October is domestic violence month.The statistics on domestic violence are alarming, the unintended consequences of domestic violence are even more alarming, when we take into account the damage done to kids who witness domestic violence in the home.
An estimated one in every three women worldwide experiences violence, with rates reaching as high as 70 percent in some countries. Gender-based violence ranges from rape to domestic abuse and acid burning to dowry deaths and so-called “honor killings.”Violence against women and girls — in peacetime and in conflict — knows no national or cultural boundaries. We have made tremendous strides in combating these human rights abuses, but there is still much work to be done.http://womenthrive.org/issues/violence?gclid=CIS45si9g7MCFcmd4AodvWsAbg

The issue of domestic violence is rather serious, more and more people are becoming victims of domestic violence, as I write this blog I am painfully aware of a 38-year-old woman and her lover who lost their lives in the Bronx, New York . This woman lost her life in a hail of bullets at the hands of someone with whom she reportedly had two children. How can a man say he loves a woman but is willing to kill her?

It’s really simple men should not abuse their women or their kids. As it relates to children , let me be clear, despite what society tells you, there is a significant difference between discipline and abuse.

That discipline does not however carry over to your spouse or loved one. There is no legal or moral basis for men to discipline their wives or girlfriends. If you cannot get along, part ways amicably and call it a day , you do not own her, she is free to do what she wants, with whomever she wants. (Hope my wife doesn’t read this paragraph).

One more thing on this kids issue, the state is quite willing to hire police officers , arm and empower them to physically assault our children for the most trivial transgressions, and in many cases kill our children. Yet the very state tells you ,you are not allowed to spank your own children, you have to decide whether your children belong to you or the state. For my part, I have never spanked my children, even though I received more than my fair share of spanking, I chose not to do it, not because it was off the table, it was very much in the tool-box of corrective tools, my boys just never caused me to go to that extent. It certainly was not because some state law told me I could not use whatever reasonable corrective measure I deemed appropriate to raise my children.

But back to the issue at the fore here, the issue of domestic violence.

Yesterday Sunday October 14th I was in Church with my family and of course the issue of domestic violence was front and center, and correctly so.  We had a good chuckle when Pastor related that whenever couples come to him for pre-martial counselling he would always ask the woman “has he ever hit you”? He intimated that he would be able to tell if she is telling the truth in relation to his question by the length of time it takes  for her to answer, or he would simply watch her eyes. Based on her response he argues ,he would tell her come back in a year; if he doesn’t hit you again, then maybe you both will be ready for marriage. Pastor joked that by this time the man would be ready to hit him, the congregation exploded into raucous laughter to that last line.

I too found that whole line funny, but I thought there were crucial elements missing from the whole debate, prior to the Pastors comments one female congregant rattled off some frightening statistics on domestic violence , which frankly ought to concern all of us, we have simply got to stop doing that much harm to the people we claim to love.

Absent the whole conversation however was a critical component. That is the issue of women initiating violence and ending up being the worse off for it.

OK,  just hold off on the condemnation for a while. I am sure many of you will blast me for that statement accusing me of blaming the victim.

Not so fast my friends, there is ample evidence out there. In my decade long law enforcement career I have heard story after story related to me in my official capacity , of women first introducing  physical violence into a relationship only to come out on the wrong end of that exchange.

One of the problems in dealing with domestic violence as with every topical issue, is the predictability of officials to revert to knee-jerk band-aid remedial fixes, which does precious little to fix the problem, but  creates a whole slew of other problems on the other end , because they fail to take all points of view into consideration, which would lend itself  to  rational, well thought out solutions .

It’s like two power-forwards  going for a rebound, the guy who doesn’t get the ball elbows the player with the ball, as they run back up-court, the guy who got elbowed retaliate,and is caught doing so by the Referee, he gets a technical foul, he protests , and gets a second technical foul, he is disqualified from participating in the  game further. Not only does he get thrown out of the game but that technical foul is added to a season total which further penalizes that player. The player who initiated it all suffers no consequence.

I operate a small business, and I interact with a fair amount of men on a daily and weekly basis, these men come in and they share stories of issues that are front and center in their lives, mostly because I ask what is happening in their lives . Separate and apart from my understanding of the facts as a result of my former law enforcement carrear, the stories I hear are confirmation that yes many men are abusive to their women , but many women initiate violence.

Not only do women initiate violence against their significant other but they use the female friendly criminal justice system to exact revenge and vengeance on the very men they claim to love.

This other side of this sordid saga has received  attention largely  satirically.

Cop gets called to the house by husband who just gets stabbed, cops arrive , woman is standing above husband with knife in hand as he lays bleeding on the floor, Cop pulls weapon points it on man bleeding on floor, ask woman “did he touch you, did he touch you”?

Satire aside, this is a serious part of the equation which gets excluded from the conversation in the hurry to fix the problem, or probably appear to be doing so.

Many men have related to me their experiences of spending weeks in Jail because their girl-friends or wives were  mad about something, she calls the police and reported that she was assaulted, the guy gets arrested and spends a week in Jail. In many cases the same women are the ones who post bail for the men. After she is satisfied of course, that he has been punished enough in her estimation,  or when she needs favors from him.

Many of these men end up with expansive rap sheets in many cases undeserved, but mandated by a dastardly criminal justice system, too lazy to draft real legislation, free from the corrosive influence of special interest.

Before writing this blog I spoke to my wife about my thoughts she was stridently convinced that I am wrong on the margins. She believes that the numbers speaks for themselves, she is convinced that the numbers rattled off by nurses at churches are indeed legitimate statistics coming from shelters Police and NGO’s.

I am convinced those statistics tell only a small part of the story.

Absent from those statistics are  actual testimonies and recordings of what occurred in each case that made arrest possible,who did what to whom , what we are given are just raw police arrest numbers, , nothing about dismissal of cases, nothing about the specificity inherent in each case.

I spoke to a young man today who for this purpose I will call X ,  he was arrested for domestic violence some time ago, after being held in jail for over a week he was released. He came to see me to conduct business, he told me why he was in court today October 15th.

They offered X , 6 months in prison and 5 years probation, his crime ? He got into a heated argument with the mother of his child, he got mad, kicked the door of their apartment, and threw the phone to the floor.

I asked  him if I could tell his story, he willingly obliged, he would have had me use his name if I wanted to.

A really close family member who has been with his wife for 27 years was arrested on domestic violence charge his life was up ended , he never laid a finger on his wife, not once in those 27 years.

I was to attend a birthday party that night, I was taking my wife and he agreed to take his wife , even though they had some difference that day, I suggested to him that it would be a good ice breaker and a wonderful opportunity for them to patch up their differences.

So he drove home, close to his home he saw his wife driving away with their son, he tried to get her attention by flashing his lights, honking his horn without success.

He thought maybe she was in danger, he though maybe someone was in the car with her forcing her to drive without stopping, he did not know what to think , why would she not respond,? Surely she saw him?

So he drove beside her , honking his horns , not knowing she had called the police, a couple of minutes later the cops pulled both of them over, he was relieved , thinking “thank God the Cops are here, whatever the problem, it will be resolved  ” .

Well it was resolved but not in the way he envisaged.

She told the police she was leaving the matrimonial home and he chased her down and she was terrified for her life. He was arrested.

They are back together, but the residual consequences of her actions will haunt and impact their lives for the remainder of their lives. There are countless stories, on both sides of the divide, all I am saying is that if we are to fix this problem, let us first avail ourselves to the full realities.

Domestic violence affects both men and women, and it definitely has devastating consequences for children, let’s fix the problem without  leaving anyone out .

Let’s fix the problem without demonizing anyone, let’s be fair.