Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The part of the violence conversation you probably won't hear about

This is an assault that probably flew under the radar. I'll be honest and say that I did not know about it until 3-4 days ago.

Around August 30 Justin Lindsey of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania was attacked by ex-girlfriend Rhameicka Clark on the porch of his own home. Now normally you'd think he could just call the police and get her arrested right?


What actually happened is that Clark immediately went to the police, claimed that Lindsey attacked her, and got an Emergency Protection from Abuse order put out on him. What did the cops do? They arrested him.

And yes his mother tried to give police the same video that you see above of Clark attacking him with a metal pipe but the police still chose to keep him in custody for 10 days before he was finally released and the charges were dropped.

Thankfully Lindsey is free. Now let's hope that the Clark actually ends up behind bars herself.

If nothing else this shows us a very serious and damaging flaw in the cultural attitudes around violence.

A woman attacks a man on video, goes to the police station and gets a protection order against him, and when he is taken into custody, the police somehow believe the word of the attacker over video of the attack showing her guilt.

Now I'm sure someone is thinking, "But the police had to make sure he wasn't a threat to her." Then why not arrest them both? Surely video evidence of her attacking him would be enough to get her arrested on the spot while the police sort it all out isn't it?

And that's what worries me.

We (that's an overall we) have gotten so caught up in the narrative that abuse and violence is something that men do to women that even when contrary evidence is staring us in the face we still choose to believe the woman over the man. Yes it's done under the guise of "erring on the side of caution" but where was the caution in letting a woman that assaulted a man on video walk free?

Is this really the narrative that is going to lead to long lasting change and awareness of violence and abuse?