Media Mentions and Corrections

Because domestic violence is a politically charged field and our study is quite controversial because of its focus on male victims, we recognize that our data will get mentioned in media reports.  We also recognize that when non-researchers interpret research findings, they sometimes make mistakes. In addition, others may skew our findings or present our results in such a way so that it supports or refutes a particular ideology.  We are not interested in supporting any particular ideology.  We are interested in researching a group of partner violence victims who have been overlooked in this field, so that we can better understand and provide for their needs.  In that spirit, we are working hard to keep track of any mentions of our research and study results in the media and make needed corrections on this webpage, so that the research findings are accurately portrayed for anyone who is interested.  Below is a running log of media mentions with clarifications and corrections.  (Note: If you have an article or other media mention of our work that is not mentioned here, please let us know so that we can check to make sure our work is accurately conveyed.  Please email Dr. Hines at dhines@clarku.edu.  Thank you.)

* On July 11, 2011, Clark University issued a press release about Dr. Hines’ talk at the Family Dynamics Roundtable in Canadian Parliament, “Prof. Hines presents research at Canadian Parliament roundtable.”

* On May 15, 2011, Joseph Caputo wrote an article for The Scavenger, entitled, “Can we degenderize domestic violence?”  As with his earlier article for the Good Men Project Magazine (see below), he quotes our study and says that “of 132 men who approached a domestic violence agency for help, “over three-quarters of them were told, ‘We only help women.’”  The actual percentage of men who were told that was 49.9%.

* On May 6, 2011, DadsDivorce.com released an interview with Dr. Hines on their webpage, entitled, “PTSD in Male Domestic Violence Victims.”

* On May 4, 2011, our research was mentioned in an article by Greg Peterson in the Carlisle Mosquito, entitled “Heterosexual Men at the Bottom of the Barrel.”  Peterson says: “Look at this devastating presentation by Dr. Denise Hines of Clark University, detailing how police and domestic violence organizations dismiss, refuse to serve and re-victimize men.”  Although the majority of men in our sample who used these services found them to be not at all helpful for many of the reasons that Peterson discusses, we did find that about 1/3 or more of the men did find such services at least somewhat helpful.

* On May 2, 2011, DoctorsLounge.com featured an article, “Men Abused by Female Partners Suffer Psychologically,” which discussed our article in Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

*On April 7, 2011, the American Psychological Association issued a press release entitled, “Male Victims of ‘Intimate Terrorism’ Can Experience Damaging Psychological Effects.”  It highlighted the findings of our journal article on post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in the men in our sample.  This press release was picked up by over 30 media outlets soon after it was issued, including U.S. News and World Report, and other outlets.  The press release contains the most accurate information and also a link to the journal article.

* On March 11, 2011, Joseph Caputo wrote an article for the Good Men Project Magazine, entitled, “Can we Degenderize Domestic Violence?“  In this article, he stated, “…of 132 men who approached a domestic violence agency for help, ‘over three-quarters of them were told, ‘We only help women.’’”  This quote misses a key part of a sentence, and it skews the results in the wrong direction.  The true results were that 132 approached a DV agency for help.  Of those 132, 55.2% found the DV agency to be “not at all helpful,” and of those 83 men, 78.3% were told that the agency only helped women.

* On March 2, 2011, Sara Kugel wrote an article for wfuv.org, a public radio forum in New York City, entitled, “Men: Hidden Victims of Domestic Violence.”  The quotes provided by Ms. Kugel that were attributed to Dr. Hines cannot be supported by any of the data in our study, since all of the men in our study had sought help.  Ms. Kugel had asked for some reasons why men would not come forward, so Dr. Hines’ quotes can only be taken as speculations at this point.

* On October 22, 2010, Dr. Hines and our research was mentioned in an opinion piece in the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, MA, entitled, “The other side of domestic abuse.”

* On September 27, 2010, Dr. Hines was interviewed by Dr. Beth Erickson on her “webtalkradio” show entitled “Relationships 101.”  The interview with Dr. Hines focused on our research results for this study.  She entitled the show “Attachment Styles, and Male Victims of Domestic Violence.” Dr. Hines appears in the second half of the show.

* On September 10, 2010, Robert Franklin, Esq., cited our work in his opinion piece, “Researchers: Intimate Terrorism by Women Consistent with that by Men.

* On August 2, 2010, Robert Franklin, Esq. wrote an article for “Fathers and Families” summarizing our published research describing the types and levels of intimate partner violence that the men in our sample sustained.  He entitled the article: “DV Researchers Denise Hines & Emily Douglas Find that Most Male DV Victims Endure ‘Severe’ Physical Aggression.“  Although the summary of the research is quite accurate, we find that the title is very misleading.  It all depends upon how one defines a “victim” of domestic violence.  We would re-title the article to read: “DV Researchers Denise Hines & Emily Douglas Find that Most of the Men in their Sample of 302 Men Who Sustained Intimate Partner Violence from their Female Partners and Sought Help Endured ‘Severe’ Physical Aggression in the Previous Year.”

* On July 28, 2010, Washington DV Press released an article about our study entitled, “New Study shows that 70% of Accused Men were Abused Themselves.”  The title of this article is misleading.  All of the men in our study were victims of domestic violence, and 67.2% reported that they were falsely accused of beating their wives.

* On February 22, 2010, the CBC news featured a story by Robert Smol entitled, “It is not just women who are the victims of spousal abuse.”  Dr. Hines was interviewed for this study.  In it, Mr. Smol writes:

  • “All three of the institutions that Hines studied — assault hotlines, domestic violence agencies, and police — ‘blatantly told the men that it was somehow their fault and that they must have been the real batterer,’ she says.”  There were examples where all three of these institutions did accuse the men of being the real batterer or being at fault for the abuse, but this was not the case for all of the institutions all of the time.  In fact, as our Los Angeles conference paper shows (see Results page), for each of these institutions (hotlines, DV agencies, and police), this reaction was reported by about a third of the men or less who sought help from those institutions.

* On January 30, 2010, Bruce Watson featured a story in the Daily Finance that featured interviews of Drs. Hines and Douglas, among other experts in the field.  He also cited our results.  Read it here: A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men is a Growing Problem.

* On January 6, 2010, jbs.org featured a story by Selwyn Duke, entitled, “Big Brother: France to Ban ‘Psychological Violence’ in Marriages.”  He provides a quote on our study from the Washington Times piece from 7/14/09 (below).  Unfortunately, that quote provided somewhat misleading arrest statistics.  Please see the corrections below on the Washington Times piece for more information.

* On Wednesday, December 16, 2009, DadsDivorce.com released a podcast interview with Dr. Emily Douglas, a 1/2 hour interview about our study and its findings, entitled, “Dr. Douglas discusses partner violence.”

* On Sunday, December 6, 2009, Dr. Hines was quoted in an article in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and a reference to this study was made.  This article discussed the portrayal of the alleged domestic violence incident against Tiger Woods: “Tiger’s transgressions.”

* On Friday, September 25, 2009, our study and quotes by Dr. Hines were highlighted in an article, “Domestic Violence: It Can Happen to Men, Too,” by David Fitzpatrick of the Bangor Daily News.

* On August 1, 2009, Dr. Glenn Sacks and Dr. Ned Holstein co-authored an article on MSN.com, entitled, “Nobody Believed Me,” in which our research was mentioned.  The figures they presented were based on our LA conference presentation (see Results page). We want to clarify some of the statistics, and what our research said versus what their authors’ interpretation was:

  • “Hines told the conference that while some of the men’s reasons for not leaving were similar to those of abused women (love, not believing in divorce, hoping the partner will change, etc.), the men’s overwhelming concern was for their children.” This is accurate: the number one reason that men with children didn’t leave was concern for their children.
  • “Men often don’t want to leave their wives because this would leave their children unprotected in the hands of an abuser. If the men choose to take their children away from the home, when they’re found, the children are likely to be taken away and given to the mother, and the men might be arrested for abducting their children. Moreover, they would possibly lose custody of their children in the divorce anyway, again leaving their children in harm’s way.”  This is the authors’ interpretation of our data.  Our data cannot be used to make such definitive conclusions.
  • “64 percent of the men who called a DV hotline were told that they “only helped women,” and over half were referred to programs for male perpetrators.”  Not all of the men in our study called a hotline; in fact, only 23% of the 302 men did.  Yes, 64% of the men who called a hotline said they were told that the hotlines helped only women.  However, the percentage of men who were referred to batterers programs is inaccurate: 31.7% were referred to a batterers’ program, and 25.4% were given a phone number and when they called that number, it turned out to be a batterers’ program.  These percentages cannot be added together because many men endorsed both.  In fact, when we combine these two questions, about 33.3% of the men who called a hotline were referred to a batterers’ program in some way.
  • “Overall, only 8 percent of the men who called hotlines classified them as “very helpful,” whereas 69 percent found them to be “not at all helpful.”  This is accurate.
  • “Worse, when an abused man called the police, the police were more likely to arrest him than to arrest his abusive female partner.” We did find that the police were slightly more likely to arrest than man than his partner, but we want to stress that this difference is NOT “statistically significant.”  That means we cannot conclude that the police were more likely to arrest the man than his partner.  It also means that when men call the police for help, it is just as likely that he will be arrested as it is that his female partner will be arrested.

* On July 20, 2009, Dr. Ned Holstein talked about our study on Talk of the Nation, an NPR program, in a segment entitled, “The Violence We Ignore.”  He stated that when the men in our study called the police, the men were arrested in 26% of the cases, and their female partners were arrested at slightly more than half the rate at which he was arrested.  This is an inaccurate representation of our findings.   He is basing these statistics on our Los Angeles presentation.  In that presentation, we found that 26% of the time, only the man was arrested; 17% of the time, only the woman was arrested; 8% of the time, both were arrested. That means that the women were arrested at about 75% of the rate at which the men were arrested.  Subsequent analyses showed that there were no significant gender differences in who was arrested when the man called the police because his female partner was being violent (Douglas & Hines, manuscript being reviewed for publication).

* On July 14, 2009, an op-ed piece was printed in the Washington Times, entitled “A Domestic Violence Victim.”  It was written by Dr. Ned Holstein and Glenn Sacks, who attended our presentation at a conference in Los Angeles in June of 2009.  A slighted edited version of this op-ed appeared on July 16, 2009, in the Baltimore Sun, entitled, “The Violence We Ignore.” Our data was mentioned in these op-eds, and we want to clarify what our data showed, versus the interpretations that Holstein and Sacks made about our data.  Holstein and Sacks wrote:

* “Denise Hines of Clark University found that when an abused man called the police, the police were more likely to arrest him than to arrest his abusive female partner.”  We did find that the police were slightly more likely to arrest than man than his partner, but we want to stress that this difference is NOT “statistically significant.”  That means we cannot conclude that the police were more likely to arrest the man than his partner.  It also means that when men call the police for help, it is just as likely that he will be arrested as it is that his female partner will be arrested.

* “This is partly the result of primary aggressor laws, which encourage police to discount who initiated and committed the violence but instead look at other factors that make them likelier to arrest men.” This is Holstein and Sacks’ interpretation of our data.  We cannot make this conclusion based on the data we have.

* “When the men in Ms. Hines’ study tried calling domestic-violence hot lines, 64 percent were told the hot lines helped only women, and more than half were referred to programs for male domestic-violence perpetrators.”  Not all of the men in our study called a hotline; in fact, only 23% of the 302 men did.  Yes, 64% of the men who called a hotline said they were told that the hotlines helped only women.  However, the percentage of men who were referred to batterers programs is inaccurate: 31.7% were referred to a batterers’ program, and 25.4% were given a phone number and when they called that number, it turned out to be a batterers’ program.  These percentages cannot be added together because many men endorsed both.  In fact, when we combine these two questions, about 33.3% of the men who called a hotline were referred to a batterers’ program in some way.

* “Ms. Hines found that the biggest reason male domestic-violence victims hesitate to leave their wives/girlfriends is concern for their children.”  We did find that for the men who had children and who were still involved with their female partners, their main reason for not leaving was “concern for the children”: 89.6% said that this was one of the reasons they did not leave.

“If they leave, their children are left unprotected in the hands of a violent mother. If they take their children, when they’re found, the children will be taken away and given to the mother. Moreover, the men probably would lose custody of their children in the divorce/custody proceeding anyway, again leaving their children in harm’s way.”  This is Holstein and Sacks’ interpretation of our data.  We cannot make these conclusions based on the information we gathered from our sample.