As the President of the Los Angeles area chapter of the National Coalition of Free Men, I found it very disturbing to see male victims of abuse ignored in your second article on the Take Back the Night rally. (“Women find their voice in second half of rally,” 3/15/07.) I thank you that the first article is gender-inclusive, but was still disturbed to read one of the speakers excluding men by calling victims of rape/abuse “women” over and over. (“Rally educates students on violence against women and men,” 3/13/07.) No doubt the speaker would say “men and women” regarding soldiers or firefighters. It is a double standard to not do the same for victims of abuse and rape.
The latest fact sheet of the Centers for Disease Control states that, “In the United States every year, about 1.5 million women and more than 800,000 men are raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner.”
Although men underreport more than women in crime data, sociological (behavior-based) research consistently shows “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners,” as a Cal State University bibliography shows.
The University of New Hampshire recently confirmed this in a 32-nation study that also found factors such as controlling behavior exist in male and female perpetrators equally, as the University explains in a news release.
The data also shows 38% of injured victims are men, that women use weapons more than men, and that self-defense does not explain away the female violence.
Many male victims are disabled, elderly, refuse to hit back or are afraid of arrest or losing child custody if they do. Many think they can “take it,” but their children cannot. Their children are damaged by witnessing it no matter how severe or minor it is, and their exposure to it increases their chances of commiting it themselves. When we ignore male victims, we ignore their children, which is simply abhorrent. We cannot break this intergenerational cycle by ignoring half of it.
My organization includes CSUN students who are very uncomfortable with what they consider gender-biased activism and politics at CSUN. I hope your campus will consider a more honest, research-based approach to these issues so that every victim counts.
Marc E. Angelucci
Los Angeles chapter
National Coalition of