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  1. #1
    frostyboy's Avatar
    frostyboy is offline Established Member
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    WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abusers

    From News 10:

    WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abusers

    When they first opened their doors and became incorporated in 1978, they likely had no idea how their role might evolve as a provider of crisis intervention services in Sacramento. Even their name indicated they were going into business with the intent of helping women -- not men.

    The founders called their organization WEAVE: Women Escaping A Violent Environment. 32 years later, the name endures.

    But the times have changed, as has the clientele.

    According to people who have used WEAVE services, the perception of the group remains largely the same as it was 30 years ago.

    "I didn't know about them, and I didn't know they would help men," said Paul Smith, a WEAVE client.

    Another WEAVE Client, Michael Dimmitt, said he also thought the organization might not be for him.

    "It's not well known among men that WEAVE services are available to them," Dimmitt said. "Men don't talk about it with each other."

    The "it" he's referring to is domestic violence. Four years ago, Dimmitt and Smith both would have had a hard time talking about their situations. Now, they have no problem sharing details they once considered mortifying.

    "I had a physically abusive wife who did things such as slug me, and grab me," said Dimmitt. "It began on the honeymoon."

    "My ex-wife started smacking me about year two of our marriage," said Smith. "She just beaned me clean across the face. I hadn't been hit that hard since football."

    Both of their marriages ended in divorce in 2006. But in the aftermath, Dimmitt did one thing that Smith did not.

    Dimmitt remembers that moment when he first walked into WEAVE headquarters, asking himself if he was going to the right place.

    "When I first came here, I had trepidation," Dimmitt said. "Five minutes after being here, there was absolutely no concern on my part of being in there with the women. They accepted me. It was very comfortable."

    It's a moment Smith never experienced because he thought WEAVE was just for women.

    "I didn't understand what they were all about, for men," Smith said. "You don't know much as a man, because there are no services available for men. There's no WEAVE for men."

    The organization's leader says it is a false perception they are constantly working to change.

    "I know that there are men out there who need help," said WEAVE Executive Director Beth Hassett. She said her organization has had to reinvent how it does outreach in the community because the realm of domestic violence counseling has changed so much since the late 1970s.

    "All agencies like WEAVE grew out of the women's movement," Hassett said. "We were organizations that were formed by women, for women.

    "When I first got here, men were not allowed in some of our drop-in groups that are open to the community, so we made those co-ed," explained Hassett.

    Still, she said one of their biggest challenges is putting male victims at ease. According to Hassett, many are too embarrassed to step forward and admit that they've been abused.

    "We've got to figure out how to reach these people, because every victim needs help, and we're here for every victim," said Hassett.

    According to the Department of Justice, about 835,000 men are assaulted by an intimate partner every year. For women, the number is 1.3 million.

    "We're serving children, we're serving men," said Hassett. "We're serving victims of all sorts that don't fit into the mold they're imagining."

    Dimmit convinced himself to break through that mold four years ago.

    "It's provided balance and an openness to the future," he said. "I don't think I would have achieved that in other circumstances had it not been for WEAVE."

    Smith said he wishes he'd taken the same approach.

    "Had I had a different mind set, I probably would have been in the next day to WEAVE," Smith said.

    The organization has had such a hard time changing the perception they're only for women, that they're considering a name change, or at least some kind of public awareness marketing campaign.

    The goal is to make sure men realize WEAVE is a place for them to seek domestic violence counseling, just as it is for women.
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  2. #2
    nivek's Avatar
    nivek is offline Moderator
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    Re: WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abuse

    The organization has had such a hard time changing the perception they're only for women, that they're considering a name change, or at least some kind of public awareness marketing campaign.
    Yes, a change of name to something more neutral would be a good start, how about PEAVE
    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

  3. #3
    Marx's Avatar
    Marx is offline Administrator
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    Re: WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abuse

    Yes, well 'peaved' is how most men feel about the sexism they're confronted with when trying to obtain help out of an abusive relationship.
    The most offensive thing you can do to a feminist is treat her with FULL equality.
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  4. #4
    John Dias's Avatar
    John Dias is offline Established Member
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    Re: WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abuse

    Compared to the way it operated only a few years ago, WEAVE has come a long way in the direction of assisting male victims of domestic violence. Good on them for that, although I should point out that it took a lawsuit against them -- followed by a subsequent court case that went almost to the top court in the land -- before the most far-reaching changes went into effect. You can thank Marc Angelucci and the National Coalition For Men for that (Marc argued before the state appellate court in the landmark case of Woods vs. Shewry, which extended publicly-funded services for DV victims to males in California).

    Nevertheless, despite the need to force WEAVE's hand in the courts, they have gone above and beyond what the law now requires of them. Their fundamental culture has changed for the better. They deserve credit, and I think that we should give it to them. The following article was written by the director of WEAVE Sacramento, and was published in the first issue of the DV journal, Partner Abuse. Pay attention, my fellow men's advocates, to the genuine overtures made by WEAVE's new leadership as referenced by this article:

    "The Evolution of Services for Male Domestic Violence Victims at WEAVE"
    by Margaux Rooney, M.Ed., MFT.


    When I first started working at WEAVE in 2003, it was apparent from the peer counselor training model that domestic violence was a societal and political issue exclusively based on gender power differentials. The crisis intervention approach was presented as a one size fits all response. The curriculum was taught through a single lens of 1) women being victims; 2) men being perpetrators; and 3) little hope of perpetrator rehabilitation or family reunification. The gray areas between perpetrator and victim were not addressed (McDonald, Jouriles, Tart & Minze, in press). The contributing factors to violence in relationships, like addiction and mental health issues, were discarded as excuses for the violence. The model does not allow for the consideration of contributing factors as directly relevant conditions which if treated successfully could positively impact the relationship dynamics.

    The issue of lesbian and gay violence was mentioned, but it did not fit the framework of the gender based philosophy. Because violence in same sex relations created disparity with the singular focus, it was downplayed.

    The absence of a comprehensive approach which considered multiple contributing factors and options did not resonate with what I knew to be true clinically. Coming from a systems-based, clinical background, this did not make sense knowing the complexity of relationship dynamics. As a victim services provider we were only getting half the story and seeing half of the picture, which did not allow us to assess the whole family and possibly intervene in a more productive manner.

    After working in the field for a time, the simplistic view of gender based violence was found even more inadequate because some clients were coming in with stories of mutually compative relationships. Other clients were the victim in their first relationships and now were the primary aggressor. Many times Child Protective Services would refer both parties in a domestic violence dispute. Both partners were victimized and both had perpetrated violence so the male and the female were mandated to victim and perpetrator services. If reunification therapy was the goal, it was rare that the domestic violence counselor was part of that process because victim services providers were not viewed as marriage counselors.

    In order to address safety concerns and stay within funding stipulations, we were forced to create a first come, first served policy that resulted in the first "victim" in a couple who received counseling would need to complete services prior to the second "victim" receiving his or her services. There were too many variables to have the simple theories set forth in the peer training to be clinically useful for the diversity in our clients' experiences.

    . . .

    How to evolve from being a grass roots, feminist based organiation to a professional, clinically sound model while honoring the best of both worlds is a challenge with which we have struggled. The internal conflict has created an opportunity to develop a new paradigm. There are strengths and drawbacks to each modality. The underlying question which must be asked is "Does serving male victims exclude feminist theory?"
    My commentary on the above:

    What seems frustrating to me is that, despite Rooney's acknowledgment of flaws in the gender-biased approach to DV, she's still filtering her judgment through the sieve of feminism. She did ask the right question above ("Does serving male victims exclude feminist theory?"), but it remains to be seen whether she can connect the dots and realize that feminism itself is the ideology that caused the injustices and organizational dysfunction that she describes. Ideology has no rightful place in science. Note the reference above to funding stipulations justifying institutional opposition to healing a relationship; the DV counselor was not involved in the process of reconciling troubled couples, and therefore had full uninterrupted access to pressure the first victim -- likely the woman -- to receive services encouraging her to dissolve the marriage/relationship before the second victim -- likely the man -- could ever receive services. Divorce was the preferred solution, and with women more likely than men to be the first to utilize WEAVE's services (due to feminist policies such as warrantless arrest, mandatory arrest and primary aggressor policies, inviting the State into the relationship), the women were more likely to be pressured to dissolve the relationship throughout the provision of WEAVE's services, and thus the result was to subject the husband or male partner to the mercy of the merciless family courts. These pro-divorce "services" were often mandated by a court as part of a state-required "treatment program" for perpetrators, only the solution was to encourage female perpetrators to divorce their husbands. This pretext of a funding shortfall justifying "getting to the women first" is a classic example of institutional sexism. It delays assistance to males who need assistance until AFTER the relationship is dissolved (by the woman), and it is all founded upon feminist ideology. This is how feminism manifests itself even in a supposedly scientific, clinical setting.

    Therefore, serving male victims DOES exclude feminist theory, which is exactly why we must serve male victims -- because feminism (as the current paradigm in western society) suppresses any acknowledgment or weight upon male victimization or pain. Feminism must be considered part of the problem; it creates the inequities.
    Last edited by John Dias; 21st-April-2010 at 09:22 PM.

  5. #5
    zetamale's Avatar
    zetamale is offline Established Member
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    Re: WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abuse

    this is actually rather comforting in a way im glad to see that progress is being made, no matter how small a step in the right direction is still a step in the right direction
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  6. #6
    shaazam's Avatar
    shaazam is offline Established Member
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    Re: WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abuse

    """"I had a physically abusive wife who did things such as slug me, and grab me," said Dimmitt. "It began on the honeymoon." ""

    seems about right for wimyn!

    no need to dissemble anymore;

    after all butthead signed her contract and so he had better learn the road rules quick - her road ! she rules !! hahah

    terminus is the Family Court if he ain't quick to her bidding


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