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PR: Many DV Agencies are Spreading False Facts, Research Shows

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

Many DV Agencies are Spreading False Facts, Research Shows

WASHINGTON / January 31, 2014 – A leading domestic violence researcher has found the online fact sheets of many domestic violence agencies contain misleading and false information. The flawed facts could undermine public confidence in domestic violence services and weaken the effectiveness of abuse-reduction programs.

According to research by Dr. Denise Hines of Clark University, 27% of agencies’ fact sheets feature this factoid: “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44.” But domestic violence does not appear among the top five leading causes of injury for women in this age group, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

Some claims are grossly inaccurate. While 21% of agencies make the claim that “95% of victims of domestic violence are women who were abused by their partner,” the CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that women represented only 47% of domestic violence victims.

Claims are often worded in an inflammatory manner, such as “battering knows no color other than black and blue” (13% of fact sheets). Other claims simply defy belief, such as “women who kill their batterers receive longer prison sentences than men who kill their partners” (1.2%).

Researchers have suggested that domestic violence advocates present false claims due to ideological bias. The research is reported in the current issue of the Partner Abuse journal.

“Domestic violence is a serious problem,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “DV agencies that twist the truth to serve an ideological agenda are doing a grave disservice to the victims who most need our help. This is shameful.”

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