Justifiable Violence Against Women by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.

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Contents

How to avoid the need for violence

In self defense

What to do when the situation may escalate out of control

To prevent harm to others

To prevent harm to herself

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in this context

Summary


 

How to avoid the need for violence

Many men are taught to never, ever, under any circumstances hit a woman. In ordinary events that practice is both civilized and justified. Under these conventions there is evidence that interpersonal violence has been declining for centuries.

But how do you handle the situation when things start spinning out of control? First, and foremost, don't hit your partner, or if it is mutual combat, you stop. If you are both drinking and getting angry, you stop and you leave.

We would caution, though, that anyone who does not believe your woman could be hitting you, or thinks it is not serious, should be avoided like the plague in your time of trouble. Also, if you are just dating and the woman hits you, harms you, or verbally abuses you, get out. It is virtually certain that her level of abuse and violence will increase as you become more intimate. And when eventually the cops are called, you will be the one arrested.

If the relationship is worth working to save, one approach is that laid out in John Gray's Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. We particularly like his idea of writing a "Love Letter" with the format and topics (p. 211) he gives that cover anger, sadness, fear, regret, and, most importantly, love. There are also counseling centers that follow Dr. Gray's approach. It is important to note, as does Dr. Gray, that men and women use words differently, and the same words mean different things to a man and woman. Such simple matters as the use of "would you" instead of "could you" can make a tremendous difference in a relationship.

Talking with a counselor, priest, rabbi, bishop, or other spiritual leader may help you both if the advisor is aware that females are as violent as men in family situations.

We believe that words are preferable to war.

But women, as well as men, are not always civilized and, more often than necessary, resort to violence against others. Women, at least as commonly as men, also suffer mental breakdowns, suffer from personality disorders that result in violent behavior, and abuse alcohol and drugs.

Thus, one can imagine at least three circumstances where violence against a woman is necessary, justified, and may be legally required:


 

In self defense

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A berserk woman is a frightening spectacle to even the most hardened cop. Spouses often attack their husbands with dangerous implements, and a frying pan or rolling pin can be deadly. Studies indicate that roughly 80% of women use some sort of weapon to compensate for the difference in size when they seriously assault their mates.

In such cases the male is faced with the eternal fight or flee paradox, only it is probably his mate he faces in deadly combat.

Defense of self is certainly justifiable under such circumstances and will involve the use of force against the woman to restrain her unless you flee. And if you injure her while restraining her, it is you who will almost certainly be arrested and jailed.

If she does begin assaulting you, and you have surveillance monitors set up, you need to move to where the monitors can pick it up.

What to do when the situation may escalate out of control

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If one's intimate partner becomes increasingly ill-tempered and violent, and there are any weapons or potential weapons in the house, get rid of them if at all possible. Or make them inaccessible before the violence starts.

One of the common cases I hear is that the woman got drunk and wanted to drive and the man stopped her. He then gets arrested for "domestic violence." Is it better to let her drive and possibly kill herself, you, or someone else? My suggestion is to hide the car keys as soon as she starts drinking and before the situation escalates. Suggest she do the same if you are the one drinking.

Women go to weapons either first or earlier than men. A man (or woman) should look around and see what is on the walls that could be kept somewhere outside the house.

Gun collections, military or Masonic swords, decorative furnishings with sharp points, clubs or baseball bats, lamps, ashtrays, etc., should be removed or secured so that she can't grab them in the heat of anger.

All these weapons, and more, have been used in female assaults on men (and, conversely, on women).

Stay out of the kitchen

Knives and scissors are weapons women commonly use in assaults. Boiling water or oil, hot grease, or kitchen implements are also leading candidates for use against a man. The proverbial rolling pin or frying pan up side the head isn't a joke. Thus, if trouble is brewing in the kitchen, move the argument out of there.

Take the discussion to another room where weapons aren't so convenient.

Do this quickly — try not to give her time to grab a knife or other kitchen implement. If she goes back into the kitchen, leave the house.

If possible, move the discussion to the living room, den, or other area. Try to get her to sit down on a sofa or in a chair. If you have surveillance monitors set up try to move to an area the cameras cover.

If she will sit down, you should sit down as well. A male standing over her will appear threatening to her.

Avoid the bedroom

If she's drunk or on drugs, the kitchen and bedroom may bring up associations you don't want to deal with.

Calling 911 almost always makes the situation worse

If there is the need to phone someone, phone neighbors, relatives, or friends if it is at all possible they can help. We suggest 911 should be called only if there is clear and present danger and there are no other options.

If in imminent danger, a man is well advised to flee if possible and call 911 from a safe place. Cops don't get there instantly.

Also, by the time police arrive an angry woman will probably have made up a story making it the man's fault. And the cops will buy her story 9 times out of 10. Reams of data document the man is most often the one arrested and jailed.

In any event, if the police are called, and when they arrive they find probable cause, there is an 80%-90% chance the male present will be arrested whatever the evidence and circumstances.

Conversely, if the male is not present, and there are no injuries or evidence of a fight, an arrest is unlikely.

We have also heard many stories that when the police are called they threaten to have the children placed in foster care to coerce the woman into cooperating with them in prosecuting the man. Prosecutors and social services also are known to make the same threats. So calling 911 will probably make the woman's life much worse as well.

Leave

If violence is building, a man is well advised to get out of the house quickly, and spend the night in a motel or with a friend. Many men sleep in their cars in these circumstances as well.

An escape plan should be prepared in advance if possible — a few items of clothing stored at a friend's house, in the trunk of the car, or in a rented storage unit. Keep some cash, a printout of all credit card numbers, and bank account information there as well. If there are children, you will also need copies of their birth certificates and their Social Security numbers.

If possible, a man in this situation should establish a bank account in his own name, using a post office box as the address, though that will be used against him in a divorce and if she goes after a restraining (protection) order. You may also want to have your paycheck deposited to that account as we've heard many stories, and had personal experience, with women stealing paychecks, possibly even off your dead body.

A biological father should take his kids with him, if possible, but should not hesitate to leave without them. You can't help them if you are in jail.

If you can't take your children immediately, you could try to get them to quickly and quietly go to a friend's house after you leave if they are old enough to do that on their own.

If you do manage to take the kids it is usually best to leave them with your parents, if possible, rather than try and keep them with you.

Once a man leaves his home in such circumstances there is a very good chance he will never get to return under today's laws. You, and your children, will still be much better off if her violence is avoided and you are not arrested.


 

To prevent harm to others

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A woman may be attacking another person and the only way to prevent that harm is to physically restrain her. Of necessity, such restraint will involve force and violence. In such situations the woman will almost certainly suffer bruises and contusions.

In one case a woman charged her husband with domestic violence and filed a restraining order against him. Later she threw her 6-month-old baby out a third-story window and attempted to throw her 4-year-old daughter out the same window before being restrained by police. Was violence against this woman justified? That case is no exception. I've heard many, many cases of fathers attempting to protect their children either being arrested for domestic violence for attempting to restrain the violently or insanely abusive mother, or she has taken out a restraining order against him that was granted without question by a dimwitted judge, of which there is an overabundance.

Bear in mind that the majority of child and elderly abuse is committed by women. Thus, the male may well be defending his own children from their mother, stepmother, or his girlfriend.


 

To prevent harm to herself

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Women go insane at least as often as males. She may be drunk, or on drugs, and the only way to prevent her self destruction, or great bodily harm, is through the use of force and violence.

A woman in such condition will almost certainly be bruised and battered in the attempt to subdue her, and it certainly isn't a task even trained police want to assume.


 

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in this context

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It is hoped that even the most radical feminist would admit that in the above situations a male is justified in the use of reasonable force against a woman. Not only is he justified, in many cases he would be criminally negligent if he failed to act.

The real horror in the present laws is that if the male has an intimate relationship with the woman in question, he will be arrested, and she will almost certainly go free. She will also get to keep the house, the car, the bank accounts, and kids as a reward for her violence.

Imagine the horror of a father whose wife is brutally abusing their children and in his attempts to restrain her she is bruised and scratched. The police arrive, she is obviously injured, and he is arrested and taken to jail. He is now under a mandatory restraining order preventing any further contact with the woman or his children; he cannot go near the house and is living on the streets or in a motel; and her abuse of the children goes unchecked while he can do absolutely nothing but abandon them. Society then taunts him as a Deadbeat Dad.

Cathy Young cites the example of:

"A counselor with a family violence intervention program in Florida who generally favors no-drop prosecutions saw this happen with her own daughter Angela — a troubled young woman with a severe drinking problem — and her live-in boyfriend. One evening, says the counselor, who also requested anonymity, an intoxicated Angela wanted to go out to buy more liquor: 'Her boyfriend won't give her the money. So she goes out to the corner and calls the police saying he has locked her out — which he probably had because he didn't want trouble — and fills out a report saying he threatened her, she's afraid of him, and so on.' The police took her home and arrested the young man. The next day, a now-sober Angela was appalled by what she had done and tried to back out — to no avail. With her mother's help, she hired a lawyer, and her boyfriend was eventually allowed to plead no contest."

Note that even though everyone involved agreed the man was innocent he still ends up with a lifetime sentence as an abuser because he pled no contest.

Under the present 'no drop' laws your only hope of clearing your name is to insist on a jury trial!

 

Summary

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We strongly prefer words to war but the law should not punish a man when he is forced by circumstances to defend himself, his children, or prevent harm to others.

Incredibly, under present laws this is exactly what happens. Additionally, the woman is often given the house, the car, the bank accounts, everything else he owns, and the kids as a reward for her violence.


 

There may be a more asinine way to approach the problem of reducing family violence than the present laws but we are hard pressed to imagine it.

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| EJF Home | Join the EJF | Comments? | Get EJF newsletter | Newsletters |

| DV Home | Abstract | Contents | Authors and Site Map | Tables | Index | Bibliography |

 

| Chapter 10 — The Female Of The Species |

| Next — Immigration marriage fraud 101 by John Sampson, retired ICE agent |

| Back — When it is not domestic violence |


 

This site is supported and maintained by the Equal Justice Foundation.

Last modified 3/9/14