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  1. #1
    outdoors's Avatar
    outdoors is offline Silver Supporter
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    Time to write a letter!!!!

    The Calgary Sun - Cycle of abuse can be broken

    Sandra Smith

    Mon, September 22, 2008

    Cycle of abuse can be broken

    UPDATED: 2008-09-22 03:49:00 MST

    By SANDRA SMITH


    The words scream from the outside of an envelope that arrives in the mailbox.

    "Calgary has the second highest rate of domestic violence in Canada."

    Inside, a graphic photo of a bruised and battered woman with the caption "take another look behind the makeup."

    The current YWCA campaign to raise funds to support victims of domestic violence might appear shockingly dramatic.
    But the vivid image and staggering statistics are anything but an exaggeration. In 2007, Calgary police responded to more than 12,000 family violence calls.

    We know it exists but would rather pretend otherwise. But this issue --steeped in stereotypes, secrecy and blame -- cannot be sugar-coated.

    Mention spousal abuse and it conjures up images of a trashy redneck in a wife-beater. He's laid one on his woman after she's thrown one too many bottles at his head. It's an alcohol-fuelled altercation between violent adults from the wrong side of the tracks.

    Unfortunately, it's this stereotypical image that likely causes victims to remain silent. More than 78% of domestic violence cases go unreported.

    Experiences shared with the outside world leave open wounds exposed for others to pick at. For every sympathetic ear, many more will ask "why don't you just leave?"

    Reality is these women aren't the trailer park trash of our imagination. They're the one in four you see every day -- a teacher, your boss, your neighbour. They're mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They hide in every walk of life, in the most unexpected places.

    Why don't they leave? It's a complex issue, every situation is different, the barriers numerous. I can, however, tell you why I didn't leave. I had nowhere to go.

    Married to the born-and-raised small-town hero, his service to the community bought silence for his spousal indiscretions. My self-esteem was systematically replaced with a belief it was I who caused his failures. The bruises he inflicted were to be worn as a public reminder I had not yet made the grade as a human being, my value to society was zero.

    It felt like a crapshoot with weighted dice. Would it really be a win if escaping the abuse, with nothing more than the clothes on my back, meant throwing my children into abject poverty?

    If lucky enough to find an available shelter bed, it would be a permanent move hours away with only 21 days to pick up the pieces of my life. It would prove to be the most daunting undertaking of my life, supported solely by the kindness of strangers in a new city.

    The struggle to overcome domestic violence has made headway in the nearly two decades since I left my war zone behind. Organizations such as the YWCA have become the voice of the voiceless in campaigns where victims are relegated to first-name-only tales.

    Still more than half the women and children who finally escape to seek refuge in an emergency shelter are turned away because space is limited. Fewer still will have access to transitional housing --accommodations providing six more months to pick up the pieces.

    Calgary's cost of living and a tight housing market are especially hard on victims of domestic violence. Because of the lack of support and affordable accommodations, 40% of women return to their abuser.

    It takes an average eight tries to completely break free. At the hands of their partners, some never do.

    If we're going to break the cycle of abuse, Calgary desperately needs more emergency beds, transitional housing and ongoing support programs. But it can be a hard sell when we're forced to rely on anonymous stories, second-hand information and statistics.

    But we can do it. All you have to do is believe.



    • Have a letter for the editor? E-mail it to webmaster@calgarysun.com
    Last edited by Marx; 24th-September-2008 at 04:31 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    outdoors's Avatar
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    Re: Time to write a letter!!!!

    Cycle of abuse can be broken
    Mon, September 22, 2008
    2008-09-22 03:49:00 MST
    By SANDRA SMITH

    http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnis...837766-sun.php

    Dear Editor,

    Sandra Smith left male victims of domestic violence totally invisible as usual and repeatedly referred to the victims only as "women" in her article “Cycle of Abuse Can be Broken” (9/22). I’m sure she would say “men and women” when referring to soldiers or firefighters, who are 90% male. Why not domestic violence victims?


    I work with men who have been stabbed, cut with glass and had their teeth knocked out with objects by female partners. They and their children deserve the same dignity, attention, services and outreach as female victims. But instead they’re ignored, stigmatized, downplayed and told they’re oddball class.


    In truth, they’re not rare at all. They’re just hidden, because they’re less likely than women to report it. In fact, the Canadian government recently issued a report called “Intimate Partner Violence against Men” showing that women initiate domestic violence as often as men do, even if they cause less physical damage on average. See http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/pdfs/Intimate_Partner.pdf


    Although crime data is unreliable, virtually all sociological survey data shows women initiate domestic violence at least as often as men, that men suffer one-third of physical injuries and that self-defense does not explain away this violence, as California State University Professor Martin Fiebert demonstrates in his online bibliography at www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm.


    For example, a
    recent 32-nation study by the University of New Hampshire, which included Canada, found women are as violent and controlling as men in relationships worldwide. The University’s news release is available at
    http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2006/may/em_060519male.cfm?type=n and the study itself is at http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf

    When male victims don't get help, both they and their children suffer. We can't end this cycle by ignoring half or any amount of it. That's why a global coalition of concerned experts, including Professor Don Dutton of the University of British Columbia, has formed to combat this bias. Their website is at www.nfvlrc.org/.


    well so much for antmisandry--i thought this story by the calgary newspaper would draw attention and raise eyebrows,but i think we know where thats all goin'.


    my last post.
    Last edited by Marx; 2nd-October-2008 at 10:59 PM. Reason: formatting

  3. #3
    shaazam's Avatar
    shaazam is offline Established Member
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    Re: Time to write a letter!!!!

    ""Inside, a graphic photo of a bruised and battered woman with the caption "take another look behind the makeup."""

    how about the battered men coming outta the Family Courts and the truncated babies in hospital incinerators sacrificed to the feminit abortion god

    they gagged at the Aztecs sacrificing prisoners to their gods but the western abortion god is insatiable - also known as wimins liberation or mens' emasculation


 

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