Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.
Exclusive: Pandemic of Pain – Violence Against Women: An International and Domestic Threat* (Part One of Two)http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.4622/pub_detail.asp
*Excerpts from her upcoming book Pandemic of Pain: Violence against women in the 21st century, and what we can do about it! ©RB McFee 2009.
Domestic violence is a daily threat to Americans. If family security matters, then the security of the family must matter.Within the pages of FamilySecurityMatters.org, we focus on external threats to the family – terrorism, economic problems, cyber crimes, natural disasters. Yet within our borders persists an insidious assault – not unified by a cabal of masterminds but perpetrated by individuals on a mass scale – domestic violence (DV) and violence against women.
This spring, the nation went into a tailspin over a swine flu strain that went global – a pandemic, which has sickened some and killed few. Yet there persists a global pandemic – a pandemic of pain…violence against women...afflicting the young and old, single and married, straight and gay with victims sharing primarily one characteristic – being female. (Males also experience DV).
If anyone declared hunting season on blacks, Latinos, children or puppies the outcry would be deafening. Yet hunting season continues to be declared against women and one barely hears a whisper of protest.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: In the 21st century, are we still barbarians who need such a campaign? Is it really necessary to identify a month and a ribbon to raise awareness for something we all know exists and but have done little to stop?
It’s easy to point fingers at other cultures, other nations where women are mistreated, denied basic human rights, are subjugated, brutalized, murdered or sold. But before we get too smug about our moral superiority, it is time for a reality check. It is easy to think in terms of the United States as the good guys, the shining city on the hill and an example of democracy, fair play and treating our fellow neighbor decently. We consider ourselves enlightened, emancipated and egalitarian. Well, for an advanced society, we harbor a pervasive evil. There are between 50,000 and 100,000 women and children trafficked, mostly in the sex trade in the United States. Domestic violence has become one of the top public health problems and a most serious threat to women in the United States, affecting millions each year. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S. We are not a third world or 13th century society; it is time we stopped acting like one.
So the short answer is yes! The caveman is alive and well in American society. The barbarians are inside the door to the house. And once again we as the body politic of women have failed to present our cause or band together effectively enough to inspire sweeping change or obtain the resources necessary to fight this pandemic of pain on the national, international and local levels. And our national leaders have failed to protect an entire segment of our population – women, from perhaps the most dangerous of attacker – a lover or husband.
It is no secret that domestic violence is important to me – not because I am a woman but because I am a security professional – and nothing undermines the domestic security of our nation like domestic insecurity in the home. Family security matters and when the family isn’t secure, neither is our society. And that should matter. We all feel the impact – collectively if not personally, of domestic violence. It poisons the children, destroys lives, costs billions in health care resources and is both preventable and remediable; if we only have the courage and will as a society to do something about it.
As a practicing physician who has treated abused women, I often ask myself in what language does the term “Mrs.” translate to “punching bag,” “property,” “less than human,” “ok to harm,” “valueless,” or “personal target?” Can you find a dictionary or thesaurus that equates the title “Mrs.” with the notion of allowing another human being to inflict harm? Where is it written that once a woman becomes a wife or involved in an intimate relationship that becomes tantamount to granting permission to the husband or partner to inflict physical, emotional or psychological pain? When a woman says “I do,” that is not an open invitation for violence or pain. Yet in about 25 percent of marriages, the term “wife” equals “victim” of beatings, social isolation, emotional abuse or psychological terror. “Mrs.” has become a get out of jail card every time the husband decides to teach his wife a lesson or express himself. Society treats the violence as a private matter, treats the abuser as somehow justified or entitled, and treats the victim as the villain. Being a wife should not justify a behavior that when inflicted upon a stranger, would be treated as a crime.
But why should we be surprised? Women are constantly objectified – on television, in music (especially rap music), through pornography and the sex trade, and even in religion where certain fundamentalist groups (of all major religions) spew forth the obscene notion that wives must be subject to their husbands and girls are inferior to boys. The tired phrase “God gave man dominion…” continues to receive theocratic support.
And make no mistake about it – battery, assault, and violence against women in the home is not a mental illness. It is a choice. It is about power and control, not burnt pot roast, a new hairstyle or going out with the girls. And it is criminal behavior, although it is treated mostly with the seriousness of a parking ticket or in most jurisdictions – a misdemeanor. It should be inexcusable in any language. It is barbaric behavior.
Okay, so I’m preaching to the choir at FSM, right? Probably, if for no other reason than our audience shares a belief in honor, duty, country, respect and responsibility. Except for the fact violence against women is also prevalent in the very performance cultures and professions whose mottos include duty, honor, country, respect – the military and law enforcement. A dirty little secret that little by little is becoming less secret but no less problematic. It is well known but rarely addressed that a not insignificant proportion of cops are abusers. Not a newsflash to be sure. But clearly, the crime is worsened when carried out by someone sworn to uphold the law. “Law enforcement” – what part of that term gives cops a right to break the law – domestic violence or any law?
And women in the military not only have to face the enemy but their own comrades in arms; so bad is the problem that the Pentagon had to create within the branches a mechanism to address sexual assault and violence againstfemale service members. The effectiveness of the resources is yet to be seen but most would agree they remain mostly window dressing and have accomplished little. Just ask physicians and mental health counselors at VA hospitals who treat the victims; the numbers presented to VA health care facilities do not match the official numbers of DoD. I’m sure you are shocked. A 2003 study revealed approximately one in three female veterans who visited a VA facility for health care reported being raped or subjected to attempted rape during their military service.
Now these cautions aren’t to impugn two professions that we all respect – the military and law enforcement. But respect comes with a price: responsibility. It is time for these organizations to clean up their houses.
How society can tacitly if not outright condone or at least excuse, even protect violence against another human being – for any reason short of defeating terrorists, going to war, felony arrest or football – is beyond me. Oh wait, what was I thinking – this is the same society that makes extreme fighting, Monday night wrestling, and other violence a spectator sport – the ratings prove our lust for blood, our acceptance that strength is virtue and most problems can be solved with a punch or a kick. Women may not be, pound for pound, as strong as men – but they do bring other skills to the table that more than make up for the barbell argument. And pure raw strength should not be the sole determinant of value – as a person or as a professional. Remember, women are not weak because men were evolutionarily designed to be stronger. Try delivering a watermelon through the birth canal – if that is weakness, well, you get the idea.
The angels are always in the details. How do we tackle a problem of such magnitude?
· The first challenge is simple – do we care?
· Second is naming the evil.
· The third is helping others realize it exists – raising awareness.
· The fourth is to make it personal – to take the problem from the statistics level to the neighbor level.
· The fifth is to identify solutions.
· The sixth is to implement strategies to eliminate the problem.
Sadly, we’re still barely into stage three, although one could effectively argue, barely at stage one. Ironic given every one of us knows a batterer and a victim. We may not know which of our friends, coworkers, colleagues or fellow congregants wear each title, but take my word for it – you know a batterer and someone who is being battered. It’s the topic no one wants to even whisper. We should be shouting it.
Although as a society we are finally emerging to the point where we don’t tolerate corporal punishment let alone violence against children, it begs incredulity that in 2009 our society allows domestic violence to exist, let alone thrive. Make no mistake about it – the incidence and prevalence of domestic violence is on the rise, as is the severity of the violence. But the cruelest insult of all to the inordinate (no one really knows exactly the significant magnitude of the problem) number of women, and to a lesser degree men, harmed by the very people they love and trust (speak about the ultimate treason), is the indifference. Apparently society just doesn’t care. If it did, we as a nation would do something about it – from teaching our sons to respect women, and teaching our daughters how to avoid or escape horror relationships, to providing the necessary legal, political, economic and enforcement resources.
Given domestic violence persists, it is necessary to designate a month to raise awareness.
So why, when it is almost November, am I writing about October as Domestic Violence Month? Simple…I’m trying to get two months for the price of one! And don’t be surprised if you see future articles at FSM on domestic violence. I want us to go into the next month that starts with All Saints Day in the hope we will heed our greater angels more than our lesser demons, and in a word, become saints or at least guardian angels to a vulnerable population….women. Let’s be clear – women are not waifs, nor weaklings who cower in the corner, but are a population with a target on our back and it gets bigger and darker when we walk down the aisle earning an MRS degree. Simple fact – one in four married women will suffer from domestic violence. That’s not an insignificant number – but one that, magnitude notwithstanding, remains ignored. It’s a statistic – which means it represents people, with the tears covered up.
If we can’t protect a significant proportion of our own society – the family - from internal threats – our fellow citizens – then why bother trying to protect it from outside forces? Preparedness, like charity must begin at home and in this case, within the home.
WHY DOES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OCCUR?
For one thing, domestic violence occurs because society doesn’t do much to stop it. Instead of vilifying the abuser, the victim becomes the accused. Nothing will change until we make the batterer a social pariah, treat the crime as a felony, not merely a “domestic dispute” or misdemeanor, hold the offender accountable, provide safe refuge for the victim (s), and decide as a society that violence against women is not acceptable – whether against a prostitute or wife, mother or child.
Domestic violence also occurs because it works. It is a means to an end – disgusting and grotesque though the notion is.
According to Day Break, a domestic violence program and resource in Worcester, Massachusetts,domestic violence occurs for the following reasons:
1. Violence is a choice – batterers make choices between violence and non-violence.
2. Power works – Once a batterer gains control over his victim through his chosen method of violence, he is able to consistently use violence to maintain this control.
3. Violence is/becomes justified – Through sexism, social privilege and a lack of consequences and accountability for abusive behavior, society condones domestic violence.
a. Historically, domestic violence has not been taken seriously.
4. Batterers learn from others – some batterers have witnessed violence in their homes and believe that violent behavior is acceptable.
What types of abuse constitute domestic violence?
1. Physical abuse – from pinching to using weapons, throwing objects, punching (including during pregnancy). Often abusers are careful to strike areas readily concealed by clothes.
a. Domestic violence can be especially problematic during pregnancy.
b. It may begin or increase during pregnancy .
2. Sexual abuse – abusers often treat victims as sex objects. The abuse can range from spousal rape (yes, it is a crime) to withholding information about sexually transmitted diseases to forcing pregnancy or even termination.
3. Isolation – abusers often prevent the victim from having contact with friends or family, and attempt to cut the victim off from community and resources as well as access to education, employment. Some abusers go so far as to sabotage relationships even at the work place.
4. Minimizing, denying and blaming – abusers often convince victims that what happens to them is their fault, not the batterers’; victims start to believe they caused the abuse or that abuse is not really abusive behavior at all. The alternate reality transition occurs.
5. Using children – instilling feelings of guilt or incompetence based upon perceived parenting skills, turning the kids against the victim, using them as pawns, forcing them into dangerous acts, not following visitation schedules. Fight for custody, especially when the abuser has never been the primary caretaker is not uncommon.
6. Using social status and privilege – male privilege is often used based upon the notion that the batterer is dominant and the rest of the family members are second class citizens, never to question authority. Control is often exerted based upon gender, race, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, occupation, wealth, physical attributes or developmental disability.
7. Economic abuse – batterers control the money and rarely allow victims to have access to significant amounts of cash or personal bank accounts. In fact victims are often placed on an allowance, or have to account for expenditures even when the money is the victim’s. Batterers often withhold spousal or child support. One of the leading challenges victims face is the inability to survive financially – clearly a major roadblock to escape and starting a new, safe life. Economic abuse makes it difficult to escape abusive relationships. Victims are often unable to obtain housing, food or clothing without access to an income. Employers are often hesitant to hire someone who has been involved in domestic violence – even as the victim.
8. Coercion and threats – batterers use threats to paralyze the victim. Threats of death, suicide and kidnapping the children or harming the victim’s parents or loved ones is another ploy the abuser uses.
9. Intimidation – batterers will threaten to hurt them, pets or harass victim’s friends. Intimidation is reinforced with an assault; pain is a harsh reminder – violence becomes part of the victim’s daily reality which makes her (or him) easier to control.
10. Emotional abuse – name calling and insults, negative messages as well as the withholding of affection, all of which can escalate.
Bob Hebert recently wrote an article “Women at Risk” in the New York Times. He is to be commended for speaking out against violence against women. “There is a staggering amount of violence brought down on the nation’s women and girls each and every day for no other reason than who they are…they are attacked because they are female.” He asserts misogyny in American society is partly causal – “we have come so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected.” He and I share a concern – our culture is indeed filled with too much pornography, much of if controlled by mainstream U.S. corporations, some with the family friendly logos.
Let’s be clear – domestic violence is not a case of “she made her bed, now let her sleep in it.” Domestic violence is not a choice. It is not a fit punishment for a perceived insult. Let’s stop treating domestic violence as if it was an effect for a perceived cause. Let’s stop giving a range of excuses that have no basis of reality – battery is not a side effect of alcoholism, drug abuse, or mental illness. They may exacerbate the problem but don’t cause it. It is a base behavior born out of the need to dominate and inflict pain upon another human being. It is inexcusable, unjustifiable and wrong. Now what are we going to do about it?
Violence against women: A Global Threat & Domestic Problem
You’ve read about my outrage at honor killings in the Middle East and my anger at the importation of such archaic practices when ultra fundamentalists immigrate into the U.S. My recent journey to Palestine and Israel greeted me with news of women killed by Arab husbands – honor killings.
While perhaps we cannot equate African genocide, the infant femicide of China to the continued deaths – killings of women worldwide – it is nevertheless mass murder. And the cruelest insult of all? Most of the women are killed by someone they loved and/or trusted – an intimate partner or spouse. What’s wrong with this picture? Sadly there is no one right answer or solution. But the fact remains that a woman is beaten by a loved one or intimate every 15 seconds. To put that into perspective, consider in the time it took you to read the prior eight sentences, at least three women have been beaten in the United States – let me repeat….every 15 seconds a woman is beaten by a loved one or someone who professed to love, honor and cherish or at least care about the victim. Let’s do the math – that’s 4 women per minute, 240 per hour, 5,760 a day, and – well, you get the picture. If people were being sickened at the rate of 240 an hour instead of beaten through domestic violence, which really should be called felony partner assault – underscore the term felony – let us say due to a virus instead of a chosen behavior, there would be presidential edicts, mass media attention, marches on the CDC and NIH demanding action. Instead the victims like the epidemic proportions of this crime…and it is a crime….go largely unchecked. For all the action of well meaning advocates, national campaigns (which still go largely unheeded) and the occasional high profile case, domestic violence remains one of the leading public health threats to women in the United States and only marginal progress has been made.
We are beyond name calling and blame game as well as disingenuous misdirections. Feminism – the good, the bad and the uncertain – have nothing to do with violence against women.
This article is not a screed against men, especially since some of the most ardent supporters of abused victim’s – from protection to policy to human rights, as well as providers of direct and philanthropic support are men. This is not only a concern for women, even if it mostly affects women. It affects men who represent 15 percent of DV victims. Notwithstanding, given women represent over 50 percent of the population, you’d think that might be enough of a reason to address it in more aggressive fashion than presidential proclamations, purple ribbons and a few marches.
Let it suffice from the onset that the national apathy towards domestic violence, violence against women, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence would never persist to the magnitude it does if the violence was due to race or ethnicity instead of being an ongoing, systemic, and escalating problem of violence against women. All women are affected – rich and poor, of color or white; Christian, Jew, Hindu, agnostic, Buddhist or Muslim. Were this simply an act of racism or religion, the outcry from advocacy, civil rights, political and affinity groups would be deafening. But for reasons that escape me, hunting season on women has yet to be cancelled. The problem is complex. The solutions are both complex and simple, and we’ll discuss them momentarily. Let’s be clear: violence against women and/or domestic violence is pervasive and occur as close as the house next door. It involves people as near as the pew, cubicle, office or restaurant table near you.
And as long as society tolerates domestic violence, it will continue.
On a personal note, I wish it wasn’t necessary for a Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I wish domestic violence was recognized as a mainstream and Main Street problem, not whispered as a forbidden notion, marginalized as an issue item, or relegated to a patchwork of local programs, some linked with national organizations and others working in isolation. I wish it wasn’t necessary to talk about raising money for emergency shelters so women who are beaten within an inch of their lives can find a safe place to sleep. I wish it wasn’t necessary for harsher laws, so that someone who beats his wife no longer gets off with a fine or instructions to commit community service instead of being treated appropriately … as a violent felon (being an abuser or batterer is not a mental illness, it is a choice). I wish society didn’t treat domestic violence as a private matter or treat the abuser as someone with an illness instead of as a criminal. I wish religious leaders were more vocal about domestic violence and conveyed from the pulpit that wives are not subject to their husbands and debunk the bizarre interpretations of theological texts which are often used to excuse such violence in the home.
In fact, religion has largely been the backdrop against which abusers gain support. Given our concern about Global Jihad and the evil, inhuman tactics extremists take against innocent civilians it is easy to think criminal domestic violence (CDV) is just an extremist Muslim issue. It’s easy to point out that many of the regressive Islamic cultures – Taliban, al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and others – subjugate their women. But other religions bear responsibility too. Name me a female pope in the last 1,000 years? 2,000 years? It is a male power structure which has protected abusers. Show me a female Imam who has led a Hajj to Mecca. Want to name a leading female Messianic figure in Orthodox Judaism? Let’s not forget some fundamentalist Protestant groups – Franklin Graham was once quoted as saying his sister was a better preacher than he, yet in their faith group she cannot become an ordained pastor. Most churches are a male power hierarchy. And that, along with the never ending choir “honor your husband” or “you must have done something to make him mad – remember he is the head of the house” have been sung to the point where women feel responsible for being abused. It is a societal/religious reality. The church (fill in the blank in terms of religion) has been silent in supporting victims and all too protective of the abusers.
Fortunately there is a growing number of religious leaders who are banding together to disentangle the misinterpretations of theology as excuse for bad behavior, lending their voices to raise awareness for and trying to create safe havens within their churches, and ultimately communities, to address the needs of domestic violence victims.
One such religious leader – a well respected activist and theologian involved in an ambitious program to address domestic violence in concert with the Daybreak program in Central New England – Rev. Dr. Thomas McKibbens recently wrote, “It is time for the church to repent of the evil it has committed in ignoring domestic violence, allowing Biblical teachings to be distorted to excuse it, participated in it by supporting male dominant households where women have no voice or power, and not providing a safe haven as a congregation. There is nothing in the entire Bible to justify the abuse of another person. There is nothing in Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu teachings that would justify physical, verbal, emotional or economic abuse of an intimate partner. There is nothing in church teachings that could justify breaking promises, abusing trust. The role of the church is to name if for what it is, create a safe place for those who are abused, and to call abusers to account.”
This is a good start. But it will take more than clergy. It will require the congregations to take clergy calls to action and make them real. As Gandhi advised, we must be the change we hope to see in the world.
Fortunately the FSM reader gets it and recognizes domestic violence is a human rights issue as well as a criminal pattern of behavior yet to be fully recognized within society, let alone treated as such by legislators, judges, law enforcement, the media or the public. We therefore must be the voice that spreads the message loudly and clearly: everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity free from fear, especially in one’s own home. No one deserves to be hit, beaten, threatened, humiliated or otherwise subjected to physical or emotional harm. But until we can create the change we hope for, domestic violence awareness will be relegated to a designated month, instead of our daily efforts to abolish or at the very least significantly address it.
Domestic Violence: Domestic Insecurity
“Family Security Matters”- It is not just a title but a profound statement of truth. This online media outlet was named for and created on the very notion that the security of the family…well, it matters, and it is the cornerstone for a successful society, as well as our domestic security. Just as a house divided cannot stand, neither can a nation which has the basic building block for its society – the family – stand when it is in severe danger. Yet that is precisely what is happening in our own spheres of influence.
All too often we think about the family in jeopardy in terms of “living together” instead of getting married, or the high divorce rate in the U.S. We rarely associate marriage or partner relationships with a threat to the family – yet a significant proportion of families – including or especially the traditional marital family unit – experience domestic violence every day in the United States. And who are the targets of this criminal behavior? Mostly they are women and children. In fact 85 percent of all domestic violence victims are women. Typically we think of domestic violence as “wife beating” and in the main that grotesque act is still a big part of the problem. Date rape, spousal rape and violence against children are also among the main issues. But there are other forms of abuse – often either leading up to the physical abuse or in concert with it. These include sexual, verbal and psychological abuse, social isolation and financial control.
Recall the day you and your partner stared into each others’ eyes and publicly professed for all to hear your commitment “to love, honor and respect” as long as you both shall live. And sometime after the tossing of the rice, one in four marriages will experience domestic violence. Do we stop and think about the people involved in a so called loving relationship? They are supposed to be our most trusted partner – in all the richness that word should convey: helpmate, lover, sounding board, friend, mentor, assistant, co-parent to our children, even caregiver. In a word – a most trusted ally, which makes this crime even more vicious and heinous than stranger attacks. We bare our souls and lower our guard to people we trust. Domestic violence is the ultimate betrayal and the ultimate treason against our society. It undermines the sanctity of the family, the fabric of society and should be treated as such with swift justice.
Let’s ponder that number again for a second – 25 percent of marriages will experience domestic violence – that is significant is it not? The U.S. became fixated on influenza after only a few hundred people got infected with swine flu. The term “pandemic” (a multi-continent/global epidemic [hotlink to my article]) became a household phrase. And to date relatively few have become seriously ill or died from the pathogen. In fact exponentially more women have died from domestic violence last year than likely all the swine flu and avian flu deaths combined! Put another way, if the CDC or NIH came out with a warning that one in four school kids had a risk for Yak disease, every American would scream for solutions yesterday. The demands would be rapid, ongoing, and loud for public policy changes, quarantine laws, new research, tax breaks for pharmaceutical companies to invent a cure, grants for universities to test treatments, and our responder community to explain every strategy to protect our children. Yet domestic violence remains a silent killer, a silent pandemic – domestic violence is a pandemic of pain that affects millions of people every year – mostly women and children - psychosocially, emotionally, physically and financially. Just as sex trafficking, sex for money and child pornography are not victimless crimes, neither is domestic violence. The assault to the family unit in this nation and to our domestic security is near treasonous by allowing this crime to go largely under punished and under addressed – the number of police calls notwithstanding.
Alexis DeTocqueville once wrote “America is great because she is good.” Are we really “good,” when within our own borders, we as a society largely ignore the reality women are constantly at risk for domestic violence which is escalating beyond beatings towards homicide? Are we “good” when as a nation we do very little all the while being keenly aware of the perils women face internationally, which largely go unaddressed?
Criminal domestic violence (CDV) is not a women’s issue – it is everyone’s problem. Recently, a well-known male sports figure addressed an audience of men and adolescent boys. A few visibly conveyed the attitude “why do I have to listen to this?” As if reading the audiences’ minds, he offered this thought: “You are here to help with a major problem affecting our society. Some of you might wonder why you are here. Those who think this is a waste of time, let me ask you this….none of you have a sister, mother, daughter, niece or youngster that you care about? You don’t think they are at risk? How would you feel if one of the ladies in your life told you she was being abused or battered? That’s why you are here. You can either be part of the problem or the solution!” Well said.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Defined
Domestic violence includes partner violence, spousal or child abuse, battering/beating, attempted murder. The violence can take many forms – physical, emotional/psychological, sexual and financial. Of note, abusive husbands are more likely to seek sole custody of the children than non-abusers.
The assaults are usually multiple; 65 percent of women who have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner report having been harmed multiple times by the same person. It can happen once in a while or all the time. Although each situation is different, there are warning signs to watch for:
· Name calling or put downs
· Isolation from family or friends
· Withholding money
· Actual or threatened physical harm
· Sexual assault (spousal rape is a crime. You have the right to say “NO”)
· Threat of harming children and/or of taking children; using children as a weapon of control
· Sometimes parents of the spouse or close friends may feel they are victims as the abuser attempts to control the partner through them
Part Two will focus on the magnitude of domestic violence and how it’s a leading public health crisis.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Robin McFee is a physician and medical toxicologist. An expert in WMD preparedness, she is a consultant to government agencies, corporations and the media. Dr. McFee is a member of the Global Terrorism, Political Instability and International Crime Council of ASIS International. She has authored numerous articles on terrorism, health care and preparedness, and coauthored two books: Toxico-Terrorism by McGraw Hill and The Handbook of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Agents, published by Informa/CRC Press.
Day Break – Domestic violence resources at the YWCA of Central Massachusetts. Hotline (can call collect) 1-508-755-9030
Illinois Department of Public Health, Women’s Health: Facts about Domestic Violence
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1-800-537-2238
Peace At Home, Inc.: A human rights agency.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has a program Increasing economic opportunity for battered women as part of their Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence program. www.nrcdv.orgNote: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.