Wiki-what-the-hell?

My little friend Jacob hopped into my car the day after Halloween, still wearing his bat costume, and asked: “What’s the biggest bat?” It just so happens that my next door neighbor Greg Falxa is a bat researcher. After he told us about the Flying Fox, Jacob still wanted more details. Where did we turn? Wikipedia, of course. If you dare, check it out. No worries, they eat fruit.

I printed out a picture for Jacob and thought idly about clicking on the Wiki definition of domestic violence, which I do periodically to torture myself. This time, sitting atop the article, was a box with an orange exclamation point saying “This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject.”

I’ll say!

I then unearthed the frightening fact that this Wiki article got (hold onto your hats) 94,632 hits during the 31 days of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I have been working for 30 years to educate the public about domestic violence and  have not come within a light year of talking to that many people. How do your efforts at public awareness match up against the near 95,000 high school and college students and miscellaneous others being spoon fed this out-of-date and unintelligible misinformation about domestic violence?

This is a call to researchers and others with a talent for accurate and engaging prose. Put your money where your brains are. Make it your mission to upgrade the article to be at least as interesting and accurate as the article on bats!

4 thoughts on “Wiki-what-the-hell?”

  1. teri I think you were meaning to comment on the blog post after mine, right? But I’ll take this opportunity anyway to say that in my 30 years of working on DV, and the hundreds of people I have spoken with, it has just not been my experience that men who are innocent are being ordered to treatment. No, quite the opposite. I have seen case after case where ignorant and violent perpetrators get off scott free. No consequence. Period. Believe me, my mind is wide open. I know we have failed perpetrators and victims with inadequate responses to both. Let’s keep talking and figuring out how to move toward peace and justice for all.

  2. Hi Tyra, Maybe I did post it in the wrong place. But I’m glad you replied. We’d love to have your input at SAVE. (http://www.saveservices.org)

    You are right that much of the current information available on DV is inaccurate. Most of it ignores or under reports abused men and female perpetrators.

    Since 40% of injured DV victims are male, we need to educate not only the public, but also our legislators. Having a law (VAWA) that allows shelters to discriminate based on gender is just plain wrong.

    I know that many innocent men are ordered into anger management classes because I’ve met them during my eight years as a family rights advocate and journalist.

    With mandatory arrest and primary aggressor laws I’m not surprised. Bleeding and bruised men are sometimes arrested while the mark-free abusive women walk away or get free victim services.

    Are you aware that they are told they HAVE to sign a form admitting guilt to attend the classes? I know men who chose jail over admitting guilt because they were innocent.

    Are you aware that a man can be arrested and/or lose contact with his children forever if a woman simply claims fear of him? Do you realize how often that is used as a tool during divorce? It happens way more often than you’d think.

    I’ve written about a few of the men this has happened to. In one case the US State Dept helped the liar kidnap a child from her father in the UK and hid her for years. She admitted lying during a call with the attorneys, State Dept, judge and the man. Yet he still hasn’t seen his daughter. Filing false allegations has become a crisis in our society.

    http://mensnewsdaily.com/2008/06/14/us-state-department-behind-international-child-abduction-scandal/

    http://www.examiner.com/family-in-san-francisco/18-mos-prison-possible-for-ca-dad-s-protest-over-daughter-s-abduction

    I’m curious why your main website is gender biased. The page about money… Right now more women are employed than men. They’re also starting more small businesses than men, as well as entering and graduating college at greater numbers than men. I think that page should be gender neutral, as well as the rest of the site.

    Thanks,

    teri

  3. Wow – you are covering a lot of territory there. It sounds like we’ve had different experiences in what we’ve seen over the years. But to bring it back to my original blog, I called attention to the inadequacies of the Wikipedia article on domestic violence. If the Wiki entry were more comprehensive – that is if it contained references to the hundreds and hundreds of well founded studies, research and data – then it would be a better resource for all of us who care about the issue.

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