Sunday, April 3, 2011

So I get called to a Domestic Violence situation

A week ago around midnight a friend of mine gets a call from a friend of hers who is into a situation with her domestic partner. I get told by my friend that "the next thing he is going to do is hit her". While at my friend's apartment she then says go ahead and call the cops but changes her mind and says go over there.

I get the feeling that many cops do when sent on one of these runs without having personally spoken to the reporting party; what am I going to face. My adrenaline is pumping as my 140 pound frame puts my hand forth to ring the doorbell and then pound on the door with my best I mean business knock.

After a few moments the father answers the door, obviously inebriated, and invites me in. I see mom in the kitchen washing dishes and crying. Her face is very red.

Father and I sit for a moment and I get his side of the story. I then go speak with mother who immediately breaks down in tears. I get her side of the story which nearly matches that of Father. Not unusual but somewhat of an oddity. Generally I find that in these types of situations I get to the truth much quicker when not accompanied by the police.

So what it came down to was Father had been drinking a little too much, saw a program on television about Pelicans migrating to some part of Australia each 10 years and he wanted to know why. By his account Mother started giving him "some lip" and an argument ensued. He also complained that she started hitting him in the face.

She added that Father had been insulting her which he later confirmed. She made no allegation and I saw no physical indications that he had committed any violence against her. They both agreed that there would be no more problems that evening, that their son was asleep and that everyone would be safe. Mother then went to check on their son.

That is when Father in a somber and almost helpless child tone asked what he should do. I said just go to back to watching your show and fall asleep on the couch. That is when he hit me with it. He said, "No, I mean what should I do to stop her from always hitting me. It's just not right that I am always getting hit."

So I went and told her that she better not hit him again, that if she continued to do that then he could and should contact the police. I further instructed her about the possibilities that could occur with the issuance of a Domestic Violence Protective Order or an arrest. That I could be called as a witness and that my testimony carries nearly the same weight as a police officer.

Interestingly the friend who asked me to go over there and help has admitted to me that she engaged in a unilateral act of violence against her domestic partner.

The long-held belief is that women are victims of domestic violence and men are the perpetrators. Most of that is based upon reporting to police or medical personnel. However, the reality is that few men report to police that they are the victims of domestic violence. Men do not seek medical treatment for injuries as frequently as women do or the injuries are not as severe. Also, law enforcement officers still do not believe claims by men or encourage men to seek assistance as often as they do for women.

Men who are victims of Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence should report and seek assistance. If you have children in the relationship then this is a must. A record of the violence will be necessary if the relationship ever dissolves.

When a woman makes a DV accusation, false or otherwise, during a divorce she is trying to protect her children. When a man makes a DV accusation, false or otherwise, during a divorce he is trying to use the courts to still maintain control over her and this type of controlling person should not be around the children.

That is the general view of the courts. Without proper documentation that can become the reality in many cases where men are the victims of DV.

For additional information on DV or IPV click here.

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©2008, 2011 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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