2011-08-08

Domestic Violence Laws Should Designate Both Parties as Co-Victims

One of the fundamental system problems with this cohabitant abuse protective order law is that they are required to designate a primary aggressor and a victim. The "victim" gets all the help, and the "primary aggressor" gets victimized by the system that jails, presses charges, etc. I'd bet that all too often, one of them plays the victim... exercises passive aggression, and plays victim... What it needs to say in the law is that both are potentially culpable for the details of their dispute; it's relationship chemistry, not his fault or her fault. Obviously, a proper analysis of this aspect of the overall problem belongs to the realm of psychology. Blaming the man and acting like he's a criminal when the woman is the one who has exhibited the most problematic behavior is not fair; and reverse the sexes in the above sentence or whatever and it's just as valid a statement; and more valid after inclusion of that last clause.

Communication is not violence. Even hassling communication is not truly violence, per se; it is what it is, and we have many words for many meanings; you can't just pretend that an email is domestic violence. It's attempted communication. I don't belong in jail for that, nor is it righteous to effectively punish me by having a warrant out for my arrest. Locking me up until I essentially confess and take a plea bargain is not a good solution. Then I suppose, since it's really not violence, there would be no jail sentence, and part of the plea agreement would involve sending me to classes at Valley Mental Health... where they'll teach me to use communication instead of violence. But I did use communication! That's the point. The woman who is committing the “thinking error” of closing the channel, by obtaining a protective order that tries to make communicating with her out to be a crime... She is the one who needs to be put through their educational program more than myself...

But that's just me talking. Obviously, a more holistic methodology with an equalitarian stance is what this truly requires. You can't consider one of the people in a conflict without considering the other, and especially how they interact with one another. And as a third party who was not there to observe what really went on in there, you have no way of knowing the specifics of the multiple-aspect culpabilities in the dynamic and volatile social interaction that occurred outside your sphere of observance or influence. Most people can learn and be taught to interact and communicate more effectively. They need to learn and be taught marital arts, not martial arts...

Although... perhaps martial arts has a valid place in all of this though. If someone is going to hurt you, and you don't know how to defend yourself, you can't do a hell of a lot about it. By the time the police arrive, it's going to be too late. There's pretty much no way around having to either defend yourself, or avoid the danger to begin with. By the time you realize someone is truly dangerous, you're likely already in the danger zone; And if the person is truly the violent sort, getting a protective order isn't going to do much good either; in fact, it seems to me that it's likelier to provoke an attack than prevent one. It's already illegal to commit an assault. There doesn't need to be a special law against that. A no communication order is counter productive to dispute resolution. This protective order law has far too much potential for abuse, and probably does very little to prevent actual violence. It certainly does provide a convenient excuse to persecute the person alleged to be someone you need protection from... and how convenient! There is no requirement for evidence, no requirement for proof, no requirement for what we normally think of as due process of law, and no presumption of innocence.

In many martial arts traditions, there is a very important concept of honor. One must never dishonor oneself by using the martial arts for illegal or unethical purposes; for instance, self defense is acceptable, provided excessive force is not used. You don't counter a bitch-slap with a head kick; you stop it with a parry and grapple. Honor also includes honesty. It's not honorable to lie and pretend that a wrestling match was an assault, or that self defense was an attack; And of course, it's not honorable to claim that an assault was a wrestling match, or that an attack was self defense. Honesty is something that should exist regardless of whether anyone who was not there can know for certain what truly occurred. That's what honesty is. And certainly, it is not honest to claim that this attempted communication is essentially a form of violence. I agree that communication can, either implicitly or explicitly, carry a threat of violence, but it is not violence in itself. A wrestling match is a game. It is not true violence in the sense that an assault is violence... Well, assault is attempted battery; and wrestling, when done right, is a game, and neither player is supposed to be truly attempting to harm the other; and to intentionally cause harm is dishonorable.

I believe that males are more often taught martial arts than females; and along with this, they are supposed to be taught that proper sense of honor. Males are taught not to hit females, and to protect them; Males are rewarded for protecting females. All too often, females are not getting taught these things; they learn along the way that they can hit males with impunity, and if the male hits back, they can tell on him and get him in trouble. Other males are more than happy to play the hero to protect the damsel in distress. The protective order laws are designed by that type of female to exploit this situation to give dishonorable females power over males. If a male is truly violent and really commits an assault, this protective order law is not necessary to cause other males to act on a females behalf. The law tries to get around the male/female dichotomy and it's sexist implications by using the terms aggressor and victim instead.