Mixed signals on assault and battery
By Richard L. Davis,
President, Family NonViolence Inc
March 1, 2011

It was not until the 1970s that researchers in the academe earnestly researched why so many family members, intimate partners and peers use assaultive, battering and/or coercive behavior to "get their way" regardless of age gender or sexual orientation. Massachusetts General Law 209A, section (a) defines “abuse” between family or household members as “attempting to cause or causing physical harm.” Through a number of Massachusetts Supreme Court decisions the court has ruled that “under certain circumstances” it is not “abuse” to repeatedly beat a child with a belt.

The board of Family NonViolence Inc. (FNI) believes that if you are on the receiving end of a belt you might disagree.

FNI is supporting legislation that would open a dialogue to discuss what FNI believes is a disconnect of logic and common sense concerning these two propositions. To date, this attempt to engage members of the legislature, the media and the general public in this discussion has received little to no support.
Anyone who remains a bystander is silently condoning the behavior they witness.

FNI urges you to visit their website at http://familynonviolence.wordpress.com/ for more details. Interveners for child, sibling, spousal, intimate partner, elder abuse and bullying agree that anyone who remains a bystander is silently condoning the behavior they witness.

FNI urges you to contact members of the legislature, the media and discuss this issue among colleagues, family and friends.

Richard L. Davis
President, Family NonViolence Inc

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