Study Finds Men Called On As Experts on Women’s Issues

I noticed this on an episode of the Today Show. The panel included 2 men and 1 woman. The topic? Do women want to see females depicting violence in the media? I thought then, why the hell do you have 2 men on the panel? It’s absurd yet it happens all the time. Can’t we speak for ourselves?

(Ironically, this article is written by a male!)

Men Dominate Discussion of Women’s Issues in Media: Study

When it comes to abortion, men were quoted 81 percent of the time. Women were quoted just 12 percent of the time. Birth control? A 75-19 gap. Planned Parenthood? 67-26. The findings are even more damning when we consider the fact that all three issues took a turn dominating the political discourse during the period of the study.

Silenced Gender Gap in Election Coverage

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One in four women abused

One in four women suffer sexual violence: study

Adele Horin
August 3, 2011 – 12:17AM

 

ONE in four women have been victims of sexual or domestic violence, or have
been stalked, according to a study into mental illness that found the median age
for being raped was 13.

It also found serious mental disorders and suicide attempts are prevalent
among women who had experienced these forms of gender-based violence.

Susan Rees, the lead researcher, from the school of psychiatry at the
University of NSW, said the impact of gender violence on women’s mental health
had been underestimated.

”This is a public health problem of some magnitude,” Dr Rees said.

The study, by a team of 14 psychiatrists, psychologists and statisticians
from the University of NSW and University of Melbourne, is published today in
the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

It is based on a survey of 4451 women aged 16 to 85, drawn from the Bureau of
Statistics 2007 National Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey. The survey is
representative of eight million women.

Previously unpublished figures show 27 per cent of women have experienced at
least one form of gender-based violence: about 8 per cent have been raped, 15
per cent have experienced sexual assault that did not involve penetration, 10
per cent have been stalked, and almost 8 per cent have been badly beaten by a
spouse or partner.

However, what shocked the authors was the strong association between the
women’s experience and serious mental illness. It was especially noticeable
among women with exposure to two or more forms of gender violence.

For example, among women with no exposure to gender violence, 28 per cent had
a serious diagnosed mental illness in their lifetime. But among those exposed to
two types of gender violence, 69 per cent had a serious mental illness. Among
those with exposure to three or more types of violence, almost 90 per cent had
illnesses such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or post traumatic stress
disorder, and nearly 35 per cent had attempted suicide.

”The violence has a serious impact on women’s ability to function, to work,
to sustain relationships, ” she said.

Gender-based violence was more prevalent among women from poorer backgrounds,
and the first occurrence was early – a median age of 12 for sexual assault, 13
for rape, 22 for being stalked, and 22 for violence from a partner.

The executive officer of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, Karen Willis, said with
counselling soon after the event and support from family and friends, women had
every chance of quick recovery.

”If women leave it for 20 years and blame themselves, or if others tell them
to ‘get over it’, it’s more difficult,” she said. ”It’s the same with domestic
violence. If women get away, that’s important for their safety. But it takes
more than a house to recover from the impact on their mental health.”

Dr Rees said women’s services needed adequate funding to deal with serious
psychiatric problems and public education was needed to alter attitudes that
sanctioned violence against women.

This story was found at:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/one-in-four-women-suffer-sexual-violence-study-20110802-1i9za.html

Shared parenting in the press

Arizona State University researchers found the public favored shared parenting “favored by most fathers’ groups” even when conflict was present. What it didn’t mention is that experts ‘favor’ shared parenting when there is low-to-moderate conflict, not high conflict and certainly not in cases of abuse (domestic violence or child abuse). Access should not be more important than safety, but that seems to be the course we’re on.

Studies: Public favors equal custody for children of divorce

Here’s some links that caution use of presumptive shared custody:

The case against joint physical custody

Debunking the claims about joint versus sole custody

Men dominate newspaper journalism in the UK

The link below will take you to the link to the study…

Men still dominate national newspaper journalism

The study found that 74% of news journalists on the nationals are men and that men also dominate political and business journalism. Somewhat less surprisingly, just 3% of sports journalists are women

Among other eye-opening findings are that The Independent had the lowest proportion of female staff. Just 25% of its editorial team are women. The Sun the Daily Telegraph were little different, with just 26% of female staff.

At the other end of the scale, the papers with the highest proportion of women journalists were The Observer and the Daily Mail, both with 36% of women, closely followed by the Daily Express with 35%.

Male journalists also people areas that researchers regard as “traditional subjects that women might have been expected to dominate”. So 49% of lifestyle reporters are men and 70% of arts reporters are also male.

Media’s role in marital rape

This is an excellent piece by Arthur Okwemba about marital rape in Kenya. He talks about the silence from the media when it comes to reporting on gender-based violence. While written about Kenya, it could pertain to any country.

Media’s role in marital rape by Arthur Okwemba

You can find the Gender and Media Progress Study that he references here.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

This may be one of the reasons why the 2010 Gender and Media Progress Study found that stories about gender-based violence are rarely covered by media, accounting for just four percent of all stories in southern Africa, despite countless other studies which note it is a widespread problem.

When rare stories are produced about young or middle-aged women being raped, journalists usually shift their reporting, suggesting that somehow the women “asked for it”.

Questions arise. What was she wearing? Was she drunk? Where did it happen? Should she have been there? What time of night was it?

Similarly, when a woman is killed or battered by her husband, the story is framed as a love triangle gone wrong.

Rarely do reporters dig deeper to investigate causes or patterns of violence, linking them to poverty levels, lack of human rights protections (or knowledge of them), or legal systems that take forever to hear and pass verdict on cases of gender-based violence.

Rarely do media report on the massive cost of gender-based violence in terms of treatment of injuries and sexually-transmitted disease, not to mention missed work hours.

What about the invisible but extensive cost to our society when this cycle of violence is passed down from absent abusive fathers to their children. Why don’t journalists write about this?

In the mindset of many in the media, gender-based violence  is not an issue worthy of paper and ink.

Not in the best interest of the children

Counselor sexually abuses 3 girls and gets…probation

Juvenile Counselor Sexually Assaults 3 Teen Girls, Gets Probation?!
Sign Our Petition NOW & Help Secure Justice for Victims

Last week, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen proposed a sentence of ten years probation with absolutely no jail time for a court-appointed juvenile counselor–Tony Simmons–who pled guilty to raping one girl and sexually assaulting two others that he was transporting to Manhattan Family Court. Court transcripts show that prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not object to the no-jail time plea.

In one of the instances, the assailant brought a 15-year-old girl entrusted to his custody down to the basement of the court building to rape her. Just moments after the attack he escorted her to her scheduled court appearance.

Take Action: We need you to send the message that this is outrageous!

1. Sign our petition NOW to Justice Cassandra Mullen to demand jail time for this violent offender and justice for the victims.

2. Forward the petition and the article to five friends, and post on Facebook and Twitter. The more signatures we get, the bigger our impact on this case.
Petition URL: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/now-nyc_justiceforassaultvictims/

3. Get the Daily News Article | See Our Letter-to-the-Editor: Troubling Case

Source: NOW

Child psychiatrist keeps on abusing…

The 2005 incident took place two years after the one for which Olmsted was forced to register as a sex offender.

“To find that the state board knew of not one but two complaints of impropriety with young girls and yet allowed this doctor to continue his practice with children is unconscionable,” the father wrote. “I am severely disappointed with the state of Texas right now and doubtful of its ability to stand watch over her children.”

Carona’s ire was raised after he learned that Olmsted was publicly reprimanded by the board in August and placed on probation with restrictions on his license for 10 years. A neighbor accused him of touching her beneath her clothes and sucking her toes when she was 10.

“As a father of five, it outrages me” that someone who practiced with children, then violated a child, “would somehow be allowed to retain his medical license,” Carona said.

“Holding on to that license, regardless of the restrictions that may have been stacked up on it, has an air of legitimacy, and I think could in fact further endanger others.”

Read about it here: 2nd family accuses child psychiatrist of misconduct with 10-year-old girl

And, don’t count on CPS to help children either…

Child Protective Services investigated more than three million cases of suspected child abuse in 2007, but a new study suggests that the investigations did little or nothing to improve the lives of those children.

And-

In an editorial published with the study, starkly titled “Child Protective Services Has Outlived Its Usefulness,” Dr. Abraham B. Bergman suggests some essential changes: child abuse, because it is a crime, should be investigated by the police; public health nursing services should be the first to respond to concerns of child neglect; social workers should assess appropriate living situations and work with families to obtain services, and not be engaged in law enforcement. But Dr. Bergman, who is a pediatrician at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, expressed considerable skepticism that such changes would happen.

Read about it in the New York Times here: Child abuse investigations didn’t reduce risk, a study finds  

Blame, again

I titled this one “blame, again” for the simple reason that we often blame women for having children with violent men. Here’s an article citing a recent study linking abortion and intimate partner violence. Some women choose to terminate their pregnancy with these violent men. Some women were coerced to get pregnant or their birth control was sabotaged (see research by Harvard’s Jay Silverman). Some women weren’t abused until they became pregnant. And, yes, I’m sure some women willingly chose to carry a baby to term with a violent partner – either hoping he would change or just too ashamed or afraid to leave him. Nonetheless, we should be focusing on HIS behavior rather than hers. It is, afterall, his behavior that needs to change.

Women seeking abortions report intimate partner violence 

Women seeking elective abortions have experienced high rates of intimate partner violence, indicating the need for targeted screening followed by community-based referrals and interventions, according to a new study led by University of Iowa researchers.

The study was published online June 17 in the American Journal of Public Health.

“Women seeking termination of pregnancy comprise a particularly high-risk group for physical or sexual assault,” said Audrey Saftlas, UI professor of epidemiology and lead author of the study. “In our study, almost 14 percent of women receiving an abortion reported at least one incident of physical or sexual abuse in the past year.