The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
One judge talks about it.
Reference: The Banner - Newsletter of Fathers and Families, April 2000.
Massachusetts Judge Says Legal System Biased Against Men
Massachusetts District Court Judge Milton H. Raphaelson delivered three surprisingly candid lectures in February entitled, "Where is the pendulum now? The gender bias in our courts." Speaking at Becker College in Worcester, Judge Raphaelson commented on a broad set of legal issues confronting men.
In discussing the widespread abuse of restraining orders, Judge Raphaelson identified the central problem as "...not an epidemic of domestic violence, but an epidemic of hysteria about domestic violence." He also stated that when abuse does occur, alcohol and substance abuse treatment are often indicated rather than a batterer's treatment program, but that judges are reluctant to order such treatment out of deference to battered women's advocates. He wryly noted that even when a man is victimized, the "Victim Witness Advocate" still stands beside the woman in the courtroom.
Judge Raphaelson, a graduate of Boston College Law School, is the First Justice of the District Court in Dudley. In reference to his unusual candor, he said that he had only seven months remaining on the bench and that there was nothing "they" could do to him.
The implications of this remark are chilling. If Judges are afraid to speak out about anti-male bias from fear of a feminist backlash, they are also likely to be afraid to make decisions from the bench impartially.
This idea seems to be supported by the recent remarks of Judge Malcolm Jones, who retired last February. Retirement apparently is a liberating experience for judges. Judge Jones was quoted concerning 209A restraining orders in the March 24 Standard-Times as follows,"It's a necessary law, but it's an abused one. I've seen it used too many times as a leverage in divorce cases, not for women in imminent fear of physical danger. One third of them are not legitimate, merely used as an 'I'll fix you!'"
Judge Jones, who was Associate Justice in the Bristol County Probate and Family Court, reportedly believes there is a need to revamp the 209A law to prevent it's abuse. Yet, there is no evidence known to us that Judge Jones handled 209A complaints any differently than other judges.
The fear of the feminist backlash is obviously strong. To resist it, it is apparently not enough for a judge to understand in his heart that the law is being abused. One-sided feminist pressures will only be overcome when the fatherhood movement generates equal pressures on the courts in the direction of fairness and impartiality.
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month