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PR: SAVE Commends Groups for Debunking Super Bowl Abuse Myths

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Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

SAVE Commends Groups for Debunking Super Bowl Abuse Myths

WASHINGTON / February 7, 2014 – A leading victims-rights group is commending groups for speaking out to counter Super Bowl myths. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – SAVE – believes misleading claims can promote faulty policies and divert scarce resources away from the very victims who need help the most.

SAVE highlights these groups for taking a public stand against Super Bowl abuse myths:

National Network to End Domestic Violence: The claim that Super Bowl Sunday is the “biggest day of the year for violence against women” has surfaced over the years. But NNEDV’s Cindy Southworth flatly dismisses the claim: “The Super Bowl does not cause domestic violence, and it doesn’t increase domestic violence.”

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women: Cindy McCain, wife of the Arizona senator, has labeled the Super Bowl “the largest human-trafficking venue on the planet.” But the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women has examined the record on sex trafficking related to the Super Bowl and other sporting events. The Alliance concludes, “despite massive media attention, law enforcement measures and efforts by prostitution abolitionist groups, there is no empirical evidence that trafficking for prostitution increases around large sporting events.”

Abuse myths have real-world consequences. Writing in the New York Times, Kate Mogulescujan explains that misleading the public is harmful “because it creates bad policy. In the days leading up to Sunday’s game, local law enforcement dedicated tremendous resources to targeting everyone engaged in prostitution.”

Fact Checker Joe Carter, who has also found the sex-trafficking claims to be false, notes, “when we exaggerate the problem it causes people to trivialize it as concern.”

Despite these positive efforts, false domestic violence “factoids” are still commonplace. According to research by Dr. Denise Hines presented in the current issue of Partner Abuse, 27% of domestic violence agencies’ fact sheets include this claim: “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:

“Abuse is a serious problem,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “But wildly inflating the numbers, stereotyping persons as abusers, and misrepresenting the problem ends up doing a grave disservice to victims.”

A SAVE report documents that domestic violence myths have become widespread:

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