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Domestic Violence Discrimination

Domestic Violence Discrimination


Geraldine Lopez
University of Texas
E. Levesque
04/23/2015

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Domestic Violence Discrimination

Abstract
. The purpose of this paper is to inform about victims of domestic violence who
are often discriminated and communicate how community can contribute to help victims
of domestic violence. It is divided in four research questions first introducing the
problem, second the types of victims who are discriminated, third section introduces
some organizations that help and support victims, and forth a plan of action to help
victims.

Domestic Violence is a serious problem around the world. Many people have become
victims of discrimination because of their sex, or sexual orientation. Victims like homosexuals,
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Domestic Violence Discrimination

or men are left out by protections, community and laws. Some organizations have joined together
to support discriminated victims, and a plan of action has been made to help stop discrimination
against victims.
How is discrimination based on gender and sexuality present in domestic violence
protection?
Domestic violence affects over millions of people around the world. Domestic violence
can affect different areas on a victim like physical or psychological. The victims in these
relationships are not only from heterosexual, but also from homosexual relationships. "Domestic
violence is a pattern of interaction that includes the use of physical violence, coercion,
intimidation, isolation, and/or emotional, economic, or sexual abuse by one intimate partner to
maintain power and control over the other intimate partner."(pg1095) Laws, society and social
workers reflect discrimination among the victims of domestic violence.
Laws exist to protect and help individuals, but yet exclude some victims from
domestic violence protections. Legislation varies by state; each state treats victims differently
depending on society and values. The intervention of laws in domestic violence help victims with
restriction orders, mandatory arrest, or temporary incarceration of the abuser. Gays and lesbians
are excluded from protection under domestic violence programs in states like Louisiana,
Montana, South Carolina, etc. The Violence against Women Act protects any individual who are
victims of domestic violence. This acts trains police officers, prosecutors and other social
workers to specific deal with domestic violence cases. Previous research from writers
demonstrated that this act is not enough for some victims, this is because the persons in charge of
these cases will help victims differently, the individuals values or beliefs are factors that victims
will not receive the same help. Laws that do not protect victims of same-sex marriage support
the religious idea that God created men and women not homosexuals. Laws that protect
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Domestic Violence Discrimination

heterosexual victims fail to give protection to men. This is also because it is hard to believe that
men can be harm by women. Male victims (29%) are nearly twice as likely than women (17%)
to not tell anyone about the partner abuse. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police (27%
women), only 22% will tell a person in an official position (38% women) and only 10% (15%
women) will tell a health professional(Mankind Initiative 2012/2013). Delaware Domestic
Violence council the following states must fund only program that focus on violence against
women.(DVAMV2010)
Religious people against same sex marriage will absolutely vote against the protection of
these victims for obvious reasons. The majority of domestic violence victims are women,
community are more familiar to these cases. Society a not very informed about domestic
violence victims like men being abused by a woman, or homosexual victims. These victims are
afraid on how community will respond, so there solution is to keep their suffering as a secret.
People share common thoughts about things around them, like in the study done in the article
Gender-role Stereotypes and Domestic violence, by Seelau and Seelau. The study consisted on
asking different persons how would they react to a certain situations in domestic violence. The
majority answer the same, if the victims were men or homosexual, these people agreed that no
action by the police is needed. If the victim was a woman, intervention of police is necessary if
the physical aggression was serious an arrest should be taken by police. In Figure 1. The results
of the study are shown forty percent of the participants believe that no intervention of police
should be made if the victim is a woman the rest agree that police/hotline should interfere in a
domestic violence of a woman being the victim. Participants agreed that the least relationship
that needs intervention from police is in a male-male domestic violence. Female-Female
relationship is in second place of police intervention, participants agree that it is more important
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Domestic Violence Discrimination

a police intervention if is a female against female fight than a male being the victims of a
woman. One reasonable conclusion of this is because women are consider being weak, and is
more important to help the weak ones. Participants believe that the most reasonable thing to do
if a male is being the victim of a woman is to call a friend, which it will not make a difference for
the victim. A friend could interfere and tried to calm the couples but it would continue every time
no one is watching, and it can cause a serious damage to the male victim. There has been cases
where victims found suicide as there only solution. For male relationships the most reasonable
ting that participants found correct to do was to leave the couple alone. The result for ignoring a
case of domestic violence can end up in a tragedy, like stories of homosexuals that have been
spread thru organizations.
Discrimination against homosexuals

is

mainly because of religion or some


people have homophobia. If the men

are

the victim they are not treated like


women because
men are consider to
Figure1.Interactionofvictimandperpetratorsexonthebestresolutionforthedispute.

be

stronger. Double standards. Women are "seen" as weak, men as strong. When a male is
physically abused, "he's a whipped bitch." If a female is physically abused, "she's a woman."
Society is fucked; people are easily manipulated by religious or social norms. That is reality, no
one will change a thing, just live with it., this opinion was gather by a survey created to see
communities opinion about discrimination.(SurveyMonkey2015)
Social workers that are responsible to take care of victims will help each victim
differently as they thing it is the right way. For example women receive help from shelters,
police interventions, psychologist, and restrictions orders. If you are a victim of Domestic
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Domestic Violence Discrimination

Violence, you are not alone. Four million women are physically abused each year and many
more suffer emotional abuse from their partner. this sentence is part of an intro in a website that
helps women suffering from domestic violence. It offers help to a victim, but yet it specifies to
woman. Many organizations focus more in woman because they are considered to be more
weak and have more probabilities to be a victim. For men victims social workers will help
some of the victims depending in the person in charge of their cases. For homosexuals it is
almost the same as men, if a social worker thinks that is a mutual fight it would not make a
decision like with woman. It is important for the persons in charge of hiring these people to take
some changes to avoid any type of discrimination towards victims.
What types of victims are discriminated?
Domestic violence can happen to everyone, community should be aware of this because
when the problem is ignored people become ignorant of the
problem, which causes discrimination to some victims. The
following image gives the message by not knowing what type of
person is being affected.
For the following research question an interview to Loren
Fernandez was made to provide information on how domestic violence affects homosexual
relationships. Fernandez experience domestic violence when she was 18 years old when she
decide to move out with her partner Alicia who was 6 years older than her. Alicia was not only
doing physical abuse to Loren but emotionally. Drugs, sexual abuse, and physical violence were
factors Fernandez went thru in her relationship. I did once, Alicia got out of control, I call the
police and they told me there was nothing to do about it; the only thing they could do is to ask

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Domestic Violence Discrimination

Alicia to leave for the night. The reason they did this was because it was hard to determine who
the victim was of these lesbian relationship. Fernandez answered when questioning if she ever
ask for help when Alicia use violence against her. In fact this was the only time she asked for
help because she was afraid of social workers response to her case. One of the hardest moments
for Fernandez was of her catholic mom who told her that she hopes one day God will forgive her
for her decision of homosexuality. Community are not very well informed on domestic violence
in homosexuals because homosexuals like Loren are afraid that polices responses, public
workers, or loved ones are not the way they expect. Some of these victims rather keep their
suffering to themselves. Of course they are. In some states they approve homosexuals, but
everywhere there is those people who believe in Gods word of men are for women, and I respect
that I really do, its just hard when you get to these situations because we do not know if will be
treated the same as those women who are abuse by men.
From a video provided from the organization Mankind Initiative, gives the
evidence about men been discriminated. This video captures a fight of a man and woman, at first
the man is the one yelling at the woman, he does not hit her but he grabs her face in a roughly
way. As soon as people started noticing this they approach to the couple and ask the woman if
she needed help. The woman thanked the people who approach and said it was okay, some
insisted to help but she denied the help. After this the same story repeats but this time the man is
being yelled, the woman does hit him and acts more violent, she pushes him, she slaps him and
uses more offensive words. The reactions of the people preserving these actions were laughs, and
some just stared at the couple, and kept walking. Some people found it funny to see a man being
hit by a woman, no one bother to ask the man if he needed help as they did with the woman.

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Domestic Violence Discrimination

In the website of Gay Mens Domestic Violence Project, stories of gay men are provided
to inform community how gays are affected. For example Dennis story, Dennis gives detail on
how he stared being part of domestic violence, he mentions that he could not believe he was part
of it, it was hard to believe a gay men could ever experience this types of situations Prior to
Alex, I had never been exposed to domestic violence through either experience or education. I
am sure I was aware of it abstractly through the media, but I never made the logical progression
to realize that I, as a gay man, could be a victim. By not recognizing the abuse as domestic
violence, I never thought to reach out for help.(gmdv.org)
Community should understand that domestic violence can happen to anyone, everywhere,
regardless of their race, sex, and age or sexuality orientation. This is the reason why is important
to be aware of the victims around, and make a difference because one day it might be one of your
love ones.
Who is making a difference to help domestic violence victims who are left out?
Organizations or laws after some victims broke the silence stared making a difference to
help victims being discriminated. One of the organizations are Mankind Initiatives this
organization provides help to male victims. Victims can contact them by phone or email. They
provide stories about men being abuse to inform community about this. Violence Against Woman
Act, present the following No person in any State shall on the ground of race, color, religion,
national origin, or sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be
subjected to discrimination under or denied employment in connection with any programs or
activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under this chapter. This act is very

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Domestic Violence Discrimination

helpful for men who want to look for help and might think that actions will be different from
women.
Gays Men Domestic Violence Project is an organization that helps gay victims. This
organization has survivors of domestic violence do presentations to inform community about gay
victims and ask for their support. This organization came up with a Strategic Plan this consist of
building services to victims and survivors, community engagement, and build organizational
capacity. Each of these sections expands topics that are goals that this organization builds. The
most important is to make people aware of the problem.
National Center of Domestic Violence is an organization for gays, lesbians or
transgender. These organizations also help victims from domestic violence. At first it focuses on
women victims but it expand to help homosexuals. This organization provides emergency
responses teams, service providers, social workers, and other professional help. This organization
spread in many states not only in the United States but in Mexico or Puerto Rico. This is a very
strong element of the organization because it spreads the word around the world as much as they
can. They became more modern by using social Medias like Facebook and twitter to promote
their organization.
What Plan of Action should be follow to help stop discrimination against victims?
The Plan of Action community or social workers may follow to help victims being
discriminated consist of tree things, first of all before solving a problem is believing there is one,
second is the interpretation the problem and third is to communicate and support.
Believing there is a problem is helpful because if people do not think is wrong to leave
out victims for protection would not make a difference. People must realize that domestic
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Domestic Violence Discrimination

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violence is a big problem that affects a lot of people. If people ignore the problem none of these
victims would have the help they need to overcome domestic violence. Domestic violence
victims like homosexuals and men, need the same attention as other victims have. People should
understand this is a problem and those people need their help regardless of their sex or sexual
orientation. After believing this is a problem people would make a difference to protect victims.
Second part of this plan of action is to start interpret ting the problem. If you were in the
situation think about the consequences it might bring you if people would ignore your suffering.
All this problem of discriminating victims and classifying them starts with the values people
have. If people discrimination towards gays or lesbians is okay because of Gods word, they are
wrong. As humans it is important to protect each other and make justice for everyone that
deserves it. The problem of not caring about these types of humans starts with ones values.
Third of this plan of action is to participate in any organizations that are willing to help
victims from domestic violence. Organizations look for volunteers that want to join the team o
help victims. Also some organizations collect any type of donations to make advertising or to
help victims with shelters, lawyers or other types of help. Another way to contribute is to spread
the word that this problem is affecting a lot of people and it is important to not discriminate or
follow what the majority of people think. Support victims, they should k now they are not alone
and there is people that cares about them. If victims know they have support from the community
it is easier for them to look for help, the fear they have about discrimination would disappear
little by little, no more suicides and no more silent suffering.
Community and social workers have the opportunity to help victims, not only them but
also the legislation every state has. Laws should not focus in sex or sexual orientation, they have

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Domestic Violence Discrimination

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the power to make justice, and community can support and spread the word, but if a law does not
protect victims is hard to make a change. Victims should be treated the same any type of
protection should be offer to any type of victim. If police interference is necessary when a
woman is the victim, it should be necessary for a men, gay, tans or lesbian victim.

References

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Domestic Violence Discrimination

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Stephenson, R. (2012, November 14). Forgotten Victims: Domestic Violence Among Gay Men The Feminist Wire. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from
http://thefeministwire.com/2012/11/forgotten- victims-domestic-violence-among-gay-men/
Jablow, Pamela M. (2000) "Victims of Abuse and Discrimination: Protecting Battered
Homosexuals Under Domestic Violence Legislation," Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 28: Iss. 4,
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Jo Ann Merica, The Lawyer's Basic Guide to Domestic Violence, 62 TEX. B.J. 915, 915 (1999).

Peeterman, L. (2003). Domestic violence between Same-Sex partners: Implications for


counseling. Journal of Counseling and Developing.
Initiative, M. (2014, May 22). #ViolenceIsViolence: Domestic abuse advert Mankind. Retrieved
April 25, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3PgH86OyEM

About Us. (2010, September 26). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://gmdvp.org/about-us

Domestic Violence Programs Discriminate against Male victims. (2010, August 1). Retrieved
April 25, 2015, from http://www.saveservices.org/pdf/SAVE-VAWA-Discriminates-AgainstMales.pdf

Ferandez, L. (2015, May 10). Domestic Violence Discrimination [Personal interview].

Seelau, S. M., & Seelau, E. P. (2005). Gender-role stereotypes and perceptions of heterosexual,
gay and lesbian domestic violence. Journal of Family Violence, 20(6), 363-371.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/analyze/dHTUdeShKCDkCFxiUPY7ERMM7ewDcEkz67
Y5aBcBcY_3D

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