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PR: Factual Missteps Are Slowing National Campaign to End Partner Abuse, SAVE Says

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

Factual Missteps Are Slowing National Campaign to End Partner Abuse, SAVE Says

WASHINGTON / October 1, 2013 – Victim-advocacy group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments warns that factual errors and misrepresentations in public education efforts sponsored by domestic violence organizations may represent an obstacle in the on-going effort to rid the nation of domestic violence. SAVE issues the alert in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is observed in October each year.

The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge (PASK) project, a summary of over 1,700 domestic violence research studies, concludes that mutual abuse among partners is commonplace, and men and women engage in partner aggression at similar rates:

Despite the PASK findings, SAVE notes some domestic violence organizations continue to ignore the problem of mutual abuse and minimize female-initiated aggression: Some groups maintain that domestic violence is an expression of patriarchal power, a stance that ignores the plight of thousands of women caught in abusive same-sex relationships.

The biased statements undergird shelter policies that allow male victims to be turned away. The informational errors also result in female offenders not being referred for anger management classes, substance abuse treatment, or other services:

“Domestic Violence Awareness Month is supposed to be about enhancing citizens’ understanding of domestic violence,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “But groups that distort the truth are keeping us from ending the cycle of violence.”

Organizations receiving federal grants are prohibited from engaging in wasteful or fraudulent practices, according to the Department of Justice: Domestic violence services organizations are welcome to update their training materials and fact sheets based on SAVE’s Seven Key Facts About Domestic Violence:

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