Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
“The key question concerns the relationship between threats and actual violence,” reported the Wall Street Journal on a new study of domestic violence.
“To me, threats are clues,” said Dr. T.K. Logan, author of the study. “We tend to dismiss them because there are so many. We should hone in, not tune out.” She believes the central issue in domestic abuse troubles is being able to measure when words signal real danger.
San Quentin offers an effective tool convert threatening language into communication with Nonviolent Communication (NVC). It teaches that much of the physical violence, substance abuse, domestic violence or emotional abuse is actually the “tragic expression of unmet needs.” NVC is a program, which looks beyond violence to address the root causes of the violence and provide tools for working with life’s difficulties without criminal results.
Dr. Logan’s study published in the journal Violence and Victims this February provided some reliable tools to predict the relationship between angry words and violent deeds. Her study’s title, “If I Can’t Have You, Nobody Will,” was a typical threat used by male partners to control women. Others included “I will mess you up” and “You will just disappear.”
Dr. Logan found that such threats mattered. Women who were threatened often (an average of over 50 percent of the days during the six-month study) were 10 times more likely to experience violence and five times more likely to be raped than women threatened an average of once a month.
As evidence that the legal system helps, the study found that both threats of harm and death went down dramatically under protective orders — from 83 percent to 19 percent after the courts got involved. Dr. Logan’s research also pointed to possible improvements in intervention through the use of protective orders that allowed authorities to identify and monitor those at greatest risk.
Though violence against women has declined over time, it remains an enormous problem. Dr. Logan’s findings, however, demonstrate it is the words used that are significant when it comes to domestic violence.
HOW TO GET STARTED
NVC Basics 1, Basics 2 and Next Step classes are taught on Wednesdays, from 3-5 p.m. in the Education Building. Sign-up sheets are posted in the Education Building and in North Block. NVC Basics and Next Step classes also are taught in H-unit on Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. Students can get information about and sign-up for classes in dorms 4 and 5 through Stand Up inmate program advocates or students can come to the registration evening the week before classes start and talk to an NVC teacher. The classes begin each quarter. The next one will start in early October.
BOX A: 32.9 % of California women and 27.3% of California men have experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes. California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (2015). Statistics and Facts. Retrieved from: www.cpedv.org
BOX B: One in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Husbands are five times more likely to kill wives than vice versa. A third of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate male partner or ex-partner, according to FBI reports. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ndv0312.pdf