If it’s October it must be “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” This federally driven observance has generated a steady stream of dishonest claims about how domestic violence is a gender crime perpetrated entirely by men against women. This non-existent crisis will be used to set aside more constitutional protections in order to railroad innocent men into jail.
Men’s groups are beginning to fight back, pointing out decades of unchallenged research establishing that domestic violence is perpetrated as much by women as men.
But more needs to be said. Most of the domestic violence hysteria is generated for one purpose: to gain advantage in custody battles. In other words, trumped-up domestic violence accusations break up marriages and separate children from their fathers.
It is ironic but perhaps also fitting that just two weeks ago President Bush proclaimed Marriage Protection Week. Though this was a response to the flap over gay marriage, it might be even more constructively used to raise awareness of how the domestic violence industry is destroying marriage and creating fatherless children.
Now domestic violence hysteria is becoming so extreme that it is creating a quasi-totalitarian gulag, where fathers are evicted from their homes without any evidence of wrongdoing, interrogated, and forced to confess to crimes they never committed.
That’s right. American citizens are routinely forced, on pain of incarceration, to sign confessions.
Forced confessions are familiar from the Stalinist regimes of Eastern Europe. Prisoners were required to denounce themselves for their “crimes” against socialism. Arthur Koestler described this vividly in his novel, Darkness at Noon.
In Warren County, Pa., fathers like Robert Pessia are told they will be jailed unless they sign documents confessing to acts of violence. The confessions require the father to admit, “I have physically and emotionally battered my partner. I have committed the following acts of violence against her.” He must then describe the violence, even if he insists he committed none. The documents require him to state, “I am responsible for the violence I used. My behavior was not provoked.”
As Pessia says, “This means I have lied and admit to something that I did not do.” Other men testify, “It will be useless to try to defend myself because it will just make it worse.”
The “violence” in question need not even be, in fact, violent. It may be anything the “victim” (who may only be “emotionally battered”) says it is. “Depriving her of clothes” and “harassing her over bills” are among the definitions of “violence” promoted by some domestic violence authorities. Words like violence are debased into meaningless Newspeak, so that no defense is possible and no due process of law is applicable.
The line between law enforcement and psychotherapy becomes dangerously blurred, since the required confessions usually begin as involuntary therapy. Politicized psychotherapy echoes Soviet practice, where psychiatric prisons were used to confine and drug dissidents like V.I. Fainberg and V. E. Borisov, whose political views and ethical principles were taken as indications of mental illness.
These officials are not joking. In Massachusetts, minister Harry Stewart was jailed for six months for refusing to confess.
In Britain too the Labour government is employing Gestapo methods and destroying centuries-old Common Law protections for individual rights in the name of domestic violence. Home Secretary David Blunkett recently announced police raids to round-up and arrest men. The operation was carried out by something called the “Diversity Directorate” of the London police.
Blunkett’s Conservative Party counterpart, Oliver Letwin, calls his methods authoritarian. Something extreme is taking place when a right-wing law-and-order spokesman can criticize the police methods of a left-wing government as heavy-handed.
It is clear that the purpose here is not to arrest individual lawbreakers but to instill fear in a target population. Gloria Steinem isn’t joking when she says, “Feminism is a revolution.” If so, the domestic violence machinery is executing its Reign of Terror.
Too many conservatives turn a blind eye to these abuses because they assume it is a matter of law-and-order. It is not. It is the perversion of criminal justice to serve an ideological agenda, bringing the law into contempt and leaving the weak at the mercy of truly dangerous criminals.
Perhaps this year we might celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Marriage Protection Week together, by becoming aware of how the domestic violence hoax is being used to destroy marriage and erect a police state.