Occasionally I have to ask people to leave the Tavern. The Bouncer escorts out those causing a fuss. Sometimes it is a 'couple' bickering in the corner with raised voices. Later we hear of the visit by the cops.
There are usually no 'observers' to see what happens when the cops do get to a house where there is a 'Domestic Violence' report but on occasion we do get to hear. So it was that Harry told us of a TV show he'd seen.
Sometime during the course of last summer, 2012, I found myself watching a police reality TV show wherein, basically, camera crews were embedded with various police teams in the UK in order to give the public some insight into every day policing in the country.
It was quite interesting, and I must confess to having been fairly impressed with the police officers whom I saw in action.
Not all of them, but most of them.
Even the women officers were pretty good which, to be honest, came as something of a surprise to me.
But there was one incident that sticks in my mind so firmly that I can still remember it now - a year later.
It was to do with domestic violence.
And I think that the reason that I remember this particular incident so well is because it somewhat captures the essence of the true nature of domestic violence in the UK as described countless times by police officers whom I have met or whose blogs I have read.
This is what happened.
Winnie - not her real name - has called the police because she has been assaulted by her partner.
Two officers - one male, one female - from the domestic violence unit turn up to the apartment.
Winnie - a somewhat feeble, pathetic woman of average size in her 40's - claims that her partner has just assaulted her. As evidence for this, she points to a very small scratch on the inside of her forearm near her elbow.
She explains that she wanted her partner, Fred, to play with her on the Nintendo Wii (i.e. to play a video game) and that he refused - because he wanted to stay in bed.
The male police officer asks her if she wants him removed from the premises.
She says that she does.
"Where is he?" the officer asks.
Winnie points to the bedroom.
The bedroom door opens.
And there lies Fred, on the bed, fully uncovered and wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts.
He is a skinny white man who looks decidedly unhealthy and appears to be about 55 years old.
He has one leg - which looks withered from lack of use.
The other leg is missing - having been cut off well above the knee.
The male police officer asks for further clarification about the incident.
It transpires that Winnie wanted Fred to play with her on the Nintendo Wii. But Fred wanted to stay in bed. And so, in an attempt to encourage him to get out of bed, Winnie goes to the bedroom and pulls the duvet off him - which is why he is lying on the bed completely uncovered at this point in time.
He reacted to this by grabbing the duvet to try to prevent her from uncovering him and, in the process, one of his fingernails scratches the inside of her forearm leaving a very small red lesion.
This was the 'assault'.
The two police officers retire to the living room, looking at each other and wondering what to do.
"Whose place is this?", one of them asks.
"It's his place," Winnie replies.
And so, in summary, Winnie wants Fred removed from his own apartment because he committed an act of domestic violence against her.
Fred is an invalid with one leg.
It's his apartment.
And the two police officers are wondering what to do about this situation.
Isn't this Real domestic violence?
The Police Dispossessing a man
Well, fortunately for Fred, the two police officers decide that Winnie should leave the apartment because - they reason - it was she who committed the first 'assault' - by trying to remove the duvet.
And so Winnie is asked to leave.
Before she leaves, she calls out to Fred.
"Have you got any tobacco, Love?"
"Yes," says Fred. And he gives her some tobacco.
Winnie then leaves the apartment.In the bar, all the customers considered this incident. Harry continued:
There are some points worth noting from this incident and from others like it.
Women, these days, believe that they have a right to have men arrested and removed from their own homes for the most utterly trivial of incidents, even when they, themselves, are the primary causes of such incidents.Well it is pretty clear that Winnie did, and she is unlikely to have come up with that outrageous idea all by herself.
Police officers will, indeed, arrest and remove men from their own homes for the most utterly trivial of incidents.The first thing that came to the minds of the police was to remove the man. That was clear. But why? Why so quick to judgement, especially to dispossess him and throw him on the street?
(In this particular case, it seems that because Fred was disabled, and also because Winnie admitted that she had sparked off the incident, the officers managed to come up with a reason for not removing this disabled man from his own home.)
The domestic violence figures are mostly based on trivial incidents such as this. Indeed, one police officer in the TV programme made the following remark - though I cannot quote his exact words.
"These people just cannot sort out their own problems. Always calling the police over silly arguments."
Calls to the police about domestic violence are mostly arising from women who are using the police to aggress against their partners. They are not mostly arising from women who are in fear of domestic violence.
Indeed, it has been said before in this Tavern that some people like to play 'Games' and this one is called,
"Let's You and Him, Fight".
It is not surprising that many men do, actually, become violent if they have to dwell in domestic circumstances wherein, effectively, they have been totally disempowered and where they are forever at the mercy of their partners regardless of how appalling is their behaviour.
And if they are also likely to lose their own homes and their own children at the touch of a button, it is easy to see how they can become, literally, mentally deranged."The suicide rate amongst separated and divorced men is at epidemic proportions", said someone.
Most domestic violence calls to the police are coming from feckless women - mostly loud-mouthed, drunk, drugged or just angry - often drama queens - who can be described as living in the 'underclass'; 'rednecks', 'trailer trash', 'ghetto' etc etc
The primary causes of serious domestic violence committed by men are the government and the police.
Quite simply, when the law refuses to help men who are in distress and, worse, when it will actively seek to hurt men when they are distressed, then men will far more likely resort to violence.
At the very least, the current laws make men far more edgy, and they make women far more trigger happy. And the result will be far more emotional conflagration - throughout the nation.
But the government and the police do not care about this.
After all, for them, domestic violence - no matter how trivial - means more jobs, more money, more votes and more power.
Judging by her demeanour, Winnie was not a violent woman. And most people would probably not view her as such.
And yet she did commit two acts of 'domestic violence', in my view.
Firstly, she called the police to, at the very least, intimidate her partner in order to get her own way.
Secondly, she attempted to get a disabled man ejected from his very own home for no other reason than that he had irritated her.
(And my guess is that she would have succeeded if Fred had not been disabled.)
This got a lot of people thinking.
Everyone agreed that they knew not very much about domestic violence except what the TV said continually. And Government TV Adverts that always show the man as a bully or a thug or just thick and the woman always a poor victim.
Soon other information appeared and was passed around. One chap produced an article about domestic violence research called The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project:
The most comprehensive review of the scholarly domestic violence research literature ever conducted concludes, among other things, that women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in control behaviors, at comparable rates to men.Well THAT got some head scratching going. Even some of the ladies were shocked. Or looked as though they might be.
The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project, or PASK, whose final installment was just published in the journal Partner Abuse, is an unparalleled three-year research project, conducted by 42 scholars at 20 universities and research centers, and including information on 17 areas of domestic violence research.
"Makes a change from reading a woman's magazine", said one wag.
“Over the years, research on partner abuse has become unnecessarily fragmented and politicized,” commented John Hamel, Editor-in-Chief of Partner Abuse and PASK Director. “The purpose of this project is to bring together, in a rigorously evidence-based, transparent and methodical manner, existing knowledge about partner abuse, with reliable, up-to-date research that can easily be accessed by anyone. PASK is grounded in the premises that
everyone is entitled to their opinion,
but not to their own facts;
that these facts should be available to everyone, and that domestic violence intervention and policy ought to be based upon these facts rather than ideology and special interests.”
Among PASK’s findings are that, except for sexual coercion, men and women perpetrate physical and non-physical forms of abuse at comparable rates, most domestic violence is mutual, women are as controlling as men, domestic violence by men and women is correlated with essentially the same risk factors, and male and female perpetrators are motivated for similar reasons.
“Although research confirms that women are more impacted by domestic violence,” stated Hamel, “these findings recommend important intervention and policy changes, including a need to pay more attention to female-perpetrated violence, mutual abuse, and the needs of male victims.”
Hamel also argues that men are not only disproportionately arrested in domestic violence cases, but sometimes arrested for arbitrary reasons, citing, for example, that police often arrest the bigger and stronger party in cases where the perpetrator is unclear. “Such policies are not only ineffective but violate people’s civil rights,” Hamel concludes. “People in the domestic violence field say that ‘it’s all about the victims.’ Well, the victim is not always the one hit, but sometimes the one arrested.”
Read more about the Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project, or visit the world’s largest domestic violence research database at http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org for free access to thousands of pages summarizing 1,700 peer-reviewed studies.
And just in today, another case. A man in jail for months awaiting trial is acquitted after real evidence is presented that contradicted the woman's claims and her lawyer's hyperbole.
A FRAGMENT of CCTV footage has helped clear a man accused of aggravated sexual assault in the Parliament House carpark on New Year's Day.
Mathew Luke Johnson, 35, of North Hobart, looked up and breathed a sigh of relief when a Supreme Court jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
Mr Johnson said as he left court he was greatly relieved by the result after a stressful time awaiting trial in prison.
He had pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault, saying the 26-year-old tourist was the one who pulled him into the car park.
A glimpse of the couple at the edge of waterfront CCTV footage confirmed his claim.
During the two-day trial, Crown prosecutor Tony Jacobs described the woman as "completely helpless" that night after consuming significantly more alcohol than she usually would at Salamanca bars and the Taste of Tasmania festival.
She was in town to spend the New Year with her sister but the two became separated in the hours before the woman met Mr Johnson.
The court heard Mr Johnson and the complainant became acquainted outside a nightclub and after they kissed he asked her if she wanted to go home with him.
He told police in an interview played to the court yesterday she smiled and led him by the hand into the car park.
Minutes after they had met, the pair were engaged in sex acts behind a shipping container in the carpark when bypassers intervened, chased Mr Johnson away and alerted police.Note this. They chased HIM away. Why?
There is an automatic and biased assumption that any man is guilty, even when it is the woman who instigates.
Defence lawyer Kim Baumeler said the victim had been nowhere as drunk as she had claimed and had a much better memory of the evening than she made out because she was able to describe Mr Johnson in considerable detail.
She said there was nothing in the woman's actions to suggest she was not consenting and the sex acts were more in the nature of foreplay than a forcible sexual assault.But this man has spent MONTHS in jail.
He needs a drink.