live-blogging the NACDV conference–Monday, July 23rd

by mraynes

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i’m at the national coalition against domestic violence conference today and tomorrow. I thought it might be fun to try my hand at live-blogging. so here we go.

first session is a lecture on femicide by famous radical feminist activist, theoretician and self-proclaimed destroyer of the patriarchy, Dr. Diane Russell:

-femicide: the killing of females by males because they are female.

-femicide in India has gotten so bad that it is now being called gendercide by feminists. 20 million females have been disappeared in that country.

-femicide, even on the scope of India and China, is almost entirely invisible–even to feminists.

-Russell’s first book has had an enormous effect in Latin american countries but remains almost non-existent in the United States.

-The example of Latin American countries show us, femicide is not a simple word substitution for homicide. When it was adopted in those countries it resulted in multiple organizations to address this problem as well as policies that have been developed to make femicide illegal.

-Guatemala, for example, has amazing anti-femicide laws that actually hold perpetrators accountable.

-our congress is in complete denial about the prevalence of femicide in the United States.

-most provocative statement: battered women who kill are her heroes because they do a favor to all women by taking a batterer off the planet.

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Dr. Jacqueline Campbell:

-U. S. congress needs to pass the good VAWA and there is a good chance it won’t be passed.

-femicides are 54% of all murders of women.

-FBI underestimates femicides because they don’t count murders by ex partners, thus disappearing huge swaths of women.

-femicide is the 7th leading cause of early death for women.

-women of color and other marginalized women are disproportionately represented in this statistic.

-more women were murdered by their partners than deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

-femicide is the leading cause of maternal, meaning pregnant women, mortality.

-children are most likely to witness the femicide of their mother or find her body.

-Nevada is #1 in femicides.

-Colorado is #21.

-for every 1 man killed by an intimate partner, 5 women are murdered by intimate partners. and 50% of men who commit femicide then commit suicide while only 1% of women do this.

-improved dv laws have disproportionately helped men. meaning women no longer feel that their only option is to kill their partner.

-removing guns from known batterers has dramatically decreased the femicide rates. Batterers should not have guns!

-women are poor predictors of their risk of femicide.

-if all fatality reviews only use arrests reports they will vastly underestimate the femicide rate.

-no database on attempted femicides so those do not get reported.

-in femicide and attempted femicide, 76% had experiences prior abuse and 99% were victims of stalking.

-unemployment vastly increases a batterer’s likelihood for femicide, especially if he has a history if battering.

-unemployed white batterers are just as likely to commit femicide as unemployed black batterers. race is not the determining factor, unemployment is. Black men may look like they are more likely to commit femicide but it’s because they are more likely to be unemployed.

-if a woman has been non-lethally strangled she needs immediate medical attention!

-we hear a lot about traumatic brain injury (tbi) in soldiers. battered women are just as likely if not more so to have tbi but we never here anything about it.

-if a batterer is highly controlling, the victim cannot tell him face to face that she is leaving.

-the most protective thing from a dangerous abuser is shelter. this only works as long as he can’t find her.

-nothing decreases women’s likelihood of being stalked.

-83% of femicides have been seen somewhere in the system. they are predictable.

Dr. Robert Brennan:

-founder of NOMAS, the first anti-sexism male organization in the United States.

-the majority of instances of men killing women are femicides.

-Guatemala is the most dangerous place on the world to be a woman.

-the death rate of women in prostitution is 40% higher than those in the general population. and authorities rarely do anything about it. the “happy hooker” narrative is a myth!

-a new form of femicide is deliberately infecting women with aids by forcible rape.

-the economic disadvantage of women results in poor health care, more dangerous jobs, living in crime ridden neighborhoods. The long term result is femicide by patriarchy.

-naming a problem can be a powerful tool, for this reason we must insist on using the term “femicide” to describe the problem of females being murdered by males.

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advancing DV/SA policy using political strategies and networking by Tralonn Shorter:

-every lawmaker has an agenda

-75% of policy work is relationship building. 25% is the substance of policy.

-aspects to political strategies: governmental relations, media affairs and grassroots advocacy.

-lots of intrigue going on behind the scene of VAWA legislation. speaker of the house, John Boehner and majority leader, Eric Cantor acknowledges to NACDV lobbyists that they messed up in their version of the bill but wee unwilling to change course. lbol (laughing bitterly out loud).

-as October 1, 2011 VAWA is no longer in effect. think about that. how is it possible that we no longer have a law in this country specifically outlawing violence against women?

-contact Mitch McConnell and Hohn Boehner–tell them to do their job and reauthorize VAWA.

-dream job remains lobbyist specializing in domestic violence policy. sigh, i have no idea how I can ever make this happen.

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exploring the use of restorative justice by Nina Balsam

-restorative justice is a process to put things right and re-focus this effort to meet the needs of victims.

-this process seeks to hold the offender accountable by applying intense community pressure.

-restorative justice puts the key decision making in the hands of the victims.

-models of restorative justice: victim/offender dialog; family group conferencing; circle sentencing; community boards; victim impact panels.

-specifically sentencing circles in Minnesota have a 95% success rate. only 5% of batterers re-offend.

-places in the US doing restorative justice: Duluth, Minnesota; St. Louis, Missouri; Austin, TX; Springville, OR.

-number of the day, 75%: the rate of co-occurrence between ipv and child abuse.

-transformational process for offender by using a respected family member to pressure them to get rid of patriarchal beliefs.

-cultural competence can be built into restorative justice making it vastly superior to the western criminal justice system.

-no fatalities ever after a family goes through the restorative justice process.

-oh Arizona, when have you ever gotten anything relating to dv right? if you hear about their peace or healing circles they are a load of crap (based on the ever popular victim blaming model) and should be discredited.

Whelp, that’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with women’s use of violence, determining primary aggressors and domestic violence courts.

I will also be presenting myself on how not to become a secondary oppressor.

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