Have you, or a person you know, ever been falsely accused of domestic violence? Targeted with a restraining order? Put in jail?
Each year more than 1 million Americans are hit with a false or trivial accusation of partner abuse. It’s now reached the point that domestic violence laws represent the largest roll-back in Americans’ civil rights since the Jim Crow era!
Our nation’s domestic violence laws have gone too far, harming innocent citizens and diverting scarce resources away from the true victims.
Respect for civil rights is deeply embedded in our national conscience, and constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties form the foundation of our legal system. Unfortunately, these rights have been eroded in the past 15 years by an array of domestic violence laws. For years Americans accepted these civil-rights violations, assuming they were an unfortunate but necessary byproduct of the national effort to curb intimate partner abuse. But it has now become clear that the harmful effects of domestic violence laws far exceed any abuses that may occur.
As a result of our nation’s domestic violence laws, 2 million to 3 million restraining orders are issued each year, often without any allegation of physical violence. As a result, persons lose access to their children, homes and financial assets, often their jobs, frequently their friends, with devastating social and financial consequences. One million persons are arrested each year for allegations of domestic violence. But the allegations are often recanted and the evidence doubtful as evidenced by fewer than 5 percent of cases actually being prosecuted in Superior Court in Snohomish County, leaving 95 percent of the arrests unjustified. ...
More here. In addition to the civil rights abuses that the op-ed notes, even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction results in the loss of gun possession rights under current law. See my posts here and here for more examples on the abuse of domestic violence laws and restraining orders.