Dear ADVIP colleague,
Today’s press release calls out UN Women for not addressing the problem of female-initiated abuse.
Edward E. Bartlett, PhD
DAVIA: Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance
Rebecca Hain: +1-513-479-3335
UN Women’s Denial of Female-Perpetrated Abuse is a Threat to Women
WASHINGTON / December 19, 2022 – During its recent 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, UN Women produced a fact sheet on “Types of Violence Against Women and Girls” (1). The UN Women document systematically ignores the widespread problem of female-perpetrated abuse.
Female-perpetrated abuse represents a significant threat to women in two ways:
Mutual Abuse in Heterosexual Relationships: A report from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe documents the dangers of mutual abuse in heterosexual relationships (2). Noting that approximately half of all heterosexual domestic abuse is reciprocal, the report explains,
“Research has found that women’s use of domestic violence increased the frequency and severity of men’s abuse, and mutual aggression increased the likelihood of injury for both men and women.” (emphasis added)
The report concludes, “Therefore, it is imperative that governments take note of what surveys with representative community samples tell us about male and female victimisation and perpetration rates.”
Abuse in Lesbian Relationships: In 2009, Amber Heard was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence against her then-girlfriend, Tasya Van Ree (3). More recently, New York police officer Yvonne Wu shot and killed her former female lover, Jamie Liang (4).
These incidents confirm the fact that persons in same-sex relationships are at particularly high risk of abuse (5). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that same-sex female couples have substantially higher lifetime victimization rates than same-sex male couples for domestic violence, rape, and/or stalking (6):
• Lesbian: 44%
• Gay: 26%
In Australia, a national survey of over 5,400 LGBTIQ persons similarly found that 41% of female respondents, compared to 28% of male respondents, reported having been in a relationship in which the partner was abusive (7).
By denying the reality of female-perpetrated abuse, either in the context of heterosexual reciprocal abuse or same-sex female relationships, UN Women is placing women at far greater risk of experiencing injury and possible death. The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance calls on UN Women to base its programs on science, not gender ideology.
The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance – DAVIA — consists of 70 member organizations from 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. DAVIA seeks to ensure that domestic violence and abuse polices are science-based, family-affirming, and gender-inclusive. http://endtodv.org/davia/
Dear ADVIP colleague,