Lisa Scott is a Bellevue, Washington attorney
practicing in the areas of family law, divorce and
domestic violence. She is also a founding member of
TABS, Taking Action against Bias in the System,
prevalent in domestic violence
Scream Queens Fuel
Nightmarish VAWA System
Scream Queens Fuel
Nightmarish VAWA System
Picture this: Ordinary citizens arrested in the
middle of the night, thrown in jail on false
charges, never seeing the inside of their homes
again. Show trials with predetermined outcomes.
Dissidents forced into treatment for politically
Does this describe Stalinist purges?
Totalitarian repression? The USA Patriot Act in
No, this nightmarish scenario is our current
domestic violence system. Introduced in the 1980's
with good intentions, these laws have mutated into
a system of repression, power and control,
manipulated by the domestic violence industry and
exploited by vengeful spouses seeking advantage in
divorce and child custody.
The crowning achievement for the victim industry
was the passage in 1994 of VAWA, the federal
Violence Against Women Act. VAWA codifies
gender-based myths that domestic violence (DV) is
virtually always committed by men against women.
VAWA is up for reauthorization in 2005.
VAWA was based on lies and distortions about the
true extent of intimate partner violence, yet it
continues to be funded at astounding levels.
Feminist groups, led by the domestic violence
"scream queens," tout hysterical claims such as
"the leading cause of emergency room visits by
women is domestic violence," and "95 per cent of
victims of domestic violence are women."
The government's own statistics contradict these
ubiquitous factoids, yet Congress can't help
pandering to the women's vote with a billion-dollar
gravy train. The Justice Department's 1998
"Intimate Partner Violence" report reveals that 1/3
of total domestic violence murder victims are male.
Further, less than one per cent of females (and
males) are victimized each year. Hardly an epidemic
justifying a monstrous government system.
In today's domestic violence police state, it's
expected the woman is the victim. All she has to do
is call 911 and report her husband assaulted her.
In many cases she conveniently fails to mention she
slapped, punched, kicked or pummeled him to the
point that he pushed her away. As a family law
attorney for 17 years, I have experienced the DV
system personally. Every example cited in this
article has happened to one of my clients.
The stereotype that the man is always the abuser
ensures he has no chance of being believed when he
says he is the victim. The police take him to jail,
and in many cases, he never goes home again.
The next scene in his nightmare is getting
served with an order for protection. Originated to
immediately protect victims of severe abuse,
protection orders have become "weapons of mass
destruction" in family courts.
Drive-by protection orders (obtained ex parte,
with the accused not present) almost always
prohibit contact with his children and presence at
the family home, virtually guaranteeing full
custody to the accuser.
After 14 days living in a van down by the river,
the accused gets a hearing, an "opportunity to be
heard." In reality, it is a show trial with a
predetermined outcome. Whenever a woman claims to
be a victim, she is automatically believed. No
proof of abuse is required.
Judges with "do-something disease," afraid of
some real victim being denied relief, hand out
protection orders like candy. In fact, the accused
is sometimes treated more harshly for having the
audacity to object. Meanwhile, real victims must
share crowded courtrooms with DV fakers.
In many cases, the accused is sent to "domestic
violence perpetrator treatment," following an
"assessment" with the foregone conclusion that he
needs treatment. If he admits any abuse, it will
always be used against him. Denial of abuse is
punished more severely than actual abuse. Those who
profess their innocence are often forcibly
"re-educated" for two or even three years.
The only escape is to unconditionally surrender
to the authority of the oppressors (the court and
treatment providers), bow down and capitulate to
the accuser, then you might get some time with your
children. You still don't get to go home.
Ten years of VAWA has resulted in the wholesale
criminalization of being a man. VAWA didn't
originate this nightmarish system, but it
legitimizes and subsidizes it. To some, the
solution is a gender-neutral law, such as "Violence
Against Persons Act." Even without overt gender
bias, federal intrusion into local domestic
violence policies is corrupting. It nourishes a
gargantuan beast and ensures a massive stream of
taxpayer dollars creating endless constituent
groups lining up to feed at the federal trough.
We must de-fund and de-fang VAWA. We must let
police do their jobs without fear of making
politically-incorrect decisions. In the old days
they used their discretion on how to handle
domestic conflict. The parties were often separated
until things cooled down. Without evidence of
serious assault or injury, that was the proper
VAWA turns every argument into a potential
murder case, and what police officer wants to risk
making a wrong decision? The easy way out is to
arrest the man.
It's time to stop systematic violence against
civil rights and recognize that even
well-intentioned laws can be used as a bludgeon.
Like the war on terrorism, the war on domestic
violence can go too far.
The laudable goal of ending domestic violence
cannot justify nullification of the fundamental
rights of an entire gender. We should all be
outraged at what is being done to innocent people
in the name of helping victims.
©2005, Lisa Scott
prevalent in domestic violence
For years, we have been told that domestic violence
is a serious problem: it must not be tolerated in
any form and every victim must be believed. Yet,
countless victims of domestic violence are ignored
by the system, dismissed as liars, and even charged
as abusers. These victims have been hit, kicked,
punched, bitten, choked, knifed, shot, run over
with cars, and even set on fire. They are men.
Male victim. It's sounds like an oxymoron. How
can you be a male and a victim. Is it because they
don't hurt when they are hit? Is it because they
don't bleed when they are cut? No. It's because
they don't count, literally.
The recent Eastside Journal article about
firefighter Mark Sundt typifies the plight of the
invisible male victim. Sundt was charged with
domestic violence against his girlfriend, yet the
charges were eventually dropped. He tried to get
the prosecutor to file charges against her, without
success. Now he has filed a citizen's complaint in
Northeast District Court.
Over the years, intense lobbying by women's
advocacy groups resulted in enactment of the
Federal Violence Against Women Act. The act
provides billions of dollars for domestic violence
programs, battered women's shelters, law
enforcement and criminal prosecution. To aid in
passage of the bill and ensure a continued stream
of federal funding, these groups have deftly
perpetuated myths that nearly all victims of
domestic violence are female. They claim ``the No.
1 reason women age 16 to 40 end up in the emergency
room is violence,'' and ``95 percent of domestic
violence is committed by men.''
However, both government and academic studies
repeatedly contradict these ubiquitous factoids. A
Centers for Disease Control report (National
Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 1992
Emergency Department Summary) debunks the ER claim.
The 1998 Justice Department report ``Intimate
Partner Violence'' refutes the 95 percent claim: of
1,830 domestic violence murders, 510, or almost one
third, were men. Another 1998 Justice Department
report, ``Violence Against Women Survey,'' found
that while 1,309,061 women experienced domestic
violence, 834,732 men were also abused -- 39
percent of all victims.
Extensive research documents that men and women
are almost equally likely to initiate domestic
violence. And, despite clear evidence that both men
and women suffer domestic violence, the federal act
remains blatantly gender-biased. The principle
reason male victims are ignored is that no violence
against women money can be used for male victims.
Police and prosecutors who spend time on male
victims of female violence suffer a double whammy:
they directly expend scarce resources on the cases,
and they lose additional funding because for every
such male victim there is one less female victim
for which federal money is exclusively
If male victims even report a crime, they are
usually victimized a second time by the system: at
best treated with indifference or ridicule, at
worst prosecuted as the ``real'' abuser. Gender
profiling has become a prevalent practice in
domestic violence cases. Like racial profiling,
gender profiling presumes guilt based on bias and
Recent cases I have seen include Eastside men
who have been punched, hit, choked, scratched, and
threatened with weapons by female perpetrators,
none of whom have been charged with crimes.
Change is needed. If you are a victim, stand up
and be counted. Demand action, respect and equal
rights. If you believe every victim counts,
regardless of gender, speak up. Call your elected
officials, police and prosecutors. Demand they stop
sending male victims to the back of the bus, stop
gender profiling, and stop giving female abusers a
No victim can get real justice when only some
victims are deemed legitimate. Every victim counts,
and every abuser must be held accountable. Blaming
only one gender for domestic violence in our
society needlessly polarizes men and women, when we
should be working together for better
©2007, Lisa Scott
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