Domestic Violence ‘Training’ for Judges

Texas criminal defense attorney Paul Stuckle (pictured), who specializes in defending men falsely accused of domestic violence or sexual abuse, wrote me recently concerning the Domestic Violence Benchbook used for judges in the state of New Mexico. It is put out by the Rozier E. Sanchez Judicial Education Center of New Mexico, which was established under a federal grant to provide education and training to the judges, administrators and other staff of the New Mexico judicial branch. The Benchbook contains numerous gems, including this one:

“Domestic violence perpetrators can be men or women involved in heterosexual or same-sex intimate relationships, and New Mexico’s laws against domestic violence make no distinction based on the parties’ gender or sexual orientation. Nonetheless, the discussion in this chapter will assume a heterosexual relationship with a male abuser unless otherwise indicated. The discussion uses this assumption because most domestic violence research has been done in this context.

“Violence in same-sex relationships and in heterosexual relationships with female abusers has not been much studied to date, and is not well understood. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (1992-1996), about 85% of victims of intimate violence are women. Although less likely than men to experience violent crime overall, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate. Greenfeld, et al, Violence by Intimates, p. 1, 4 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998).”

As I’ve explained on numerous occasions, crime surveys dramatically and consistently undercount male victims of domestic violence, for reasons that are logical and understandable. (To learn more, see my co-authored column New DOJ Domestic Violence Study Undercounts Male Victims, Baltimore Sun, 1/12/07). Domestic violence research clearly shows that women are at least as likely to attack their male partners as vice versa, and that one-third of domestic violence injuries are sustained by heterosexual males.

The Domestic Violence Benchbook even cites and treats as good coin research from Dr. Lenore E. A. Walker’s The Battered Woman Syndrome (aka the “How to Murder Your Husband and Get Away with It” defense).

This is another example of the importance of the California Alliance for Families and Children’s upcoming conference “From Ideology to Inclusion: Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence.” The dissident domestic violence authorities and researchers speaking and directing the conference are challenging the domestic violence establishment’s discredited yet pervasive “man as perp/woman as victim” model of domestic violence. To learn more, see my recent post Group of Domestic Violence Dissidents/Authorities Sponsors Historic Conference.

[Note: If you or someone you love is being abused, the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women provides crisis intervention and support services to victims of domestic violence and their families.]

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