The Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado web site has been updated, as I try to do every couple of months. This update contains some fairly basic information that should be of interest to most of you.
In the section on What Happens When 911 Is Dialed I've added a long overdue note to do a background check on the accuser. After 11 years of VAWA a large percentage of women who make false allegations of domestic violence and abuse have done so on more than one occasion, or have other criminal incidents in their past. It is also a good idea to run a background check on yourself to see if there is anything in the databases that can hurt you at trial or in general. Government databases, in particular, are notorious for containing errors and being out of date.
For about 5 years I've had an article in this chapter titled Lifeline regarding the 911 emergency telephone number. After review, the article has been rewritten and is now titled 911 - Lifeline Or A Deadly Trap? A brief study of the fifteen year plot of 911 calls in Colorado Springs in Table 3 should make it plain that many, if not most people now regard calling 911 in a domestic disturbance as a deadly trap. At least 50%, and probably more, of 911 calls in domestic disturbances are now made by neighbors or a passerby who hears loud noises (Hint: Don't have loud sex or play with each other or you'll get arrested for DV).
If you want to make a lifetime enemy, one of the surest ways to do that is call the police on them. Calling 911 in a domestic dispute, except in extreme circumstances, has always been mutual assured destruction of the relationship. Use it if you really need it, but there are often better and safer ways.
The impact of VAWA and related state laws on national defense continues to grow. In her article Army 'Ahead of Society' In Addressing Abuse, Connie Smalls points out that since Fiscal Year 1994 when VAWA was passed, active duty male spouse abuse victims have outnumbered female victims two to one. That data comes from the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Fort Monroe is now slated for closing. That'll teach them to be so politically incorrect.
Many examples of the abuse military men take are given in the Impact Of Domestic Violence Laws On National Defense. Since the United States seems to be winning enemies and losing friends at a great rate these days, if some of our enemies aren't using VAWA to weaken our defense they are sure missing an easy method.
For the first time in several years I've updated the section on What We Think We Know About Domestic Violence. The most basic finding is that the best estimate of criminal domestic violence is that it occurs in about 0.5% of households in a given year. Repeated violence, or "battering" occurs in roughly 0.1% of households. Hardly epidemic numbers.
Jealousy and vengeance. These age old problems are still with us and VAWA seems to have only made the problems worse by adding weapons.
Money. It is a rare couple who haven't had serious disputes about financial issues. Nowadays we arrest the man, make him take expensive DV treatment, and, almost inevitably, make him lose his job when the couple has a loud argument. Making the basic problem worse doesn't sound like a good fix to us. And many a man has met his doom after taking out a large insurance policy with his wife as sole beneficiary.
Personality disorders. Current estimates are that about 25% of the population is mentally disturbed in one fashion or another. Not surprising that some of these lead to family violence. Leading candidates in couples are narcissism, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and bipolar disorder.
Health problems and injuries. "I'm out of estrogen and I've got a gun!" More about perimenopause below. Head injuries can also cause violent behavior. Alzheimers leads to erratic and violent behavior. And this is the short list.
Disabilities and aging. When a loved one becomes disabled the healthy partner is left with the difficult task of caring for and often supporting them. The same happens as partners age. Commonly the male is older than the female. Frustration, health, and financial problems may lead to abuse and violence.
Patriarchy. Sorry redfems, there is absolutely no evidence that a patriarchal society is more conducive to family violence than a matriarchal one. In fact, the reverse may be true. Ideology aside, most of the men and women we hear from can hardly spell "patriarchy" and they certainly aren't fighting about it or because of it.
We've added an article by Wendy McElroy about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Castle Rock v. Gonzales in Colorado. Since the court has ruled the nanny state isn't required to provide an armed guard for every woman who has a restraining order, Ms. McElroy has the temerity to suggest that citizens, including women, need to learn and be able to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary. As the saying goes, "A gun in your hand is worth more than a cop on the phone."
Never fear though, the nanny state is alive and well in Colorado. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled in People v. Turner that a defendant in a criminal domestic violence case has no right to obtain documentation of what was probably subornation of perjury against him by a woman's shelter.
In Spahmer v. Gullette the same court ruled that a move-away single mother can live wherever she chooses irrespective of the father's or children's wishes. This case is a prime example of how dysfunctional families presenting their disputes before dysfunctional courts leads to dysfunctional case law and precedent.
If you know of a highly questionable ruling, or an incompetent judge in Colorado, we'd be happy to post the story if you can document it. Note that we also like to post information about good judges when you encounter them.
Surprise, surprise! The number of restraining orders per capita in Colorado actually decreased in 2004 to 73 per 10,000 citizens from 78 in 2003. However, the trend is still steeply upwards as shown in Table 51. And for ten years, ever since the domestic violence laws were passed in 1994, citizens in Colorado Springs, and apparently across Colorado, have become ever more afraid to call 911 in a domestic dispute as plainly evident in Table 50 (data in Table 49) . That is the exact reverse of the redfem intent and claim for these draconian laws.
It is also blatantly obvious that uniform standards for the domestic violence laws do not exist in Colorado. The end result is that families and children are destroyed and the declining number of marriages in Colorado is now roughly equal to the number of restraining orders per year as evident in Table 58.
Table 59 shows that the number of domestic violence incidents reported to Colorado police has remained relatively flat for seven years now. The estimate, based on NCVS data, by Dugan (2001) that criminal domestic violence occurs in 0.5% of households in a given year now considerably overestimates the number of reported cases. That is almost certainly because citizens are more afraid of the legal system than their partners.
Table 59 also shows that, despite a small drop in court filings, the number of DV court cases is still more than twice the number of reported police incidents. While I have no official explanation for such an anomalous situation, I suspect that the difference of more than 8,000 cases is the result of reported restraining order violations. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation does not include restraining order violations in its DV statistics.
The destructive effect on women of the current domestic violence laws is plainly evident In Women's Own Words and three new stories have been added. It is worth noting that only about 1 in 100 of such stories that we receive get published.
For a variety of reasons the EJF has become a standard reference on The Change Of Life, Hysterectomies, And Domestic Violence. At some point between the ages of 35 and 50, with the average age being 43, all women go through a change known as perimenopause that precedes actual menopause (the cessation of menses). While 10-15% of women experience few problems during this change, at the other extreme 10-15% of women break down emotionally and physically during this period. And the results for the woman's partner in the remaining 80% aren't pleasant during the 4 to 7 years this condition typically lasts. This time of life is known to many women as The Terrible Three: Mid-life, perimenopause, and divorce. In our experience these problems occur mainly with those women who refuse to accept that the change of life is happening to them. Biological effects cannot be denied and a hysterectomy simply hastens the problems without prompt and effective hormone replacement therapy.
It seems strange that many gynecologists and other medical specialists are unfamiliar with the symptoms of perimenopause, particularly the itching that women commonly experience. Many women scratch themselves raw due to these itchy feelings. As the irritability, or bitchiness, common to perimenopause often leads to marital disputes, these self-inflicted scratches are often taken as evidence against the man.
Table 10 shows that extreme violence by women peaks between ages 35 and 44 and the best explanation for this is the emotional distress and anger many women suffer during perimenopause.
If you see a story about an abused man in your local paper, we'd appreciate your sending it to us. We also publish personal stories of abused men but if your story hasn't appeared it's because we are way behind.
Stories of Domestic Violence Against Men from 45 other states can be found on the parent EJF site. One way we are trying to fix the problem is by supporting and encouraging those who fight the system from within. The case of false arrest and allegations against Seattle police lieutenant Greg Schmidt is well known. Lt. Schmidt ran for Sheriff of Kings County (includes Seattle), Washington. While we don't ordinarily endorse political candidates, Greg Schmidt's success would have meant a world of difference in the battle to restore sanity to domestic violence issues in the Seattle area.
Sordid stories of murders and suicides. Frequently we don't hear of female killers until years, or sometimes decades after the murder. So the number of such tales of murder and mayhem continue to increase for previous years as well.
As it has become ever more evident how valuable a private investigator can be when false allegations are filed we've broken out Private Investigators into a separate category with Blue Moon Investigations leading the list after all the help they provided us in the Emerson case. Previously PI's were only listed by state. For many years we've listed recommended attorneys and also keep a private blacklist of incompetent lawyers that we will check on request for EJF members.
Something I should have done long ago is list information under the State of Colorado on how to apply for a pardon or commutation of sentence. Note that you can only apply for a pardon if at least 10 years have elapsed since the sentence was completed. Since it has only been 11 years since the Colorado DV laws were passed it is only now that men and women may be eligible to apply for a pardon from a domestic violence conviction.
Since our beginning we have helped men and women in at least 63 cities in Colorado from 35 of the 64 counties in the state. We now average around 700 help requests per year. Unfortunately, we are not able to assist many of the people who contact us as they've already taken a plea bargain or their situation is far beyond our meager resources. Many men can't seem to grasp that once you plead guilty, you are guilty whether you committed a crime or not.
In March of 2005 we began tracking locations of those who contacted us for help or otherwise, and where we have members. Presently that includes at least the following 47 states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, and WY, and frequently we don't have a location so people from the missing three states may have contacted us as well this year.
And our reach hardly stops at the borders of the United States. This year we have had people from the following 23 countries contact us for a variety of reasons: Australia (from most every state), Austria, Belgium, Canada (most provinces), Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom (including Scotland) all in the past six months.
Your help is badly needed as the demands for our support and services continues to grow. We urge you to join or contribute to the Equal Justice Foundation. Our board and officers are all volunteers but operating expenses are unavoidable and increasing as demand and usage grows.