Book Review of Domestic Violence

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Book Review on “Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren’t Supposed to Know” Written By: Thomas James

T.B. James has written a hard-hitting and incisive book focusing on current myths about domestic violence in the United States that turns the conventional approach on its ear (Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren’t Supposed to Know, 2003). A practicing attorney in Minnesota and founder/director of Better Resolutions Mediation Service, James’s short, quotable book focuses on empirical studies and an extensive review of the literature to make a powerful argument that women are as violent as men, while our legal system is biased against men and refuses to hold females accountable when they are
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In the domestic violence research world, feminist assumptions-many contradicting better designed studies or more reliable crime data- have tremendous influence on how questions are framed, what questions are asked, who is surveyed, and how slanted data are then interpreted to support these pre-existing assumptions. Such studies are based on a circular logic that calls women victims and men batterers (James, 2003). As an example, James cites studies that ask women to report if they have ever been abused according to an extremely generous definition of abuse, then assumes that all instances of abuse reported has been, naturally, perpetrated by their male domestic partners. This data is then reported as reliable, and more importantly, valid. The data is then interpreted to make questionable or untenable conclusions that support the original, simplistic assumptions (James, 2003).
James portrays a legal system apparently so intent on correcting past injustices against women that males are now consistently held to a much tougher standard. Not only are females given the benefit of the doubt, much of their violence is viewed as purely defensive or due to factors excusing them from responsibility when they are violent. Many people in our justice system have bought into specious arguments supporting a gender-based mythology as well as uncritically accepting as truth a specific ideology that not only skews
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