Los Angeles, CA–Mark, an Atlanta police office, wrote me a letter about fraudulently obtained restraining orders being used by women against innocent men. To learn more, see I’m tired of seeing restraining orders used as a weapon against good men. Mark told me another instance of this in a subsequent letter. Mark writes:
Here is another account of a misguided T.P.O. (“Temporary Protection” or “restraining ” orders). Not more that a month ago my partner and I were dispatched to a domestic dispute were the husband had a T.P.O. issued against him. The order excluded him from the home and gave custody and child support to the mother.
The allegations were that he was abusive and she was “scared” for her safety. Obviously, NO police complaint was ever made by her. Fortunately, he was allowed to return to the home, escorted by Law Enforcement, to gather some belongings. This is very rare, but some judges do allow it so that the fathers are not left practically homeless and with no change of clothing. This is a perfect opportunity for a police officer to observe the couple’s interactions. While the father was moving his belongings, he maintained a quiet demeanor as he was instructed. The wife, on the other hand, did not. She taunted him and continuously berated him while he was gathering his belongings. She was angry because he was moving his stuff and accused him of “abandoning” her. Guess she forgot she went and got a damn T.P.O. against him. Anyways, we escorted him into their garage to get his final items. She was repeatedly ordered to stop her instigating behavior. To all our surprise the wife armed herself with a pipe wrench and ran after her husband. The aggravated assault on him would have been sufficient enough to cause him serious injury or death. She was stopped when we tackled her. She went to the court accusing him of being a batterer. Then was angry because he was moving out, **BY COURT ORDER!!!** It was VERY clear who the primary aggressor was in this relationship. And yes, she went to jail. Totally abolishing her claims to her T.P.O. And yes, I will make sure a conviction is obtained. Sadly, it’s an everyday thing. I would like to see someone with some real experience in domestic violence to head the revision of T.P.O. orders. First, everyone needs to see that domestic violence is not a gender-based crime. The same battery laws apply to everyone.