|Born||Erin Patria Margaret Carney
19 February 1939
Qingdao, Republic of China
|Years active||1971 to present|
|Known for||Establishing Europe's first domestic violence shelters, founding the charity Refuge|
|Notable work(s)||Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear,
Prone to Violence
Erin Patria Margaret Pizzey (born 19 February 1939) is an English family care activist and a novelist. She became internationally famous for having started one of the first women's refuges (called women's shelters in the U.S.) in the modern world, Chiswick Women's Aid, in 1971, the organisation known today as Refuge. Pizzey has been the subject of death threats and boycotts because of her research into the claim that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and that women are equally as capable of violence as men. Pizzey has said that the threats were from militant feminists.
She was born Erin Carney in Tsingtao (now Qingdao), China in 1939. Her father was a diplomat and one of 17 children from a poor Irish family. The family moved to Shanghai and were captured by the invading Japanese Army in 1942 and exchanged for Japanese Prisoners of war. Her brother Daniel Carney was also a writer, mostly known for The Wild Geese novel turned into a film.
Pizzey set up a women's refuge in Belmont Terrace, Chiswick, London where abused women were offered tea, sympathy and a place to stay for them and their children. She later opened a number of additional shelters despite hostility from the authorities. Pizzey's crucial pioneering work and determined campaigning was widely praised at the time. In 1975 MP Jack Ashley stated in the House of Commons that, "The work of Mrs. Pizzey was pioneering work of the first order. It was she who first identified the problem, who first recognised the seriousness of the situation and who first did something practical by establishing the Chiswick aid centre. As a result of that magnificent pioneering work, the whole nation has now come to appreciate the significance of the problem".
Pizzey said that militant feminists—with the collusion of Labour's leading women—hijacked her cause and used it to try to demonise all men, not only in Britain, but internationally. After the hijacking the demand for a service for women survivors of domestic violence grew and soon public funding became available. Today, Chiswick Women's Aid has been rebranded as Refuge and is a national organisation that garners millions of pounds a year from a variety of sources, the primary one of which is the state. Pizzey has lamented that the movement she started had moved from the "personal to the political".
Soon after establishing her first refuge, Pizzey determined that much domestic violence was reciprocal, with both partners abusing each other in roughly equal rates. She reached this conclusion when she asked the women in her refuge about their violence, only to discover most of the women were equally as violent or more violent than their husbands. In her study "Comparative Study Of Battered Women And Violence-Prone Women," (co-researched with Dr. John Gayford of Warlingham Hospital), Pizzey distinguishes between "genuine battered women" and "violence-prone women;" the former defined as "the unwilling and innocent victim of his or her partner's violence" and the latter defined as "the unwilling victim of his or her own violence." This study reports that 62% of the sample population were more accurately described as "violence prone." Similar findings regarding the mutuality of domestic violence have been confirmed in subsequent studies.
In her book Prone to Violence Pizzey has argued that many of the women who took refuge had a personality such that they sought abusive relationships. Pizzey describes such behaviour as akin to addiction. She speculates that high levels of hormones and neurochemicals associated with pervasive childhood trauma lead to adults who repeatedly engage in violent altercations with intimate partners despite the physical, emotional, legal and financial costs, in unwitting attempts to simulate the emotional impact of traumatic childhood experiences. The book contains numerous stories of disturbed families alongside a discussion of the reasons why the modern state care-taking agencies are largely ineffective.
Pizzey says that it was after death threats against her, her children, her grandchildren, and the shooting of her dog, all of which she states were perpetrated by militant feminists, that she left England for North America. She returned to London in the 1990s where her insights were sought by politicians and family pressure groups.
Pizzey is still actively working to help victims of domestic violence. From January 2007 to December 2011 she has published articles in the Daily Mail newspaper. In March 2007, Erin opened the first Arab refuge for victims of domestic violence in Bahrain. She is has been a patron of the charity Mankind Initiative since 2008.
Pizzey said in 2009 that she has "never been a feminist, because, having experienced my mother's violence, I always knew that women can be as vicious and irresponsible as men".
In 2013 she joined the editorial and advisory board of the men's rights organization A Voice for Men (serving as an Editor and DV Policy Advisor) and from January to August wrote thirteen articles for the group's web site, including:
- "From Erin Pizzey, AVfM Editor-at-Large" published 1 January
- "Erin Pizzey reflects on Toronto protest" published 20 January
- "Aerobics – a poem by Erin Pizzey" published 27 January
- "Working with violent women" published 4 February
- "Live now on Reddit" published 14 April
- "Erin Pizzey live on Reddit, part 2" published 27 April
- "Statement from Erin Pizzey" published 20 May
- "Prone to Violence: Introduction and Preface" published 19 June
- "Prone to Violence: Chapter One" published 6 July
- "Prone to Violence: Chapter Two" published 10 July
- "Prone to Violence: Chapter Three" published 17 July
- "Prone to Violence: Chapter Four" published 27 July
- "Men’s human rights & supposed “hate speech”" published 6 August
Her two April articles pertained to two interviews she gave on the Reddit community "IamA", where she promoted her Facebook page and the "AVFM Online Radio" podcast on BlogTalkRadio. She announced her first interview a week prior on /r/MensRights.
In May, following her promotion of the BTR podcast series the previous month, Erin also began running her own program on AVFM radio initially called "Domestic Violence Revelations with Erin Pizzey" which ran 5 episodes until the title was shortened to simply "Revelations with Erin Pizzey". In "Revelations" she transitioned from doing personal readings to holding discussions with guests. Under her new format she interviewed Glen Poole and Neil Lyndon in July; Geoffrey James[disambiguation needed] and Suzanne Venker in August; then Philip W. Cook, Warren Farrell, Attila Vinczer and Mike Buchanan in September. The first segment of a newer series called "Thoughts with Erin" also began in September on AVFM Radio on the "Honey Badger Radio" series, where "honey badger number one" Erin expressed her views on the show's topic of "Feminism's pimp hand" with her hosts, and mentioned having known the deceased Earl Silverman.
In 2009 Pizzey successfully sued Macmillan Publishers for libel over content in the Andrew Marr book A History of Modern Britain. The publication had falsely claimed she had once been part of the militant group The Angry Brigade that staged bomb attacks in the 1970s. The publisher also recalled and destroyed the offending version of the book, and republished it with the error removed. The link to the Angry Brigade was made in 2001, in an interview with The Guardian, in which the article states that she was "thrown out" of the feminist movement after threatening to inform police about a planned bombing by the Angry Brigade of the clothes shop Biba, "I said that if you go on with this—they were discussing bombing Biba [the legendary department store in Kensington]—I'm going to call the police in, because I really don't believe in this."
In 2000 Pizzey's grandson Keita Craig, who had schizophrenia, committed suicide in a prison cell. Erin Pizzey and her family campaigned against the coroner's verdict of death by hanging and in 2001 a jury at a second inquest unanimously found that Keita's death was contributed to by the neglect of prison staff. The case was the first ever to reach a finding of neglect in a suicide case.
- This Way to the Revolution: A Memoir
- Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear
- Infernal Child (an early memoir)
- Sluts' Cookbook
- Erin Pizzey Collects
- Prone to violence ISBN 0-600-20551-7 Out of print
- Wild Child
- The Emotional Terrorist and The Violence-prone ISBN 0-88970-103-2
- The Watershed
- In the Shadow of the Castle
- The Pleasure Palace (in manuscript)
- First Lady
- Counsul General’s Daughter
- The Snow Leopard of Shanghai
- Other Lovers
- Swimming with Dolphins
- For the Love of a Stranger
- The Wicked World of Women
- The Fame Game (work in progress)
- The Lifestyle of an International Best selling Author
- International Order of Volunteers For Peace, Diploma Of Honour (Italy) 1981.
- Nancy Astor Award for Journalism 1983.
- World Congress of Victimology (San Francisco) 1987 – Distinguished Leadership Award.
- St. Valentino Palm d’Oro International Award for Literature, 14 February 1994, Italy.
- "35 years of Refuge". Refuge. 2009. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- Haven House in California was founded in 1964, seven years earlier than Pizzey's shelter (see About Haven House).
- Rappaport, Helen (2001). "Pizzey, Erin (1939— ) United Kingdom". Encyclopedia of women social reformers 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 549. ISBN 978-1-57607-101-4. "In 1972 the center was visited by U.S. feminists, who set up similar ventures in the United States..."
- Philip W. Cook (2009). Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence. ABC-CLIO. pp. 123–4. ISBN 978-0-313-35618-6.
- Ross, Deborah (10 March 1997). "Battered? Erin Pizzey? Yes, a bit". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014.
- Pizzey, Erin (30 March 1999). "Who's Failing the Family". The Scotsman.
- Ross, Deborah (10 March 1997). "Battered? Erin Pizzey? Yes, a bit". The Independent (London).
- The World who's who of women – Google Books
- Pizzey, Erin (24 September 2009). "Why I loathe feminism... and believe it will ultimately destroy the family". Daily Mail (London).
- We gave women back a sense of self
- "BATTERED WIVES (RIGHTS TO POSSESSION OF MATRIMONIAL HOME) BILL (Hansard, 11 July 1975)". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "How feminists tried to destroy the family". Daily Mail (London). 22 January 2007.
- "Domestic Violence Against Men by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- Fiebert, Martin S. References Examining Assaults by Women on Their Spouses or Male Partners: An Annotated Bibliography. First published in Sexuality and Culture, 1997, 1, 273–286; updated May 2009
- Malcolm J. George of the Department of Physiology, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, United Kingdom.Riding the Donkey Backwards: Men as the Unacceptable Victims of Marital Violence
- Fox News article on Erin Pizzey
- Erin Pizzey's 20 March 1999 article published in The Scotsman
- Daily Mail 2007 article and Daily Mail articles by Erin Pizzey category 2008–11
- Children ‘must be protected from domestic violence’ 23 March 2007 in Gulf Daily News by Erin Pizzey (Sossandra mirror)
- Mankind Initiative: About Us (listed since 15 April 2008 archive)
- April 2013 interviews on /r/IamA: 14th and 27th
- Ask Me Anything planned 6 April 2013 by Erin Pizzey
- DV Revelations first five:
- 20 July 2013 Revelations with Erin 1/6: Glen and Neil
- 3 August 2013 Revelations with Erin 2/7: Solaris
- 17 August 2013 Revelations with Erin 3/8: Suzanne Venker
- 7 September 2013 Revelations with Erin 4/9: Philip Cook
- 14 September 2013 Revelations with Erin 5/10: Warren Farrell
- 21 September 2013 Revelations with Erin 6/11: Attila Vinczer
- 28 September 2013 Revelations with Erin 7/12: Rally in Toronto
- 22 minutes into Honey Badger Radio 5: Feminism’s Pimp Hand (aired 13 September 2013) mentions Earl at 32m50s
- "Campaigner accepts libel damages". BBC.co.uk. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- Adams, Stephen (1 April 2009). "Andrew Marr's publisher pays 'significant' damages to women's campaigner". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Rabinovitch, Dina (26 November 2001). "Domestic violence can't be a gender issue". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- Hoyle, Antonia (5 April 2009). "Erin Pizzey: When Andrew Marr accused me of being a terrorist, it was like a bomb going off in my chest". Daily Mail (London).
- "Domestic violence can't be a gender issue". The Guardian (London). 26 November 2001.
- "Prison neglect 'contributed to suicide'". BBC News. 11 October 2001.
- ErinPizzey.com, her website, last updated March 2012