Cop’s Corner- Domestic Violence

Who is the typical Primary Aggressor?

DERWIN J. BRADLEY
Law Enforcement/Counterterrorism

I’m sure you all remember the incident where singer Chris Brown battered his girlfriend Robyn Rihanna Fenty, commonly known as Rihanna. I was discussing the incident with a fellow author who was a former Fortune 500 CEO and, I suspect, a frightened estranged wife who might have been battered by her soon-to-be ex-husband.

I told them that in my 25 years of policing, I have seen numerous domestic violence cases where the woman was what we call ‘The Primary Aggressor’. The Primary Aggressor is defined as the person who initiates the violence and/or demonstrates the most aggressive behavior. Now don’t get me wrong, when Oprah said, “There’s never a good reason to hit a woman during an argument,” I agree wholeheartedly; however, it has been my experience in the field that women will typically commit the first act of violence. I have worked many cases where the woman initiated violence by pushing, slapping, or throwing objects at the man. (It is rumored that Rihanna threw the tainted cell phone at Brown, sparking the physical confrontation). Women also tend to try to physically block the man’s path if he tries to leave, or simply verbally berates and belittles him until he explodes violently and batters her. Of course the male wins the fight and is arrested for domestic violence.

I can’t tell you how many times men have sat in the back of my patrol car bewildered saying, “But she hit me first!” I would respond, “I know. But you beat her up.”
“Well what was I supposed to do? She hit me!”
“Take it. Walk away. Run away if you have to.”
“I don’t run from no woman! I ain’t leavin’ my own house!”
“Then you will continue to go to jail.” That statement usually sends them into a rant on how the system gives preference to women. I usually respond, “You are absolutely right. Now you have a choice to make.”

My friend and I really got into a heated debate about this issue. She believes that a man should know when to walk away even if the woman is pushing every button that he has. I told her that it sounds good in theory, but I would caution women on depending on an already unstable, immature, or just plain mean man to know when to walk away and have the inner strength to do so. The statement “There is never a good reason to hit a woman during an argument” sounds like a great rally cry, but if women are to avoid those sudden violent confrontations from violence-prone men, they have got to know when to back out of the situation.

My friend argued that it was not fair that the woman had to get herself under control during an argument because women are emotional creatures and get “caught up” in the heat of the moment. The man should know when to walk away and not lash out physically. I simply asked, “Are you willing to bet your health or maybe even your life on an angry, immature, mean-spirited, drunk/high, or emotionally unstable man doing the right thing?” That pretty much ended the debate for the time being.

I know that this is a tough subject because I had the same debate with my mother and several other women. I told you I would give the tough answers and in this case I only want to keep you safe and maybe even save your life. I’ve done many battered-woman rescues and hunted numerous violent batterers and each case is as frustrating as you-know-what!

So the final question remains: would you rather be right, or would you rather be healthy?

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