NCFM Adviser Charles Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A., critiques Colorado reporter’s error riddled series about domestic violence
NCFM NOTE: Fake news may be a cliché but that does not mean it does not exist. Better may be ideological news, ignorant news or perhaps ignorant ideological news, which may be the case in a recent four-part series on domestic violence from the Pulitzer Prize winning El Paso, Colorado Gazette. The series was critiqued by Dr. Corry and his rejected request for corrections by the News Director are below in blow by blow detail. Apparently, the story, the factual parts, the parts counter to emotionally driven PC crowd, were to be ignored, except by Dr. Corry – thankfully. He has written an amazing refutation that should cause Gazette journalists and editors to reconsider their professional ethics, or a least find some. This is a must read for anyone interested in the war against men, their families and the women who love them. Thank you Mr. Corry.
In mid-December 2018 the local newspaper for El Paso County, Colorado, published a series of articles on domestic violence (a PDF copy is attached for those who can’t access the site). Inasmuch as the articles are grossly in error on this topic, over the holidays I took it upon myself to write a critique, see below, and sent it to the newspaper editors and others quoted or referenced in the articles on January 5th requesting they publish corrections or retractions of the numerous errors of omission and commission in the articles.
On January 7th I received the following boorish response from their news director:
From: John Boogert
Date: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 12:35 PM
To: “Charles E. Corry”
Subject: Re: Gross errors in articles by reporter Kailtin Durbin on domestic violence
Hello, Charles. Thank you for your message.
The Gazette stands behind the reporting in Kaitlin’s articles and the information from experts quoted throughout the series.
John Boogert, News director
Obviously, science, data, logic, due process, and titles have no meaning to Mr. Boogert and his clan of zealots. But with the possibility that someone on the newspaper had an above room-temperature IQ, and might recognize the problems I outline, I’ve delayed posting this EJF newsletter. But it seems a week is a long enough delay…
Clearly these articles are agenda driven and mostly a rehash of 1990’s feminist dogma, i.e., all women are victims and all men are batterers, we must believe the victim, women never lie, women are only violent in self defense, etc. But some of the reporting is revealing.
For example, the DV court judge is quoted as stating 4 out of 5 (80%) of criminal DV cases are dismissed. That literally means thousands of innocent men and hundreds of disabled veterans in this military bastion are being arrested and incarcerated, sometimes for months in El Paso County, Colorado, every year. Sadly, DV cases are not dismissed by the district attorney for some months after the arrest, often not until the day before or morning of the scheduled trial 5 or more months after the arrest and jailing. In the interim these innocent men have had their reputations ruined, often lost their jobs, homes, children, and everything else they held dear. Shattered lives indeed!
The Gazette articles further note the district attorney’s response is that the “justice” system must become even more draconian in order to convict these men as, obviously, they are innocent under current laws at present.
Pulitzer prizes have been awarded for exposure of less odious corruption than this!
Also revealed in these articles is the amount of “judge shopping” often necessary for a woman to obtain a permanent restraining/protection order here; decrying the fact that even with the help of the local advocates it is frequently necessary to file 2 or 3 times before different judges before a permanent order is granted, stare decisis be damned.
The underlying agenda and timing of these articles is, apparently, a result of the fact that the Violence Against Women Act expired December 21, 2018, and federal funding is ending, or has ended. That puts the director of TESSA, a local women’s (they don’t help men) shelter extensively referenced in these articles, in danger of losing her cushy, $93,000/year job.
The email addresses of the editors of the Gazette, and others involved, can be found below and in the Cc: list above. Any of you who have done the research I cite, and the many men, women, and children whose lives have been destroyed by DV laws are invited to send your comments and criticisms directly to these people by clicking Reply All, or by copying and pasting their addresses from below into the To: column of your message. Please don’t send your comments only to me, although a copy of your comments: would be appreciated. Please be polite!
Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.
President, Equal Justice Foundation
From: “Charles E. Corry”
Date: Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 1:22 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; John Boogert
Cc: Rep Terri Carver
Subject: Gross errors in articles by reporter Kailtin Durbin on domestic violence
I am writing to request the Gazette publish corrections or retractions to numerous errors of omission and commission in a series of articles on domestic violence in El Paso County, CO, by reporter Kaitlin Durbin published between December 17th and 20th, 2018 (PDF copy attached).
The four essays do not follow a coherent sequence but do address two main areas: (1) criminal domestic violence, and (2) civil domestic abuse restraining orders, both temporary and permanent.
My critique begins with issues surrounding criminal domestic violence.
Criminal domestic violence
The series by Ms. Durbin closes with the shamelessly wrong statement that “Most domestic violence victims are women.” Since Erin Pizzey first brought the problem of domestic violence to world attention in 1972, every scientific study has found that in intimate partner violence (IPV) women are consistently as or more violent than their male partners. Dr. John Hamel summarizes the PASK consortium results and states that “Among large population samples, 57.9% of IPV reported was bi-directional, 42% unidirectional; 13.8% of the unidirectional violence was male to female (MFPV), 28.3% was female to male (FMPV).” Even in bi-directional IPV researchers consistently find ~60% of the violence is initiated by women.
The PASK consortium included a total of 42 scholars and 70 research assistants at 20 universities. Approximately 12,000 studies were considered and more than 1,700 were summarized and organized into tables. Future studies are unlikely to significantly change these findings although there are variations when smaller groups, e.g., military, are studied.
It seems impossible to proceed with an analysis of the problems associated with domestic violence unless and until the basic fact is recognized that women are commonly the primary aggressors in intimate relationships. Further, there is no evidence to support the claim that women are only violent in self defense.
Thus, it is a significant error of omission for Ms. Durbin to only include stories about abused women in her series. But by no means do I think, or advocate for more arrests of women as a solution to the problem of female violence in intimate relationships. Enough damage has already been done to children, marriages, and families by the carnage current laws and ideology have inflicted on men. We must seek solutions, not blind incarceration of men as advocated by zealots and ideologues.
There is also another basic factor concerning “domestic violence” (DV) in Colorado that Ms. Durbin omits. That is the fact that there is no law against domestic violence per se in this state. Instead, “domestic violence” is an add-on charge, or sentence enhancer that can be and is applied to any other crime. I have, among other charges, documented DV arrests for jaywalking, stepping on the cat, trying to escape from the house when she became violent, sending a nasty email, a cell phone that butt-dialed her number, computer hacks that sent emails to everyone on the list, indecent exposure, attempting to stop a woman from drunk driving, and many times for simply having an argument (harassment), among others. It seems to me that if we are going to deal with “domestic violence” as a crime, we should first define what specifically the crime involves, not a catchall sentence enhancer for any and all crimes that plainly invites abuse by any irate female and a few males.
There is also a problem with what constitutes an “intimate relationship”? A reasonable person might assume the couple had a conjugal relationship. That assumption is wrong! The statute provides that an intimate relationship does not require sex. Thus, an intimate relationship can be, and has been defined as a couple who have nothing more than dated and held hands, or simply roomed together to share the rent. One result of this, and the research is that “domestic violence” is least common in married couples living together with their children. Hence, the switch today to the descriptor “Intimate Partner Violence” (IPV).
Ms. Durbin’s articles also repeatedly refers to, or states there is a cycle of violence associated with IPV. That claim was a basis for the initial Duluth Model. But even DAIP co-founder Ellen Pence has since noted that “Eventually, we realized that we were finding what we had already predetermined to find,” i.e., they were committing the fallacy of confirmation bias. Thus, the Duluth Model of a cycle of violence is without basis.
Researchers have also failed to find support for power and control issues in most cases of IPV, and the feminist mantra of blaming the patriarchy is also without backing in IPV studies.
Instead what has been seen is a plethora of mental health problems and disorders, including narcissism, borderline personality, bipolar, perimenopause, schizophrenia, dementia, drug reactions, delirium tremens, post traumatic stress (PTSD), brain injuries (TBI), and a few psychopaths. False memories, jealousy, avarice, and revenge are also common factors.
Another omission is the absence of any consideration of veteran problems involving IPV or any discussion of the relationship between PTSD/TBI and domestic violence. Of nearly 30,000 veteran arrests I’ve tabulated since 2010 about 30% of them are for “domestic violence,” but in only roughly half of those arrests was there any charge of actual violence. In dealing with veterans it is clear that under current laws virtually every manifestation of post traumatic stress, e.g., irrational anger, panic attacks, violent startle response, flashbacks, kicking and fighting in their sleep or even when seemingly awake, placing their hands around their partner’s neck, etc., is “domestic violence” under current laws.
But instead of treating our veterans for the hidden wounds of war, we jail them, send them to reeducation camps (DV treatment classes), and give them criminal records that destroy their lives.
Ms. Durbin does reference an estimate by Judge Miles that over 80% of misdemeanor domestic violence cases are dismissed. My research suggests that the judge’s estimate is low and that if defendants have a competent attorney (almost an oxymoron) there is only about a 1% conviction rate. She then quotes CDDA Jeffrey Lindsey stating DV cases are “the hardest cases that we prosecute here in the DA’s office” as juries don’t like “he said/she said” cases, and there is seldom any physical evidence; too often any injuries were self inflicted; or the woman’s story is so unbelievable that she becomes, in effect or deliberately, a witness for the defense. And many women dial 911 looking for help, not an arrest in a domestic situation. Thus, it is clear that thousands of men are being arrested and incarcerated on charges that cannot be proven!
However, instead of further documenting this grave miscarriage of justice she states, in effect, that we need to prevent men from being found innocent by juries, and that “…judges and juries need to be better educated,” i.e., brainwashed and intimidated as supposedly “victims need to be protected even if they can’t ask for it.” Ignoring due process and the Bill of Rights, Ms. Durbin then quotes TESSA Manager Sutton about why juries don’t convict. If the majority of the defendants were female, as statistics suggest they should be, would they still be advocating for more convictions?
Has anyone at the Gazette given any thought to the possibility that these men may actually be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Or that many women are abusing the DV laws? Or the fact that many women, particularly veteran’s wives or girlfriends, call 911 to ask for help and instead find their man arrested?
Research shows that it has become rare for a woman in an intimate relationship to actually call 911. I am repeatedly told that the call was made by a neighbor, a passerby, or some other third party. Between 1990 and 2010 the number of domestic disturbance calls to Colorado Springs police remained essentially flat despite a 63% population increase and the fact that the total number of 911 calls doubled in that time interval. Apparently many citizens have become more afraid of the police than their intimate partners!
I have also encountered zealots who regard a pillow fight as “domestic violence,” and the broad popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey illustrates the fact that BDSM is often enjoyed by many couples and should not be the concern of law enforcement, although it commonly is.
The gross waste of resources, destruction of children, families, marriages, and human misery imposed by thousands of baseless DV arrests and incarceration goes unmentioned!
Courts also attempt to sidestep the rights of defendants, e.g., the “no face, no case” expression Judge Miles used refers to the 2003 ruling by the Supreme Court in Crawford v Washington that upholds the Sixth Amendment requirement that the accused shall have the right “…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” Prior to that, DV cases were often tried without the accuser appearing and the jury only heard hearsay or a recording of the 911 call. Even now it is apparent from CDDA Lindsey’s statements to Ms. Durbin that they attempt to circumvent men’s basic rights.
These senseless, destructive, wasteful arrests are largely based on the law that requires a mandatory arrest if a responding officer finds any evidence of any crime being committed. Recall that DV is not a crime, per se, in Colorado, but a sentence enhancer for any and all other crimes. Thus, if a woman calls 911 for help there is a very high probability that her partner will be arrested for “domestic violence.” What I see and hear continually, since I work with veterans, is that a plea for help turns into an expensive nightmare that takes a man away from his children, home, and family because he suffers from hidden wounds of war. As a veteran, and the father of a disabled Marine, this disgusts me, but Ms. Durbin’s articles unintentionally make it clear that this is what the justice system is doing.
The DV laws themselves often place women in danger. A study by Iyengar (2007) found that states with mandatory arrest laws, as does Colorado, had more DV homicides and concludes that “…these laws may have perverse effects on intimate partner violence, harming the very people they seek to help.”
Murder suicides and suicide-by-cop also appear to have become commonplace today with the advent of these draconian DV laws.
On the Colorado state court web site there are self-help forms for obtaining civil protection orders. Anyone with access to a computer, a public library, the courthouse, or a victim advocate, with an IQ higher than that of a moron and a third-grade education should have little trouble filling out these forms and following the simple instructions for filing same. There are few to no limitations on what a woman can use as a basis for claiming she needs protection; the categories listed on one of the forms include: domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, abuse of the elderly or an at-risk adult, or physical assault, threat, or other situation. But those are by no means the only possibilities for seeking a “protection” order as the instructions make quite clear. And these are not the only “protection” orders a woman may seek, e.g., in a dissolution of marriage (divorce) proceeding the court may grant such an order under C.R.S. § 14-10-108. Also, in any arrest for domestic violence a mandatory restraining order is issued under C.R.S. § 18-1-1001 that remains in effect until the case is closed by dismissal, acquittal, or sentence is completed.
It would appear the State is begging women to file, which in a sense they are, as such orders greatly increase the powers and the budget of the State! However, Ms. Durbin devotes Part 2 of her series to describe how difficult she claims it is to win protection orders in El Paso County.
However, I have not seen any indication that there is any difficulty getting an ex parte temporary protection order. I have personally witnessed Magistrate Trujillo handing out such orders to women at the rate of one a minute in our local court.
While a temporary order nominally requires a formal hearing within 14 days for a permanent order, the effects on her partner are immediate.
Examples abound of such orders being served at night, with men taken from their bed by police and ejected from their homes and children with little more than the clothes on their back with no prior notice or chance to defend themselves.
Inasmuch as the temporary order takes away virtually everything a man may have worked for, including his children, home, and virtually all his other possessions without any pretense of due process, deliberately without prior notice, or any chance to defend himself, his response is often anger, and justifiably so.
As a result it is little wonder that violence often occurs during a break up between intimate partners when one partner plays these games. It is also of note that research shows that the safest place for a woman is in her home, married to the father of her children.
In his book Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, Dr. Warren Farrell lists (p. 159) five catalysts to violence upon separation: (1) Deplete the bank account [and max out the credit cards]; (2) Leave a vitriolic, rejecting note; (3) Take the kids; (4) Have the spouse [or significant other] arrested [or served with a protection order]; (5) Have a lover and go to her or his house [or move her lover into his house].
It is not “blaming the victim” to suggest that perhaps one shouldn’t do any of these things when breaking up. But many women do and thereby place themselves in real danger! I’ve documented sixteen cases where men and women were murdered shortly after taking out a restraining order against their intimate partner, which seems a sufficient sample to establish the fact that this frequently occurs, but Ms. Durbin omits any mention of this problem.
Temporary versus permanent protection orders
Ms. Durbin expounds on the difficulty of getting a permanent restraining order, inadvertently revealing the “judge shopping” often associated with such efforts, stating: “There are countless stories of victims petitioning for protection two or three times before the order is granted.”
Unfortunately, Ms. Durbin conflates obtaining an ex parte temporary restraining (protection) order with the formal hearing required for rendering the order permanent (as in lifetime) during which both the man and woman are given a chance to testify under oath, witnesses may be called, and other relevant evidence presented to the judge.
While perjury, subornation of perjury, and hearsay can be and are often used in obtaining an ex parte temporary protection order, some judicial standards and due process must be met during the usually more formal permanent orders hearing. And the man is well advised to have an attorney representing him at this hearing. But when actual evidence is presented and testimony under oath is presented by both sides it is often impossible to “believe the victim.”
However, if on hearing the evidence and witnesses, one judge refuses to grant a permanent protection order, women are perfectly free to seek another temporary order in another court, e.g., a municipal one or another county court. As Ms. Durbin notes, the woman may have to repeat the process several times before different judges before getting what she wants. But to my mind that is an abuse of process and these games may go on for years, and often do in child custody cases!
Ms. Durbin then claims “some experts say the process is too hard…,” that at the formal hearing the victims must actually produce evidence that they are in danger and that without a permanent restraining order her danger will continue or escalate. In short, the Respondent must be granted a measure of due process. Continuing, she states that the hearing process may be “too intimidating.” The Petitioner must actually go before a judge and face the Respondent while attempting to prove her claims. Judge Doug Miles apparently thinks that too intimidating and is quoted as saying “…so they recant or drop the request or hold back evidence…We say [the Court], now you have to get up on the witness stand with him watching you and you have to be perfectly honest and fearless. That’s absurd.” So not only do her “experts,” but also a judge think that once a man has been accused of causing a woman to fear physical or emotional harm (whatever emotional harm is?) that a man loses the rights to his property under the First, Second, Third (many women move a soldier into the man’s house in these cases), Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Twenty First Amendments without benefit of any pretense of due process or trial by jury.
In order to substantiate her claims that such draconian steps are necessary, Ms. Durbin then attempts to use the number of permanent protection orders requested versus the number granted. Unfortunately, she fails to take the rudimentary step of normalizing the numbers by population of the judicial districts. In 1998 the 4th Judicial District clearly had the most restraining orders per 10,000 residents but by 2010 the 3rd, 7th, 10th, 12th, 16th, and 22nd Judicial Districts all were issuing more protection orders per capita (Table 64) than the 4th Judicial District. Of course, in the eight years since I compiled that table, this distribution has likely changed, but she fails to show that it has.
Her logic also fails when she complains that there is only one violation of a protection order for every nine petitions for such an order. Logically, that would suggest protection orders are locally working, which she later considers. But then she contradicts that logic by stating that protection order violation arrests accounted for ~54% of the 890 arrests Colorado Springs police made on various protection order violations, which makes no sense.
Public versus personal safety
It is well settled that government’s obligation to citizens is to provide for public safety, not personal safety, e.g., see Castle Rock v. Gonzales as but one example. Thus, restraining orders are a false promise of protection, but one commonly used in custody and divorce cases to gain advantage. Worse, attorneys and victim advocates frequently advise and help women to file charges of domestic violence, sexual abuse or assault, or get a restraining order in divorce and custody disputes. This is permitted as subornation of perjury is not a crime in Colorado and any communications with an attorney or victim advocates are privileged and cannot be brought forward to the court.
It appears self evident then that a “protection” order provides no protection and, in many cases they are a catalyst for even more, and more deadly violence.
But increased law enforcement is hardly the answer. In a National Institute of Justice report NCJ 186194, Dugan and others (2001) have found that “Increases in the willingness of prosecutors’ offices to take cases of protection order violation were associated with increases in the homicide of white married intimates, black unmarried intimates, and white unmarried females.” Thus, enforcement of C.R.S. § 13-14-102 demonstrably leads to murder in some cases.
Is homicide the intended “protection” sought?
There are also numerous stories in the news about murder-suicides following a restraining order. And was suicide-by-cop even known prior to VAWA?
If the objective of the domestic violence laws is to reduce, or even end domestic violence then these laws have been an abject failure. However, if the objective is to destroy children, men, families, and marriage, then these laws and practices have been a roaring success!
Despite the fact that men are demonstrably more likely to be abused by an intimate partner, little to no reference is made to such acts and certainly no stories of male survivors are included by Ms. Durkin. Without accurate data and reporting it is impossible to develop effective methods and means of dealing with intimate partner violence (IPV).
Ms. Durbin is also remarkably lax in listing the many locally-available resources for domestic violence assistance. I note that she lists none for men or veterans.
I might also note that between 2001 and 2010 I served on the research and treatment standards subcommittees for the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB), and in 2008 helped pioneer the first veteran court in Colorado. As a follow up on the veteran court, since 2010 I have been tabulating veteran arrests in El Paso County on a daily basis.
By no means do I claim to have all the answers to the problem of IPV but at least I try to use the best data available and avoid the dogma and ideology that surrounds this problem. However, if we continue to treat PTSD, TBI, and other mental health problems by arresting and incarcerating veterans and others with similar problems and charging them with “domestic violence,” we will continue to make the problems worse rather than better.
Perhaps the Gazette should hire an “investigative reporter” who actually investigates and reports an issue. Not one who simply appears to be a press agent for TESSA.
Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.
President, Equal Justice Foundation
455 Bear Creek Road
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906-5820
The Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity supported entirely by members and contributions.
Issues of interest to the Equal Justice Foundation are:
Courts, Veteran Courts, and Civil Liberties
Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado
Emerson case (2nd Amendment)
Families and Marriage
Prohibitions and the War On Drugs
Vote Fraud and Election Issues
The good men may do separately is small compared with what they may do collectively.