Our criminal “justice” system knows how to hold criminals accountable for their behavior. Yet, women and children die every day because judges minimize and underestimate the lethality potential of some domestic violence (DV) perpetrators. Instead, they place the burden on women and children to mystically, magically keep themselves safe.
Here in Washington State, nearly every woman murdered by a DV perpetrator had sought help and come away empty. Domestic violence is in the headlines almost every day. In almost every case, the murderer is a known DV perpetrator.
The research on pit bull and cobra abusers was published in 1998 in Jacobson and Gottman’s phenomenal book When Men Batter Women. It isn’t rocket science. Yet, too many DV advocates have ignored or discounted the research and fail to educate their clients. The DV system deals fairly effectively with cobra abusers. But, the DV system fails miserably when the abuser is a pit bull. The secret is to hold these guys accountable, but it rarely happens until after they murder their victims.
This afternoon, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) shared an article on Facebook about a pilot program started in 2005 in Massachusetts at the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center. Kelly Dunne and her Domestic Violence High Risk Team have kept every one of their clients safe. How do they do it? Perpetrators are treated like criminals, and their prey are protected. Abusive men are held accountable via GPS monitors, restricted visitation, and incarceration in psychiatric hospitals and jails.
Wow! What a concept, eh?
I will confess that I’ve had to work very hard to keep from becoming snarky and sarcastic in this post. I am ecstatic that the program in Massachusetts has been funded, that it appears to be highly effective, and that the NNEDV has publicized it. My hope is that the pit bull/cobra research is woven into it. And, my wildest dream is that mandatory screening for DV by medical practitioners under ObamaCares morphs into earlier intervention.
Related Posts and Pages:
Pit Bull Abusers [partial archive of posts about pit bull abusers]
Massachusetts’ Simple Solution for Preventing Domestic Homicide by Amanda Marcotte, Slate
A Raised Hand by Rachel Louise Snyder, The New Yorker, 7/22/13, page 34 [subscription required to read the entire article]
The High Risk Team Model and GPS Offender Monitoring: Stopping DV in Its Tracks by Diane Rosenfeld, Harvard Law School