“It’s so infuriating to me because there are women who worked very hard for decades to create a system where domestic violence is serious business and people respond to it in a serious way, and when women use it as a weapon not a shield it’s offensive.”–Judge Judy
Many activists have emailed me about a recent incident on Judge Judy where Judy criticizes a female litigant for “manipulating the [domestic violence] system” against her former fiancée, the father of her child.
We’ve often discussed the widespread problem of women making false claims of domestic violence as custody maneuvers against innocent fathers. Yet as much as I planned on watching gleefully as Judge Judy ripped into a false accuser, I wind up disappointed in her. Judge Judy may well be right that the woman is lying, but she never gave the woman a chance to present the evidence to back up her claim that her fiancée had physically abused her. The way Judge Judy berates the woman and cuts her off reminds me of the way many fathers report that judges treat them.
The woman litigant is certainly no angel, and I’m very skeptical about her DV claim since she was the one who went over to her ex’s at 4 in the morning to confront him. She may have also been doing a maneuver with the timing of the restraining order hearing, though it’s unclear what really happened. Regardless, she should have at least been listened to and allowed to present her case.