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What Are The Best Ways To Prevent And Eliminate Rape And Domestic Violence?


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  • What Are The Best Ways To Prevent And Eliminate Rape And Domestic Violence?

    Hello everyone. I have some questions to ask you because I have been in a debate about how women and men should prevent and eliminate rape and domestic violence on another message board. The other message board is at but Ms. magazine is having a server problem right now. On the Ms. boards, people are divided into two groups: gun owners and feminists. The gun owners favor a lot of the following self-help techniques: gun ownership, unarmed self-defense such as carrying pepper spray and learning the unarmed martial arts, improving home security, Neighborhood Watch, Business Watch, private investigative style criminal background checks, women learning how to investigate and prosecute rapists, putting more criminals behind bars, improving the training of sex crimes investigators, mandatory recording and reporting of battered women's injuries, setting up foster homes for the pets of battered women, helping battered women get good legal defense after they have defended themselves against their attackers, ending discrimination against battered women in insurance coverage and child custody cases, etc. The feminists tend to be anti-gun and want to have more long-term solutions: raising sons to be non-violent, changing sexist language, changing the image of women on television programs as well as in movies and music and novels, getting guys to stop reading and looking at pornography, getting rid of sexist advertising, etc.
    I'm a gun owner and I definately favor all of the self-help techniques but I also agree with the feminists that we are going to need all of the long-term solutions as well. Short-term solutions won't completely solve these horrible problems but the long-term solutions are way too slow. In fact, most of the long-term solutions will probably take either decades, hundreds or thousands of years to be effective because people are resistant to change. Women can't wait this long. We also have to stop the criminals that already exist right now. This is why we really need some of both of the short-term solutions and the long-term solutions. What do you all think about this subject? When the Ms. website stops having problems with it's server, then all of you are invited to go over there and join this debate. You can also discuss it here.

  • #2
    It is strange to me that "feminists" tend to be anti-gun as I believe that the right to gun ownership, and the right to self defense in general is an equal rights issue.

    I would tend to think that women would want to be able to choose for themselves whether or not to own and learn how to use a weapon to defend themselves. It is a very personal decision and I would never force it on anyone, but I know that I want both my wife and my daughter to have the ability to make that choice for themselves.

    Anyway...I have been very active in both DV and sexual assault investigations. They are somewhat of a specialty in my career as an investigator. I have worked with DV non-profits, I have trained LEO's and civilians in DV and I have trained LEO's in sexual assault.

    I will agree that more training for LEO's is essential. That first officer contact after a sexual assault is reported is crucial and officers should know how to respond appropriately. I have also seen the subtle ways that attitudes can effect the work done by investigators. And not just men...actually, I have seen much less "objective" attitudes coming from female sexual assault investigtors. Indeed, female jurors can be the most demanding of victims at criminal trial.

    "Feminists" (as you have used the term) do seem to be more oriented to supposedly causitive factors within our culutre, but, many of these factors are not what causes rape.

    Pornography, for example. Sexual assault is not about is about power and control. Perpetrator's use of pornography may in some instances by correlative, but is not causitive. There are many countries where pornography in any form is outlawed, yet they still have sexual assault.

    In reality, none of these suggestions that you describe will get rid of all sexual assault. This does not mean, however, that we should not try. Any effort is an effort, and as Ghandi said: "Almost everything we do is insignificant, but it is very important that we do them."

    I believe in the enpowerment of people in general to make their own choices regarding to their safety, security, and self-defense. Women are, I believe, more sensitive to the need to be aware of these things than men are. Men, after all, do not reach a certain age where they realize that some men "look at them differently". I really am amazed that some women go out in public at all as I know they must be very aware that to some men, they are "prey".

    I might also say that even among sexual assault survivors, there is a wide and passionate divergence of opinion. Some survivors come out of it against things like gun control, and some come out for it. The experience of sexual assault is not universal. The way one person views what happened is not the same way that another would if they had gone through the exact same incident. Also, perpetrators come in all different flavors with different motivations.

    You can't implement a set of solutions for the one problem of sexal assault, because there are many kinds of sexual assault due to the many kinds of perpetrators and women they choose to victimize.

    I might also point out that although sexual assault is typically viewed as a a problem with male perpetrators, I have worked many cases involving female perpetrators helping and assisting men in the sexual assault of other women, and I have seen many cases of female perpetrators sexually abusing male and female children. And yes, I have even seen cases of female perpetrators commiting sexual assault on men, just as I have seen male perpetrators victimizing other men.

    DV also crosses gender boundries.

    I cannot view sexual assault or DV as a male/female issue. That is to oversimplify. The root causes are varied and complex. There will always be rooom for improvement and I am glad the people are at least discussing it.


    • #3
      Hi Sparky. It is great to see that someone posted a response to my message very quickly. On the other board, I also suggested that women vote against sexist district attorneys, judges, sheriffs who won't punish rapists and DV offenders. Women should also pay very close attention to who they vote for when they vote for state attorney general as well as county and city soliciters. I also mentioned denying bail, plea-bargaining, probation, and parole to rapists and wifebeaters. When the Ms. website server problems end over there, then I will post messages about how we need to end discrimination against battered women in public housing and employment, hiring more women police officers, etc.
      As you already know, people have discussed putting more criminals behind bars on the Ms. board. This is because I suggested that we use either build more prisons or else use the military bases that were closed 10-12 years ago as prisons. If this isn't done, then we could use those old military bases as shelters for battered women, their children, and their pets. Another idea that I mentioned was to expand Project Debby nationwide. What is Project Debby? It is a program in several different cities where battered women and their children are matched with vacant hotel rooms. This program could be expanded to include motels, boarding houses, RV Campgrounds, RV rental companies, houseboat rental companies, and sailboat rental companies and all of these businesses should be given tax credits for helping battered women. There are plenty of places where we can house the victims of DV if people will just think a little. Please tell me what you think about all of this.


      • #4
        I agree with you Sparky that these problems do cross gender lines because I have read about domestic violence existing among men and women who are gay and it also happens in roommate relationships. Battered women's shelters need to provide more services to help these victims of domestic violence and there are other underserved people as well. These other victims of DV are people who live in rural areas, ethnic minorities(Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians), religious minorities, athiests, elderly people, teen-aged girls, handicapped people, and immigrants. On the Ms. board, I also mentioned that the policies of some battered women's shelters should be changed and start allowing the teen-aged sons of battered women to live with their moms in the shelters. Some shelters won't allow the boys into the shelters when the boys are 14 and older. Where are these boys supposed to go? You don't want them to live with the batterers because the batterers could injure or kill them or teach them to be violent to women. These boys shouldn't be forced to live on the streets and putting them in foster homes isn't a good idea, either.


        • #5
          I have also found it to be extremely contradictory and strange that many so-called "feminists" are anti-gun. On the one hand, they constantly try to brainwash all women into thinking that guns are inherently evil tools of male oppression that should be hated and feared. They encourage women to never learn anything about how guns can be great equalizers for women and about how the police cannot provide women with 24 hour bodyguard type protection. Heck you guys aren't even legally obligated to provide anyone with personal protection but the so-called "feminists" never mention this to women at all. Then they also want to pass gun control laws even though these ridiculous laws never prevent any type of crime. Then these same "feminists" want more women to become law enforcement personnel even though this occupation requires people to carry and use guns. How on earth do they expect women who have been brainwashed into hating guns to want to join the police force when they will have to carry those dreaded and feared firearms every single day? LOL. It isn't going to happen even if you eliminate sexism against women among the male police officers. It is way past time for the feminists to overcome their stupid fear of firearms because this fear is aimed in the wrong direction. Guns aren't inherently male because guns are inanimate objects that are not living creatures. In order to be inherently male, you have to be either an animal or human who has three specific characteristics. These characteristics are sex chromosomes, sex hormones, and sex organs that are male. Guns don't have any of these characteristics and this makes guns be an it instead of a he or a she. Guns are only tools that either gender can learn how to use and women using guns isn't any worse than women driving cars. Feminists should develop this pro-gun attitude because their anti-gun attitude is killing women.


          • #6
            Here is a question. Should we give the death penalty to convicted rapists?


            • #7
              If they commit murder, yes.


              • #8
                I have to agree with Sparky on most of his post.

                As I former sex crimes investigator, I'm very aware of how important proper handling of the case is from the very beginning. I'm also very aware that most officers are not properly trained to handle it. There are many subtle things that come into play, not only from the emotional standpoint, but frome the evidence standpoint as well. Things that a lot of officers don't know, nor should I expect them to know without training.

                In fact, some of the opposite is true. For example, there is a prevailing myth that women won't talk to male investigator fro the most part. In most cases, that not true. In fact, one school of thought is that a male investigator can start the "healing process". He is a male in a position of power that is not victimizing them and is trying to help them. Yet the myth that the interviews should be done by women continues to exist.

                To address your initial question: There is nothing more empowering than defending oneself. Even if you lose, you still tried. Many victims feel increased guilt when they don't fight back.

                All the grandios plans about changing society are a pipe dream. IMHO, the best thing we can actually do in the short term is encourage victims to report the crime and follow through with the prosecution. That is the 2 biggest hurdles we need to clear. Those are things we can do NOW, not a generation or two down the road.


                • #9
                  I agree with Niteshift. I have a friend who's 14 year old daughter was raped 16 years ago. She refused to cooperate or even discuss it with her own Dad, who ws a police officer. He tried, as gently as he could, to get her to talk to someone or press charges but she wanted nothing to do with anything.
                  It affected the whole family and probably always will. He, as a Dad, took it very hard.
                  As far as guns go, there have been times I have wanted one. But, I don't trust myself with one. I'm a real scaredy cat and I might shoot first then look at the situation. I carry mace with me. I am very careful when I am by myself out in the public. I walk down the middle of the parking spaces, looking around and making sure, if someone is out there, they see me looking aound.
                  I trust no one. If they have a question to ask me, they can ask me where they are standing, not needing to come up to me. I always have my keys ready to get into my car quickly. If someone rings my doorbell, I (and my husband also) do not open the door. We ask who it is. If the answer is muffled, we still don't open the door.
                  Does all this help? I don't know. It just makes me feel better.


                  • #10
                    Great topic and on point for me, I have been receiving a large amount of specialized training in this area due to our agency having a dedicated domestic violence unit under my section.
                    I will have to say that in the area of date rape and domestic violence assaults early intervention and must prosecute policys by prosecutors seem to work the best.
                    We have cut our domistic violence homocides from 8 the year prior to implementing the unit to 0 in the past three years. Every case is assigned to an investigator and followed up with to include an interview with the victim and an introduction to the social services available.
                    The second type of sexual assault is commited by predatory criminals and this is where the would be victim should empower herself with whatever means she has.
                    Self defense classes, firearms permits and training, chemical agents all have their place in this area.
                    As a defensive tactics insructor I have given a Rape prevention/ situational awarness class to many womens groups and they have always shown interest and wanted to learn more.
                    Predatory criminals will not be stopped because we teach boys to respect women or we do not have playboy magazines or hustler available at the 7-11. Predatory criminals exist because for lack of a better explanation not everyone is wired right and these folks have some serious problems.
                    Society can help with the domestic violence and date rape scenarios and make a difference. Individuals however must take charge of their own safety and an empowered woman properly trained with firearms, situational awarnesss and self defense should fear no man and should be able to defend herself and her family with deadly force if needed.

                    As the father of three girls I will make sure my daughters understand that they will not take abuse from anyone.I must first set the tone by my interaction with their mother I treat my wife with respect and that is how my daughters will be treated.
                    Boo! Scared ya did'nt I


                    • #11
                      'bwana, you don't work them there killin's much, do ya'?

                      It's homicide...not homocide!

                      Sorry, buddy....I just couldn't resist.


                      • #12
                        Hello Niteshift. I'm glad that you mentioned that more victims of rape should report the crime and this is the reason why I mentioned that women should learn how to investigate and prosecute rapists on the message boards. Reading books on this subject will help women and girls get the knowledge, skills, confidence, and courage to report these horrible crimes. These books are also great for street cops, police sex crimes investigators, private investigators, security guards, district attorneys, DA investigators, defense attorneys, investigators who work for the defense attorneys, and judges to read.
                        Let me give you an example of why it is a good idea for women to read these books. Sometimes the defense attorney, the judge, and the prosecutor will play a cruel hoax on the rape victim. After many delays, they will schedule a trial on a date when they know that the rape victim, other witnesses, and the peace officer won't be in court because they haven't been notified about it, or they are sick or out of town. The case gets dismissed and the rapist walks out a free man.
                        There is a way to stop this and you have to educate more women to do it. Many women don't know that they can hire their own attorney who can be sworn in as a special prosecutor and that this attorney can do everything that the prosecutor who works for the county can do to bring the case to trial. First of all, he or she can help stop many of these delays and notify the victim about them. He or she can either assist the county prosecutor or conduct the prosecution alone. When there is more than more prosecutor or defense attorney, then all of them are allowed to participate in the trial.
                        There are also steps that the victim(s) can do to bring the case to trial. The victim can learn when the grand jury will meet, go to their meeting and request that the case be brought to trial. If a prosecutor tries to keep the victim from the meeting, then the victim can petition a member of the grand jury to hear him or her. A case can be taken before the grand jury if a judge at the preliminary hearing didn't bind the defendant over for a criminal trial. The victim may also petition the state attorney general and ask this person to force the case to be brought to trial. As you already know, the state attorney general is the highest law enforcement officer in the state. Now I have to ask some questions. How many women in the general population know about all of this? How many more women do you think would report these crimes if they knew what to do when they report it and start to prosecute the criminal? I know about this and the way that I learned it is by reading a book about rape investigation. I'm not in law enforcement or private security but I used to work as a security guard during the 1980s. I also majored in Administration Of Justice but I didn't finish college. I have never been raped or beaten up by a male criminal. Reporting this type of crime would still be stressful but knowing what to do helps to reduce the amount of stress.


                        • #13
                          "On the other board, I also suggested that women vote against sexist district attorneys, judges, sheriffs who won't punish rapists and DV offenders. Women should also pay very close attention to who they vote for when they vote for state attorney general as well as county and city soliciters."

                          First off, prosecutors, and sheriffs do not punish offenders because that is not their job. In fact, depending on the state, the judge may not have much latitude in sentencing of the offender. And sentencing can only be done after a JURY has found the defendent guilty.

                          In my experience, it is the JURY who is reluctant to return a guilty verdict on many sexual assaults, such as statutory rape, marital rape, etc. The prosecutors and LE often work the case on behalf of the vicitms only to have the Grand Jury or trial jury throw it back at us.

                          Of course, we get the blame anyway.

                          "I also mentioned denying bail, plea-bargaining, probation, and parole to rapists and wifebeaters."

                          Bail is set according to law by a judge who must follow legal guidelines. Generally speaking, a flight risk or danger to a person or the community must be pretty well established. This is more than an opinion, it must be demonstrated in court. The purpose of bail is to insure someone's appearance in court. That's all. If there is an extreme risk, then those special circumstances may warrant for the defendant to be held without bond. This is often easier said than done.

                          A judge may be much more willing to hold a misdemeanor defendant without bond for two weeks until an appearance, but in felony court, the trial may not actually take place for over a year and the defendant also has a right to particiapte in their own defense.

                          My only point is that the "bail issue" is not as simple as you make it out to be.

                          Plea bargaining is most often enetered in to on sexual assault cases at the victim's request. A sexual assault trial is extremely traumatic on the survivor. I refuse to second guess their decision.

                          The strength of the case also has alot to do with whether or not we take a plea. If it is very strong, the defendant may want to take a plea. We cannot stop someone from entering a guilty plea. They have the right to do it. They may often get some consideration upon sentencing for their show of "remorse" and effort to make things "right".

                          Probation and parole are also indicated by sentencing guidelines, wishes of the victim, etc. You can't just make a hard and fast rule not to parole/assign probation to certain offenders.

                          In my state, as well as many others, Victim's Rights legislation has been passed that plugs the victim in to sentencing and prosecution decisions. Alot of folks supported this because the thought was that it would get rid of alot of what you described. It got alot of political support.

                          But the reality is that many of the decisions and factors that effect bail, prosecution, probation, etc. cannot be changed by a policy. In fact, they often times occur due solely to the express wishes of the victim involved.


                          • #14
                            Now I want to give you more information about the book that I mentioned in my last post. Have any of you ever read How To Convict A Rapist By Joy Satterwhite Eyman, Ph.D? This book is a must read and it includes the following chapters: A Crime Victim Who Became A Detective-Sally's Case Of Rape, The Investigation: Steps To Take-What Happened Before, During, And After The Rape, Help In Describing A Suspect, Interviews, The Legal Process, How To Prepare The Case For Court, How To Testify Positively, What Part Of No Don't You Understand?, The Trauma Of Rape, Rape And The Medical Evidence, and Avoiding Rape. There are also four appendixes: The Rapist Revealed, Notes For The Professional, The Morals Squad, and Is Your Handling Fail-Safe? This book costs $14.95 and it is published by the National Book Network, 4720 Lanham, MD 20706.


                            • #15
                              I'm happy to announce that the website is working again. While the server still isn't perfect, I have been able to post some messages on the message boards this afternoon. I did notice though that the message about mandatory recording and reporting of battered women's injuries that I attempted to post yesterday didn't get on the message board. Dang it! I will have to try it again. My screen name over there is The Abolitionist. Please feel free to visit this website because people will be interested in what you write.


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