While things that appear on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal don't usually sit too well with me, this piece struck me slightly differently. Essentially, it's about a female judge in the U.S. state of Kentucky, who has seen a procession of battered wives move through her courtroom in the past little while, because they are violating restraining orders that they asked for, to keep their husbands away from them.
Women's groups are not happy with this judge, and they say that this sort of thing will disenfranchise women from the legal system. I disagree with that sentiment, and agree with the one in the article that's along the lines of, "if you want to be protected by the law, you'd better respect it yourself".
I don't agree with the condescending tone in which the article (like most of what's on the WSJ's editorial page) was written, however. In any case, it's an interesting little tidbit.
------------------ My God can beat up your God. -Weights and Measures
[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 02-05-2002).]
I had heard of this particular case, and I must say, Dzuunmod, I agree with your point of view. Restraining orders do indeed work both ways.
And yes, women may feel like they can make their own decisions in this case, but they MUST respect the law that they expect to protect them.
Furthermore, I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I've worked with people in these crisis situations and it seems like SOME kind of guard to keep them from going back to their attacker is a Good Thing (TM).
------------------ ~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate
this is what you get for liking it. "The best-looking boys are taken, the best-looking girls are staying inside. So, Judy, where does that leave you, walking the streets from morning till night?" --Belle and Sebastian, "Judy and the Dream of Horses"
Wow.. that article has both infuriated and fascinated me.
True, if you're going to ask the law for protection, you need to abide by the laws.
But, I found the Judge's comments as well as the tone of the article signified the need for a big feminist SMACKDOWN.
It seems to me that the article paradoies the feminist model of the "cycle of victimhood" and characterizes abused women as trying to have their cake and eat it too. I'm seeing the misuse of feminist theory to show how women 'buy into the victim personal to avoid becoming independent' and how vicitims are depicted as being 'too stupid to know what's in their own best interest.' To this I give the royal finger.
While I agree that it must be frustrating for people in the legal profession to attempt to empower women through acts like restraining orders only to see them violated by the women, but come on. There has been enough literature to show that trying to escape from an abusive relationship is a long, sometimes year-long process AS WELL AS the fact that domestic abuse calls are often not responded to by police, that there is little legal or economic protection for lower-class women without a means of income as a result of their former partner nor are there childcare, medical or financial aid options open to most victims.
So.... while I think the insistence of "alone time" in the clink might help some women break the cycle if it were accompanied by therapy or a short course in surviving, as institued right now it appears to serve no purpose but to humiliate and further ignore the real problems in situations of domestic abuse. Plus, the tone of the article completely brushed aside years worth of study and experience that are more valuable than any "good in theory, crappy in practice" ruling of some 'higher authority.'
[rant rant rant]
------------------ "You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view" -Obi Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi
[This message has been edited by la jaunty bohemian (edited 02-05-2002).]
quote:Originally posted by la jaunty bohemian: AS WELL AS the fact that domestic abuse calls are often not responded to by police...
Okay, you're gonna have to hold on a second on that one. I don't know what "literature" you have read, but I can testify that this is not the case in the majority of jurisdictions. In the past ten years, police agencies nationwide have stressed domestic violence cases more than any other type of call. Until September 11, 83% of all on-duty officer training courses were dedicated to handling domestic violence/restraining order issues. Our department classified all family disturbances as "Priority Zero" calls, meaning an instant Code 3 (lights and siren) response with a minimum of two units and one supervisor responding. This is a serious event, taken seriously by all parties concerned.
I know that during the 1970's and early 1980's, domestic violence cases were taken lightly and were seen as something that needed to be taken care of "in the home." Nowadays though, especially after things like the OJ Simpson trial, Law Enforcement in general takes such cases very seriously, and US DOJ statistics simply do not back up the claim that your "literature" makes.
I must say that I do see where you're coming from about the tone of the article, and I agree with you that it seems to sort of play havoc a bit. But the end result of what this judge is doing in Kentucky can only be a positive thing, and putting a stopper in the revolving door of domestic abuse seems like a good step forward in my eyes.
------------------ "Task Force 46, Light Force 34, Engine and Rescue 66, Battalion 3, Division 2; respond into the Greater Alarm Structure Fire at San Pedro and Jefferson. Reported to be a fire at the First Alert fire extinguisher factory..."
The question I have is, why are these women going back and being with the men who are abusing them? I just don't get it. Some guy beats you up, you go to court to seek protection from him, then later you go back to him at which point he beats you up again.
Am I missing something here?
This sounds to me like some kind of a sick "sybiotic" relationship. You've got men who beat up on their wives/girlfriends for some sick reason I can't understand, then these same women return to these same men for some sick reason I can't understand. If either the men would stop being abusive, or the women would stop going back to them, then the abuse would end because you can't beat on someone who isn't there to hit.
This seems to me to be yet another form of self destructive behavior in the same vein as drug dependency. People who are addicted to drugs continue to do those drugs even when it is killing them or destroying their life. These women are going back to men who they know will beat them, and that is also destroying their life. Those women NEED HELP to break away from this cycle of abuse because for whatever reason it is something that some broken part of their psyche wants or needs. Maybe both parties, the man and the woman, should be locked up in separate cells when the woman violates the order and goes back to a guy who hits her. Maybe restraining orders should be automatically doubly inclusive, whereby if either party comes within so many feet of the other they are in violation.
I hear of women beating their abusive husbands to death with a tire iron or setting them on fire or running them over with a car. This I have no problem with. If a guy is going to beat up on a woman he claims to love and cherish then he should get whatever's coming to him. I would rather cut off my arms than do that to someone I loved. Just the idea of hitting my girlfriend makes me ill and upset. If I was on a jury hearing a case where a battered woman off'ed her abuser I'd refuse to convict her. But tell me a story about a woman who goes back to a guy she knows is going to beat her up and I have no sympathy.
Yeah hold on a second there Lee. Often women are enticed back by the men who say they have changed and will not hurt them anymore. Often they have not actually changed but occasionally they do. So they can be tricked, its not just a matter of dependency.
And you seem to be very much dehumanising the violent men here, who are human as well even if they lack morals and discipline. Unless a woman killed in self defence at that particular moment, they have no right to just "off" their boyfriend or husband because they can be violent. That is a ridiculous idea and completely unjust. Justice cannot be fettered by wrath and vengeance. Both sides of these relationships need help, both the victim and the offender.
------------------ 'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky
I was in an abusive relationship for two years. He never beat me up, but he was verbally, emotionally, and sexually abusive.
Why did I stay? Because after hearing from him every day that I was such a bad girlfriend, that I should be happy that he was willing to put up with how badly I treated him because not all guys are as nice as he is, and that no one else would ever want me, pretty soon I started to believe it. I knew full well that he was making me miserable, but he actually had me convinced that I was better off with him than without him.
Now, every abusive situation is different, I'm sure, but in general, I don't think victims of abuse are often in a position to think rationally about their situations.
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