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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Thank you for printing the warning signs of an abusive partner. However, you have unfairly portrayed men as the only abusers. Not so; women can also be abusers.

My brother was married to a physically abusive woman who exhibited all 15 points you mentioned in your column. It wasn't until he joined a support group and heard about similar experiences that he realized he wasn't the only man who got beat up by a woman.

After much research, I find that women are just as abusive as men in relationships.

Women are able to get away with abusing men because most men are too embarrassed to report it. With the massive attention now given to domestic violence, I feel it's time the other side of the story is told.

Abby, I am sure it would be a great relief to many men to see this in print. -- E.V. LILAND, DALLAS

DEAR E.V. LILAND: If what you state is true, that women are just as abusive as men in relationships, then I would like to see the statistics. Although I have no doubt that many men have been subjected to abuse by their spouses, my experts tell me that their numbers are dwarfed by the vast number of women who experience physical abuse at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends.

While researching a column about spousal abuse a year or so ago, I inquired if shelters were available for male victims of spousal battery. I was told that there are no shelters for men in California. Men are presumed able to provide for themselves.

Abused women are often captives in the abusive relationship, fearing that if they leave, they will be killed. Frequently they have been isolated by their abuser, have no money, credit or job skills, and feel they'll be unable to support themselves and their children. The same is not true for men.

DEAR ABBY: A few months ago, you published a letter from "Florida Wife," whose husband needs oxygen all the time and must carry a portable tank when they go out. She asked what to do in a restaurant when her husband needs to use the restroom, as the tank is too cumbersome for him to manage alone.

I also have to be on oxygen around the clock and have found the portable tank very inconvenient. Through my oxygen company, I obtained an "Oxymatic" (a lightweight computer that's attached to a gauge and to a canister filled with concentrated oxygen). It weighs only 4 pounds and can be used up to 7 1/2 to eight hours. It comes in a compact, nice-looking carrying case and can be carried by the handle or a shoulder strap. It's very convenient, and I easily manage alone in restrooms.

"Florida Wife" should contact her husband's oxygen company. I understand the cost is covered by Medicare.

Abby, I hope this information will help someone -- it has certainly made my life easier. You may use my name. -- JEAN BRIXIUS, LAKEWOOD, COLO.

DEAR JEAN: Your suggestion of a more compact oxygen system is excellent and should prove helpful to those who are required to have oxygen with them at all times. I checked, and portable and stationary oxygen equipment is covered by Medicare.

DEAR ABBY: I've found that stopping the flow of junk mail is nearly impossible. I once telephoned a catalog company and asked that my name be deleted.

Sure enough, my next catalog was addressed to: "Mary Delete McEvoy." -- MARY T. MC EVOY, D.D.S., MINNEAPOLIS

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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