Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, have arguments. This should not, however, justify a trip to jail and a criminal conviction with lifetime penalties.
Human beings make mistakes, cause accidents, and act immaturely at times. Everyone has past conduct they wish could be taken back. Part of being human is sometimes hurting those loved the most. The absurdity is to classify a single, out-of-character, nonviolent act as “criminal.”
For instance, it is not domestic violence to:
• Engage in consensual sex that may be loud or rough, e.g., see The Joy of Sex;
With “Zero Tolerance” arrest policies and “No Drop” prosecutions, the number of arrests for petty family arguments has skyrocketed. A former prosecuting attorney explains the phenomena:
“Christopher Pagan, who was until recently a prosecutor in Hamilton County, Ohio, estimates that due to a 1994 state law requiring police on a domestic call either to make an arrest or to file a report explaining why a no arrest was made, “domestics ” went from 10 percent to 40 percent of his docket. But, he suggests, that doesn’t mean actual abusers were coming to his attention more often. “We started getting a lot of push-and-shoves,” says Pagan, “or even yelling matches. ” In the past, police officers would intervene and separate the parties to let them cool off. Now those cases end up in criminal courts. It’s exacerbating tensions between the parties, and it’s turning law-abiding middle class citizens into criminals.”