live-blogging the NCADV conference–Tuesday, July 24th

by mraynes


day two. i’m looking forward to today, i’ll be attending lectures on women’s use of violence, how to determine primary aggressors, the benefit of dv courts. And, of course, i’m presenting myself. i have to admit to being pretty nervous, i did not sleep well. but i do have my lucky dv pin on, pictured above, and luckily i have two co-presenters that are fantastic. so i’m nervous but i’m also excited.

first session–women’s and girl’s use of violence

Lisa Young Larance:

-what do we do about the problem of women’s use of violence

-we know women/victims do use violence but it is fundamentally different than male batterer use of violence.

-the difference is between negotiating force and entitled force. women use violence to gain advantage in a particular circumstance. men use violence because they feel entitled to control their partners.

-when women are put into batterer intervention programs (bip’s) it often does more damage and is re-victimizing to these women.

-women come to violence programs already taking complete responsibility for what they’ve done as well as what their partner perpetrated against them. this is not the case when men are court ordered to violence programs.

-context is important. what is the context in which the violence is committed? what is the whole story?

-this topic makes my heart hurt and my head explode.

-it is so clear just how gender-biased the criminal justice system. if they really understood the context of women’s use of violence the system would look much different.

-isn’t it interesting that jobs that require licensure–nurse, teacher, beautician–jobs that are dominated by women also require a clean criminal record? if they are charged with a dv crime they lose their license and therefore their income. coincidentally, this rarely affects men in this way.

Dr. Meda Chesney-Lind:

-a big problem is backlash journalism that blows the problem of violent women out of proportion.

-we rarely talk about boys use of violence, gender and race privilege but the media loves talk about bad girls.

-data can be misleading so to portray certain populations as bad.

-girls of color are particularly targeted here.

-the re-labeling of statis offenses as domestic violence.

-batterers have gotten sophisticated and understand that they can have more control over their partner if they get the CJS involved. so now it’s a race to the phone so the batterer can accuse his partner.

-during this time where women are being accused of being more violent the data actually shows that women and girls are less violent.

-nobody thought that mandatory arrest would result in more women and girls being arrested at unprecedented rates.

-we need to challenge backlash journalism and the up-criming of normal girl’s behaviors.

Mark Strong:

-one of the good police officers who is trying to change law enforcement’s response to dv.

-many police departments take the policy of equal opportunity arresters.

-biggest laugh: talking about the high arrest rates of women for dv in New Orleans (women are 50% of arrests for dv). “apparently the list tribe of the Amazons have been found in New Orleans”. lol.

-police officers have at times colluded with offenders.

-how can you evaluate the effectiveness of your policy if you don’t keep numbers. Many police departments don’t think it’s important to report numbers on the women they have arrested and why.

-only half the police departments in the country have a policy on how to investigate sexual assault!

-how does it make sense to not further investigate why a woman reacted violently and absolutely refuse to listen to the woman’s experience of being beaten every night for the past six months.

-police officers you have to look at history and context!!!!!!!!

-nobody understands self-defense better than police officers. They carry a gun every day for this reason, why is it that they can’t understand primary aggressors?

-offenders are manipulating police officers and they are good at. they can talk them into arresting the wrong person and officers buy it.

-are we talking to our policy makers on how much time should be included on domestic violence training for officers?

Lois Galgay Reckit:/strong>;;;;;;;;;;;;;

-we have to aggressively continue to listen to women’s experience.

-it is an internal conflict of interest to run a battered women’s program and a batterer’s intervention program.

-read Coercive Control

-women confess too readily without fully understanding the consequences to themselves and their children.

-women need advocates before they talk to defense attorneys because these attorneys don’t always understand the complexities of dv and may not have victim’s best interest at heart.

-we cannot be seduced by the push for gender symmetry. gender symmetry does not account for women’s unique experiences.

-equality isn’t necessarily equity–we must fight for equity in experience for victims.

Tralonn Shorter:
-we have to change the policies that are so detrimental to women.

-we are done being silent and playing nice, we have to pass an inclusive VAWA now!

-VAWA has expired, 1200 women have died as Congress has done nothing.

-take a minute to call Mitch McConnell:(202) 224-2541 and John Boehner: (202) 225-6205.


(spending some time getting ready for the presentation.)

from Poughkeepsie to Quincey: how to save thousands if lives, trillions of dollars and reform the custody system by Barry Goldstein:

-Quincy model: strict enforcement, help in making it easier for women to leave, coordinated community response, substantial media coverage.

-results: reduction in dv crime including only one femicide 10 years.

-the media has done a horrible job in allowing the atrocities in the custody courts to remain in silence. How many glisten have to be hurt?

-incest and child sexual abuse is much more common than we think. custody courts need to take these reports seriously.

-if you want to reduce all crime, we have to stop dv. Children who witness dv are much more likely to engage in criminal activity.

-Poughkeepsie model: complete ignoring of problems in custody system.

-results: 9 dv homicides including a police officer who was trying to save a child from a father who had just murdered her mother.

-problems: failure to arraign defenders, cutbacks in dv budget, failure to enforce protective orders, custody courts support abusive fathers.

-batterers have become more sophisticated in using the court system to further abuse their partners.

-parental alienation syndrome has no scientific evidence and has been completely debunked but abusers continue to use it successfully.

-custody courts are undermining the work done towards a better dv response.

-when the media takes a role they are a profound force for good.

-danger of abusers rights groups. advocates are looking to enforce the laws. the agenda of mra’s is to abolish child support, reduce domestic violence laws and sometimes advocate for leniency in incest laws.

-men’s groups need to speak up for protective mothers. Abuser’s rights groups only speak for a small group of extremists.

-abusers are 60% more likely than mothers to make false allegations to gain the upper hand in custody cases. ironically, it is women who get blamed the most for doing this.

-one possible recommendation: abusers should pay the costs of what they caused–they should pay for evaluations, legal fees–and judges should use their authority to level the playing fields.

-abusers use courts to bankrupt the mother.


determining primary aggressors by Mark Wynn

-check out this guys website, he is awesome:

-he helped change the FBI definition of rape, that tells you all you need to know.

-because of this change, however, the statistics on rape are going to explode. the occurrence of rape hasn’t changed but now we will have better accounting for it.

-moving on to primary aggressors: how abuses act.

-the aggressor will come and meet the cops, charm them, try to connect with the officers.

-meanwhile the woman is hysterical because she has been traumatized which de-legitimizes her in the eyes of the cop.

-dv victims know body language better than anybody, they have to in order to stay alive.

-the body language of cops can shut a victim up because it scares her.

-how do women use force: they scratch exposed skin which immediately shows

-abusers have become more sophisticated and hurt women in places that are not visible.

-police officers understand the use of justifiable force for themselves, why can’t they apply this to victims.

-if you take away self-defense from officers they will all quit but this is exactly what they did to do victims.

-keep your police departments honest, ask them what their dual arrest numbers are!

-abusers use the power and control wheel on police officers as well.

-when assessing probable cause: check out who’s afraid, who’s afraid to go to court, the behavior of the primary aggressor.

-both Hawaii and California allow police officers to issue orders of protection rather than make them go through the process of going to court.

-check out the power and control whelk specific to cops. It is very interesting.


I got done with the presentation about an hour ago. it was an awesome experience but i am wiped. i will post more specifically about my presentation tomorrow. for today i will just say how good it felt to be in a professional setting again. i am also incredibly thankful to my wonderful friends and co-presenters. you guys are the best!