Nov 302011

Dear Friend,

The Verizon Foundation has produced a frightening video titled Monsters. The video’s perverse message can be summed up in this slide: “She’s afraid of her dad.”

verizon monster video

The video revels in powerful yet destructive stereotypes: fathers as abusers, wives as victims, and young boys as future abusers. The video tells the impressionable viewer:

“The child who lives with domestic violence… is afraid of the monster just down the hall,” a girl’s voiceover intones, while frightening images of a hunchbacked monster-dad flit across the screen:

To be honest this video is not just biased, it’s awful. Tell Verizon (politely) to clean up its act.

Contact Bob Varettoni, Executive Director of Media Relations:

Please call today – thanks!



Teri Stoddard, Program Director
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments

P.S. Help us grow our efforts….forward this E-lert to a friend!

Nov 302011

Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

Lynn Rosenthal
November 30, 2011

Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

First championed in 1994 by then-Senator Biden, VAWA transformed the nation’s response to domestic violence and sexual assault. VAWA has provided funding to states and local communities to develop specialized law enforcement units, provide services to victims, and improve prosecution of these crimes. Since the passage of the Act, the annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped by more than 50%.
While tremendous progress has been made, violence is still a significant problem facing women, men, families, and communities. Three women die every day at the hands of husbands or boyfriends. Domestic violence causes two million injuries a year to women and untold amounts of human suffering. Domestic violence shelters are still full, hotlines are ringing, and for every victim who has come forward, many more are suffering alone. And it’s the nation’s youth who are most at risk – young women between the ages of 16-24 suffer from the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault.

In these challenging times, reauthorizing VAWA is more essential than ever. VAWA helps states and local communities maintain basic services for victims while strengthening the criminal justice system’s response to these crimes. Congress also has an opportunity to build on what we know today about intervening in and preventing violence:
• Domestic violence homicides are often predictable and therefore preventable in many cases. The proposed legislation encourages states and local communities to screen victims for warning signs and provide immediate intervention for those at risk.
• Sexual assault is a pervasive and misunderstood crime. More than 20 million women in the US have been victims of rape, and less than 1 in 6 rapes are reported to the police. The proposed legislation will help improve the law enforcement response to these crimes, build strong cases that can be successfully prosecuted, and link victims with services.
• When young people experience dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault, they need caring peers and adults who can intervene and provide support. The proposed legislation will help schools, youth organizations, and domestic violence agencies work more effectively with youth and engage young people in stopping violence before it starts.

Vice President Biden has often said that the passage of VAWA in 1994 is the legislative achievement he is most proud of from his many years in the Senate; and yet, he knew then that it was just the beginning. For all the victims today, and for future generations, VAWA represents a promise to end violence against women. Today’s bipartisan introduction of VAWA is another step towards fulfilling that promise. I commend Chairman Leahy for his leadership and Senator Crapo for his many years of commitment to ending violence against women. Now it’s up to Congress to move quickly to pass this important legislation.
Lynn Rosenthal is the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women.

Nov 302011

Leahy, Crapo To Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Landmark Violence Against Women Act

Historic Law, Nearly Two-Decades Later, Remains Critical Tool In Combating Domestic Violence

WASHINGTON (Monday, Nov. 28, 2011) – Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will be introduced later this week by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Leahy announced in remarks delivered on the Senate floor Monday evening. The law is at the center of the federal government’s efforts to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

“The resources and training provided by VAWA have changed attitudes toward these reprehensible crimes, improved the response of law enforcement and the justice system, and provided essential services for victims struggling to rebuild their lives,” said Leahy. “It is a law that has saved countless lives, and it is an example of what we can accomplish when we work together.”

Leahy, Crapo and others have been working for months to craft legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which has helped bolster resources for state and local governments and law enforcement to help combat domestic violence. The law has also helped victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking get back on their feet.

“The Violence Against Women Act has been successful because it has consistently had strong bipartisan support for nearly two decades,” Leahy said. “I am honored to work now with Senator Crapo to build on that foundation. I hope that Senators from both parties will join us to quickly pass this critical reauthorization, which will provide safety and security for victims across America.”

The Violence Against Women Act was first signed into law in 1994, and was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. The law’s current authorization expired in September. Programs supported by the Violence Against Women Act have provided victims with critical services such as transitional housing, legal assistance, and supervised visitation services. The Violence Against Women Act has also encouraged communities to coordinate their responses to domestic and sexual violence by bringing together victim advocates, law enforcement, the courts, health care professionals and leaders within faith communities.

The reauthorization legislation that Leahy and Crapo will introduce later this week will improve effective, existing programs to address evolving needs in the fight against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The proposed legislation will provide tools to prevent domestic violence homicides by supporting training to those law enforcement officers, victim service providers and court personnel who are working on the front lines to eliminate domestic violence. Importantly, the legislation promotes accountability to ensure that federal funds are used for their intended purposes, and consolidates programs and reduces authorization levels to address fiscal concerns while focusing on the programs that have been the most successful.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, has held a number of hearings in recent years about the importance of the law, particularly in difficult economic times.

# # # # #

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On The Upcoming Introduction Of The

“Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Of 2011”
November 28, 2011

I am pleased that on Wednesday, Senator Crapo and I will introduce the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011. For almost 18 years, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been the centerpiece of the Federal Government’s commitment to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and I am honored to help lead the effort to see it reauthorized.

Since its passage in 1994, no other piece of legislation has done more to stop domestic and sexual violence in our communities. The resources and training provided by VAWA have changed attitudes toward these reprehensible crimes, improved the response of law enforcement and the justice system, and provided essential services for victims struggling to rebuild their lives. It is a law that has saved countless lives, and it is an example of what we can accomplish when we work together.

As a prosecutor in Vermont, I saw firsthand the destruction caused by domestic and sexual violence. Those were the days before VAWA, when too often people dismissed these serious crimes with a joke, and there were few if any services for victims. We have come a long way since then, but there is much more we must do.

Over the last few years, the Judiciary Committee has held several hearings on VAWA in anticipation of this reauthorization. We have heard from people from all around the country, and they have told us the same thing I hear from service providers, experts, and law enforcement officers in Vermont: While we have made great strides in reducing domestic violence and sexual assault, these difficult problems remain, and there is more work to be done.

The victim services funded by VAWA play a particularly critical role in these difficult economic times. The economic pressures of a lost job or home can add stress to an already abusive relationship and can make it even harder for victims to rebuild their lives. At the same time, state budget cuts are resulting in fewer available services. Just this summer, Topeka, Kansas, took the drastic step of decriminalizing domestic violence because the city did not have the funds needed to prosecute these cases. We can and must do better than that. Budgets are tight, but it is unacceptable to turn our backs on these victims. For many, the programs funded through the Violence Against Women Act are nothing short of a life line.

The reauthorization bill that Senator Crapo and I will introduce on Wednesday will reflect Congress’s ongoing commitment to end domestic and sexual violence. It seeks to expand the law’s focus on sexual assault, to ensure access to services for all victims of domestic and sexual violence, and to address the crisis of domestic and sexual violence in tribal communities, among other important steps. It also responds to these difficult economic times by consolidating programs, reducing authorization levels, and adding accountability measures to ensure that Federal funds are used efficiently and effectively.

The Violence Against Women Act has been successful because it has consistently had strong bipartisan support for nearly two decades. I am honored to work now with Senator Crapo to build on that foundation. I hope that Senators from both parties will join us to quickly pass this critical reauthorization, which will provide safety and security for victims across America.


Nov 302011

Starlet Kim Kardashian Slugs Her Husband on Camera

On Tuesday, Nov. 29 Kim Kardashian’s recent domestic violence incident with her soon-to-be-ex-husband was played and replayed on Dr. Drew’s CNN show.

Kardashian’s closed-fist attack directed at husband Chris Humphries drew scrutiny and criticism. “What you’re seeing there is domestic violence,” Dr. Drew recounted with deliberate emphasis.

“You do not hurt your partner in any way,” agreed psychologist Michelle Golland.

The full CNN video can be seen here:

Nov 292011


Contact: Teri Stoddard


Verizon Video Teaches Children to Fear Fathers, SAVE Charges

Washington, DC/November 29, 2011 — A domestic violence video produced by the Verizon Foundation distorts the facts, plays on emotions, and serves to alarm and frighten young children. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), an advocate for domestic violence victims, has communicated with Verizon executives about the numerous factual errors, but the company refuses to correct its dangerous misinformation.

Titled “Monsters,” the video revels in powerful yet destructive stereotypes: fathers as abusers, wives as victims, and young boys as future abusers. “The child who lives with domestic violence… is afraid of the monster just down the hall,” a girl’s voiceover intones, while frightening images of a hunchbacked monster-dad flit across the screen:

Verizon’s aim in making the video — to help victims caught in abusive relationships — was noble. But the corporation is condoning the cycle of violence, since half of all partner abuse is mutual. An exhaustive California State University review of scholarship determined that levels of partner aggression are the same, if not higher, among females:

This past Sunday a Philadelphia woman struck her boyfriend with her car when he attempted to escape the vehicle. The man was crushed by the impact and pronounced dead at the scene:

And a recent Washington Post article documented growing levels of aggressive behavior among women on campuses and in schools:

The compelling — but unfounded — stereotype of an abuser population of men may prevent half of domestic violence victims from reporting their abuse, and half its perpetrators from receiving the intervention they need.

“This video is particularly disturbing since the use of animation makes it appealing to children. It smears adult men as the only abusers in a household, when the fact is women are as likely to abuse their partners as men,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “This video is dangerously harmful to children and to families.”

SAVE has documented that domestic violence misinformation is widespread and undermines the credibility and effectiveness of legitimate abuse-reduction programs:

Nov 292011

Wisconsin DA Charges 6 y.o. Boy with Felony for Playing Doctor with 5 y.o. Girl

John Aravosis
November 29, 2011

Jus so no one ever forgets the real villains here:

The District Attorney pushing this ridiculous case is Lisa Riniker.

The judge, who apparently thinks it’s reasonable to waste the court’s time pursuing felony sexual assault charges against six year olds, is Judge Bill Dyke.

As for the kids at the center of this “felony.” He was six. She was five. He touched her butt while playing “butt doctor.” Mom walked in, freaked out.

Give me a break.

The parents of the six year old boy are now suing the district attorney for $12 million in damages for daring to file this case at all, and they deserve every penny they can get. Read on.


The boy — who under Wisconsin law is too young to be charged with a crime or in a juvenile delinquency petition, the equivalent of a criminal complaint for adults — was accused of first-degree sexual assault in a petition seeking protection or services for the boy. Such petitions are typically used by parents or authorities to identify children younger than 10 who need services to change inappropriate behavior.

According to the petition for protection or services, the girl’s mother found her daughter in the boy’s yard “with her skirt and underpants around her ankles” and the boy sitting underneath her, penetrating her with his finger.

The girl told her mother they were playing “butt doctor” and told authorities the boy only touched her on the outside of her body, court documents state.
According to

“When the boy’s lawyer tried to have the charge dismissed, [District Attorney Lisa] Riniker replied: ‘The legislature could have put an age restriction in the statute if it wanted to. The legislature did no such thing.'”

I don’t care how messed up a six year old is, you don’t charge him with a sex offense that will force him to be listed as a sex offender when he reaches 18. A six year old. Seriously? A six year old? Much more information from the parents’ complaint. I mean if we really want to get technical (and ridiculous) about it, if the five year old was a willing party then how do we know that she didn’t statutorily rape the six year old as well – after all, she was having sexual relations with an underage boy too. Does the five year old girl get to register as a sex offender at the age of 18 as well? Just imagine the cross examination that each of these children will be forced to undergo, and for this? This is seriously what people in Wisconsin pay their district attorneys to do? Uh, no other crime going on in Wisconsin these days? The parents claim the DA’s case is politically motivated. Ya think?

Oh, and now DA Riniker has gotten a gag order to stop the parents from telling their side of the story publicly. Yeah, I can imagine it might prove a tad embarrassing to Riniker if word got out that she was ridding the word of 6 year olds playing “butt doctor.” It’s a tad late for Riniker to try to minimize the damage to herself on this one. Listen to what Riniker reportedly did to the six year old boy, again per Reason:

“She [Riniker] bypassed the parents and sent a 6-year-old boy a summons, on which is a threat that the 6-year-old will go to jail for failure to appear,” Cooper said.
Now that’s someone who really cares about children.

Absolutely astounding. I mean, in DC it’s hard to get them to prosecute actual violent criminals, forget about horny six year olds playing “butt doctor.” But in Wisconsin…

Hey, here’s a neat fact. In Wisconsins, it’s a felony for five and six year olds to play butt doctor, but adult first cousins can. Yes, under certain circumstances the state of Wisconsin permits first cousins to wed. But five and six year olds playing butt doctor, bring the full force of the state down on them.

I wonder how high the bail is for playing butt doctor, and whether you have to pay with real money or Monopoly money? And do the court proceedings break twice a day for nap time?

For any of the national media, or the Daily Show, interested in this story, have at it – here’s the DA’s work address and contact info:

Lisa Riniker
130 W Maple St
Lancaster WI 53813
Phone: 608-723-4237
Fax: 608-723-4382


Nov 282011

Holy Cross Expulsion Challenged
Former Student Files Suit after Rape Accusations

Scott J. Croteau
November 27, 2011

WORCESTER — The May 26 expulsion of a Sudbury man the day before he said he was to graduate from the College of the Holy Cross following accusations he raped a female student has triggered a federal lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Edwin Bleiler, now 23, argues the decision to expel him violated college policies and his federal civil rights.

Mr. Bleiler’s lawsuit also claims that the college’s rape policies unfairly target men as the culprits when sexual activity takes place after those involved have been drinking.

The suit says that the college violated Mr. Bleiler’s federal civil rights because it did not follow rules outlined in Title IX, which requires that claims of sexual misconduct have an equitable process. The suit was filed this summer in Middlesex Superior Court, but moved to federal court in September.

Holy Cross officials said they cannot comment on pending litigation, and cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Mr. Bleiler began his career at Holy Cross in September 2007, and was scheduled to graduate from the college with a 3.13 grade-point average, according to the complaint. Lawyers for Holy Cross denied that his grade-point average and 32 credits are the only requirements to graduate, according to the college’s response filed in court.

Mr. Bleiler was expelled from the college after a hearing. A board found he was responsible in the rape.

In early May , a female student (whose name is listed as her initials in the suit) filed a complaint with college officials. The complaint does not state whom she talked to about the alleged incident.

The woman said she and Mr. Bleiler had sex while she was intoxicated. The woman said she was unable to give consent because she was drunk.

Mr. Bleiler contends the woman was not incapacitated and willingly had sex with him.

“It is important to note there is no allegation here that Eddie was responsible for getting the female student intoxicated or that she was forced or coerced into sexual activity,” Mr. Bleiler’s lawyer, Nicole A. Colby Longton, said, in an interview. “As this policy is applied, if two Holy Cross students engage in sexual activity while intoxicated, the male party is treated differently. This is a violation of federal law.”

In the federal complaint, Mr. Bleiler said the college’s student handbook states consent cannot be given by those who are incapacitated by drugs or alcohol (voluntary or involuntary). He further argues in the complaint that the college’s policy places blame more on male than female students.

“The college’s sexual misconduct policy imposes a form of strict liability on male students: if a male and female student are both intoxicated and engage in sexual activity, the male student could face expulsion for violation of the policy without any evidence of coercion, manipulation, force or any additional culpable behavior,” the complaint said.

A board comprised of five members, two students, one faculty member and one staff member — the fifth can either be faculty or staff — met on May 18, eight days before graduation. Both of the board’s student members knew the alleged victim and were friends with her on Facebook: One was her friend, and the other was her former resident assistant, according to the complaint. Mr. Bleiler brought the student members’ connection to the alleged victim to the attention of Paul A. Irish, assistant to the vice president for student affairs and director of student conduct and community standards. Neither student was removed from the board, according to Mr. Bleiler’s complaint.

Ms. Longton said Holy Cross should have been able to find replacements for those two student board members on a campus that has more than 2,500 students.

“It is troubling when the procedures designed to protect the sanctity of the process are ignored for the sake of expediency,” she said in an interview. “If this were a just process, convenience would never be allowed to trump fairness.”

The first student board member was allegedly biased against Mr. Bleiler during the hearing and had to be verbally restrained by the board, the complaint said.

Mr. Irish is also accused of being biased regarding these types of claims. In filing the lawsuit, Mr. Bleiler’s lawyers included an article in which Mr. Irish was interviewed about campus rapes and the disciplinary process.

The National Public Radio transcript quotes Mr. Irish as saying sexual assaults on campuses are underreported. He also states, “What can we do to make victims feel comfortable to come forward, to feel supported …”

The alleged victim was interviewed on campus by police officers sometime after she filed her complaint. It is unclear if the officers were from the college’s police department or from the Worcester Police Department. The Worcester Police Department said it has no records of an Edwin Bleiler being a suspect in an alleged rape.

“We were informed prior to the Holy Cross hearing that the complaining witness wanted the matter to be handled internally and did not want to be involved in the criminal justice system,” Ms. Longton said. “Charges have never been filed.”

The complaint said Mr. Bleiler and others on his behalf spent roughly $220,000 for his education and without a diploma he cannot apply to graduate school nor have any employment prospects commensurate with his education. It is also difficult for him to enroll at another college to finish his degree.

Mr. Bleiler wants a judge to overturn the expulsion, and order the college to give him his diploma and pay damages.


Nov 282011

Little White Lies on Facebook May Bring Federal Prosecution

Bob Barr
November 25, 2011

Have you ever lied about your age or your weight, or given someone a fake name? You may be able to get away with little white lies in casual conversation, but the Department of Justice now wants to make any instance of lying on dating or social networking sites a federal crime. The tenuous basis for such action is that lying on social networking sites “violates” the sites’ terms of use agreements.

The timing of the Department of Justice’s latest policy issuance is curious, coming as Attorney General Eric Holder remains under heavy criticism from Republicans in Congress over his department’s handling of the controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. It’s odd that the department would look for yet another controversial issue to place on the table in the midst of this scandal.

But, as Declan McCullagh reported last week at CNET, the Department of Justice is using an extremely expansive interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to justify prosecuting anyone caught breaking a terms of use agreement. The department’s tortured interpretation of these agreements — most of which are never read by the average consumer and are not intended to cover personal comments between users — could turn millions of Americans into criminals.

In a recent statement to a House Judiciary subcommittee in defense of this expansive interpretation of the computer fraud law, however, Richard Downing, the deputy chief of the Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, claimed that not interpreting the law this way would “make it difficult or impossible to deter and address serious insider threats” such as fraudulent schemes or hacking. In fact, the department can prosecute computer hackers or con artists without interpreting standard terms of use agreements in such a ridiculously broad way. Long-standing federal fraud statutes and computer crimes laws are extremely broad and are more than adequate to prosecute truly criminal behavior.

It appears the time is ripe for cooler heads in the Congress to step in and bring some common sense to the administration’s interpretation of these federal laws. If the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the CFAA stands, users of such wildly popular sites as Twitter and Facebook may now want to have an attorney on hand to advise them on whether their messages might land them in the federal slammer.


Nov 272011

Cop Talk: What Not to Do If your Abusive, High-Conflict Wife Calls the Police on You, Part Two

Dr Tara J. Palmatier
November 23, 2011

In Cop Talk: Domestic Violence Statistics and Police Procedures, Part One, I explained some of the systemic problems with police training and recruits as it pertains to domestic dispute calls. This article will explain how domestic trouble or domestic dispute calls work from a law enforcement perspective.

The following is a generic template without the jargon and Domestic Violence Act of 1986 requirements in Illinois. It is not inclusive and it assumes all parties are on scene when the police arrive.

The call: You or the crazy, high-conflict wife, the neighbors, the kids, somebody calls the police. If sounds of combat are heard by dispatch or yelling and screaming or you hang up after dialing 911, we are coming pretty much no matter what.

Getting there is half the fun. If I am “running code” (lights, sirens, etc.), I will already be pretty wound up when I arrive, since the motoring public is paying little or no attention and won’t get out of the way. Short answer . . . getting there can be more stressful than the actual call. We bring that with us. I have learned not to (stress out) after 20 years, but it is an acquired skill.

Safety first: Every call I go on is a man with a gun call. I’m bringing the gun and it is only mineas long as I can control it. I have never been disarmed, but approximately six or so individuals have tried over the years.

If you don’t carry a gun for a living, this is a bit hard to quantify. Guys, think about always having to keep your testicles covered. ALWAYS. Safety will keep coming up.

Arrival: Since I had my fun getting to your house, I now have to make contact with you or the crazy wife or girlfriend. Here’s a checklist of what goes through most police officer’s heads:

Police lights out. Don’t slam the doors. Shape, shine, shadow, silhouette. Stay out of the light. Pick your cover. Pick your escape route. Get rid of the nosy neighbors. Stop at the door. Listen. Have dispatch call in and have someone come out (depending on the type of call). I’m talking about active, probably violent, heated domestics. Make entry, by force, if exigent circumstances exist.

Contact: I have about 3 to 5 seconds to figure out who is going to be my primary “problem child” or children. First we separate the couple. We will search and cuff if needed. We try not to apply cuffs as it triggers arrest, search and seizure issues that are beyond the scope of this article.

Next, we try to control movement of subjects. For your own safety and a positive outcome (i.e., so you don’t go to jail), KEEP OUT OF YOUR KITCHEN, CLOSETS AND BEDROOMS! Kitchens are filled with knives, forks and other sharp pointy things. People tend to keep guns in closets and bedrooms and occasionally baseball bats and the odd sword. Put the dog away. PLEASE.

Working the problem: Why are we here? Injuries? Other hazards? Where are the kids (if any) and are they okay? Who called? Why? Are one or both parties intoxicated? Do one or both parties have mental issues? Etc., etc.

No arrest: Will the couple go to “neutral corners?” Will someone leave voluntarily? Can you get along so we don’t have to come back?
Arrest: We take photos and evidence tech stuff (CSI for the TV watchers). Then we transport the offender(s), victim(s), kids, pets, etc., and take statements from victim/witness. There is a pre-printed form and template for this which is actually pretty good. It helps remove gender bias by design.

Screening with on-call Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA): This is not unique to just Illinois, though it is a mandatory requirement for DV cases in Illinois. This is a crap shoot.

I have had ASAs approve charges on crazy people that were not fit to be incarcerated, anywhere, for any reason. I have had charges denied on what were pretty clear cut crimes to the rest of us (cops, victim, offender and witnesses). I have noticed I have better luck with female ASAs charging these crimes. Better luck as in doing something that actually fit the facts, logic and common sense.

Charging, transport to jail and a bond hearing: You bond out after your stay at the jail. Typically, you will receive a mandatory “NO GO HOME!” order from judge due to the Domestic Violence Against Woman Act. If this is followed up by your crazy wife or girlfriend with an Order of Protection (OP), you won’t be able to go home for two weeks or longer.
I have just reduced about 40 hours of training to a page or two. This is information is not inclusive. I am not an attorney (thank God) and am not giving legal advice. This is a basic outline of what takes place on the average domestic disturbance call.

Now I’m going to explain what you should NOT do if the police get involved. This is not inclusive. I am not an attorney. I am not giving legal advice. I am relating 20 plus years of experience as a working cop. Your experience may vary.

Simple is good (SIG). There are only three things you can do to pretty much guarantee you will have a bad experience. They are:
1. Run
2. Lie
3. Fight

DO NOT RUN. I mean this literally. I have seen too many people, mostly men, run on sight of the police. Almost all of them get injured and the police never touch them. They trip and fall. Some people reading this might be thinking, “Mark’s not being truthful!” Wrong.
These men (and sometimes women) trip and fall. They go over fences blind. They slip on dog shit. They impale themselves in the pile of scrap iron they leaped onto from their den window. All chases are BAD. Car or on foot, it makes no difference. Too much adrenaline and people (good guys and bad guys alike) do really stupid things. Not enough space to write this up either. Find a copy of On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace by Col. Dave Grossman and Loren Christensen. They explain much of this stuff far better than I can.

DO NOT FIGHT. I have been tased, pepper sprayed, knocked out, punched so hard in the head my jaw was an inch off center, cut, etc. I haven’t been shot yet, but I have about 10 years until I can retire, so it still might happen.

The point of mentioning all that is I won’t fight fair and I will win. I’m going home and am highly motivated by my three kids to do so. They aren’t losing Daddy. Period.

Yell, scream, vent be pissed off at the wife, whatever. Don’t fight with the police. In most states, assaulting a cop is a felony. By doing so, you turn a problem that might result in an arrest, into a felony charge and a trip to jail, usually by way of the local hospital.

DO NOT LIE. Everybody lies to the police. We’re used to it and (mostly) try not to take it personally. I had a priest lie to me once. He forced the arrest after repeated chances to just tell the truth. Simple. Tell the truth. If you don’t want to say anything fine, that is your right under the Constitution. But don’t lie.

Corollary to not lying to the police . . . Never lie to your attorney. Ever. I have heard many attorneys yelling at clients over this. Your attorney can’t help you if he is operating with bad, false or wrong information.
Seems like a lot of stuff just to try and explain one cop’s view of DV and how people, mostly male, wind up getting arrested. Yes it is. Without an understanding of what you, the male half of the issue, are up against, you are going to add to the problem. Men unwittingly add to the problem. It is in our nature and there are many issues that contribute to this.


Nov 272011

Who Gets Hurt When a Rape Charge is False

Leslie Goldman

October 5, 2005

The lie began when Lauren Weedman was in her first year at DePaul University’s Theatre School.

She was at a party and feeling lost, once a big fish in her high school pond and now a little fish in a huge drama school ocean. Body-image woes also were making her insecure. Seeking some attention, she called an ex-boyfriend.

She told him she felt fat. He told her to “stop obsessing.” Then she told him she had been mugged. That didn’t move him.

Next, for reasons Weedman will question the rest of her life, she told him she had been raped. That got his attention–and that of her roommate, who had overheard Weedman’s part of the conversation.

In a first-person article titled “I lied about being raped” in Glamour magazine’s July issue, Weedman outed her lie nationally, recounting how word of her “rape” spread across campus, drawing sympathy from her friends and bringing her the attention she craved.

Soon the lie grew bigger, and the whole charade spiraled out of her control. To lie about rape is unusual, but false reports do happen, as Weedman’s case shows.

According to FBI statistics, about 6 percent of rape reports turn out not to be true. And, truth be told, the consequences of such a lie create many victims. “Why would you invite that hurt into your life?” said Annie Nelson, 27, a sexual assault survivor who lives in New York City. What Weedman did was “rape herself of dignity, true and healthy relationships and positive self-esteem,” said Nelson, who was asked to read the Glamour article for this story. Further, Nelson said, Weedman’s story reinforces the contention that women generally don’t lie about being raped because “once you lie, it keeps impacting and reimpacting you.”

Women who lie about being raped make it harder for rape survivors to come forward, victims rights activists say. Lying about rape “calls the integrity and believability of real victims into question and makes it harder to convince the jury to put away real rapists,” said Scott Berkowitz, president of Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in Washington, D.C.

Underreporting is a problem

Others see underreporting, not false reporting of rape, as a major problem, said Anne Ream, who founded Voices and Faces Project, a Chicago-based non-profit initiative for sexual violence survivors. In 15 years of work, Ream has not knowingly encountered one case of false reporting but has “met hundreds of women who have never reported their assaults to authorities, or to their families and loved ones, because they feared they would encounter victim-blaming and disbelief.” (In fact, over the last four years, only 44.7 percent of rapes were even reported, according to RAINN calculations based on U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey data.)

And although a woman who makes a false rape report may be a victim of her own imagination, the real victims, some say, are those who get falsely accused not only of a crime they didn’t commit but a crime that never was committed in the first place. “Anyone who would concoct lies about actually being raped is in need of another kind of help,” said Charlotte Pierce-Baker, a professor of English and women’s studies at Duke University who wrote “Surviving the Silence: Black Women’s Stories of Rape.” Raped in 1981 when two men broke into her Philadelphia home, Pierce-Baker emphasized that rape-lies harm men who might be wrongly accused. “With a `rape-lie,'” Pierce-Baker wrote in an e-mail interview, “everyone is damaged.”

Lesley Barton, 40, of Glenview, was raped four years ago by an acquaintance after she accepted a drink from him at a bar. While she was semiconscious, he drove her to the salon he owned and raped her on a tanning bed. Afraid to tell her ailing and elderly parents, Barton waited a week before reporting the assault to the police. By then, it was too late to test for evidence of any date rape drug in her system. (The attacker was eventually charged with misdemeanor assault, getting probation but not jail time, Barton said.)

Fabricated stories about rape “perpetuate the belief that a woman would lie about something so horrific,” Barton said. “It’s devastating what rape does to you, your life, your identity. … You’re ashamed, you’re mortified. And then to have this fear that if [you] were to report it, [you] would be disbelieved.”

Motivations to lie

Berkowitz, the RAINN president, sees three reasons a woman would make up a story of being raped: money, revenge and fear. Money comes into play most often in celebrity cases. Revenge can figure into a nasty breakup, and fear can motivate a woman who is afraid her parents will find out she has been sexually active or is pregnant. Other reasons include mental instability, or as in Weedman’s case, a desire for attention.

Although reported rapes remain below 50 percent, experts think women today feel more empowered about coming forward. In the last four years, Justice Department data show, the number of rapes being reported has risen.