An alternative to pressing charges
Each day thousands of police nationwide respond to 911 calls involving domestic violence. Typically one partner (designated as the “victim”) goaded their partner (designated as the “abuser”) into hitting them. Still reacting from the violence the “victim” is guided by the police into agreeing that the “abuser” be arrested. Perhaps a day later the arresting officer discovers that the "victim" has dropped the charges. We ask why, in most cases, are the charges dropped? And, is there a more effective way to handle domestic violence?
Seldom, if ever, does the accuser tell the police the truth about their cause, of what they did to goad their partner into hitting them.* Responsibility, the realization of having caused the abuse, of having masterminded the incident, only sinks in after a few hours of being with the experience of having blamed their partner who now sits in jail with a police record. Once the accuser has had time to be with the realization that they intended the abuse, (however unconscious they may have been at the time), it no longer makes sense to cause the accused to spend time in jail for something the accuser set them up to do.
What's not so readily apparent is that when a police officer unconsciously supports both parties in lying about what happened, about who started it, the lies have even more undesirable consequences.
When an accuser withdraws the charges it upsets the police. Police intuitively know that unless both parties are required to participate in mandatory counseling/coaching (until it’s deemed by the facilitator that they both have acknowledged their addiction to abusing and being abused) they (the police) will be called to the same residence again and again.
A part of the goading-hitting-blaming-victim-arrest dance is that police aren't allowed to act upon what they themselves know to be true, that with all such arguments both partners simultaneously started the fight. Police policy forbids an officer from beginning the investigation with, "Please describe the incident responsibly from how you caused it?" With domestic violence both partners are unconsciously reaching out to the community; what neither need is for an officer to accidentally non-verbally side with the “victim.” Such bias, as continually observed on the TV show Cops, rewards the setter-upper, the one who cleverly manipulated the other into hitting them; it also punishes the “abuser” with a police record.
Present laws don’t take into consideration Newton’s Third Law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Not nearly equal or pretty much equal, but exactly equal; they don’t take into consideration that a timely well placed stink-eye, or constant daily thwartings, invalidations, and condescending put-downs, wreaks havoc with ones temperament, ones mental stability; they don’t take into consideration the thousands of verbal, non-verbal, and psychic communications, delivered day-after-day, it takes to cause physical communication. All abuse victims unconsciously chose an equally abusive partner because their karma was such that they couldn’t attract a well-adjusted partner. They needed to find someone to mirror themselves.
For more—read about a proposed No Fault Law:
* Officer, please don’t let my “innocent victim act” fool you. Using my extremely well developed leadership-communication skills I goaded him into hitting me. I know exactly what buttons to push. I know what hurts him. I know how to upset him and I know when to back off. It’s not fair to punish him for what I manipulated him into doing; he simply doesn’t stand a chance in a word-fight with me. He knows that I hold over him the power to send him to jail. I know this is emotional blackmail and manipulative, yet I can’t stop myself. I’m addicted to starting arguments, to abusing and to being abused. The truth is I’m at a loss as to what to do to get him to see that if he won't go to therapy with me I’ll have to leave him. I’m using the police to scare us both into doing counseling.