COMMENT: British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has proposed a tracking system for domestic violence abusers, which some are describing as a domestic violence registry. The entire thrust, of course, is to keep "scary" men on a leash, even though "the British Crime Survey, now in its seventh consecutive year of publication, repeatedly notes that men are also victims. The 2007/08 survey recorded that while one in four women suffers from domestic violence, one in six men are victims." See here.
But men, of course, are unlikely to report domestic violence perpetrated against them: "Men’s misery over these forms of domestic abuse remains largely unrecorded. Masculine pride holds most men back from admitting they are abused and from seeking help if they admit it." See here. (I don't know that it's masculine "pride" so much as it is a societal aversion to acknowledge that men -- who are supposed to be strong and stoic -- could be victims of domestic violence. These attitudes are shared and taught as much by women as men, I suspect. But the conclusion is beyond dispute -- men don't report.)
The tracking system raises a host of dangers for the innocent, and because men don't report domestic violence, these dangers will target almost exclusively males. The system might just work to track some "bad" men, but it definitely will be abused by some women to punish some innocent men. And, yes, it definitely will hurt, and even destroy, the lives of some innocent men.
The fact that there is little concern about the innocent in connection with this proposal is a further illustration that too many of us are willing to sacrifice significant numbers of innocent men as nothing more than necessary collateral damage to insure the "scary" bad men are nabbed. This attitude, fueled by a hysteria over predatory males, is detestable by any measure and cannot be justified in a just, civilized society.
UK columnist Sue Carroll hit the nail on the head when she summed up the problems with this suggestion: "We've all witnessed the devastating consequences of women falsely accusing men of rape. It's hard to imagine a more simple way of exacting retribution on a partner than claiming 'he knocked me about' with total impunity."
HERE IS MS. CARROLL'S COLUMN
New domestic violence proposals open to abuse
By Sue Carroll 10/03/2009
It's hard to believe in these enlightened times one out of five adults believes it's acceptable for a man to slap his wife or girlfriend.
This alarming figure, by the way, includes women who cite wearing sexy clothes and nagging as justifiable excuses for male abuse.
The findings, revealed in a poll conducted by Mori, have prompted Jacqui Smith to propose a series of draconian measures aimed at reducing domestic abuse.
One includes a domestic violence register as a warning to potential victims.
It's all perfectly commendable in principle but open to abuse of a totally different kind. We've all witnessed the devastating consequences of women falsely accusing men of rape.
It's hard to imagine a more simple way of exacting retribution on a partner than claiming "he knocked me about" with total impunity.
Back to the drawing board, Miss Smith.