J. Soltys's Weblog

October 31, 2008

Small Victory in DART Protest Campaign

The ongoing protest campaign against the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) for using what many feel are anti-male/anti-father domestic violence ads on the company’s buses, has achieved a small victory.
The creator and financier of the ads, The Family Place, one of largest domestic violence shelters in the Dallas area, has changed the wording and tone of their website.
As I reported here on Tuesday, the wording of The Family Place website portrayed only men as perpetrators of domestic violence, and women as only victims of domestic violence. No where on the website did it include wording that acknowledged women can be perpetrators of domestic violence. The only implication present was made on its “About Page” which explained the organization helps women, children, and men who are victims of domestic violence.
However, when viewing the website’s “Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship” page, every warning sign offered began with “He saysHe does…. He will….”. Never was the perpetrator designated as “She”. This attitude is in contradiction with many recent studies on DV which conclude women often instigate physical violence as much as men. Therefore, I opinioned The Family Place is extremely sexist towards men, especially when one includes in the argument the biased ads the organization created for the DART buses.

Now, with no explanation given, The Family Place website has been changed to include women as perpetrators of domestic violence.
As an example, on the page that informs about the “Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship”, the old information read:
He is controlling. He interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were. He insists you ask his permission to go anywhere or do anything.

The new page reads:
He/She is controlling. He/She interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were. He/She insists you ask his/her permission to go anywhere or do anything.

The web page is now gender neutral, and more importantly, acknowledges and reflects current research showing women are guilty of domestic violence towards men in greater numbers than currently believed.

Furthermore

The mayor of Dallas was asked to for his influence and involvement in the DART protest. However, Mayor Tom Leppert, while acknowledging the crisis, felt he would not intervene unless the public personally showed him overwhelming support.
So with that being said, let’s do this one more time. Click here to send a personal email to Mayor Leppert. This is a ready-to-go email form from Glenn Sacks’ website. All you have to do is sign and click.

Also, this protest has reached the shores of Iraq. Our men and women in the military have heard about the vile DV ads on the DART buses. Glenn Sacks recieved this email from Gary Christopher, a soldier in Iraq;

I contacted DART as well as Mayor Leppert’s office. I told them DART’s ads are a disgrace to the servicemembers here in Iraq with me. They are here to preserve the future of their wives and their children because they love them so much.

I explained that I’m a registered voter in Texas, and that I’m going to forward this Campaign email to other servicemembers here, too.


On another note: Many domestic violence shelters claim that funding for their services is always lacking, and therefore, this is one of the many reasons why DV shelters cannot, or will not help men and their children – they barely have enough money to help women and their children.
So it was interesting to discovered during the protest of DART that The Family Place has net assets of almost $10 million dollars. And more importantly, its executive director, Paige Flink, takes home an annual salary of over $160,000.
If The Family Place is indicative of other domestic violence shelters/programs across the nation, the question we may need to start asking is not “why” there is not enough funding for DV shelters/programs, but rather “Is” the money these organizations receive being spent properly?

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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