Dignity for All Victims
As an attorney who has worked with many battered men and their children, I was appalled by the cover story of your August issue ["Desperate Hours"] that left male victims invisible as usual, referring only to "battered women."
Last year the Centers for Disease Control issued a report that found: "More than 1 in 3 women (35.6 percent) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5 percent) in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime," while one in five women and one in seven men are victims of "severe" domestic violence. Another study funded by the CDC found that half of heterosexual domestic violence is reciprocal, and that "in nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70 percent of the cases." And the worst damage is to children who witness the violence, regardless of injury rates.
If you were talking about soldiers or firefighters, you rightly would say "men and women," making sure the minority of women soldiers and firefighters get recognized. Why don't domestic violence victims deserve the same dignity?
Marc E. Angelucci
Editor's note: The article discussed predicaments that apply to all domestic violence victims in California; the particular clients at the legal clinic used to illustrate the story were in fact all women.
Get Real About Prisons
Lack of comfort, crowded conditions, and lack of access to top-of-the-line health care [in California prisons] is not cruel and unusual punishment ["Now What?" August]. It happens to us non-felons all the time as we struggle in this down economy. It's time for some in the federal judiciary to get real.
John Michael O'Connor
Although Santa Cruz attorney Steven A. Greenburg's law practice includes a focus on special education matters ("Special Needs, Hard Times," September), that is not a practice area in which the State Bar's Board of Legal Specialization offers certification. California Lawyer
regrets any misunderstanding.