The Sad Truth: Backlash on Violence against Women Surveys
In any given area of study, it is important that the research methods, instruments, and results must be used in an objective manner. In this case, we will consider the surveys about violence against women in Canada where there have been backlashes on these studies. Some of these studies implied tagging the surveys as promotion of “victim feminism” (Wolf qtd. in DeKeseredy 1258), considering the statistical rates of women who have experienced violence as exaggerated (Gilbert qtd. in DeKeseredy 1258), and the belief that there is an ongoing myth that women are innocent (Pearson qtd. in DeKeseredy 1258). With this on hand, the paper aims to identify, in details, the backlashes made by researchers against the acts of violence affecting women and how these backlashes can be dealt with.
In Canada, one of the backlashes used against the studies conducted in line with violence against women is the phrase “but women do it too” (DeKeseredy 1259). Furthermore, the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) were used in order to study the rate of women violence against men. The result showed that women were more violent than men as this type of method does not analyze the motive of the action (Dobash and Dobash qtd. in DeKeseredy 1262). Therefore, shoving a person to the other side can already be considered as a violent action. Consequently, the results of the studies depicted that women are more aggressive than men (Sugarma and Hotaling; Henderson qtd. in DeKeseredy 1262). Moreover, these data were then published by media entities and publications (DeKeseredy 1269). Nonetheless, Schwarts and Koss cite that there are infrequent circumstances that involve women as the ones who had committed the violence (qtd. in DeKeseredy 1259).
Even with these backlashes, DeKeseredy suggested that they can be eliminated if publications and media entities will establish a progressive relationship with researchers. This can be done by allowing other researchers to be interviewed and let their views be heard regarding the persistent presence of violence carried out to women in the community. It is also advisable that these reporters and media entities must assess their source of news in order to avoid biases or unfavorable circumstances about the topic and the people involved (1271). In addition, another method or strategy that can be used against backlashes on this field of research is the act to rise above the situation. This can be carried out by instilling in the minds of the researchers that backlashes on their studies can be considered as a mile stone of their research. This method will aid the researchers in their advocacy to bring down violence against women and that they must not act defensive towards these backlash statements (Gilbert qtd. in DeKeseredy 1271). Furthermore, Schwartz and Koss suggest that researchers in this field must consider their actions as an advocacy which can be done with scientific methods, and they must think of the positive outcomes of these studies (qtd. in DeKeseredy 1271).
The strategies against the backlashes on violence against women will not be carried out if the general public does not recognize that this is an existing problem which needs to be resolved. The need for public support is crucial in this aspect because the public too can be the victim and the offender (DeKeseredy 1272). Therefore, it is not only the duty of the researchers in this field that are important, but the public is also the primary concern of these studies. The community must become one in this ordeal and they must also be vigilant on the type of information they receive regarding this matter.
DeKeseredy, Walter, S. “Tactics of the Antifeminist Backlash Against Canadian National
Women Abuse Surveys.” Violence Against Women 5 (1995): 1258-1276. Print.