The Denver Post today ran an AP story on the increase of domestic violence over the past few months, which some attribute to “the ailing economy”:
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Some hospitals report seeing more than twice as many shaken babies as a year ago. Deaths from domestic violence have increased sharply in some areas.
Calls to domestic-violence hotlines have risen too, and more than half the callers said their families’ financial situation has changed recently.
Across the country, these and other signs point to another troubling effect of the recession: The American home is becoming more violent, and the ailing economy could be at least partially to blame.
“Our children and families are suffering,” said Alane Fagin, who runs a Long Island nonprofit group called Child Abuse Prevention Services. “With more layoffs expected, the threat of foreclosure looming over so many and our savings disappearing, even the best parents can feel stressed out and overwhelmed.”
But who, who, who could be doing this, and how can we stop it? This article doesn’t seem interested in letting us know until the very last paragraph:
Amy Wicks, a spokeswoman with the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, said her organization has received reports from pediatricians across the country concerned about a spike in cases.
“It’s not just shaken baby; it’s other forms of physical abuse,” Wicks said. “A lot of fathers, or male caregivers, have been laid off, and now they’re home with the screaming baby. Sometimes the stress of a crying baby is just too much on top of everything else.”
Ohhhhh–it’s not domestic violence. It’s male violence against women and children we’re talking about! Why didn’t you say so? Maybe because few people have pointed out the shocking epidemic of men who are killing not just their wives or girlfriends, but their children and/or other family members as well? (For just a few recent examples, see here, here, here, here, here, and here–and I’m sure you can find other examples that I’ve missed. Erica Barnett has a nice post here about how the media narrative is all about the women “precipitating” the attack by taking steps to leave the relationship, rather than the man’s history of abusing the women and children.) I wonder why it is that “the economy” doesn’t cause women to pick up guns and assassinate their entire families or beat up their husbands and boyfriends?
Oh well–I guess we’ll never know, since no one ever wants to point out the bloody obvious: women and children are overwhelmingly more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of “domestic violence,” the perpetrators are overwhelmingly adult men who victimize their own families, and guns are overwhelmingly likely to be the causes of fatal violence. I’m all for systemic studies of violence in the home–I just don’t get why we can’t talk about this as a problem caused overwhelmingly and obviously by men, and especially, men with guns.