Fix The Problem, Not The Blame by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.

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 15 — Social Goals |

| Next — Rethinking radical feminism |

| Back — Words, not war |


 

Contents

Introduction

Define who domestic violence and abuse really affects

Address the underlying problems

Provide medical treatment for health problems

Drug and alcohol abuse

Chemical and hormonal imbalances

Psychiatric problems

Provoking a dangerous animal

Enlist the couple's religious leaders

Equal rights

When there is danger remove the woman to a place of safety

Soliloquy: The sinking of H.M.S. Birkenhead on February 26, 1852

Women and safety

Minimize abuse of the law

Distinguish between non-violent and violence-prone women

Summary


 

Introduction

Top

It is vitally important to realize that we don't have all the answers. In fact, we don't even claim to know all the questions about domestic violence and abuse.

We do know that simply blaming men, as is currently done, is not only wrong, but violates all we know about the foundations of civilization. What follows then are tentative suggestions that we believe might help fix the problem rather than the blame.

In judging these proposals, the following criteria are suggested:

1. Does it violate the civil liberties of any party without due process?

2. Is it good for any children involved?

3. Will it work?


 

Domestic abuse and violence have existed since time immemorial, exists now, and will exist into the future beyond any power of the State to eliminate it. Reasonable and prudent actions to limit and correct such behavior are justified, however.

Addressing identifiable, underlying causes is essential. Correcting past imbalances in the law are certainly invaluable. However, violating virtually every civil right of citizens, almost always men, in the name of such a popular cause as "domestic violence" ultimately exacerbates the problems and the violence.

Forcing men from their homes and persecuting intellectuals are classic ingredients for revolution. Revolutions are staged by about 10% of the population and that critical mass is being approached with disenfranchised fathers and other men who have been subjected to the fascist tactics of Big Sister. Kathleen Parker has presented the same warnings in her syndicated column in an October 10, 1999, article. In 2004 the widespread demonstrations of Fathers 4 Justice in England have brought international attention to these problems.

Placing the blame on men is not an answer to domestic abuse. Instead, efforts should concentrate on identifying and fixing the underlying problems.


 

Define who domestic violence and abuse really affects

Top

John Maguire states that a better description of "domestic" violence would be "shack-up" violence because it is most common, particularly where children are involved, when the woman is living with a boyfriend. Any children in the household are statistically much safer with their biological father than with their mother and her boyfriend or a stepfather.

Where couples with children separate, joint custody should be standard. Where there is any question, such as the mother living with a boyfriend or getting married again, the father should usually be the custodial parent for the child's safety. Thus, in a separation the father should have presumptive primary custody.

Stephen Baskerville has pointed out that:

"Recent figures from the Department of Health and Human Services confirm that violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, emotional and behavioral disorders, teen suicide, poor school performance and truancy all correlate more strongly to fatherless homes than to any other single factor, surpassing both poverty and race. The overwhelming majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes.

...Overall, more than two-thirds of child abuse reports are unsubstantiated, according to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, and the proportion becomes overwhelming when custody is an issue...

...In fact, about the most dangerous place for a child then is the home of a single mother. The HHS [Health and Human Services] study reiterates the already well-established fact that children in single-parent homes are at much higher risk for physical and sexual abuse than those living in two-parent homes (up to thirty-three times higher when a live-in boyfriend or stepfather is present). As Maggie Gallagher sums it up in her 1996 book The Abolition of Marriage: 'The person most likely to abuse a child physically is a single mother. The person most likely to abuse a child sexually is the mother's boyfriend or second husband.... Divorce, though usually portrayed as a protection against domestic violence, is far more frequently a contributing cause.'"

It seems quite apparent that to reduce domestic and societal violence, one thing that needs to be done is to put fathers back in their homes with their children. That is the reverse of the feminist objective.

It is in the best interest of the State to see that children live with their biological father and, if possible, their mother.


 

Address the underlying problems

Top

Domestic abuse and violence are known to be related to alcoholism, drug abuse, infidelity, pathology, poverty, and a violent childhood. However, feminist dogma dictates that all domestic violence is to be blamed on men acting to support the patriarchy and women are simply helpless victims. That simplistic, and erroneous, ideology stands in the way of attempting any realistic treatment of the problem. A first step to reducing violence and abuse is to deny the feminist dogma of solely blaming the patriarchy.

The most consistent factor linked to violence and abuse is the lack of a father in a child's home during their formative years. Abuse of children is directly linked with subsequent violent behavior when they become adults. An essential part of any campaign to reduce domestic violence is then to keep children with their fathers.

We need to ensure that a child is raised by both it's biological father and mother whenever possible. If the couple separate, presumptive custody of minor children should go to the father. It works!

Studies consistently find that women are mutual combatants in domestic violence at least 50% of the time, and that 25%-30% of such incidents are exclusively female assaults on males. Further, it appears that most commonly it is the female who initiates the violence, even though she may be the one injured as a result. The lesson is that it isn't safe to provoke a human male for any reason at any time and to reduce domestic violence females must not initiate it.

Education as to the dangers of provoking the human male is a necessity if domestic violence is to be reduced.


 

Provide medical treatment for health problems

Top

Many health problems are known to be associated with abuse and violence. Straus and others (1980, p. 239) noted that:

"Our early interviews with violent families indicated that many suffered from chronic and aggravating health and dental problems. Impacted wisdom teeth, decaying teeth, arthritis, chronic illness, all undermined family members abilities to cope with problems arising in their homes.

Violence is often the easiest out."

Medical evaluations would probably be a good place to start looking for underlying causes of abuse and violence when problems are reported to authorities.

Drug and alcohol abuse

Top

Drug and alcohol abuse are often linked with domestic abuse. In particular, the use of cocaine has been linked to domestic violence. Those problems are best treated with counseling, e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous or Hazelden. For severe problems, and repeated infractions, mediation or arbitration are probably the best approach to helping the family, and particularly the children, work out the best solution for the individuals. Calling on the police or courts in such situations is very unlikely to improve matters.

Current law hurts many women. Instead of urging programs that would help alcoholic women deal with their problems so that their families might survive intact, present laws intentionally wait until the family situation is chronic, and then, in effect, forces a woman to get a divorce. The end result is often an alcoholic woman living in poverty trying to raise kids all by herself with the customary assortment of work, daycare, and health-care related problems we read about in the newspaper every day. The futures of women in trouble would significantly improve were we to help them get well rather than sending them into dire social straits.

Likewise, women confronted with the problem of an alcoholic spouse presently only have two choices: get a divorce and live in poverty, or "live with it." Most women would be far better off if they had a third choice: getting him into treatment! Logic suggests we fund the upstream solutions, not create more downstream problems for women as present laws do!

Chemical and hormonal imbalances

Top

Among the known causes of violence and abuse are chemical and hormonal imbalances in both males and females.

Proper medical treatment can reduce or eliminate violent or abusive behavior in many people.

Since we now have the technology both to detect and treat many such problems, prevention implies searching for and helping treat the underlying causes. The police and courts are unlikely to be of much help. Fix the problem, not the blame.

It would also appear that unnecessary or botched medical procedures such as hysterectomies sometimes underlay emotional problems that lead to abuse or violence. For a man the playful kitten he once lived with may suddenly be a raging lioness after a hysterectomy, and he is forced to defend himself and the children against her. Improved medical care that addresses the psychological and emotional effects of diseases, treatments, drugs, and surgeries should be implemented for the welfare of the general public. Such improvements would also help to reduce domestic violence and abuse.

Men are almost always totally unprepared for hormonal-induced mood swings in women. PMS is bad enough, but when, during perimenopause the lovely and loving creature he lives with turns into a volcanic virago the male is baffled. Almost certainly, everything he tries to do to fix the problem will make things worse.

Very few men can handle arrest and forced eviction gracefully, and the common result is separation and divorce, children in misery, and lowered living standards for all. That seems such a waste when most hysterectomies are unnecessary, and hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be effective in most cases for relieving the emotional distress of perimenopause.

Arresting the male, forcing him from his home, and taking his children away is not the solution to the problem of domestic violence and abuse where medical problems exist. But it is the approach taken by current laws.

It should also be noted that both the American Medical Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians oppose mandatory reporting laws such as exist in Colorado today. Many doctors simply don't comply if a patient objects.

American society has lost the ability to deal with insanity and emotional instability in women. Instead, whatever happens, the nearest male is blamed.

Psychiatric problems

Top

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) comprise: 2% of the general population; 10% of all mental health outpatients; 20% of psychiatric inpatients; 75% of those diagnosed are women; and 75% have been physically or sexually abused. If these estimates are valid, BPD must affect about 1.5% of all women, or roughly two million. That number is very close to the totals estimated for overall violence in females and must therefore account for a major portion of violent women. BPD is a recognized problem in domestic violence and abuse. If we are to fix the problem of domestic violence then treatment of BPD should be a high priority.

According to John Lang:

"Police readily admit to 'mercy bookings' to protect people they see who are severely disoriented. This is especially true for women, who may be in danger of rape on the streets. Thus, according to the federal Center for Mental Health Services, 18.5 percent of women entering local jails have histories of serious mental illness."

Of course, there is always the possibility the person is beyond borderline and is psychopathic. Fortunately, dangerous psychopaths of either sex are very rare. Recognition of such personalities in advance is beyond our current capabilities, and we know of no effective treatments when such personalities are recognized. Isolation in jails appears to be societies' preferred method of handling such cases after their damage is done.

A Justice Department study determined that, of spouses killed by spouses, 12% of defendants had histories of untreated mental illness; of children killed by parents, usually the mother, 16% of defendants had gone untreated for mental illness; and of parents killed by children, 25% of defendants had mental illnesses that went untreated.

We propose that mental and emotional problems be treated by competent physicians and psychiatrists rather than the police and courts whenever possible.


 

Provoking a dangerous animal

Top

Many researchers have noted the danger to a woman if she provokes a man by physical assault.

To end "wife beating" it is essential for women to cease what may seem to be "harmless" slapping, kicking, or throwing things at a male partner who persists in some behavior she considers outrageous or who "Won't listen to reason."


 

Enlist the couple's religious leaders

Top

It is likely that in many cases a couple's religious beliefs could be used to a much greater extent in helping domestic relations rather than putting a man and woman in a court under an adversarial structure.

Our recommendation is that the State only become a party in marital affairs when children are involved, and then only to the extent that the terms of a paternal contract are in place and enforced.

Doesn't it make more sense in most cases to refer a couple to their priest, pastor, rabbi, bishop, or other spiritual leader than to the police? When the police are called, wouldn't it be reasonable to arrange for them to call in such a spiritual leader after talking to the couple and finding out their religious preference? Since databases are considered an essential element of controlling domestic violence and abuse, wouldn't it be reasonable for the police to maintain a database of religious leaders of various faiths in their area that could be called on day or night to help out in domestic situations? Non-denominational ministers might be called if the couple has no religious preference. More cooperation between the police and the religious leaders in their area would be to the good of the public in any event.

For maintenance of families, and our society, the establishment of paternity is a fundamental issue. As a result, adultery has long been held to be a high crime in both secular and religious law. But in Colorado today, under C.R.S. § 18-6-501 there is no penalty for adultery. However, domestic violence laws are frequently misused by women to cover their own affairs and punish their husbands.

Adulterers should not be able to use the law to cover or protect themselves from their actions, or to take the law into their own hands and punish others.

Again, involving the couples religious leader in the affair would act to maintain the morals of the community. That has been a function of religion since time immemorial and does not violate the separation of church and state so essential to our society. The need for police and courts would also be avoided in all but the most outrageous cases.


 

Equal rights

Top

There is no mechanism in the current law for dealing with violence against men by women. Though women are increasingly being arrested under domestic violence laws, the strong presumption still exists that it is the male responsible for the violence until, and unless he can prove himself innocent.

We seek equal justice under the law regardless of gender or sexual relations of a person with the accused.

Our system is based on the greatest good for the greatest number, whereas domestic abuse and violence laws are presently based on anecdotes from the battered and the ideologies of a radical few. More men are battered than women, yet receive less protection, and men are punished more often by the present laws. Such inequity can only work to the long term detriment of all.

We advocate equal rights and protection for both men and women and, foremost, the preservation of civil liberties.

Why should an act of consensual sex confer any more, in the case of females, or less, in the case of men, protection in the eyes of the law than say an act of violence between college room mates, or a man and woman who share the rent but have no intimate relationship?

We suggest that the consensual sexual relations people may, or may not have had with one another should have no bearing on how they are treated under the law, nor should the gender of the parties be a factor.

For couples in relationships where the violence is mutual, experience suggests joint counseling offers the best solution. Present law often makes it impossible to attempt any solution to the problems and mandates destruction of the family. We think that feminist goal is a disastrous mistake for society.

Couples therapy is vehemently opposed by battered women's advocates — ostensibly out of concern for women's safety — but also because of the implication that both partners must change their behavior. That violates the feminist theory that all domestic violence arises from men maintaining the patriarchy. That ideology is nonsense! Fix the problem, not the blame!

As with medical problems, we propose that mutually-violent couples be referred to competent counselors, mediators, or arbitration in case of a separation when the couple have children.

Permanent restraining orders make permanent enemies. Is it really in the best interest of the State to make eternal enemies of a man and a woman, particularly where they have children? It seems to us that such policies are more likely to incite violence than quell it.

We recommend that in cases where a restraining order is justified by a full hearing of all sides in open court that the period of the order be finite, not to exceed one year. If shown to be necessary by concrete evidence, not just an expression of "fear," or supposed "emotional harm," the restraining order could be extended for an additional year.

It is an ancient principle that the person who is struck first is entitled to defend themselves by every reasonable means. While the force used in your own defense should be reasonable, and commensurate with the danger, we regard a berserk female as dangerous as, and perhaps more so, than a male in a similar situation.

Men must be permitted to defend themselves and their children when women become violent or insane.

Current laws that require mandatory arrest and forced eviction of the male from his home have been shown to actually increase domestic and societal violence in many cases. Further, we know of no better way to promote revolution than for the State to force a man from his home without compensation or justification.

A man forced from his home, stripped of his possessions, and those most dear to him, with nothing else to lose, is a dangerous man.
The preservation of civil rights is as essential now as it was to our forefathers in 1775 if our society is to survive.

 

When there is danger remove the woman to a place of safety

Top

Soliloquy: The sinking of H.M.S. Birkenhead on February 26, 1852

But to stand an' be still to the Birken'ead Drill is a damn'd tough bullet to chew.

Rudyard Kipling

from his poem: Soldier an' sailor too

(The Royal Marine Regiment)

On 7 January 1852, under the Command of Captain Robert Salmond R.N., H.M.S. Birkenhead sailed from the port of Cork in Southern Ireland, to convey additional troops to Lieutenant General Sir Harry Smith, engaged in the Kaffir, or Eighth Frontier War in the eastern Cape Horn. In addition to men of the Royal Navy and Marines, on board were drafts of the 2 nd , 6 th , 12 th , 45 th , 73 rd , 74 th and 91 st Foot, the 12 th Lancers and the 43 rd Light Infantry, some accompanied by their wives and children. The senior military officer on board was Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Seton, then aged 38 years.

The vessel made stops at Madeira and Sierra Leone, before arriving at the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, on February 9, 1852. She stayed in port for just as much time as it took to revictual, and continued on her southerly voyage.

On February 23, 1852, she docked in Simons Bay. 350 tons of coal topped off her bunkers, and fresh water and supplies were taken on board. This took the better part of the next two days, and she finally left Simons Bay at 1800 hours, on Wednesday, February 25, 1852.

The sun set at 1931 hours, and the moon at 2235. The weather was calm, and the Birkenhead continued on her course, SSExE, at a steady 8 knots. While the course plotted kept her well clear of a coast known for its treachery, either compass error or stronger than anticipated currents took the Birkenhead inshore of her intended course.

Just before 0200 hours on the morning of February 26, 1852, she foundered on an uncharted rock pinnacle about one mile off Danger Point, near Cape Agulhas on the coast of the southern tip of Africa, sinking inside of 20 minutes.

What transpired during the course of those 20 minutes, was to change the course of history, forever.

Valiant efforts were made to save the vessel, to no avail. All the men remaining on board made their way aft, and mustered quietly on the poop.

By this time, an estimated 15 minutes had elapsed since the Birkenhead had first struck. Captain Salmond called out to all those remaining who could swim, to jump overboard, and make for the boats. Captain Wright and Lieutenant Girardot, the two most senior officers under Lieutenant-Colonel Seton called out to the men to stand fast and not to go overboard to the boats, for fear of them being swamped, knowing that at least one of the boats was filled with women and children.

No sooner having said this than the vessel broke in two for a second time, crosswise, just abaft the engine room, the remaining stern section filling immediately, and going down. The Royal Marines aboard went down as drawn up on her deck.

Of the 638 souls who sailed from Simons Bay, 445 perished, leaving only 193 survivors.

Since then, to this day, the conduct of the troops has become known as the Birkenhead Drill, and is embodied in the cry, "Women and children first!"

Women and safety

Top

Whether in the later sinking of the Titanic, in fires or accidents, civilized men have been taught to put the safety of women and children before their own. Thus, in time of danger all our traditions and customs point to taking women and children from the place of danger to a safe refuge.

Contrary to these heroic traditions, feminists have agitated for, and obtained laws that mandate a man be placed in chains any time a woman he is acquainted with, however slightly, claims she is in fear of him or may suffer emotional harm if he remains.

Such proceedings seem to us the height of foolishness. If a woman truly is in jeopardy, then to leave her in the place of danger where she can be easily found is perfectly stupid. Arresting a man, tearing from him all he owns or possesses, and leaving him homeless is certain to utterly infuriate him over and far above what other grievances he may harbor against a woman he knows exactly where to find.

Battered-women's shelters were formed precisely for the purpose of providing a refuge for women in time of trouble. At present there are many State-supported battered-women's shelters where a woman might go if relatives or friends are unavailable. If there is no local shelter then accommodations at a local motel could be provided for the woman while the affair is straightened out.

Studies clearly show that when domestic violence erupts between a couple, the woman participates in, or initiates the violence at least 75% of the time. Since provoking or striking a human male is always dangerous, when such violence occurs, and until the case can be heard by a magistrate, it is the woman who should be removed for her own safety if (1) she so requests, (2) she has left the home already, or (3) there are visible injuries of any party.

The exception to having the woman leave would be if she owns or rents the home in her name alone, in which case the man should leave or, if he resists, be removed by the police. If she wants to remain in the home with her partner and, possibly, children, she should be able to sign a standard release form stating that her personal safety is her responsibility.

In a domestic violence or abuse complaint to the police, as suggested above, we would have the police contact, or bring, the couples religious leader to the house, and have him mediate whenever possible. That would also lower the danger to the police in a domestic dispute. If necessary, the parties should both be issued a summons to appear before a magistrate for determination if further action is required. An arrest by an officer would only be authorized if he actually observed a crime, or there is an outstanding warrant for one of the parties, as has been the case for centuries.

Unless there is clear evidence of grievous assault, the first option of the court should be to refer the couple to counselling or mediation, with their minister if possible. Both individual and joint counselling should be available so that the man and woman can speak freely without fear of retribution. If there is evidence that approach has failed on previous occasions, or the couple wish to separate, then arbitration might be a next step to enforce the terms of any existing contract or ensure equitable division of mutual assets. The objective should be to keep family quarrels, such as shouting matches, and separations out of the courts if at all possible.

Our proposal also makes it quite unlikely that a woman will use domestic violence or abuse charges as a weapon of choice in a divorce or custody battle.

We see no other way to protect the civil rights of citizens and provide the protection some women need in domestic violence situations.

For reasons of common sense, and to avoid abuse of the law, we propose that when domestic violence or abuse is alleged that, unless the woman owns or rents the home in her name alone, or with other rare exceptions, the woman be the one to leave if the safety of any of the parties is in question. Any children would be left in the care of their biological father, if possible, unless clear and present danger to the children is evident in doing so.


 

Minimize abuse of the law

Top

All too frequently the rhetoric and laws of domestic violence and abuse are used as a weapon against a man in a divorce or separation without any real basis for such charges. The result is so convenient and successful for the woman, and lacks any possible penalty, that such usage is an often overpowering temptation.

We propose to take the temptation away.

In a divorce or separation, we suggest that the person petitioning for separation be the one to leave the home. The only exception would be if the home was owned as premarital property by the petitioner. To minimize the trauma for any children of the couple, they would remain in the home. Joint custody would be assured but the custodial parent would automatically be the parent who does not file for divorce.

Present laws are, demonstrably, destroying marriages and raising the level of violence. A woman seeking a restraining order need only state she is "in fear" of a man, or that "emotional harm" C.R.S. § 13-14-102 (15)(c) would result if he remains in his home. It isn't cynical to point out that when a woman is getting a divorce, what she may truly fear is not violence, but losing the house or kids. Under current law, if she's willing to fib to the judge, and say she is "in fear" of her children's father, or "emotional harm" may result, she will get custody and money and probably the house. Under current law it is extremely unlikely that her false reporting will be punished.

We demand that the rules of evidence in common law and the civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution be restored in cases where domestic violence or abuse are alleged.

We seek the imposition of severe penalties, including payment of the plaintiff's costs and attorney fees, for anyone who provides false testimony regardless of sex.

Historically, violations of civil liberties have led to civil disorder and increased violence. Why should current domestic violence and abuse laws be any different?

In a free country the courts and lawyers are effective at fixing the blame. However, their efforts often have the unfortunate side effect of exacerbating the problem. If we are content with simply assigning the blame, then the present laws are adequate if civil unrest is acceptable.

When a woman charges a man with domestic violence she is offered 'victim's assistance.' In that State-supported program she will be told her nightmare is over, that everything will be all right if she just follows Big Sister's instructions, and that horrible man will never touch her again.

But if we 'believe the victim' we must assume the accused is guilty.

Other women with similar stories will support her, and console her with stories of their own about what horrible, violent beasts men are. The validity of such stories will seldom be questioned. Nor will the role of the woman in inciting violence be discussed though it clearly takes two to tangle.

When the man is acquitted, a 'victim's assistant' will call the woman to tell her, and assist her in filing additional charges. The sheriff may then show up a few hours later on the man's doorstep with restraining orders for domestic abuse. When those are dismissed, new restraining orders may be filed in a different county or court.

George Orwell would be proud of the concept that in domestic violence cases you must be guilty of abuse if you are found not guilty of violence, and you are guilty of abuse simply because you are male.

The abuse of restraining orders has been examined by Cathy Young and the booming domestic violence industry scrutinized by John Maguire, as well as in the section here on the subject.

The assistance given by the State to alleged victims of domestic violence or abuse should be carefully reviewed for balance, integrity, and gender neutrality. The qualifications required of the people involved should also be raised. No person who has been, or claims to have been, involved in domestic abuse or violence should be permitted to act as a 'victim's advocate' in such cases, nor appear in court on behalf of an alleged 'victim.'

The present domestic violence and abuse laws are a haven for any emotionally disturbed, vengeful woman who wants to humiliate, hurt, or embarrass some male in her life. Conversely, there is little evidence that these laws really serve to protect those women who are, in fact, being abused. Features of the current law such as mandatory arrest were shown to increase domestic violence in three out of seven cities where the concept was tested.

In a November 12, 2000, editorial in the Denver Post, Ms. Billie Stanton examined the "mandatory arrest" policy that has been in effect in Denver since 1984. She found that most domestic violence calls do not result in an arrest because police don't find probable cause of a crime when they arrive.

Ms. Stanton states that Denver police got 16,080 domestic violence calls from October 1, 1999, through September 30, 2000, but made only 4,619 arrests in those cases. She claims the same has held true in other jurisdictions in spite of the state law. Thus, when police are called there is only about a 30% chance that an arrest will be made even under the current draconian laws. That is clear evidence women are abusing the law in an attempt to gain advantage in a personal situation.

Prosecutors in Colorado are known to threaten the woman with perjury charges if she changes her story after charges are filed. Insofar as we can determine, that is an idle threat used solely to intimidate the woman and ensure the man is persecuted.

Many women are entrapped by the present system when there is really no basis in their minds to charge their mates with domestic violence. Perhaps they were making passionate love and the neighbors called the police; perhaps they enjoy a little S&M and get a little loud; perhaps they had a lover's quarrel with some shouting or pushing and somehow the police become involved; perhaps one or both of them got drunk and the horseplay got a little rough. One can imagine a thousand other scenarios where it might look like violence but isn't assault or battery. Yet with mandatory arrest and "no drop" laws the man goes to jail if the police arrive and he must proceed to a jury trial to clear his name.

We seek the restoration of civil liberties and the choice of individuals. Mandatory arrests and 'no drop' laws are an open invitation to citizens, police and prosecutor abuse and must be repealed.

If you have a permanent restraining order against you for domestic abuse and the woman sees you in some store, or shopping mall, you will go to jail if she files a complaint. Presently it doesn't matter if you see her, or speak to her, you have violated the restraining order by frequenting the places she does, even if you don't know what those places are.

Numerous other examples of when men have been put in jail in unreasonable circumstances or for trivial reasons have been given in a previous section. The current penalty is a mandatory 3 months in jail for a first offense.

We seek the restoration of reason and rules of evidence, and the requirement for a jury trial in the imposition of jail sentences for alleged violations of restraining orders.


 

Distinguish between non-violent and violence-prone women

Top

The distinction must be made between controlled and uncontrolled violence. Disciplined, controlled violence is fundamental to the preservation of any society.

Erin Pizzey has termed many women violence prone and states that:

"...it is essential to understand the differentiation between our use of the words battered and violence-prone. For us, a battered person is the innocent victim of another person's violence; a violence-prone person is the victim of their own addiction to violence."

After opening the first refuge for battered women in the world in 1971, Ms. Pizzey found that "...62 women out of the first hundred women who came to the refuge were as violent or more violent than the men they left. Also many were prostitutes taking refuge from their violent pimps." Neither men, nor women, have changed that much in that past 30 years, but now such women all too frequently take advantage of the present domestic violence laws to further batter the male at the cost of civil liberties for all mankind.

In her book on Emotional Terrorists, Ms. Pizzey (1998, p. 47) describes "...the difference between a non-violent woman and a violent woman is that a non-violent woman can get into a relationship with a man who is violent, and love the man but hate his violence. A violence-prone woman will look for a violent man with whom she will hate the man but cling to his violence."

The present assumption is that all women are non-violent. As Erin Pizzey recognized very early, that is clearly false. We cannot solve the problem of domestic violence unless, and until we make the distinction and classify women involved in domestic violence into non-violent or violence-prone categories. Then, and only then, can women be provided help appropriate to their situation.

Because all women are assumed to be non-violent, our present social services cannot deal with violence-prone women. Violence-prone women quickly learn to manipulate the system to their advantage and to the discomfort of their men. Typically, such manipulations act to increase the level of violence by further infuriating the male, and perpetuating the violence. That cycle must be broken.


 

Summary

Top

It is not "blaming the victim" to note that in bad neighborhoods, poor males of low education who abuse substances, have histories of violence and arrest, and lack employment are often a danger to women, particularly when the relationship breaks up. The reverse is often equally true.

Physical and mental problems are not even considered under current policies except to blame men.

Little effort is being made to break the generational link between abused children of either sex, that usually grow up without a father, and who later become adult abusers in their own relationships.

Recognition of such basic factors in both sexes is, unfortunately, still a required first step in any attempts to solve the problems of domestic violence and abuse. Unfortunately, ideologically-driven feminists refuse to admit such basic truths.

The most telling argument against the existing domestic violence and abuse laws that place the blame solely on males is that they simply don't work. Cathy Young pointed this out in 1995 in her article: Cracks in the crackdown: Is getting tough accomplishing its purpose?.

After more than a decade of such enforcement in Colorado there is no evidence that domestic violence has decreased, nor have the number of repeat offenders declined as emphatically pointed out in a front-page story in the October 24, 1999, Denver Post. In some instances, such as among unemployed men, the rate seems to have actually increased. What has increased are the number of arrests of middle-class males and women who get into normal family arguments.

Male abusers are undeterred, female abusers are encouraged, and the power of the State is increased, but the problem remains.


 
Fix the problem, not the blame.

Top


 

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

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

 

| Chapter 15 — Social Goals |

| Next — Rethinking radical feminism |

| Back — Words, not war |


 

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

Last modified 3/9/14