July 25, 2005
Contact: Mark Rosenthal, <>
Senate Hearings Ignore Many Victims of Domestic Violence, Group Charges
Washington, DC – Each year 835,000 men are victims of domestic violence, according to the US Department of Justice. Despite thousands of requests, the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to invite any of these male victims to testify at its July 19 hearings on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
“Our research confirms that women physically assault their partners at about the same rate as men,” according to University of New Hampshire professor Murray Straus. “The Senate's VAWA hearing should have been an opportunity to obtain input from a variety of perspectives, rather than simply an opportunity for committee members to build a case for favored legislation.” Straus, who founded the UNH Family Research Laboratory in 1975, is recognized as one of the leading family violence researchers in the country.
Two persons submitted written testimony and requested that the Senate Committee include their statements in its written report.
One male victim from California documented how he was physically and psychologically abused by his former wife. His testimony details how she once “picked up a heavy book stand and hurled it at me with great force striking me in the knee.” The incident caused him permanent knee damage.
“The abuse I suffered at my wife's hands was bad enough,” the man noted. “But knowing that the system is not set up to help male victims, but rather is set up to re-victimize them, has left me psychologically devastated.” His complete testimony can be seen at http://www.mediaradar.org/testimonySenateWouldntHear.php.
Diana Buffington, state coordinator for the Children's Rights Council of Texas, documented repeated examples of women physically assaulting their husbands and boyfriends.
Buffington described one such case: “I have a husband who is consistently beaten by his wife with a cast iron skillet in front of his 5 children, when she gets angry ... She has never been brought to trial by the Texas Montgomery County DA ... The father and children have nowhere to go.”
Noting the refusal of VAWA-funded programs to help male victims, Buffington decries the fact that, “VAWA does not offer justice or equality to all American citizens.” [http://www.krightsradio.com/vawabuffington.php]
RADAR spokesman Richard Davis asks, “Why is it that domestic violence agencies, our elected public policymakers, and federal agencies spend so much time minimizing, marginalizing and ignoring the rights and resources for men and boys who are victims of intimate partner violence?”
R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.
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