On the first page of the survey it claims that, “[F]or many teens who have boyfriends or girlfriends, dating pressures aren’t simple adolescent angst; they’re power and control issues that commonly underpin abusive relationships.” In fact the issue of power and control runs through child, sibling, spousal, intimate partner, and elder abuse.
And as TRAS, commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc documents, those issues are often gender neutral. However, perhaps because Liz Claiborne Inc holds on to its ideologically feminist beliefs, it is unable or unwilling to accept the data of the survey it commissioned. The foundation of all ideological feminist thought is:
''Men are sometimes victims of domestic violence,'' said Nancy Scannell, legislative director of Jane Doe Inc., a Massachusetts-based domestic violence coalition. ''But the attempt to be inclusive [of male victims] should never be interpreted to mean that the issue is gender-neutral. It does not change our mind about why [domestic violence] happens. It happens because of sexism and power and control of men over women in our society.''
Despite the above ideological feminist claim about women and men, the Liz Claiborne Inc. Teen Relationship Abuse Survey (TRAS) documents quite clearly that, for girls and boys, the issue of ‘power and control” concerning their relationships are gender-neutral.
Power and Control Actions and Attitudes
On the top of page 3 of the TRAS the survey notes, “Power and control actions and attitudes are pervasive in teen relationships – many young people have dealt with a boyfriend or girlfriend who tried to control their whereabouts.”
The question asks if the boys or girls had partners who want to know:
Who were they with all the time, 32% of boys and 39% of girls responded yes.
Where they were all the time, 31% of boys and 35% of girls responded yes.
Tried to tell them what to do a lot, 33% of boys and 31% of girls responded yes.
Asked them to only spend time with him/her, 24% of boys and 24% of girls responded yes.
Tried to prevent them from spending time with family or friends, 22% of boys and 21% of girls responded yes.
Hence, the Liz Claiborne Inc. sponsored TARS indisputably documents boys and girls equally attempt to control or monitor the whereabouts of their partner. The TRAS on page 4, attempts to document there is a greater difference in relationships that are “serious” as compared with “non-serious” relationships.
However, again as noted in Part I without any accepted or defined differential between “serious” and “non-serious” relationships or an understanding that both partners “agreed” how serious their relationship is, that difference reported by TRAS is clearly one of perception and not an empirical reality.
Even if one would accept the perceptions as reality, boys reported that their partner attempted to control their behavior half or more than half as often as did girls. Power and control are issues that are relevant to the behavior of boys and girls and men and women, both as victims and as offenders.
The Liz Claiborne Inc. “Fast Facts” claims that 1 in 4 teenage girls in relationships (26%) reported enduring repeated verbal abuse from their partner. These “Fast Facts” do not mention the victimization of boys. Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that more boys (28%) than girls (26%) report that form of abuse?
Page 15 of the survey explores relationships between boys and girls who have had to endure emotional abuse from their partner.
59% of boys and 64% of girls report that their partner made them feel bad or embarrassed about themselves.
28% of boys and 26% of girls report that their partner called them names or put them down.
8% of boys and 10% of girls report that their partner became physically or verbally abusive when drunk or high.
Liz Claiborne Inc., because of its ideological feminist beliefs, is either unwilling or unable to accept the data concerning the offending of our daughters and the victimization of our sons. In fact when you compare the data in the TRAS and contrast it to the data on the website it appears that Liz Claiborne Inc. fully intends to keep silent about the victimization of our sons.
Part III will explain the dangers of keeping silent about the offending of our daughters and the victimization of our sons.
Richard L. Davis served in the United States Marine Corps from 1960 to 1964. He is a retired lieutenant from the Brockton, Massachusetts police department. He has a graduate degree in liberal arts from Harvard University and a second in criminal justice from Anna Maria College. He is a member of the International Honor Society of Historians and the American Society of Criminology. He is a college instructor for Quincy College at Plymouth, MA in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Domestic Violence. He is the vice president for Family Nonviolence, Inc. in Fairhaven, MA. He is also the vice president for the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women.
He is an independent consultant for criminal justice domestic violence policies, procedures, and programs. He is the author of Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies by Praeger publishers and has written numerous articles for newspapers, journals, and magazines concerning the issue of domestic violence. He has columns concerning domestic violence at http://www.policeone.com, and http://www.nycop.com, is a distance learner instructor in Introduction to Criminal Justice and Domestic Violence for the Online Police Academy and has a website. He and Kim Eyer have a domestic violence website The Cop and the Survivor.
He lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts with his wife and the youngest of five children. He experienced domestic violence professionally for 21 years as a police officer and personally as a child and as an adult. In his retirement he continues to use his education, experience, and training to help the children, women, and men who have had to endure violence from those who profess to love them. He may be reached here.