PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Phone: 301-801-0608
Email: tstoddard@saveservices.org

Dishonest Portrayals by the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence

WASHINGTON / August 7, 2012 – Women commit half of all partner abuse, but the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) all but ignores the widespread problem of female-initiated partner aggression. SAVE, a national victim-advocacy organization, calls on the Maine Coalition to present balanced and truthful information to legislators and to the public at large.

Male high school students in Maine are more likely to be hit, slapped, or physically hurt by their girlfriends. According to the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 11.6% male secondary students have been a victim of dating violence in the past 12 months, compared to only 10.6% of female students (1).

Female-perpetrated abuse is even more worrisome among young adults. According to a national Centers for Disease Control survey, 70% of one-way abuse is committed by women, while only 30% of abuse is perpetrated by men (2).

Homicide statistics provide a sobering perspective, as well. According to the 2012 report of the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, women committed 5 out of 13 domestic violence homicides in recent years (3).

Last year Roxanne Jeskey of Bangor admitted to killing her husband Richard. A detective’s report detailed the injuries: “These included nose fractures, loss of an eye, rib fractures, rectal incised wounds, and internal hemorrhage from an instrument(s) pushed through his scrotum into his abdomen. Further, Mr. Jeskey was strangled with sufficient force to break the hyoid bone of his neck.” (4).

Despite disturbing media accounts, the website of the Maine Coalition repeatedly implies that only men are abusive (5). These are a few of many examples:

  1. What is domestic violence and abuse: “The difference lies in the batterer’s belief system regarding women and children.”
  2. Its Dating Bill of Rights includes, “Say, ‘I think my friend is wrong and his actions are inappropriate.’”
  3. A Friend in Need of Help: “ten ways to support female victims”

The Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey shows that among 11th and 12th graders, females are more than twice as likely as males to perpetrate dating violence (1). But the MCEDV home page advertises that the Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program “is seeking an educator to conduct classroom presentations on dating violence. The applicant must convincingly portray a teenage female in a theater piece.”

“Domestic violence is too important an issue for persons to spin and mutilate the truth,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “If the Maine Coalition wants to bring an end to the cycle of domestic violence, it needs to stop ignoring half the cycle.”

Female-initiated aggression is the leading risk-factor for women becoming injured by an intimate partner, according to a research summary by Sandra Stith, PhD (6).

Citations:

1. http://maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/inj/documents/miyhs-highschool-2011.pdf, page 8.
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17395835
3. http://www.maine.gov/ag/dynld/documents/Working_Together_to_End_Domestic_Violence_04-11-12.pdf, page 11.
4. http://www.truecrimereport.com/2011/06/roxanne_jeskey_viciously_murde.php
5. http://mcedv.org/
6. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178903000557

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