PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard

tstoddard@saveservices.org

Abuse Programs Must Tell the Truth, SAVE Says

Washington, DC/October 20, 2011 – In the face of documented bias and misrepresentation, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is urging abuse reduction programs to present accurate and balanced information about partner violence. This step is essential to assure programs are effective and all victims are served.

SAVE has demonstrated that only one in 10 domestic violence programs present truthful information about partner abuse: http://www.saveservices.org/downloads/SAVE-DV-Educational-Programs .

The website of one national domestic violence organization makes the claim that “there is not a typical woman who will be battered — the risk factor is being born female.”  But 250 studies show domestic violence is an equal opportunity problem for men and women alike: http://csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm .

The website of Futures Without Violence, a prominent organization in the area, depicts teenage boys as abusers, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports boys are 25 percent more likely to be victims of teenage dating violence than girls: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5704a1.htm#tab11

“It’s impossible to address the problem of partner aggression if we ignore half the victims and half the abusers,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “All victims have a right to society’s protection, and all perpetrators of violence need intervention and access to treatment.”

The effect of these misleading portrayals is that male victims, and victims of gay or lesbian domestic violence, do not receive the aid they deserve. And female abusers do not receive the treatment and intervention they need.

Because of the need to assure valid information is presented to the public, SAVE has established an accreditation program for training, education, and public awareness (TEPA) programs that address partner abuse. In this way, SAVE ensures that educational programs are based on valid science: http://www.saveservices.org/accreditation/

Sen. Patrick Leahy will soon be introducing the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In a recent letter to the Senator, SAVE offered language for the bill to ensure the accuracy of informational programs: http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Ltr.SenLeahy.pdf

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence: www.saveservices.org.