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Posts tagged "Domestic Violence"


On Friday night, Elliot Rodger allegedly killed six people and wounded 13 othersnear a Santa Barbara, California university campus. The rampage came after Rodger posted a YouTube video in which he said it was “an injustice, a crime” that women have never been attracted to him and that he was going to “punish you all for it” and “slaughter every single blonde slut I see.”

The video was the most recent evidence that Rodger had become involved with various deeply misogynistic groups on the internet. He was an active member of PUA Hate, a group supposedly against pick up artists who promise to teach men how to have sex with any woman they want but who repeat many of the same degrading ideas about women. He was also reportedly active on forums and subscribed to YouTube channels from the men’s rights movement, a community that is being tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

While the debate in the aftermath of the shooting will likely focus on gun legislation — lawmakers are already calling for a renewed focus on background checks and other measures — and mental health resources, it is also becoming a discussion about widespread misogyny. The hashtag #YesAllWomen became a venue on Twitter for women to share personal stories and experiences. As the country tries to reckon with the tragedy, it will have to grapple with a climate in which men perpetrate violence against womenon a daily basis, violence that is deeply embedded within our society.

Here are some facts that paint the picture:

by_the_numbers-09 (1)


  • More than one in three women will experience rape, violence, and/or stalking at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
  • Eighty-five percent of intimate partner violence victims are women.
  • About three women are killed by their partners every day. One in 13 murder victims are killed by their intimate partners.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44. One in six women with bone or joint fractures is a recent victim of abuse.
  • Violence is often paired with controlling behavior: women whose partners are jealous, controlling, or verbally abusive are significantly more likely to report rape, physical assault, and/or stalking from their partners.
  • A domestic abuser who has access to a firearm is more than seven times more likely to kill his partner.
  • Between 2009 and 2012, 40 percent of mass shootings started with a shooter targeting his girlfriend, wife, or ex-wife. In nearly 60 percent of mass shootings during the same time period, the gunman killed a current or former spouse, partner, or other family member. In at least 17 incidents, the shooter had a prior domestic violence charge.
  • The leading cause of death for women at the workplace is homicide, most often at the hands of an intimate partner.
  • While the rate of intimate partner violence declined by 64 percent between 1994 and 2010, most of that decline came before 2001, and since then the fall has slowed and stabilized while the overall crime rate has kept dropping.
  • Domestic violence support services get more than 75,000 requests for assistance on a typical day, but last year they had to turn away more than 9,000 people thanks to tight budgets.

Source: Bryce Covert & Adam Peck for ThinkProgress

Kentucky Republican wants to redefine abortion as domestic violence (via Raw Story )

A Kentucky Republican lawmaker wants to classify abortion as a form of domestic violence. “The most brutal form of domestic violence is the violence against unborn children, and this particular bill would prohibit abortions after the fetus feels pain…

One young woman, who got in a heated argument with a men’s rights activist at a protest in Canada, was subsequently dubbed as “little red frothing fornication mouth” by AVFM and had all of her private contact information published by MRAs. She received hundreds of elaborate threats of violence. One anonymous commenter invited her to “enjoy being anally defiled.” Another gloated: “I would actually cum cutting that bitch’s throat.” Another outspoken feminist told me personally that she had to get the FBI and the state police involved when AVFM targeted her. Authorities found the threats she received so credible that they advised her to leave home for two weeks, taking her husband and young child with her. Increasingly, men’s rights activists target women offline as well. Last month, members of the organization Men’s Rights Edmonton hung large “wanted”-style posters of a professor all over the University of Alberta campus, calling her a bigot. Her crime? She was involved in the university’s anti-rape campaign.

Some examples of how “men’s rights activists” are threatening and intimidating feminists. There is absolutely no justification for this kind of behavior, and I urge all anti-feminist men (and anti-feminist others) to at the very least not stoop to the level of threatening atrocities or publishing someone’s personal information. I may not agree with your points of contention when it comes to the feminist movement, but that will never cause me to harm you or your family. AVFM and similar MRA groups need to be stopped, for the safety of society as a whole. 

From A Good Men’s Rights Movement is Hard to Find by Jaclyn Friedman

(via ishalldestroyyourfeels)

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

h/t: RWW

APOPKA, Fla. —George Zimmerman has been arrested in a domestic dispute involving his girlfriend and booked in the Seminole County Jail, law enforcement said.

He was arrested at about 1 p.m. Monday at his girlfriend’s home on Topfield Court in Apopka following a 911 call. He will not be represented by Mark O’Mara, his attorney during his murder trial.


FACEBOOK FINALLY clamps down on domestic violence content.

Here is an excerpt of Facebook’s statement:

We’ve built industry leading technical and human systems to encourage people using Facebook to report violations of our terms and developed sophisticated tools to help our teams evaluate the reports wereceive and make or escalate the difficult decisions about whether reported content is controversial, harmful or constitutes hate speech. As a result, we believe we are able to remove the vast majority of content that violates our standards, even as we scale those systems to cover our more than 1 billion users, and even as we seek to protect users from those who seek to circumvent our guidelines by reposting content that has been taken down time and time again.

In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate. In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want. In other cases, content that should be removed has not been or has been evaluated using outdated criteria. We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better – and we will.

By Tuesday afternoon, 15 companies announced they had pulled their advertising and at least a dozen more were reviewing their advertising on the platform. While Facebook has already made commitments to actively review hate speech, domestic violence did not fall under the same criteria until today.

h/t: Rebecca Leber at Think Progress Health

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday openly admitted that she opposed the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it included protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence.

In an appearance on MSNBC, Blackburn pointed out that the latest iteration of the law protects “different groups” and thus dilutes funding for straight, non-Native American women with the proper documentation:

When you start to make this about other things it becomes an “against violence act” and not a targeted focus act… I didn’t like the way it was expanded to include other different groups. What you need is something that is focused specifically to help the shelters and to help out law enforcement, who is trying to work with the crimes that have been committed against women and helping them to stand up.

Watch it:

Domestic violence is domestic violence, period. And there is no way to justify Blackburn’s suggestion that some victims of this violence are more deserving than others. 

Additionally, the reauthorized VAWA includes provisions to prevent serial rapists and similar abusers from preying on Native American women. If Blackburn considers Native American women a “different group,” then it’s one she should be most concerned about: Three out of every five Native American women has been assaulted by an intimate partner.

H/T:  Think Progress Justice

After nearly a year of resistance that has damaged them politically with women voters, House Republicans have found a clever way to back down on the reauthorization of an expanded Violence Against Women Act, aides confirmed to TPM late Tuesday.

The original plan was for the Republican majority in the House to pass its version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and then go to conference conference committee with the Senate. The Senate has already overwhelmingly passed a more aggressive bill, with protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented women that have been at the heart of the dispute with House Republicans.

But all that changed Tuesday night. The Rules Committee instead sent the House GOP’s versionof the Violence Against Women Act to the floor with a key caveat: if that legislation fails, then the Senate-passed version will get an up-or-down vote.

The big admission implicit in this latest move is that House GOP leaders don’t believe they have the votes to pass their version of the bill but that the Senate version is likely to pass the chamber. So this way they’ll give House conservatives the first bite at the apple as a way of saving face and still resolve an issue that has hurt them politically.

Here’s how Democrats expect it to play out.

After the House finishes debating the GOP-version of the bill on Wednesday and Thursday, it will get a vote, but will fail to muster enough votes for passage due to conservative and Democratic opposition. So the Senate-passed bill will get a vote instead, and Democrats as well as a faction of more moderate Republicans will carry it to victory. Then it will go straight to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

“[Rules Committee Chairman] Pete Sessions laid it out in not so many words that this is what the majority’s plan is,” a House Democratic aide said Tuesday evening. “They’re anticipating that their version gets voted down. But it’s clear the Senate bill will pass with flying colors.”

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM




Download These Slides and Take Your Picture with Them To Help Raise Awareness

And House Republicans stripped protection from Native Americans (and same-sex Americans) in their version of the Violence Against Women Act.  Remember the inhumanity of Republicans in 2014 when they’re all up for reelection ….

Yeah, we will remember, and we’ll try to take those pictures.

More reasons why the House GOP version of VAWA is horsepoop.

(via fivedozencats)

Last night, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to to proceed on a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, despite strong opposition from the Religious Right. But as the legislation moves to the House, the fight is far from over. The Family Research Council has joined Religious Right activists and organizations including Phyllis Schlafly, Gary BauerConcerned Women For America, the Southern Baptist Convention, in opposing the reauthorization because it includes new provisions protecting LGBT people, immigrants and Native Americans. In an email alert last night, the FRC denied the positive impact of VAWA, which has contributed to a dramatic decrease in intimate partner violence, and said that the “real abuse” is VAWA’s cost to taxpayers.

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

Gayle Trotter, the conservative activist who became the breakout star of Wednesday’s gun violence hearing in the Senate with her adamant cry that women need assault rifles to defend themselves, wrote last year that she opposed the Violence Against Women Act.

The reason, she said at the time, was the law would create the prospect of “false accusers” stealing taxpayer money by using shelters and legal aid.

On Wednesday, Trotter used the fear of violence against women to support gun laws that allow access to large capacity magazines and assault weapons in her testimony.

“An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon,” she said.

Trotter based her defense of gun rights on the need for women to defend themselves against those who would commit violent acts against them. Back in 2012, she was not as supportive of the federal government’s efforts to protect women with VAWA. The law, she wrote on the website of the Independent Women’s Forum, could promote false accusations of domestic violence.

Trotter opposed VAWA, she wrote last year, because it opened the door to false accusers wasting taxpayer funds.

Trotter was also skeptical of the law for other reasons cited by the Republicans in Congress who kept it from being renewed last year, including provisions allowing illegal immigrants victimized by domestic violence to seek temporary visas.

“VAWA now touches hot button immigration issues, which have the potential to encourage immigration fraud, false allegations of abuse, and denial of a rebuttal by the accused spouse, whether male or female,” she wrote.

Women’s groups have for the most part been outraged by Republican delays of the VAWA renewal. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) tied the debate over guns to VAWA on Wednesday after he presided over the judiciary hearing, tweeting that “improving the background check system is important in thwarting deadly domestic violence.”

H/T: Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM



Now the media is in a frenzy of debate over the decision to allow women to serve in combat roles in the US military. Right-wingers are saying women pose a threat to the male cohesion of units, blah blah. Whatever. The real threat is not to the men but to the women. Why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that 1 in 3 women in the Army experience rape and/or sexual assault (according to the Army’s own figures)? Is that not a threat to unit “cohesion” [which units already include women anyways in nominally non-combat roles but in reality anything but]?

Personally, I think we should abolish the standing army in this country. But if people are going to talk about a “crisis” in the military over questions of gender, it is a crime to let such a discussion posit women as the transgressors by ignoring the cesspool of misogyny and sexual violence which is perpetrated by male soldiers against women every single day.

I have seen some people mention the high rate of sexual assault in the military in the context of the decision to allow women in combat. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thinks allowing women in combat will reduce the epidemic of rape. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen. But the military does need to address this.

In a series of moves Wednesday that effectively isolate House Republicans, a bipartisan group of senators and House Democrats unveiled companion bills to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

The two bills, a House version and a Senate version, are identical in re-authorizing the domestic violence legislation and in expanding coverage to protect gays, illegal immigrants and Native Americans. They weresimultaneously unveiled Wednesday in the House and Senate during back-to-back press conferences by House Democrats and the Senate group.

The Senate Republicans flanking Democrats were Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — all VAWA co-sponsors.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Collins. “It cannot be a partisan issue.”

“As you can see from the representation here,” said Crapo, “it’s on a bipartisan basis that we have support for this in the Senate.”

The measure to reauthorize VAWA failed last year amid House GOP resistance to expanding coverage to abused LGBT, undocumented immigrant and tribal populations.

Both the House and Senate versions of the legislation unveiled Wednesday omits a provision to increase the number of U Visas available for abused illegal immigrants. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last year refused to take up the Senate bill, observing that the Constitution requires legislation that raises revenues to originate in the House.

“We took that out so there’s no blue slip question here. They said that was [the reason they didn’t take it up],” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chief sponsor of VAWA. He said he believes that “there is a strong willingness to move forward” in the House.

H/T: Sahil Kapur at TPM

The Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994 and has since been routinely reauthorized without controversy. By providing resources for law enforcement to combat spousal abuse, it has protected countless women from domestic violence.

But the 2012 re-authorization, like many initiatives of the just-concluded Congress, fell prey to House Republican resistance — in this case, to expanding the Act to cover more women. In the end, House GOP leaders refused bring to a vote a bill that passed the Senate with a bipartisan supermajority.

“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a Democratic leadership member, told TPM. “This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”

A Republican source familiar with failed last-minute negotiations to save the measure between Vice President Joe Biden and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) disputed that view. The source blamed Senate Democrats for making a resolution impossible by “constantly shifting the goalposts” and adopting a “my way or the highway approach.”

But Senate Democrats peeled off enough Republicans for the new provisions. In April, they passed the expanded version by a whopping 68-31 vote, winning over 8 Republicans.

The legislation then moved to the House, where Republican leaders faced pressure to act, but had no intention of supporting the added provisions. So they introduced a scaled-back version that omitted them and made it harder for illegal-immigrant victims of domestic violence to obtain legal status under a special category called the U Visa.

Republican leaders deployed their female members to make the case for it, notably Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), a leadership member, and Rep. Sandy Adams (FL), herself a victim of domestic violence. Over the objections of some advocates for abused victims, but with thesupport of a so-called men’s rights group, House GOP leaders passed their version on a partisan vote, despite a White House veto threat.

And that’s when the legislation stalled, never to recover.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) invited the Senate to go to conference to resolve the differences. He also argued that the Senate bill was unconstitutional because it would raise new revenue with visa fees (bills with revenues are supposed to originate in the House, though leaders can dodge that problem if they want to). Republicans also said provisions involving tribal jurisdiction were constitutionally impermissible.

Democrats demanded that the GOP take up the Senate version, comparing its strong bipartisan support with the lack of cross-party appeal for the scaled-back re-authorization, and citing President Obama’s veto threat. Boehner stonewalled. The stalemate deepened.

A bipartisan letter authored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), two key sponsors of VAWA, urging Boehner to accept the Senate bill had no impact. Months later, a large House coalition including 10 Republican members pushed him to accept a Senate-like version — again, to no avail.

In December, there was a glimmer of hope for the measure when Biden, the chief architect of the original VAWA, entered negotiations with Cantor to see if they could resolve the disputes. But that, too, went nowhere.

A top Senate Democratic aide said Cantor refused to budge on the LGBT, undocumented immigrant and especially tribal jurisdiction provisions. A GOP source familiar with the negotiations countered that the vice president showed “good faith” but Senate Democrats kept throwing up “roadblock after roadblock” and showed no interest in compromising. 

The 112th Congress ended Wednesday, and the Violence Against Women Act perished with it. The new Congress now has to start all over. A spokesperson said Leahy was disappointed by the failure of VAWA re-authorization and looks forward to soon reintroducing an “inclusive, bipartisan bill covering vulnerable victims.”

h/t: TPM

Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).

And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.

Back in April, the Senate approvedVAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.

But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.

Proponents of the law hope to revive the law in the new Congress, starting from scratch, but in the meantime, there will be far fewer resources available for state and local governments to combat domestic violence.