Where IS the Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting?
Recently, an ABC World News Report story by Charlie Gibson was presented as Protecting Teens from Teenage Violence. The more accurate name should have been How to Protect Your Daughters From Those Violent Teenage Boys.
A report issued by Richard L. Davis, MS and MA, "ABC News Report on Domestic Violence Dating: Harmful or Helpful?", shows that the media continues to present an awfully skewed portrayal of domestic abuse, completely ignoring the need to be gender neutral in its evaluation. Davis points to Liz Claiborne, Inc., which developed and distributed its own A Parent's Guide to Teen Dating Violence: Questions to Start the Conversation. This handbook completely ignored Liz Claiborne's own "teen relationship abuse survey" that clearly indicates that male teens are no more abusive than their female counterpart s. On the contrary, the survey indicated the opposite. Yet the handbook denotes "he" as the abuser and "she" as the victim throughout.
Interpretation of statistics can obviously be subjective, especially by the side who is viewing and attempting to extract a story from it. But as Davis points out, when presenting information to the masses, it is irresponsible to take the bits and pieces that are to your liking and throw out the rest.
Contact Charlie Gibson and the producers at ABC's World News Report and let them know that they need to be conscious of the bias and should present the facts ... ALL of them. You can reach him at http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346&cat=World%20News%20with%20Charles%20Gibson
Further, send a message to Liz Claiborne, Inc. that they can't ignore their own research ... that it dilutes the results and gives a false picture. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, be polite.
Date of RADAR Release: January 19, 2009
R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.