Tonight, my naively skeptic self has been utterly taken aback by a tweet I've seen. It was retweeted by "I'm-Not-Really-A-Dr" Nancy Malik, who I have had some dealings with in the past. These previous dealings basically revolved around a discussion about what constitutes high impact journal evidence (i.e. pointing out that books are not actually journals). This culminated in me (rather generously) offering my evidence retrieval services for any future posts she wanted to write. Homeopaths, don't say I never offer you anything.
So tonight, what's made my blood boil is this post. Homeopathy for domestic violence. HOMEOPATHY for domestic violence. Homeopathy for DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.... etc etc.
I count myself very lucky that I have never personally had any experience of domestic violence. I don't pretend to know how it feels for the many men and women who do experience it, and whose lives are relentlessly ruined by such a crime. And a crime it is, there's no two ways about it. It may have multifactorial causes, some of which may be illnesses, but, certainly in the UK, it is very definitely considered a crime.
I'm going to attempt to be as systematic as possible here, but frankly I'm so furious I think I'm going to find it hard to collect my thoughts in any sort of semblance of order. But anyway, here goes:
So how can homeopathy help, according to "I'm-also-a-fake-Dr" Binal Master? Well, first of all: "It involves a detailed case history, which serves as ray of hope to both the patient- i.e., the one who is abused, as well as the offender. The patient has an opportunity to be heard and understood from her own perspective"
Ok, do you know what? I sort of agree with some of this. The opportunity to raise concerns in a safe place to someone who is listening is great. However, that safe place should be with someone who a) isn't being paid for a consultation b) isn't likely to make money from any recommendations they make c) is properly trained in dealing with domestic violence and d) ideally should be the police, or a specialist service who are able to give protection to vulnerable people.
Apparently, anger management (along with yoga, meditation etc) are available as adjuncts to homeopathy. ADJUNCTS?! Don't you think that anger management therapy would be rather more important than an add-on? This suggests to me- and it could be how i'm reading it- that homeopathy ON ITS OWN can feasibly be used to treat both victims- and perpetrators- of domestic violence.
Summing up, "Dr" Master states:
"Homeopathy is a safe and effective way to treat the victims as well as the culprits of domestic violence. It focuses on the way patients have reacted to events and the personality of the patient. It helps to bring complete harmony of physical, mental and social well being."
It's safe, is it? It's safe to treat violent people with an inert substance, and to suggest that the victim treats themselves with inert substances in the meantime, in the vain hope that whoever is being violent will eventually change? Is it effective? What evidence is there for this effectiveness, because there are no references on this post and my word, you should be backing up claims like that. And what about the safety of the homeopathist, who most probably has no training in dealing with volatile and violent- or vulnerable people?
And here's the absolute worst bit: At no point in this article does it state that domestic violence is wrong.