Tri-Valley Haven: Hiding the Truth About Domestic Violence

If there is one area where feminist influence has corrupted our understanding of a societal problem, it is most certainly domestic violence.

Nowhere is there more of a gap between common understanding and documented realities than in what happens when marriages, civil partnerships or even transient romantic couplings devolve into physical violence.

The facts on the ground are clear.  Women are as likely as or more likely than men to perpetrate physical abuse on their partners, and much more likely to perpetrate psychological abuse. And while most evidence points to the idea that women more frequently suffer serious physical injury, it also proves that men are no stranger to the same levels of abuse.

Despite repeated and widely distributed scientific findings that conclude that domestic violence is best viewed as a problem described in terms of gender symmetry, we find that no such understanding has found its way into public policy or public perception.

Domestic violence, or the currently faddish “intimate partner violence,” are both just euphemisms for wife beating.  As recently (and regularly) addressed on this site, that particular canard permeates the domestic violence industry, the entire educational establishment and indeed the halls of power in our federal government.

It is a massive campaign of intentional deception, largely due to financial considerations for those with hegemony over the discussion.

Those who wake up to what is happening often do so rudely.

Such was the case with Brian Lutz, a California resident with an aim for a doctorate in clinical psychology and who came into that pursuit, “Because,” as he recently told me, “it is important to me on a personal level.”

Lutz developed a passion for educating people about abusive relationships because he was in one, and it left a lasting impact on him that he hopes to translate into helping others avoid what he went through.

He recalls those days and some of the frustrations and confusion that he went through. “The experience left me thinking that society had in some way let me down. Why didn’t society communicate to me that men can be victims of domestic violence? Why didn’t I know the warning signs?”

And then, answering his own questions, he says, “Because society taught me that domestic violence only happens to women and that men are expected to be tough.”

The abuse, and the epiphany, left him with a mission. “I for one am not going to wait for society to change,” he asserts. “Change starts with me. I’m not going to wait for someone to do it for me. It gives my life meaning to speak to young men about the warning signs of being in an abusive relationship. What I stress to them is that domestic violence doesn’t happen to men or women, it happens to human beings.”

He’s a man who has seen the folly in conventional wisdom and has chosen to spend his life helping others see a truth that he learned the hard way. It’s a laudable path of giving, but one that has created an entirely different set of problems.

To further his understanding and his skills, Lutz enrolled in a volunteer training program at Tri-Valley Haven, a domestic violence agency located in Livermore, CA.

It didn’t take long for him to figure out that his previously mistaken ideas about domestic violence, the ones he now attributes to a society that failed to educate him about, were the exact same ideas that set the standard at Tri-Valley.

“From the very first training class,” says Lutz, “it was apparent that domestic violence was being portrayed as something that happens to women and on rare occasion, men.”

The more involved he became with the Tri-Valley the more he noticed that services, training materials and the milieu in general were geared to only recognize male perpetrators and female victims.

“The volunteer training packet we were given was completely biased save for one article on male survivors of sexual assault,” he reports. But that was just the beginning.

“There was one page that had a cartoon drawing of a child witnessing a man punching his wife with the caption ‘mommy and daddy.’  One handout had the warning signs of being in an abusive relationship on one side, and on the other side listed common characteristics of men who batter and women who are abused. No mention of the common characteristics of women who batter could be found anywhere in the packet.”

And then his training gave him something else to consider. “The domestic violence overview began with each of us receiving a handout titled “Herstory [sic] of Domestic Violence: A Timeline of the Battered Women’s Movement” from the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse.””

Lutz summed up the experience quite neatly. “The message I got from the Tri-Valley Haven website was that they serve both Adults and Children of abuse. The message I got from the training class was that they are only interested in serving the needs of women.”

And then he added something else that brings us to the real purpose of this article.

“I decided it was time to speak up.”

And speak up he did.  Lutz questioned his instructors about the lack of information about male victims and female perpetrators. He asked about the possible propensity for violence in women who had borderline personality disorder.  He also pressed for a response to the idea that women who were abused as children might develop personality disorders and become abusive toward adults later in life.

He states that the reason he pursued this line of questioning was because the instructor was teaching in class that one cause of males who abuse was a history of childhood abuse.

According to Lutz, the instructor claimed to have no knowledge that any of this also applied to women.

Apparently Lutz’s questions were rhetorical. Through his own research, prompted by his life experiences, he was already well aware of a problem with male victims and female perps.  He brought copies of the research with him to the next class and asked for permission to hand them out to the other volunteers because he felt like the information presented in the class was biased.

Suddenly things became more interesting.

Lutz states that he was denied permission to hand out the information, the instructor telling him that all information needed to be approved by their board before being distributed. He also says that she told him she did not think there would be a problem getting permission.

But less than a week later, he says, he was pulled aside and informed that he would not be getting permission to pass out the information.  The primary reason given was the lack of time in a 65 hour course.  When he pressed that issue, he says, he was told by one instructor, “After all, this is a women’s program.”

As it turns out it is a program that relies in part on federal funding, which would also imply that the practice of sexual discrimination would not be allowed.

Undaunted by being rebuffed, Lutz pushed back against the system and contacted Jennifer Dow-Rowell, Director of Community Development and Education for Tri-Valley Haven.  He pressed her for an explanation of why valid, peer reviewed scientific research was being stifled.

According Lutz, Dow-Rowell became agitated with the questions and began to address him tersely, questions like, “Who are you to come in here and request that we change our agenda after only being part of Tri-Valley haven for one month?”

Lutz claims he told Dow-Rowell that he only attempted to pass out the two studies, but that this seemed to only further escalate her, and that her reactions bordered on irrational. Lutz says that at one point she made the claim that the research he was providing was, “Just research for researchers,” (whatever that means) and stated that, “We’re the experts and we know what our volunteers need to know and what they don’t need to know in order to perform their job well. These articles won’t help them at all. Most of our clients are women; therefore, our program is focused on women.”

It isn’t known at this time if Mr. Lutz questioned the logic of that statement, which appears to amount justifying the exclusion of services to men based on the fact that they exclude services to men. Lutz does report that he chose to end the conversation at that point because he detected “Not a hint of openness in her voice.”

The next evening, right before training class was to begin; he was – again – pulled aside by one of his instructors and informed that he would no longer be in the training class.

“They felt it just wasn’t a good fit.”


Adding insult to injury, Lutz reports that he was told their reason for the separation was that traumatic relationship of his past was still affecting him and that the program had elicited painful memories of the abuse he suffered. The subtext of course being that he was acting out pathologically by urging the Tri-Valley Staff to include information on female perpetrators in their training sessions.

The instructor, who Lutz described as “a genuinely nice person,” kept on expressing concern for him because of what he was going through.

“I remember wondering to myself, ‘Do these people feel that far beyond reproach?’”

Well, yes, Mr. Lutz, that is precisely how they feel. And it is an attitude that imbrues every aspect of the domestic violence industry. It is a bottomless pit of hubris.

And I don’t say that to be instructive to Brian Lutz. He appears to be a quick enough study. He demonstrated that with his response to the company ax person.

“I looked her squarely in the eyes and said in a near compassionate tone ‘Let me be clear. I spoke up not because I am going through an emotionally difficult time, because let me assure you, I am not. I spoke up because I’m concerned about the biased way this shelter educates volunteers who serve our community on the subject of domestic violence. Have concern for the place you work, not for me.’”

Clearly Lutz didn’t buy the bullshit.

In short, they attempted to tell him that that he was crazy, in a state of emotional distress, for bringing up male victims and female perpetrators, and when he refused to stop they ostracized and removed him, asserting that they were doing so because he was allegedly in an emotionally unstable state.

After some consideration, Lutz decided to go public with this story and to appear on A Voice for Men Radio to tell his story.

His real reason (not the Tri Valley fabricated version)?

“My taxpayer dollars go to pay for this shelter and they are doing a disservice to the community by intentionally omitting information about female perpetrators of abuse. This cannot be allowed to happen in this day and age.”

Brian Lutz still plans to complete his advanced education and specialize in domestic violence issues.

I’d call that a good thing.

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