It is a common misconception to think that intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, is a one-sided dilemma—meaning solely male perpetrators and female victimization. . Given the fact that the media primarily focuses the public’s attention on the battered woman. Although found that intimate partner violence (IPV) is predominantly a crime against women. The Domestic Violence Hotline states that more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime (women are at more than one in three).
In July of 2014, The Domestic Violence Hotline but out an article titled Men Can Be Victims men are more likely to be victims of violent crimes overall, the U. S. Department of Justice of Abuse, Too with around 50 comments/replies from men, about their experience with intimate partner violence; one of the comments submitted by Garold says: In 1985, while in the Air Force and assigned to Nuremberg Germany I was emotionally and physically abused by my wife. Although people saw the scratches and bruises nobody wanted to get involved.
My wife attacked me with a knife slashing the back of my neck and attempted to stab me in the back twice. I ended up being taken to the hospital emergency room and photographed. I was then taken to the security police station and questioned. I was given the option of taking a lie detector test with the knowledge if I failed charges would be filed against me. Later I was told that my wife had basically lied to the security police and I wasn’t in trouble. I couldn’t charge her with attempted murder for lack of evidence but charges were filed against her in Germany for aggravated assault.
He concluded his comment saying that he was ostracized from his unit, he had no one to talk to nor did he receive any counselling Garold confided to the comment that he attempted suicide twice. “People don’t understand the damage that domestic violence does to both female and male victims. Females have a voice but males are treated like crap with no voice. Domestic Violence affects all” (The National Domestic Violence Hotline) The 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) estimated “over 10 million men and women in the United States experience physical violence each year by a current or former intimate partner” (CDC).
They also found that nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have encountered some form of intimate partner violence at some point in their lifetime. Media has the power to desensitize the public’s view on domestic violence. Consistent news coverage of domestic violence is considered to create public acceptance of violence. When hearing about a domestic abuse story or a rape allegation, how many times have you or someone you know said “well she could just leave” or “she’s lying”? These instantaneous responses are this stigma and victim blaming.
Due to the media’s interpretation, society immediately blames the woman as to why she has yet to leave a violent home, but the public does not know the story behind why she can’t leave—whether it’s an economical reason or a social reason. Vanessa Cunningham took a look at hot the media controls the public’s perception of rape and domestic violence victims; she investigated forty-one newspaper articles and six blogs about six different cases surrounding rape and domestic violence; she chose the following cases based on their substantial amount of publicity due to public figures: Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his rape case, the O. J. Simpson case, both of the Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s rape cases, the Virginia Tech murder, and the Duke Lacrosse rape case.
Studies provided by John Boulahanis et al concluded that specifying race, socioeconomic factors, and age (whether it be of the victim or perpetrator) can play a major role in how the media presents the case to the public. As noted, it the media portrays a negative light on the victim’s race or lifestyle, the public with take a negative approach toward the said victim and vice versa.
It was found that in a significant number of articles, the offender was written about in a positive manner in relations with fans and supporters expressing their positive remarks. “Almost every blog (minus the Virginia Tech murder) had majority of remarks were negative in relation to the “victim” and supportive for the “offender”. The remarks ranged from calling the “victim” a “lying whore” (Duke Lacrosse) or a “gold-digger” (Ben Roethlisberger) to saying “she had it coming” (Kobe Bryant) and “she asked for it” (Ben Roethlisberger)” (Cunningham).
What do Amanda Knox, Jodi Arias, Casey Anthony and Emma Roberts have in common? The same thing as Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen, Ray Rice, and Ozzy Osborne do. They have all been the perpetrators behind various forms of domestic violence whether it was abuse, rape, or murder all of these public people have had a run in due to DV. Cunningham did not chose a single case which involved a women perpetrator with a male victim. Its unfortunate to think that men will not report their victimization when it comes to violent domestic violence.
Traditional gender roles, along with the stigma that any man who admits to being abused by a woman is weak, plays a major part in the underreporting of men. A website entitled Domestic Violence Against Men Is The Most Underreported Crime accumulated a list of seventy eight reasons for under reporting domestic violence against men; some of those reasons include: courage, low self-esteem, self-blame, feelings of powerlessness, no advocate, no place to go, fear of arrest, the Stockholm Syndrome, battered men’s syndrome and fear of stigmatization.
Among the reasons, more than half of them could be applied to both men and women. It is so much easier to write about women being the victims and males being the attacker because of all the stories in the media regarding this facade. When searching domestic violence in the news, Johnny Manziel is the first search regarding his domestic violence dispute. The first five pages is male perpetrators and female victims.
It isn’t until page six a woman appears in a mug shot; the headline reads: Elderly Alabama woman who stabbed, spray-painted husband indicted for domestic violence. In the article, the writer gave a reasoning behind the abuse: “She (Patsy Witt Dixon) told investigators her relationship with her husband was strained because he’d quit his job and was secretly talking to other women on Facebook” (AL, Bonvillian) yet, in every single male perpetrated domestic dispute, no reasoning is provided as to why these men committed this crime.
The public turns a blind eye to the domestic abuse of men—it is as if the authority and the public view the abuse of men as trivial—for example, there were repercussions when a video of Ray Rice was publicized of him beating his then-fiancee unconscious, but there were no consequences when a video of Solange Knowles, physically attacked her sister’s husband, Jay-Z. Early 2014, Ray Rice was arrested and charged with assault and later indicted on third-degree aggravated assault. He risked a three to five-year sentence, up to $15,000 fine, and a measly two game suspension (and later cut from the Baltimore Ravens).
A video was captured of Solange Knowles and Jay-Z in an elevator where she physically attacked him—landing punch after punch and kick after kick on his body. Very little, if any, press surfaced regarding this incident and absolutely no charges were filed. “Gender differences in crime suggest that crime may not be so normal after all” (Daly & Chesney-Lind, 1988). When traditional criminologists began to look at why men are more crime prone than women (the gender ratio of crime), it became apparent that different variables come into play when dealing with gender as a construct in the commission of criminal acts.
However, by having the same predictors of crime for men and women, this does not necessarily mean that they have the same influences behind what led them down their individualized delinquent paths. This explains why “girls and women don’t ‘fit’ into theories designed to explain boy’s and men’s criminality,” also known as the generalizability problem (Belknap, page 14). As Daly and Chesney-Lind pointed out, the problem was that too often “men’s experiences were taken as the norm and were then generalized to the population,” completely disregarding gender in its entirety.
It is because of the male chauvinism in this field of study, along with the disproportionate emphasis gender-neutral theories, that feminist criminology arose; ready to give these “invisible” women a voice. Females have a far lower arrest rate than males for almost every crime category except prostitution and financial crimes (LAW JRANK). It is because of the aid from the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 that feminist researchers were able to put more research into female delinquency patterns, in hopes of formulating gender-specific theories.
In regard to criticisms on feminism, feminist criminologists are interested in how constructs of gender play a role in offending behaviors; it does not ignore men and masculinity in spite of the myth that says feminism focuses too narrowly on women. “It is necessary to examine masculinity and men’s lives and viewpoints in order to fully understand women’s lives” (Belknap, page 10). The feministic project thus became to find a way to describe and change both men’s and women’s lives by introducing gender equality into the already tainted picture of crime.
Gendered pathways, gender differences, and gendered lives all play a massive role in explaining how important gender is in relation to why men are more crime-prone than women, also known as the gender-ratio of crime. “Failing to address how family and peer influences on delinquency change for males and females over the course of adolescence limits our ability to predict and explain the gender-crime relationship” (Belknap, page 85). Feminist perspectives gave these, once “invisible”, women a voice strong enough that it has forever impacted and transformed the field of criminology.