"she’s lying for the money"
"why does she need a lawyer if she’s telling the truth"
"the courts will decide this"
"innocent until proven guilty"
"he’s a good guy, she’s lying"
it’s good to know that hockey, like every other aspect of the world, will whip out misogyny at the slightest provocation when one of their faves is accused of domestic violence. while continuing to insist the NBA and NFL are full of disgusting women-beating thugs
i wonder why that is
innocent until proven guilty because I don’t know them, you don’t know them, and until we get some facts, all it is are people either blaming her or him for shit that might not have even happened.
- One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
- Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
- Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
- Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.
Percent of domestic crimes reported to police: 25% (source)
Ms. Jones, 27, a victim of domestic violence, spoke out Tuesday at a news conference that highlighted a new report on domestic violence cases brought before judges in Toledo Municipal Court.
The 2010 Domestic Violence Court Watch Report, put together by nonprofit Independent Advocates, states that, of the 1,916 misdemeanor domestic violence cases in Municipal Court last year, only 13 percent resulted in convictions; 82 percent were dismissed or amended to lesser charges, according to the report. Five percent of cases were pending.
We don’t know what went on between Varlamov and Evgenia Vavinyuk; what we do know is that domestic violence, within the US and also in Russia, is routinely under-reported and under-prosecuted. “Innocent until proven guilty” is thrown around a lot in sexual assault or intimate partner violence cases, but what are we actually saying? If we’re saying we must believe his innocence, then we’re calling her a liar. I don’t think that’s a neutral position.
When I look at cases of domestic violence in the media, what I see are people routinely defending the accused, often by attempting to pain the accuser as a liar or unreliable in some way - hysterical, for example. I don’t see very many people saying “we don’t know what happened, so she might be telling the truth.” You said “for shit that might not even have happened”: that’s not a neutral position. People aren’t blaming “her or him” in cases like these; they blame the victim, who is usually a woman, and search for ways to discredit her.
As far as I know, none of us are on a jury, which means we’re free to analyze the information that’s coming out within the context of what we know about domestic violence. Domestic violence is a social reality. False accusations are incredibly, vanishingly rare. Statistically speaking, she is probably telling the truth. Moreover, it’s actually fairly rare for charges to even be made; the fact that he was charged with assault and kidnapping points to the police having some reason to believe that she’s telling the truth.
I’ve seen people make all kinds of arguments in defense of Varlamov in the past few days, and nearly all of them boil down to not knowing that much about domestic violence. Varlamov’s right to a fair trial does not mean that I have, in any way, a social or moral responsibility to forget what I know about domestic violence. I tend to believe the accuser because so few people do, because it’s so hard and dangerous to report domestic violence, because convictions are so rare - and because false accusations rarely happen. The court of public opinion goes uncriticized in many different ways; for example, long before Lance Armstrong admitted to doping, people acknowledged that he probably did, because of what they knew about sports culture and how people who are doping tend to act and see their careers progress. But when men are accused of rape or domestic violence, this accepted tendency and right to an opinion is shot down. Suddenly, the only reasonable opinion to advance is one of accusation towards the woman - usually accusation shrouded in misogyny and belief in myths about violence against women.
"Innocent until proven guilty" isn’t a neutral position - it’s a defense. It ignores the reality of domestic violence at best, and deliberately suppresses facts about domestic violence at worst. "Innocent until proven guilty" presupposes that the courts are perfect, or even mostly perfect. It presupposes that victims of gendered violence will find justice in the US court system. That is demonstratively, factually false. And it is misogynistic.
Think about why people defend men accused of domestic violence - especially white men - so much more determinedly than they defend men accused of other crimes. Think of people’s refusal to do research on domestic violence before they mount their defense. Think of how people insist “he’s a good guy” and thus not guilty, despite the fact that we have many, many cases of men people liked and trusted turning out to be criminals - murderers, or rapists, or sometimes even mass killers.
"Innocent until proven guilty" is not a neutral position. It’s an underhanded way to call the victim a liar. It’s ignorant, and it’s dangerous. And, yes, it’s a sign of misogyny.