By Robert G. Leclair

Prior to 1979, the judicial system handled all domestic violence as a crime.  All cases were handled in criminal courts where due process, rules of evidence, and innocent until proven guilty
were standards in determining guilt or innocence.  The judicial criminal process was by no means infallible and some abusers slipped through the cracks.  However, the main goal was to
strive for the truth in each and every case of domestic violence or allegation.  Treating domestic violence as a crime was the essence of the criminal judicial process as stated in Hillary
Clinton’s article, “Call Violence Against Women What It Is A Crime.”

In the 1970’s, radical feminists were concerned that many women did not file criminal complaints of abuse because of the difficulty of going through the criminal process.  Based on that
concern, many states adopted the “civil protective or restraining order” process.  Hillary Clinton was highly supportive of this process and the Clinton Administration played a significant role in
supporting this judicial civil process.

The justice system established special courts to handle civil restraining orders and set up their own politics and procedures for adjudication.  The standards were so low that restraining
orders were routinely awarded in 99% of the cases.  Women initiated the complaints 80% of the time and 100% were granted with no due process, rules of evidence or the innocent until
proven guilty standard.  Consequently, judges granted and still grant restraining orders based on a “better safe than sorry” approach when the truth cannot be readily determined or even
when the allegation appears to be false.  Unfortunately, the women desperately in need of protection and the children of those falsely accused are the ones who are hurt the most of this one-
size-fits-all approach.  No restraining order has ever stopped a murder or suicide.  The war to eliminate domestic violence has failed to achieve its main mission of protecting women from
violence and abuse.

Is Domestic Violence an Epidemic in the U.S.?

The number of domestic violence cases per year is an elusive statistic that no one can determine.  This statistic is the only feasible method of determining whether or not domestic violence is
an epidemic or to measure OVW’s accountability.  To avoid scrutiny, OVW always states that one out of three women are killed or abused.  This statistic never seems to change regardless
of OVW’s solutions or touted progress.  Approximately 1.5 million cases of domestic violence per year in the US can be lumped into two distinct groups:

1.  The actual cases of violence reported in the media and
2.  The allegations of domestic violence handled in civil restraining order courts.

The first group involves the cases of domestic violence that are publicized and reported in the media.  These cases account for approximately 19% of the total average of 1.5 million cases.  
The majority of these cases involve beatings, murders, murder/suicides and all the violent acts that are normally handled as crimes in criminal courts.  A great majority seem to involve
women as the victims.  Serious and horrible violations of restraining orders are also reported in the press whereas less serious violations are mostly handled as part of the civil restraining
order process and rarely reported.

The second group pertains to 81% of the 1.5 million cases (1.215 million) involving allegations of domestic violence that are handled in civil restraining order courts where due process is
completely bypassed.  In all these cases, 99% are granted routinely in civil restraining order courts.  Approximately 41% of this group (498,150) restraining orders are awarded to married
women with children.  A total close to 1.5 million mothers and fathers per year are affected by civil restraining order courts, including all of the children.  The collateral damage results in
further contributing to an already huge fatherless society.  The sheer number of children affected justifies a complete overhaul of the civil restraining order process.  Also, most of those 41%
of married women with children awarded restraining orders will eventually end up in divorce court.  Since divorce and custody are now linked to domestic violence law in most states, the
flawed civil restraining order process will ultimately have undue influence on all divorces involving children.

The Office of Violence Against Women is hypocritical and deceitful because of its failure to divulge the whole truth of what happens in civil restraining order courts.  There are four types of
allegations that judges are faced with.

1.        False allegation - The number of such allegations is completely unknown.  Some guess that it is anywhere from 2% to 10% of all cases.  Feminist advocates state that false allegations
consist of no more than 2% of all cases but absolutely nobody can substantiate this call.  The only known factor is that false allegations are part of the equation especially when many
lawyers are telling female clients to obtain restraining orders to gain leverage in divorce courts.

2.        Allegations based on perception rather than reality - These complaints are never intentional lies however, the allegation is false and the defendant and his children suffer the same
consequences.  The restraining order is granted and the children are separated from the father.

3.        Allegations in the “he said/she said” cases – Judges readily admit that it is almost impossible to determine who is at fault.  Therefore their decisions are normally based on a “better
safe than sorry” approach.  The number of such cases could be quite significant and will always remain an unknown for lack of proof since awards are made without the essential tool of due

4.        Allegations that are genuine - The victim is mistreated/abused by the perpetrator.  The female victim is awarded the restraining order only to be lulled into a false sense of security.  
Restraining orders have never prevented a murder and at times have actually triggered the murder.

All the above types of allegations are awarded restraining orders in 99% of the cases:

a)        The first two types of allegations are where fathers are falsely accused, become innocent victims and their children suffer emotional agony and harm and become fatherless.

b)        The third type of allegation is where the women are given special consideration and the decision is based on a “better safe than sorry” approach and most often resulting in tragedies
similar to types 1 and 2.

c)        As far as the allegations that are genuine, the perpetrator is treated no differently than all other males expect that he gets away with murder and his victim is rarely protected.

d)        This fourth type of allegation is where the process completely falls apart and does not differentiate between the first three types for lack of due process.

OVW’S Misguided Approach Never Ends

The civil restraining order process for the past decades was absolutely flawed and OVW’s approach was by far too exclusionary.  Its war on domestic violence was only for violence against
women.  OVW should have included a broader war on domestic violence and adopted solutions that included violence and abuse against women, men, and children.  OVW’s myopic
discrimination is the reason for its failure.

Take a good look at some of the significant data provided by other federal agencies and excluded from OVW consideration when establishing the radical VAWA approach.  (
view Below)
some of the ignored data.  Then, connect the dots and explore for yourself why hypocrisy and deceit is rampant in the Washington power grabs.

The Last Nail in the Coffin of the Fatherless Society

Another catastrophic blow to the well being of the children of divorce is the fact that the flawed restraining order process will ultimately stop any shared custody laws from being enacted and
implemented.  Radical feminists, OVW, lawyers and many judges have all voiced strong objections to shared custody - a concept evaluated in and supported by numerous professional
studies.  Also, OVW’s orchestrated maneuver to link restraining orders to custody laws in divorce was a self-serving well-conceived strategy.  It was a preemptive strike to have every divorce
scrutinized as a possible act of domestic violence and to kill preemptive laws of shared custody in every state something that OVW opposed.  OVW is mainly interested in promoting its
ideology that violence to women and children is mostly attributable to a patriarchal society and male control dominance.

In 2013, OVW funded an experiment that involved four different family courts that handled divorce and custody cases.  It seemed they were going to evaluate various models involving
custody decision, including methods of handling domestic violence.  However, contrary to expectations, the experiments in those four courts only evaluated one aspect of custody cases
where domestic violence and restraining orders were involved.  Because most states now have domestic violence laws tacked onto the divorce and custody laws, divorce in general will
become mostly adversarial and will probably negate all the no-fault laws.  Custody decisions will revert to when the fathers were only granted 15 hours a week visitation or family courts will
ignore decisions made in restraining order courts.  The latter case would show that the restraining order process is a sham with adverse collateral damage to families and especially
children.  This issue will also tend to increase the number of parental alienation cases.


The magnitude of adverse effects and the collateral damage to innocent people and children are egregious failures of OVW and VAWA.  The fallout has also affected the divorce process,
the national economy, the role of the family, and our morality and values as a nation.  This has resulted in creating a new class the middle-class poor.  Congress has totally ignored these
issues and should not reauthorize VAWA or OVW unless the ACT is completely rewritten, OVW dismantled/restructured and the judicial system reformed, implemented and working to
eliminate violence and abuse of women, men and especially children.