Prejudice Rears its Ugly Head?
One shortcoming of many investigations, is to pre-judge the situation, or to latch onto the first obvious correlation and then to fail to complete a competent, broad and open minded investigation. Evidence is easily swept away by Sympathy
Our friends at Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, International have published a paper comparing available tools for screening possible victims of Intimate Partner Violence.
I suggest that we should work hard to actively observe the wide world and be careful to not colour our observations, with what we fear or might expect. Better still, we should assist or at the least show our appreciation, for all people who provide sensible support for fathers and their children’s relationships with their fathers. In this example, every single one of the paper authors was a woman.
Too few men research social issues, so perhaps it is unsurprising that much social research and policy analysis fails to fully consider impacts onto men and fathers in particular. The important conclusion, is that more men should put their energy, time and money into these issues, rather than just complain. An excellent example, is Professor John McDonald speaking on Developing Men’s Health policies for Australian Government. He is also active in researching men’s suicide issues and spoke in NZ on this issue at a conference in Upper Hutt a couple of years back.
This from Ed Bartlett. Please take action if possible before July 12.
Greg Andresen – Men’s Health Australia
Have you seen the recent draft recommendation on DV screening by the US Preventive Services Task Force? It says:
“The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen women of childbearing age for intimate partner violence (IPV), such as domestic violence, and provide or refer women who screen positive to intervention services.” [emphasis added]
The report is completely silent about the existence of male victims, or the need to screen men for IPV in health care settings. The full report can be viewed here: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/draftrec2.htm
It turns out there are 5 DV screening studies that included men – but the USPSTF didn’t even consider these studies. These studies, listed below, were included in a 2009 review of the literature by Rebecca Rabin and colleagues (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 36, No. 5, 2009, which can be viewed here: http://www.nnvawi.org/pdfs/alo/campbellpubs/ipv_screening_tools.pdf ):
1. Shakil, 2005 (a summary of each study can be found in Appendix A of the Rabin article)
2. Mila, 2006
3. Weiss, 2003
4. Ernst, 2002
5. Dubowitz, 2008
The USPSTF report has many other flaws, such as the fact that it didn’t consider the 2 studies in the Rabin review judged to have “excellent” quality, and that one of the 5 studies cited in the USPSTF report as supporting IPV screening in fact recommends the opposite: “the results of this trial do not provide sufficient evidence to support IPV screening in health care settings” (MacMillan et al, JAMA 2009).
Clearly, the USPSTF draft recommendations are scientifically flawed and gender biased.
The USPSTF is accepting comments until July 12 at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforcecomments.org/comments.aspx?dno=eTlNYUx2cUVUa0UlM2Q$ . I hope you will be able to submit comments and suggestions on these screening recommendations.
Feel free to pass this along The more persons who provide thoughtful comments to the draft recommendations, the better.
I would add the following:
If one of the rationales for screening women of childbearing age for IPV is to protect children, it is crucial to note that every study of IPV during pregnancy finds that women perpetrate more IPV than they receive during this time.
Charles and Perreira (2007) reported in a study of 2,310 socially disadvantaged US mothers and fathers participating in the Fragile Families study, that 8.2% of women and 1.2% of men perpetrated some form of IPV during pregnancy. However, this study used only a single item to assess IPV and consequently likely underestimates the rate of IPV. Kan and Feinberg (2010) assessed IPV using the comprehensive Conflict Tactics Scales-Revised in a sample of 168 expectant couples predominantly recruited through antenatal classes, and reported 30% of women and 18% of men had perpetrated an act of IPV in the past year.
Overseas, Halford et al conducted Australian research in 2011 on intimate partner violence in couples seeking relationship education for the transition to parenthood and found that in 19% of couples both partners perpetrated IPV, in 12% only the woman had perpetrated IPV, and in 3% only the man had perpetrated IPV.
The three studies cited above are as follows:
1 Charles, P., & Perreira, K. M. (2007). Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and 1-year post-partum. Journal of Family Violence, 22(7), 609-619.
2 Kan, M. L., & Feinberg, M. E. (2010). Measurement and correlates of intimate partner violence among expectant first-time parents. Violence and Victims, 25 32-44.
3 Halford, W. K., Petch, J., Creedy, D. K., & Gamble, J. (2011). Intimate partner violence in couples seeking relationship education for the transition to parenthood. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 10(2), 152-168.
Our NZ Health Department and Ministry of Social Development have fumbled with the issue of Intimate Partner Violence and limited screening of women only.
Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families
Background to family violence indicators