Page 6--Friday, August 4, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Battered parents take their share of abuse
NEW YORK (AP)-One morning, a the son asked. "You've still got me to
Pennsylvania woman who divorced her hit you."
husband because he beat her weekly An 81-year-old Chicago man was
was punched in the mouth by their 17- chained to a radiator by his 19-year-old
year-old son. "Aren't you happy now?" daughter. She stole $2,300 from him
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Tomorrow: CHINATOWN & CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
before she set him free seven days
later. He told police from his hospital
bed that he would not press charges.
IN NEW YORK, a 19-year-old youth
was arrested for thrashing his mother
and stealing her money. Repeatedly.
He tossed off a final plea as police led
him away. "Aw, come on Ma. I only hit
you a couple of times."
The social workers and scholars who
move about the veiled corridors of
family strife say no one is sure how
many parents are battered by their of-
fspring. But they say that this most
private of miseries-the son who slugs
something all of-us found as we started
to share information," said Sue
Bienemann, director of a new coalition
of 18 Pennsylvania projects for bat-
"It's a strange thing, because often-
times the mothers are reluctant to
disclose that their children beat them.
They want to protect them. They don't
want to get them into trouble," she ad-
AFTER INTERVIEWING more than
2,100 families, Gelles and Murrary
Strauss, a University of New Ham-
pshire sociologist, concluded that as
'Aren't you happy now?' the son asked. 'You're
still got me to hit you.'
Mon., Tues.; Thurs., Fri. 7:30-9:45
Sat., Sun., Wed. 1:20-3:25-5:30-7:35-9:45
- - - STARTS TODAY
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 7:30-9:40
Sat., Sun., Wed. 1:25-3:30-5:30-7:35-9:40
Could Conquer r4
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 7:30-9:45
Sat., Sun., Wed. 1:15-3:20-5:30-7:35-9:45
his mother, the daughter who shoves
her down the stairs-is more common
than most would suspect.
Through the burgeoning number of
shelters for battered women, bits of in-
formation have surfaced about of-
fspring injuring their mothers. Next to
nothing, however, is known about those
who attack their fathers.
"IT'S THE LAST family problem to
be explored," said Richard Gelles, a
University of Rhode Island sociologist.
"It is a hidden problem, but it's
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OLD ARCH A UD
many as one in 10 parents-both men
and women-have been kicked,
slugged, punched and otherwise bat-
tered by their offspring.
"The number may be higher, because
not everyone will talk about it," Strauss
The researchers believe one in five
parents may have suffered lesser abuse
at the hands of their children, an ex-
pression, perhaps, of the adolescent
turmoil that can bubble over: objects
lobbed at their heads, shoving, pushing,
furious verbal abuse.
BUT AT ITS MOST explosive, Gelles
says, thee is "stark evidence" that such
physical abuse is learned at the knee of
an assaultive parent.
"Of the 5 or 6 million kids who assault
their parents, about half are probably
kids who've been assaulted by their
parents," he said.
Gelles and Strauss think the violence
goes beyond self-defense or revenge. To
strike out-to win by decking a
parent-is the way these young people
learned to handle family disagreemen-
COUNSELORS AT women's shelters
agree. They contend that youths who
batter their mothers learned abuse
from their fathers-men who feel they
can reign supreme over their
households only by beating their wives.