Restraining Orders Hurt Women…and Men

Grace Krejci of West Allis, Wis. took out a restraining order on her separated husband. Last week the deranged man broke into her house because their 5-year-old son hadn’t been picked up at school. Minutes later Grace lay dead of a bullet wound.

Toni Brown of Washington, DC had an order of protection, believing that would ward off the escalating threats by her former live-in girlfriend. Then a late-night attack rendered her respirator-dependent, thanks to a close-range gunshot in the back of her neck.

Abused men also have been victimized by these legal devices – like Mauricio Droguett who was fatally stabbed by his ex-wife in an Iowa shopping mall, despite the existence of a restraining order cradled in his pocket.

Maybe it’s time for a sanity check.

By what crazy logic do persons believe that inscribing the words, “Order of Protection” on a sheet of 20-pound paper is going to deter a would-be assailant who is intent on maiming his or her victim?

How can judges dole out such orders when no research shows they do any good in stopping violence?

And when persons with restraining orders keep getting assaulted, what possesses lawmakers to enact even more laws designed to make…

Obama’s Domestic Violence Initiative: Hope, Hype, and Hogwash

Desperate times call for desperate measures. So shortly before the November 2 elections, Barack Obama pulled out all the stops to woo the fading female electorate, unveiling a multi-pronged effort to “end domestic violence against women,” as the president theatrically called it. But did the president’s 5-point initiative deliver on the goods?

Let’s begin with Obama’s Hope about “ending” domestic violence. Folks, let’s get real – the only way to put a stop to partner aggression – think Blondie chasing Dagwood with her rolling pin at the ready — would be to separate men and women at birth and ship them off to opposite corners of the universe.

But wait! It turns out domestic violence is twice as high among lesbians as among heterosexual married couples. Well, scratch that idea.

If the hopey-hopey routine doesn’t do the trick, let’s turn to the Hype. And here, Tinker Bell’s magic wand sparkles with a wondrous gleam.

Because President Obama has taken to casting a spell on women with this Abuse Fairy Tale: Take a piece of paper and inscribe the words, “Stay away, you big meanie!” Sprinkle Pixie Dust, and now call it a Restraining Order.

And the would-be ravisher of women will slink…

Feminist Amy Siskind: Trojan Horse to the Conservative Cause?

Last Tuesday, 51% of the female electorate pulled the lever in favor of the GOP candidate to the U.S. House of Representatives. And for the first time in recent memory, a majority of women voted Republican.

Refusing to concede defeat, the National Organization for Women promptly instructed its members to organize. And to the Gender Guerillas, “organize” includes infiltrating the conservative ranks.

Exhibit A is Amy Siskind’s recent editorial, “The Republican Party’s Historic Opportunity with Women,” in which she purports to offer advice to conservatives on how to attract the female vote:

But before we take a look at her manifesto – er, column – we might first ask, Who is Amy Siskind and what does she stand for?

Co-founder and president of the offbeat The New Agenda, Siskind is an unabashed proponent of abortion rights: “I am pro-choice and reproductive rights are important to me,” she boasted in her August 30 Huffington Post column. So when Nancy Pelosi jettisoned insurance funding for abortion services from the health reform bill, Siskind savaged the Speaker of the House for the mortal sin of “betraying the sisterhood.”

Siskind is amazingly candid in laying out her vision of a gender utopia. In her November 23, 2009 column…

Men Power Conservatives to a Landslide Victory

Tuesday’s election marked a stunning turn-around for the Republican Party, which gained 60 new seats in the House and an six additional seats in the Senate. As much as any other demographic, it was conservative men who brought the GOP back from two dreary years in the political wilderness.

Overall, 56% of the male electorate voted Republican, compared to 49% of women, according to exit polls: While women are known to outnumber men, the 7-point gender gap was more than enough for men to leverage the GOP to a ringing victory that resonated from the coal fields of Pennsylvania to the sun-kissed beaches of Florida and the bayous of Louisiana.

The male surge was felt across all major racial/ethnic groups. Compared to 2008, the percentage of white male voters who voted Republican expanded from 54% to 63%, according to the CNN exit polls. Same with Latino men, who saw an increase from 28% to 38%. And the number of Black males swept into the GOP ranks doubled, going from 7% in 2008 to 14% in 2010.

In race after race, energized men rescued the Republican Party from its electoral doldrums.

Take Florida, where the charismatic Marco Rubio handily beat Charlie Crist. While 64%…

Stacy Bannerman’s Domestic Violence Hoax

Stacy Bannerman, well-known advocate for military families, recently published an article titled, “Husbands Who Bring the War Home:” Author of When the War Came Home, Bannerman has been credited for helping to secure passage of the Military Family Leave Act in 2009.

As weary American troops return from their Iraqi deployment, the Bannerman column is important and timely. And the harrowing account of Kristi, victim of an attempted strangulation by a husband who had just returned from a 10-month deployment, was riveting.

But was it true?

As a columnist who specializes in the field of domestic violence and has spoken with countless victims of abuse, I found myself feeling increasingly unsettled as I worked my way through her engaging yet enigmatic essay.

The question of the veracity of her claims is paramount because the partner abuse field is strewn with battlefield debris of half-truths, misrepresentations, and utter fabrications. University of New Hampshire researcher Murray Straus has written of domestic violence researchers who “have let their ideological commitments overrule their scientific commitments.” And U. Penn School of Social Work dean Richard Gelles has coined the whimsical phrase about the ubiquitous partner abuse “factoids from nowhere.”

So I sent Ms. Bannerman an email requesting…

2010 Will be Year of the Man

Carey Roberts

“Granddad, why are all those football players wearing pink shoes?” That was the topic of conversation this past Monday evening as my 13-year-old grandson and I watched the star-crossed Minnesota Vikings take on the New York Jets.

I sagely explained that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. His logical mind now ratcheting into overdrive, he tried to pin me down: “So when do the players wear blue shoes for prostate cancer awareness?”

That proved to be a harder question.

In 1992, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Patty Murray, and Carol Moseley Braun swept into the Senate in dramatic fashion, instantly inspiring the catch-phrase, “Year of the Woman.” After the 1992 influx, female legislators continued to score steady gains, and now represent 17% of lawmakers, by interesting coincidence in both the Senate and the House.

But this coming November 2, the number of women in Congress is predicted to decline, the first time that’s happened since 1978. David Wasserman, analyst at the non-partisan Cook Political Report, is now forecasting the number of females in the House will drop by 5-10 persons. In the Senate, the current count of 17 female lawmakers will be lucky to hold its own.

Although the Chicken-Littles are already yelping…

Domestic Violence Fairytales Threaten Constitutional Protections

Kristin Ruggiero of New Hampshire figured it would be a slam-dunk. The gambit worked like a charm during the divorce hearing, now she would bring the case to criminal court.

Her husband Jeffrey, an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, was an incorrigible batterer, at least that’s what she led to the judge to believe. That got him convicted of criminal threatening, and she won custody of their 7-year-old daughter.

But Kristin Ruggiero wasn’t finished.

So one day the woman bragged to her startled ex, “I took all your money, I took your daughter, and now I’m going to take your career.” She went out and purchased a disposable cell phone and registered it in the name of Jeffrey. She then sent herself a passel of threatening text messages.

Apparently Kristin didn’t realize that in criminal court, allegations are subjected to a higher standard of proof. And all of a sudden the nefarious scheme to frame her ex-husband came crashing down.

Last week Kristin Ruggiero was convicted on 12 counts of falsifying physical evidence and sentenced to 7-14 years in prison. Read more

Lesbian Battering: The Sisterhood Turns on Itself

A series of high-profile cases of lesbian-perpetrated domestic violence has sent shock-waves through Massachusetts communities in recent months:

1. On February 16, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Nicole Chuminski on two counts of second-degree murder, following a fire that killed the two daughters of her lover Anna Reisopoulos. During a heated argument between the two, Chuminski reportedly fell into a fit of rage. A few hours later Chuminski returned to her partner’s apartment and hurled an acetone-laden firebomb into the front door.

Sophia and Acia, ages 2 and 14, were burned beyond recognition, so dental records were needed for positive identification.

2. On March 29 Annamarie Rintala of Granby, Mass. was found dead by strangulation in the basement of the house she shared with her domestic partner Cara. Cara had been previously charged with domestic violence after she struck Annamarie in the back of the head with a closed fist.

3. Eunice Field of Brockton, Mass. found herself on the losing end of a bitter ménage à trois. So on August 9 she marched to the apartment of Lorraine Wachsman. There she grabbed a serrated knife and stabbed Wachsman in the back and neck. Dispelling any doubt about her intentions, she then…

Kill Whitey and Other Leftist Fantasies

The ever-feisty, always irrepressible Rev. Jeremiah Wright is back in the news. Yessiree, President Obama’s long-time spiritual guru is once again regaling audiences with his unique blend of fire-and-brimestone and racial invective.

During a seminar held in Chicago last week, Wright broke into his well-honed rap routine, claiming, “White folk done took this country.” And “You’re in their home, and they’re gonna let you know it.” Wright then accused whites of designing schools to mis-educate blacks “not by benign neglect but by malignant intent.” Read more

Hanna Rosin: This is What a Feminist Looks Like

A couple years ago the National Organization for Women came up with an idea for a new PR campaign. The program duped unsuspecting college students into wearing a T-shirt carrying the gratuitous slogan, “This is what a feminist looks like.”

The campaign was designed to dispel the popular notion that all women’s libbers are Helen Thomas look-alikes with a hooked nose, deep-set eyes, serpentine lips, and rhinoceros-hide skin. Read more