PHF MAGAZINE APRIL 2021 - SPRING ISSUE

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APRIL 2021-SPRING ISSUE



EUSSI SIHT NI

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ARE MEN VICTIMS O F DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ?

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ATIONAL

INSPIR CORNER TION I D E 1 2 0 2

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S H O T IN T H E H E A D , E A N D D ID N ’T R E A L IZ IT F O R A M O N T H

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THE STRUG GLE OF DISCLOSIN G DOMESTIC ABUSE?


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OCCURS MOSTLY AGAINST WOMEN, BUT...

MEN ARE VICTIMS AS WELL IN CORAL SPRINGS & ACROSS THE NATION


CORAL SPRINGS, FL – When a 42-year-old woman was recently arrested for allegedly attacking her husband in Coral Springs, the incident highlighted a lesser-known issue in domestic violence cases across the nation: violence against men by their spouses and partners.

Women account for roughly 1.5 million incidents of domestic violence every year, but more than 830,000 men also fall victim to domestic violence, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey.

In the Coral Springs case, Jemny Molina was charged with battery after her husband told police that she drank roughly a bottle and a half of wine and then bit him in the left wrist, scratched and hit him, and struck him in the back with a broom handle during a fight on Dec. 27, according to a police report.


Police saw a bite mark on the husband’s arm, and he told officers he grabbed Molina’s hair while she was attacking him as a way to defend himself.

Molina told officers that everything she did was to defend herself. She showed officers the redness on her chest.

Police arrested Molina and took her to Broward County jail. Molina’s alleged attack against her husband mirrors those experienced by male victims of domestic violence, experts say.

Based on the violence against women survey reported in an article on WebMd, women who do the abusing are more likely to attack their male victims by throwing something, kicking or biting, hitting them with an object, and threatening them with a knife, or actually using a knife.


In addition, men are less likely to report domestic abuse because many may be embarrassed about being abused, according to the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men.

Another issue male victims sometimes confront is that women who batter may have a greater ability to use the "system" to their advantage, Philip Cook, program director of Stop Abuse for Everyone, told WebMd.

"Systemic abuse can occur when a woman who is abusing her husband or boyfriend threatens that he will never see his children again if he leaves or reports the abuse," Cook told the health news website. "A man caught in this situation believes that no matter what his wife or girlfriend does, the court is going to give her custody, and this greatly limits his ability to leave. While this can occur when a woman is being abused, it is more likely to happen when a woman is abusing."

The data on women arrested for abusing their spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends isn’t clear on whether the numbers have gone up in recent years.


Here is what’s known: - In the past five weeks, in addition to Molina, at least three other women have been charged by Coral Springs police with battery related to domestic disputes, which included attacks against other family members as well, according to police reports. - A review of charges against inmates at the county jail on Thursday and Friday found two women were incarcerated for domestic-related battery. "There is no national data on average arrest rates for women in domestic disputes," added Cook in the WebMd article. "My best guess is that it's about 20%. But we do know anecdotally that there are many men who, when the police arrive, clearly have the most serious injury, clearly when interviewed separately indicate the female started it, and nonetheless, the man gets arrested. This does indeed happen."

In the case with Molina, police took photos of her husband’s injuries, the police report said.

But in the end, her husband refused to give police an official verbal statement on what happened.

By LEON FOOKSMAN


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WOMAN’S BOYFRIEND SHOT HER IN THE HEAD, AND SHE DIDN’T REALIZE IT FOR A MONTH

By Claire Lampen


By Claire Lampen More than two years ago, an Atlanta woman went to the hospital, complaining about a strange set of symptoms: bad headaches, memory loss, and impaired communication. Nicole Gordon suspected her issues stemmed from a car accident the month before, but the actual culprit was a bullet doctors found buried in the base of her skull. Turns out, her boyfriend shot her, and she had no idea. According to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, Gordon’s friend brought her to the Atlanta Medical Center on June 25, 2017. After learning about the bullet, Gordon told investigators about an argument she and her then-boyfriend, Jerrontae Cain, got into the month before. She said they’d been fighting in her car when the driver’s side window shattered, showering her in glass shards. Gordon passed out, but when she came to, she found herself in Cain’s car. She next awoke at Cain’s mother’s house, with a head wound she thought came from the broken window.


That’s what Cain led her to believe, anyway. He allegedly fed police the same story, saying Gordon crashed her car into a tree, but according to the D.A., the crime scene did not support that claim. Investigators determined that someone shot Gordon in the head, and issued a warrant for Cain’s arrest. He evaded authorities for a year and a half before the FBI tracked him down in January, taking him into custody after a two-hour standoff.

On Thursday, Cain was sentenced to 25 years in prison and five years of probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated battery; possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony crime; and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. According to the D.A., Cain had been arrested 13 times before, and convicted of sexual battery in 2010. He reportedly had a history of abusing Gordon as well, and never attempted to get her medical attention after the incident. Now, doctors say they can’t dislodge the bullet from Gordon’s skull: Taking it out could kill her.


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MALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STRUGGLE TO DISCLOSE ABUSE

SOURCE: bit.ly/2Skuk9k BMJ Open, online June 11, 2019.


(Reuters Health) - Men who experience

Furthermore, victims were often unaware that

domestic violence and abuse often don’t seek

services for them existed. And when they did

help until the problem becomes a crisis,

know about interventions, they didn’t believe

researchers say.

the interventions were likely to be helpful. Some

Men tend to worry they would not be believed,

of the findings suggest that separate services are

or that they would be perceived as less

needed for men. Portraying domestic violence

masculine if they reported abuse, their analysis

services as a space for women survivors can be a

found.

barrier to help-seeking by men, the authors

Alyson Huntley and colleagues at the University

point out.

of Bristol reviewed 12 previous studies of male victims of domestic abuse or violence. The

Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind

studies, conducted between 2006 and 2017, used

Initiative, a British charity for male victims of

data gathered mostly from interviews.

domestic abuse, said that when men do reach

In a report in the journal BMJ Open, Huntley’s

out for help, they tend to be looking for

team outlined universal themes that describe

validation, or someone to confirm that they are

why these men don’t readily seek help.

actually victims. They also want practical advice

Fear of disclosure was a central theme.

on how to deal with their situation, he added.

“The issue of masculinity is a societal one - men

ManKind Initiative has been running a helpline

are not expected to be the weak ones. It is a

for nearly 20 years and receives calls from men

hard stereotype to work against,” Huntley told

who, on average, have been in an abusive

Reuters Health via email.

relationship for at least three years before reaching out for assistance.

Along with fearing they wouldn’t be believed or

“Women are very much taught that domestic

would be seen as weak, men often stayed in

abuse is something that happens to women and

abusive relationships because they felt

therefore they need to be on their guard . . . men

committed to or concerned about their partners.

aren’t really taught or brought up in the same

In other cases, they were too depressed,

way,” Brooks, who wasn’t involved in the study,

despondent or traumatized to gather the

told Reuters Health on a phone interview.

strength to leave.


The study also found differences in the way heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals received support after seeking help for domestic abuse. Researchers say services directed at victims of domestic abuse and violence need to be more inclusive to cater to diverse clients. They also noted that offering continuous ongoing support and wide advertising would benefit men seeking help. “Findings from my previous research with male survivors and domestic abuse professionals are similar to the themes in the study,” Sarah Wallace, a senior research fellow at the University of South Wales, told Reuters Health. “Support should focus on helping men understand and recognize abusive behaviors and the seriousness of the abuse,” said Wallace, who was not involved in the new research. When men are unable to see themselves as victims, it increases their reluctance to seek help, she added. Brooks agrees. “Over half of the men who call our helpline have said that they would not have called us if the helpline was not anonymous,” he said.

https://www.bctv.org/2020/10/21/doh-domesticviolence-is-a-public-health-issue-screeningshould-be-part-of-preventive-care/