Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

June 10, 2006

Number of men who are domestic abuse victims far higher than the number actually reported, police say

BY RICK PFEIFFER and Carlene Peterson

pfeifferr@gnnewspaper.com

Veteran domestic violence investigator Ed Janese was putting the finishing touches on the paperwork for an arrest warrant on Thursday afternoon.

The Falls Police detective was preparing to charge a suspect with second-degree assault, second-degree menacing and third-degree criminal mischief.

“Two felonies and a misdemeanor,” Janese said shaking his head.

But unlike the vast majority of the cases he investigates, this time, the suspect in Janese’s cross-hairs was a woman.

“She pulled a knife on him (the male victim), hit him with a stick and used a baseball bat to smash the windshield of his car,” the detective said. “All this as he was trying to get away from her.”

Statistically, it is a small percentage of the cases that detectives, specializing in domestic violence cases, handle. Only about 3 percent of domestic abuse cases, nationwide, involve male victims.

Still, Janese says whether the victims are men or women, what is done to them has to be addressed.

“Domestic abuse is a learned pattern of controlling behavior and women can control men just like men control women,” Janese said. “(The abuse) is not always physical (violence), it’s the control. We hear about the physical part, but it’s the controlling part that (begins the abuse). Violence is usually the last part of it.”

Janese estimates that in the Falls, males make up perhaps 10 percent of domestic violence victims. However, he also said that number may be “inflated” by the method Cataract City cops use to compile their statistics.

“If the victim is a 10-year-old boy, for example, he’s listed as a male victim,” Janese said, “and that’s really not what we’re taking about here.”

For adult male domestic abuse victims, Janese estimates the number of cases in the Falls each year is closer to the national percentage Though, as is the case with women victims, the veteran detective believes the cases of male abuse victims are far higher than the number actually reported.

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