No One Is a VICTIM Just because S/he Says S/he Is: A Reminder for Reporters…and Other People Who Shouldn’t Need Reminding

TALKING BACK to restraining orders

I looked at a form I was handed a couple of weeks ago at a criminal arraignment I was ordered to attend. The form gives the impression I was supposed to sign it, which no one asked me to do. This would be disturbing if I were still capable of registering disturbance. I noticed with dim approval, though, that it said this:

alleged_victim

When accusations are made on “protective orders” or are of the type “protective orders” typically purport to concern (e.g., harassment, stalking, or domestic violence), journalists routinely call accusers “victims” automatically. They reason, apparently, that a person can’t be awarded a restraining order unless s/he has demonstrably been victimized. (More accurately, “reporters” don’t scruple overmuch about the facts or how the process works, because they know where their loyalties are supposed to lie.) Probably a majority of injunctions are awarded based on their petitioners’ say-so alone. To…

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