Violence Begets Violence

In response to "Home Is Where the Hurt Is" (issue of Sept. 5), it concerns me to see domestic violence separated out from the bigger picture with barely a nod given to societal and political causes.

Sep 12, 2007 at 2:06 pm

In response to "Home Is Where the Hurt Is" (issue of Sept. 5), it concerns me to see domestic violence separated out from the bigger picture with barely a nod given to societal and political causes. Martin Luther King accurately stated in 1967 that the United States government was "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world." A year later, he was shot dead.

In Iraq, 13 years of U.S.-imposed economic sanctions led to the deaths of 1.5 million people, half of them children. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, 90 percent of the casualties have been civilians. Possibly a million people have been killed. Millions more have been driven from their homes and are refugees.

Electricity is available for only a few hours a day. Seventy percent of the population does not have access to clean drinking water. Seventy percent of the children do not go to school.

More than 40 percent live in "absolute poverty," according to Oxfam. Fifty percent are unemployed. This is violence inflicted on a domestic population that is beyond comprehension.

The U.S. sells more weapons globally than most other countries combined. It takes its own "grown-up" children, gives them guns and teaches them to kill — some, apparently, to torture). Many will later rejoin society as skilled practitioners of violence.

We teach violence to the militaries of other countries. Our "interventions" in other countries have killed millions, mostly civilians.

How do you get people to be nonviolent when the example set by our own government teaches precisely the opposite?

— Jim Byrnes, Hyde Park

Men Are Victims of Violence Too
While I appreciate Margo Pierce drawing attention to male victims of domestic violence ("Home Is Where the Hurt Is," issue of Sept. 5), she's wrong that "the statistics range in identifying 75 to 95 percent of victims as female." No current data supports the 95 percent figure, and the only data supporting the 75 percent figure is crime data, which is unreliable because men are still far less likely than women to call police.

Unlike crime data, virtually all randomized sociological surveys from around the globe show women initiate domestic violence as often as men and use weapons more than men and that men suffer about one-third of the injuries. For example, the latest study by the Centers for Disease Control published in May 2007 found women commit 70 percent of nonreciprocal domestic violence — about half of domestic violence — and men sustain more injuries in nonreciprocal violence but cause more injuries in reciprocal violence.

A recent 32-nation study by the University of New Hampshire found women commit partner violence as often as men and that controlling behavior exists equally in perpetrators of both sexes. A University of Florida study recently found women are more likely than men to "stalk, attack and abuse" their partners.

Decades of attention to battered women has left male victims swept under the rug while their children suffer long-term damage by the exposure. This is a serious but hidden problem.

— Marc E. Angelucci

President, Los Angeles Chapter, National Coalition of Free Men

Enquirer Cares More About Advertising
Thanks so much to Lew Moores for his story "Too Tough for The Enquirer?" (issue of Aug. 29). I have been concerned for years about the consolidation of media ownership and the ability of business to control what is printed in newspapers across the nation.

Jim McNair is an outstanding reporter who wrote important stories for the public good. If business couldn't stand the heat, they should have cleaned up their act rather than pressure The Enquirer to fire him, which, in my opinion is what happened.

I am president of Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings, a national not-for-profit advocating for the safe and sound construction of new homes. The National Association of Home Builders along with the National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers make up one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C. and every state. They've written and purchased passage of legislation that protects them from legal action when they rip off their own customers.

Unfortunately, media today seems to care more about advertising dollars than informing the public about certain businesses that they should seriously investigate before doing business with them.

McNair will be sorely missed by the citizens in the Cincinnati reading area. If readership of The Enquirer declines, it will be because it's become irrelevant to its readers.

— Nancy Seats, President Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings

Get on With Their Lives
I live in Michigan and support the Coalition for a Useful Registry, so I appreciated your article "Next Comes Burning at the Stake" (issue of Aug. 15). Great truths!

Our legislators feel the sex offender registry is way too broad and needs to be cleaned up. They just keep enacting laws, making it almost impossible for the young adults, who shouldn't be on the registry in the first place, to get on with their lives and be productive citizens.

— Gloria Lowe, Brooklyn, Mich.