J. Soltys's Weblog

October 27, 2008

Please Join Me In Protesting Sexist Domestic Violence Ads

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit in coordination with The Family Place, a Dallas Domestic Violence service provider began running domestic violence prevention ads on DART buses that openly discriminate against men and fathers, and mislead the public into believing the myth that men are almost always the perpetrators of violence and women are most always the victims.

Men’s issue writer and advocate Glen Sacks along with Dr. Ned Holstein, Executive Director of Fathers & Families have organized a protest to these disturbing ads.

I’ve posted the campaign’s webpage below. Please join me in protesting this type of discrimination against men and fathers, and protest the damage done to all victims of domestic violence by promoting false and misleading information.

Protest Father-Bashing
Domestic Violence Ads!

dart

Several hundred Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses feature misleading, father-bashing ads purporting to address the serious issue of domestic violence.

One ad depicts a happy little girl with the message “One day my husband will kill me.” Another shows a smiling boy with the message “When I grow up, I will beat my wife.”

The ads are, to put it bluntly, hate speech against fathers.

We want DART to take down these anti-father ads. To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

To depict only males as perpetrators of domestic violence, and only females as victims, is a severe distortion. DV research clearly establishes that men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries, as women often employ the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for men’s strength.

In earlier years, it was common to see crime stories presented as if only African-Americans and Latinos were perps, and whites their only victims. We now recognize that these distortions are bigoted. DART’s ads are the same kind of distortions, only the “perps” are now dads.

To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

The offending ads were placed on the buses by The Family Place, a Dallas Domestic Violence service provider. Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink told Fox News in Dallas that says she designed the ads to provoke, saying “I hope you are offended.”

Flink is practically daring the fatherhood movement to respond, and assumes that domestic violence organizations can insult men with impunity. As a general rule, she has been correct–the domestic violence establishment, much of it funded with your tax dollars, has been allowed to get away with serving the public the false woman-as-victim/man-as-monster domestic violence model.

To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

DART Buses & Trains serve a total of 10 million commuters per month. To read the Associated Press’ and others’ coverage of the ads, click here.

The message of the DART ads is clear–kids need to be afraid of fathers. Boys need to be afraid to grow up to be like dad, and girls need to fear marrying a man like dad.

Dads-as-Monsters ads such as these influence our popular culture, our news media, our legislators, and our family law courts. If you’re a divorced dad who can only see his kids a few days a month, or who’s the victim of false accusations of abuse, ads like these are one reason.

To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

Two major billboard companies–Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor–have already rejected these ads. Jodi Senese of CBS said the ads “can be both misleading and disturbing.”

There are three ads in this series–the two mentioned above and also one apparently gender-neutral ad which discusses the issue of domestic violence and teen suicide. We have no problem with the third, but we want the first two–“One day my husband will kill me” and “When I grow up, I will beat my wife”–removed.

To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

We abhor domestic violence and child abuse in all forms, and give credit to agencies like The Family Place which help victims. However, by failing (or refusing) to recognize male victims of domestic violence, the domestic violence establishment and The Family Place harm male victims and their children.

Society once swept domestic violence under the rug, marginalizing abused women and their children. As California’s Third District Court of Appeal recognized in a recent decision, today male victims and their children are marginalized. These DART ads are part of that marginalization.

Internationally-recognized domestic violence expert John Hamel, LCSW, a court-certified batterer treatment provider and author of the book Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, explains:

“Men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries. Ignoring female-on-male violence inhibits our efforts to combat domestic violence.”

In the column to the right we provide quotes from numerous internationally-respected domestic violence authorities, all of whom, attest that domestic violence is committed by both men and women.

To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

To learn more about the ads, click here.

We oppose DART’s Anti-Father Bus Ads Because:

  • To depict only males as perpetrators of domestic violence, and only females as victims, is a severe distortion of domestic violence research. A mountain of DV research clearly establishes that women are frequently the aggressors in domestic combat, often employing the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for men’s strength.The most recent large-scale study of domestic violence was published in the American Journal of Public Health last year. The researchers analyzed data concerning 11,370 respondents. According to the researchers, “[H]alf of [violent relationships] were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.” (This study is illustrated in the diagram at right from the Psychiatric News, 8/3/07).A quarter of the women surveyed admitted perpetrating violence, and when the violence involved both parties, women were more likely to have been the first to strike.Such findings are consistent with decades of domestic violence research. The National Institute of Mental Health funded and oversaw two of the largest studies of domestic violence ever conducted, both of which found equal rates of abuse between husbands and wives.
    New California Appeal Court Ruling: ‘Domestic Violence Is a Serious Problem for both Women and Men’
    “California domestic violence laws violate men’s rights because they provide state funding only for women and their children who use shelters and other programs, a state appeals court has ruled.

    “The decision by the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento requires the programs to be available to male as well as female victims of domestic violence…

    “Justice Fred Morrison said in Tuesday’s 3-0 ruling, the state acknowledges that ‘domestic violence is a serious problem for both women and men.'” –(San Francisco Chronicle, 10/16/08)

    California State Long Beach University professor Martin Fiebert maintains an online bibliography summarizing 219 scholarly investigations, with an aggregate sample size exceeding 220,000, which concludes “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.”

    Nor is this violence trivial. A meta-analytic review of 552 domestic violence studies published in the Psychological Bulletin found that 38% of the physical injuries in heterosexual domestic assaults are suffered by men.

    Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling of the University of South Alabama says that as she and other researchers grappled with this research, “Every time we tried to say that women’s intimate partner abuse is different than men’s, the evidence did not support it.”

    According to Dr. Donald Dutton, author of Rethinking Domestic Violence, research shows that domestic violence is actually more common in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships. For example, one study of 1,100 lesbian or bisexual women who are in abusive lesbian relationships found that the women were more likely to have experienced violence in their previous relationships with women than in their previous relationships with men.

    Domestic violence service sometimes providers justify their exclusion of male victims by citing crime and/or crime survey statistics which show that most reports of domestic violence are by women. Dr. Dutton explains:

    “Domestic violence ‘research’ has been misleading, in that data has been extracted from crime reports and/or crime victim surveys – in which men underreport more than women – and have been publicized as indicating domestic violence is a gender issue (male-perpetrator/female-victims).

    “In fact, when larger surveys with representative samples are examined, perpetration of domestic violence perpetration is slightly more common for females…”

    In the column to the right we provide quotes from numerous internationally-respected domestic violence authorities, all of whom, attest that domestic violence is committed by both men and women.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

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  • The Ads Send the Message That Kids Must Fear Dads, When Most Child Abuse and Parental Murder of Children Is Committed by Mothers, not Fathers The child victims of male violence depicted in the DART ads are, in fact, most likely to be abused by a woman, not a man.According to the most recent data available from the US Department of Health and Human Services, mothers are more likely to commit physical child abuse, emotional maltreatment, and neglect than fathers. The only form of child abuse fathers are more likely to commit is the one that’s the most infrequent—child sexual abuse.

    According to Child Maltreatment 2006 (pictured), a report by the Federal Administration for Children & Families, leaving aside killings by nonparents or by mothers and fathers acting together, mothers committed almost three-quarters of the parental murders of children. If one looks only at murders committed by mothers and fathers acting alone, the ratio is over 2 to 1 committed by mothers.

    Leaving aside child abuse by nonparents or by mothers and fathers acting together, mothers committed almost three-quarters of child abuse.

    If one looks only at child abuse committed by mothers and fathers acting alone, the ratio is 2.3 to 1 committed by mothers.

    The data cited here are raw statistics, and all raw statistics are subject to various biases and influences. However, they do very much contradict the DART ads’ de facto claim that it’s fathers and only fathers who are a threat to their children.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

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Fathers & Families, a national shared parenting organization, and Los Angeles journalist/radio commentator Glenn Sacks are partnering in a campaign to ask DART to remove these anti-father ads.

To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

Contact DART Executives & Ask Them to Remove These Anti-Father Ads

Below are the phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses for DART’s leading executives. I suggest campaign supporters email and fax all of them by clicking here, and also call the executives listed below.

If the intended party is not available, which will often be the case, please leave a short, clear message telling them that you want DART to remove these ads. Leave your name, phone number and email address. Please remember to always be polite, respectful, and to the point.

Let us know what happened when you called by clicking here.

Running these campaigns takes time and money–to make a tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts, click here.

To discuss the DART campaign on the campaign blog, click here.

Many of our supporters live in the Dallas area and use DART. If you are one, please contact us by clicking here.

Best Wishes,

Glenn Sacks
Dr. Ned Holstein, Executive Director of Fathers & Families

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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1 Comment »

  1. Mr. Soltys,

    The following e-mail was sent this afternoon to Mr. Glenn Sacks. Since you’ve picked up his original post, I thought it appropriate to share with you. Regards, Morgan Lyons

    Dear Mr. Sacks,

    I’m writing to provide additional information about the ads running on 45 DART buses. These ads began running on October 1. They were produced and paid for by the Family Place, a long-standing family services agency based in Dallas. DART had no involvement in the creation of the ad campaign. The ads were reviewed by DART staff when they were first presented to us by our bus ad sales contractor. Staff determined the ads were not inconsistent with community standards. The Family Place paid approximately $25,000 to purchase bus side advertising on 45 buses and 300 bus interiors. The ads are scheduled to come down November 30 when the ad contract expires.

    Please contact me if you have any questions.

    Regards,
    Morgan Lyons
    Director, Media Relations
    Dallas Area Rapid Transit

    Comment by Morgan Lyons — October 27, 2008 @ 3:30 pm | Reply


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