Some recent posts on this blog have touched on what might be called the five magic words, because their utterance may be all that’s required of a petitioner to obtain a restraining order. The five magic words are these: “I’m afraid for my life.”
Cops, it’s even reported, tell women whom they goad to get restraining orders that they should recite this magical phrase to the judge (wink, wink)—and some of these women complain later that they felt forced onto a course that they regretted pursuing but weren’t permitted to correct.
(Notably, billions in federal tax dollars have been invested under the Violence Against Women Act in so-called STOP grants—“Services and Training for Officers and Prosecutors”—as well as in grants to encourage arrests, according to which VAWA grants police officers have essentially been instructed to promote restraining orders.)
The I’m-afraid-for-my-life enchantment has variant forms. This writer’s accuser, who had for months nightly…
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