The party also signaled an opening day of sorts, as during the month of October the calendar will host the 22nd annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October 1st is the Black Friday in the Domestic Violence version of the Christmas shopping season. Women’s advocates will be reminding us of the plight of women at the hands of men that has no end, politicians will be supportive, delivering bombastic speeches replete with whatever unscreened statistics are provided to them by their handlers, and most importantly, the money raised and momentum gained will serve proponents well as we head toward VAWA reauthorization in 2010.
In other words, it will be another 31 days of fundraising, fanaticism and fraudulence; another month in which America and the western world is misinformed on an epic scale, all in the name of perpetuating the myth that the ill effects of domestic violence is a “girls only” club and that draconian legislation is the only answer.
And each year at this time men’s rights activists increasingly struggle to offer up the facts against the tsunami of slanted statistics. Those facts are simple and unassailable. Women are as violent or more violent than men in relationships. Men severely under report being victims of violence in the home due to social shaming, lack of services and the propensity of police to arrest and incarcerate whatever male is in the home, regardless of who made the assault or called for help. And there is mounting evidence that women over (falsely) report due to incentives offered them by VAWA and family courts. Many illegal aliens have used provisions of VAWA to commit immigration fraud by falsely alleging domestic abuse.
The facts around domestic violence point to the unavoidable conclusion that VAWA is legislation rooted not only in sexism, but in an ill-conceived agenda that severs men from rights and recourse with the crushing legal efficacy of Dred Scott.
Individuals who follow these issues will see further dissection of the nuts and bolts of VAWA as the month progresses. But there is another area seldom explored that might possibly explain actual motive for the legislation to begin with.
One might be pressed to wonder why, with 835,000 men a year being victimized by violent partners, would Joe Biden conjure up a mammoth piece of legislation that outright denies that reality? Why, after being trained with VAWA funding, do police arrest men almost exclusively in domestic disputes where many of those men are either acting in self defense, or are in fact the sole victims of the abuse?
The answer may be in Biden’s childhood, as he was himself a male victim of violence in the home.
According to Biden’s own words his sister regularly beat him in his childhood and adolescence. “And I have the bruises to prove it,” he said, at a senate hearing on violence against women, December 11, 1990. To make sure the audience knew this wasn’t a joke, he added, “I mean that sincerely. I am not exaggerating when I say that.”
As with any victim of abuse, even with the Vice President of the United States, it is imperative to consider the long lasting psychological impact, especially given how the abuse was delivered.
In Biden’s brief tell-all, he acknowledged that the beatings he received were condoned and sanctioned by his parents, and that he was prevented from defending himself; That he was literally, in fact, powerless to make the abuse stop.
“In my house,” he stated, “being raised with a sister and three brothers, there was an absolute. It was a nuclear sanction, if under any circumstances, for any reason –even self defense– you ever touched your sister, not figuratively, literally.”
“My sister, who is my best friend, my campaign manager, my confidante,” he continued, “grew up with absolute impunity in our household.”
In these disturbing revelations, Biden offers us a glimpse into a tragically dysfunctional and abusive family. The rules he describes are clear. His sister was granted license to terrorize and abuse him over a period of years while the family strong-armed him into the role of her designated punching bag. This was maintained under the threat of a “nuclear sanction” if he dared attempt to defend himself or stop the beatings.
One has to infer parental enabling and complicity in Joe Biden’s childhood tragedy, either through chosen indifference to what was happening, or by outright collusion in the abuse. Whatever the failings of his parents, it resulted in the systematic degradation of a defenseless child.
These are disclosures better suited for the therapists office than the senate floor.
And indeed some form of counseling for Biden might have gone a long way. It could have even prevented the wholesale abuses of the legislation Biden authored that more resembles a reenactment of his family dysfunction –women operating with impunity while men are held under threat– than a legitimate effort to address domestic violence, which all the evidence demonstrates it is not.
Consider what mental health professionals now say about the psychological consequences of repeated childhood abuse.
From the book, Traumatic Stress- The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body and Society, edited by Bessel A. van der Kolk, Alexander C. Macfarlane and Lars Weiseath, comes the following, well researched conclusion.
“Many traumatized people become involved in social situations that bear a striking similarity to the context in which they were first traumatized. Freud thought that the aim of such repetitions was to gain mastery, but clinical experience shows that this rarely happens; instead, repetition causes further suffering for the individual or for other people in their surroundings.”
That this phenomena could manifest itself in the monumentally larger scale of government and politics is not outside possibility, nor the speculation of historians and mental health practitioners.
Alice Miller, Ph.D., in her meticulously documented book, For Your Own Good, aptly describes how the autocratic (dysfunctional) nature of the turn of the century German family played a pivotal role in the occurrence of Nazi atrocities during the Hitler regime. She bolsters the point about Hitler personally in an article in which she wrote “The Fuhrer once told his secretary that during one of the regular beatings given to him by his father, he was able to stop crying, to feel nothing, even to count the thirty-two blows that were received”
It was part of what Miller called “The concealed concentration camp of childhood,” and she postulates the possibility that it was this element of Hitler’s upbringing that resulted in an individual detached enough from human suffering to order the torture and death of millions.
Whether part or all of this applies to the actions of Vice President Biden is a matter of pure conjecture. But there are two things that are not in dispute. One, by his own words, Joe Biden was raised in an environment of systemic abuse that was enforced by family dictates that eviscerated his personal safety and forced him, under duress, to submit.
And two, Joe Biden grew up to author legislation that has the same net effect on millions of innocent men. Indeed, he does this with his primary abuser at his side, guiding his political success.
Any attempt to easily insert the word ‘coincidence’ here defies reason. So it may well be that with VAWA we are not fighting a plague of domestic violence but the simply and sadly the demons of Joe Biden’s abusive childhood.
And it boggles the mind to consider that the scars of his unfortunate youth will result not in lessons learned about real abuse, but only in more damage to many, many more innocent people.