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Depressing News For Depressing People PRESENTS:

The statistics are shocking: women experience 572,032 violent victimizations a year and approximately 28% of those abusers are either husbands or boyfriends; men fall victim to 48,983 incidents a year.

- Second sentence of a study on domestic violence carried out, inexplicably, by an online dating service.

“We were surprised to see that almost three times more women than men would be willing to stay in a physically abusive relationship if they either got an apology or if their loved one went for counseling,” said Shira Zwebner, Relationship Advisor for Date.com.

- Fourth sentence of the same study, which cites “advisors” from online dating sites as experts on domestic violence for similarly inexplicable reasons.

Number of Paragraphs which Reference Chris Brown and/or Rihanna: 3, out of 3.

Number of Headlines which Manage to Imply that It’s Women’s Fault for Getting Hit, Because They’re Stupid: 1, out of 1.

That Headline Is: “Single Women Would Stay in Physically Abusive Relationship; Single Men Would Hit the Road.”

GET IT: “Hit” the road, ha ha ha. Or some women, the numbers would seem to indicate!

Just: Kill me now. Jesus.

Most Depressing Part: The surprise. Because, you know, it’s not like these figures would seem to confirm that we live in a culture wherein male violence towards women is pervasive and normalized or anything. Women just keep getting hit! By men! ‘Cause they’re stupid! So let’s all lecture them on how to avoid abuse, rather than using this opportunity to communicate to men – the gender which has the shockingly high propensity for physical abuse in the first place! – that they should maybe not do that shit, ever.

You know, after writing about this stuff every day for six months, I’m seriously wondering whether there is anything left to say.

4 Comments

  1. Jen wrote:

    “When faced with staying in a relationship with a physical abuser who cannot reform, we hope everyone realizes that sometimes love cannot conquer all.”

    When an abuser cannot reform? How about just leave them as soon as they abuse you and never look back?! *headdesk*

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  2. metalsunflower wrote:

    So, if I’ve read correctly, the exerpt’s message is:

    “wow! We are very surprised that in a society which does not value women, their contribution to society or their opinions, and which prizes violence the foundation of masculinity, many men abuse women.”

    Yes. Shocking.

    Also – Jen, I suspect it doesn’t work like you think it works. Especially because the period of time in which a woman tries to leave an abusive relationship is often the most dangerous. In the sense that their abuser is most likely to actually kill them if they try to leave.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  3. Sady wrote:

    Yeah, metalsunflower, that is a really good point. Exiting an abusive relationship is not easy, particularly given that the abuser often starts by cutting the victim off from social support and creating a perception of the abuse as “normal” and “deserved.”

    Especially when abuse happens in long-term cohabitation scenarios, it’s not as easy as packing your bags and getting out. It takes some serious work, and help, and money, and time, and during all of that, the abuser usually ramps up the violence and/or manipulation.

    For me, though, the point of the article is, “lots of women get attacked by men. You know what the problem is here? Women aren’t as awesome as men, who don’t put up with abuse!”

    I mean: learning that (a) one gender is statistically more likely to be abusive, and concluding that (b) that gender is categorically HEALTHIER on the question of abuse (it’s easy to say you’d get out of an abusive relationship, no questions asked, when you’ve never been in one – and the statistics would seem to show that these dudes are vastly more likely to be abusers than abused. Then again, there were no “have you ever been physically abusive and, if so, did you seek help” questions, so that’s apparently not a reality these people want to deal with) and targeting your finger-wagging message to people who are more likely to be abuse VICTIMS (because, obviously, if they were doing everything right, it wouldn’t be happening, right?) seems deeply and seriously stupid.

    Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  4. Twyst wrote:

    The statistics are shocking: women experience 572,032 violent victimizations a year and approximately 28% of those abusers are either husbands or boyfriends; men fall victim to 48,983 incidents a year.

    side-note, i enjoy the idea that leaving = less abuse. if you have been hit once, you have suffered abuse. leaving doesnt erase it, or change the statistic. we arent counting number of individual incidents in which one woman could suffer 10 cases of abuse, right? So even if she did (haw haw) hit the road, her # would still be there.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink