Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence is a large chunk of the crime committed against women. Yes, there are case of women battering men in domestic situations, however, the numbers are significantly skewed the other way. I've heard a few different reasons why domestic abuse occurs, including that it's cultural, women cause men to become violent, men do not know how to calming handle situations resort to violence as their only option, etc. Some combination of these may contribute to different incidents of violence.

I tend to disagree with the notion that a woman causes the violence committed against her. The only time I know that a person has agreed to having violence committed against them is boxing and other contact sports and sado-masochism. Most domestic situations do not fit into one of those two situations. I also think someone would find it difficult to find scientific evidence to support that theory.

I do, however, think it is likely that men are generally not equipped to evaluate their own emotions to the point where they can resist violence. This is not an excuse. It is similar to saying that someone in America cannot get a job because they cannot read. Virtually everyone in America has an opportunity to learn at least the basics of reading and writing. To be ignorant of necessary information when the are many available options and incentives for learning that information is inexcusable.

Culture certainly plays a role. Groups of people who have hidden domestic violence, considering it a family affair, need to evolve. I respect many aspects of most cultures, however, as a species, we have learned that we should treat everyone with the same respect. That lesson has not filtered through to everyone, just as other lessons have not, but that just means that we should continue teaching it. Our jobs will not be done until there is no longer a need to teach this lesson.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I heard about this event which, if you live in the Chicago area, you may be interested in. Dominican University will be presenting a panel discussion on “Men’s Role in Ending Violence Against Women” on Thursday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the Springer Suite of the Crown Library, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest. For more information, click here: For more information, contact Dr. Michelle VanNatta, assistant professor of sociology at Dominican University, at (708) 524-6035 or

If you know of other related events, feel free to post them in the comments section.