Impact On National Defense by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.


 

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Demographic data make it quite clear that at least two-thirds of the restraining orders and domestic violence charges in El Paso County are an abuse of process. State court data show that El Paso County has two-and-a-half times the number of domestic violence cases as comparable jurisdictions in Colorado and more than three times the number of cases predicted by NCVS estimates.

The military career of any man or woman with DV charges or a restraining order against them is over in this third largest bastion of military might in the United States, to say nothing of the many civilians who lose their security clearances and military contracts when charged with DV.

In October 2004 the Equal Justice Foundation had an opportunity to visit several local military bases and talk with a number of troops regarding problems they were having with domestic violence and abuse charges. The impact of these false allegations, and the accompanying persecution by the local district attorney with her "Fast Track" program, were all too painfully well known to the military and civilian personnel we spoke with.

These are a few examples of the horror stories we heard:

• An Air Force Master Sergeant had been stabbed by his raging, alcoholic wife. When he called the local police they came and arrested him. Although an Air Force investigation found that he was the victim, the local DA persecuted him for over six months. The civilian charges against him were only dropped when his wife died as a result of her alcoholism. We were extremely pleased when he told us that he'd found our DV against men web site a couple of months after being stabbed and how much it had helped him.

• An Army Sergeant First Class spoke to us about the violence of his ex-wife and the hell he went through before he could finally escape, and how no one would believe him, nor were there any support groups like the EJF for him at the time.

• An Army Sergeant, wearing a Combat Infantry Badge with a unit that got back from Iraq in the spring of 2004, and is being deployed again in March 2005, found his wife was having an affair. When she came back after being gone for 2 1/2 days he was naturally angry and they were apparently arguing in her car. Instead of letting her simply drive off he pulled on the emergency brake. Eventually she left to return to her lover. Eight hours later she called the police. The local DA then charged him with menacing, false imprisonment, and child abuse (their child was present during the argument). As we see all too often, his incompetent attorney is recommending he take a plea bargain. Of course that would end the sergeant's military service and destroy his life and child but the attorney would rake in an easy $1,500 bucks and the DA would have another win. Only the sergeant and the nation would lose while the local DA prosecutes and persecutes one more man for his wife's adultery. Roughly 50% of the hundreds of married men the EJF has heard from are charged with DV after they find their wife was having an affair. Though it must occur, we have not yet heard of a case where the husband became violent. The worst we hear of is the husband threatens the wife's lover, e.g., see the Emerson case, which is considered to be menacing for which the husband is to be punished.

• Another Air Force Master Sergeant told us of being falsely accused of domestic violence and having gone through three attorneys who all tried to sell him down the river with a plea bargain. Only when he found a fourth attorney, one the EJF recommends (Ted McClintock of the Liberty Law Center in Colorado Springs) was he able to get the false charges against him dismissed and save his career.

• An Army medic, a Staff Sergeant, spoke at length to us about the emotional abuse he suffered from his ex-wife, and the tantrums she' d throw. He was quite obviously still haunted by the experience.

• A civilian from the Pentagon visiting Peterson AFB told us how he wished he' d known about us last spring when he went through one of these nightmares.

Virtually all the command officers and NCO's we spoke with had one or more troops under their command in trouble with restraining orders or DV charges. Typically the troops in trouble are NCO's or junior officers, lieutenant through captain: the warfighters.

We were appalled to be confronted directly with so many cases of patently false accusations of domestic violence against military men among the tiny fraction of the local military commands we came in contact with. Clearly, the abuse of process occurring in domestic violence cases in Colorado's 4 th Judicial District has a very negative effect on our national defense.

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| EJF Home | Find Help | Help the EJF | Comments? | Get EJF newsletter | Newsletters |

| Domestic Violence Book | DV Site Map | Data tables | DV bibliography | DV index |

 

| Chapter 3 — The Impact Of Domestic Violence Laws On Veterans And National Security |

| Next — VAWA And Variants On The "Honey Trap" by Charles Corry, Ph.D. |

| Back — Army 'Ahead Of Society' In Addressing Abuse by Connie Smalls |


 

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Last modified 3/26/14