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Houston Breakthrough, February 1977
Page 15
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Houston Breakthrough, February 1977 - Page 15. February 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 25, 2015. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4444.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 1977). Houston Breakthrough, February 1977 - Page 15. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4444

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, February 1977 - Page 15, February 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 25, 2015, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4451/show/4444.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, February 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1977
Description Vol. 2 No. 2
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 21 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 15
File Name femin_201109_525o.jpg
Transcript 'Battered Wives' author talks on crisis housing By Ann Harris Battered women are reaching out. Those who are in that situation are seeking help; those who have extricated themselves are offering it. Del Martin, author of Battered Wives, who lectured here recently to the YWCA Committee for Women in Crisis, talked about establishing refuges. A typical response to Martin's appearance was one woman's emphatic announcement, "I'm going to show everyone now that there is life after battering." This successful career person and mother finds that, in speaking publicly for the first time about her years of beating, she can give other women hope and the impetus to take control of their own lives. As she relives her experiences, she frees herself of the vestiges of fear, isolation and shame inherent in the battered wife syndrome. Kirkendall reports that a aen- nite opening date for a shelter will be announced next month. At present, there is a frustrating disparity between the number of pleas for help and the available resources. The main emergency housing facility for women is the Salvation Army Home. They are adding 30 beds to reduce the overcrowding, but women may stay only three days and cannot have a male child over eight with them. Intensive psychotherapy, essential during crisis periods, is offered by only four agencies, all of whom have long waiting lists. The word must continue to be spread about wife beating. If people are not aroused, the essential money and man/wom- anpower are much more difficult to secure because the victims remain silent and invisible and their need for services remains emotional guesswork, not statistical reality. Del Martin chafes at bureaucratic necessity: "They don't really need the statistics or numbers game, because wherever a shelter is established it's DEL MARTIN PEGGY KIRKENDALL Breakthrough's lead story in December awakened many to the fact that wife-beating cuts across class and racial lines — no group of women is safe from this violence, just as no woman is safe from rape. Sara Lowrey's ten- part series, "The Crime Nobody Reports" for KPRC-TV, detailed ;he legal dilemma women face when caught in this oppression. Peggy Kirkendall, Chair of the Y Committee, appeared on radio and television talk shows to discuss the problem of beaten women and the progress in opening a shelter. Over the last two months, the number of battered women seeking help has risen sharply. The main branch of the Y now receives almost 200 of these calls each month (523-6881). This increase, due largely to the publicity which this issue has received lately, was reported by Crisis Hotline as well (228-1505). Battered women are only now learning that their problem is widespread and that help rs becoming available. In addition to the crisis pleas, one to two non-emergency calls a day ask for information about the shelter. The Hotline is cooperating with the Y Committee in statistically documenting the need in Houston for services for these women in crisis. advocate service are developing. Page 14 • February 1977 • Houston Breakthrough always immediately filled, so the need is obvious. Women have to cry really loud and clear that money is needed for services, not studies of 'do we need services?' " She noted that less than one percent of the grants awarded yearly go for women's projects and these are usually not for services. The YWCA Committee for Women in Crisis recently received a grant of almost $6000 from the Hogg Foundation to hire a program developer to secure funding and facilities for the Houston refuge for battered women. The position will be filled this month. The program developer will also coordinate the complicated administrative details that until now have, of necessity, been handled by volunteers. The Houston Area NOW Task Force on Domestic Violence, chaired by Catherine Livingston, is recruiting and organizing volunteers to help in afl facets of the Y Committee's efforts. (Call 524- 7149 to offer time, money, skills, material goods.) The Task Force is also preparing a legal and general information pamphlet to spell out immediate action to take when beaten. Telephone hotline volunteer training programs and an The Y Committee is scheduling workshops for professionals in mental health, medicine, religion, law and law enforcement to re-evaluate the unique problems encountered in helping battered women to a better life. (Call Dr. Toby Faires at 797-1976 to participate.) The workshops are designed also to raise the matching funds stipulated by the grant. Speakers for public groups will be available. (Call Jo Stewart 790-2720.) Peer support groups, assisted by trained counselors, are already forming. Local branches of the YWCA will offer meeting space so battered women will not have to travel impossible distances to find help. Child care will be provided. (Call the main YWCA on Allen Parkway for details - 523-6881.) The Y envisions a program in which: The battered woman is not judged. Direct and constructive problem-solving can take the place of comments such as, "These women all waste my time. They file charges but never follow through." (a woman prosecuting attorney.) "I think they must be masochists. / would never stay if a man hit me." (several active feminists) "Women have brought a lot of this on themselves." (a male police officer after Del Martin's speech.) The battered woman is believed. She is assured that she is neither alone nor crazy. She is supported in recognizing her own worth. She is given concrete information that allows her to act directly to change her life. The husband is held accountable. She is not held responsible for causing her own beating. This is in contrast to excuses often heard from friends and family, and even from the beaten wife herself when she is without support from her peers. Del Martin believes: "It we get the problem of wife beating solved, we will have the social and economic revolution feminists are working for." "We should start in family life classes in elementary school to educate children in attitudes and values that will prevent wife beating." She also calls for men to exert social pressure on men who are beating women, or even joking about it. "By doing nothing, we as a society condone abusive behavior. It is time to say no. Our culture sets women up to be victims and then blames them when they are. If she escapes, the trade-off in this society is often to poverty because she has not been trained in a career, or even if she has been, she's paid much less than a man. The beaten woman is often stalked by the man. She has no guarantee of child custody or support." Battered Wives is available at The Bookstore and Libran, or through Glide Publications, 330 Ellis St., San Francisco, California 94102 for $6.95. Adam and Even Plays for living By Beverly Hebert Adam and Even, a play that explores myths about women, is being offered to the community by the Family Service Center. This play is one of several one-act dramas in a Plays for Living series, funded by the Texas Committee for the Humanities and Public Policy. All of the plays use the living theatre to dramatize the impact of social problems on individual families. Themes include: the separation between a parent and a child, parental disharmony, child abuse, and racist and sexist attitudes. Mary Beth Splaine, director of the program, believes the strength of the plays lies in the use of "gentle satire." They communicate without being threatening. Adam and Even, Splaine says, calls for understanding between the sexes as women find their new roles and as men learn to accept a "woman" as an individual and reject the group stereotypes assigned to "women." The play examines the discrimination against women that still exists in employment — despite all the legislation on the books. Harry is the executive searching for the right man to fill a position in the company. Irene, his secretary, wants the job and that complicates his problem. Even after she helps him solve a business crisis, he hesitates to recommend her. In a dream sequence the play uses role reversals to dramatize sex roles and expectations. Three women are leaning over Harry, speculating on his future. Someday, they murmur, he'll grow up to be a husband and father.... A wedding march begins to play and a woman in the role of minister pronounces the couple standing before her "woman and husband." When she greets Harry as "Mr. Bartholomew," he tries to explain she has made a mistake — Bartholomew is his wife's name — he is Harry Willard. He swallows many more indignities women are conditioned to accept before he finally rebels and shouts at a group of whistling, cat-calling females, "Look at me!" ME! I'm Harry! Not Mary! You jerks! You jackasses! Respect me! I'm a person!" At the play's end, Irene speaks with quiet despair: "I think people tend to become what they're expected to become. After a while, you really get to be how you're treated." Despite the play's understanding of women's problems, it is clearly also sympathetic to the male position. "The play is dedicated to dialogue between women and men," says Splaine. "Our most successful discussion takes place after mixed screenings." The half-hour plays are followed by short discussions led by persons using a humanistic approach that is receptive to all opinions expressed. Discussion leaders for Adam and Even are: Dr. Carrin Dunne of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University; Dr. Joy Wilson, of the Department of English at the University of St. Thomas; Nina Tucci of the French Department at the University of Houston. Local plays are performed by the Country Playhouse - Houston for schools, churches, PTAs, business groups and women's and men's organizations. For booking information, call Mary Beth Splaine at 524-3881.