Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shocked, shocked at domestic violence in SF

It's tragicomic to see San Francisco's conservative mayor and his consent-manufacturers suddenly falling over themselves to express concern about domestic violence. The reason being, of course, that a newly elected liberal sheriff is accused of it.

Hypocrites. I mean, I'm a hypocrite, cf. previous post here about expensive dinner on Valencia Street. But it's in a whole nother league to become suddenly shocked, shocked, to learn that domestic violence is going on in this city.

The funny part is, their hypocrisy might do a little good. With luck, there's a chance it could finally bring some outsider women a chance to invoke the equal protection of the laws.

All these opinionmakers are so damn concerned about one bruise on the arm of the sheriff's wife. But they have not helped in the past when very poor women were badly hurt or terrorized by partners, but felt unable to call the police for fear of being themselves arrested on background kinds of charges like drug possession or trespassing, or for fear of being otherwise slammed down by the assumption that, in any dispute among "those people," all of "them" must be equally criminal.

I can imagine the bitter laughter of a woman I know well, who left her tormentor behind years ago but still lives with the emotional and physical damage: "One bruise!"

Columnist C.W. Nevius, for example, who likes poor people only very selectively and never when they're uppity, is suddenly deeply concerned about victim-blaming in this morning's SF Chron. Now he says, "Stepping away and letting two people involved in domestic violence work things out isn't a solution. It's ignoring the problem."

So, Mr. Nevius, the next time a homeless woman is raped by her partner, I trust you will be standing there on the pavement or in the hotel hallway counseling the police to ignore the concurrent opportunities to accuse her of minor victimless crimes, to listen to her as though she were a real citizen, and to find a way for her to live elsewhere afterwards so she can maintain some level of safety for herself after finding the courage to call the police.

After all, as you say, the old approach was wrong, "when the police would stop by, take the husband for a walk around the block, and send him back home. We can never go back to those days."

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