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Antifeminist DV guru Erin Pizzey: "If you are not in fear of your life, you are not suffering [from Domestic Violence]."

AVFM lifetime achievement award winner Erin Pizzey
AVFM lifetime achievement award winner Erin Pizzey

At A Voice for Men’s conference yesterday, antifeminist crusader Erin Pizzey was given “a special award for her tireless work with ALL the victims of domestic violence.” Due to the amazing public relations work of AVFM’s spokeswoman for the conference, I don’t know what the award was called, so let’s just assume it was the World’s Greatest Erin Pizzey Award.

Whatever the award was called, the notion that Pizzey works, tirelessly or otherwise, on behalf of “ALL the victims of domestic violence” is demonstrably false. Indeed, she has argued vociferously against extending DV protection to all victims.

In an op-ed she wrote for The Daily Mail in 2011, Pizzey declared herself “horrified” that the British government would consider extending domestic violence protection to those subjected to “emotional bullying and ‘coercive control’” as well as actual physical abuse.

Her “argument” may be triggering for abuse survivors, so I’m putting all of her quotes below the jump.

Pizzey wrote:

In other words, if you stop your wife using the phone, you could be bracketed with a man who has knocked his wife’s teeth out in a rage.

In the future, couples who row, smashing precious belongings in a fit of anger perhaps, could seek to have their other half charged under domestic violence laws. Thus, too, wives who, for whatever reason, destroy their husband’s fine wine collection, or cut the sleeve off his suits in an act of revenge for some betrayal or slight, may find themselves charged with this most serious of crimes.

Domineering, bullying husbands who shout at their wives but never lift a finger to hurt them would find themselves in court.

Let me tell you: this is not domestic violence. It is an absurd idea to define such acts in that way, and worse, it serves to trivialise genuine cases of domestic abuse.

The new definition, which the government did indeed put in place in 2013, extended domestic violence and abuse to include

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,  violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

The government spelled out clearly what they meant by “controlling” and “coercive” behavior. 

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”*

*This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

There is no question, at least not to anyone who is serious about ending domestic violence and abuse, that “controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour” is abuse.

Why shouldn’t “domineering, bullying husbands who shout at their wives” in an attempt to control and coerce them be prosecuted for abuse? Why shouldn’t wives who do the same be prosecuted?

Pizzey not only argued against prosecuting those who bully their partners into submission through emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse. She also argued that most victims of domestic violence aren’t really legitimate victims either:

To me, the definition of domestic violence is quite clear: if you are not in fear of your life, you are not suffering it.

That’s right, the woman AVFM just honored as an advocate for “ALL victims of domestic violence” only considers actual physical violence to be domestic violence if the victim is literally afraid that they will be killed.

She continues:

In all other cases, where the aggression takes only an emotional form, or a few coffee cups have been chucked around, women in modern Britain thankfully have the option of finding a lawyer and choosing to separate from their husbands if they wish to do so.

The obvious point is that there is almost always clear evidence in domestic violence cases — bruises, cuts, internal organ damage or scars. Unless you have seen real, shocking abuse as I have, it is difficult to imagine some of the awful violence that people can inflict on each other in the home. And that’s why I’m convinced that bringing other, lesser, wrongs under this same legal umbrella does a great disservice to the women who really suffer.

How does protecting all victims of abuse do a disservice to those suffering the worst abuse? The police arrest people who assault as well as people who murder; this is hardly a “great disservice” to victims of murder.

Pizzey warns that the expanded definition “will turn millions of us into criminals.” She then makes a startling confession:

[A]fter all, I’ve been known in my time to lob the odd glass of wine in the heat of the moment. Indeed, there is something frightfully satisfying about chucking wine at somebody.

Yep. The woman who is A Voice for Men’s guru on domestic violence likes to chuck wine glasses at people. And apparently thinks this is a perfectly fine way to handle domestic disputes.

At this rate, we’ll all end up under arrest, and that is not a situation that’s going to help the police tackle the cases of true physical violence which must be stamped out.

Needless to say, the new definition, in place since April of last year, has not led to mass arrests of everyone in the U.K. If the new definition has put some wine-glass chuckers in jail, I can’t say I think this is a great injustice.

Pizzey declares that

People behave badly in relationships because we have human frailties. This is not an area in which the State should meddle; leave it to relationship counsellors and divorce lawyers.

Why shouldn’t the state “meddle” in cases of domestic abuse? The law doesn’t end at your door.

Pizzey winds up her op-ed by accusing those working against domestic violence – presumably she excludes herself – of being in it for money and power.

Over the past ten years, domestic violence has become a huge feminist industry. …

This is girls-only empire building, and it is highly lucrative at that. Men are not allowed to be employed at these organisations. Boys over the age of 12 are not allowed into safe houses where their mothers are staying, which I think is scandalous. …

Who benefits from this industry? Refuge has an annual income of more than £10 million from both public and private donations. Cherie Booth is a patron. The heads of these organisations are on very generous salaries.

And they are on a feminist mission to demonise men — even those who never have and never will hit a woman.

It’s appalling that this woman has gotten any kind of award.

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kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

Yes, it’s sooooo feminist to say “it’s not domestic abuse unless you’re in fear of your life.”

I suppose she’d have approved of the courts refusing to issue an apprehended violence order against that Monis filth (he of the Sydney siege). He’d been threatening his wife for gods know how long, she reported it to the police, she tried to get orders … and the courts said nah, there’s no threat here.

Now she’s dead. And about seven women have been raped, or at least seven that have reported it. And two people have died in a siege.

If violence against women was taken seriously, none of that might have happened.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
7 years ago

@kitteh

As disgusting as this is to say… Considering that his rape victims were all women, his abused and murdered wife was a woman and the two murdered hostages were a woman and a gay man, I highly doubt that Pizzey, the above troll (I’m not even going to dignify them with their username) and the rest of the moronosphere care about any of them.

And now I literally need a shower. Yech. x_x

kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

M., exactly. Their lives don’t matter at all to this lot: it’s not like they were human.

(I stole that line from grumpyoldnurse.)

isidore13
isidore13
7 years ago

Bring on the hatemail! zie says, leaving no email or method of contact and basically fleeing. Nailed it!

grumpyoldnurse
7 years ago

::blushes:: Thanks, kittehserf! If you find anything else that I’ve ever said that warrants repeating, please help yourself. (ditto for anyone. This is only fair, as I am shameless about appropriating good material)

@ isidore13 – but, Maureen Finucane was so very, very brave to venture into hostile territory to moon us, using zer real name! (I’m not actually even going to google the user name, nor do I recognise it, so I have no idea if it’s real or what.)

Troll rating 2/10, would not call the Wargies, nor even look around while crossing the bridge to see where the splash came from.

Brandon
Brandon
7 years ago

Wow…what a vile individual. As are the other MRA turds…

daeros
7 years ago

Profile of a Batterer

Batterers are as diverse as the victims of domestic violence, but what is most similar about batterers is the use of power and control as the main tactics in their abusive behavior. Batterers:

Equate JEALOUSY with love; continually questions partner about people spoken to or associating with; becomes jealous of time partner spends with others, including family.
Use CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR to inhibit almost every aspect of their partners life —from their ability to come and go at their own will, spend money, or make any decision at all.
LIE or alters or withholds the truth.
Pressure partners to BECOME COMMITTED TO THEIR RELATIONSHIP QUICKLY.
Have UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS; they expect their partner to meet all of their needs, to take care of everything both emotionally and domestically.
ISOLATE their partner by severing outside ties, support and resources; accuses others, such as a partner’s family and friends as “troublemakers”; blocks partner’s access to use of vehicles, work or telephone service in the home.
BLAME OTHERS FOR FEELINGS and may use feelings to manipulate a partner; may say, “You are hurting me by not doing as I want” or “You control how I feel.”
HOLD CHILDREN TO HIGH EXPECTATIONS; may expect children to perform beyond their capability; may punish the children for not performing up to expectations set by the batterer.
Exhibit CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
Use “PLAYFUL” FORCE IN SEX; restrains partner against her or his will during sexual activity; acts out fantasies in which the partner is helpless; forces sex when the partner is asleep, ill or tired; shows little concern for partner’s desire to be touched; uses sulking or anger to manipulate sexual compliance.
VERBALLY ABUSE THEIR PARTNER; curses or degrades them; puts down partner’s accomplishments.
Hold RIGID GENDER ROLES and expects partner to serve batterer’s needs;
INHIBIT PARTNER FROM MAKING DECISIONS, coming and going at will, and spending money.

As you can see if Erin pizzey were actually truly an expect on Domestic violence she would at least be aware of the profile of an actual domestic abuser.

were erin pizzey actually an expert on domestic violence she would never object that policy against controlling behavior “trivializes” “real” (no true scotsman) victims of domestic abuse because she would be aware enough to realize the very psychological profile of a Batter includes Using CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR to inhibit almost every aspect of their partners life —from their ability to come and go at their own will, spend money, or make any decision at all.
the fact that she MADE this objection proves she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/06/the-dunning-kruger-effect-why-the-incompetent-dont-know-theyre-incompetent.php

claiiming controlling behavior “trivializes” the lives of “real victims” of domestic violence

First and foremost

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

But this doesn’t even doesn’ even sratch the surfac of the problems with Erin’s arguments as you can see because if Erin Was “really’ a domestic violence guru she would at least be informed enough to know the psychological profile of a Abuser/Batterer but as we can see from her no true scotman argument she doesn’t even know enough if her ”guru” status to know why Controlling behavior is a prelude to BATTERY and ABUSE.

In other words if she has a license for it it should be revoked because she’s a complete fraud.

the fact that she OBJECTED to the change because it “trivializes” domestic violence ironically just outs her as a Fraud who trivializes what it means to be a domestic violence guru. claiiming controlling behavior “trivializes” the lives of “real victims” of domestic violence

First and foremost

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

But this doesn’t even doesn’ even sratch the surfac of the problems with Erin’s arguments as you can see because if Erin Was “really’ a domestic violence guru she would at least be informed enough to know the psychological profile of a Abuser/Batterer but as we can see from her no true scotman argument she doesn’t even know enough if her ”guru” status to know why Controlling behavior is a prelude to BATTERY and ABUSE.

In other words if she has a license for it it should be revoked because she’s a complete fraud.

the fact that she OBJECTED to the change because it “trivializes” domestic violence ironically just outs her as a Fraud who trivializes what it means to be a domestic violence guru

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 years ago

You DO know she opened the first battered women’s shelter, don’t you?

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
7 years ago

@Rebecca

And that excuses her horrible views on domestic violence how?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

@Anarchonist

Someone who did a good thing one time is immune from all criticism forever, of course.

hippodameia8527
hippodameia8527
7 years ago

You DO know Pizzey’s an asshat, yes?

Bina
7 years ago

You DO know she opened the first battered women’s shelter, don’t you?

Actually, she didn’t. Unless she was alive in medieval times in Europe or Japan, and running an abbey. Also, in the US, Pringle-Patric House of Ohio had her beat by a century, while Haven House of California was ahead of her by nearly a decade.

Aren’t historical facts a bitch?

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

So what, Rebecca?

daeros
7 years ago

@rebecca

“Rebecca | January 4, 2015 at 10:42 am
You DO know she opened the first battered women’s shelter, don’t you?”

even if that were true it in no way Refutes the point that She’s complaining that the british government was
going to consider extending domestic violence protection to those subjected to “emotional bullying and ‘coercive control’” as well as actual physical abuse is problematic in of itself because the very profile of a Domestic Batterer is that they engage in those very selfsame controlling behaviors and one is often a complete red flag for the other, those things tend to go together.

More over it’s not actually true as Bina has pointed out.

Erin pizzey might have a lifetime of achievement on this end but she’s Stirring Victims in exactly the wrong direction.

I wanted to point something out but I used to think women were largely wise enough to see these things coming but clearly in a nation such as america with roughly 1 in 3 teenagers suffering teen dating violence it’s fairly obvious that the psychological profile of the typical batterer is not common knowledge.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-reality-corner/201302/behind-the-veil-inside-the-mind-men-abuse

Profile of an Abuser/Batterer

Jealousy (questioning her constantly about whereabouts, and jealous of time she spends away from him).
Controlling behavior (I’ve had clients who’s victim couldn’t get a job, leave the house or bathe without his permission)
Isolation (Makes partner move away from family and friends so that she depends on him solely for support.)
Forces her to have sex against her will (I’ve had several clients who forced their partners to have sex with their friends and forces sex when she is asleep.)
Holds very rigid gender roles (Believes that her job is just to cater to him, he is the “king of the castle.”)
Men that are abuse are very clever, smart, and extremely charming. Most of these men have a personality that draws people in because of their level of charm this is part of their art to deceive and manipulate. This is why often times when a victim does report an assault she is not easily believed because people usually say “not him, he is so nice’ “you are so lucky”, All of this plays into his because if he gets people outside of the home to buy into his deceit the victim has little if no support. Most batterers are seen as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” because of the stark contrast in their public and private selves. When we look into the mind and behaviors of the batterers the DSM-IV gives us some diagnostic criteria/diagnosis for this population.

How can this so called “Expert” in the field be doing this, the Irony is that her claim that it “trivalizes” the “Real victims” ironically just endangers even more women, If we follow her advice we lose about a mile of preventive behavior to notice it before it even starts.

I think women ought to at least have the benefit of being able to see it coming long before it ever gets to that.

I think it’s a real shame this isn’t taught in every high school and middle school in America.

Observer
Observer
7 years ago

Seems like everyone has forgotten that she was the first in the UK to provide shelter and safety to battered and abused women and children. Clearly on this alone she deserves recognition of her specialisation and expertise: in other words she may have an objective point.

isidore13
isidore13
7 years ago

That she was first does not mean she should be the one and only arbiter of what defines ‘abuse’.

Will Brealey
6 years ago

I disagree with Pizzey that ‘domestic abuse only counts if you are in fear of your life’ but criminalising toxic relationships with insidious low level non-physical abuse is problematic, given the extent of dysfunctional relationships in general. Having been in a relationship which had an abusive undercurrent, but culminated in an episode which did indeed have me in fear of my life, there IS a difference between the two – the first thing is very wrong and people need to be able to seek help, but only the second as criminal. As would physical violence.

Re Erin’s ‘throwing the occasional wine glass’. The author treats this as though it discounts this woman’s opinions. In fact Pizzey has always been totally candid about the fact she had abusive parents, her mother had an abusive grandmother, and she herself recognised abusive tendencies in herself, fortunately early on enough to do something about it.

This is precisely what gives her such an important insight into the issue, as well of course as the experience of working with countless abused and abusive women in her shelters.

Pizzey believes in confronting and working through the cycles of violence and abuse which can be passed down through the generations. This involves working with the abuser too. We no longer believe in simply criminalising and locking away people with substance abuse problems. We believe in understanding them and understand their addiction and work through their issues with them. Erin simply believes that is the appropriate response in domestic abuse too. 40 years on, it’s amazing (and a bit sad) how radical she still can sound!

Carmi
Carmi
6 years ago

She thinks acts of abuse that do not involve physical threats should not be treated by the state, only lawyers. She thinks the act of shouting should not be considered abuse. I think she might have an elaboration for that. The thing is I do not see any problem yet. You just want to slander her. She’s not excusing anyone… she’s just trying to separate one misdeed from another to be treated separately.

Moreover, her last comment about the Feminist industry of domestic violence is right on the nose.

About chucking wine at people, she never said the glass was what she chucked at them… she said wine. Well, she is a human being, and after all she has seen, she only thinks that only the physical agression should be considered domestic violence.

Do you think you can discredit for this? You have another think coming. Go talk about Feminists excusing the female aggression towards men by playing the card of “victim of patriarchy” and only then will you have a point.

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