I don’t particularly enjoy airing my dirty laundry in public. But as I am often fond of saying, you can’t fix a hole in the floor by throwing a rug over it. Sometimes you have to expose a problem to deal with it. So, that’s why I’m here today, writing to you about my stalker.
A few years ago, I made the mistake of dating someone who lived in the same apartment complex that I lived in. It was a relationship of convenience. I had no money to pay my heat bill, and his house was always warm. The guy was a good cook, and I like to eat. I had no cable, but he did. So, the long weekends spent getting used to not having my kids with me every other weekend while they were at their dad’s went a little bit faster. Besides, the whole thing really pissed my ex off, which was a huge plus. In fact, I probably would have broken it off with this dumbass a lot sooner than I did if my ex-husband had just minded his own business. (more…)
In the Victims’ Best Interest: Is a Joint-Custody Arrangement Appropriate when Intimate Partner Violence is a Factor?
Good morning, everyone! I just published my final paper for my Family Violence course on Scribd. I’m not sure what’s going on with the spacing. For some reason, there is no space between paragraphs at all. I looked all over my document and can’t figure out what I did different this time. At any rate, here it is:
My summer course has not yielded quite as much writing material as I had hoped it might. I have entered the final week of class and have submitted all coursework as of this morning. All I have left to do now is take the final exam, and I can put one more course behind me! Today I would like to share my weekly reflection paper to give you an idea of some of the more important issues discussed in this course.
Why doesn’t she “just leave?”
My understanding from all of the readings and other materials from this course is that it is very rare for batterers to ever change their behaviors, let alone as a response to court-ordered interventions. A batterer has to honestly admit to his wrongdoing, be held accountable for the damage he has caused, and make a personal commitment to change in order to stop his abusive behaviors.
Most court-ordered treatment programs are frequented by batterers who are only doing what they have to do to meet the court’s minimum requirements. It is highly unlikely that the batterer will stop abusing his victim under such circumstances. In most cases, the best possible outcome for the victim is to successfully leave the relationship for good. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as “just leaving.” (more…)
Hello! I am continuing my literature review today for my summer course, “Family Violence: Cross-Cultural Perspectives.” Today’s article examines cases in which victims of domestic violence have lost custody of their children for failing to protect them from being exposed to violence in the home. You may read the full article here.
Harris, L. J. (2010). Failure to Protect from Exposure to Domestic Violence in Private Custody Contests. Family Law Quarterly, 44(2), 169-195.
Child custody arrangements in the United States have evolved a great deal over the past fifty years. Prior to the 1970s, a joint custody arrangement was not an option for most families. In most cases, the custody of the children would have been awarded to the primary caregiver, who was often the mother. In the late 1970s, with the advent of the father’s rights movement, many states began to enact laws allowing divorcing parents to share legal custody of their children. With these changes in place, it wasn’t long before family courts were faced with the necessity of determining whether a joint custody arrangement was in the best interests of children in cases that involved domestic violence. (more…)
In today’s literature review, I take a look at an article by Dana Harrington Conner, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Delaware Civil Law Clinic at the Widener University School of Law. In this article, the author outlines several factors that make co-parenting between a batterer and his victim unmanageable at best. You may review the full article here.
In this article, Conner argues that a joint-custody arrangement when intimate partner violence is a factor inherently goes against the children’s best interests. A joint-custody arrangement may only be successful when both parents are able to freely communicate their opinions and cooperate to make decisions about their children. This type of arrangement may only exist in a situation where the balance of power is relatively equal between the two parties. (more…)
This summer, I am taking an online course titled “Family Violence: Cross-Cultural Perspectives” as part of my coursework for a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies. So far, my homework has consisted of a great deal of reading and responding to questions about the readings. Thus, I haven’t really written anything that could easily be shared here. I have to start working on my final paper though, so that is about to change!
This course is a criminal justice course rather than my usual writing and/or literature courses, so I am trying to wrap my head around APA style again. I haven’t used APA since I finished business school in 2008! Luckily my professor has provided us with a couple of sample papers to help get us started. After reviewing these papers, I think I have a clear picture of where I want to go with my paper. (more…)
This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry reviews an article by Jacquelyn Knoblock, a domestic violence survivor who examines the role of gender expectations in her experience of a violent intimate partner relationship. You may view the full text here.
Annotated Bib Entry
Knoblock, Jacquelyn. “Gender And Violence.” Human Architecture: Journal of The Sociology of Self-Knowledge 6.2 (2008): 91-101. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
In this article, Knoblock explores “how gender ideologies and practices contribute to gender based violence” (91). She discusses issues such as the process by which human beings are classified as male or female, the stratification of genders in which “men are ranked above women within the same race and class,” and the structure of our society that dictates gender roles and determines whether certain tasks – for example, household chores – are considered by society as either male or female. Knoblock then connects these elements to the prevalence of gender based violence in American society.
Throughout the history of the world, and the United States, gender based violence has been widely considered to be a personal issue rather than a societal issue. Gender based violence occurs most often in situations where the perpetrator maintains the perception that he has the right to behave in a violent manner toward the victim. In the United States, this most often occurs within the context of an intimate partner relationship and thus has often been viewed as a private matter. This view has often lead bystanders to ignore the violence, believing that it is “none of their business.” (more…)
The following is my third course autobiography for the course I am taking on women’s writing. I just have to write one more of these and then a 20-page final paper, and my homework will be done for the semester! In this piece, I wrote about how I would use this text to create a framework for a creative nonfiction essay assignment. I think this would also make an excellent writing prompt!
The Embodiment of Labels
In Plaintext, Nancy Mairs explores how individuals embody the labels that are placed on them by society. In her essay, “On Being a Cripple,” Mairs chooses to define herself as a “cripple” regardless of the fact that others may wince at the word. She says, “Perhaps I want them to wince. I want them to see me as a tough customer, one to whom the fates/gods/viruses have not been kind, but who can face the brutal truth of her existence squarely. As a cripple, I swagger” (9). She challenges the politically correct euphemisms that others use and would have her use to describe herself. In many ways, she refuses to meet society’s expectations of her as a cripple, even seeking to change the meaning of the word. I would like to teach this text in a writing course where I could ask students to examine their own labels, how they embody their labels, and how societal expectations based on these labels impact the individual, as well as how the individual can impact society by either meeting or shattering those expectations. (more…)
Annotated Bib: ““He Won’t Hurt Us Anymore”: A Feminist Performance of Healing For Children Who Witness Domestic Violence.”
This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes a very powerful article (one I hope you will read) by Danielle M. Stern, who witnessed the abuse of her mother at the hands of a violent step-father as a child. You may view the full text here (Sorry, I couldn’t find this one free for you. However, if you check with your local library, they might be able to provide a copy).
Annotated Bib Entry
Stern, Danielle M. ““He Won’t Hurt Us Anymore”: A Feminist Performance of Healing For Children Who Witness Domestic Violence.” Women’s Studies in Communication 37.3 (2014): 360-378. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Danielle M. Stern writes an autoethnographic essay that explores the childhood trauma of being a witness and victim of domestic violence at the hands of her step-father. She discusses the importance of feminist storytelling in transforming a victim story into a survivor story. This essay mixes Stern’s personal stories of family violence with academic analysis to inform the reader of the impact on children who are forced to witness violence perpetrated against their mothers. (more…)
Annotated Bib: “Writing For Recovery: A Practice Development Project For Mental Health Service Users, Carers And Survivors”
This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes an article by Sam Taylor, Helen Leigh-Phippard, and Alec Grant. You may view the full text here.
Annotated Bib Entry
Taylor, Sam, Helen Leigh-Phippard, and Alec Grant. “Writing For Recovery: A Practice Development Project For Mental Health Service Users, Carers And Survivors.” International Practice Development Journal 4.1 (2014): 1-13. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
This paper discusses a research project based on the topic of “writing for recovery narrative practice development” (1). The participants consisted of mental health “service users,” caregivers for service users, and survivors of trauma. Participants were provided with a safe place to explore creative writing activities in an effort to reduce the stress of writing and to develop a creative environment where they could find their own individual “writing voices” (1). The major purpose of this project was to help participants use creative writing to work toward recovering from traumatic personal experiences and to create “social meaning” out of those experiences. (more…)