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What Corrections Needs To Know About Women and Violence
By Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.
Published: 02/11/2019

Domesticviolence I came from a family where my parents rarely fought. The idea of my father striking my mother was completely foreign to my existence.

My upbringing was filled with reminders that men do not strike women, period.

So on my first domestic violence call as a police officer, a woman appeared at the door with her head clearly swollen and battered. Her husband hit her with a frying pan.

The victim commanded us not to arrest. She flatly stated that she would not press charges; she would not cooperate.

When we approached her obviously drunk husband, he told us that the “dispute” was none of our business and told us to get out. When he got up from the couch, he shoved another officer. We arrested him for assaulting us. We referred the domestic violence case to the States Attorney’s office.

There were many other domestic cases in my time as a cop. I was a young man intervening in disputes involving couples married or cohabitating for decades. They were dangerous and depressing.

Group Counseling

Later in my career, I witnessed group counseling sessions with convicted domestic violence abusers (all men) on probation where they suggested that they had the right to use force. The reasons generally centered on an argument where, according to them, the female victim initiated aggressive verbal behavior. Those convicted said that they had no choice. Most came from backgrounds where they saw men use violence during arguments.

Music

I watched a segment of CBS This Morning (a network with a considerable list of abuses of women) where the panel of mostly female hosts celebrated an artist representing a genre where violence against women is a common theme.

Example: “….when I get out I’m f______ all your little sisters in the f______ throat hole.”

“At Vulture, Craig Jenkins surveyed the “new wave of rap violence” and drew the following conclusions: “We owe it to the women who say they’ve been hurt by these artists to stop offering them space in interviews to trash their accusers before everyone gets their day in court. The current climate of simply shoveling more money and clout at rappers with dangerous tendencies and hoping they’ll straighten themselves out is untenable,” The Daily Beast.

“To be a woman who loves hip-hop at times is to be in love with your abuser,” she said. “Because the music was and is that. And yet the culture is ours.” “That familiarity with trauma doesn’t have to be hip-hop culture’s narrative moving forward. We, as listeners, need to challenge ourselves to be better and simply not listen to these artists,” Noisey.

Statistics

There are an array of statistics addressing violence against women presented below that most are unaware of:

Rates of Violence Against Women Is The Same As Men

If you look at data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics via the National Crime Survey, you will see increasing rates of female victimization to the point that, in some years, they exceed those of men. Traditionally, women had considerably lower rates of victimization. I’m unaware of mainstream media coverage of the topic, Crime in America.

Prevalence of violent crime against females increased from 0.98% in 2016 to 1.11% in 2017. In 2017, an estimated 1.17% of males and 1.11% of females (1.6 million each) had experienced one or more violent victimizations in the prior 6 months. From 2016 to 2017, the prevalence of violent victimization against females increased from 0.98% to 1.11%, while there was no statistically significant change in the prevalence rate for males, Criminal Victimization-Bureau of Justice Statistics.

US Ranks Third

The only Western nation in the top 10 was the United States, which ranked joint third when respondents were asked where women were most at risk of sexual violence…” Crime in America.

Women and Homicides

An analysis of 4,484 killings of women in 47 major U.S. cities over the past decade found that 46 percent of the women died at the hands of an intimate partner, reports the Washington Post.

Warrants Unserved For Domestic Violence

Thousands of domestic violence perpetrators escape law enforcement action because police are overwhelmed by the number of open warrants, leaving victims suffering from “justice un-served,” some officials say. In one example, more than 2,000 cases involving domestic violence charges are still under open warrants issued by the Franklin County court in Columbus, Ohio, in both February and October. More than 200 of those warrants were more than a decade old, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

After making requests for warrant records in all 50 states, reporters analyzed 5.7 million cases in 27 states, finding more than 239,000 cases that included charges involving violence or weapons. In the 22 states that designated domestic violence cases, there were nearly 56,000 open arrest warrants for such crimes. The series coincided with a United Nations report last month showing that an average of 137 women around the world were killed every day last year by relatives or intimate partners.

8.5 Million Women Victims

The CDC estimates at least 8.5 million women in the US have experienced physical violence, rape, or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetime — and that it all began before they were 18 years old.

Among dating high school students in the US, 12% of girls reported experiencing partner violence. The consequences can be deadly. The CDC reports that, overall, about 1 in 6 murder victims are killed by an intimate partner, and over 40% of female murder victims in the US are killed by an intimate partner, BuzzFeed.

News Media Ignore Most CO Domestic Violence Victims Two women killed in Colorado got national attention but 38 did not. “Certain lives matter and certain lives don’t,” said DoraLee Larson of the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.

Conclusion

It’s clear that violence against women is ingrained in our society through appallingly sexist music and the larger culture.

We can put a stop to domestic and overall violence when we choose to universally condemn it. Quite simply, we’re not willing to do that, thus more cops will continue going to more domestic violence incidents.

It’s another example (among many) where law enforcement is the principle response to something that is society’s responsibility, but we are unwilling to assert our values as to what’s right and what’s wrong.

We need a new national initiative. We need a new national awakening. Violence towards women is society’s responsibility. The justice system can only respond.

See More Data

See additional data at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Reprinted with permission from http://www.crimeinamerica.net.

Contact us at crimeinamerica@gmail.com or for media on deadline, use leonardsipes@gmail.com.

Leonard A. Sipes, Jr has thirty-five years of experience supervising public affairs for national and state criminal justice agencies. He is the Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse and the Former Director of Information Management for the National Crime Prevention Council. He has a Post Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of the book "Success With the Media". He can be reached via email at leonardsipes@gmail.com.


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