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Author Topic: 3.04 | Domestic violence [for men]  (Read 36372 times)
Matt
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2013, 02:52:47 PM »

Before you call the police, do some basic homework, as Waddams and Matt imply.  Talk to the local DV people and/or a lawyer.  Remember, once the police make an arrest, they are not obligated to drop the case even if both parties say "forget it".

"Talk to a lawyer"... .  

Unfortunately most family law attorneys don't do criminal defense, and vice versa.

When I talked with a criminal defense attorney, I got really good advice - stuff I never thought about.
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« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2013, 04:31:05 PM »

For our safety (and the children) what is the best course of action to take if our partner is becoming physical?

If you have reasons to be concerned about violence or false accusations, be ready.  An overnight bag in the trunk of your car;  your wallet and keys or purse handy;  and a good idea where you can spend the night if needed.  The idea is to be ready to walk out the door quickly and go somewhere for a few hours or overnight.

availability and use of a voice or video recording device

MY xBPDw called me to tell me I had to pick up our oldest boy because he pushed her and if I didn't pick him up she was having him arrested. He was 12 at the time. He was a A student and I never had any incident with him and never seen anything that concerned me. We were going through a custody evel at the time and I was seeking primary custody. I drove to her place and he was already kicked out by the curb sobbing and shaking. He had his schoolbag and another bag (I assumed was clothes) I didn't even park the car and went out to sooth him. I didn't suspect him doing anything wrong. When I finally calmed him down I got him in the car. That is when I noticed ex in front of me. She started with me and I remained calm. When my back was turned ( I was talking to son in the car) ex somehow fell. I turned around to see her getting up and saying "I got you now".

I went to the police to report what happened.

I was arrested.

I went to court and like others here have said. Prosecutors are looking for convictions. I was charged with a misdemeanor of assault and was found guilty of a summary offense of disorderly conduct.

I was put in prison for two weeks and lost my teaching job because of it.

Upon release I purchased a video camera and an audio recorder. I have them with me whenever I pick the boys up and made sure she knows it. She tried twice to approach me and I turned the camera on and pointed it at her. She hasn't tried to come near me since. I would have never imagined this beforehand and would have laughed at anyone making such a suggestion. I have a spare battery fully charged with me for the devices and my camera has eye fi so I can send all videos to my computer. My audio recorder can record 1100 hours. I turn it on in my car when I am going to a school function and have it on my person the entire time. I turn it off when I am several blocks away in my car. They get downloaded onto my computer just in case.
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« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2013, 12:17:43 PM »

Once the police are called there's little time to react or prepare.  So what have you done to prepare and protect yourself in advance?  Have you spoken with local law enforcement in advance - someone with authority, not just any officer on duty at the time you inquire - so the officers are less likely to arrive not knowing what they'll find or who to believe?

Here's what happened in my case.

Point 1 - Don't expect the other person to be honest or tell the whole truth.

Though I was the one to call 911, when the police arrived and spoke to us separately, I was never offered DV advice of any sort, yet afterward my ex said they told her she could call for DV advice.  Wow, how did that happen?  Clearly, her story wasn't the same one I gave.  She surely portrayed herself as the 'target' or 'victim' yet I was the one threatened and I was the one who called.

Point 2 - Ponder how to show you're not the aggressor or misbehaving.

When the police arrived, I was holding my preschooler in my arms.  He had been crying, was quietly sobbing and sniffling and holding onto me tightly.  After speaking with us, one officer asked me to hand our child over to his mother and step away.  I tried but he started shrieking and clung to me tighter.  The oficer looked at me for a very long moment, then said "work it out" and both cars left.  Did the officer just want to speak to me without son hearing or did he want me separated so I could be carted away without a fuss?  I don't know.  All I know is that I believe my preschooler saved me that day - an upset child who refused - to the point of tears - to go to the other parent?  Perhaps something like that might work for you.

Also, I documented the incident.  No, not the visit by the police.  Earlier events.  I could tell my then-spouse was getting enraged at me earlier that day and so later at the first sign of conflict I started recording.  The officials only had a record of my call as "family dispute" before ex grabbed the handset, disconnected he call and threw it in my direction but busted it against the wall instead.  However, I had the before, during and after.  Oh my.  It was my proof that I wasn't the one misbehaving.  I didn't have the opportunity to play it for the officers (speakers didn't work) but later I did and having that evidence of her threats of DV likely discouraged my then-spouse from claiming I was the one doing DV.  (I didn't manage to avoid all allegations, she chose the other common strategy, to allege I was a child abuser.  That went on for a few years, but that's another story for another thread.)
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Matt
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2013, 02:42:43 PM »

In my state, and many others, it is the law that when a woman accuses a man of domestic violence, he must be arrested and charged - period.

Doesn't matter if there are bruises.  Doesn't matter if there is any evidence at all.  Doesn't matter what he says or what she says.  (In my case, my wife told different stories to the two officers, who then compared notes, and put it in their report that she had done that.  It proved she was lying.  Didn't matter.)

It doesn't even matter if you can prove beyond any doubt that the accusation is false.  The law requires the officers to arrest you and charge you with a crime.  The best they can do for you is to document everything in their report, which you can later use to ask the judge  (not the prosecutor!) to order that the charges be dropped.  That's after you get out of jail - probably overnight - and hire a criminal defense attorney (a few thousand $).

So... .  the strategy of avoiding DVish situations is by far the best.  Thinking that when the police come, and see how reasonable you are, and they check out your story and it's true, they won't arrest you - in about half the states that is 100% certain not to happen, and in the rest it's very unlikely.
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« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2013, 10:03:31 AM »

There is, of course, the stigma out there that men abuse women, which is often the case. However, I was a victim of a vicious smear campaign based on categorically false accusations of domestic violence that got me banned from volunteering at a golden retriever dog rescue because my unexBPDgf worked there as caretaker.  I'm guessing she said domestic violence anyway, because the letter banning me from the rescue indicated that “domestic violence is a crime" without defining the accusation.  Whatever it was, I know it was completely untrue.  I'll never understand why she did this, but perhaps the answer simply lies in her mental illness.

The scary thing is that a woman can make things up and the man is automatically perceived to be guilty.  I know that, on the other side there are women who don't report real cases of domestic violence and that is unfortunate, but I'm scared that people can make these kind of accusations and ruin lives when it's completely untrue.  Women often get away with acts of domestic violence too, and that's awful.

Never in my life could I have imagined being accused of something like this. Thank God it didn't get legal in my case because it could have ruined my life. But it ruined my reputation, and hurt so very deeply. So very scary and so very unfair.
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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2013, 02:22:51 PM »

Fantastic thread and very much needed. Some frightening stories here. I could add mine but they aren't that much different. The book Splitting really spells it all out, every behaviour the pwBPD is likely to do and listed in that book has actually happened to me. I was told by an initial lawyer I went to that if my wife came at me with a knife and I grabbed her to protect myself that would be considered assault and I'd go to jail, not her. The only remedy is to constantly document and leave before any eruption (including verbal) goes nuclear. False DV and child abuse allegations are such a common tool used by disgruntled spouses, not just the pwBPD, that in many jurisdictions the lawyers can see through it, but you'll still be put through the ringer along the way.
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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2013, 08:42:25 PM »

This thread really hits home with me. I have been accused of assault and taken to court by my soon to be xbpww. I was very fortunate that our three sons and her own family were witness to her lying and spoke on my behalf in court and it was thrown out. I have never experienced anything like the past couple of years. My wife suffers from Bi-polar and I have been able to handle that over the past 28 years, but BPD is far worse to live with!
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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2013, 12:18:12 AM »

Hi all

This is an interesting topic, and greatly helpful to read all your posts, thanks.

I must of course say, that in the minds of someone in a relationship with an abuser, there is a whole lot more to it than our lack of self-respect, codependence or the other explanations, (confusing love with pity and the rest).

There is always the love, plain and simple.

There is always the hope

There is always the acknowledgement that you are dealing with a person constantly in great inner pain, (like yourself!)

There is always the knowing that that person has beauty and integrity and is capable of that at times, (and you so want to see that again)

There is the knowing that they are in such pain they may not know they can change, (believing themselves defective)

There is the conflict we have from knowing all that we know, (from here and other resources)

There is the knowing that occasionally you will not handle their 'acting out' well yourself, (who after all is a saint?) but with that, comes the heavy price of believing you provoked them, (we all know how that happens).

There is the knowing they are testing you, and the knowing you cannot always pass that impossible test, because you are after all only human and your heart is sore

There is the shock

There is the inner conflict between knowing what you know, and knowing what to do, and the absolute insecurity of that burden. Trying to decide if/when you are just a couple in an argument, (trying to resolve long standing issues that one partner bears more than the other) and the limits of that, (lots of people curse when they are angry, so what do you do, set the impossible task of telling your partner they are not to swear in front of you? and feeling like a parent to a child?

Then communicating how much swearing they can do?

Oh God, the anguish you bear is horrible.

I can talk theory until the cows come home, and yes it is all beneficial and enlightening, but plain and simple, it comes down to love... .

And I don't want anyone telling me any different.

Yes, my exBP may have reminded me of my Father, unconsciously and maybe that is why I was drawn to him.

But I am just a female, wanting to love her male, and be loved by him. I don't want to be told it was my fault he abused me, and I should have got out earlier, if he had a lisp, would that be OK to leave because I couldn't understand him?

I know I am told that I shouldn't have loved, couldn't have loved, but that doesn't take away the pain of knowing I will never love like this again... . and really not wanting to have to.

I am now 46, I don't want to go through the process of grief over someone I never wanted to lose in the first place. So give me a break cause I have to.

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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2013, 01:04:42 AM »

That is a beautiful post Rollercoaster24, The last line sums it up
I don't want to go through the process of grief over someone I never wanted to lose in the first place. So give me a break cause I have to.

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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2013, 01:41:08 AM »

In my family of origin, my mother was the domestic abuser.  As a B, she was physically violent to my father and her children.  And is typical of domestic abusers, she could not take responsibility for her actions.  And yet I loved my mother and wanted so desperately, beyond my power, for her to be happy.  It's so painful because we can love and see the humanity of these people who are also abusing us. And yet the abusing was always wrong, even if she could never see her conduct as being wrong.  It is only correct to detach with love from hurt people who are abusive.

Calsun
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2013, 06:57:39 AM »

It's so painful because we can love and see the humanity of these people who are also abusing us. And yet the abusing was always wrong, even if she could never see her conduct as being wrong.  It is only correct to detach with love from hurt people who are abusive.

Trying to detach even a little brings more conflict as they sense you trying to withdraw for protection. Despair comes with knowing that the only solution is to detach completely, and, accept the unintended consequences of losing someone we loved.
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"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain."


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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2013, 09:45:06 AM »

Yes Calsun, that's correct.

More conflict and even a break-up by them, to beat you to it!

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« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2015, 05:14:27 AM »

My experience

My expwBPD and bp called the police to my home three ocasions, the first was to have me removed from my home that was going nowhere and then she yelled at the police and theh removed her, the second time she called them an hr after we had an argument and i had already been gone for an hr, again no evidence of anything physical.

The latest and most premeditated time occured 5 weeks ago. She went to the doctors put on her im an abused wife act and the doctor under her duty of care called the police. When i arrived to pick her up there were police all around her and she was screaming "hes going to kill me". I was thrown to the ground handcuffed and charged with dv order. She had no signs of dv but my charge was upheld. She thought it was all a joke and mentioned she would have the charge dismissed if i would set her up financially. I asked her to leave.

I have never been in trouble with police ever and the system here in australia shows no tolerance  especially if your a solid male. I was treated with contempt and when i tried  to ask the officers to check her call out record they ignored me.

Now after court it was explained to me like this if the female (BPD) aggreved doesn't want to press the dvo the police will as they are taking the position of protecting the female who may genuinely be fearful, however lets look at that. In my case my mentally ill partner claimed a fictious event and i am instantly guilty. The outcome was the end to our relationship and much angst by me.

Now forgive me if im wrong but i was raised with an understanding that under the law you are innocent until proven guilty.
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« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2015, 05:58:18 AM »

Which is why, once allegations of DV are contemplated or threatened, often long before the police and the courts get involved, it is best to get distance between you as a protection.  If the relationship is becoming that dysfunctional, unhealthy or even dangerous, it's time to ponder an Exit strategy.  Even distance doesn't always work, not when the other person is willing and eager to lie to (1) make you look worse than him/her or (2) the other person wants to retaliate or punish you for your perceived wrongs.  In my case I saw Danger Ahead and started recording myself to document that I wasn't the misbehaving.  It saved my skin a couple times at least, both before and after the relationship imploded.
 
Sadly, being innocent isn't enough when it comes to DV allegations.  Without alternate documentation it is hard to prove a negative, that you didn't do anything.
 

The Number of Male Domestic Abuse Victims Is Shockingly High — So Why Don’t We Hear About Them?
by Jenna Birch

www.yahoo.com/health/the-number-of-male-domestic-1284479771263030.html
 
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data from its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey — and one of the most shocking statistics... .roughly 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months, compared with 4,741,000 women. By the study’s definition, physical violence includes slapping, pushing, and shoving.
 
More severe threats like being beaten, burned, choked, kicked, slammed with a heavy object, or hit with a fist were also tracked. Roughly 40 percent of the victims of severe physical violence were men. The CDC repeated the survey in 2011, the results of which were published in 2014, and found almost identical numbers — with the percentage of male severe physical violence victims slightly rising.
 
Anne P. Mitchell, a retired professor of family law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose (Calif.) and one of the first fathers’-rights lawyers in the country, who has legally represented numerous male victims of domestic violence, says abuse is typically difficult for men to process, let alone seek help for. "Men are brought up to believe it’s not OK to hit a woman or even hit back in self-defense," she explains. "It is their job to protect her. Add in that you’d be a laughingstock if you said your woman hit you. So in the situation of the battered husband, they don’t know how to feel. They know it’s shameful. They do not want her to get in trouble. So they do not say anything."
 
There is another psychological tactic used against men: No one will believe you. Men "fear the possibility that others will think they are lying, or that they are actually the ones perpetrating the abuse," says counselor and psychologist Karla Ivankovich, PhD, an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Springfield.
 
Mitchell says that based on old stereotypes and typical gender roles, it is often very difficult for men to get fair treatment. They are often stuck in situations in which they cannot win. "Many women who are aggressive toward their partners know that if the police are called out, they will arrest the man," she explains. "I once had a client, who was the mildest guy ever... .but his girlfriend was very volatile... .she raked her fingernails across his face. He was standing there bleeding when the police arrived at the house. They still arrested him."
 
According to Ruth Glenn, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the reason for abuse is the same for men and women: "It is all about maintaining power and control over a partner," she tells Yahoo Health.
 
"Male and female perpetrators of abuse display higher-than-average rates of borderline and narcissistic personality disorders, which are high in that need to 'control'," Ivankovich adds. "Men are less likely to seek assistance for this type of abuse, because of the shame and stigma."
 
Staying for the children — There are many reasons men stay or do not quietly slip away from abusive partners, many of which are the same reasons women stay in these kinds of relationships. They stay out of shame. Out of fear. Out of love. And not just love for their significant other but for their children.
 
According to Mitchell, many men stay in abusive relationships for the sake of their kids and the million ways in which a split might affect a child’s well-being. "In a divorce, many women are highly empowered through the court process... ."
 
The situation is always sticky — and never easy: Stay or leave.
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Matt
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« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2015, 07:29:27 PM »

In 20 US states, the federal "Violence Against Women Act" is interpreted to mean that when a woman makes an accusation against a man, her accusation is taken as "probable cause", and he must be arrested and charged, even if there is no other evidence against him, and even if there is evidence proving that the accusation is false.

This is ridiculous of course, but it's not up to a police officer to decide - he is required to do this.

I got lucky:  The officers who arrested me did a great job of checking for evidence, and they interviewed both my wife and me, and wrote everything into a report which proved she was lying.  She had told one story to one officer and another story to the other officer, so when they compared notes they figured out she was lying;  and they found other evidence which showed she was lying.

I was able to get a copy of the police report a few weeks later, and when I showed that to the judge, the charges were dropped.  But it cost me $5,000 for a good criminal defense lawyer;  without that I wouldn't have known how to get the police report and I might have been convicted.

When you are accused of a crime, it's important to keep your mouth shut - don't answer any questions! - and get a good criminal defense attorney - not a family law attorney or divorce attorney - as soon as possible.

It's also important not to take a plea agreement, even if it means no jail time, because when you take a plea agreement you are admitting you broke the law, and that will be used against you in the future.  For example, if you have kids, you probably won't get custody because the other party will say you are violent and cite the plea agreement where you admitted to domestic violence.
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« Reply #45 on: October 28, 2015, 12:45:28 PM »

roughly 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months, compared with 4,741,000 women. By the study’s definition, physical violence includes slapping, pushing, and shoving.
 
More severe threats like being beaten, burned, choked, kicked, slammed with a heavy object, or hit with a fist were also tracked. Roughly 40 percent of the victims of severe physical violence were men. The CDC repeated the survey in 2011, the results of which were published in 2014, and found almost identical numbers — with the percentage of male severe physical violence victims slightly rising.

The Department of Justice reports that 75% of the DV deaths are female, 25% are male. Most of the research I've read suggest that percentages are almost flipped for low level assault.
 
I wanted to share this subdata about men killed in DV in Maryland in 2009:
 
48%
19%
24%
10%
Killed themselves or were killed after committing murder
Killed by a boyfriend/husband
Killed by a women
Were children
www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2010/02/01/why-do-so-many-men-die-as-a-result-of-domestic-violence/
 
If the Maryland number are typical for other states, this would suggest that 8-9% of the dv deaths are caused by women.
 
No point here other than trying to give a balanced profile of the state of serious domestic abuse (the data that is driving the lawmakers).
 
"Male and female perpetrators of abuse display higher-than-average rates of borderline and narcissistic personality disorders, which are high in that need to 'control'," Ivankovich adds. "Men are less likely to seek assistance for this type of abuse, because of the shame and stigma."
 
Staying for the children — There are many reasons men stay or do not quietly slip away from abusive partners, many of which are the same reasons women stay in these kinds of relationships. They stay out of shame. Out of fear. Out of love. And not just love for their significant other but for their children.

This is a good summary of why we (men) are conflicted in the situations of being physically punished .
 
As hard as it is, its important to recognize the seriousness of this early (serious = possibility for escalation) and get ahead of the spouse in terms of getting the matter into the open.
 
Make your family, close friends, you clergy, doctor aware of whites happening and seek advice and support to deal with it.  :)on't keep it behind closed doors.  
 
I think its important to choose the right words when you explain what is happening:
 
  • "My wife committing domestic violence and abusing me" or "my wife is raping me" are hard to say, and let's face it, simply so counter to the stereotype that people are not likely to hear it or understand it.

  • "My wife cute me with a knife because I was late getting home and the kids were in the next bedroom - I worried that this will escalate, but I don't want to fight back - what can I do." is more likely to be heard.

I think its also important to have the right goals and expectations.  The Domestic Abuse shelter isn't going to take your side and take you in. Many will wonder if you are covering your own bad acts.  This is a reality you must respect to be effective. Being "incredulous" or "complaining about the inequity" or becoming a crusader for men - it all just casts doubt on your motives and dilutes your efforts to get help.  The fact is, in 2015, you are going  to need to be humble, articulate, consistent, and clear of purpose and work smartly in a world where you do not have the same social support network as a women - a fact you can't change fast enough to benefit your family.
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« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2015, 02:28:46 AM »

Well just reporting what happened to the police - and doing it right away - is a very good idea for women who are hurt or threatened by men - but not necessarily a very good idea for men who are hurt or threatened by women.

The reason is that even when it's the man who reports the violence, and even if the evidence is all on your side, it's very likely you will be arrested and charged with a crime.  And in some states, you will be considered guilty til proven innocent.

Usually better to separate yourself from the person who is aggressive, and find out your legal options.  For example, it might be better to file civil charges than criminal.  And just being in a different place - while it doesn't guarantee that you won't be falsely accused - makes that accusation less likely to stick.

My therapist and my criminal defense lawyer both told me the same thing:  Once she has been violent once, or made one false accusation, and gotten away with it, it's very likely to happen again.  And you can't count on the criminal justice system to consider you innocent til proved guilty.
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« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2015, 05:06:34 PM »

My therapist and my criminal defense lawyer both told me the same thing:  Once she has been violent once, or made one false accusation, and gotten away with it, it's very likely to happen again.  And you can't count on the criminal justice system to consider you innocent til proved guilty.

This is a an important point.
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« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2015, 07:33:33 PM »

My therapist and my criminal defense lawyer both told me the same thing:  Once she has been violent once, or made one false accusation, and gotten away with it, it's very likely to happen again.  And you can't count on the criminal justice system to consider you innocent til proved guilty.

This is a an important point.

My therapist spoke in terms of "vocabulary" - not just the words we use but the actions we use to communicate and cope.

Most adults don't have violence in our day-to-day vocabulary;  we know it's an option but we don't consider it an acceptable option even when we're provoked.  We "use our words", or walk away, or find some way to deal with people and situations without resorting to violence, threats or other ways of hurting the other person.

But someone with BPD or another problem may come to a point where - for whatever reasons - they add violence to their vocabulary - it becomes an acceptable option for dealing with stress in their lives.  It happens once, and they experience no bad consequences - so it's now an acceptable option for them.

That explained exactly how I perceived my wife - after more than ten years together - when she went from angry-but-not-violent to angry-and-sometimes-violent.  She had added small acts of violence to her "vocabulary", and I had no way to change that, except to bring some consequences to her when she became violent, or threatened me with violence;  or to separate myself from her so she would be far less likely to be violent with me or accuse me of stuff.

Hard to accept that things have changed and that you no longer have someone in your life in a workable relationship.  It's a big loss.  But probably better than jail.
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2015, 12:29:18 PM »

Sad to say, men need independent proof — either that they were the targets or that they didn't do anything wrong.  I recorded, I viewed my recordings as 'insurance' that I was the target and not the one acting aggressively.
 
My story... .I had never called 911 until that fateful day.  My spouse had gradually become more and more oppositional, suspicious of everyone and, once others had been driven away, eventually me.  Her hyper-vigilance made me suspect she was co-morbid with Paranoid PD.  Well, police came, listened to us separately.  They gave her a DV Resources handout, I didn't get one.  I was asked to hand our preschooler off to his mother (he was clinging to me and shrieked when I tried to comply) and step away.  Looking back, now aware that I live in one of those states mandating a DV call always gets someone carted off, I realize my son 'saved' me that day because I wasn't carted off.
 
I did tell them I had recorded the incident but neither officer pursued it.  I was really shaken up and the next opportunity I had to download it and she was away, a few days later, I asked an officer to come and listen.  After the first death threat he was ready to tell me to make a statement.  He also firmly advised me not to withdraw my report, as evidently often happens.  (I didn't withdraw it, I was ready to get off her roller coaster.)  She was arrested and charged with Threat of Domestic Violence.  Yes, she was later acquitted since the judge ruled her Not Guilty, saying case law added the condition that the threat had to be 'imminent'.  That's life.
 
The point is that without that documentation of what really happened — and initially without my son's refusal to leave me and go to his mother — I as a male was at a distinct disadvantage and she would never have faced consequences, limited though they were.
 
I know some states have laws restricting one-party recording.  My observation is that:
 
  • Very, very few members have had a court wag a finger at them telling them to stop recording.
  • A court may have the option to hear recordings of DV/IPV as an exception to the law.
  • Even if a court is unwilling to listen to a recording, other professionals might listen, such as the police, children's services or a Custody Evaluator if there are children.
  • Most recordings end up never being used but are beneficial as 'insurance'.
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« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2015, 12:48:18 PM »

... she was later acquitted since the judge ruled her Not Guilty, saying case law added the condition that the threat had to be 'imminent'.  

So one (us or our partner) can be charged with "threat", if we/they are in the act of or have means... .
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