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March 22, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Scotland’s taken a bold new step toward the destruction of the family, and Scottish Women’s Aid and The Guardian couldn’t be more thrilled (The Guardian, 2/1/18). They’re so excited that they call the new law the “gold standard” of domestic violence law. Unsurprisingly, this being the brainchild of Scottish Women’s Aid, the new law vastly expands the meaning of domestic violence and encourages the police to remember that, just because an accused person hasn’t behaved violently, doesn’t mean he hasn’t – you know - committed domestic violence.

Now, you probably noticed that I used the masculine pronoun in the previous sentence. I did that because everyone discussing the new law assumes that all abusers are men and all victims are women.

“Women have been telling us for years that it is emotional abuse that is most harmful. One of the unique things about this bill is that it privileges the experiences of women and children…

The offence also includes a “reasonable person test”. For example, would a reasonable person consider that limiting a woman’s access to her bank account or prescribing her meal times or moving her car while she was asleep – all cases that Scottish Women’s Aid have encountered – amounted to controlling behaviour?...

“The voices of women and children who have experienced domestic abuse are at the heart of this bill and that is why it is so important for these provisions to operate effectively. One of the critical things is that those in contact with women who could benefit from its provisions understand exactly what psychological abuse and coercive control is.”…

What matters now is what happens when the first calls come in under the new law. How will the police and the courts respond to that first caller who insists ‘violence wasn’t the worst part’. Will she be told: ‘Talk about the violence’, or what we hope she’ll hear: ‘Yes, I know what you mean.’” 

Yes, not a single word was spoken or written to suggest that men too are victims and women perpetrators of domestic violence. Doubtless the law is written in scrupulously gender-neutral language, but no one is fooled. Women’s Aid has never admitted the truth about domestic violence despite the fact that over four decades of research have revealed equal perpetration and victimization by men and women. Indeed, just eight years ago, Scotland itself produced data showing that 5% of men and 5% of women reported experiencing domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner within the previous 12 months.

And then of course lesbian relationships are on average significantly more violent than any other kind. Recent data out of Statistics Canada showed lesbian relationships twice as likely to experience violence as heterosexual ones and three times as likely as gay male couples.

Now, about that broadened “definition” of the term:

A law setting a “gold standard” for domestic abuse legislation by incorporating both emotional and physical violence into the same offence is expected to be passed by the Scottish parliament.

The domestic abuse bill, which has cross-party backing, creates a specific offence of “abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner”. This will cover not only physical abuse but other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using the existing criminal law.

The Guardian, Women’s Aid and everyone interviewed or quoted by the article never mention something else as well – women tend to be more coercive and controlling in intimate relationships than do men. That’s according to research done by Dr. Elizabeth Bates who’s done much honest work on domestic violence, debunking many myths (Telegraph, 6/26/14).

Women are more likely than men to be aggressive and controlling towards their partner, according to a study.

The research found that women showed controlling behaviour along with serious levels of threats, intimidation and physical violence when in a relationship more often than men.

Given that, the question arises whether, when a man calls his local DV hotline in Scotland to complain of coercive, controlling behavior by his female partner, “Will he be told: ‘Talk about the violence’, or what we hope he’ll hear: ‘Yes, I know what you mean.’” 

If Women’s Aid has anything to say about it, the answer he’ll receive is “You’re a man; you can’t be a victim. Good bye.”

Speaking of Women’s Aid, they’re taking the new law to the bank.

Holyrood’s justice secretary, Michael Matheson, also announced £165,000 of dedicated training funding for Scottish Women’s Aid.

If you’ve read The Guardian’s article, it won’t take too much imagination to figure out what that training will consist of.

Needless to say, the broader the definition of domestic violence, the more it can be used to separate men from women and fathers from children. And that, from almost the very inception of the DV movement, has been the point.

 

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National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#domesticviolence, #Scotland, #families, #Women'sAid

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