Q: How twisted do you have to be to distort domestic violence guidelines in order to argue for loosening the definition of domestic violence?
A: Twisted enough to write for the Daily Caller.
Under the header “Yippee, we're all abusers now!,” Carey Roberts denounces “the Abuse Mavens” of the “domestic violence industry” who “ginned up this grand scheme: Let's exponentially broaden the definition of domestic violence” because they “don't want to see their generous paychecks trimmed.”
Roberts' entire column is a litany of purportedly-ridiculous things treated as “domestic violence” by “Big Sister.” Here's a taste:
Go to the website of the federal Office of [sic] Violence against Women. The OVW informs us domestic violence is a “pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control.”
Maintain power and control?
Ladies, if you nag your husband to mow the lawn, that's power and control. Men, quit telling your wife to not overdraw the ATM — same thing. If you get into a disagreement over the TV remote control, you guessed it, that's proof of an obsessive need for power and control. That's a heinous offense, according to Big Sister.
It goes on like that at some length. The most obvious sign that Roberts is blowing smoke is that he doesn't offer a single example of anyone ever being unjustly charged with domestic violence. He pretends that merely reminding a spouse not to “overdraw the ATM” will result in jack-booted government thugs kicking down your door (no joke: Roberts compares the Office on Violence Against Women to the KGB.) But he doesn't identify any example of anything even remotely like that ever happening, which is a pretty good indication that he's bitterly denouncing straw.
But Roberts doesn't stop at absurd caricatures of domestic violence definitions: He tells clear falsehoods about them as well. Here's Roberts:
But domestic violence runs rampant and proto-abusers need to be held accountable — or so the domestic violence industry claims — so why not swell our definitions even more?
Now, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, partner violence also includes “getting annoyed if the victim disagrees” and “withholding information from the victim.” If that doesn't suffice, “disregarding what the victim wants” also counts as a punishable offense.
Well, no. According to Roberts, CDC will punish people for “partner violence” simply for being annoyed. But in reality, CDC lists “getting annoyed if the victim disagrees” and “withholding information from the victim” as potential elements of “Psychological/emotional abuse” -- not “violence.” That doesn't mean that “getting annoyed” is automatically abuse, just that it could occur in a way that constitutes abuse. Perhaps more importantly, while Roberts pretends that CDC considers annoyance a form of “violence,” CDC makes clear that it does so when emotional abuse comes in the context of prior physical or sexual violence:
The panel made the decision to classify psychological/emotional abuse as a type of violence only when it occurs in the context of prior physical or sexual violence, or the prior threat of physical or sexual violence. The panel suggested that “prior” be operationalized as “within the past 12 months.”
Basically, Roberts is defending emotionally-abusive conduct by people who have already been physically abusive. But he doesn't dare come out and say that, so he pretends that the part about prior physical violence or threats of violence doesn't exist.
Again: You have to be pretty twisted to make a dishonest case for weakening domestic violence laws. But not so twisted that Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller won't publish you.
Oh, and just a week ago, Roberts took to the Caller to denounce restraining orders, arguing that instead, women should avoid “late-night strolls in public areas.”