You hear it every year. Whenever football playoffs roll around, domestic violence spikes. The story goes something like this: “Men have one too many, get angry when their favorite team loses, burst into fits of rage and take it out on their wives and girlfriends.”
Despite this oft-quoted script, nobody seems to have been able to produce the statistics to back it up. Is the domestic violence warning worth worrying about – or is it urban legend?
There exists no evidence that domestic or intimate partner violence goes up in direct correlation with one of the most major sporting events in the country – or any sporting event, for that matter. The culprit is probably a conversation from 1993, in which an alliance of women’s groups allegedly pointed out an Old Dominion University statistic stating that incidents increased by 40% when the Redskins won in 1989.
Eager for drama instead of carefully-analyzed facts, the public picked up this claim and ran with it. They probably meant well, trying to protect women during what they assume is an especially vulnerable time. But when you spend your time and resources perpetuating a myth, you divert people away from fixing the actual problem.
No one particular day is worse when it comes to domestic violence. On average, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men will be victimized by a partner in their lifetime; the number does not change based on external factors like a football game! Spreading false data about violence makes people jumpy on what should be a fun day, and makes it harder to separate the innocent from the guilty.
Domestic violence is notoriously one of the most difficult crimes to try. Because incidents almost always take place in private, many cases rely on anecdotal evidence rather than verifiable proof. There aren’t always going to be physical signs that an altercation did or did not take place, so comparatively, it’s easier both to hide abuse and to file false allegations of it.
The Man to Call
There’s only one way to approach an assault case: Objectively, with facts and tangible evidence for juries to consider before forming conclusions. Mark Thiessen has experience trying abuse cases, and the knowledge needed to parse fact from fiction. Schedule a free consultation today.