Tag Archives: domestic violence

Machines can cut down domestic violence

In a metropolitan area, arraignment decisions made with the help of machine-learning, decreased new domestic violence occurrences by 50 percent, which led to a cut of more than 1,000 post-arraignment arrests yearly, according to new discoveries made by the University of Pennsylvania.

In the U.S., the average pre-trial process progresses from arrest to preliminary arraignment to a mandatory court appearance.

Throughout the preliminary arraignment, a magistrate or judge decides whether or not to release the offender, depending on the chance that the individual will return to court or commit new violations.

Machines will be able to help us out. Don't be afraid. Photo from coursera.com
Machines will be able to help us out. Don’t be afraid. Photo from coursera.com

Susan B. Sorenson, a professor of social policy in Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice and Richard Berk, a criminology and statistics professor in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences and Wharton School, discovered that utilizing machine-learning forecasts at the preliminary arraignment can significantly decrease future domestic violence arrests.

To see how machine-learning could assist in cases of domestic violence, Sorenson and Berk acquired data from over 28,000 domestic violence arrangements between January 2007 and October 2011. Additionally, they observed a two-year follow-up period after release, which ended in October 2013.

Computers can “learn” from certain training data which sort of people are prone to re-offend. For this research, the 35 beginning inputs involved age, gender, prior warrants and sentences, as well as residential location. This data assists the computer in understanding proper relationships for projected risk, which offers additional data to a court official deciding whether to release or detain a suspect.

The quantity of inaccurate predictions can be somewhat high, and a few individuals object on a basic level to utilizing information collected and machines for these situations. To these objections, the researchers simply retort that machine-learning is just a tool.

Some criminal justice settings already utilize machine-learning as a procedure, although various types of choices calls for distinctive datasets from which the machine must learn. Nevertheless, the underlying statistical techniques, nevertheless, continue as before.

Sorenson and Berk both contend that the new system of cutting down domestic violence can make current practices better and more improved.

The study was published in the March issue of The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.

Does male privilege hurt male domestic violence victims?

October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, and with it, many stories of survival and awareness became public. Most of these stories were from women explaining the struggle they faced at the hands of their abusers. Although these stories are very harrowing, men seem to be missing from the victims demographic.

On almost all big posts about domestic violence against women, there’s bound to be a few comments from men asking, “what about men who are abused? Why aren’t they taken seriously?” One of the issues with domestic violence against men is that these instances often go unreported. Women are much more likely to report domestic violence and get help, although many women still don’t report these crimes.

Why is it that men don’t report violent crimes committed against them at the hands of their spouses or partners? The answer is simple, really. Male privilege has backfired on men in many ways, but the worst is that there is little support or sympathy for men who are victims of domestic violence. There’s not as many organizations that reach out to men who are victims because men have always been told to “toughen up” and “suck it up” when they’re frightened.

black-eye-close-up
“On almost all big posts about domestic violence against women, there’s bound to be a few comments from men asking, “what about men who are abused? Why aren’t they taken seriously?”

When men report crimes committed against them, they’re often written off and even laughed at. Although I will admit that men have a physical advantage over women, domestic violence towards men is still very possible. Men have been taught that it’s not okay to hit a woman, and in many cases, men are scared to try to defend themselves and be mistaken for the instigator.

Many men would openly laugh at another man if he admitted that his partner hit him. Growing up, we all heard boys laugh at others, saying, “you got hit by a girl!” Inevitably, the boy will hang his head in shame and run away. Boys are taught to be tough and to hide their emotions, especially fear and sadness. This can be a huge disadvantage to men who do try to seek help.

As humans, we need to stand up against violence in any form and take these reports seriously. Violence is never okay, no matter who it’s being committed against. This male-dominant culture we live in which once served men well is no longer helping them. More men need to realize that feminism isn’t trying to tear them down, it’s trying to even the playing fields for both sexes. Men are just as likely to be victims of domestic violence, so it’s time we reach out to male victims and offer the support that is so readily available for women.

Women’s Resource Center remains strong despite poor economy

As the oldest domestic violence program in Virginia, the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley has offered over three decades of service to the City of Radford and the four surrounding counties. Through the recession of the past few years, the organization has managed to not stray from the programs and services it provides to a growing number of people in the NRV every year. Continue reading Women’s Resource Center remains strong despite poor economy