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Wait a minute! “IPV,” “DV”– Social Scourges or Euphemism and Oxymoron?

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Vocabulary Analogies.

I was tempted to call this “in which I discuss the dissemination of obfuscation,” but it’s not really a laughing matter when people are dying over this, weekly, and around the globe.

I am not of the belief that utopia is possible, at least as enforced by any state agency, government, religion, NGO, or anyone else.  When I hear someone wanting to “help” me, at least someone I don’t know and didn’t personally solicit to do so, I try to head for the hills, and highly recommend this.

Unfortunately, with the advent of the Internet, the Language Police lurking around every corner, and our children being CAUGHT, practically, as they exit the womb by someone funded by someone fanatically suspicious of the mother/child relationship (i refer NOT to the practitioners — thank you, mine were born in a hospital — but to the premises behind some of the policies) — there are fewer and fewer hills left.

This includes hills and pockets of time as well, and that is almost nowhere as true as when a woman, with children, tries to exit a man, who has threatened and hit her, with institutional intervention.  

Just as, thanks to the increasing attempts to criminalize “homeschooling” (another misnomer) in my home state, there is less and less time available to the average citizen — whether parent, teacher, commuter employee, or child, unless it is built into one’s profession.    I have some perspective (age, profession, and parenting) from which to say this, but have not as yet decided to share identifying go public in more blatant identifying detail  (see topic, leaving domestic violence…)

So in general, people do lack either time, or motivation, to address IPV and DV unless we are typically involved by personal association.  It is, after all, less pleasant than stopping to smell the roses; in fact it’s profoundly disturbing.  

But I say, how about time to stop and smell the vocabulary?  Those most inclined to do this are those who have tasted its fruit, where that fruit is sometimes stale and putrid.  Maybe you could from the safety of your home (I’m not asking for money, or for you to call your legislator, am I?) might stop a moment to consider.

Some of these terms have become SO proprietary they are almost meaningless, although I am VERY grateful for the women and men before me who passed laws to criminalize “IPV” and “DV” and I am VERY very grateful that I had at least one opportunity to evict someone who had battered me in the classic definition of the word and was engaging in a pattern of what is called “domestic violence.”

IPV for the uninitiated is a version of “Intimate Partner Violence,” itself probably a linguistic migration from “DV” (Domestic Violence).  Trust me, there is nothing domesticated about violence, it is per se a refusal to be domesticated.  Nor does it only occur domestically (in the home).  It’s a lucky person that can domesticate a few cats, but who can “domesticate” a person that has taken to hands (or other handy implements) to intentionally: tame the shrew, or beat/threaten/punish the woman (oops, “partner”) in the process of teaching gender differences DO rule, and some divides were ordained by God (yeah, right) and not cross-able.  Note in that concept the transference of protesting hitting one’s (in this example) opposite-sex partner (with whom one has engaged in sex) to illustrate the girls do NOT rule, Boys do.  [This is a particularly religious thing, though not limited to it].

Intimate PARTNER?  Now that I think of it, when the relationship is He hits Her (or He hits Him, She hits Her, or She hits Him for the politically more correct than I am feeling today), it is the precise opposite of what the word “partner” means.  I mean, there’s a “partners in crime,” a humorous phrase used sometimes of a rapscallionly escapade that’s not really a crime.   I was mugged twice myself –outside the home.  I didn’t go back and “partner” with the guy who made off with my purse.  

Why then would I attempt to with the guy who made off with my children?  Can we not depart in peace, or get some assistance in this process, eh?

More to the point, why would some agencies in Washington, D.C. and (yes, I looked) Colorado, as tested in a variety of states, usually including California, determine that my doing so would be good for the overall populace?  It really goes against nature and common sense.  WHO was it that didn’t respect boundaries to start with, generating what’s called some form of separation?

Therefore I say, Intimate Partner Violence has GOT to be some kind of triple oxymoron non-think that has just wormed its way into our vocabulary, nonprofit [and governmental] organizations to distinguish it from stranger violence.  

Well, folks, IPV is far WORSE than stranger violence.  Stranger violence, if you AND yours survive it, and are not maimed, is not statistically likely to reoccur and escalate to death.   Stranger violence has the concept of accidence in it, you could MAYBE have avoided it, or it was unavoidably bad luck.  Not so with “IPV,” which when magnified through the institutions designed to (but in general failing to) put a stop to it, is closer to a total blood transfusion, and entails a personal, specific, and persistent hostility and will to hurt from a specific individual specifically against another.  

Anyway, words don’t just drop down from the sky.  Many of the times (at least in the U.S.) they are federally mandated.  Like “Access Visitation” — but that’s another topic for another time.    

Once these words have been mandated, and promoted, from “on high” (that’s called, government of the people, by the people, and for the people — or it seems I once heard it was….) they are then circulating through the lower, plebian realms — courts, schools, police stations, nonprofit agencies, and so forth.  And the attendant associations to these agencies and institutions, FEW of which YOU are going to be involved with unless you (a) work there, or (b) deal with someone who does, or (c) whose life has led through their doors, or (d) someone dependent on you, or vice versa, as a friend or relative, has also.  

My sarcasm here is not really out of place.  I have been tracing funding of dysfunctional organizations, with some guidance (NAFCJ.net being among but not the only source) of WHY when I knock on a door and sit down in an office, the agency-speak is simply in my native tongue, but with an entirely different set of rules.  The general rule I apply anymore is that whatever it says on the door, the OPPOSITE is not just the effect, but the intended effect and implicit in the design.  

Gentle readers should also understand re: blogger/survivors — there were years of being told NOT to talk (and still are) under our belt.  So, part of blogging is just telling it.  One woman’s simple attempt to summarize the problem (see “Australians Talk,” previous blog and links) spoke to me, so I slapped it up here, thinking it would suffice for a post.  

No, darn it, I had to actually think about it.  I thought about how insane/inane it is to sterilize these words, as we do, face it.  If even God had to do quite a bit of show and tell (miracles, sending a Son, etc.) (was that a Freudian or Theological slip — mine is showing, I suppose), similarly, those who have actually survived this violence, trauma, and losing someone or something to it, should be setting policy AND vocabulary.  

That’s enough for now.


Intimate, Partner, Violence.

Domestic, Violence.

No wonder we need mental health professionals throughout the fields attendant on these terms.

Can you wrap your mind around that one?  (No wonder it’s a market niche around “family courts” etc…..)

the word “court” certainly applies, in the sense, court someone’s favor, or in the royalty application.  The word family, again, has just about become meaningless when those promoting it as essential to the fabric of our nation (and to a degree, I Do agree, believe it or not). 

I know women who went homeless fleeing abuse.  They had homes and professions after the exit; the stability appeared to threaten the status quo, the basket was turned over and emptied out, and through the same mechanism that has put my stomach hungry some days, blogging where the internet is free, and unable to purchase a simple meal at the same time.

Alternately, these terms rolls off your thinking like water off a duck’s back, how many intimate, wonderful, partnering, dynamic, sensitive moments in life have along with the oil coating also rolled past your door? Some of the best parts of life (not just your body) are sensitive to others around you, and what national policies mean to immediate neighbors.

Let’s properly sort those terms:

“Intimate Partner Violence” and “Domestic Violence.”

Move the words around, and it makes much more sense:

Put “intimate partner” with “domestic” and you have something user-friendly.

Take the two “Violences” and keep them separate, and the antagonism is right there out in the open:

V2 (Violence X Violence).  There’s no place for this in the home.

Again, just as a reminder, the definitions include a pattern of oppression.  No, I don’t mean, being asked to wash the floors if you’re awoman.  I mean being TOLD to wash the floors NOW, or else, and the “else” you already  know, because it happened before, and hurt.  Or destroyed.  Or violated one of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights.

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 25, 2009 at 5:15 am

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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