False Statistics by Feminist Groups Lead to Hysteria, Misandry

The leading cause of death for women is heart disease, followed by cancer, not domestic violence, says male advocate and Petaluma resident Joe Manthey

Dear Editor,

In your April 17  article you quoted Jacque Reid, a navigator at the Family Justice Center in Santa Rosa, who claimed that “domestic violence is the number one cause of injury for women in the United States and it crosses all cultural and economic lines.” But according to University of Pennsylvania domestic violence researcher Richard Gelles, “as good a sound bite as it is, the statement is simply not true.”

Sure enough, according to Department of Health and Human Services, the leading cause of injury for women in the United States is falls, followed by motor vehicle accident and overexertion. In fact, domestic violence doesn’t even appear on the list of leading causes of injury for women.

The actual research behind this factoid is based on a survey of one emergency room. The facts, as reported in a U.S. Department of Justice study, are that all violence is responsible for about 3 percent of women's injury-related visits to emergency rooms with domestic violence accounting for about 1 percent of such. By comparison, Centers for Disease and Control numbers show that more than twice as many women visit emergency rooms due to being injured by an animal than by a male partner.

But what if you broke the numbers down by race, as Attorney General of the U.S. Eric Holder did in 2010? "The facts are clear," said Holder. "Intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45."

Yet, according to the CDC and the Justice Department's own Bureau of Justice Statistics, the leading causes of death for African-American women between the ages 15–45 are cancer, heart disease, unintentional injuries such as car accidents, and HIV disease. Homicide comes in fifth — and includes murders by strangers. In 2006 (the latest year for which full statistics are available), several hundred African-American women died from intimate partner homicide — each one a tragedy, but far fewer than the approximately 6,800 African-American women who died of the other leading causes.

Unfortunately, misinformation spread by battered women advocates, government officials and unquestioning journalists leads to hysteria, not to mention misandry.

Joe Manthey is a Petaluma resident and male advocate.

Petaluma Patch welcomes letters to the editor as well as editorials about issues affecting our community. Submit letters to karina@patch.com

Fidelbogen May 23, 2012 at 12:06 AM
You're right, it's not a "feminist" issue, it's a violence issue. And it's a pity the feminists refuse to see it that way. So, I guess their intractable attitude sort of makes it a feminist issue after all . . . . doesn't it?
Jennifer Moyer November 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
The news media and media in general cannot be trusted.
The Advocate January 19, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I read the original study that concluded; “domestic violence is the number one cause of injury for women in the United States and it crosses all cultural and economic lines.” This is how the study was done; researchers spoke to women in hospital emergency waiting rooms and asked them if they were ever victims of domestic violence; remember that the women in emergency were there for multiple reasons; any reason for a person to use hospital emergency BUT if the woman stated she experienced dv 5 years ago it was listed that the woman was using the emergency department because of domestic violence; not because her had an allergic reaction to peanuts but because she experienced dv 5 years ago. How is that for an accurate study?
The Advocate January 19, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Can you answer the question why men are excluded from, and participation, in family violence discussion??? • When we talk about military veterans we talk about both men and women of the armed forces; albeit over 80% of the veterans are men. • When we talk about workers who died on the job we talk about both men and women who died; albeit over 95% of the workers who die are men. • When we talk about homelessness we talk about both men and women who are homeless; albeit over 80% of homeless are men. • When we talk about suicide we talk about both men and women who are victims; albeit over 80% of suicide s are men. BUT when media or groups talks about family violence, they define family violence as violent men and victim women; albeit all dual gender domestic violence interpersonal violence {IPV} consistently demonstrate a ratio of 50% to 50% gender symmetry http://www.familyofmen.com/gendersymmetry/ exists in family violence incidents (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-224-x/2010000/t002-eng.htm, Male=6.0% & female=6.4%), …but men are excluded from family violence discussion; why?
MEJ May 13, 2013 at 06:23 PM
The Advocate. What was the original study? What hospital was it at? Who did the study?


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