In a study at the University of Buffalo, researchers found that 18 percent of the recruited women were sexually victimized within a two-year period. That is consistent with statistics provided by the feminist.org website, claiming that more than 20 percent of women attending college experienced rape or attempted rape. A Harris poll in 2006 indicated that approximately 33 million, or 15 percent, of all adults in the United States admitted they were victims of domestic violence.
According to the Clark County prosecuting attorney’s website, the FBI reported one women is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. To make matters even worse, it’s estimated that one in every four women in the U.S. will be the victim of domestic violence. That’s a slight improvement from reports by the American Medical Association in 1992 predicting that one in three women would be assaulted by her domestic partner.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) reported that an average of three abused women a day, or 1,181 annually, were murdered in the United States in 2005. Women are also somewhat victimized by local police departments. In a Department of Justice statistic back in 1994, police had a slower response time to women reporting an assault if she knew the offender. However, in the defense of the police departments, many times officers respond and the woman refuses to press charges either out of fear, guilt or other circumstance.
Women are not the only victims of domestic violence. The Vegas prosecuting attorney’s website notes that 30 to 60 percent of violent perpetrators also abuse children. Public school teachers are trained to notice the symptoms of domestic violence in children: withdrawal, low self-esteem, emotional behavior and aggression are reported to proper authorities.
So, where do battered and abused women go for help? In 1990, there were only 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States compared to 3,800 animal shelters. Over the, last 20 years that has change significantly. But shelters are not always safe. When abused women leave a relationship, 70 percent of them are injured after separation by their partner.
How do we protect our women, children and society from domestic violence, sex abuse and the everyday tragedy of aggression and hostility within the safety of our homes?
One partial remedy might be AB 314, currently being discussed at the Nevada Legislature. State Sen. Shelia Leslie and Assemblyman David Bobzien both Democrats, are proposing an addition to current sex education classes being taught in our public schools. It explains how students can talk to their parents about sex and their adolescent frustrations. Students will be taught that abstinence is the only guaranteed way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and the different methods of birth control. But they also will be taught how to avoid dating violence.
Another possible remedy is to follow the lead of the states of Arizona and Utah. Both jurisdictions allow carrying guns in the open or concealed in “public rights of way, such as campus streets and roadways.” I would amend that law to read, “Every woman who is a victim of rape or domestic violence shall be given a state-issued handgun to carry with them at all times.”
I also would consider amending AB 314, if passed, to include teaching young women how to carry a gun as a method of prevention against rape and domestic violence. While the boys exercise their right of passage drinking beer and watching their sports on television, the girls should exercise the protection of their own rights by taking target practice to improve their aim in life.
Maybe if all high school girls, while exploring their femininity, received a diploma in marksmanship on graduation day, they wouldn’t become a statistic or a victim of
rape, domestic violence and murder. Just a thought.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.