be prosecuted by the government, rather than a private person. [more inside]
As a child, actor Patrick Stewart regularly saw his father hit his mother. Here he describes how the horrors of his childhood remained with him in his adult life.
On Tuesday, July 28, Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated 100% of California domestic violence shelters' state funding. Ninety-four shelters will be affected, and the cut may lead to domestic violence victims being turned away because of a decrease in the number of staff available, a cut in programs, or shelter closure. StopFamilyViolence.org asks California residents to contact Schwarzenegger and their state legislators and request that the funding be reinstated.
To date, focus of most research into Domestic Violence has been on instances of violence against women by men based on the arguably sexist premise that it is more prevalent than instances of violence by women against men. However numerous books and studies have contradicted this premise, showing that men and women suffer domestic abuse in similar and sometimes equal rates. Despite this, preconceived ideas of gender roles still lead many to believe it would be virtually impossible for a woman to physically abuse a man, an attitude which Men's Rights advocates say often leads to many battered men hiding in shame, fearful of being ridiculed, or even prosecuted. [more inside]
Via The A.V. Club (which was in turn via Jezebel): Actress Keira Knightley stars in a (graphic) domestic violence PSA for the UK charity Women's Aid. Probably SFW, but may be very upsetting to watch.
Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna. By now you've probably heard about Chris Brown and Rhianna. Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine asked Elizabeth Mendez Berry, author of Vibe Magazine's 2005 feature Love Hurts (pdf) about "domestic violence within (and without) hiphop", for her thoughts. [more inside]
Domestic violence comes to work, whether executives realize it or not. Instead of firing employees who are abusers’ targets, some corporations in the US and elsewhere have instituted formal policies and programs to mitigate the impact of domestic violence, or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), on workplaces. [more inside]
Men Can Stop Rape is part of a growing movement to stop rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence by focusing on educating men. There are efforts to change the climate on college campuses and curriculum at Haverford, Tulane, Kansas State, Idaho State, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, University of Minnesota, University of Maine, Portland State, Harvard, University of Rochester, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall, and Colorado State, to name a few. Want to start your own? Here's how. Not in college? There's [more inside]
The warm and fuzzy one, not the end of civilization as we know it. For the third year in a row, a whole gaggle of artists have donated original art for a silent auction to benefit domestic violence shelters and a crisis line in Portland, OR and Fleminton, NJ. One (prolific and admittedly talented) guy's obsession turned to good. [more inside]
Every hour a woman in the Russian Federation dies at the hand of a relative, her partner or former partner. Russian judge rules sexual harassment okay as it ensures humans breed. Domestic violence: Russian women speak out. NPR: Domestic Violence A Silent Crisis In Russia.
Disclosing victim status could mean being denied that housing is even available. Women strong enough to flee their homes and their abusive situations were more likely to be denied housing outright, something that did not happen to people not disclosing.
"How do you talk about domestic violence without portraying violence or having some statement about violence?" PSAs about domestic abuse developed by the Calgary-based HomeFront Society have been judged too graphic to show on television. Violent acts from actual domestic-abuse investigations are depicted in public settings: a boardroom, a restaurant. They will not be broadcast, but are available for download online (MPEG format). Warning: These ads are extremely difficult to watch. They hit you like a ton of bricks. But isn't that the point?
Women Rockin' 4 Women 2002 Festival. THIS IS BIG. Over twenty talented women. Eight female fronted bands. Nine solo female artists. Third annual event. Two sound stages. One venue. One night. Benefitting shelters for victims of domestic violence. More estrogen in one place than you can shake a stick at. You're not busy on September 28th, are ya? Granted, it might be a bit of a commute for some, but... Heaven's gonna touch Earth.
Louis Joy, a corporate motivator and teamwork author, responded to his wife's restraining order Friday with a kamikaze plane attack that destroyed his house the next morning at 7:45 a.m. Overlooked detail of plan: His wife and daughter were not home at the time.
Yet another case of zero intelligence. Two days after Tiffani Ann Alvera notified her public housing resident manager that she had obtained a restraining order against her husband for domestic violence, she received a notice to vacate the apartment within 24 hours. The notice said, "You, someone in your control, or your pet, has seriously threatened immediately to inflict personal injury, or has inflicted substantial personal injury upon the landlord or other tenants," and specified her husband's assault.