NCFM Member J.M., The Weaponization of Domestic Violence Laws Against Men
Most men don’t have any idea just how powerful and life-altering the domestic violence laws can be until it happens to them. A review of California’s do-it-yourself Application for Domestic Violence Restraining Order published on every state court website shows us just how destructive they can be. Based on the mere accusation – without witnesses, or even physical signs of injury, a person accused of an act of domestic violence (yanking the cell phone out of their significant other’s (“SO’s”) hand may be sufficient) could immediately suffer the following consequences:
1. Lose their Second Amendment rights and be forced to surrender all of their firearms to the police or a licensed gun dealer within 24 hours and file proof within 48 hours with the court;
2. They may not have any contact with virtually anybody the SO identifies in their application for a restraining order;
3. They must immediately move out of and cannot return to their own home, see their children or come within 500 feet of the applicant/children/family dog/cat or tropical fish;
4. Drive their car or use any other piece of property the applicant wants exclusive control of;
5. Be required to pay your SO’s credit card bills, phone bills, or anything else they want you to pay;
6. Do anything that would be considered encumbering or transferring any property
7. Change or cancel any insurance policies
8. Your SO can legally record your telephone conversations or any other communication you have with them, which will be thrown back in your face at the next hearing. One man told me that after the temporary restraining order was granted, his SO called him to set up a meeting “just between them” to talk. She had a friend hiding around the corner who took pictures of the whole thing and the photos were later used to hold him in contempt.
The California Penal Code has some of the strictest prohibitions against videotaping or recording another person without their consent in the nation. [Penal Code § 632]. However, in 2017 the law was changed allow a person to make recordings of the other party’s confidential communication without their consent “for the purpose of obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to the commission by another party to the communication of the crime of . . . domestic violence” as defined in Penal Code § 13700. [Penal Code § 633.5|. The term “domestic violence” in turn means “abuse” defined in Penal Code 13700(a) as “intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.”
This may be helpful to anyone in the midst of an abusive argument or violent confrontation with their SO.
9. Your SO can make you pay her attorneys fees for the entire matter.
Imagine coming home from work during a busy week and being blindsided with one of these restraining orders. These orders are based on a handwritten allegation filed by your SO and routinely granted. Depending on the judge, a bare claim of “he hit me” might be enough. Violation of any of these orders can land you in jail for up to one year.
The courts give top priority for consideration of domestic violence restraining orders, and they can be obtained in a matter of hours. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the judge is male or female, the guy usually gets the raw end of the deal. With regard to the female judges . . . well, they’re female, right? As for the male judges, when presented with a sobbing woman during the restraining order hearing, the male judges in my experience seem to have that “Oh Honey, let me help you” attitude, and again the guy loses.
Things are getting even worse – there was recent legislation in Texas that sought to expand the meaning of the term “Domestic Violence” to include emotional abuse as well as the creation of a domestic violence suspect registry, much like a sex offender registry minus the requirement that the person actually be convicted of the offense. It’s hard to imagine anything that couldn’t be labeled “emotional abuse”. Fortunately, the legislation was vetoed.
About two years ago I was falsely accused of domestic violence by a vindictive ex-girlfriend. The costs have been enormous. I spent tens of thousands of dollars, lost countless hours from work, was evicted from my home, and at least $50,000 of my property was stolen or destroyed by my ex that can never be replaced.
But the worst thing of all? She stole my cat. She put my cat’s name in her restraining order application that my cat belonged to her and the judge granted it. She knew I loved that cat. My cat is dead now because she abandoned it after the judge gave him to her. What she did was mean and unforgivable, but sadly this happens all too often.
In my case, I was arrested. When I was placed in the holding tank I began talking with the other men in the cell. Out of the ten men there that night, all ten were there on domestic violence charges. Most claimed that they never laid a hand on their SO but were arrested anyway after the SO decided to get the upper hand on them and called the cops.
Without going into specifics, I can tell you that my life has been changed permanently, and not for the better. In this new environment of weaponized laws designed primarily to benefit women, if you are having relationship difficulties with your SO, these are the life and death rules to live by:
1. If your SO ever lay hands on you, the relationship is over and you should call the police on them. If you don’t, they will do it to you sooner or later. For that matter if they ever call the police on you, the relationship is over. It will only get worse from that point forward. I failed to heed these warnings, and paid the ultimate price. I’d give anything to go back in time and follow this advice. It will take me years to recover.
2. Don’t assume your SO is unaware of how powerful domestic violence laws are. Like the men I met that night in the holding tank, you don’t even need to do anything wrong to be arrested on false accusations. Most women know that they can have you arrested any time they feel like it. Make them angry enough, and you may find out what an amazing actor your SO is if things go sour.
3. If you do find yourself caught up in a domestic violence case, realize the position you are in: you are facing your worst enemy and stand to lose everything if you don’t (1) hire a lawyer immediately; (2) leave your emotion out of it – it’s become a business transaction at this point; and (3) realize that everything your SO does from this point is designed to get you to violate that restraining order. Don’t fall for it.
Stay safe my friends.