26 October 2008
Protest Father-Bashing Domestic Violence Ads!
Several hundred Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses feature misleading, father-bashing ads purporting to address the serious issue of domestic violence.
One ad depicts a happy little girl with the message "One day my husband will kill me." Another shows a smiling boy with the message "When I grow up, I will beat my wife."
The ads are, to put it bluntly, hate speech against fathers.
o depict only males as perpetrators of domestic violence, and only females as victims, is a severe distortion. DV research clearly establishes that men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries, as women often employ the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for mens strength.
In earlier years, it was common to see crime stories presented as if only African-Americans and Latinos were perps, and whites their only victims. We now recognize that these distortions are bigoted. DART's ads are the same kind of distortions, only the "perps" are now dads.
The offending ads were placed on the buses by The Family Place, a Dallas Domestic Violence service provider. Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink told Fox News in Dallas that says she designed the ads to provoke, saying "I hope you are offended."
Flink is practically daring the fatherhood movement to respond, and assumes that domestic violence organizations can insult men with impunity. As a general rule, she has been correct - the domestic violence establishment, much of it funded with your tax dollars, has been allowed to get away with serving the public the false woman-as-victim/man-as-monster domestic violence model.
DART Buses & Trains serve a total of 10 million commuters per month. To read the Associated Press' and others' coverage of the ads, click here.
The message of the DART ads is clear - kids need to be afraid of fathers. Boys need to be afraid to grow up to be like dad, and girls need to fear marrying a man like dad.
Dads-as-Monsters ads such as these influence our popular culture, our news media, our legislators, and our family law courts. If you're a divorced dad who can only see his kids a few days a month, or who's the victim of false accusations of abuse, ads like these are one reason.
Two major billboard companies - Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoorhave already rejected these ads. Jodi Senese of CBS said the ads "can be both misleading and disturbing."
There are three ads in this seriesthe two mentioned above and also one apparently gender-neutral ad which discusses the issue of domestic violence and teen suicide. We have no problem with the third, but we want the first two - "One day my husband will kill me" and "When I grow up, I will beat my wife" - removed.
We abhor domestic violence and child abuse in all forms, and give credit to agencies like The Family Place which help victims. However, by failing (or refusing) to recognize male victims of domestic violence, the domestic violence establishment and The Family Place harm male victims and their children.
Society once swept domestic violence under the rug, marginalizing abused women and their children. As California's Third District Court of Appeal recognized in a recent decision, today male victims and their children are marginalized. These DART ads are part of that marginalization.
Internationally-recognized domestic violence expert John Hamel, LCSW, a court-certified batterer treatment provider and author of the book Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, explains:
Men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries. Ignoring female-on-male violence inhibits our efforts to combat domestic violence.
In the column to the right we provide quotes from numerous internationally-respected domestic violence authorities, all of whom, attest that domestic violence is committed by both men and women.
To take action please go to: http://www.glennsacks.com/dart/index.php#take-action