Violence Against Women

October 28, 2008

A homeowner in West Hollywood, California, has chosen to hang a mannequin dressed to look like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as part of a Halloween display. He was reported as saying,

“It should be seen as art and it should be seen within the month of October. It’s time to be scary and spooky.”

Huh? Since when is a lynching a form of entertainment?

Comments on various blogs I’ve read have thankfully been negative about the display, but unlike many of them I don’t want to make this issue political or compare this situation to a lynched effigy of Sen. Obama. (Not so distant history has proven the reality of that experience.) The fact is most comments didn’t even recognize or acknowledge that the display depicts extreme violence against a woman. They glanced right over that little fact. The homeowner even admits,

“The image of a hanged black man is a lot more intense than the image of a hanged white woman — for our country — in the history of our country.”

Here are just a few stats concerning violence against women in this country from Feminist.com and V-Days’ Anti-Violence Resource Guide:

  • 17.6 percent of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6 percent were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4 percent were between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • 64 percent of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date.
  • In the National Violence Against Women Survey, approximately 25 percent of women and 8 percent of men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date in their lifetimes. The survey estimates that more than 300,000 intimate partner rapes occur each year against women 18 and older.
  • Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police. African American women are more likely than others to report their victimization to police.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Since 1987, this month has been observed to mourn those who have died, to celebrate those that have survived, and to work for ways to end the cycle of violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

And according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, more than 1,200 women are murdered in this country each year by their husbands or boyfriends. Included in this number are pregnant women who are more likely to be murdered than to die of any other causes. NCADV recently released the names of 450 women, children, and men who have lost their lives to domestic violence so far this year. The recent high-profile murders of actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother, and nephew will be three more names added to this list.

While domestic violence is not only a women’s issue, it is a critical economic and health care issue. Facts about domestic violence, its impact, its prevention, and how to get involved may be found at HelpStartsHereBlog, the U.S Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and through AAUW’s coalition partner, the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.

By:   |   October 28, 2008

4 Comments

  1. Allyson says:

    12 months ago my ex husband assaulted me with my two teenage boys closeby inside our home. I reported the assault in El Paso county, Colorado. Since then he was allowed by the court system to postpone the case every few months, for a whole year, while making rediculous false accusation against me to justify that he did it in self defense. (If you are in court, in front of the judge, but it is not the day of the trial, the defendant’s attorney can say anything they want, irrelevant to the case, without evidence to prove what he is saying and no one is given an opportunity to object or dispute those accusations because you aren’t having a hearing. It’s the defendants right. They also have the right to subpoena anyone they want. Even people that have nothing to do with and weren’t there. Tactics like these used to embarrass witnesses so they won’t testify are allowed by our courts.

    Every time I appeared in court and stuck it out, believing that if I didn’t he would abuse another women and I would be partially responsible. On the day of trial I was told there was a more important trial and it would be postponed. I was told there was no need for me to be there that day. The judge dismissed the case because I was not there.

    Although, this was his second offense, and he was previously arrested for child abuse, and DUI. He had assaulted his ex girlfriend in 2003. I found this out 2 weeks after he assaulted me in Oct. 07.

    Something to think about:

    If we are always saying to women to leave men who are abusive, put bumper stickers on our cars that say we won’t tolerate domestic violence, and we encourage women to hold these men accountable …..

    then we must follow through when women do. The DA told me over and over that women say they feel victimized again by the court process although we encourage women to hold these men accountable. Allowing the defendant to contact the victims friends, employers, family, ……. prevents victims from healing from the trauma, affects possible job prospects, and can affect relationships. Restraining orders do not protect victims from this, slander, or from the abuser’s attorney contacting others or making false accusations against witnesses.

  2. Violence against a woman is never “ok” this display should be taken down immediately.

    Domestic Violence Victim resources continue to be overwhelmed across the nation. Domestic violence victims’ greatest service needs continue to be for temporary and permanent safe housing, financial assistance, employment, and counseling. However, the victims needs don’t stop there.

    The World Wide Web has created a new criminal epidemic known as cyberstalking and women seeking refuge find the path to freedom much more difficult than ever before because of the increasing number of abusers who are using technology to stalk.

    Cyberstalking impacts millions within the U.S. and a substantial number of cyberstalking victims are victims of domestic abuse. Our nation’s resources and antiquated laws are not equipped to tackle these more difficult domestic violence cases involving the use of technology.

    With the wide spread use of technology and increasing number of on-line databases housing consumer private records, domestic abusers have extended their reach in ways unlike ever before. For millions of domestic abuse victims’ who are already the target of an abuser, and need to keep data from them it is particularly difficult in the 21st century everything from court records, property records, banking, telephone records, employment information and more is available on-line today placing many victims of abuse in jeopardy. Domestic Violence victims have nowhere to hide – this is simply not acceptable.

    Technology today allows for anyone including domestic abusers to harass and intimidate with no repercussions because their handiwork is nearly untraceable.

    The number of domestic violence victims utilizing programs like confidential address and identity change continue to rise. However; these programs are far too often not adequate. Frequently, domestic abuse victims need more privacy protection than what these programs can offer. Domestic abusers techniques and technology are now far out pacing our nation’s antiquated laws pertaining to domestic violence and stalking.

    If you are contemplating leaving a violent partner or if you are a victim of cyberstalking in need of privacy protection including information on confidential address programs, identity change or other privacy protection methods available -you are not alone.

    Contact Alexis A. Moore, President & Founder of Survivors In Action. Alexis@survivorsinaction.com (916) 941-7292.

    A woman should not have to live or work in fear.

  3. clarkp says:

    Alexis, thank you for sharing this important information. I hope our visitors take time to visit your blog at http://alexisamoore.blogspot.com/. While this information can be very difficult to read, it might just help protect a life.

  4. Alexis, I must agree, violence against women in any form is not okay.

    There has been such an increase in domestic abuse that I would have to call any outward display of violence against women, a criminal offence.

    I was in an abusive marriage for 18 years, I left after 14 years, only to be stalked relentlessly for another 4 years. I created, The Weaker Vessel, Inc. to provide more awareness and prevention against domestic and family violence. We are the only National On-line Database of Domestic Violence Abusers. We have a comprehensive offender database that is free and available for public use.

    Please visit the site: http://www.theweakervessel.org

    We are always in need of talented individuals who can share their time, treasures and talent.

    We truly believe that one person can make a difference. If you would like to volunteer or make a financial donation, please email our offices at: info@theweakervessel.org

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