Press Release Violence

PR: Media Criticized for Biased Coverage of CDC Violence Report


Teri Stoddard

Media Criticized for Biased Coverage of CDC Violence Report

WASHINGTON, December 18  — Men are equally likely to be victims of intimate partner aggression and are far more likely to have experienced coercive control at the hands of their girlfriends and wives. But SAVE, a victim advocacy group, is charging widespread media bias in its coverage of a recent Centers for Disease Control report.

The CDC study, known as the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, reached the following conclusions:

— 6.5% of men and 6.3% of women were victims of intimate partner aggression in the previous 12 months ( , pages 43-44).

— Men were 50% more likely to have experienced coercive control than women (men: 15.2%; women: 10.7%) (page 46).

— 8.7% of men currently have an intimate partner who tried to get pregnant when he did not want to, or tried to stop either of them from using birth control. In comparison, only 4.8% of women currently have a partner who tried to get her pregnant when she didn’t want to (page 48).

But none of these key findings was mentioned in articles by the New York TimesWashington PostCNN, or any other major media reports reviewed to date.

Instead, media coverage focused on the survey’s finding that nearly one in five women were victims of rape or attempted rape. But media accounts sidestepped a controversial aspect of the CDC survey: the study’s inclusion of “completed alcohol/drug facilitated penetration” in its count of rape victims.

The CDC’s broad definition includes situations where the couple mutually agrees to attend a party and then engage in sexual relations. So if a husband and wife go to a New Year’s Eve party, enjoy several rounds of champagne toasts, and afterwards have sexual relations, the CDC definition would count him a rapist and his wife a rape victim.

And a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary in similar manner would be counted by the CDC as parties to a violent and abhorrent crime.

Columnist Robert VerBruggen highlighted the irony: “Researchers ask women about their sexual experiences, and then classify some experiences as ‘rape’ that most people, including the women themselves, do not consider to be rape.” (

“The average weather forecast provides readers with a more accurate and balanced picture than how most media outlets covered the CDC report,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault deserve better than one-sided headlines, inflammatory images, and fawning editorials.”

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

CAMP Domestic Violence Press Release Violence

PR: Verizon Abuse Video Sparks Controversy, Condemnation


Contact: Teri Stoddard

Telephone: 301-801-0608


Verizon Abuse Video Sparks Controversy, Condemnation

Washington, DC/December 6, 2011 — SAVE is charging the Verizon Foundation with misleading the public about domestic violence, after the corporate giant released a video filled with one-sided images and controversial claims. Titled “Monsters”, the video presents a bleak picture of home life in America: fathers as abusers, wives and daughters as victims, and sons as future batterers (1).

Research shows levels of partner aggression are the same among males and females (2), an observation highlighted by the recent TV clip of starlet Kim Kardashian punching her husband Kris with a closed fist. A recent Washington Post article documents growing levels of aggressive behavior among women on campuses and in schools (3).

The provocative Verizon video has stirred controversy and invited condemnation.

One editorialist deplored the video’s “misandric boy bashing” and charged the information “has the potential for spreading harm and hate.” (4) The pro-feminist blog Jezebel has described the video as “disturbing” (5). Deploring the overt biases in the video, a blogger at RoarforFreedom wrote, “My mother still tries to convince all of her adult children–as well as the grandchildren, what an idiot and monster my father is” (6).

The Monsters video is not the only source of false information from the Verizon Foundation.

The Verizon website makes the claim, “Domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S. – more than muggings, car accidents and rapes combined.” (7).

But leading family researcher Richard Gelles counters, “as good a sound bite as it is, the statement is simply not true.” (8) The overwhelming leading causes of injury to women in this age group are accidental falls and automobile accidents.

The Verizon website claims, “One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.” But a balanced statement would indicate that one in four men also experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.

By focusing on aid only for female victims, Verizon ignores half of the population in need of help and perpetuates inappropriate stereotypes.

“Verizon’s video smears fathers as the only potential abusers in a household, when in fact women are as likely to abuse their partners, and more likely to physically abuse children,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “This scary animated video labels all fathers as potential ‘monsters,’ and frightens impressionable children.”

Misinformation and false stereotypes are widespread and undermine legitimate abuse-reduction efforts:








(8)   Gelles R. The politics of research: The use, abuse, and misuse of social science data. Family Court Review Vol. 45, 2007, page 45.

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