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We should support all victims of violence (Montreal Gazette)

Montreal Gazette
June 2, 2002

Tommy Schnurmacher


We should support all victims of violence


Female victims of domestic violence need more shelters. True enough. But how about some shelters for the victims of female violence?

Earlier this week, Shield of Athena organized a press conference to deplore the lack of shelters for female victims. It opened with a moving 36-second audiotape of a 6-year-old girl calling 911 because her parents were having a violent fight.

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She [Erin Prizzey] noted that "of the first 100 women coming into the refuge, 62 were as violent as the partners they had left. Not only did they admit their violence in the mutual abuse that took place in their homes, but the women were abusive to their children."

I came across her comment in a speech made last year by Canadian Senator Anne Cools in Washington, D.C.

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Referring to researcher Murray Straus from the University of New Hampshire, Cools, who ran one of the first women's shelters in Canada, pointed out that "general population research on domestic violence reveals that there is no statistical difference in the rates of violence perpetrated by men and women against each other and against their children."

A few months ago, when Kamateros responded to my column on gender bigotry, she claimed that: "Canadian statistics show that the largest numbers of homicides are perpetrated by men against women."

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