Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Monk" and domestic violence

In today's episode of Monk :

Captain Stottlemeyer is provoked into violence by a man who claims to be having an affair with the captain's wife (the provocation is intended to contaminate a crime scene and allow him get away with murder). Captain Stottlemeyer is required to go to anger management classes as a result. He is told to say 'these things happen' when he gets angry to stop him doing anything else and that anger is only a feeling and as an adult he doesn't have to act on that feeling. This is only from a story, but is exactly the kind of advice you would get at an anger management session.

What about women who get mad at their husbands for having affairs, or just for wanting a divorce and respond by cutting up the husbands clothes, or vandalising his car, etc.....? "anger is only a feeling and as an adult she doesn't have to act on that feeling".

Or women who kill their sleeping husbands because they are afraid of them? "fear is only a feeling and as an adult she doesn't have to act on that feeling". If you are in fear of your husband you have options, you don't have to kill him. Particularly not when he is sleeping - a perfect time to leave. Men have very few options if they want to leave an abusive wife. There are approximately 478 shelters for battered wives in the UK (1). There are only 2 domestic violence shelters that will accept men. Only 1 is solely for men and their children.

The most extreme statistics regarding proportion of victims of domestic violence in the UK come from counts of reported crime. They indicate that men are victims in about 15% of reported domestic violence crimes(2). But shelters that accept men account for only 0.4% of the total. The yearly rate for domestic violence is 4.2% for men and 4.2% women (British Crime Survey 1996, reported in HORS 191).

Women's Aid run most of the domestic violence shelters in the UK. They do now admit that at least some men are victims of domestic violence, but none of their centres will admit men. Most will not even admit women with sons over the age of 14. The only shelters that do admit men are run by The Mankind Initiative (see my links) which is not mentioned at all on the Women's Aid website.

More statistics on domestic violence can be found HERE. The reality is more complicated than feminist organisations like Women's Aid would have you believe.

(1) Women's aid:

(2) Women's aid: