Talk:Domestic violence/Archive 1

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This article in its current form does not seem very NPOV, and needs addition of other viewpoints... -- The Anome

I agree, except that I think it needs more than just the addition of other viewpoints. NPOV isn't merely a listing of different viewpoints.

On revision of the article

(Since we're getting to work on the article, I just removed my rant about the old version.)

"Men, due to their larger size and strength and more aggressive nature, are the perpetrators of most domestic violence." I have removed this sentence pending investigation. I believe that it is not true.

For example, read this:

"For example, veteran domestic violence researchers Richard Gelles, Murray Straus, and Susan Steinmetz, who were once hailed by the women's movement for their pioneering work on violence against women, have repeatedly found that women are just as likely as men to physically attack their spouses or partners."

Since this comes from an editorial, I'm not at all sure whether it is a balanced picture.

Just in case anyone wonders, I have no personal point of view on what the facts are here. I just want to make sure that we present, NPOV, the best avaialable numbers. --Jimbo Wales

Jimbo, your stub is stubbier (but better) than mine. Thanks. Ed Poor

Old text

The article I just replaced is this:

Domestic Violence is violence within the family, especially between husband and wife.

In recent years, some commentators have raised questions about the fairness of existing domestic violence laws and the application of those laws, in that although many studies show that female on male violence is common, most prosecutions are for male on female violence. Some view this as due to the strength of the 'feminist' lobby and/or due to vestiges of sexism which causes police and the courts to view females as "weak" and therefore not capable of violence. Others believe it is due to female on male domestic violence being underreported.

As far as I can tell, the article I replaced it with covers all this material, and offers more as well. I plan to add more later -- this is a topic that has impacts in a number of different areas, and needs to be explored in each of those areas to be complete. This is a start at it, and hopefully we can all build on it. The article I just put up needs a bit of polish, and may benefit from some better organization of the sections, as well as the addition of other sections. --Blain

Great job

Whoever made the change: great job! This is much better now, and provides a good framework for future expansion and improvement.

I'd like to add my own kudos as an employee of a family violence resource agency in MN. I looked up this article specifically to ensure that violence against men was not ignored in the article. While I haven't decided whether it needs more work (no obvious changes come to mind), I am very pleased to see that the topic is discussed. Good job!

First European shelter for male victims

I was delighted to see that the first European shelter for male victims of domestic violence has opened in Berlin:

Should this be included? I personally think it's a historic move, but I'm biased. -- April

Over-emphasis on gender

Nice article. I have a few comments. First, I think there may be a bit much emphasis on the "gender" vs. "causes" and "purposes", as far as space devoted. I think the "causes" and "purposes" sections could be added to and improved a great deal. The article gives the impression that "Violent will causes domestic violence, but we don't know much about that". In fact, there's an enormous amount of data in the literature on domestic violence and proposed causes and explanations. Also, I think the gender section may be just _slightly_ NPOV, and keep in mind I say this as someone who thinks the bulk of evidence available supports the claim that women are roughly equally violent as men in intimate relationships. Otherwise, nice start. One last thought,

  • Purposes
The purpose of domestic violence is not primarily to hurt or harm the victim. Rather, it is to gain or maintain power and control over the victim.

I'm not sure this should be stated in such a "factual" POV. If anything, this is one of the components of causal theories of DV. Moreover, I'm not sure if always true. There's a strong relationship between DV and general criminal behavior, and criminals in general are not trying to "gain or maintain power and control" they're usually trying to harm and take advantage of people. Revolver

Rationale for size of gender section=

The reason the gender section is so big is that it's where the fighting is going to be. Putting the topic in and addressing the major points was an effort to restrain the gender-warriors from making the article a political football. Adding more information on causes and purposes is fine with me, fwiw. The emphasis on violence being a choice is to avoid the tendency for abusers to duck responsibility for their abuse based on the various other factors discussed in these pieces of literature. Every abusive behavior results from a series of choices, and focussing on those choices is a productive means for keeping responsibility on the individual making those choices and enabling them to see that they can make different choices. I have an absolute and incorrigible bias in favor of keeping discussions of abuse useful to people in abusive situations and those who help them as opposed to theoretical and academic understandings of the dynamics of abuse. Most people involved in abusive situations will never bring their experiences and concerns to anybody, nor will the truthfully identify the abusive natures of their lives to those who inquire, but they might seek out this article and my preference (again, fwiw) is that they get something they can use if they do so.

There is no relationship between DV and general criminal behavior. Every class, race, gender, religion and income level commits DV. There may be a connection between those convicted of DV assaults and general criminal behavior, but I wouldn't be too sure of that -- I've seen too many different people, many of whom have only been arrested for DV charges, to see the link you spoke of. --Blain

Excision from Gender Section

I took this bit out of the main article under the Gender heading because I couldn't figure out what it was saying. Will gladly put it back if someone can explain it in less cloak and dagger terms:

Due to the numeric preponderence of female victims, publicly available resources for dealing with domestic violence are virtually entirely for women and children who are in relationships with or who are leaving violent men. Most of the remainder are for men who have been arrested for assaulting women in their lives, and generally these are made available to the men for a fee (intentionally, as part of holding them accountable for their actions), where victims resources are usually offered free of charge. ???Matt Stan 19:42, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, it was more coherent when originally written, but the desire to emphasize the "numeric preponderance of female victims" has helped move it to a position more politically palatable but less readable.

Removing everything up to the first comma should return it to something more clear. Its point is that abuse resources are allocated based on the genders of the people involved, more than they are in the roles the individuals play in the abusive situations. The parenthetical remark in the last sentence is correct and comes from the original text of this version of the article -- abusers, as a rule, pay the cost of their own treatment, while victim's services are provided for free, and the purpose of the abusers paying is that the cost of their treatment is a consequence of their abusive choices. It's a good thing. --Blain

Publicly available resources for dealing with domestic violence have tended to be almost exclusively geared towards supporting women and children who are in relationships with or who are leaving violent men, rather than for survivors of domestic violence per se. This has been due to due to the numeric preponderence of female victims and the perception that domestic violence only affected women. Resources to help perpetators, such as anger management training, are available, though attendees are ordered to pay for their own treatment in order that they should remain accountable for their actions. What I'm putting back Matt Stan 23:20, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Okay, but that misses a couple of key points. First, anger management programs aren't appropriate for most abusers, and haven't been used as the main treatment modality by responsible programs for more than a decade. This would be a good thing to include in the article -- almost everybody calls abuser treatment "anger management" because it's not quite as pointed as to what the problem is and what is going on about it. Next, abuser treatment ("domestic violence perpetrator treatment" for the full proper term) is almost always focussed on abusive men, to the point that abusive women who seek help in stopping their abuse have a very difficult time finding it. The purpose of this paragraph as originally drafted was to lay out the absence of resources for the underserved populations based on gender (this being the gender section), which are, specifically, abusive women and abused men, regardless of the genders of their partners. What you've put there is a smoother read than what was there last week, but it's less informative than what was there in the first place.

Now, I don't mind the UK Home Office stuff being here, but is there a specific reason it has to be placed before everything else in the article? It's pretty self contained, and seems like it would do better in its own sub-document to me. --Blain

Blain, I may be only an unregistered person at this time, but I do note that you don't apparently understand the Duluth Model very well. This is the model that "responsible" programs use and it claims all violence within relationships is invariably about power and control, that there are no other factors involved (say alchohol) and that the violence, if unchecked will invariably get worse. This hardly sounds like a scientific approach to me. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .


If we're going to have sections on domestic violence/wife-beating in Islam and Hinduism, there should be sections on Christianity too.

Why not? If there is teaching on this, let's have it. To put the thing into context, we should also perhaps have some background on why attitudes in the West have changed, and perhaps on what the current trends are in religious communities, such as Islam, which might be portentious of the future. Matt Stan 21:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

By the way, here's another Islamist view on wife beating: Matt Stan 21:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why women stay with abusers

How about a section on why women stay in abusive relationships (and indeed why they get into them in the first place, often time after time)?

I know that any discussion of this will attract at least some angry feminists who think it's "blaming the victim" mentality, but the reality is that some women do seem to actively seek out abusive men (or men with traits making them likely to be abusive), or put up with abuse for financial benefits and so on.

Also, what about false reports of domestic violence in child custody battles?

Gays and the Police

I'm not sure about the truth and/or justification of the claim that the Police and Social Services are usually biased against homosexuals. Perhaps it would be more NPOV to say that gays are less likely to report domestic violence due to their perceptions of police/soc. services, rather than simply claim that public bodies are biased, full stop? Deiseruus 11:34, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Domestic violence is caused specifically by the choice to engage in violent or abusive behavior against a partner, sibling or child.

Of course. Theft is caused by the choice to engage in taking other people's stuff. Drug use is cauyse by the choice to take drugs. No deeper analysis is necessary. 04:36, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is a cop out. I have read a number of fair-minded feminist researchers who allude to deeper causes and a dialectal relationship between domestic violence and female forms of psychological violence or vice. Violence is indeed a choice but a choice that is often influenced by other forms of violence back. I suggest glance at the UK National Bullying Advice website page on Bullies in the Family and Female Violence. Men have no monopoly on aggression here. Also check out relational aggression or parental alienation. 04:58, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Document under who?

Are cases of domestic violence involving notable couples better documented under the victim, the perpetrator, the better known of the 2, the lesser known of the 2, or what? PatGallacher 11:14, 2005 July 31 (UTC)

GLBT violence

I am by no means nuetral on this topic, as it is what I do for a living. However, I think the article would greatly benefit from a discussion of violence in Gay, Lesbian and Trans relationships, as violence occurs in all relationships at the same rate. I personally find the gender discussion in the article offensive and undermining toward victims of domestic violence (not to mention garbled and confusing), because it ignors societal constructs of relationships and power dynamics. Victims might be going to this page to understand what they are experiencing, and I think they deserve a better answer than this. -KDH

Be bold Beta m (talk)

Christianity Section?

I find it to be a bit offensive that this article only speaks of Islamic and Hindu justifications of domestic violence and abuse, while completely ignoring Christianity.

My father would frequently beat me and sometimes seemed to used the Bible to justify it, as did many Christians in my area after they discovered that my father was abusing me. One section in particular was frequently used to justify my abuse :

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.

14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.

Proverbs 23: 13-14 (NIV)

To be sure, there are violent traditions and rules within Islam and Hinduism, but completely ignoring Christianity is utterly disgraceful.

On a different note, the article for child abuse is an absolute joke. It would be nice if we could expand the article, however I am new to Wikipedia and do not have a huge amount of experience with editing.

Tobias 00:46, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I believe the key part of that passage is the "discipline" part. It says "discipline" or "punish" the child, not "beat needlessly"- it discusses the use of force in response to some misdeed on the part of the child. And while people debate whether or not it's acceptable to spank children, I do not read this as advocating abuse.

Additionally, Christianity does not have a uniform interpretation of the Bible, nor are there any resources which clearly states whether Christians should use domestic force, or in what measure. Christianity is divided into literally thousands of subtypes. Furthermore, the validity of some parts of the Old Testament in Christianity is questionable.

I'm sorry to hear that you were abused as a child, but it seems to me that this was primarily an incident of someone making up an interpretation of the Bible and deciding that it supported what he was doing, which is popular among people who wish to justify their wrongdoings. I do not believe there are any good resources which would allow for the creation of a section related to Christianity in the article; if I am mistaken, I hope someone will put the information up. (And I hope my addition to this talk page meets all standards and so on, I've never done this before.) -- Batata Kartoffl 08:17, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Definition of Rape

Why does this article have such an explicit definition of rape, and where does this definition come from? I wouldn't mind as much if a source were listed. I understand that rape, as a sex crime, requires a definition that refers to a sex act, but a reasonable person could interpret the definition on this page as a gratuitous use of explicit sexual language that distracts more than it informs. Even the rape article itself doesn't use this language.

Added Pics

I have added a pic of a victim of domestic violence from Pakistan. I have the permission of the organisation whom the picture belongs to, but was wondering if someone else can possibly add more pictures from other regions of the world.