Men at Risk Men's Social Health within Families and Intimate ...
MEN AT RISK Mens Social Health within Families and Intimate Relationships Emily M. Douglas, Ph.D. Bridgewater State University Massachusetts Family Impact Seminar Boston, Massachusetts March 30, 2011 Social Health What is social health? Accounting/Tally of our indicators of social well-being
Range of possible factors: Poverty level Child maltreatment/Family violence Teen suicide Alcohol and drug abuse Housing conditions Todays Talk: Mens Social Health in DIVORCED FAMILIES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS Fathers in Divorced Families
Divorce in the U.S. Divorce Rates 1960-2008 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 6 19 5 6
19 0 7 19 5 7 19 0 8 19 5 8
19 0 9 19 5 9 19 0 0 20 5 0
20 7 0 20 Rate of divorce per 1,000 married women, aged 15 and older Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Statistical Abstract of the U.S., National 8 0 20 Men Dont Take Marriage Seriously
Divorced Fathers: Dont Care About Children Divorced Fathers: Dont Care About Children-Dont Want Life Disrupted What Happens After Divorce? Most men are not granted custody postdivorce ~ 25% of divorced fathers have shared living arrangement with former wife (physical or residential custody) More than 50% of divorced fathers have right to help make decisions about children (legal custody, parental rights
and responsibilities, decision-making) Medical, Education, Religion Divorced Dads A Spectacle How do Men Respond to Divorce? Lower income than married men More likely abuse alcohol than married men Grieve loss of father role Often feel shut out of childrens lives May be uninformed about childrens lives (if have poor communication with mother)
Struggle with how to remain involved in school/extracurricular activities Feel financial strain: conflict of paying child support, but making own residence home Difficult balance between parenting role and Disneyland Dad What Many Divorced Fathers Experience What Can States Do? Common Responses: Mediation: For couples who cannot resolve differences
Parent Education: Required educational-seminar about effects of divorce on children and family Parenting Plans: Lay-out post-divorce agreement; foster shared parenting What Can States Do? Common Responses: Joint/Shared Custody: Encourage in statute Presumption Joint/Shared Custody: State presumes best arrangement for all families Mass House Bill H02684: In making an order or judgment relative to the custody of any minor child there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the parents shall have shared legal and
physical custody of the minor child. Such presumption may be rebutted by either party by a preponderance of the evidence that the other parent has engaged in a pattern or serious incident of abuse or neglect of the minor child In making any order or judgment concerning the parenting schedule of each parent with any minor child, the rights of the parents shall be equal, absent emergency, abuse or neglect of the child by one of the parents. The court shall maximize the amount of time the child spends with each parent, to the extent possible. 2004 MA State Ballot-Presumption for Joint Custody Yes No Berkshire
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 What Can States Do? Make commitment to collect information on child custody outcomes
Legislation for Divorced/Disrupted Families in the New England States Divorce Presumption Stat Parenting Joint/Shared e CT Mediation
Yes, not mandatory Education Prgm Plans Yes, mandatory Yes, mandatory in disputes ME Yes, mandatory
in disputes Yes, not mandatory No MA No Yes, mandatory No NH
Yes, not mandatory RI Yes, not mandatory Yes, mandatory Yes, mandatory No No Custody
Permitted through statute Permitted; encourages frequent and continuing contact with both parents Permitted through statute for Joint Custody Yes, for joint
decisionmaking, only when both parents agree No No Permitted through statute Yes, for decisionmaking resp. only
No provision No Men Who SustainViolence in Intimate Relationships Men Who Sustain Intimate Partner Violence We tend to think of domestic violence as a womans issue Women-victims Men-perpetrators
Commonly true Overlook many, many victims men Is IPV against men a serious issue? Female-Male Partner Violence Female-Male Partner Violence Female-Male Partner Violence is Not Serious
Not Only in Cartoons TV, Too 2006 episode called Knee Jerk Carrie becomes angry with Doug and pushes him down the stairs He sustains an injury and has to go to the ER This is never labeled as partner violence Seen as a source of humor, comedy
More Recently Tiger Woods; He Had it Coming to Him Men Who Sustain Partner Violence DOJ in 2009, 117,210 men were physically assaulted by an intimate partner, most of whom were women Men were 18% of all IPV victims that year National Violence Against Women Survey found that 40% of all IPV victims during a 1-year time period were men
About 1.3 per 1,000 men are physically assaulted by a partner each year Men are often injured, too 1%-20% of men who were assaulted by partner were injured This is 12%-40% of all intimate partner injuries, and 27% of all injuries requiring medical attention Why Do Men Stay? Are concerned about their children.
Have a commitment to marriage. Love their partners. Fear that they be separated from their children. Belief that their partners will change. Lack of financial resources to go any other place. Are embarrassed that friends and family will find out. Worry that their partners will kill themselves or members of their families. Where Do Men Seek Help? DV agency 43.7
DV hotline 23.4 Medical provider 18.1 Mental health provider 66.2 Online 63.4
Police 46.3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Percent Who Used Each Resource 70 80 90 How Helpful? How Helpful Was This Resource? DV agency DV hotline Medical provider Mental health provider Online
Police 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Percent responding Somewhat or Very Helpful 80 90 What Can States Do? Use gender-inclusive language State statutes Education-based programs Training for service providers
Maximize resources without straining DV agencies Treat male and female victims together Valley Oasis Family Violence Shelter in CA For more information For more information about social policy issues in Massachusetts, please go to website of MGC Infolink, which is
a resource that provides information about social policy issues in Massachusetts www.mgcinfolink.i For more information Emily M. Douglas, Ph.D. Assistant Professor School of Social Work Bridgewater State University [email protected] 508.531.2012
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