Friday, December 21, 2007

Domestic Violence in Same Sex Relationships

The headline of this story in the Birmingham (AL) News does not do justice to the article. Among the more interesting points:
1. Sexual orientation is not a permanent feature of everyone's personality.
Rita Hinkle felt betrayed when her partner ended their relationship to reunite with her former husband.
Hinkle made the deadly decision: If she couldn't have Deana Page, no one would. ...
Hinkle and Page had known each other for years before they became a couple. Their boys played ball together.
Page ended her 16-year marriage in 1997, leaving behind a husband and three children. In 2002, the two women briefly moved into a home in north Jefferson County, then to a trailer in Cullman County. ...But as Page recovered from knee surgery in the summer of 2006, the two began arguing,...
Hinkle moved to Morris with her mother that September, but kept hoping the separation would be temporary.
In early October, things had deteriorated enough that Hinkle drove with family and a friend to the trailer near Hanceville to pick up her furniture. It was piled outside the trailer.
A witness quoted Hinkle as threatening that day to kill Page if she became involved with any man - especially her ex-husband - or another woman.
By mid-month, Daniel Page had moved into his ex-wife's trailer, hoping they would reconcile. ...
According to Hinkle, Deana Page in the parking lot admitted she had resumed sexual relations with Daniel Page. Hinkle told jurors that made her feel betrayed, and she realized the relationship was over.

2. Domestic Violence is not all about men abusing women, as this throw-away comment illustrates:
In 44 percent of all domestic violence cases statewide in 2006, the victim was the girlfriend or ex-girlfriend of the offender, according to state statistics. The data does not break out how many of those offenders were women.

Who were ther other 56% of domestic violence cases? I checked the AL stats, here. They must be referring to the table on Page 5 of the report, which is a general "domestic violence" chart. I do the math to get this result: 44% of DV victims were either girlfriend or ex-girlfriend. 32% were either wives, ex-wives or common-law wives (which might be counted as cohabiting women in some data sets.)
That leaves 24% of DV victims in AL in 2006 who were men.
DV Homicides, shown on page 7 of the report, reveal even more male victims: 10% were husbands, 23% were boyfriends/ex-boyfriends.
Why don't we have a federal Violence Against Men Act? Hummmm.
The tilt toward unmarried violence is even more pronounced than in the general DV category: husbands and wives constituted only 39% of all DV homicides. All the rest of the 61% of DV homicides were some form dating/cohabiting relationships.
Why do we lump all "parnter violence" together, when it is plain that married and non-married sexual partners behave so differently?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear, dear... I have to say, this seems to be a very common flaw of yours.
"Look at the news! -This- happened! Now, if we do a little bit of 'backtracking' and 'calculations'..."

Oh look, we end up at the worst-case scenario, presented as if it's happening up and down our street.

I'd like to start out by stating what -should- be the obvious; that both of these women were bisexual. From the article, it appeared that both of them had boys before they were a couple, implying that they bpth had a former relationship with a man.
More than that, though; lesbians are -women-. And yes, it's true, women are quite capable of crazy things when it comes to betrayal and cruelly severed relationships. A woman scorned and all that; it does seem to me that Rita Hinkle just such a scorned woman.
(I'd like to make clear that I'm not condoning her behavior; by all accounts, she seems quite mentally unstable.)

And this bit.
"The data does not break out how many of those offenders were women."
Wow. If that isn't just a red-flag for prejudice against lesbianism, I don't know quite what is.
Your statement is admittedly true; but, if we operate under the assumption that lesbians are -women-, and therefore less susceptible to bouts of physical violence than men are, then we can safely say that they represent quite a small portion.
But we don't know, do we? We don't -know-. There isn't a -study-, or any resulting information.
But you're the one arguing to -us-, if I'm not mistaken? That makes it your job to give us reason, not speculation. If you can't find it, wait until you can, or make it so you can. Until then, it's she-said-she-said. That's no way to solve problems.
That -is- what you're after, isn't it?