May 1994 Home   Newsletters

July 1994

August-September 1994

President's Message (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Domestic Violence
League of Women Voters "Ad Watch"
League Participation in Growth Conference, June 21, 1994
League and Educational Reform (Libby Oshiyama & Marion Saunders)
Waikiki Rezoning Killed
Hawaii's Infostructure
Cogel Conference Dec. 4-7, 1994
City Council Report
Candidates in Focus
In Memoriam

Domestic Violence

With the League of Women Voters' new position on violence prevention, the League might wish to participate in the current dialog among the local coalitions on domestic violence.

League of Women Voters of Honolulu Human Relations committee chaired by Pamela Ferguson-Brey who is also Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women and is very involved with the issue of domestic violence will be working on this issue and welcomes any Leaguers interested in joining this committee.

Excerpts from the July 3rd article in the Honolulu Advertiser are reproduced here.

MYTH: Half of Spousal Murders Are Committed by Wives

The United States Department of Justice indicates that, in cases of spousal murder, 913 men killed their wives, while only 383 women killed their husbands. With respect to women who kill their husbands, it is important to recognize that self- defense is involved approximately seven times more frequently when women kill men that when men kill women.

MYTH: Domestic Violence is a "Family" Matter, Not a Crime

This position is often taken by abusers in an attempt to justify their actions. It is common for a batterer to say, "this is a family problem, we have it under control." This attitude diminishes the problem from a violent criminal act to a "mutual" or "family" problem. Abusers do not believe it is wrong or bad to beat their intimate partners. They believe that they are justified in their actions. This is a dangerous belief because abusers use it to justify violent behavior in intimate relationships.

MYTH: Women Contribute to Domestic Violence Because They Have Low Set Esteem

This erroneous theory once again blames the victim for the acts of the perpetrator. The focus should not be on the victim's behavior, but rather on the actions of the abuser. Acts of violence are criminal, whether or not the victim has a low self-esteem.

In fact, many battered women are quite strong and try to end the violence in their lives. Nicole Simpson is a good example. Nicole Simpson valued herself and her safety. She separated from her abuser and sought counseling for her own mental health.

The sad and frustrating part of the domestic violence problem is that society faults victims when they stay in the relationship. This attitude is justified by blaming the victim for contributing to the situation, or for not leaving.

Society must stop blaming victims for being abused. Domestic Violence is a serious crime against individuals and society. It is essential that the criminal justice system begin to enforce laws which penalize people who perpetrate violence against their families at least as well as it enforces the laws against people who perpetrate violence against strangers.

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