The promotion (or advertisement) shows the body of a dead man and the voiceover says: "Things I learned from watching CSI: Don't make your girlfriend angry."
I am not certain why the producers of the show chose the example of intimate partner voilence (IPV) that represents the smallest slice of reality, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that young men are probably the show's largest audience. And we all know, don't we, that young men live in daily fear of being beaten, if not actually killed, by their girlfriends.
The facts, of course, are exactly the reverse of this cautionary CSI promotion:
- intimate male partners kill their intimate female partners 3 times more often. But in the case of the deaths of male partners, it is usually (in as many as 75% of the cases) after male battering of the female;
- Nearly 5.3 million intimate partner victimizations occur among U.S. women ages 18 and older each year. This violence results in nearly 2.0 million injuries and nearly 1,300 deaths. Of the IPV injuries, more than 555,000 require medical attention, and more than 145,000 are serious enough to warrant hospitalization for one or more nights;
- an estimated 201,394 women are raped by an intimate partner each year;
- recent studies show an intimate killed about 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims.
- Violence against women by their male partners represents 85% of partner violence in the United States.
The Family Violence Prevention Fund is an organization that has huge resources that the producers of CSI might have consulted. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) undertook an enormous study of the terrible costs of violence against women that the producers of CSI might have read. This UNICEF study of violence against girls and women around the world is a shocking report that the producers of CSI probably are not aware of, but should read. The US Department of Justice also has a substantial report on Intimate Partner Violence.
Here is what the Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment Validation Study, released by the US Justice Department in March of 2005, had to say about fatal violence against men by women:
The largest decreases in intimate partner homicide have been for male victims. Consequently, the proportion of male homicides by female intimate partners has decreased and the proportion of femicides by male intimate partners has increased. From 1976 to 1996, the percentage of intimate partner homicides with female victims increased from 54% to 70% (National Institute of Justice, 1997; Zawitz, 1994). The decrease in the number of men killed by female partners coincided with the development of services for battered women and the enhancement of the criminal justice response. A connection has been made between the increased alternatives and protections available to battered women, such as the reduction of barriers to leaving violent relationships, legal sanctions and shelter resources and the decline in the male intimate partner homicide rate: women are able to secure safety from violence rather than kill an abusive partner (Browne et al., 1998; Dugan, Nagin & Rosenfeld, 2003; Rosenfeld, 1997).
Here is what the same study has to say about why female intimate partners kill male intimate partners:
The majority (67-75%) of intimate partner homicides involve battering of the female by the male intimate, no matter which partner is killed (Bailey et al., 1997; Campbell, 1992; Campbell et al., 2003; McFarlane et al., 1999; Mercy et al., 1989; Moracco et al., 1998; Pataki, 1998; Websdale, 1999). Two earlier American studies in different jurisdictions documented that two-thirds of the intimate partner femicide cases had a documented history of battering of the female partner (Moracco et al., 1998; Campbell, 1992). The recent 11-city study found that 72% of the intimate partner femicides were preceded by physical violence by the male partner before he killed the woman (Campbell et al., 2003). Intimate partner homicides of men by women are also characterized by a history of battering of the female homicide perpetrator by the male partner in as many as 75% of the cases (Hall-Smith et al., 1998; Campbell, 1992). It has long been noted that female-perpetrated intimate partner homicides are often characterized by self defense, when the male partner is the first to show a weapon or strike a blow and is subsequently killed by his victim (Block ’93; Browne, Williams & Dutton, 1999; Campbell, 1992; Crawford & Gartner ‘92; Jurik & Winn ’90; Smith et al., 1998; Websdale, 1999; Wolfgang, 1958).
So there lies CSI's poor dead guy killed by his girlfriend.
What they don't say is that he was, in all likelihood, a guy who beat his girlfriend, abused her physically and psychologically, threatened her, perhaps stalked her, or even raped her.