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Dissident Domestic Violence Experts Form New Group to Challenge DV Establishment

November 21, 2006

Glenn SacksAs I've noted on many occasions, the domestic violence establishment is not telling us the full truth about domestic violence, and many destructive family law policies have been based on misleading information. Research clearly establishes that women are frequently the aggressors in domestic combat, often employing the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for men's strength. In my co-authored column October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month Ignores Many Victims (Omaha World Herald, 10/26/06, Daytona Beach News-Journal, 10/20/06, Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/4/06) I explained:

"Current DV policies are so at odds with research and reality that many domestic violence researchers and treatment providers are rebelling against the DV establishment. Earlier this year over 50 of these authorities signed a letter urging the California legislature to stop the state's policy of excluding male victims and their children from DV services.

"According to signatory John Hamel, LCSW, a court-certified batterer treatment provider, research shows that children who witness their mothers abusing their fathers are just as likely to assault their intimate partners when they are adults as those who saw their fathers assault their mothers. Hamel, the author of Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse: A Comprehensive Approach, told legislators:

"'Men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries. There is an overwhelming, irrefutable body of research indicating that children are adversely affected by witnessing interparental violence, regardless of the perpetrator's gender. Ignoring female-on-male violence inhibits our efforts to combat domestic violence.'"

The "rebellion" I mentioned in the column just took a major step forward with the formation of the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center. The NFVLRC is a group of distinguished domestic violence experts who have joined together to "Advocate for non-discriminatory and evidence-based policies" and correct the many damaging laws and policies which have been based on misleading claims. In a new statement Hamel, one of the leaders of the NFVLRC, says:

"The founding members of NFVLRC have recognized for some time that current polices are politically driven rather being based on scientifically sound information, and are seeking to change them. As a result of flawed policies, many children are being denied the same range of services simply because of their victimized parent's gender. Current policies have in many instances also resulted in a loss of civil liberties, and research indicates that they have sometimes resulted in increased danger to victims...NFVLRC believes that unless domestic and family violence policies are reformed, victims, children and future generations will continue to suffer from this social problem."

Founding members of the NFVLRC include: author and psychologist Don Dutton, who served as a domestic violence expert on the prosecution team in the OJ Simpson trial; Carol Ensign, LCSW, former executive director of the Antelope Valley Domestic Violence Council and Los Angeles County "Woman of the Year" in 2000; author and psychologist Kathleen Malley-Morrison; clinical psychologist Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling of the University of South Alabama; forensic psychologist Dr. Tonia Nicholls; Philip Cook, Executive Director for Stop Abuse for Everyone and the author of Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; Patricia Jones, MS, of the Antelope Valley Domestic Violence Council/Valley Oasis Shelter; batterer intervention specialist Lonnie Hazlewood, M.S.H.P., L.C.D.C., C.C.C.J.S., co-author of The Violent Couple; retired police lieutenant Richard L. Davis, author of Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies; Marlene Moretti, PhD, coauthor of the book, Girls and Aggression: Contributing Factors and Intervention Principles; John Hamel; and others.

Fathers For Equal Rights empowered me to do the right thing for my son through critical knowledge, and strategic access to affordable legal assistance.
  -- David A. - Dallas, TX

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