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By Marianne Mogon
July 28, 2012

In my quest to research the problem of Domestic Violence, I came across some very disturbing facts and I realized that we have created a system of injustice that seems to have turned some of our judicial personnel into mercenaries. Laws have gone too far and tipped the scales of justice unfavorably against men. It amazed me how vehement the male-bashing has become and how one sided this issue has become even with statistics to the contrary.

I read a paper by Murray A. Straus, Professor of Sociology and Co-Director Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, entitled Women's Violence Toward Men is a Serious Social Problem (PDF file). I was alarmed by what I discovered and found that according to a 2010 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Justice, “in the last 12 months more men than women were victims of intimate partner physical violence and over 40% of severe physical violence was directed at men. Men were also more often the victim of psychological aggression and control over sexual or reproductive health.”

Yet, there are more assistance programs and laws to protect women than the men. Another study showed that 78.3% of men who called a DV Agency were told they only help women. 63% received that response from the DV Hotline. Further, the caller was told he was probably the aggressor. And if the police are called and even if the woman is the aggressor, the controller, the culprit, the man is the one more likely to be arrested.

And, these statistics could very well be off due to Domestic Violence records for men are not that available. Men are less likely to report, end up being labeled the aggressor, and if they do seek help, it isn’t as readily available.

What is going on here? Isn’t this gender bias? Doesn’t this go against the 14th Amendment of our Constitution? This is not equal justice. Has feminism gone beyond equality to where we are trying to establish a matriarchy society?

Domestic Violence as described on the National Domestic Violence Hotline “can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner”. It says partner, which sounds good, but in reality only pertains to women. It appears as if feminists have managed to sway society into believing this is a problem for women when in reality it is a problem of all people.

All public service announcements are geared strictly to women and men are always the aggressor. This needs to change to give an honest and unbiased description of the problem. We need to establish more education for men as well as women. Men need to start speaking out more about this and we need to de-gender our laws. The equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution is not intended to provide "equality" among individuals or classes but only "equal application" of the laws. The ways in which DV laws are applied are blatantly in violation of this amendment. Further more it is discrimination.

A statement made by NOW Legal Defense Fund attorney Julie Goldscheid praised the courts for recognizing, "in language that is really heartening to a women's rights advocate, that domestic violence and sexual assault are gender-motivated crimes rooted in the history of discrimination against women." And that was made in total indifference to the studies of the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Justice. Yet she evidentially has gotten away with it.

Being a woman, I am all for equal rights, across the board. The feminist movement can definitely be credited with many achievements of “leveling the playing field” between men and women, but it is obvious that they (feminists) have evolved into tunnel thinking. They are concerned with women’s issues, but the rhetoric dangerously teeters on pushing men to the back of the bus. That’s not equality.

True equality will only be achieved when people are seen as individuals and judged according to their own personal abilities. The only barriers should be personal limitations. To coin a phrase “we’ve come along way baby”, and strides have been made, but we can’t allow ourselves to be so wrapped up in our own ideologies that we loose track of others.

Domestic Violence is serious and needs to be controlled and prevented, but fairly and non-discriminatory. Information, education, and assistance programs need to be open to everyone. Building awareness is one effective tool in prevention, but to be truly effective the information needs to be de-gendered.

Men are not only being ignored, but they are threatened by a double edged sword. They are being victimized by partners who are controlling, demanding, and physically and psychologically abusive and they are victims of a gender biased legal system that subjects them to guilt by gender and they have no recourse.

What we are doing now is not prevention, but hindrance. Dr. Charles Corry, president and founder of Equal Justice Foundation stated, “It is very unlikely that men and women who go through the nightmare of the legislated domestic violence processing will ever lead normal lives again. Nor will their children or mates. Women who have seen the results of calling the police because of an abusive mate fear the system even more because they often end up losing their children as well when the Department of Human Services (DHS) becomes involved. All this ensures that the police won't be called next time until the violence has escalated far beyond what it should, or someone is killed. Clearly in domestic conflicts citizens have learned to avoid calling the police”.

Domestic violence has now been federalized in a legislative agenda whose conscious aim is to promote easy divorce. Donna Laframboise of Canada's National Post wrote that federally funded battered woman’s shelters in the United States and Canada constituted "one-stop divorce shops" whose purpose was not to shelter women but to secure custody for divorcing mothers.” The Violence Against Women Act, renewed by Congress in 2000, "offers abundant rewards" for making false accusations, writes Professor Susan Sarnoff of Ohio State University, "including the 'rights' to refuse custody and even visitation to accused fathers, with virtually no requirements of proof." The law's definition of domestic violence is so broad that "it does not even require that the violence be physical."

Our laws are not preventing or protecting, what they are doing is exacerbating minor and oft times first time incidents that destroy marriages and families and increase the public assistance roles and perhaps even add to our already overcrowded prison system. Not only that, but it ties up the courts with cases that have no good outcome. And because Divorce is readily attainable, we have created more single-parents and increased the public assistance roles.

What have we done? We have established laws that are detrimental to the very fabric and backbone of our society; the family. Our problem is that society has become less empathetic and more self-centered. Marriages are not done with an attitude of commitment – instead many are gone into with the attitude – we’ll see if it works. And the government makes it as easy to get out as it does to get in. And if there are children involved, they are denied the stability of a family unit and we have grown to an attitude of not needing anyone; I can take care of myself and if I can’t, well there’s always public assistance.

And thanks to the unjust laws of Domestic Violence – lives are ruined instead of protected. We should be making more work for counselors instead of lawyers and judges. Instead of making criminals out of people, we should be helping them not to become one. Justice would be better served if marital disputes were taken to counseling instead of the courts.

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Women have touted the 14th Amendment for many years to their benefit, but have we come so far that men are being discriminated against? Betty Friedan an early leader in the feminist movement stated, “A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex but neither should she adjust to prejudice and discrimination” and “Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim”. Have we as women forgotten what it was like to be discriminated against based on our gender?

Equality will only be achieved when neither side tries to exert power over the other. We are all entitled to rights and equal protection and distribution of the law. Carrie Chapman Catt said it best, “Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and un-purchasable voice in government.”

� 2012 - Marianne Mogon - All Rights Reserved

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What is going on here? Isn’t this gender bias? Doesn’t this go against the 14th Amendment of our Constitution? This is not equal justice. Has feminism gone beyond equality to where we are trying to establish a matriarchy society?