Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Back to the Future, Part 13: Men Killing Women, New and Improved!

Back to the Future, Part 13: More Intimate Partner Violence! What a Surprise!

First, I hate the anodyne phrase "intimate partner violence." Because we wouldn't want to offend anyone's tender sensibilities by saying "men slaughtering wives, girlfriends, and children," now would we?

"Domestic Violence" is better than "Intimate Partner Violence--
but does it say enough?

And second, such acts of domestic terrorism (a phrase I first heard Gloria Steinem use to describe men killing women several years ago) are so commonplace that they are frequently overlooked in the media. For example, today the Huffington Post reports on the deadly slaughter of his wife and two daughters by a Phoenix man. (He also killed a family friend while he was murdering his family.) The death of his oldest daughter was particularly gruesome--instead of shooting her, as he had his wife and five-year-old daughter, he clubbed the seven-year-old to death. (Police found the youngest daughter, three, hiding under a bed.)

While this horrific murder merited an article in today's Huffington Post, the story did not appear in The New York Times, but a quick Google search shows that it was reported in the Washington Post two days ago, and on NBC, ABC, and CNN. 

But what did appear in today's New York Times was this story: "Murders by Intimate Partners Are on the Rise, Study Shows."

Yup. Rather than less frequently, horrific slaughter like the one in Phoenix is happening MORE frequently: "Homicides by intimate partners are increasing, driven primarily by gun violence after almost four decades of decline." 

Just a few facts: "The number of victims rose to 2,237 in 2017, a 19 percent increase from the 1,875 killed in 2014." Yes, men are killed too, but the "majority of the victims in 2017 were women, a total of 1,527." 

And, "gun-related domestic killings increased by 26 percent from 2010 to 2017. . . . In 2017, 926 of the 1,527 women murdered by partners were killed with guns. In 2014, it was 752 of 1,321 women."

The Times article refers to the finds of Emma E. Fridel and James Alan Fox, "Gender Differences in Patterns and Trends in U.S. Homicide, 1976–2017" (in Violence and Gender 6 [March 2019]).

Interestingly, it was the Huffington Post that first reported on this new study. And adds these gems to what appears in the Times story: "Domestic violence groups often repeat the statistic that three women a day are killed by domestic violence. But according to Fox’s most recent data, it is four."

And: "Nearly half of all women who are murdered die at the hands of their partners. Only 5 percent of men suffer the same fate."

And: "Every 16 hours, according to one estimate, a woman is fatally shot by her boyfriend, husband or ex."

The House of Representatives recently voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which had expired in February of this year.

Reauthorization of the act is opposed by the NRA. 

The Senate has yet to act.

Here's my modest proposal.

For more in the "Back to the Future" series of blog posts, click on the label, below. The label "domestic terrorism" will take you to more posts on men killing women.

No comments:

Post a Comment