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| Chapter 3 Domestic Violence |
| Next Partner abuse State of knowledge project findings at-a-glance |
| Back Prisoners in their own homes: Male victims of elder abuse |
Eugene V. Debs
Family Therapy Networker, September/October 1993
Estimates of domestic violence
Common couple violence
Criminal domestic violence
Domestic violence cases in the courts
Self defense: Blatant hypocrisy
Protection orders and paternity fraud
What is domestic violence associated with?
Abused as a child or raised in a violent household
Perimenopause: the change of life
Jealousy and vengeance
Money and financial problems
Personality disorders and mental illness
Drugs, licit and illicit
Health problems and injuries
Disabilities and aging
What criminal domestic violence is not associated with
Power and control
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Reactions to female violence against males
A Cowfolk's Guide to Romance
When attempting to manage a situation it is always better to fix the problem, not the blame. So far redfems have simply blamed men for the human problem of intimate partner, or domestic violence. It is impolitic to blame the “victim” but it is usually worthwhile, and justice is only served if we spend the time to determine who initiated and who suffered in any attack. “Accused” and “accuser” should not be terms abandoned in the name of political correctness. It is very doubtful that the real suffering always falls only on the woman. The male and, even more, the children share equally in the misery of any abusive relationship regardless of who is at fault.
And every citizen has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty before a jury of their peers.
As evident from previous sections in this chapter, the issue of domestic violence against women has been grossly overstated in a successful attempt to obtain funding for feminist groups. That funding has been used mainly to blame males exclusively for the problems and support a gigantic and financially unaccountable domestic violence industry. However, blaming men does little toward solving the problem as it addresses less than half the questions.
According to the best available estimates from social studies, roughly 10-12% of men and 10-12% of women in a relationship were “violent ” toward their intimate partner at some level during a given year in the United States as measured by Murray Straus and others using the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS). In younger couples some studies suggest ~15% of men and ~23% of women engaged in some level of “violence” toward or in concert with their intimate partners. It is fundamental to note, however, that the CTS is not a measure of criminal actions and encompasses both normal and abusive acts that couples engage in.
The very great majority of what is termed “abuse” is arguing, shouting, pushing, shoving, or similar acts that cause little or no physical injury. Most couples engage in such acts at some point in their relationship. Johnson (1995) has termed such behavior “common couple violence” and these acts cannot reasonably be considered the province of the police or courts in a free society.
One of the most difficult concepts for people to accept is the fact that “domestic violence” rarely involves criminal intimate partner violence. What it does involve under current definitions are financial problems, emails, telephone messages, dirty looks, swearing, loud arguments, neighbors calling the cops, jealousy, revenge, vengeance, infidelity, paternity fraud, custody battles, false allegations, lunachics, mental problems, self inflicted injuries, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and maybe some pushing and shoving. Of course all of these problems are exacerbated if one or both are involved with substance abuse, alcohol or drugs (both legal and illegal). But rarely can the elements of mens rea and actus reus, essential to conviction for a crime, be established beyond a reasonable doubt in these events.
In no instance have we found any attempt to subtract from the domestic violence surveys such behavior as sadomasochism, bondage, or domination (BDSM) that an estimated 10%-15% of couples engage in as part of their relationship. As these are typically voluntary acts that couples mutually consent to and engage in in the privacy of their own homes, they are not criminal behavior. The last place we want police is in our bedrooms, yet that is exactly where the domestic violence laws commonly put them.
While many couples have, shall we say, strenuous disagreements involving rather painful and hurtful behavior, a small fraction of men and women cross the line into criminal behavior with their intimate partners.
The best estimate of criminal domestic violence comes from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). 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).” Also, in Dugan's review less than 0.1% of the NCVS households surveyed had more than one incident of criminal domestic violence in a given year. So the “cycle of violence” so often referenced in the literature, while real, is very rare.
It is also clear from the chart in Table 74 that the apparent number of unreported incidents of domestic violence are increasing as citizens become ever more afraid of draconian police actions in domestic disturbances. That result is the exact opposite of the intent of the 1994 domestic violence laws, which were supposed to encourage and make it easier and safer for women to report domestic violence.
The results from the plot in Table 74 make it painfully evident that the primary effect of the draconian domestic violence laws has been to drastically deter citizens from calling 911 during a domestic disturbance. Further, attorneys consistently report that half the DV cases they now see are the result of arrests made on the basis of hearsay. A neighbor or passerby hears a loud argument or noises and calls the police. It is clear that at least half the 911 calls now made in domestic disturbances are not made by “victims.”
Based on fiscal year 2005 Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) data, the number of women living with a man (spouse or common law) and seriously assaulted (aggravated assault) was 805, and for simple assaults the number was 3,218 for a total of 4,023 women living with a man (domestic violence) in Colorado who were reported as being assaulted, or about 2 out of 10,000 women over the age of 18. 1 Clearly, “battered wives” are a very rare phenomena in Colorado even if the problem is underreported by an order of magnitude.
It is also of interest to note that in 26% of all the aggravated assaults and 19% of the simple assaults in 2005 no injury was reported . Also, the majority of these assaults resulted from mutual combat or situations where the woman initiated the violence.
The available data are inadequate to make any reasonable estimate of how many men living with a woman (spouse or common law) are assaulted every year. Men are well advised not to call 911 if their wife is assaulting them because the all-too-common outcome is that he will be the one arrested when the police arrive. Nonetheless, 22%, or 431 of the aggravated assaults tabulated by the CBI in 2005 involved a male victim, and males were victims of 21%, or 1, 589 of the simple assaults reported by the police. These values certainly underestimate the number of assaults on males by at least a factor of two and are more likely in error by an order of magnitude.
Another approach is to use the results from the social studies (Table 8) to attempt an estimate of the magnitude of domestic violence. According to the 2000 census there were approximately 860,000 married couples in Colorado that year. The data in Table 8 from the National Family Violence Studies (NFVS) suggest that about 3%-6%, or 25,800 to 51,600 married men in Colorado may have been victims of severe violence from their female partners that year. Table 8 suggests that 1.7%-3%, or 14,600 to 25,800 married women may have been victims of severe violence by their male partners in 2000. If these estimates, based on social studies rather than crime data, are at all reasonable then only 8%-14% of married women suffering domestic violence are reporting the problem to police, and certainly less than 3%-6% of abused men are reporting their problems. Naturally, if overall violence rates were used (Table 8) the under reporting would be dramatically higher. Regardless, it is clear that severe violence against men is approximately twice as frequent as against women, as found in the Army studies (and see Table 9), and yet is reported only about one-fourth as often as violence against women. This finding is particularly true of younger couples and family conflicts more commonly occur in younger couples.
Conversely, the fact that the very great majority of criminal and civil domestic violence complaints are filed against men clearly demonstrates that the laws are being used by women for unintended purposes unrelated to actual abuse or violence.
These estimates also strongly support the contention that in cases of mutual combat it is only the man who gets arrested. Even if we eliminate the ~50% of DV cases where it is mutual combat, women are being arrested and charged at a much lower rate than the number of severe assaults they commit would suggest.
The feminist dogma that the male is always the “perpetrator” and the female is always the “victim” is inaccurate both from a statistical basis and the human dimension. Survey after survey shows that when the actions of both men and women are measured, the women, by their own admission, are at least and usually more violent than their male partners in intimate relationships. And laws such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that are supposed to protect women often end up destroying them as documented In Women's Own Words.
1. It is of great interest to note that between 1995, the year after current DV laws went into effect, and 2007 that the Colorado population has increased by just 30% but the number of reported DV incidents has increased by 109% (Table 77). In part that is due to better police reporting but it is also worth noting that the percentage of married or cohabitating couples in reported DV incidents has steadily declined from 50% in 1995 to just 35% in 2010. So the unintended consequence of the DV laws has been to substantially reduce the number of married couples who call the police (also see Table 74).
Normally, the number of court cases for crimes is lower, often substantially, than the number of reported police incidents. Prosecutors typically dismiss some cases brought to them by the police for lack of evidence, conflicting reports, follow-up investigation doesn't justify prosecution, lack of credible witnesses, technical difficulties, etc. In minor crimes a minimum of 10% of cases are nolle prosequi or simply dismissed. Even with “no drop” provisions for domestic violence, many cases are dismissed without prosecution for lack of evidence, particularly if the defendant pleads not guilty and demands a jury trial. Some criminal cases are brought directly to the district attorney but I'm told that is quite rare and typically the prosecutor refers such cases back to the police for investigation.
If one makes the comparison just between simple assaults, the most common charge for a domestic violence incident, the disparity is even more shocking (Table 71) with more than twice as many DV court cases, ~13,500, than the ~4,000 incidents reported by police in 2004. Also in Table 71note that comparison for simple assaults by police that don't involve DV, ~16,600, as compared with the number of court cases, ~3,000.
In short, when DV is not involved less than 20% of simple assault cases are prosecuted, yet if the case file is stamped Dom Vio the number of court cases somehow doubles (Table 80).
In all surveys it is quite apparent that most domestic violence is the result of mutual combat. For example, from U.S. Army data Cook (1995) shows 60%-64% of the couples were both violent (Table 9). In looking at domestic violence as a function of age, Stets and Straus (1989) found that 52%-61% of couples between the ages of 18 and 34 were mutually violent (Table 10), although cocombatancy tapered off with older couples.
Mutual combat occurs even in families such as the 1999 Mrs. America, Starla Stanley, who admits to giving her husband a bloody nose, and he has shoved and slapped her (Salt Lake Tribune, October 18, 1999).
From Farrah Fawcett's testimony in August, 1998, during a trial in Santa Monica, California, she described a fight with her lover, director James Orr, as follows: According to her, after dinner at his home he went in and laid down on his bed. Fawcett admits she started whacking the mattress with a fireplace poker. He stormed off to the kitchen; she followed and grabbed a drum stand. He picked up a bar stool. They faced off like lion tamers. Farrah then threw the drum stand and went off to the bedroom to pack. Orr drew her back into the fight by insulting her. She retaliated by kicking in a lead-plated window. As she left to go to her car, Orr grabbed her and spun her to the ground, fell on her, and her head hit the asphalt. Orr was convicted of assault for that. Fawcett, after getting up, ripped a sign out of his lawn and threw it through a window. Not content, the next day she smashed his car with a baseball bat. Note that the male is convicted, but who initiated and used the most violence?
In such frays, women commonly make up for any size difference by using weapons at a much higher rate than men, as did Farrah Fawcett. However, a man, by virtue of his typically larger size and upper-body strength, may be more likely to inflict injuries in a violent situation, or even in play. However, current data suggests the injury rate may be nearly equal as a result of the higher probability that a woman will use a weapon during an assault. Also, because of the reluctance of men to seek help in domestic violence situations and the lack of a consistent definition of what constitutes an “injury,” comparisons of whether women or men suffer the most injuries are very difficult.
As a result of the fact that women use weapons much more frequently in domestic conflicts, men often suffer the more horrific injuries, i.e., a stab wound or severe burn as compared with bruises on a woman. For example, he throws his drink in her face and she pours a pot of boiling spaghetti over his head.
In feminist ideology the foregoing would be defined as “angry retaliation,” for which she should not be punished because he was obviously the primary aggressor. The fallacy of the primary aggressor concept is that in the middle of a hellacious family fight the police are supposed to come in and determine who started it all. Of course the man is blaming the woman, and she's blaming him. Did you ever see a family fracas where that wasn't true? So if the cops can't decide, they arrest the man. After all the law says “shall arrest.”
However, more and more if the man is scratched and bloody, and the woman doesn't have a mark on her, the cops arrest her. That is driving redfems up the wall. How dare police arrest a woman when the primary aggressor laws make it plain they are supposed to arrest the man.
The only time redfems admit women are violent is when they are “self defenders.” And, of course, no woman should ever be punished for defending herself. While there is no question that in some instances a woman, or man, may need to defend themselves against a violent intimate partner, it is equally unquestionable that all violence by women in intimate relationships cannot be self defense.
When an assistant U.S. attorney backs over her boyfriend, twice, it's a little difficult to understand how she was defending herself? And how is an FBI agent who hits her husband in the nose with a shovel defending herself? Or the Golden, Colorado, woman who ran over her boyfriend and his dog leaving him bruised and battered. We have a whole chapter outlining such stories of abused men and you'll look for quite a while before finding one where she might have been defending herself.
Then there are the women suffering from “battered woman syndrome” like the one who shot her University of Colorado-Boulder professor/husband when he came over with a policewoman to get his possessions after being served with a restraining order. Of course the policewoman simply stood by while he was murdered. She was there to protect the wife, not the husband.
And how is it self defense when she murders her boyfriend and then cooks and eats him? Or is cannibalism simply another manifestation of the “battered woman syndrome”?
So we have another whole chapter on women who have killed their partners in Colorado. Look for yourself and see how many of these black widows you think had to kill a man because he was battering her? It is much more likely that he got killed because she was having an affair, or he had a large insurance policy that would go to her after she poisoned him.
The most vicious and abused programs in the hysteria surrounding domestic violence are restraining orders that are issued ex parte without the other party having a chance to defend themselves. Without prior notice or hearing, a man is presumed guilty until he can prove his innocence, and thrown from his home with little but the clothes on his back, often in the middle of the night.
Over 30,000 restraining orders were issued in Colorado alone in 2004 and more than 2 million such orders are now issued in the United States every year. Touted by radical feminists (redfems) as the answer to every lover's quarrel and family argument, they are a very dangerous weapon.
Despite the incredible numbers of such orders, I have never seen any evidence that a restraining order provides any protection whatsoever. However, we have abundant evidence that taking out a restraining order is a catalyst for deadly violence . Dugan and others (2001) found that:
“...Increases in the willingness of prosecutors' offices to take cases of protection order violation were associated with increases in the homicide of white married intimates, black unmarried intimates, and white unmarried females...”
While we have never received any communications from a woman telling us how effective a restraining order was and documenting how it provided her safety and protection, we do receive numerous requests for information on how to get such orders dropped. And we have also received numerous narratives from women telling us of the damage getting a restraining order has done, many of which are documented In Women's Own Words.
There is also the negative impact of restraining orders on the willingness of men to marry. Table 78 clearly shows the inverse relationship between increases in the numbers of restraining orders and the decreasing marriage rate in Colorado. A man who marries today has at least a 50% chance of getting divorced and a 25% chance of having a protection (restraining) order or domestic violence changes filed against him.
In a divorce where custody of the children is contested, the probability that the man will be charged with DV or have a protection order entered against him approaches certainty.
Evidence continues to mount that in approximately one-third of contested custody cases the husband is not the biological father or one or more of the children of the marriage. In many of these cases false allegations of domestic violence, protection orders, and false claims of child abuse are being used to keep the husband away from the children to forestall DNA paternity testing in order for the wife to continue to receive child support from the cuckolded husband.
Since family units are the basic building blocks of our society, the damage of these insane orders is incalculable. If continued, these practices must ultimately result in the destruction of our civilization.
Most, if not all couples will have a fight over something at some point in their relationship. Finances tend to be high on that list but the origin of the fight may be something as trivial as where to go for dinner. Such battles are not the concern of society.
But, in the rare cases when such fights escalate to the point where weapons are used and significant injuries are knowingly or deliberately inflicted, domestic violence then, and only then, becomes an issue for the criminal justice system.
While there are many reasons for potentially criminal levels of intimate partner violence, there are no simple and universal causes, contrary to redfem dogma that blames all such incidents on the patriarchy and the need for males to use violence to maintain power and control over women.
While in some cases of domestic violence there is a clear and unique causative agent, e.g., a personality disorder, in most cases there are many related factors at work, e.g., substance abuse coupled with financial problems coupled with one or both of the partners being abused as children.
Some clear associations with criminal domestic violence have emerged. The list below is not exhaustive, nor are many of these conditions causative factors in and of themselves. I have not made any particular attempt here to provide references or background in this summary. These associations are listed in rough order of impact on the problem as best I can deduce and usually, if not always, two or more of these factors will be found in a given DV case:
The available evidence shows that many seriously-assaulted women are “shacking-up” with their boyfriend and that “domestic violence” should really be referred to as “shack-up violence” in at least half the cases. That is also the case with child abuse.
John Maguire has pointed out that:
“Although the words 'domestic' violence are commonly used, some commentators say that a better description would be 'shack-up' violence, because violence is most common, especially where children are involved where the woman is living with a boy friend. In a piece in the Weekly Standard last December by John A. Barnes, he cited four studies which show 'that the incidence of abuse was an astounding 33 times higher in homes where the mother was cohabiting with an unrelated boyfriend than in a stable nuclear family.'”
In examining the influences of race, ethnicity, gender, and place, Lauritsen and White (2001, p. 53) state that: “...the proportion of households with children that are female-headed was the strongest and most consistent community predictor of risk for all forms of violence.”
The likelihood of domestic violence occurring when a woman shacks up with a man is greatly magnified when one, or both of them have a history of criminal behavior. A man with a prior conviction for violent behavior likely isn't going to make a gentle, loving roommate.
Elementary statistics makes it clear that correlation does not imply causation. However, there is also a very high probability that a single mother suffers from one or more of the other factors commonly associated with intimate partner violence: substance abuse, personality disorder, etc. It is also a virtual certainty that a single-parent mother has financial problems.
The strong correlation of domestic violence with single mothers also illustrates one of the frustrations of treating the problem. It seems ludicrous to suggest that an unmarried couple who have already come to the attention of the legal system should marry. However, to separate them often brings hardship to the woman and often visits the horrors of foster homes on the children. Not the solution society might desire.
Thus, the wisdom of our forefathers in attempting to ensure that all children were born to married women becomes evident. While not all marriages are made in heaven, the prognosis for the couple's children is infinitely better, and the likelihood of domestic violence greatly reduced if the couple are wed.
To the best of my knowledge Erin Pizzey was the first to point out that when children are abused, or raised in a household where intimate partner violence is commonplace, they tend to be violent in their intimate relationships as adults. Subsequent research strongly supports her observation.
A number of studies, not reviewed here, have consistently found that 60-70% of all child abuse is perpetrated by women, usually the mother although grandmothers, nannies, and babysitters may also inflict abuse on children. Of the remainder, 20-30% is inflicted by males biologically unrelated to the children, e.g., Mom's new boyfriend(s), stepfathers, and, rarely, strangers. Statistically, biological fathers are the least likely to abuse or harm their children with less than 10% of all child abuse being perpetrated by biological fathers.
Fortunately, most children raised in such horrid conditions seek desperately to escape and live better lives. To date, research suggests only about one-third of such children carry the violence of their childhood into their intimate relationships as adults.
Every woman who goes through menarche will, if she lives long enough, also go through menopause (the cessation of menses) unless she has a hysterectomy (surgical menopause) or some other very unusual medical condition. Menopause usually begins around age 50, but is typically preceded by an interval of four to seven years known as perimenopause, or the “change of life.”
Perimenopause involves a marked decrease in the female hormone estrogen, beginning, on average, around age 43, but the change may begin as early as age 35 or as late as 50. 80-90% of women undergo personality and physical changes during this period of their lives, and an unfortunate 10-15% break down physically and emotionally.
Prior to the 20 th Century the deleterious effects of perimenopause were a minor problem for society as the average life expectancy was around 45 years. Thus, most women never lived long enough to endure the change of life. However, with increased life expectancies most women will now reach menopause and their male partners will suffer the mood swings and irrational behavior characteristic of perimenopause. One result is that many couples divorce or separate during this period of a woman's life. But the outcome may be more extreme than a divorce.
A tabulation by age of women using extreme violence against male partners (Table 11) shows that domestic violence peaks around age 40 and rapidly declines after age 44. Conversely, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control plots the ten leading causes of death for women wherein homicides of women peak between age 35 and 44 and then drop abruptly.
Anecdotal evidence from numerous females also indicates rapid mood swings and violent tendencies as their hormonal balance becomes disturbed by the biological changes inherent in perimenopause.
After the invention of “The PIll” in the mid 20th Century, with ready access to reliable birth control methods, women began having children later in life. Often first pregnancies are now postponed until a woman is in her mid- to late-thirties. As a consequence, women are now often attempting to deal with teenage or younger children and perimenopause simultaneously, not a desirable or emotionally stable combination.
As noted, erratic, sometimes violent, and irrational behavior commonly associated with perimenopause often leads to divorce. A woman may then find herself a single mother in a low-paying job due to few work skills and a poor education. Hard choices and frustration sometimes find an outlet in violence toward her children and any new partner. Or her crazy behavior may well lead to violence against her particularly where substance abuse is present.
In August 2005 a soldier came home from the war in Iraq and went home on leave to his wife and 22-month-old child in Fort Collins. There he found she had been working as a stripper and having an affair with another man. Result: he kills her and commits suicide.
In Lakewood a woman sets her boyfriend's car, and six others on fire.
In the small town of Security near Colorado Springs a woman runs over her rival and leaves her for dead.
The all too often fatal effects of taking out an ex parte domestic abuse restraining order also fall under this category. Other, less than fatal, acts of revenge in these circumstances are no doubt much more common though seldom publicized. And frequently, if not the majority of such orders are obtained as an act of vengeance as they demonstrably provide no protection, though that is their ostensible purpose.
In his book Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, Dr. Warren Farrell lists (p. 159) five catalysts to violence upon separation:
(1) Deplete the bank account;
(2) Leave a vitriolic, rejecting note;
(3) Take the kids;
(4) Have the spouse [or significant other] arrested [or served with a protection order];
(5) Have a lover and go to her or his house.
Jealousy and desire for vengeance by spurned or tormented lovers are powerful emotions and dangerous games, as has been demonstrated throughout history. However, it seems quite unlikely that any possible sanctions will deter or prevent such disasters from occurring. Certainly laws against stalking have been ineffective and are virtually unenforceable.
At some point in a marriage it is virtually certain the couple will quarrel about finances. This often occurs when the couple has young children and money gets tight when a parent loses a job, or there are health problems with any member of the family.
There are also many reports of wives maxing out the couple's credit card(s), although men may do this as well. In any case, such actions usually precipitate a financial crisis and subsequent arguments and family fights.
These are not the concern of society even when the argument escalates to shouting and swearing, or even pushing and shoving. The present practice of arresting the husband, almost inevitably causing him to lose his job, and forcing him to take expensive offender treatment classes of no discernible value, only serves to compound the initial financial problems. The end result is almost always the destruction of the marriage and their children.
Greed is often a motive for extreme violence. Many a man has died after his wife took out a large insurance policy on him. Or an older man marries a younger woman and makes her sole beneficiary to his estate.
Poisoning is the favorite method for women who kill and it is apparently broadly known among the sisterhood that watermelon serves well to cover the bitterness of arsenic. But hiring someone, or convincing her boyfriend to kill her husband are perennial favorites as well.
Of course men sometimes kill their wives to collect the insurance but the incidence and success rate for that seems to be much lower than the reverse.
Several personality disorders described in the DSM-IV have been clearly linked with cases of intimate partner violence. Among these are narcissism, which seems to be most commonly linked with male DV offenders; borderline personality disorder (BPD), which appears to be most commonly linked with female offenders; and BPD's close cousin, bipolar disorder (manic depressive), which, as best we can tell, occurs about equally between men and women. Power and control issues are also common with disorders such as narcissism and borderline personalities.
Such personality disorders are not rare. For example, it is estimated that 2% of the population suffers from BPD and 75% of the diagnosed cases are females. But on average we must assume there are as many mentally disturbed men as women.
There are, of course, sociopathic and psychopathic individuals involved in some of these cases. Fortunately, such individuals are rare in either sex.
Some drugs clearly cause violent behavior. Methamphetamine is one such. Prozac has been linked in some cases with violent or suicidal behavior. Many cases of erratic behavior have been linked to an addiction to prescription drugs, particularly pain medicines, e.g., Darvocet and Vicodin. Anti-psychotic drugs, and drug cocktails involving Seroquel in particular have increasingly been linked to suicidal behavior and often sudden death from unexplained causes.
Many cases of violent and suicidal behavior have also been linked to the antimalarial drug Lariam.
While alcohol use is frequently associated with criminal domestic violence, it does not appear to be a causative agent independent of other factors in most cases. However, some individuals, both male and female, are clearly mean drunks. And if a single mother with substance abuse problems shacks up with an alcoholic man trouble is almost sure to occur.
Head injuries have been linked in many cases with violent behavior but, as noted below, such behavior is not criminal.
It is also clear, as noted above, that some women become violent during perimenopause. Endocrinological problems such as thyroid glandular dysfunction are linked with personality changes that may sometimes lead to violence. While these conditions may not satisfy the requirements for a criminal conviction what usually happens in our experience is that it is a woman who suffers from these problems, becomes violent, and then blames her intimate partner. If her intimate partner is male he is frequently arrested and, whenever possible, coerced and even tortured into taking a plea bargain. The result is he has a DV conviction and she avoids needed treatment because it is obviously his fault as proven by his criminal record.
Deliberate self injury is quite common. About 1% of the general population and 10% of adolescents self-mutilate and females do it twice as often as males (2:1 ratio). 80% of females who self-mutilate have a history of sexual abuse. The most common manifestation is cutting but other forms include burning (often with caustic substances), hitting, skin scratching, biting, hair pulling, bone breaking, and, in more drastic cases, amputations and self castration. Self mutilation is very addictive, particularly with cutting.
Self-injurious actions are often related to, or associated with PTSD, borderline personality disorder, mood and eating disorders, dissociation, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and frequently includes substance abuse.
Deliberate self injury should not be confused with intimate partner violence. But all too frequently women injure themselves and then file a police report claiming the injuries were caused by a boyfriend or spouse, particularly where combined with issues of vengeance or jealousy.
Many individuals who become, or are disabled are subjected to criminal abuse and neglect by their intimate partners or family members. Abuse of an elderly man or woman by a spouse or other family member is a far too common occurrence.
Take one example, on New Years 1992, Michelle Atencio stabbed her paraplegic husband, Ray Mascarenas, to death. Mascarena's sister testified that Atencio first stabbed her husband with a butter knife. When that didn't kill him she went into the kitchen for a steak knife, and returned saying: “This one will work!” and finished the slaughter.
Glenn Sacks eloquently describes how elderly men are often held prisoner in their own homes as a result of elder abuse.
Redfems claim that the primary, if not the sole cause of domestic violence is the patriarchy. Gloria Steinem has asserted that “The patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself...The most dangerous situation for a woman is not an unknown man in the street, or even the enemy in wartime, but a husband or lover in the isolation of their own home.”
Men who abuse their mates, feminist theory goes, act violently not because they, as individuals, can't control their impulses, and not because they are thugs, or drunks, or particularly troubled people, but because such behavior is inherent in a patriarchy. Domestic abuse, in redfem eyes, is an essential element of the vast male conspiracy to suppress and subordinate women. To keep men from abusing women they must be taught to see the errors of the patriarchy and to renounce them.
Much to the dismay of feminist zealots, once again reality does not conform to their dogma. Dutton has examined the patriarch theory and rejects it for the following reasons:
Battering in lesbian couples is much more frequent than heterosexual battering and lesbian relationships are significantly more violent than gay relationships.
There is no direct correlation between how power is shared in a relationship and violence within couples.
There is no direct relationship between structural patriarchy and wife assault.
Research to date indicates abuse and violence occurs in upwards of 50% of lesbian relationships compared to around 10-20% in other types of relationships. That would certainly not be true if domestic violence were in any way related to a patriarchal society.
If you'd like to look at more evidence against patriarchal oppression and violence we have a separate chapter on Domestic Violence and the Patriarchy.
In redfem ideology domestic violence is an issue of power and control that men must exert to maintain their patriarchal privileges. Thus, to eliminate family violence men must be educated to surrender their power and control. In dealing with such dogma one is strongly reminded of Communist reeducation camps and brainwashing techniques.
However, as noted above, patriarchy has little or nothing to do with domestic violence. As a result there is no evidence that men exercise power and control to maintain it in intimate relationships in significant numbers. Most men I see have little idea what a patriarchy is, let alone attempt to control their mate with it.
Where one does find significant issues with power and control is in individuals with mental health issues, notably narcissism and borderline personality disorder.
I have also noted rather severe problems with power and control issues in DV treatment providers, judges, probation officers, shelter workers, victim's advocates, social workers, and others in the DV industry.
Thus, the dogma that power and control is behind domestic violence seems to be an issue of transference from those who suffer from it to men in general.
In the name of ending domestic violence a draconian set of laws that ignores virtually all of English jurisprudence has arisen. Such frivolous impediments to convicting an accused man (and some women) as presumption of innocence until proven guilty, denial of perjury and subornation of perjury, use of arrest and search warrants, due process, setting reasonable bail, and the requirement for prosecutors to establish both mens rea 1 and actus reus 2 beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury of one's peers, have been destroyed. Instead, torture and coerced plea bargains have been substituted and these barbaric practices are particularly effective against the disabled. The necessity for this is explained by continually castigating men for their support of the patriarchy, which it is claimed is maintained by men battering and abusing their wives. Members of the Armed Forces are, by definition, patriarchs and trained killers.
Clearly, radical feminist ideology and the resultant indiscriminate draconian laws with mandatory arrest, no drop prosecution, and primary aggressor policies lead to the wholesale destruction of military careers and their families and children based on the injuries and stress of combat. For doing their duty and honoring the call of their country, radical feminism rewards these men and women with arrest and destruction of their lives if they survive the multiple tours of combat they commonly endure today. Typically these men, and a few women, lose their veteran's benefits as well when caught up in the nightmare of DV courts, and commonly become homeless mental wrecks or end up in prison.
It should be remembered that in the wars of the 20 th Century that psychiatric casualties outnumbered physical casualties and the problems often didn't become apparent for decades after the combat. So even after the current wars end these problems will not go away and are virtually certain to grow worse with time.
Bill Mauldin, Up Front, 1944.
PTSD is not limited to soldiers in combat. Any encounter with interpersonal violence can lead to PTSD symptoms.
In study after study two factors show up again and again as critical to the magnitude of the post-traumatic response.
First, and most obvious is the intensity of the initial trauma.
Second, and less obvious but absolutely vital factor, is the nature of the social support structure available to the traumatized individual, e.g., family, military unit, or sometimes just friends they can talk openly with.
Diagnostic criteria for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) requires exposure to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
1. The individual experienced, witnessed, or was confronted by events involving actual or threatened death or serious injury of self or others.
2. The response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
Obviously combat infantry are likely to meet these criteria and combat medics or corpsmen will be particularly susceptible. For details on PTSD in these situations Dave Grossman and Loren Christensen's book On Combat is highly recommended.
The characteristic symptoms of PTSD are: sleeplessness, nightmares, impotence, irrational anger or irritability, difficulty concentrating or focusing, dissociation from actual events, hypervigilance, flashbacks to the event, and exaggerated startle response. In many cases these symptoms may be mild and disappear within days or weeks.
For example, you pass a car accident with bodies strewn on the roadway. For a few weeks you have difficulty sleeping and some nightmares. After that the scene is scarcely remembered and doesn't bother you much anymore. But if the bodies strewn across the highway were your children or spouse, PTSD is likely to continue for a lifetime. Often the severity of the condition increases with time, especially if untreated.
If the carnage and violence are repeated and continue over time, or the deaths and injuries involve loved ones or close friends, as noted above, then the stressors often lead to chronic or acute PTSD. At Fort Carson in Colorado Springs alone we have, at any given time, approximately 10,000 soldiers who have completed two or more combat tours in Iraq or Afghanistan and some PTSD is inevitable in all of these troops. Of the 10,000, approximately 3,000 suffer from severe PTSD that is chronic or acute. Of the 10,000 it is estimated that roughly 2,000 have some level of traumatic brain injuries ranging from repeated concussions to gunshot or shrapnel wounds to the skull.
Significant emotional distress, including suicidal ideation in some cases, that is made worse by chronic sleeplessness;
Impairment of intimate or social relationships often expressed as irrational and inexplicable anger;
Nightmares in which they kick and fight while asleep;
Violent awakenings or they may possibly attack someone who startles them, particularly from behind. Anyone who has had to awaken a veteran has likely had the experience of them coming up swinging and they learn to stand back or shake the foot of the bed;
Dissociation from events or reality, often resembling short-term memory loss;
Impotence that may result in strains in an intimate relationship that make the situation worse;
Commonly the sufferer will attempt to self medicate with alcohol, finding the only way they can sleep is after imbibing heavily. DUI charges are one common manifestation of this and family arguments often result from the drinking.
And post traumatic means just that. Often these symptoms won't express themselves for months or years after the events, or only one or two of the symptoms may be present initially with the problems getting worse with time if untreated.
The correlation of PTSD symptoms with “domestic violence” are obvious. Wives tell us of waking up and finding their husband's hands around their throat, others speak of being kicked while their husband slept and having terrible bruises on their thighs. Wives or girlfriends unfamiliar with PTSD may naturally be frightened by this behavior and call the police expecting, and hoping to receive help. Instead, their horror is increased by police who insist on arresting the man despite their pleas that he just needs help. Often peace officers are left with no options but to make an arrest. Because of his condition, or if he has been drinking, the man (or woman) may make the situation worse by becoming aggressive and belligerent with police, particularly if they are experiencing a flashback.
Redfems, who hate warriors with a particular passion, have leapt at this opportunity to persecute and taunt veterans at every turn with the epithet of “trained killers.” As a result, veterans and active-duty military are left to the tender mercies of radical-feminist courts and jail, compounding their nightmares.
And if military personnel plead guilty or are convicted of “domestic violence” in these trumped-up cases, or are given a permanent restraining order, they will lose their security clearance, be tossed out of the military with a less than honorable discharge, lose their veteran's benefits including health care, lose any professional licenses they may have, and can never handle or be in proximity to a weapon or ammunition again for the rest of their lives.
1. Mens rea “guilty mind” generally requires the prosecution to prove the defendant acted purposefully, knowingly, recklessly, willfully, and intentionally. That is of particular importance in cases where the defendant is mentally impaired, e.g., traumatic brain injuries, or reacts instinctively without conscious intent, e.g., flashbacks with post traumatic stress disorder or a startle response due to combat stress.
2. Actus reus requires the prosecution to prove the defendant voluntarily committed a criminal act. The model penal code specifically describes what are considered involuntary acts and thus not criminal: (1) a reflex or convulsion; (2) a bodily movement during unconsciousness or sleep; (3) conduct during hypnosis or resulting from hypnotic suggestion; (4) a bodily movement that otherwise is not a product of the effort or the determination of the actor, either conscious or habitual.
We are often asked what is traumatic brain injury, or TBI? Many people have been hit in the head, knocked unconscious, or suffered mild concussions without any apparent permanent damage. So why is TBI such a serious problem and how is it differentiated from the normal hard knocks of a lifetime? The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides the following summary:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. TBI symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain, but with closed-head injuries the extent of brain damage is probably not immediately apparent.
With mild TBI the patient may remain conscious or experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes, fading in and out of awareness. Other symptoms include headache, confusion, light-headedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.
With moderate or severe TBI these same symptoms may be present but the individual may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation. Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes is one of the first things medical personnel check for with TBI.
Little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma. Stabilization is critical and prevention of further injury is essential. Primary concerns include insuring proper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure if there are open wounds and bleeding.
Approximately half of severely head-injured patients will need surgery to remove or repair ruptured blood vessels or contusions (bruised brain tissue). As soon as facilities are available skull and neck X-rays to check for bone fractures or spinal instability are usually done. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are increasingly valuable in evaluating the extent of brain injuries and diagnosing functionality during recovery and rehabilitation.
Long-term prognosis is often not possible during the immediate recovery period. Disabilities resulting from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury, the location and type of the injury or wound, and the age and general health of the individual.
Moderate to severe TBI often impacts speech and language skills, and wounds may involve the jaw, tongue, vocal cords, or speech centers of the brain itself. Motor skills may also be affected by their wounds and they may stagger when they walk, for example. Convulsions and seizures may also make them appear crazy or drunk in public or private.
Some common disabilities associated with TBI include problems with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning), sensory processing (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), communication (expression and understanding), and behavior or mental health (depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness). There is also a suggestion that moderate to severe TBI can result in the development of bipolar disorder in some patients. Combat veterans suffering from TBI often have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well.
Obviously severe TBI can result in a more-or-less permanent vegetative state but those sad cases are beyond the scope of this discussion.
Clearly, within an intimate relationship TBI is going to have many of the characteristics of abusive and violent behavior as defined by radical feminists. And, again, when a wife or girlfriend becomes frightened by the erratic behavior, the seizures, or other symptoms, and dials 911 for help the DV police are going to arrest the soldier or veteran. His often slurred speech, socially inappropriate behavior, and aggression will all be used against him in jail and in court where, typically, he will be denied essential medications.
After a cold and sleepless night, or several, in jail this brain-injured individual will be brought into our notorious Fast Track court without ever being given a chance to see a defense attorney. Then a zealot posing as a prosecutor will demand they enter a plea bargain without any explanation of the consequences of a guilty plea. Should the befuddled defendant sign what often amounts to a death sentence, they will be given a restraining order forbidding them to go home and cast into the street. If they have enough of their senses left to plead not guilty, soldiers are commonly told they will be held in jail until trial six months away.
Many people become more crotchety and cranky as they get older. But those who develop Alzheimers and some forms of senile dementia will also become agitated and violent during the progression of these conditions. Thus, it isn't uncommon under current laws to find men in their 70's being arrested for “domestic violence” and sent to a DV treatment program after being coerced into taking a plea bargain. Of all the idiocies of current laws, this has to be one of the worst.
As women typically live longer than men, problems with senile violence are more common with them. But at least society has the sense not to arrest the poor old biddies, or the redfem ideology protects them.
However, as modern medicine prolongs life without providing a cure for such diseases as Alzheimers, violence in elderly couples will increase. However, that is not a problem that criminal sanctions can, or should attempt to solve. But redfem ideology currently impedes or prevents any more rational approach to the problems of aging in couples.
That society does not accept female violence against men is well illustrated in the model by Anne Brandson from Australia (Table 7, used with permission).
In a 1999 chapter, Straus notes that:
“...there are a growing number of complaints that attempts by men to obtain police protection may result in the man being arrested. That ironic situation is an additional reason that men are reluctant to call for police protection. The main reason is one already discussed in explaining gender differences in police statistics: the injury rate is much lower when the offender is a woman and there is therefore less perceived need to call for protection. The fact that assault is a legal and moral crime, regardless of whether there is injury is lost from view. [quote taken from preprint]”
John Leo pointed out in a 1996 article in U.S. News that:
“The feminist insistence on using theory to mug facts has unfortunate results. One is that a generalized view of men as uniquely violent and dangerous to women ('men batter because they can,' 'the most dangerous place for a woman to be is in the home') has leached deep into popular culture. In a recent TV ad for girls' athletics, a young girl says if she plays sports, she will be more likely to leave an abusive relationship. A recent national list of what children want actually included the wish that daddies would stop hitting mommies.
In fact, children are now more likely to see mommy hit daddy. The rate of severe assaults by men on women in the home fell by almost 50 percent between the first National Family Violence Survey (1975) and the most recent update of data in 1992. It dropped from 38 per 1,000 couples per year to 20. Give the feminists credit for this. They did it mostly by themselves. But the rate of dangerous female assaults on males in the home stayed essentially static over that period 45 per 1,000 couples and is now twice as high as the male rate. Give feminists responsibility for this too. By defining partner violence as a male problem, they missed the chance to bring about the same decline in violence among women.”
Common sense should tell us, from our own experience, that when we are talking about couples arguing, shouting at each other, occasionally pushing or shoving, and other minor acts, the fact that only 10%-12% of couples appear to be doing this in a given year is actually a fairly low number.
If you have known women other than your mother and wife in your life, experience should also suggest that women are “violent” at about the same ratio as men. We are a young race and civilization is but a thin veneer over our instincts for survival. It should come as no surprise after the bloody century just past that both men and women retain vestiges of the savannah.
Certainly these numbers can be improved and, as Leo's article suggests, education can be a very successful means of doing that. Conversely, blaming the problem entirely on men, and depriving them of their basic civil liberties on nothing more than an unsubstantiated accusation by any woman they may know, seems most likely to make the situation worse rather than better.
In the Conflict Tactics Scales, long recognized as the standard for measuring family violence, Straus points out that:
“The introduction to the [CTS] was designed to recognize the implicit cultural norm that accepts a certain level of physical violence between partners in a relationship. This was done in the belief that a non-judgmental approach would facilitate reporting physical assaults. The CTS begins 'No matter how well a couple gets along, there are times when they disagree, get annoyed with the other person, want different things from each other, or just have spats or fights because they are in a bad mood, are tired, or for some other reason.'”
Stephen Baskerville closes his excellent article on Why Is Daddy In Jail? with the observation that:
“Frightening as it may seem, using the courts and police to punish spouses for what may be nothing more than ordinary family disagreements now seems to be accepted without question, and the bottom line is that any father may now find himself pursued by federal agents because he protests the way his children have been taken from him.”
When family abuse involves a child, women account for roughly two-thirds of child neglect, abuse, violence, and an even higher percentage of child murders. Infanticide is virtually always a female crime. Much of the rest comes from Mom's live-in boyfriend or a stepfather. The safest place any child can be is with their biological father. But in any domestic dispute the first thing that happens is the children are taken from their father with the aid and abetment of the police and courts. Why?
Only when the role of both sexes is defined can an understanding of the problems of family violence be achieved. With understanding it may be possible to greatly reduce the incidence of violence in the family.
The safest place for a woman is in her home and married to the biological father of her children.
In an intimate relationship women are clearly at least as violent as men.
On average there are as many mentally disturbed women as men.
Abuse of children is largely an act of women and only very rarely the biological father.
The safest place for a child is with its biological father. Conversely, the most dangerous place for a child is in the home of a single mother.
The present laws act only to destroy families without providing any solution to violence other than to blame males.
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