So, if your experience with Domestic violence was white and middle class, does that mean s/he doesn't want the submissions?

The Happy Feminist

Not sure. I just emailed the person doing the study to find out.

The Happy Feminist

I have just added the following clarification above:

Of course, any experiences of DV within the white/middle-class/heterosexual populations are welcome as well.

Also, apologies for my poor formatting of this post. I can't seem to fix it.


I told a few people about this, and they said they might submit.

I`m wondering -- isn`t the public perception that domestic violence is more of a low-class, minority problem? And when it does touch the white middle class, one usually hears surprised mutterings along the lines of, "Who would have ever thought.....?"

(Go, Smith! -- `87 alum)

The Happy Feminist

You know, that's kind of what I thought L. I think I've mentioned this on other threads, but the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly did an excellent cover story several years ago about alumnae who had suffered domestic violence. It was really, I thought, sort of a ground breaking story because these were all well-educated, relatively affluent women. If I recall correctly a lot of them didn't report the abuse for a long time because they each felt like an anomaly. There is a feeling of shame that a woman with degrees and accomplishments shouldn't have allowed herself to get into the situation. If the abuser is also accomplished and well-respected then there is also a worry that reports of abuse won't be believed.


L. :

There is that public perception, yes, but lately (as in, the past 10 years or so), a lot of the public awareness campaigns have centered around white middle class families. People tend to assume that DV occurs in minority homes, and in lower-class families, but the picture of DV victims that's put forth (mostly by anti-DV organizations) is that of the white, middle-class, female heterosexual. Look at Lifetime movies about DV, for example.

As for minority communities...a lot of times, it is these minority communities themselves that silence (or try to silence) victims/survivors of DV in order to combat exactly this stereotype. For example, Middle Eastern Muslim families. The US perception of Middle Eastern/Muslim culture as so anti-woman makes us assume that the women in these relationships are of course oppressed (which is obviously not a blanket truth). The Middle Eastern Muslim community, then, is going to silence any instances of DV in their community because they don't want to perpetuate this stereotype that harms them as a whole. So, the silence that they're breaking isn't the overall silence of the larger culture (although that's there to a degree as well), but more the immediate culturally imposed silence from their own communities.

--Jen (the Smithie doing the project)

The Happy Feminist

Ooh-- that's interesting. So victims from a culture that is already perceived in a pejorative fashion as being anti-woman are going to be in a real bind -- because if they come forward, it is almost as though they are selling out their own culture.


In Japan, where I lived most of my adult life, one didn`t even read about domestic violence in the media until the late `90`s. In 1999, the Japanese Counsel in Vancouver, Canada, hit his wife, and when he was arrested for it, he said, "Since olden times in Japan, it has not mattered if a husband hit his wife. This is a cultural difference."
But the high-profile case in Canada raised awareness of domestic violence bach home, and Japan enacted its "Domestic Violence Prevention Law" in April 2001.

Better late than never!

Patriarch Verlch

Per capita there is more lesbian on lesbian violence, than man on female. With women inititing the conflict 50% of the time. Nobody is recording the data agianst violent women, who know their husbands cannot defend themselves. A minor push, a little slap on the face, that man is in serious trouble.

Its a shame aswell, because only lawyers win, with the worst of all families losing the most.


The Happy Feminist

My understanding is that the author of this study will consider submissions regarding male victims of domestic violence as well as woman-on-woman domestic violence. You may, however, email her directly to confirm same.

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