Friday, January 1, 2010

One situation, Two problems

It seems like I'm linking to Robert Franklin's work at Glenn Sacks' place at least once a week but since he does a good job as exposing the ways that society harms men I don't feel bad about it.

One of his latest (source) is of how a few weeks ago Mike Kelly, (now former) head coach of the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, was released from his job after being arrested after an altercation with former girlfriend Andrea Peterson. Now one problem is obvious but the other is not so. Allow me to explain.

According to Bridgeport (about 30 km northwest of Philadelphia, PA) police:
...Peterson told them she was in the process of moving some of her possessions out of Kelly’s home when he confronted her and an argument ensued...Kelly denies hitting his ex-girlfriend and claims she started punching him in the face and that he grabbed her in self-defence.

Here's where it gets tricky. Under Pennsylvania domestic violence laws, police are required to make an arrest if there is evidence of assault of any type, no matter how minor.

Wait for it....

According to Bridgeport Police Sgt. John Cane:
“She told us they had an argument and (Kelly) grabbed her and she showed the officers that she had some redness around her neck, she had a small bruise or cut on her lip and on her knuckle,” Cane said. “His face had some minor swelling to it. He accused her of hitting him.”

See it? Yeah I know with the way people talk about DV it could be hard to catch if you aren't careful and get caught up in the rhetoric that dominates the discourse on DV these days.

Under state law on domestic violence, an arrest is required if there is evidence of any type of assault, no matter how small.

So under this you have a former couple get into an argument that turned physical. By the time the police got to the scene she had a red spot on her neck a cut on the lip and bruise on her knuckle and his face was swollen.

Can someone explain to me that despite it being mandatory to make an arrest when there is the smallest evidence of assault only the man was arrested?

I would think that at the worst both of them would have been busted but since people still think that women aren't violent or assume she only did it in self defense he gets arrested and she walks free. Until people can start seeing and acknowledging the truth about DV (and that truth is that DV is NOT gendered) we are not going to see much in the way of progress towards preventing it and helping the victims that need help.

So much for equal protection under the law...

Oh and about his getting fired the official word from spokespeople for the team is that his termination had nothing to do with the arrest. Yeah an emergency meeting was called after his arrest became public knowledge and they just happen to decide to terminate him for other reasons not related to the arrest. Good to know.