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Fox Commentator: Abused Women Should Just Make Better Decisions

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Fox Commentator: Abused Women Should Just Make Better Decisions

2012/12/08
By

Abused women shelter; photography by Jane Bown for The Guardian

A Fox News commentator sparked outrage on Wednesday. A comment was made during live broadcast on the Fox News program, “The Five,” that suggested that women who are victims of domestic violence should simply “make better decisions.”

Wow. Who would make this irresponsible and alarming statement? Was there a guest on the show? Rush Limbaugh? Todd Akin? Glenn Beck?

Nope. None of the above. This statement was made by none other than Fox News commentator Dana Perino. Yes, a woman.

The discussion that evolved into a “victim blaming” session revolved around the case of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Jovan Belcher, who shot and killed his girlfriend, then drove to the stadium and committed suicide by turning the gun on himself in front of his coaches and teammates. The couple had a long history of domestic violence, with police called to their home on numerous occasions. The commentators on “The Five” were discussing the implications of the murder-suicide and whether or not gun control laws should be examined more closely as a result of this crime.

Transcript of the discussion between Perino, co-hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle, Eric Bolling, liberal co-host, Bob Beckel, and Libertarian co-host, Greg Gutfeld:

Guilfoyle “This isn’t an issue about gun control. This is an issue about domestic violence and a man who had a troubled past; had a history documented of being, unfortunately, sadly, abusive to women; an inability to be able to control his temper and his emotions; a lack of impulse control.”

Perino: “I’m glad you brought that up. On the same day that Jovan Belcher committed this crime, there was a man who beat his wife with a baseball bat and killed her. Okay? He wasn’t a pro football player, he doesn’t drive a Bentley, didn’t make millions of dollars. But on the same day — that’s why I think talking about the gun culture so-called issue is actually a copout and not dealing with the real issue about mental health, anger management and domestic violence.”


Beckel: “Can you name me one person you know that saved their lives by a handgun?”

Perino: “Bob, I think that skirts the issue that women are victims of violence all the time.”

Gutfeld: “Should have guns.”

Perino: “Or maybe make better decisions”.

Beckel: “Why don’t we just strap a gun on everybody and walk around the street?” Beckel quipped.

Bolling: “It’d be safer,” asserted.

Gutfeld: “Beautiful!”

Better decisions? Really? And to be safe in our own homes we need to carry a gun around with us?

Perino served as White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush from September 14, 2007 to January 20, 2009 and, ironically for the Department of Justice. She joined the Fox News Channel in April 2009 as a contributor. Perino is the president and founder of a consulting firm, Dana Perino and Company, and the editorial director of Crown Publishing Groups Imprint Crown Forum. In November 2009, Perino was appointed to the Broadcasting Board of Governors by President Obama and was a founder of various women’s organizations such as Congo Story and Minute Mentoring (I don’t like being redundant, but again…ironic).

After enjoying a high-profile career with much of her focus on women’s groups, why would Perino make such a statement? Because it’s what she really believes. Her statement was genuine and she had no hesitation when she said it. She seems to genuinely believe that all women need to do is make better decisions.

One in four women (24.3%) and one in seven men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (Black et al., 2011). In 2010, 241 males and 1095 females were murdered by an intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, 2011).

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the U.S. alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

Besides death and injuries, physical violence is associated with many adverse health outcomes (Black, 2011; Breiding, Black, and Ryan, 2008). Health conditions associated with intimate partner violence may be result of physical violence – bruises, knife wounds, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, back or pelvic pain; headaches – but another health factor is stress. Some conditions impact the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine and immune systems through chronic stress. (Black, 2011; Crofford, 2007; Leserman and Drossman, 2007).

Dana Perino was right: women do need to make better decisions. One better choice is to vote for political candidates who support the Violence Against Women Act. Another better choice that women can make is to find a news source that actually cares about women.

Article Sources and Resources for women:

The Futures Without Violence website has one of the most comprehensive list of data sources on the web.

One of the best reports was compiled by Dana Perino’s’s former employer, the U.S. Department of Justice: “Stalking and Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Statistics (2012)

Department of Health and Human Study (2003, March) Services Costs of Intimate Partner Violence against Women in the United States

National Institute of Justice Study (2000, July) Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey

by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM
Replies (11-20):
tooptimistic
by Kelly on Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM
1 mom liked this

The statement is partially true.

There is alot of help for battered women in this country, for those who want it.

So many women get into a victim instead of a survivor mentality.  I have a good friend whose husband beats the crap out of her.  She as one excuse after another as to why she can't leave. It is ok for her boys to see it.. (if they are in their rooms as he beats the crap out of her then they don't know what's going on.)  She isn't ALLOWED to work, she isn't ALLOWED to leave the house without him.  He records all of her phone calls, he has key logger, so he sees everything she does on the Internet.

Her mom has offered to help, I have offered to help, other family members.

Will she call the police when he beats the crap out her?  Nope.  It would interfere with his job. No one where he works should know.   She can't leave because he supports her.. blah blah blah..

So, when he beats the crap out one of the boys.. which probably will happen then what? She tells us, he's a nice guy he has impulse control issues..  Blah blah blah..

Seriously?  She is just as sick as he is.. and part of her situation is because of her own bad decisions.  When something happens to one of her boys, I think she should be in trouble too.

I kind of to point agree with the commentator said.

Claire-Huxtable
by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM
1 mom liked this

Do we know they were Christians? 

What does pa have to do with this?  Are you saying she was incapable of having a job and caring for her child?

And no, she shouldn't have stayed with an abuser.    She absolutely should not have done that.

So yes, women do make bad decisions and sometimes those decisions end tragically for these women.

Quoting AdrianneHill:

And it doesn't negate her point. People who get on pa are automatically lazy and seeing handouts. It goes back to her decisions, she shouldn't have dated him, shouldn't have had his kids, shouldn't have stayed at home to care for him, shouldn't have let him isolate her from family and friends, and so on. Now we know everything she did wrong, what can she do to make it right without healing on added stigma from people who think she shouldn't divorce him or try to be the man in her home and that's why she was beaten I'm the first place. The question is, after we complete all of the I told you so's she deserves for being a screw up, then what do we do?

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

When you can't argue a point, you bring up totally unrelated stuff in order to attack the poster instead of the point. Weak sauce.




Quoting mikiemom:

And you know what her other options are. It's your faith and beliefs that teach women they are less than men and can't live without them.



Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

So repeatedly going back to a man who abused you doesn't warrant the suggestion that going back is a bad decision?





LntLckrsCmQut
by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM
7 moms liked this

The first time a woman is abused should be her wake up call to get out. If she continues to stay or go back, then I see his point.

tooptimistic
by Kelly on Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM
1 mom liked this

Are you kidding?

Serioulsy check out the bible..

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

 

Quoting mikiemom:

Nope sorry, but these two issues are completely related. The way your religion views women is one of the many reasons why domestic violence is so accepted in this country. The view of folks from that vein is that she must have done something to deserve the abuse. It's her fault for not making the right decision. He just did what men in your view are supposed to do. Dominate their women, with violence if needed.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

When you can't argue a point, you bring up totally unrelated stuff in order to attack the poster instead of the point. Weak sauce.


Quoting mikiemom:

And you know what her other options are. It's your faith and beliefs that teach women they are less than men and can't live without them.


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

So repeatedly going back to a man who abused you doesn't warrant the suggestion that going back is a bad decision?

 


 


TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Good grief, what an idiot.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

There a dozen other church teachings that say the opposite. Nice try.

Quoting tooptimistic:

Are you kidding?

Serioulsy check out the bible..

18 AW)">Wives, submit to your husbands, as AX)">is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and AY)">do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents AZ)">in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

 

Quoting mikiemom:

Nope sorry, but these two issues are completely related. The way your religion views women is one of the many reasons why domestic violence is so accepted in this country. The view of folks from that vein is that she must have done something to deserve the abuse. It's her fault for not making the right decision. He just did what men in your view are supposed to do. Dominate their women, with violence if needed.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

When you can't argue a point, you bring up totally unrelated stuff in order to attack the poster instead of the point. Weak sauce.


Quoting mikiemom:

And you know what her other options are. It's your faith and beliefs that teach women they are less than men and can't live without them.


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

So repeatedly going back to a man who abused you doesn't warrant the suggestion that going back is a bad decision?

 


 

 


mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM
1 mom liked this

NO worries, I hope the GOP and conservatives like you keep spouting this utter bullshit, it will 2016 less stressful for us.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

Do we know they were Christians? 

What does pa have to do with this?  Are you saying she was incapable of having a job and caring for her child?

And no, she shouldn't have stayed with an abuser.    She absolutely should not have done that.

So yes, women do make bad decisions and sometimes those decisions end tragically for these women.

Quoting AdrianneHill:

And it doesn't negate her point. People who get on pa are automatically lazy and seeing handouts. It goes back to her decisions, she shouldn't have dated him, shouldn't have had his kids, shouldn't have stayed at home to care for him, shouldn't have let him isolate her from family and friends, and so on. Now we know everything she did wrong, what can she do to make it right without healing on added stigma from people who think she shouldn't divorce him or try to be the man in her home and that's why she was beaten I'm the first place. The question is, after we complete all of the I told you so's she deserves for being a screw up, then what do we do?

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

When you can't argue a point, you bring up totally unrelated stuff in order to attack the poster instead of the point. Weak sauce.




Quoting mikiemom:

And you know what her other options are. It's your faith and beliefs that teach women they are less than men and can't live without them.



Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

So repeatedly going back to a man who abused you doesn't warrant the suggestion that going back is a bad decision?


 


 


tooptimistic
by Kelly on Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM

eye rollingI am sure you could come up with some twisted Bible verse. Not going to argue religion.  Your claim however is ridiculous.  Just showed you Bible verse where it speficially tells a husband how to treat his wife.

Quoting mikiemom:

There a dozen other church teachings that say the opposite. Nice try.

Quoting tooptimistic:

Are you kidding?

Serioulsy check out the bible..

18 AW)">Wives, submit to your husbands, as AX)">is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and AY)">do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents AZ)">in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

 

Quoting mikiemom:

Nope sorry, but these two issues are completely related. The way your religion views women is one of the many reasons why domestic violence is so accepted in this country. The view of folks from that vein is that she must have done something to deserve the abuse. It's her fault for not making the right decision. He just did what men in your view are supposed to do. Dominate their women, with violence if needed.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

When you can't argue a point, you bring up totally unrelated stuff in order to attack the poster instead of the point. Weak sauce.


Quoting mikiemom:

And you know what her other options are. It's your faith and beliefs that teach women they are less than men and can't live without them.


Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

So repeatedly going back to a man who abused you doesn't warrant the suggestion that going back is a bad decision?

 


 

 

 


stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM
4 moms liked this

Total bullshit.  This is the reason I am getting so effing sick of all the "people on PA suck, single mothers suck, blah blah blah.

Apparently some people think if we can just time travel to before this happened, it will all be OK, MEANWHILE refusing to address the problems that result in MEN thinking this is an acceptable thing to do, and women who have nowhere to turn for help.

Yeah great idea, tell them it is their fault in the first place, that will make them solidly strong enough to venture away.  

The devil you know, and all that.

So annoying.

Claire-Huxtable
by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Yep it is total bullshit to think it is a bad decision to stay with an abuser and that women are capable of actually making smart decisions and get out of those relationships.

Quoting mikiemom:

NO worries, I hope the GOP and conservatives like you keep spouting this utter bullshit, it will 2016 less stressful for us.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

Do we know they were Christians? 

What does pa have to do with this?  Are you saying she was incapable of having a job and caring for her child?

And no, she shouldn't have stayed with an abuser.    She absolutely should not have done that.

So yes, women do make bad decisions and sometimes those decisions end tragically for these women.

Quoting AdrianneHill:

And it doesn't negate her point. People who get on pa are automatically lazy and seeing handouts. It goes back to her decisions, she shouldn't have dated him, shouldn't have had his kids, shouldn't have stayed at home to care for him, shouldn't have let him isolate her from family and friends, and so on. Now we know everything she did wrong, what can she do to make it right without healing on added stigma from people who think she shouldn't divorce him or try to be the man in her home and that's why she was beaten I'm the first place. The question is, after we complete all of the I told you so's she deserves for being a screw up, then what do we do?

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

When you can't argue a point, you bring up totally unrelated stuff in order to attack the poster instead of the point. Weak sauce.




Quoting mikiemom:

And you know what her other options are. It's your faith and beliefs that teach women they are less than men and can't live without them.



Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

So repeatedly going back to a man who abused you doesn't warrant the suggestion that going back is a bad decision?







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