has become a way of life in America, according to R. J.
Gelles and M. A. Straus, authors of Physical Violence in
American Families. They believe the family is the most
violent institution other than the military in time of war!
That is appalling, as children are also practicing this
behavior. When children as young as three years of age are
shooting their brothers and sisters; we have problems! Are
they coming from the wombs angry? We must break the
cycles of abuse!
In order to save our children and future generations,
the violence must be stopped! To do this, we have to stop
violating them as well as to prevent them from seeing it.
According to Gelles and Straus (who will be referred to as
G&S) who interviewed over 6,000 American families, 50%
of the men reported they frequently assaulted their wives
and children. This is overwhelming because the word
“frequently” is used, and there are no statistics on those
who were physically violent on one occasion, and it does
not reveal the numbers who were emotionally or sexually
abusive, so the statistics are even greater!
My initial premise was to write a book on child
abuse because I am constantly reminded on a daily basis of
the abuses rendered to infants, children, and teens. More
importantly, I am sickened each time I hear the reports of
children being sexually abused. What kind of “animal”
would desire sex with an infant or child, and what type of
person would kill an innocent, helpless person? These
questions lead me to write this book.
When I began collecting information, I did not plan
to discuss my past experiences with emotional and physical
violence, however, as the project evolved, it was necessary
to include other types of abuse. Because I am a survivor of
domestic violence (I do not use the word “victim” because I
am healed) by two husbands, the book includes many of
my past experiences as well as those of my three sons. Although
I have overcome these atrocities, I must admit that
it still bothers me when I hear or see another individual
being victimized, especially helpless individuals, and
anyone who does not recognize that they are being violated.
Other than physical violence, sometimes the abuse is not
easy to delineate; in fact, it also took many years for me to
understand the various types because I did not grow up in a
Who are the abusers? Most people believe males are
the perpetrators. Before we move on, we must first clarify
that they are not; females are also abusers! Some women
violate children and their partners just as men do. In fact,
“abuse by females is on the rise,” according to Mel Feit,
Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for
Men, Old Bethpage, N.Y., one of the first male
organizations to deal with violence. While doing the
research on child abuse, I overhead Feit on The Maury
Povich Show (January 22, 1997) discussing the issue of
male abuse. I was alarmed to hear him say that
female-to-male violence was about 50-50, and female
abusers (if reported) might even be higher! My first
reaction was to disagree; however, I believed that further
research was required in the area of male as victim in order
to understand the causes of child abuse.
I contacted Feit and was shocked to learn
some of the gory details, as well as to hear that many
people, even with his factual data, disagreed with him,
especially some of the feminist groups and the media. (See
section on Male Abuse in my book entitled, Recognizing
Abuse: Reclaiming Your Birthright.) Whether there is
consensus or not regarding Feit’s theory, we must admit
that America has serious problems, and whether it is male
or female as dominant abuser, the truth must be told, the
issues addressed, and preventative...