This site is copyrighted, supported, and maintained by the Equal Justice Foundation.
| EJF Home | Join the EJF | Comments? | Get EJF newsletter | Newsletters |
| DV Home | Abstract | Contents | Authors and Site Map | Tables | Index | Bibliography |
| Chapter 8 Demographics Of Domestic Violence In Colorado |
| Next Demographic summary |
| Back Marriage, divorce, and charges of domestic violence and abuse |
Lack of judicial oversight
Data do not support increase in rate of domestic violence
National Crime Victimization Survey estimates
Criminal domestic violence is not underreported
Why are there so many domestic violence court cases?
Radical feminist response
Silver bullet in divorce or custody disputes
We currently have sixteen years of domestic violence incident data for the police agencies of Colorado (Table 72) and thirteen years of demographic data for the courts (Table 79). The court data encompass a population of 4.4 million people.
After passage of draconian domestic violence laws in 1994 the number of per capita domestic violence and abuse cases in Colorado increased almost linearly from 62 per 10,000 residents in 1998 to a peak of 78 per 10,000 in 2003. The number then declined and leveled off (Table 79) at 72 ±2 per 10,000 residents until 2010 when it jumped back up to 77 per 10,000. The reason for that jump is currently unknown.
In stark contrast to the increase in domestic violence and abuse cases the Crime and Justice in Colorado 2008-2010 report (p. 29) found that both violent and property arrests have continually decreased over the past 29 years. Arrests for all violent crimes has dropped 23% while arrests for all property crimes has decreased by nearly 50%.
Two things are evident therefore from Table 79: (1) the 1994 domestic violence and abuse laws increased the per capita number of domestic violence and abuse cases, and (2) draconian laws have done nothing to solve the underlying problem.
As previously estimated, a minimum of 30% of domestic violence and abuse cases in Colorado are false allegations. In some judicial districts, such as the Fourth, at least two thirds of such cases are based on false or specious claims. Overall, available data suggest that one half the claims of domestic violence and abuse in Colorado are false and are an abuse of process under color of law.
The disparity is particularly evident when police and court data are compared with National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) estimates (Table 80). This inequality has increased in the past decade and now exceeds the 33% estimate given by Massachusetts Judge Malcolm Jones.
of DV 3
As given 2
As given 2
As given 2
As given 2
As given 2
Police incidents: Colorado Bureau of Investigation
Court filings: Colorado State Court Administrator for all judicial districts except Denver. It is estimated that an additional 3,000 DV cases are filed in Denver each year plus another 1,000 DV cases filed by municipalities within Colorado.
National Crime Victimization Survey: The NCVS estimate is based on Dugan's (2003) finding that 0.5% of households suffer an incident of criminal domestic violence in a given year and these values were all recalculated to that standard ±250 cases for the 2010 update. Except for the 2000 census the number of Colorado households is estimated based on state population divided by 2.53 persons per household.
1. Prior to 2005 the CBI data did not include data from Ault PD, Brighton PD, Denver PD, Greeley PD, Johnstown PD, Kersey PD, Milliken PD, Minturn PD, Weld County Sheriff and Wiggins PD. Thus, 2005 values cannot be directly compared with previous years.
2. Prior to 2006 the CBI data did not include data from Arvada PD, Blackhawk PD, Campo PD, Cañon City PD, Colorado State University-Fort Collins PD, DeBeque Marshall, Eagle PD, Fort Collins PD, Frederick PD, Gunnison PD, Lone Tree PD, and Manzanola PD. Thus, 2006 and later values cannot be compared with previous years.
3. The National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS) estimates provide a crude prediction of how many criminal cases of domestic violence occurred in the state in a given year. A criminal case is one where there is a reasonable chance a prosecutor could establish both mens rea and actus reus beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury. That is always a much smaller number than the domestic violence suggested by social studies.
Further, the ever increasing numbers of police and court cases for domestic violence evident in Table 80 are dramatic evidence that these draconian practices are failing to achieve the presumed objective of curtailing intimate partner violence. But redfem hysteria has proven to be a rich lode of funding for these zealots, who ignore the cries of the children, men, and women whose lives they destroy.
In those seven Colorado judicial districts tabulated in Table 64 the abuse of restraining orders was much higher than the state average. In 2010 those seven judicial districts prosecuted a mean of 132 domestic violence and abuse cases per 10,000 citizens. That is nearly three times the average number of cases, 52 per 10,000 residents in the five judicial districts shown in Table 67 that include the majority of Colorado's citizens, and close to twice the state average for 2010 (Table 62).
Available data are summarized in Table 66 for the Third, Twelfth, and Sixteenth judicial districts shows that related crimes of alcohol, drugs, offenses against persons, etc. are also high indicating deep-seated societal problems in those areas beyond just domestic violence. For example, unemployment tends to be chronically high along Colorado's southern border. But it is also very likely that the destruction of children, relationships, families, and marriages by the draconian persecution of “domestic violence” is contributing to the other crimes found in these districts. The ruin of families, marriages, and children by the courts in these districts is almost certainly pushing many into a self-destructive vortex that is spinning downward out of control.
However, there is no correlation between domestic violence and other misdemeanors in the Fourth and Tenth judicial districts (Table 66). While the economy declined in 2001 and 2002, and only began to recover in 2003, the Front Range was booming between 1998 and 2000 and from 2003 until after the end of FY 2008 on July 1. So economic hardship is not an underlying cause of domestic violence in these judicial districts. Also, the population is diverse.
Certainly within the Fourth Judicial District there is no evidence of any significant increase in domestic violence over the years 1990-2009 (Table 73). In fact, arrests in Colorado Springs for simple assault, which includes most DV arrests, consistently declined from 1995 until 2008 (Table 73), which is remarkable in the face of a 29% population increase over those years. The sharp increase in 2009 for simple assaults is currently unexplained and may be a statistical fluke.
911 domestic disturbance calls have dramatically decreased in the 4 th Judicial District (Table 74 and Table 75) as well by whatever measure one imposes. Thus, for the 4 th and 10 th judicial districts the problems with domestic abuse and violence appear to plainly lie within the courts, not the people. That inference is borne out by a decrease in domestic violence cases in the 4 th Judicial District resulting in greatly increased protection orders as redfems respond to better oversight and due process by the district attorney. That process is shown graphically statewide in Table 63.
Plainly the issue isn't one of domestic violence per se but a radical ideology using propaganda to obtain government funding at the cost of destroying children, families, marriage, and, ultimately, society.
Since ironhanded domestic violence laws were passed statewide in 1994 one major effect is the drastic reduction in 911 domestic disturbance calls evident in Table 74 and Table 75. Citizens have obviously become more afraid of the legal system than the antics of their intimate partners.
Despite draconian efforts to control domestic violence in Colorado, court records show the total number of restraining orders issued increased from 23,877 (Table 39) in 1999 to 31,569 (Table 62) in 2010, a 32% increase while the state population sampled increased just 25%.
A population-proportional linear increase of 25% in domestic violence cases suggests there should have been roughly 30,000 cases in 2010, some 2,000 fewer than reported.in the measured population. Indisputably, DV court cases are increasing in number much faster than the population is growing (Table 80).
Yet it is clear that an ever smaller percentage of couples call 911 in a domestic dispute and the percentage of married and cohabitating couples in cases reported to police continues to decrease (Table 77).
The trend for the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS, Figure 2, p.2) is downward while population-normalized police incidents and court cases continue to increase in Colorado faster than the population (Table 72).
Sociological data also consistently show intimate partner violence is decreasing (Table 8). In the How Common Is Domestic Violence? section we review data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Gaquin (1977-78) examined NCVS data for the years 1973-1975 and found an extremely low rate of intimate partner violence of 2.2 incidents per 1,000 couples, or 0.22%. Twenty years later Dugan (2003, p. 299) examined the NCVS data from January 1992 to June 1998 for 529,829 households in the United States. She reports: “From those, 2,873, or 0.5%, reported at least one incident of domestic violence (unweighted).” 0.5% of households is ~0.2% of the population. And in April 2006 the Bureau of Justice Statistics released an update on the NCVS showing that since 2001 only 0.4% of households include a member victimized by an intimate partner.
The 2000 Census found 1,658,238 households in Colorado. Using Gaquin's (1977-78) value of 0.22% as a low-end estimate of households that suffer an incident of criminal domestic violence in a given year would suggest only 3,650 incidents in 2000. Dugan's (2003, p. 299) more contemporary, and larger sample, value of 0.5% suggests 8,300 reported and unreported incidents of criminal domestic violence in Colorado in 2000. For Census 2000, Table 41 also includes a comparison of the NCVS estimate of criminal domestic violence for a judicial district with the reported court cases. Once again that comparison highlights those districts where abuse of process is rampant.
The NCVS suggests one criminal incident of domestic violence, as reported by citizens, for every 250 households, or 0.4%. Assuming 2.53 people per household with a 2010 population for Colorado of 5,029,196 people suggests ~8,000 reported and unreported actual incidents of criminal domestic violence compared with 12,922 police reports and an estimated minimum 22,500 court cases if Denver and municipal cases are included with the reported 17,833 (Table 80).
For 2010 Table 62 includes a comparison of the NCVS estimate of criminal domestic violence for each judicial district with the reported court cases using Dugan's (2003, p. 299) larger value of 0.5% of households enduring at least one incident of domestic violence. That comparison again highlights those districts where abuse of process is rampant and suggests only ~8,750 incidents in the sampled population compared with 18,402 misdemeanor criminal cases. In addition, there were an estimated 6,000 felony cases involving domestic violence, and an additional 7,480 domestic abuse protection orders (Table 62), or ~32,000 court cases in 2010 involving domestic violence or abuse.
Thus, there are more three times the number of domestic violence and abuse court cases as estimated by the best statistical data available, and 50% more police reports than NCVS data would account for.
It is often claimed in feminist literature that domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes. The data in Table 80 clearly contradicts that speculation.
It isn't that criminal domestic violence is underreported but that “domestic violence” is overdefined. When discussing domestic violence it is critical to make a clear distinction between what constitutes a criminal act that a prosecutor might be able to stand before a jury and establish both mens rea and actus reus beyond a reasonable doubt, and the ordinary arguments couples have wherein they might push and shove each other without criminal intent. The latter situation has been referred to as common couple violence and cannot reasonably be addressed within the context of an adversarial criminal justice system that was never designed to handle family arguments.
By overreacting to what is in most cases a personal issue within an intimate relationship, current laws and practices have led to the problem that citizens are afraid to call police because of the draconian response even though a peace officer might be of assistance. A great many people have become more frightened of law enforcement, as contrasted with a peace officer, than they are of their intimate partners (see Table 73 and bar charts in Table 74 and Table 75).
In the section When It Is Not Domestic Violence I have put forth numerous examples where law enforcement must not be involved if society is to survive and privacy preserved.
Violence between intimate partners may also be necessitated by circumstances or required by law, but such violence is not criminal, i.e., actus reus cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Examples would include self defense or forcibly restraining an intimate partner from jumping in front of a speeding car or out of a window.
There are also limitations on what human behavior can or should be controlled by criminal statutes. Regardless of the laws, couples will argue, and such arguments will sometimes become physical. And normal couples roughhouse and play with each other. A pillow fight is not domestic violence despite what radical ideologues would have us believe. Thus, if families and marriages are to survive, society must limit its intrusions into personal relationships to those incidents where the violence is inflicted knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally. The due process burden of proving mens rea and actus rea beyond a reasonable doubt is always upon the prosecution and these fundamental tenets of the rule of law must not be abrogated on the basis of redfem ideology.
The normal expectation is that district attorneys will file fewer court cases for a given crime than reported police incidents, as not every incident police investigate will result in a chargeable offense that might reasonably be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. For this reason prosecutors are given broad discretion in the application of nolle prosequi, and required to presume that defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers in all criminal cases, including those where domestic violence is alleged.
It should be noted, however, that the same due process protections do not apply for domestic abuse protection orders that are granted ex parte (without the defendant being present) like tissue paper. And due process is generally absent when a violation of these orders is reported, a fact well illustrated by the growing abuse of this that is well illustrated in Table 63.
The increases in court filings regarding domestic violence and abuse in the sample period of 1999 through 2010 (Table 80), without supporting evidence from any other agency, survey, or research leaves the impression we are dealing with a justice(?) system gone mad. Sometimes men are even convicted of domestic violence today for an association with a stranger or a babysitter.
As the courts are reimbursed on a case basis, such an imbalance has the flavor of fraudulent reporting. Other factors are that domestic violence is an add-on charge to anything and everything. One finds citizens convicted of domestic violence and driving under the influence, trespassing, disorderly conduct, false imprisonment, telephone obstruction, indecent exposure, etc. However, the largest category of court cases not included in the CBI statistics is harassment. Even if all harassment cases reported in 2010 involved domestic violence, they only comprise 11% of such cases.
Violation of protection orders, which are not tracked by CBI statistics, amounted to 30% of criminal domestic violence cases (Table 63) in 2010. However, for 7,480 civil domestic abuse protection orders issued in 2010 there were 5,434 cases of protection order violation in the sampled population.
If nearly three out of every four “protection” orders are violated then such orders obviously provide no protection. As previously shown, protection orders are more likely to exacerbate the problems in a relationship than end them. However, as illustrated in Table 63, as due process is slowly being restored to criminal domestic violence cases, redfems have used the ease with which ex parte restraining orders can be obtained, and the lack of due process inherent in claiming such orders were violated, to continue their war against men and their concept of the patriarchy.
Criminal prosecutions of domestic violence have been decreasing, and convictions becoming more difficult to obtain as defendants increasingly plead not guilty and demand a jury trial. Available data suggest that 90-95% of criminal domestic violence cases where the defendant pleads not guilty and insists on a jury trail are now dismissed. If the defendant has a competent criminal defense attorney extensive experience suggests that there is a less than 1% chance the jury will convict unless the prosecution has irrefutable proof of deliberate violence, a very rare situation in the “he said/she said” situations that constitute most domestic violence cases.
Neo-Marxist radical feminists (redfems) have not taken this lying down and have adapted by fanatically increasing the numbers of domestic abuse protection orders sought as shown in Table 63.
While the total number of court cases for domestic violence and abuse continue to increase it has become more difficult to bring criminal charges of domestic violence as due process slowly reasserts itself and more defendants insist on a jury trial. Thus, between 2005 and 2010 the number of misdemeanor criminal domestic violence cases in Colorado courts fell from 14,726 to 12,968, a 12% decrease, despite a 7.8% increase in the sampled population (Table 63).
In the redfem-world of domestic violence dogma, actually having to prove guilt is anathema to which no self-respecting wiccan should have to stoop. A woman's statement, or even hearsay, should be sufficient to convict any man in their mindset.
Thus, as soon as it became evident that district attorneys were beginning a more careful screening of criminal domestic violence cases it was time for redfems to leap into action in order to defend their funding, not to say their ideology. Fortunately for redfems, current domestic violence and abuse laws permitted them to do that quite easily.
As shelter workers, advocacy groups, and victim advocates began to notice the increasing difficulty of railroading a man with criminal domestic violence charges they began an apparently coordinated effort to both increase the number of orders sought in many judicial districts (Table 63) and, once obtained, encourage, support, and apparently in many cases, engineer the violation of such orders in order to circumvent any requirement for proof or due process. As a result of this redfem effort violations of protection orders increased from 365 in 2005 to 5,434 in 2010, a factor of 15 that can hardly be ascribed to accident (Table 63).
There has never been, and may never be, any requirement for proof to obtain a civil domestic abuse restraining (protection) order. All a woman need do is state she is in “fear for her life,” make up a few lies about her partner, and she can get at least a temporary or emergency restraining order against him.
If she doesn't know what to say, or how to go about the process, any local women's shelter or advocacy group, or victims advocate will be happy (and financially well rewarded) to help her complete the forms, including essential wording about “fear,” “threats,” “trained killers,” etc., and stand by her when she goes to court. Hearsay is also admissible. Even better, such orders are issued ex parte (without the evil man allowed to be present or given prior notification) so he has no chance to defend himself or offer evidence in his defense. Ideally, from the redfem perspective, after a perfunctory hearing the order will be made permanent (as in the rest of his life) and he cannot even ask for any modification, e.g., to see his kids, for four years.
These Star Chamber proceedings are nearly ideal from the redfem standpoint, but even better is if he can be arrested, preferably at his workplace, without proof or a warrant being required. In Colorado's redfem wiccan haven C.R.S. § 18-6-803.5 makes it trivial to accomplish that.
That statute provides that it is criminal domestic violence to violate the terms of a civil domestic abuse protection order. Note that “violence” is extremely rare in such “violations” but that is irrelevant. Once the restraining order is in place all she need do to have him arrested is call 911 and report that he approached her, called her, sent her email, her friend said she saw him in the neighborhood, etc., and the police are duty bound to immediately arrest him for violating the order and no warrant is required. Nor must she report the violation when it may or may not have happened. So she can conveniently wait until he is at work and then call the police, giving them his work address. Nothing helps a man's employment prospects like being arrested, handcuffed, and marched out of his job site, but it does satisfy her craving for vengeance and power to do that, often repeatedly. He is then left attempting to prove a negative, i.e., he did not violate the terms of the protection order.
Of course if the man violates, or she can contrive or claim he violated the mandatory protection order issued under C.R.S. § 18-1-1001 when he was arrested for criminal domestic violence, the same pains and penalties apply with the added kicker that his criminal case is further imperiled.
In many judicial districts the increase in protection order violations was even more extreme. For example, in the notorious Third Judicial District the number of violations increased from just 1 in 2005 to 113 in 2009, while only 43 domestic abuse orders were issued (Table 61). The Twentieth Judicial District, while generally outstanding on issues of domestic violence (Table 67), nonetheless went from zero (0) protection order violations in 2005 to 206 in 2009. It is impossible to believe that one- to two-hundred fold increases occurred in just five years without a coordinated effort behind it.
Surprisingly, by 2010 the only judicial districts that did not have at least an order-of-magnitude increase in protection order violations were the 4 th , 8 th ,13 th , 14 th , and 16 th . The 4 th and 16 th have been on our horror list (Table 64) since I began compiling domestic violence demographics. Perhaps the redfems have simply overplayed their hand in these five districts?
Now in many cases I've heard about the damn fool has ignored the restraining order, or she comes over, or calls him, and they start hanging out or driving around together with the order still in effect. Of course in the event of any further trouble, or a traffic stop, the first thing the police check is whether a restraining order is in effect. It is difficult to express much sympathy for such stupid behavior when they end up back in jail.
No data are presently available as to the number of protection orders that are made permanent and it is fundamental to note that in Colorado the effects of a permanent protection order for domestic abuse are of the same magnitude and effect as a criminal conviction for domestic violence with the added risk that at any time the man can be accused of violating the order and immediately arrested.
Anecdotal evidence suggests such redfem tactics are used in one-third to one-half of all divorces and are known colloquially as the “silver bullet” for winning child custody. Clearly the domestic violence industry is having a horrifying effect on families and children.
With regard to domestic violence and abuse, the actions of groups like DVERT, victim's advocates ( TESSA claims to help 2,700 women per year get restraining orders in El Paso County and surrounds), district attorneys, and the courts have all the fervor of a witch hunt, with the added horror that they are aided and abetted by current laws and taxpayer funding.
This site is supported and maintained by the Equal Justice Foundation.