CEQA Suit Attempts to Block Field & Pond

Dahvie James with Phil Watt (right) gets animated during his presentation to the board on September 13
Dahvie James with Phil Watt (right) gets animated during his presentation to the board on September 13

The Board of Supervisors twice had to approve an event permit for the Field & Pond event center to host weddings out in a rural stretch of Yolo County. The approvals came over the strenuous objections of the neighbors, as well as organizations like the Farmland Protection Alliance, Tuleyome, and the Yolo County Farm Bureau.

Those organizations have now filed a suit against Yolo County, the Board of Supervisors and Field & Pond, attempting to block operation of their event center and bed and breakfast.  Osha R. Meserve representing the Farmland Protection Alliance, Don Mooney representing Tuleyome, and Christian C. Scheuring representing the Yolo County Farm Bureau have filed the suit challenging the October 11 actions of the Board of Supervisors.  (To read the suit).

Those actions adopted a mitigated negative declaration (MND) for the proposed operation of the event center and bed and breakfast, Field & Pond.

According to the complaint, “Respondents failed to proceed in the manner required by law, and thus prejudicially abused their discretion, in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).”

“CEQA requires the preparation of an environment impact report (EIR) where there is substantial evidence, in light of the whole record before the lead agency, that a project may have a significant effect on the environment,” they write.  “Because substantial evidence in the record supports a fair argument that the Project may cause significant adverse effects on the environment, Respondents failed to proceed in the manner required by law by adopting the MND and approving the Project.”

The complaint continues, “By approving the Project on the basis of the MND’s flawed and fragmented environmental analysis, Respondents made a decision without all of the information that they, responsible agencies, and the public needed to properly weigh the consequences of Project approval.

“Respondents should have prepared and approved an EIR, or at minimum recirculated an adequate mitigated negative declaration, prior to considering and approving the Project,” they allege.  “These failures deprived the County, other agencies and the public of the opportunity to consider mitigation and alternatives that could have addressed the Project’s adverse impacts, including but not limited to impacts to aesthetics, agriculture, biological resources, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, land use and planning, noise, public services, transportation/traffic, and utilities services.”

In addition to CEQA allegations, the complaint alleges that the Board “also violated the provisions of the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (known as the Williamson Act) which imposes restrictions on land use in order to protect existing agricultural lands in exchange for tax exemptions.

“In approving the project, Respondents approved a use on Williamson Act contracted land that conflicts with the principles of compatibility articulated by in Government Code section 51238.1.,” they write.

Bruce Rominger presents some of the opposition's viewpoints
Bruce Rominger presents some of the opposition’s viewpoints

Furthermore, the suit alleges that the county “also violated policies in the Yolo County General Plan in violation of Government Code section 65000 et seq. (also known as the ‘Planning and Zoning Law’), and failed to support its erroneous finding that the Project conforms to the General Plan with substantial evidence.”

Finally, they allege the county “violated the Yolo County zoning code in approving a Project that is inconsistent with the general welfare, and approving a Bed & Breakfast (‘B&B’) that does not meet the code’s definition of that business.”

In a statement to the Vanguard, Dahvie James, one of the owners of Field & Pond, said, “We are grateful to the community of Winters, the citizens of Yolo County, the Sheriff and Fire Services Departments, County Staff, and the Board of Supervisors for their invested faith in Field & Pond, and the licensing of our business for a B&B and additional events.

“Field & Pond is now one of the only two licensed venues in Winters, and one of the few luxury B&B offerings in the County,” he said.  “Ultimately, we firmly believe that this lawsuit, albeit consistent with all other malicious acts levied by the project opponents, is unfounded and lacks validity.”

He stated, “While the opponents have a legal right to once again challenge the authority and decision of the Board of Supervisors, they were unsuccessful in not just one Board of Supervisors hearing, but two, in proving the merits of their case.  Ultimately, we, along with our attorneys, and the support of County Staff, the Board of Supervisors, and the head legal Counsel for Yolo County are prepared and committed to defend and uphold the existing approval, conditions and mitigations for this project.”

In a contentious meeting in September, the Board of Supervisors on a 4 to 1 vote put through an approval for the event center, which, among other things, allowed for 20 events, four of them as large as 300 people.  Shuttles would be required, the blackout dates from July 15 to September 15 would stand, the scheduling would be limited to Saturdays, they added an end time of 11 pm with music cut at 10 pm, and security would be mandatory with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office notified of the event.

Supervisor Duane Chamberlain was the lone opponent of the project overall, arguing that, without the spray buffer, “you can’t farm at all, that’s for damn sure.”  He said that the smell of the spray leads people to believe they have been exposed to toxic air even when they haven’t.  “Winds change, things change, it’s ridiculous to think that you can draw a line on a map.”

He added, “I don’t want to take any land out of the Williamson Act.”  He agreed with the opponents to the project that city people on the road are a problem waiting to happen. And finally, he argued that weddings and an event center “are not agritourism.”

But that wasn’t the end of things.  A technical error with the CEQA document – the very MND in question – put the issue back before the board on October 11, where the item was reapproved by the board.

According to an email from Taro Echiburu, Director of the Department of Community services, “The CEQA document in question was an earlier draft version of the Mitigated Negative Declaration (‘MND’), not the final version which was circulated to the public.  While the Conditions of Approval and the Mitigation Monitoring Plan approved by the Board were based on the final version of the MND, the MND itself had some differences.”

Mr. Echiburu writes, “The differences between the final MND and the 9/13 hearing version affect only a small amount of text, but the resulting inconsistencies support a rehearing. County Staff want to ensure that the Board’s decision is based on the same materials as those vetted by the public.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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50 thoughts on “CEQA Suit Attempts to Block Field & Pond”

  1. Misanthrop

    I’m so disappointed in Tuleyome. I get what is at stake here, the county has ignored every CEQA issue Tuleyome has raised for ten years and having other plaintiffs eases the burden of going it alone. Tuleyome likely feels that to be taken seriously by the Board of Supervisors litigation must be taken. The problem is that this case is so vindictive and petty and Tuleyome is on the wrong side morally. This is the wrong case to use to draw a line in the sand.

    1. Chamber Fan

      Good points.  David in his opening thoughts made reference to this case, Hyatt, and Embassy all challenging an MND, and all using Don Mooney as the attorney.  I’ve always respected Don, but I think the CEQA has been abused.

      1. Matt Williams

        Chamber Fan, while I understand your point, I think you are going off on a tangent with it.  As has been discussed here numerous times, the likely culprit is the very bad process choice to use a MND (Mitigated Negative Declaration) rather than doing a Focused EIR.  The process costs are essentially the same and the process timeline for preparation is essentially the same.  The MND presumes answers to questions/concerns.  A focused EIR addresses questions/concerns.

        I have had zero contact with Don Mooney either directly or indirectly on any of these CEQA situations, but if I were personally concerned about a process issue in a CEQA process, Don is the person I would turn to for crisp, clean, accurate legal answers on my process concerns.  If he confirmed the validity of my process concerns, and I wanted to pursue legal remedies, he would be the logical choice as a lawyer to do so.

        During my tenure as the Chair of one of Yolo County’s General Plan Advisory Committees (the one for the Yolo County area south of Davis), the pre-application for a development proposal came before our Committee that Yolo County Planning and Public Works had indicated would follow the MND route.  In the end, after hearing the citizen input in our Committee’s multiple public hearings on the project, the developer chose to not proceed with the proposal because he felt an MND was almost certainly going to expose him to a CEQA law suit, and the cost of a Full EIR would have added so much cost to the project that it wouldn’t have been fiscally viable.  The option of a Focused EIR (as hpierce has discussed numerous times here in the Vanguard) was never considered in that project.  The difference in cost between a Focused EIR and a Full EIR is substantial.

      1. Ron

        Misanthrop:

        What is this, some kind of trial?  🙂

        In any case, I’ve witnessed loud music/noise (spreading quite far away, and into the night), traffic, and congestion, which appears to be originating from a somewhat similar venue (e.g., hosting weddings at a former, small residential building) in a rural area of another county.

        I am not as familiar with concerns regarding farming/ranching operations on nearby properties.  (However, this might be even more significant, since livelihoods depend upon it.) Nor am I as familiar with other potential environmental concerns.

        In general, the issue also reminds me of concerns regarding the proliferation of wineries/tasting rooms, in areas that previously had no such operations.

        Such concerns are widely reported in local media, in those areas.

        1. Ron

          Forgot to mention:

          I understand that some wineries also host weddings, which also lead to some of the same types of concerns – e.g., significant numbers of guests/drivers (who might also be inebriated) driving on unfamiliar, narrow rural roads that were not designed to handle a large amount of traffic.

          Again, such concerns are not difficult to locate, on local media sources in those areas.

    1. hpierce

      Get a clue, Ron… this is not about impacts such as noise or traffic… those are smoke screens… the basic issue was long ago identified… one I have no truck with… it’s like when in Davis, a battered women’s shelter was proposed, and those who didn’t want “them” near them, the neighbors raised traffic and crime concerns…  sound familiar?

      1. Ron

        hpierce:

        Seems like you’re making quite an allegation, here.  Maybe you know more about this than I do?  Would you care to elaborate?

        Who is “them”, in this case?  (I suspect that I understand what your stating, but I sincerely doubt that those involved with this issue are concerned about that in any manner.)

        Again, this is the same type of issue that’s been raised repeatedly in other counties (e.g., Sonoma county).  And, it has nothing to do with “them”.  In fact, “them” can sometimes be the ones raising concerns, in such cases.

        If you’re actually stating what I believe you’re stating, I suspect you’re way off-base. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, since you haven’t elaborated.

        1. South of Davis

          It seems like Ron should answer the question and tell us the location of the places with “negative impacts” he has  “personally witnessed” before asking others questions…

        2. Ron

          Matt:

          hpierce was not referring to “battered women”, in regard to Field and Pond.  It’s up to him, if he wants to clarify who the objectionable “them” are.  (hpierce implied that “them” are the real issue for neighbors.)

          Seems like other commenters have made the connection, regarding the implication of hpierce’s statement. (Other commenters have “danced around” this thought in the past, as well.)

          And again, I’m not criticizing hpierce, if that’s what he meant.  However, if that’s what he meant (and believes), I suspect that he’s completely off-base, and is apparently misunderstanding legitimate concerns.

        3. Barack Palin

          I agree with Ron, there’s no “them” issue in this situation even though I’m sure many of the usual commenters are salivating to take it there.

        4. Matt Williams

          Ron, read hpierce’s words

          “it’s like when in Davis, a battered women’s shelter was proposed, and those who didn’t want “them” near them, the neighbors raised traffic and crime concerns”

          When you read hpierce’s sentence front to back “them” = “battered women.”  When you read hpierce’s sentence back to front “battered women” = “them.”

          It is simple and unambiguous.

        5. Ron

          Matt:

          Here are hpierce’s words, again.  Of course, it’s possible that I’m reading too much into it.  But then, who are “them” that hpierce is referring to, in regarding to Field and Pond? And, why would “them” be objectionable to neighbors? If some possibly legitimate concerns are “smokescreens”, what is the “real” issue that hpierce is referring to?

          hpierce:  “Get a clue, Ron… this is not about impacts such as noise or traffic… those are smoke screens… the basic issue was long ago identified… one I have no truck with… it’s like when in Davis, a battered women’s shelter was proposed, and those who didn’t want “them” near them, the neighbors raised traffic and crime concerns…  sound familiar?”

        6. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Of course, it’s possible that I’m reading too much into it.”

          I agree with that statement.  You are.

          However, let’s engage your follow-on question, “But then, who are “them” that hpierce is referring to, in regarding to Field and Pond?”  The answer to that is really simple . . . the “them” you are referring to are (1) Dahvie James, (2) Phil Watt, and (3) the customers/guests of James and Watt.

          The answer to the “real issue” is a bit more subjective.  My suspicion is that your issue with change in Davis and their issue with change on County Road 29 in Winters are very similar . . . neither you nor they want change to the status quo.

          I’m sure hpierce will correct me if my suspicion is wrong.

        7. Ron

          Matt:

          Short of hpierce explaining what he meant (as I invited him to), anything you or I state is pure speculation.  (However, I’m wondering if you’re purposefully trying to downplay the implication.  Other commenters seem to understand it.)

          Regardless of what hpierce meant, I also recall at least one other commenter implying that discrimination is a factor.  (And, I don’t see it in this case.)

          I agree that I see some similarities regarding concerns with development, in general.  I wouldn’t describe it quite in the manner that you do, however.

          I think that Marina posted some applicable points (e.g., wealthy interests purchasing a property with the intent of forcing some unwanted changes to existing zoning, etc.).  And, with the support of local officials.

        8. hpierce

          Ron… in previous DV articles, and even in mainstream papers, one of the obvious issues is that the owner/proprietor of the facility in question is gay, and a lot of his clients are gay/lesbian/Bi/trans, etc.

          That is a real problem for some of the neighbors, but they can’t say it in that way, so they choose to cite traffic and procedural issues… OK?

          And I thought lead was dense…

        9. hpierce

          Matt… you connected the dots correctly… I was trying to be circumspect about the issues of the neighbors, but some never learned to connect dots… they need it parsed in the simplest terms possible, and even then…

        10. Ron

          Strange, I can’t seem to find a rather lengthy comment from Marina, now.

          But Matt, I want to clarify something.  You mentioned a change to the “status quo”.  And yet, hpierce seemed to downplay how such concerns manifest themselves – e.g, a significant increase in traffic on narrow roads that aren’t designed for it, by unfamiliar drivers (who could also be inebriated after a wedding reception).

          Again, hpierce implied that “them” is the problem for neighbors, rather than legitimate concerns resulting from forced changes.  And, in this case, neighbors apparently depend on the land itself, for livelihood.

          Again, it’s up to hpierce to clarify (if he so chooses).  Not sure why you’re piping up with an opinion in the absence of “facts”.

           

        11. Ron

          hpierce:  “Ron… in previous DV articles, and even in mainstream papers, one of the obvious issues is that the owner/proprietor of the facility in question is gay, and a lot of his clients are gay/lesbian/Bi/trans, etc.”

          Thanks for clarifying that you were implying exactly what I suspected.  (Apparently, Matt completely missed the point.)

          To address your point, have you seen any evidence at all that this is the case?  Looking at the parties and issues involved in the legal action, do you really expect that this is all driven by discrimination?  Wow.  If so, I find it incredibly difficult to believe that you believe this. (Stating that someone is gay, and has clients that are gay/lesbian/bi/trans does not provide “evidence” that others are driven by discrimination.)

          If someone is gay, or a member of a minority group (or any other group), does that provide immunity from legitimate concerns (or cast doubt on legitimate concerns, as you seem to be implying)?

          I have never seen you so “off base”, before. It’s quite surprising.

        12. Ron

          hpierce:  “That is a real problem for some of the neighbors, but they can’t say it in that way, so they choose to cite traffic and procedural issues… OK?”

          Well, no – it’s not “o.k.” to say this, without some type of evidence that it’s true.

          I have no doubt that discrimination is a factor in our society, but it seldom leads to this type of legal action resulting from concerns regarding a change in zoning.  To make that type of statement is a real disservice to those with legitimate concerns. It is also delegitimizes concerns regarding actual discrimination.

        13. Matt Williams

          Ron, you are playing word games.  You asked a very simple unambiguous question, “Who is “them”, in this case?”  If your real intent was to illuminate a discrimination issue, then ask about it directly.  Being coy and tangential accomplishes nothing.

          Now, with respect to any discrimination. Where do you think that discrimination might exist?  What actions do you think qualify as discriminatory?  The Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of James and Watt and their customers/guests.  How does a vote in their favor rise to the level of discrimination?

        14. Matt Williams

          Ron, the definition of “status quo is “the existing state of affairs.”  The farmers do not want the existing state of affairs of County Road 29, as a farm road supporting farm operations, to change.  That outward and visible reality is quite simple.  The individual personal reasons that the farmers do not want that existing state of affairs to change are as complex and varied as human nature is.

        15. Ron

          Matt:  “If your real intent was to illuminate a discrimination issue, then ask about it directly.  Being coy and tangential accomplishes nothing.”

          I did ask hpierce to explain, and he confirmed what I suspected (and which you seemed to deny, prior to his confirmation). Not sure of your motivation or interest, in regard to that.

          Matt:  “Now, with respect to any discrimination. Where do you think that discrimination might exist?  What actions do you think qualify as discriminatory?  The Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of James and Watt and their customers/guests.  How does a vote in their favor rise to the level of discrimination?”

          You already know that I did not state that the supervisors are engaging in discrimination.  (Seems like you’re interested in playing games, for some reason.)

          I don’t have a lot more to say, other than my comments above.

           

        16. Matt Williams

          Who practiced discrimination, and how did that discriminatory practice manifest itself?

          Your obtuseness in this discussion exceeds your normal ambient level of obtuseness.  You are taking your art to new heights.

        17. Ron

          Matt:

          Go back to the beginning of this thread.  I’m not the one who suggested that discrimination was a probable factor.  In fact, I challenged that thought, throughout the entire thread.  (That was the painfully obvious purpose of my comments, which you seemed to pick up on.)

          Are you really misunderstanding the entire thread, or are you just “yanking my chain”? Or, are you trying to make some other point? Why are you even commenting on this?

        18. hpierce

          Don’t mean to correct you, Matt, but think you meant “lows” rather than “heights”…

          Am thinking about the advice given by a former CC member… “don’t get into a pissing match with a skunk”… wise words, that I don’t heed as often as I should…

          I’m a ‘work in progress’, and will strive to confine myself to factual info… Ron insists on corraboration, yet seldom offers it.

        19. Ron

          hpierce:

          Again, I’m just suggesting that discrimination is not a factor regarding legitimate concerns (and legal actions).  You’re the one who suggested that such concerns are a “smokescreen”.

          I strongly suspect that the result would be the same, regardless of the sexual orientation of the applicants.

          And again, it’s a disservice to suggest otherwise, for those with legitimate concerns (e.g., regarding zoning, discrimination).

        20. Matt Williams

          Ron, all I am doing is reading your posts as written.  Until now, ex post facto, you haven’t made any reference, either explicit or implicit about the incorporation of other people’s words into what you were/are saying.

          If you are going to incorporate prior statements/implications by others into the questions you ask, then include them.  Don’t expect others to be able to read your mind with respect to the provenance of your underlying thought process.  Spell it out.  Until and unless you reference the prior posts, you absolutely are the one suggesting that discrimination was a probable factor.

          Not pulling your chain at all, simply pointing out the clear explicit meaning of the actual words you wrote . . . and answering your clear explicit questions with clear explicit answers.

        21. Ron

          Matt:

          As I mentioned, you’ll see that I was responding to hpierce’s statement at the beginning of this thread.  I subsequently pasted his entire quote, in response to your challenge.

          Not sure how I could have made it much clearer than that.

        22. Matt Williams

          Ron, your post and question to hpierce would have been clearer if you had explicitly said that you believed hpierce was illuminating an overt act of discrimination being perpetrated by whomever you believe the discrimination was being perpetrated by, and then described the discrimination.

          So far you have neither described the discrimination you believe exists, nor indicated who you believe is perpetrating the discrimination.

          Be explicit in your accusations.  Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point.

           

        23. Ron

          Matt:

          I really think the problem in understanding is with you, this time.  (Others seemed to understand my challenge, immediately.)  But, I’ll consider what you’re suggesting.

          And again, you’re still misunderstanding my point (despite subsequent, explicit statements).  I’m suggesting that discrimination is NOT a factor regarding legitimate concerns and related legal actions.

        24. Matt Williams

          Then don’t suggest it Ron.  State it. I happen to agree with you. There is no discrimination at this juncture.

          Which of course brings us back full circle to your original question to hpierce, “Who is “them”, in this case?”  That is a clearly stated question.  There is no suggestion in its words. Who understood it otherwise?

        1. Ron

          hpierce:

          “Them” is anyone who purchases a property with the intent of forcing a change in zoning/usage that is opposed for legitimate reasons by an existing community.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    yep MUCH more urgent than the embassy suites hotel on the border of Olive and Richards…..the embassy suites we can revisit as there are other issues with it which have not been addressed yet….anyone what to take the other issues on?   contact me back channel….the DV knows where and how to reach me and when…

  3. Marina Kalugin

    Ron is smart folks…listen to Ron….many of us who know more of the real scope or scoop or both are often shut down …way to go Ron……cya…the pool is waiting again…

    Now this is not my neighbor Ron, the neighbor of the Ricci farm now known as Woodbridge is it?

    Nah, not likely both he and his wife are deathly ill from the toxins sprayed from the cropdusters on the Ricci land…..26 acres that would not have killed so many folks if it was converted to a demonstation organic farm…..back those days…we had the support of Julie and and even Lois….and then there was a election….and spent nearly as much out of pocket fighting it as we could have paid to buy it..of course the likes of both Chuckies and the Blaine had more bucks than us poor ole folks living there…

  4. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   would it have been approved, Don Saylor, if the buyers were two old crazy white senior women…say cousins each named Marina and not two RICH affirmative action gay and black guys…..

    Who knows..  …

    Would that have a snowballs chance in hell?   anyone wanna take bets?

  5. Marina Kalugin

    shut it down….those folks are wealthy and made hundreds of thousands already on the largess of the taxpayers….. I certainly couldn’t afford that place when I had to find cheaper than Davis ….

  6. Marina Kalugin

    I would have loved to see the FULL clip of Dahvie James..

    Some years ago I got quite animated at the planning commisions meetings and DJUSD meeting and even City council meetings.   even have some of those VHS tapes around unless we dumped them when I moved… OMG   ha ha

    if anyone has a link please share it..

  7. Tia Will

    Matt

    This is a bit of an aside, but I do think it is relevant to neighbor concerns. I frankly do not care who was being referenced by the word “them” which you seem to feel is necessarily a referent to the women in battered women’s shelters. From my impression from experience in dealing with battered women and their families, the concern is not so much the women, but the threat posed to the neighborhood by the unpredictable, angry and violent men in their lives. I also see this as a much more realistic concern than the women themselves.

    1. Matt Williams

      Agreed 100% Tia.  The battered women are victims.  And the neighbors don’t want to join them as additional victims. Unfortunately the neighbors of the battered women shelter wouldn’t be exposed to the unpredictable, angry violent men if a shelter for the women did not exist in the neighborhood.

      Because the men are unpredictable, angry and violent there isn’t any easy way to get rid of them directly; however, those men can be gotten rid of indirectly if the battered women shelter is removed from the neighborhood.

      It falls under the Serenity Prayer model.

      1. quielo

        “The battered women are victims.” Sometimes but other times it’s more of a “mutual combat” or “drama seeking” situation. BTW here is an interesting study on domestic violence.

         

        Denise Hines, Ph.D. is a research assistant psychology professor at Clark University and a research associate at the Family Research Laboratory and Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. At the conference, Dr. Hines detailed her findings on what happens when abused men call domestic violence hotlines or shelters seeking help. About a third of all domestic violence injuries are suffered by men. Hines’ study included 302 heterosexual men, ages 18 to 59, who had been in a relationship lasting at least one month within the previous year, had been physically assaulted by their female partners within the previous year, and had sought outside assistance/support. The median age of the abused men was 40, and the median age of their abusive female partners was 38. The relationships had lasted on average a little over eight years, and 73% of them had minor children. About two-thirds were married, separated, or divorced. Of the abused men who called domestic violence hotlines, 64% were told that they “only helped women.” In 32% of the cases, the abused men were referred to batterers’ programs. Another 25% were given a phone number to call that turned out to be a batterers’ program. A little over a quarter of them were given a reference to a local program that helped. Overall, only 8% of the men who called hotlines classified them as “very helpful,” whereas 69% found them to be “not at all helpful.” Sixteen percent said the people at the hot line “dismissed or made fun of them.” One abused man said:

        They laughed at me and told me I must have done something to deserve it if it happened at all.

        Another said:

        They asked how much I weighed and how much she weighed and then hung up on me…I was told by this agency that I was full of BS.

        Twelve percent of the hotlines accused the man of being the batterer or responsible for the abuse. One abused man said:

        They told me women don’t commit domestic violence — it must have been my fault.

        Another said:

        They accused me of trying to hide my “abuse” of her by claiming to be a victim, and they said that I was nothing more than a wimp.

        Of the men who sought help by contacting local domestic violence programs, only 10% found them to be “very helpful,” whereas 65% found them to be “not at all helpful.” One abused man said:

        They just laughed and hung up the phone.

        Another said:

        They didn’t really listen to what I said. They assumed that all abusers are men and said that I must accept that I was the abuser. They ridiculed me for not leaving my wife, ignoring the issues about what I would need to do to protect my six children and care for them.

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