Monday, March 2, 2009

Animal Abuse, Domestic Abuse

To be discussed at the 3/9 UCDW meeting are too very important and linked issues: Animal Abuse and Domestic Abuse (AKA Domestic Violence).

1st - Thanks to member Merle Borenstein who suggested we have a discussion of New York's animal cruelty laws and the need for increased penalties. On our behalf, Merle invited Patrick Kwan, NY Director of the Humane Society of the United States. He will tell us how NY compares with other states and answer YOUR questions at 7:30 PM. Kwan bio:
Magazine interview:

2. Then we will discuss ramifications of the horrific February 12 beheading murder of Aasiya Zubair Hassan , 37, by her husband in Buffalo. Mrs. Hassan had recently filed for a divorce and had an order of protection. Most early coverage was on the web or international. NY Times filed this story on 2/17:
Now, there is a great deal of coverage--just google. Here is NOW's release from 2/16

There are impediments to honest discussion of this crime as evidenced by the news coverage, which was tardy and timid. Laughter--yes, laughter--by pundits on TV about the details of the murder by curved sword that hung on the wall, and trivializing this murder by calling it domestic violence or an "honor killing" somehow bound up in religious freedom, only muddy the facts. This was a bloody murder of a woman by someone the police knew she was in fear of.

For discussion:
Do religious or cultural nuances play a role in discussing, understanding, condoning or trivializing violence? If so, is that legitimate? Do these considerations skew media coverage? Does calling violence within families "domestic violence" and "domestic abuse" reduce its importance to media, society, police and courts? If Mr. Hassan had beheaded a stranger on the street with the sword, would that have been reported differently?

What do YOU think? spark call for use of hate-crimes law in violence against women rid of the ‘toxic media,” opponents of domestic violence say threatened wife before slaying separatist, wife dead in apparent murder suicide Leshkevich coverage, Editorial

Here are some sites with facts about domestic abuse:
The 1 in 3 stat inludes passive abuse (verbal, mental, financial) as well as physical abuse.

The Nat'l Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( does cite 1 in 4 women (DV rates have been going down in the past 10 years--though with the current economic situation, many are predicting an uptick...), it does note that many cases of DV are NOT reported...for many reasons: immigration status, cultural norms, financial dependency, welfare status. . .
PLUS in many states dating violence is not reported as domestic, because they are not co-habitating...

More facts/numbers (national) DoJ number VAW 2005 stats non fatal per 1000 is 3.6 (intimate),6.7(date) 1.6 (relative)... female fatals in 2005 due to DV: 1181

3. And, to add some more to a full meeting Jo Ann Chamberlain will tell us about the Health Care for America NOW! campaign, and we'll discuss whether to join the HCAN coalition.

These above are US Stats...If you go to WHO, the stats range upwards to 61% (!) in a Peruvian Province can get global numbers


NS said...

A lot of research went into this.


Thank you for providing so much info.

This topic [DV] is close to my heart, and should (I think) be right there "front and center" - as you have put it - along with a lot of the other issues.

I picked up a book a while back (serious research studies) that addressed animal abuse through "domestic" [I hate the term] violence - as a potential spectrum or continuim that is present in many cases... [i.e., if one issue is present in a home, the other issue is quite likely to be, as well...)

I'll try to find the book / clue you in... It was a difficult, but good read from an unusual (but pertinent, I think) perspective.

I hope to see you at the meeting.

Thanks again for all you do!

There are, if you haven't visited in a while, a few videos re. "domestic" violence up on my site at

NS said...

The book I mentioned previously is titled, "Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse... Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention" - which was edited (with a number of contributors) by Fran R. Ascione and Phil Arkow - and published by Purdue University Press (Purdue Research Foundation; 1999) in Indiana.

Some other great books in this department include "Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman (1992) [You've probably heard of this one!] --- and "Intimate Intrusions... Women's Experience of Male Violence" - by Elizabeth Stanko.

Actually, I pretty much have a personal library on this topic! So if there is anything in particular you might want brought to the meeting (I HOPE to come, but can't be absolute about it at the moment) - let me know --- and I'll see if I have it / can bring it along.

Thanks Again,


Dr. JAM said...

Thanks, I will look the book up...

Dr. M. said...

Abuse of women is a real problem in this country, but before you bring in an animal rights activist whose organization pushes for laws that cause people to have to give up their pets you need to know what their agenda is in meeting with democratic women.
"The animal rights movement portrays itself simply as a group of people who are concerned with the mistreatment of animals. That's an easy position to sell in America where a large portion of population has pets. However, there is an undercurrent of violence, extremist positions, and even anti-human views that runs through the animal rights movement. HSUS for whom this speaker works recently killed 127 dogs in North Carolina of which 60 where new born puppies. They had people begging them not to do this and offering adoption. Here in the words of their CEO is their Agenda, "We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. ...One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Wayne Pacelle * Director of HSUS. Before bringing in someone who sole agenda is the anilahation of domestic animals, you need to ask what is their agenda. HSUS and PETA have been misleading the public for years. This new cult has invaded the Humane society, PETA is the originator of this new cult by sending people out to take over established animal welfare societies. These people are joined at the hip with the ALF and support the people with money who do violence in our society. They have tried to pass laws that do away with your bill of rights against unreasonable search and seizure and property rights. They use the emotional pull of abused animals to raise large sums of money to push for laws that will allow anyone to enter your home at will. To force you to microchip your pet even if it means certain death which has happened in many states. Stop their abuse now! Do not let HSUS go unchallenged with the abuse they are heaping upon poor defenselss animals . Check the web to see how people in the know think about HSUS and PETA's goals.