“Breaking the Glasses”: One Blog Writer’s Metaphor for Exposing Restraining Order Abuse

Posted on November 24, 2013


A highly intelligent and sensitive woman I’ve been in correspondence with in recent months, one who’s been put through the legal crucible and left badly scalded by it, remarked to me that despite what may be their best intentions, a lot of those on the Internet who protest abuses committed through the courts and by the courts sound like nut jobs. I’m personally in awe of anyone who’s weathered court travails and emerged even reasonably sane. I’m not sure I qualify myself. But I take her point.

That’s why I’m particularly impressed when I encounter writers whose literary protests are not only controlled but very lucid and balanced. One such writer maintains a blog titled Breaking the Glasses, and anyone with a stake in the issues this blog concerns may appreciate a female writer’s perspective on them. See her posts on “Restraining Order Abuse and Vexatious Litigation.” She really gets it. Her section on “Mantrapment” (marvelous for its title alone) is dead on in its analyses, and she does a stellar job breaking down how the restraining order game works by the sedimentary accretion of lies.

Here’s an excerpt from an article of this writer’s that chronicles one man’s “Seven years in hell” (published on AVoiceforMen.com). It summarizes the horrors of restraining order injustice and may resonate with the experiences of visitors to this blog:

“After these first accusations failed to get Amy what she wanted, she changed tactics. She would go to the county courthouse first, using false claims of stalking and assault to obtain another emergency Civil Protection Order. A hearing would be set for a date within 30 days to determine whether the order was merited. This hearing would carry two possibilities: either the order would be dropped, or it would be upheld. If the order was dropped, the charge of violating it would also be dropped. If upheld, it would be in effect for 5 years, and Rodger would face limitations and penalties, including the permanent loss of his legal right to keep and bear arms. Any contact he had with Amy after that, even if it was accidental, could result in his being sent to jail.

“After requesting the order, Amy would wait until she was informed that the order had been served, and within a day or two, she would accuse Rodger of violating it. Each time, officers would arrive at Rodger’s home and take him into custody without reading him his rights. They informed him that they could do this because he was not under arrest – merely ‘going in for questioning.’

“However, despite not being under arrest, he would be transported to the station in handcuffs, riding in the back of a cruiser rather than on his own. Officers would place him in a holding cell before and after questioning him. He would be held for hours. The department would not release him without bail. Officers told Rodger’s family that they were permitted to do all of this under a combination of the Patriot Act and the Violence Against Women Act, explaining that the Patriot Act allows police to detain citizens suspected of domestic terrorism, and VAWA treats domestic abuse as a form of terrorism. However, VAWA does not treat domestic abuse as a form of ‘domestic terrorism’ as described in the Patriot Act. That assertion was an incorrect interpretation of the two laws, one which is being fed to local departments by the advocacy group from which Amy was receiving assistance, but the fact that it’s incorrect has not stopped local police departments from acting on the advocacy group’s advice when detaining area men accused of domestic violence.”

It digests much of what’s most defective and destructive about the restraining order process and underscores how easily and extremely this process can be abused.

Besides this writer’s blog, I want to direct interested parties to Restraining Order Blog, maintained by Chris Tucker, whose own treatments are reasoned and conscientious. Many detailed and revealing firsthand accounts of restraining order abuse can be found here.

It’s said that knowledge is power. This isn’t particularly true when applied to the state legal apparatus, because all the know-how in the world can fall victim to base lies. In the legal arena, the only sure power is political pull (which usually equates to money). And the only virtue in knowing this is knowing to steer clear of the legal arena. There is much to be said for speaking truth to power, however, because information is influential. And the tides of change will only be roused by that information’s spreading.

And this finally is contingent upon those in the know feeling secure enough to pronounce what they know. This is how the power of knowledge is realized. Fortune doesn’t in fact always favor the brave, but in the fullness of time it may dependably respond to their summons.

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