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Feedback: CADA invites nonabusive men
I generally find the Editors Column a read somewhere between amusing and hilarious. The idea that the county should hire goats to masticate the edges of our highway still gives us a chuckle at the office. The office I refer to is Citizens Against Domestic and Sexal Assault (CADA). So, of course, I am writing this particular letter in response to Jims recent piece, entitled: How I got labeled as a wife beater.
As with most humorous statements, Jims column touches on a couple of very serious issues. The first is family violence in general. A second topic that he broaches is the terrible no mans land that many men find themselves in with regard to this issue. It is common knowledge that domestic violence is primarily a crime against women. Many studies support this fact.
The only trait that victims of domestic violence tend to share is that they are usually (although not always) female. The people who abuse them tend to be (although not always) men. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2002 an estimated 567,090 individuals were victims of intimate partner abuse. Of these, 87 percent were female and 13 percent were male. Nothing else besides what sex you are (not income, race age, etc.) predicts whether you are more or less likely to be assaulted by a family member.
Because gender is the only common demographic, an underlying impact of the wife beating occurring in our communities is that any man may find himself suspect of this crime at times. This is a horrible thing to be suspected of.
What is a well-adjusted, non-violent, respectful man to do when law enforcement shows up at his house, as in Jims case? One thing he might do is jump to the conclusion that the Sheriffs department automatically suspects him of abusive behavior because his wife has called 911 and groaned into the phone.
Something I would like to invite non-abusive men to do (and that is most men) is to join with CADA in seeking ways to end this type of violence in our families. And thanks Jim, for bringing up such an important topic!
Executive Director, CADA