The PJ Tatler

Why Does an Army Ranger Use a GoPro Camera to Defend Himself against Domestic Abuse?

Why did this Army Ranger feel the need to use a body camera to defend himself against physical abuse by his ex-wife? He’s an Army Ranger, after all. Presumably he is capable of defending himself in a way that most female victims cannot, by overpowering his attacker. Alas, as many male victims of domestic abuse learn, if they fully defend themselves, then they are arrested for domestic abuse.

That is, he had to use a GoPro because if he hit her back, no one would believe him. He would be cast as the attacker.

It is a huge problem for male victims of domestic abuse. The public is not only inclined to think of female-on-male violence as funny (see two videos below), but also authorities and the public are more likely to assume that he got his bruises when she defended herself. Basically, we assume that the man threw the first punch, that he was asking for it. From the previous link:

Among PASK’s findings are that, except for sexual coercion, men and women perpetrate physical and non-physical forms of abuse at comparable rates, most domestic violence is mutual, women are as controlling as men, domestic violence by men and women is correlated with essentially the same risk factors, and male and female perpetrators are motivated for similar reasons….

Hamel also argues that men are not only disproportionately arrested in domestic violence cases, but sometimes arrested for arbitrary reasons, citing, for example, that police often arrest the bigger and stronger party in cases where the perpetrator is unclear. “Such policies are not only ineffective but violate people’s civil rights,” Hamel concludes. “People in the domestic violence field say that ‘it’s all about the victims.’ Well, the victim is not always the one hit, but sometimes the one arrested.”