Saturday, September 27, 2014

Obscuring Domestic Violence

Apparently NFL players who abuse their wives or girlfriends should move to Massachusetts if they want a better chance keeping their horrific behavior secret.

On August 30 a young lady was assaulted after midnight Saturday on Hobart Lane, located just off the UMass campus, a street predominantly populated by UMass students. 

She walked into the UMass Police Station with her brother to report the incident and they contacted Amherst Police who have jurisdiction.

No arrest was made, and that's pretty much the end of the story.

Two weeks ago, however, APD did arrest two individuals for domestic violence, and one of them even assaulted a police officer causing physical injury.  But apparently our taxpayer funded police can't ever release their names.

Every reputable journalist I know (and I know a lot) routinely redacts victims names, or even details that could lead to exposing their identity.

By making it harder to expose the (alleged) perpetrators of these despicable acts, we only encourage their continuation.

Click to enlarge/read


Walter Graff said...

It's a tough call Larry. The DV is a system with many holes, unfair laws, and abuse within it's own ranks. For the courts it is BIG business mostly funded by the federal government and states do not want to lose that money.

Most believe absolute anonymity is best for both parties involved as DV is much more complicated scenario than simply a man or woman physically or psychologically abusing their partner a few times.

Outing a perpetrator is not going to shame that person into stopping as DV is more a deep seated condition. It is the equivalent of printing the names of a drunk, hooker, or a John. It will not stop deep-seated behavior, nor deter it.

Walter Graff said...

"...a young lady was assaulted after midnight Saturday on Hobart Lane, she walked into the UMass Police Station with her brother to report the incident and they contacted Amherst Police who have jurisdiction.
No arrest was made, and that's pretty much the end of the story."

This is a report of assault, not a case of domestic violence.

Larry Kelley said...

I think date rape or sexual assault is considered "domestic violence".

And since we have few details to go on, hard to tell how to categorize this.

Which is kind of my point.

Walter Graff said...

You said a female reported assault on Hobart Lane. Was she on a date? Was she raped? More detail to what occurred might be in order for the reader. Should there have been an arrest? Would the fact that no arrest was made seem odd, or is there is substance to her story and a named perpetrator? Seems the police did not find cause based on what you state.

Just saying that the perpetuation that most all violence in relationships is always male on female is deeply entrench in our society but very false. To include this story of an assault with little detail in a story that is titled "Domestic Violence" only perpetuates myths and further obscures the truth about domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a huge business for state courts that is funded by the federal government so simply releasing names is not going to happen anytime soon.

Larry Kelley said...

I tried to get more details of the incident for my readers but hit a solid brick wall.

The Mass Newspapers Publishers Association is concerned because now incidents like that will never see ANY light of day.

While I have no concerns about the Amherst Police Department, I do worry about smaller departments with not as much training.

How do citizens know if their local PD is handling these kinds of cases properly if no charges are brought and no details are ever released?

Walter Graff said...

Domestic violence is physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse between present or former intimate partners or family members. Domestic violence can occur between domestic partners, parents and children, siblings, or extended family members.

Date rape, which you do not imply here, only that a female was assaulted, is not considered domestic violence on its own.

Walter Graff said...

And how do we know that if arrests are made, and a story is published that the police ARE doing the right thing. Some states have laws related to domestic violence that says one of the two parties in a DV incident MUST be arrested regardless of evidence. Massachusetts does NOT have such a law but police officers in this state are routinely told they must arrest one of the two parties, and do just that, even in the town of Amherst. That is violation of a persons constitutional rights but it happens in Mass every day.

If you really wanted to open up a can of worms and see the world come down on you, try doing a story on domestic violence and the court system in this country. Some have tried, many of them wen tot jail for all sorts of nonsense or were so scared by what happened to them once they started peeling back the layers that they gave up.

jaf bm said...

But you're not bound by any obligation to withhold that information, correct, Larry?

Anonymous said...

Whats the story with the APD officers, that were injured last nite?

Larry Kelley said...

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose the TM, will have to do something now?

Larry Kelley said...

Let's hope.

Anonymous said...

Domestic violence isn't the only thing being hidden and obscured by cops in Amherst:

Larry Kelley said...

I'm still thinking about that one.

Cops need to protect their sources the same as journos.

It's an interesting ethics case both for the Globe -- who did not name the deceased major player in the story -- and for UMPD who did not disclose his original arrest to his parents.

Of course the "age of consent" in Massachusetts is only 16, so UMPD had no legal requirement to inform the parents.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever turned someone into a rat in exchange for not printing a story about them?

Larry Kelley said...

No, but I've probably gone easier on some heavy hitters in order to not totally alienate them.

Anonymous said...

Isn't a "source" typically someone who comes forward with information on their own volition, versus the motivations an "informant" acts under?

I assume if a journo squeezed someone for information that would be prosecutable as extortion or blackmail.

Larry Kelley said...

Truth is the ultimate defense for a whole variety of charges.

Anonymous said...

One of the great feminist myths is:

One in five in college women will be sexually assaulted.

FACTS: This incendiary figure is everywhere in the media today. Journalists, senators and even President Obama cite it routinely. Can it be true that the American college campus is one of the most dangerous places on earth for women?

The one-in-five figure is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and conducted from 2005 to 2007. Two prominent criminologists, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox and Mount Holyoke College’s Richard Moran, have noted its weaknesses:

“The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.”

Fox and Moran also point out that the study used an overly broad definition of sexual assault. Respondents were counted as sexual assault victims if they had been subject to “attempted forced kissing” or engaged in intimate encounters while intoxicated.

Defenders of the one-in-five figure will reply that the finding has been replicated by other studies. But these studies suffer from some or all of the same flaws. Campus sexual assault is a serious problem and will not be solved by statistical hijinks.

Anonymous said...

The Davis Report, this domestic assault expose, squeezing a young addict and then leaving him out to dry ...... this year seems to be turning into the kind of year the schools had last year. Except the screamers have not called for any chieftain's heads, like they do when a school locks its classroom doors when a kid has a medical issue in the hallway.

Dr. Ed said...

I have long said that some serious questions need to be asked about the UMPD.

And if UMass tells parents about kids being caught with a beer by a RA (and they do) then you'd think a heroin Arrest would be worthy of note...

Larry Kelley said...

He was not arrested for heroin.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, there is absolutely no way that the Assessment Care Team (ACT) wasn't involved in this.

ACT is how the UMPD would know he didn't have a mental health history. ACT is how the dealer he informed on could be immediately suspended. ACT would have discussed his death -- and it would have been a decision NOT to suspend the dealer.

There is potential criminal liability on the part of certain administrators here.

Larry, I know that cesspool better than you do -- it so badly needs a Federal Grand Jury to do some housecleaning.