Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestions”???

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IN THIS POST:

Let’s Get Honest philosophizes, cites, and (below that), shares about the impact of dealing after separation with an individual who will not respect orders or law — ANY order or ANY laws.  And what happens when laws to protect aren’t enforced, consequences don’t happen, year after year.

WHY is this on my mind now?  Probably within about one week, 2 front-page, TV news incidents in which custody and visitation issues (as well as domestic violence/stalking) played a hand — led, I believe needlessly, to:   3 dead people:  

  • 2 fathers killed the mother of their child (one also then killed himself), i.e., murder/suicide
  • 1 hostage situation involving evacuation of a mobile home and SWAT teams,
  • 1 murder-plus-kidnapping/Amber Alert, and
  • 2 young children (1 yr old, 9yr old) now without a mother in  this world —

and BOTH of them show clear signs of system failure AFTER threats to kill and stalking behavior had been reported.  BOTH of them showed overentitled males punishing females for independence — by killing them.  

In addition, one of the cities with one of the highest homicide rates in the country (and a reputation for this), experienced 8 shootings in 8 days; some people interviewed were afraid to show their faces.  I happen to have worked in the city that is neck and neck statistically, and in which the other year I walked into a triple homicide related to family violence.

I myself have over time, within family or in-law line, seen suicide (and talk of it), domestic violence (towards me), and my children were also stolen — equally a felony crime — and in a similar context  — but no Amber Alert in this situation, and no prosecution.  Just “business as usual, along with stalking, and most of the lethality indicators that some of these crimes share, except that we have all lived longer than many.  In some very real senses, this entire family line, though devastated by system failures and impoverished through family court’s consistent refusal to treat domestic violence AS domestic violence (and dangerous), we are collectively walking miracles.  Statistically alone it could’ve gone the other way, easily, at any point in the past 10 years.  What really bothers me is dealing with systems and people that don’t “GET” that this is indeed serious.  

They wish men, women, and children to live as though life in denial, and continue to play pretend, and what I call “roulette.” I wrote a relative years ago, asking whether this person was indeed willing to play this “roulette” with my children as the chips.  My letter was not acknowledge.  On this post, I have another link that uses this word “roulette” to describe these dynamics, it post-dates my letter, and I didn’t get the idea from this source.   

Restraining order clinics and family laws are, literally, “gambling” with lives, that their premises and policies are right. They are going to continue this gamble, and my point is, whether or not they do, or can be corrected, individuals can possibly STOP gambling, if they know the game, the stakes, AND who has pulled up a chair to the table, which MOST litigants are simply not told up front.

In doing this, I’ve got here the longest post to date.  It’s not a swift or easy read, but I hope it will help some people.  It is not easy to reflect on what led up to murder, suicide, and hostage situations, one of which produced a total orphan, the other, a ward of the state.  But, chances are, this is going to affect one of your own (sooner or later), or by acquaintances.  The only moral stance to take is get informed and be prepared — if you care. As these situations are indeed multiplying –well, that’s how multiplying GOES.  It expands exponentially.

I do not think the top policysetters are, by and large uninformed.  Or incompetent.  I think they have developed some very bad attitudes and habit patterns — particularly pretending to be more open and honest than they are.  

THIS IS NOT A HELP BLOG, MORESO A “POLICY” BLOG, TALKING ABOUT POLICIES & PREMISES THAT FAIL, THAT OPEN DOORS FOR KILLERS TO KILL, AND KIDNAPPERS TO KIDNAP, AND ILLUSTRATING THIS WITH NEWS ITEMS.

I DO NOT HAVE A GOVERNMENT GRANT FOR A SPIFFY WEBSITE, OR TO PAY A PR FIRM EVEN MODERATE FEES.  OBVIOUSLY NOT FOR A COPY EDITOR OR WEBMASTER.  BUT ONE THING I DO  HAVE –ABOUT 20 YEARS IN THIS FIELD, EXPERIENCE ONGOING, AVID READING, AVID NETWORKING, AND I COMMUNICATE WITH ENOUGH PEOPLE, DAILY (PERSONAL, AND ON-LINE AND PHONE) TO UNDERSTAND HOW WORLDWIDE THESE ISSUES WERE.  

Both my parents were researchers (one showed more curiosity and creativity than the other), and the drive to know WHY has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  I do not expect a perfect or serene world, there is always an element of chaos and change when life and growth is involved.  

There’s possibly a way to have universal peace and no-conflict, if this is what the family court practitioners, or our Administration, feels is what “government” is about, and what is desired.  There is a way to possibly limit strife and war, etc., between the very few ruling elites:  drug everyone, dumb them down, and produce a population of drones  that COULDN’T rebel, if the concept of doing so somehow strayed into their mind.

Oops!, I said this blog wasn’t about Ritalin, Prozacs, the relationship between the pharmaceutical industries and our public education system, or dumbing us down nation-wide, except the Ph.D. behavioralists who will then study what’ wrong with the dumbed-down sectors, and enough scientists to perfect the human clone, the artificial womb, and make sperm, to the point that actual human relationships, with all those messy emotions, become obsolete.  As to that last one, check your search engines; they’re working on it in Great Britain and Japan.  I speculate that, potentially, should this happen, some testosterone or adrenaline will slip through and someone will start a fight out of sheer boredom, to experience a surge of something exciting, or experientially alive.  But I will try to keep school out of this, OK?  Let me try again.

Abuse and domestic violence DO happen in cycles, and there is an eery, odd feeling inbetween them.  It’s odd because to the target person, (she) is wondering, is the coast clear?  HOW MUCH can I accomplish in the interim, and WHAT FORM is the next event going to take?  HOW FAST can I clean up damage and try to build back up another wall?  WHERE can I go, and WHO will stand by me THIS time?  Apart from our internal trust in determination, or skills, or diligence, and/or our God, this is typically how it goes.  

 

SUGGESTIONS — WHEN A RESTRAINING ORDER IS ON

YOURS OR HERS:

This is hindsight advice, from almost 10 years out.  Don’t make these mistakes:

Don’t let your guard down!  Don’t, if possible, compromise an INCH!

It is so tempting, for all, 

to heave a sigh of relief — at LAST!  Protection!

no, this is just a new chapter.

And it’s important to understand that the abuser probably doesn’t agree with that philosophy

and will do what (he/she) can to make sure it’s NOT a permanent change in the dynamics

Do NOT project YOUR attitude onto HIS (or her) attitude!

 

WHAT DOES THE ORDER SAY? IS VISITATION ALREADY IN PLACE?  I QUESTION THE WISDOM OF THAT!

Safety plan:  You have to judge, but a shelter is not always enough (or available).  

How outrageous, or long, was the abuse?  Or relationship?

I’m going to talk here, about my experience on for the first time since marriage, having been given a tool to set a boundary, a restraining order.  After some initial input as to what helped, and what was just illogical.

Every case is different, but perhaps this may help people who haven’t been through it, understand.  I am doing this to make it clear, if you are involved with any such woman (or man), or working in this field, to FOLLOW THROUGH and INSIST that NO boundary violations — even the most minor — be allowed, from the VERY start.  Period.  MOST women don’t “get” this this early in the process (maybe some do, but I suspect that someone who allowed abuse to happen MIGHT just be unaware to start with about personal boundaries.  Women are not always taught this, from previous generations, and there are SO MANY institutions in our society where one’s personal boundaries are constantly violated to start with, the importance of it typically doesn’t register.  IT COUNTS!  

Get these women BOOKS AND RESOURCES (and read them yourself), such as Patricia Evans, The Verbally Abusive Relationship.  Or Lundy Bancroft, The Batterer As Parent (should be required reading of every family court judge!), or one written by a police officer who has worked for years in the DV field, and speaks about how resistant his colleagues were to sitting through trainings on this, it’s simply called “Refuge.” It’s a Christian police officer’s viewpoint, BUT it’s a police officer’s viewpoint who has been in these situations and as such gives danger signs, some legal principles, and is VERY validating.  Below, today, I also reference an article from a police site.  Law enforcement is trained to walk into situations that can be dangerous or deadly; they are TRAINED how not to get injured or killed, and they will talk about this — we should listen!  Domestic violence IS such a situation, but most women don’t have this training and in intimate relationships, it’s easy to let the guard down even if one does.  Law enforcement sometimes give their lives responding to a DV call.  They are aware of its dangers.  They will naturally understand survival and self-preservation.  

These writings, by people who actually place their lives in a protective situation, are important — people who have to deal with criminals and the criminal justice system.  If, leaving DV or working with people who are, you or they count on ONLY the psychological/relationship aspect, I have 2 comments to offer:  

(1) You’re foolish:  abusers use psychology AND physical threats/force.  Speak their language, (force, orders, no-nonsense, and — when the authority is challenged — No negotiation unless someone is already in a hostage situation.

 This goes for helpers too!, and (2) You’re still at risk, or will expose her/them to further needless risk.  

Here’s the other caveat:  When a person with children leaves a violent relationship with a protective orders, unless he/she  really DOES plan to abandon the kids (if so, probably be thankful, as hard as it may be at first for them), it’s just about GOING to go through the family law system for a custody order, and possibly child support order.  Unless you just don’t need it, he doesn’t run into a second partner that is empty-nest, kid- or money-hungry (like I did, apparently as to the former….)

The next caveat I have:  This venue (family law / child support) is about psychology and what to do with your money — or if you have none, State/Federal Grants money.  .  You can go in, but you will be hard put to get out.  Take, if possible, your need for SAFETY, including for your own family, elsewhere, into a different venue.    Take, if possible, any need for MONEY, also elsewhere.  

This systems is, currently, broken, and rigged financially to weaken rules of evidence, and favor aggressive, well-heeled litigants.  As part of abuse is ECONOMIC abuse (otherwise, most coherent, reasonably sane victims would likely leave, if they COULD, after a certain point), a victim is going to be at a disadvantage in this venue.  The more leveling venue, I would imagine (though can’t say for sure) would be one where criminal behavior is actually understood to be a crime, and where lawyers are trained more in procedure (they have a higher standard of proof) and evidence, than psychology and the latest social science theories based on studies bought and paid for by some of the same interests promoting them.

 

Consider the California Court Info pages.***  Family Law and Domestic Violence task forces are separate.  However (see summary info when you hover on this page), even the DV Task force is still under the California Judicial Council.  THAT is the policymaking body of this state, at least, is subject to financial, nationwide, considerations coming from a NON-JUDICIAL branch / agency, and is basically (and without real notice to the public) compromising legal principles in favor of social engineering, NOT in favor of individual rights protected by the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution.

(***I often use CA  because I live here, and because it’s the largest court system in the US, which makes it a target for “demonstration” policies and grants.  Basically, we have a lot of courts and people going through them, making this state ripe for the pickings on “random samplings” and “test pilot” social theories through our institutions around the courts — usually without litigant informed consent or input — but conceived, structured, and engineered, funded, and then evaluated back in Washington, D.C., Colorado (home of several organizations with their fingers in the process; I should blog on that….), and other places where policy is set.  Not counting Southern California, too, where many of these things originated.)

I just (now, by looking!) learned that every member of the DV Task Force Practice and Procedures Staff, (including supervising attorneys), is except one individual — Joshua Weinstein, Former Sr. Attorney, office of the General Counsel,”AOC” (Administrative Office of the Courts) — is a member of  

Center for Families, Children & the Courts “

 

This DV Task Force itself, per the 52-page Jan. 2008 guidelines and recommendations, consists of 18 people, primarily Superior Court (i.e., by County) judges, except, 3 Executive or Chief Executive Officers/2 judges representing 2 Appellate Districts, and 2 liaisons (a judge, a comissioner) from Northern California area.  (For the uninitiated, Los Angeles/San Diego = Southern California; San Francisco, Sacramento (state capital), Northern California).  Naturally, most are judges.  


WHY IS THIS CONFLICTS (plural) OF INTEREST??

 

Again, for reference, this California Judicial Council is the direct recipient of over $900,000 per year of federal HHS grants to this state designated for one purpose, and one purpose ONLY:  To increase access (per resulting court orders as to visitation and custody) to the noncustodial parent.

 

MOST litigants going for a restraining order have no idea of how closely linked their case about SAFETY is to an agency whose sole purpose is MONEY, or so its title says:  OFfice of Child Support Enforcement.  So, when a woman leaving violence is quickly led to obtain FOOD STAMPS or CASH AID (i.e., “TANF” funds, in federal terms), almost immediately, the state will likely then go after the batterer and issue a CHILD SUPPORT ORDER to get themselves paid back.  This order happens at the county level.  The woman is relieved, and she and her family are also hereby HOOKED into the system.  

 

(This happened to me.  All was well, until, verged on the edge of self-sufficiency, my restraining order was set to expire, after 3 years.  This state had already fought back someone’s proposal to make those restraining orders 5 years long — too bad! Then some stability might be established for the children.  Restraining orders don’t, after all, keep the other parent out of the kids’ lives (usually), they only intend to protect.  A super-violent person may not be stopped by any restraining order, but those in the middle, who may not want to kill (yet), but still want to raise hell — or haven’t resigned themselves to move on in life — would be affected by this factor. ALMOST  BEFORE THE 3 YEARS WERE UP, I FOUND MYSELF IN ANOTHER LEGAL FIGHT BREWING).

 

 

Little does she know — but they do — that should her husband or former partner have an issue with this, and NOT take it out by, say, murdering her, them, or kidnapping the children, he will then likely go to get LEGAL custody of the children in order to not pay; in fact he may even be solicited through a local:  child support agency, community action agency, or nonprofit, and helped (as in, legal help) to do so.  This opens her up to non-courtroom counseling procedures, custody evaluations and all kinds of things that will produce “REQUIRED OUTCOMES” in the courtroom, when a judge gives those reports more weight than the fact that, say, he has a clear pattern of stalking, nonpayment of child support, threats, or other behaviors that would otherwise clearly be understood as child abuse, or domestic violence issues, some of them reaching up — excuse me, DOWNWARDS — to the level of child molestation and sexual abuse.  

 

I was not, that I recall, even told by police officers responding to incidents, or by the “family law center” whose support groups I finally landed on the front doorstep of (all else having failed), that the criminal venue existed, or how to access it by filling police reports.  They streamlined me STRAIGHT to the civil process, as they were probably set up to do, when in fact, my case contained serious and from what I can tell, felony-level domestic violence, and a pattern of it extending over years and escalating, too.  These people did the wrong thing in recommending “joint legal custody” which opened us up further to being hauled repeatedly into family court.  

 

THEREFORE, I AM BLOGGING TO SAY, THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE AWARE OF THESE SYSTEMS (AND INVESTIGATE).  

AND STOP ASSUMING THAT BECAUSE MONEY IS BEING THROWN AT AGENCIES AND TASK FORCES, THE ISSUE OF SAFETY IS BEING HANDLED.  IT OBVIOUSLY ISN’T.  IT’S BEING DISCUSSED, NOT HANDLED.

While this report is well-written, I would just like to point out that this is 2009 now, women are still being shot and bludgeoned to death around domestic violence restraining order issues, and partners who have violated previous orders, and been stalking (THINK about it — in hunting, what does the hunter DO to the prey animal, whether (USA), deer, moose, quail, wild-turkey, etc. — they STALK it!).  First the violations/stalking, then the kill.   For this to STILL be in “recommendation” stages is a little odd to me.

Information that would’ve been helpful for me to know in the last MILENNIUM is on the table of contents page.  I recommend reading:  I cannot really quote, because of this copyright:

Copyright © 2008 by the Judicial Council of California/Administrative Office of the 

Courts. All rights reserved. 

 

 

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be 

reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, online, or mechanical, including the 

use of information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the 

copyright owner. Permission is hereby granted to nonprofit institutions to reproduce and 

distribute this publication for educational purposes if the copies credit the copyright 

holder. 

I hope I will be forgiven for this paragraph here, which is very relevant for any family court litigants attempting to leave abuse by using a restraining order, from page 14, under “Assistance for Parties (General), I quote #6:
Counseling. Individuals seeking protection in domestic violence cases should not be 

ordered to attend counseling without careful consideration. Under existing law, a 

court may not order a protected party to obtain counseling without the consent of the 

party unless there is a custody or visitation dispute. (Fam. Code, § 3190.)** 

 In the event 

that the court orders counseling under Family Code section 3190, the court must 

make the requisite findings and should order separate counseling sessions under 

Family Code section 3192

 

THIS BECOMES INTERESTING, BECAUSE THE MOMENT THERE IS A CUSTODY OR VISITATION DISPUTE, THAT COURT CAN, IF FINDINGS ?? ARE MADE, ORDER COUNSELING.

 

 

 CATCH-22 #1:  MUCH VIOLENCE BEGINS WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT, AND ONE DETERRENT TO LEAVING THE ABUSE IS ECONOMIC DEPENDENCY BECAUSE OF A CHILD, OR CONCERN FOR THE SAFETY OF THIS CHILD AFTER LEAVING.  MY PHYSICAL ASSAULTS BEGAN WHEN I WAS PREGNANT, NOT BEFORE.  AN ABUSER NEEDS TO BE TEH CENTER, AND DOESN’T EASILY SHARE IT WITH KIDS.  IT’S SELFISHNESS, BASICALLY, ESSENTIALLY.  THE BATTERER IS SELFISH AND SELF-CENTERED.  THEY WANT THEIR WAY.  A PREGNANT WOMAN HAS TO TAKE SOME CARE OF HERSELF AND FOCUS ON THIS, SOME CHANGES OF LIFESTYLE ARE LIKELY, DURING PREGNANCY AND AFTERWARDS FOR SURE.

 

Thus, this is actually a loophole for abusers.  The moment he contests custody, this case goes from addressing criminal behavior (which violence is) to an entirely different mode — COUNSELING.

 

It is QUITE likely that a person leaving abuse will need counseling at some point.  However, that point is WHEN SHE IS SAFE, AND HER KIDS.  So long as this case is in a custody battle, she is not.  

 

CATCH-22  #2:  ALL A BATTERER WITH A PROTECTIVE ORDER ON HAS TO DO, IN ORDER TO GET TO THE ‘COUNSELING” STAGE, IS START A CUSTODY/VISITATION DISPUTE.  THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO ME.  WE WERE IN CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDER LAND, AND WHEN I WISHED TO EXTEND THE RESTRAINING ORDER (MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO), SOMEONE HAD ADVISED HIM TO BOUNCE IT INTO FAMILY COURT.

 

I am not on anyone’s task force, or an attorney, counselor, court employee, or in law enforcement.  My “voice of experience” strong opinion (not legal advice), for those “helping” women, while the protective order is still on:

 

Get them consistent access to an internet (and skills to use it, if not already there), so they can connect with others going through the same situation.  Another one, not specific to domestic violence only (but good in re: stalking):  The Gift of Fear.

That should be required reading.

If the person is religious (probably a contribution to the tolerance of spousal abuse), get them some books — but NOT only such books — that talk about this.  I have one called “Battered into Submission,” but I would characterize it as weak, as are MOST publications coming from a religious viewpoint.  These CANNOT be the only reference materials.  There’s another one {{I’ll try & post its title}} which compares surveys and reports across a spectrum of (Christian) denominations about how strong or weak different groups’ response to domestic violence (or child abuse, which FYI, goes with it, often, and DV IS a form of child abuse and endangerment, when they are watching this growing up).  This confirmed my experience that James Dobson / Focus on the Family is out of focus on this issue.  I had significant destruction wrought in our relationship (basically, egging on the abuse) from a Promise Keeper sort; in fact this directly contributed to my having to quit a full-time job that was, at the time, 

 

REBUILDING MUST INCLUDE KEEPING UP THE PROTECTIVE WALLS

THE “VICTIM’ MUST — MUST — ASSESS ACCURATELY WHO IS ON HER TEAM, INCLUDING FAMILY, AND ANYONE ELSE PROFFERING HELP.  THIS INCLUDES THE LEGAL SYSTEMS, THE WELFARE SYSTEMS, ETC.  

ANYONE WHO KNEW, BUT DIDN’T REPORT, VIOLENCE, SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED TRUSTWORTHY UNTIL THEIR RESPONSES TO YOUR FILLING ARE ASSESSED.  IF YOU IN YOUR ABUSE DIDN’T GET HELP THROUGH THEM, AND THEY WERE NOT THEMSELVES UNDER THE SAME DURESS, WHY NOT SHOULD BE EXAMINED.  WERE THEY TRULY IGNORANT, AND NOW GLAD TO READ AND PROCESS INFORMATION?  OR WERE OTHER MOTIVES AT PLAY?  (Some cases, family members participated, so this is not even a question.  Others weren’t.).  

THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELF-DEFENSE RESTS WITH SELF.

PART OF THIS IS GETTING INFORMATION, and assessing info you already have.

When I first separated, I was not as focused on BOUNDARIES as on REPAIR/REBUILD.  The relief was tangible, and I KNOW I was purposeful and diligent.  However, certain concepts had just not come across my desk — like, that domestic violence comes in systems, including family systems, and that its enablers // “not my business’ers” are part of the system.  I knew the batterer’s motives weren’t what he stated, but it was not yet on my experiential radar, or in my vocabulary, that neither were others… 

A modicum of separation and safety (not much!) had been established, and there was a lot of mess to clean up.  THE most pressing issue was to build an income stream up sufficient to support us.  Emotionally, I wanted to be back in what I’d been trained to do, which had been deleted from my lifestyle, as much as possible, as part of the abuse, and in order to keep me demoralized and “trained” about my real role in life, which was not thinking about any selfish, personal goals unrelated to this person.  I wanted back in my profession, and it came back QUICKLY as soon as he was out of the house.

Therefore, it didn’t fully register that I had a RIGHT to absolutely put my foot down, call in the cops, and raise hell with a boundary violation.  I did not yet know whether this person was going to change, repent, or otherwise address his violence, get help, and perhaps even re-unite.  I had not ruled this out, probably because of my faith system.  Apparently it hadn’t occurred to the court system that this was a possibility, so issues which might’ve been handled at once in a divorce situation weren’t handled, namely, spousal or child support.

It did not take long — really — to ascertain that no intention to change existed.  Even so, at this time, I wasn’t angry, just glad no one could walk in my home and haul off physically; also that the guns were out of the picture, due to the restraining order.

FYI, it’s an unbelievable relief to someone coming out of long-term abuse to not have to use half her brain, or more, on instinct, calculations, and awareness of the dynamic moods of a person who is, essentially, out of control and not about to do anything about this.  The amount of sheer intellectual, emotional, physical energy reserves that come into play moves mountains, for the most part, and healing begins.

While my restraining order was on, unfortunately, my ex’s father committed suicide in another state.  I am sure it was hard for him.  Shortly after this, he began appealing to me about his feelings, I.e., clear intimations (as I was afraid of in originally filing) that without us, he was, well . .  . you get the idea.  In this context, and at the beginning of a new, nearly full-time music position (rare!), I was getting these phone calls and appeals.  I did not view them as restraining order violations, but as, what was the father of our kids going to do?

They may have been genuine (probably were), but they ALSO were restraining order violations.  Here’s my advice:   put my foot down, if necessary (if it applies) call in the cops, and otherwise raise hell with a boundary violation.  This is not the stage of life in which you are responsible to explain anything to anyone, so long as you are minding your own business and complying with law and court order, and working towards independence (if not so yet).  A healthy ‘to hell with you if you don’t “get it” attitude goes a long way to sending a clear message to supposed well-wishers ready to profit off your distress or vulnerability.  This will seem unreasonable to people who haven’t been through abuse.  So what? — it’s appropriate for you.  Don’t leave the, “I need to please everyone” target on your demeanor or life.  I made this mistake.  Don’t you, please!  Be smart, be savvy, put it out that you are, and don’t consult with everyone on the block, or take in all the opinions everywhere.  Information is power — go get yours, individually!

Sooner or later, if no one is killed or seriously injured after a restraining order is filed, there comes a time to renew it.   It comes TOO SOON in this state — and sooner yet, I learned, in Pennsylvania.  At this point, perhaps, it becomes really clear to the other partner that one is not coming back.  I had at my time not only moved, but initiated a lifestyle/schedule change, and had sole physical custody of our children. 

 

Dealing with Abuse // Boundary violations?

Strong, Swift, and Clear Consequences for even MINOR violations of a Restraining Order are Essential

MOST traumatized families/women don’t fully register this when the orders are filed.

The intention is to teach a lesson — THIS is unacceptable and I am serious!

A person who has taken a relationship to the violence/intimidation/threats/property destruction (etc.) level is behaving like a two-year old (only worse, and not all two-year olds behave like this).  It is an adult demanding the world conform to him (or her) and without regard to the consequences on others, and being willing to violate criminal law in order to do so.  As such, they deserve to be treated like a two-year old until they begin behaving like a MORAL, or somewhat RESPONSIBLE adult again.

 

IF POSSIBLE AND SAFE, BE A PRO-ACTIVE AGGRESSIVE SQUEAKY WHEEL

WHEN AGENCIES DO NOT RESPECT YOUR NEED TO RESPOND SWIFTLY AND EFFECTIVELY TO BOUNDARY VIOLATIONS.  This principal applies to anyone who is being carjacked or kidnapped from a public place — make the strongest fight back loud, public, and aggressive before you are hauled off to a private place.  The woman in Pennsylvania (this blog, recent post) did, and she and ALL her kids lived.  She did, however, let her guard down initially for drop off.

FAMILY LAW VENUE IS — TRUST ME — THAT LONELY PRIVATE PLACE, behind closed doors.  It took me ONE season in it to realize this.  It took losing everything to finally (now that my schedule was entirely cleared, including of children AND work AND most colleagues) to investigate why and how I got snookered.  I was thinking about it constantly, but answers only began to add up (logically) this past year, 2009.  I had been taught and trained to follow logic, and law — NOT money driving institutions.  Most women I deal with (see blogroll buttons) have gotten to this place before they “got it,” and have dedicated themselves (also as part of their own healing and fighting back injustice) to publicizing and warning others, to try and change the system where organized crime has got itself into the bloodstream of the systems.   

Media will portray incidents, mostly, as odd, crazed cooks because that sells.  Typically, most media is not really investigative, although there are great investigative reporters every where.  

I FULLY understood, and had for years, what repeated intentional testings and violations  of existing court orders meant.  It was a power play, and resulted in chaos in our lives, which could hardly become orderly with my having to at any given weekend, face off with an ex-batterer, with an attitude (and apparently independent financial resources sufficient to withhold child support, yet stay housed and very well fed himself).    

While I fully understood, and talked about the importance of this with all people involved that I could think of, the responding police officers, and of course family court venue did not.  What this was ABOUT was my right to separate from this person.  What repeated violations of those orders — for YEARS at a time — was ABOUT from the other perspective was simply refusing to be put under any orders whatsoever.  

In these matters, I feel utterly betrayed by the systems — ALL of them — I sought to back up my simple premise that the word “order” meant that.  This also was a value that I communicated to my children, both before and after they were stolen illegally from my custody on an (unsupervised) overnight visitation.

Do not think I am in favor of supervised visitation at this point as some of half-hearted compromise between acknowledging criminal activity, but saying, “well, every child deserves contact with the abusive parent.”  No, they don’t.  What a child needs to know is the difference between abuse and non-abuse, and to know they can be protected without being guilty or condemned for wanting this protection.  They also deserve to see their caretaking parent nontraumatized and nonstigmatized.

Moreover, this system itself has been used in reverse, as a tool to punish reporting parents and make them pay.  It’s not foolproof, even though it’s a burgeoning profession and industry.  I just plain out don’t recommend it.  Neither does Jack Straton, Ph.D. of NOMAS, or at least neither did he back in 1992 (see my links).

 I know who I have been dealing with, and if he has been able to work so well with law enforcement, I have no question about how well, an idle, fat, well-fed and no requirement to show up for work, basically, ex would be able to sweet-talk a supervisor who was not himself or herself a survivor of domestic violence.

 

“The dangers of restraining orders”

CURIOUS about what the heck courts keep issuing restraining orders for, year after year, while the deaths keep racking up — does someone ever say “OOPS”???? — I googled some phrases to find out what others had to say about this.

I googled “dangers of restraining orders” and got a police column.  Understandably (because they respond to calls!), I’d think a police officer publication would like to get the facts straight, as their colleagues’ lives are at stake.

Lest I get nailed on copyright, please see link, not these brief quotes:

POLICEONE.COM January 21, 2004 Article considers “Will a restraining order protect a person from abuse?”

 

The SHORT answer?  Alone, and absent a safety plan, enforcement, and resources for family survival,NO.”

“The majority of domestic violence advocates proffer that court issued protection/restraining orders will protect the plaintiff on that order from the abuser. In fact many print that promise of protection right on the order. However, for those who work in the criminal justice system and many domestic violence advocates understand that a restraining order, in and of itself, is a piece of paper that can, in and of itself, provide little to no protection.

There is not a single empirical scientific methodological study that has provided data that has demonstrated that the use of a civil protection/restraining order, in and of itself, can protect a victim or deter repeat domestic violence abuse by an abuser. Further, there is no national systematic intervention or response by prosecutors and courts nationwide. Regardless of these facts, thousands of civil protection/restraining orders are being issued each day by the courts and they are available in all 50 states.. . . 

 

 

[[Citing Controlling Violence Against Women:  A Research Perspective on the 1994 VAWA’s Criminal Justice Impact documents]]

“Protective orders have limited value, in general, as a means of preventing violence against petitioner.” …

Another National Institute of Justice sponsored study of intimate partner homicides, Exposure Reduction or Backlash? The Effects of Domestic Resources on Intimate Partner Homicide, Final Report**, documents that that some contemporary criminal justice interventions may cause more homicides in some communities rather than reduce them. Data indicates that dangers arise when criminal justice interventions are not offered in a coordinated fashion. Controlling Violence Against Women notes, “That some batterers are not deterred by protective orders may be a function of how, if at all, they are enforced.”

 

**Note this (2001 study):

Simply put, those policies, programs, and services that effectively reduce contact between 

intimate partners reduce the opportunity for abuse and violence. We go beyond prior 

studies, however, by assessing the alternative possibility that, under certain conditions, 

domestic violence resources may actually enhance the likelihood of intimate homicide. 

 

Such a backlash effect might occur, for example, if a protection order or other legal 

intervention directed at an abusive partner increased the level of stress or conflict in the 

relationship without effectively reducing victim exposure.

 

 

Now you know why women leaving domestic violence are not helped by going straight into a frequent visitation schedule with the perpetrator, before even a cooling-off period — if that would ever happen.  The “shared parenting” adovcates run roughshod over this on the basis of more important rights, supposedly, than safety.

 

PROTECTIVE ORDER VIOLATIONS — STALKING IN DISGUISE? (=URL)

 

FROM NATIONAL CENTER FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME, STALKING RESOURCE CENTER.

DATE:

 

 

…tracked his girlfriend to her cousin’s house, broken down the door, shot her as she 

called 911, and then turned the gun on himself. Next to the woman’s body, the 

police found a court order directing the murderer to have no contact with the victim. 

The killer had violated that order four times before murdering his victim.  

 

Domestic violence victims often seek protective orders—court orders that direct 

individuals to refrain from specified conduct—to avoid future violence. In many 

cases, the court orders succeed in deterring the offenders. Yet abusers often defy the 

orders—placing victims at high risk for future violence. 

 

Who Gets Protective Orders 

Research suggests that most victims seek orders of protection only after 

experiencing serious levels of victimization. Most women seeking protective orders 

have experienced physical assault; threats of harm or death; stalking, and 

harassment; or assaults on their children.1 Studies also show that victims usually 

seek protective orders only after long exposure to abuse.2 Of the total number of 

victims of abuse, only a small percentage ever obtain protective orders—16.4 

percent of rape victims, 17.1 percent of physical assault victims, and 36.6 percent of 

stalking victims.3 

 

Protective Order Violations 

Violations of protective orders are both common and often associated with significant 

danger to the victim. tracked his girlfriend to her cousin’s house, broken down the door, shot her as she 

called 911, and then turned the gun on himself. Next to the woman’s body, the 

police found a court order directing the murderer to have no contact with the victim. 

The killer had violated that order four times before murdering his victim.  

 

Domestic violence victims often seek protective orders—court orders that direct 

individuals to refrain from specified conduct—to avoid future violence. In many 

cases, the court orders succeed in deterring the offenders. Yet abusers often defy the 

orders—placing victims at high risk for future violence. 

 

 

 

Multiple Violations as Stalking :

 


“In cases with more than one violation of a protective order,” says Sergeant Carl 

Graves, director of the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Domestic Violence 

Enhanced Response Team (DVERT) program, “two things are evident. There is a 

clear ‘course of conduct’ as defined in many stalking statutes. It also shows that the 

true intent of the perpetrator is to control and intimidate the victim despite the legal 

restraint placed on him by a judge.” With violations of protective orders, the course 

of conduct may involve repeatedly following or harassing the victim or sometimes 

abusing another person—placing the victim in reasonable fear of harm.

 

. . . 

the resulting danger to victims—are not always evident to law enforcement. One 

possible reason, as retired Lieutenant Mark Wynn of the Nashville Police Department 

points out, is that law enforcement officers often view protective orders “as a civil 

issue; something that is involved in divorce, custody or visitation,” rather than a 

criminal matter. Studies show that even when states have mandatory arrest laws for 

violations of protective orders, law enforcement officers do not always arrest 

offenders who commit these violations. One study showed that only 44 percent of 

protective order violations resulted in arrest and that the likelihood of arrest 

decreased as the number of prior incidents increased.7 

 

Another reason these connections are not always clear is that law enforcement 

usually investigates one offense at a time and does not always look for a pattern of 

violations. “Law enforcement officers tend to view calls for service in a ‘snapshot’ 

view,” says Sergeant Graves. “A single violation of a protection order may seem to 

involve only a simple investigation and a possible arrest. But if the officer should dig 

deeper, continues Graves, “she might find that often the victim will disclose 

previously reported or unreported violations of the same order.” In that context, the 

“single” violation becomes part of a more serious and threatening picture— stalking. 

 

 

Below, I tell my personal encounters with trying to get police officers dispatched to the scene to understand and accept this.  And, their resistance, and anger displayed towards me for it, which I would classify as, at some level, a civil rights violation, when it comes to bias.


One note:  abusers are drawn to places of power over others (as are true public servants).  This includes law enforcement, judgeships, law, places of spiritual authority, and/or allocated professional services (psychology, psychiatry, medicine).  SORRY FOLKS, IT’S TRUE.  Did I mention, places of access to children?  We simply need to be alert and as citizens, responsible ones aware of their civil, legal and CERTAIN UNALIENABLE rights, exercise standards, and preserve by use, these rights.  

 

NOTES:  As a woman, I have experienced a LOT of resentment overall from the times I approached law enforcement in a non-cowed (OR, a cowed) manner both.  I am getting real tired of this.  One of the worst encounters, told below, was reporting the stalking in a well-to-do town.  One of the next worst (they’re sort of interchangeable; i’d say the stalking one was worse), was attempting to report, by citing the California Penal Code, and to have a report MADE, what had already happened to my daughters.  In both these incidents, I experienced a form of what could only be called, probably, “verbal karate.”  I clearly understood that I had provoked a reactionary mode in the officer ONLY by virtue of what I was saying.  One time, it was over the phone.  It was my understanding both at the time, and in hindsight, that as far as these officers were concerned, THEIR role in this exchange was to frighten, subdue, and make me go away by whatever means necessary.  At no point in time was I intentionally challenging minimizing or characterizing ANYTHING about them, but ONLY about my immediate safety (as to stalking) or the safety of my daughters (as to the kidnapping).  I was so badly yelled at for reporting, truthfully, that I believed an abduction was in process, I was verbally threatened with a custody switch if I charged a crime that wasn’t prevented, and so forth.  This was BEFORE the actual kidnapping.  This awful treatment also came into play DURING it.


This was an unnatural, and unwarranted response, there was a reason for these innocent and entirely justifiable actions on my part (to protect or rescue:  my kids, or myself, from serious hurt, trauma, or criminal activity against them and me).  There is a reason this became a land mine.  I don’t yet know what reason, other than the “old boys” network.  it’s entirely unacceptable in any case. WHEN I READ ARTICLES LIKE, LAW ENFORCEMENT DOESN’T UNDERSTAND, I THINK IT’s NOT ENTIRELY A “DOESN’T UNDERSTAND” ISSUE — AT LEAST IN MY DISTRICTS….

 

Overlooking the threat posed by protection order violations is unwise and dangerous, 

Wynn believes. Violations of civil protective orders are criminal offenses and, he 

says, often a signal to law enforcement “that something worse is about to happen. 

When offenders thumb their noses at the court, this is an indicator that you’ve got 

high lethality on your hands.” For this reason some states, such as Florida, have 

added a provision to their stalking laws that defines more than one violation of a 

protective order as felony stalking.8 

 

I’m quoting here a document dating back to 2004.  Some of the incidents I’m recounting date to 2005 forward.  I have been mocked, derided, denied, minimized, treated sarcastically, and worse, been called all kinds of names for, in essence, agreeing with the above statement, and acting on it.  You know what?  I’m right — THIS is right (even the news reports of these fatalities, examined — as well as fatality STUDIES (see this post too for a link) — confirm this.  It’s not ABOUT prediction, it’s basically about one’s right NOT to be stalked and intimidated in this manner post-restraining order, and post-abuse.  it’s a violation of a BASIC, UNALIENABLE right.  The people deriding, mocking, minimizing, and being sarcastic about my reports, when they have, are identifiable as either having a vested interest in the matter (often financial, or custody), or at best, not having THEIR lives THEIR kids, and THEIR lifestyles/professions at stake in those matters.  I do not live in the “eternal now of the spotless mind,” but I try to live alert, and aware of some of these patterns.

 

If it was their lives, or their kids, the tune would change, I’m sure.

 


 

Well you can read more.

 

 

 

What Stalking is Like:

Stalking robs lives.  

I wonder if this is what incest is like — things are not the same afterwards.  It robs time.  It drains energies.  

It is a power play, and it is a powerful statement — “you cannot escape me.”

In our case, this has also been done through others, who I also told to go fly a kite, get a life, or tell the my ex to talk directly to me.  I have said this in person (repeatedly), in writing (repeatedly) and in about every way I can think of.

It is never respected.  It’s as if no one has boundaries in the entire clan, and they don’t accept that I wish to.

Another way of forcing me to stay in touch with people I would otherwise NEVER associate with (within my family) is, along with taking aggressive means which result in economic dependence (such as protesting enforcement of child support orders, or protective orders in my case), systematically sharing information — about my children, about a relative, about their dealings with these individuals — from me.  I mean, health, legal, residential, educational, medical, AND financial information from me.  Then, when I approach whoever has the information to try and get it, another abusive or derogatory (“put-down”) encounter happens.  I have so little respect for this.

I have had mail to an individual diverted, and spent weeks getting it to them, or ascertaining whether it arrived.  This is within one U.S. State, and in a country where (at least for a private citizen!) intercepting U.S. mail is a felony.  My ex- did this, which is one reason I recognize the tactic.  It’s unbelievably invasive.  This appears, although it’s harder to prove, to have gone both ways.  

For a person who has literally stolen my own children, and obstructed knowledge about how they are doing from me, to then attempt to privately engage with me, without a witness or mediary, is unbelievably screwed up and unnatural.  I cannot say for sure, but I will blog here, that PART of why I am posting that is that this has happened recently, and that should something happen, a record on-line will exist that can’t be hid or sealed “behind closed doors” to coverup this wrongdoing.  I also would want my kids to know that there’s a reason I’m not aggressively always pursuing contact with them.  I’ve told them this by phone, but don’t believe they can “get it” emotionally yet:  I have been physically threatened by their father, and with help from other entities (who has some pull in the situation, for example, to get me homeless fast), for attempting to enforce court orders, and for seeing them.  Part of the record (only) is below.  This is also one reason we have here a very long blog.  I will not be going back, probably, to shorten it.  What I’m saying here is that a person is not really free from violence until their ability to maintain — and that’s MAINTAIN — a self-sufficient cash flow, enough to cover food, housing, clothes (shouldn’t be high, of course), and transportation — is back.

The years fighting following the years of abuse rack up debts, sometimes ruin credit, and dig the economic hole deeper with each round through the courts.  At some point it becomes clear that attempting to build a stable work life, or future, as opposed to an endless round of jobs, without growing within a single profession to any reasonable salary, or level of accomplishment — it erodes the concept of hope.  Of investing in the future.  The present is too present.  I will get there, but I have had to let go of some key concepts, including what I had been about as a person since I was a teenager, professionally.  And what I was about as a mother, since I was a mother — well, THAT, I haven’t yet let go of.  What does this leave then?  which communities?   Which relationships?

That’s why the family law, and particularly how it handles safety, and stalking — has to be addressed as a society.  Our government, literally, has become a social problem of its own.  It grinds people up with dishonesty as to what it’s actually about, or can deliver.  

That’s what a lot of these bloggers are about.  

I see what the “father’s rights” groups are doing.  It’s not really that hard to trace, or interpret, once one begins to look at the interrelationships between systems, and read what’s written.  Add to this the funding, and it’s a clear road map.

I rather wonder who and what is behind the radical Us/Them fault lines at all these levels of society.  There’s the Male/Female, the religious/atheist, and SUPPOSEDLY the conservative/progressive.  But I suspect that when the dust settles, it’s going to be about the haves/have-nots, the employed vs. the business owners, and in essence, that those who ARE financially independent, or wealthy enough to have landed (or made) foundations, endowments, and institutes  — these types of people, at least the visionary among them and not just the hedonistic — are going to be running governments for this reason:  Technical superiority as to the internet, and owning — or at least having the savvy and means — to use the press.  That’s where they don’t already own it.  From what I have seen — and I mean, this year, 2009 — there are people whose families know — or they have as individuals learned — how to RUN things.

The craftsmen, Ph.D’s, and technical experts will always be working for this type of individual.  As a musician I was; this is a field that requires some skill, and requires venues to rehearse and perform; it requires people who want to be taught something, and its hallmark is continuing personal and fairly close/stable relationships (including referrals) with clients, employers, or both.

I had a mixture of clients or employers. . . . it was pretty clear…(because I worked choral/vocal, not orchestral). . . 

  • Nonprofits of various sorts
  • Religious institutions (churches)
  • Cities (through a civic group or school)
  • Individuals, or groups of them, who want to supplement their kids educations – in other words, I could be a self-employed sole proprietor (etc.)
  • Schools, private or public.

It’s a beautiful, flexible, and certainly can, with a certain amount of persistence and consistency, be very rewarding and self-supporting.  It’s also compatible with being a good parent, single, or not.

Guess what this is NOT compatible with?  — Stalking, Ongoing Drama, Trauma through nonstop court actions, never resolved, and domestic violence-induced PTSD.

So finally I had to Get Honest, and give it up.  Now more well-wishers are saying, “well, just start again!”

Especially with the stalking element, I did and do not feel comfortable involving myself regularly with families with small children.  After the hell we went through, I WILL not support a church in this fashion.  And the fact is, that any job I’d apply for, my references are now to a jobset I’ve already lost because of prior criminal or aggressive activities from this ONE source — this person, and people he has persuaded to take sides in it, plus system incompetencies.

The systems who should be stopping this, AREN’T!  


In California, Stalking is a Crime.  

   

However, most people cannot spend a third of their lifetime in court actions and still maintain an income.

 

 

Readers, minimizers, and others need to understand that after a certain amount of destruction and violence –from the same person that’s stalking — has already occurred, playing “let’s pretend it’s not happening” is not an acceptable risk.  Long-term planning around this is hard.  

 

How I feel after each incident, AFTER the afraid — I feel ANGRY that my life was so interrupted as to have to address it.  I believe this person already knows that I have suffered (pretty bad) from PTSD, and reasonably knows that this triggers it.  I think that this is what it’s probably about.  That, or some other, God knows what, obsession of staying connected with me, or emotional punishment.

 

SOME OF MY STALKINGS< CONTEXT – APPARENT INTENT

<<EFFECT ON ME:

 

I have been mocked and derided sarcastically by two officers dispatched to report a stalking that occurrede AFTER the felony-child-stealing event, and after a witness (who later signed a statement, with affirming photo of my ex) that the person had been watching the only known exit to a public place for over an hour in the middle of a workday morning, and that I had been terrified and crying, to the point I asked to be escorted out a back door, and to call police, when he suddenly appeared.


I have been talking about, reporting to police and trying to stop this clear pattern of STALKING for at least 5 years now, and have been systematically ignored and dismissed.  I have altered my profession and maintained a regular public presence in highly populated places known to have police or security orders in them.  EACH time this happened, I was severely traumatized, and in general, it disrupted at least a full day of whatever else I was doing.


MOST of these stalkings by the person I left long ago (or, I WISH this had been fully completed!) took place either right AFTER an apparent intentional, deliberate, and punitive violation of  a standing court order.  The one above happened in the context of, subsequent to cutting off all contact with me, and my children (in violation of even the resluting court order obtained by violating physical custody order to me, the mother), my calling him on this and shortly after his association  with someone else had been used to pressure the person helping me retain an attorney go get my stolen kids back, into suddnely, and without coherent explanation, letting this attorney go.  My ex had absolutely triumphed in court, and gotten his current child support obligations terminated, at least temporarily.  HOWEVER, one daughter had fought her way back to visit, and I was still pressuring him to let the other one up here, as for the first time in this child’s life, she had spent a few months in her father’s sole custody with no contact from me.  THAT condition was illegal, and in contempt of the new, improved court order as well.  I was protesting.

 

And was sent a clear message to stop doing so, “or else.” by this event.


Message was received and duly registered by me,

and ignored by both law enforcement, and the family court judge, and

court-appointed attorney for the guardian.

 

 

A lot of this blog relates to asking, and having found some reasons 

“WHY” law enforcment is not enforcing custody orders,

prosecuting crimes uniformly towards mothers

as they are towards fathers.

 

and why family law is so heavily “invested” (literally) in explaining away and discounting

the dangers of parents like this towards their children.

 

They are following the money, not the law.

 

So, now, am I — the monies and interests involved in setting policies.

 

NO ONE can tell me to my face, and be believed, that these organizations do not understand

that physical lives are endangered.  My only question is WHY they do not care, and 

what they care about more, instead.  

 


 

MORE, MY EXPERIENCES – STALKING AS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE-SEEKING ACTIVITIES:

 

 

When the stalking leading up to my failed attempt to get a second restraining order (failed in good part due to financial, moral, and social support from my side of the family, who had been alienated systematically in prior years, and a new, female companion), I called 911, and they didn’t back me up then, either.  At this time, I had no car with which to exit the cul de sac on which I lived, and was very, very frightened.  I explained to the responding officer the history of domestic violence, and that I was attempting to set a standard of not giving arbitrary orders about when, where, and on what day visitation would take place.  I showed the officer my cell phone with repeated calls, one after the other, to my phone, nonstop, and talked about how the truck had been parked out of view of my home, and then when my face appeared, it had raced up to the front drive where he began yelling and banging on the front fence.


At this point I had moved one county away to rebuild my profession, safely.  The first move to work on this had been followed within a half year by lawsuits bouncing my case into family law court, where the restraining order was quickly stripped away, almost without comment and clouded by the other issues.  I didn’t know, at this point, to ask to bifurcate, nor was I allowed to.  The effect of that was disastrous across the spectrum, and destroyed what I’d just done the prior year as to work, lifestyle, and for the children.


When THIS officer failed to act properly, the incidents began to multiply, that season, to the point that I was literally having flashbacks while actually at work, when my mind and body were not fullyo engaged at the task at hand.  Full engagement seemed to alleviate the PTSD factor, and were positive and helpful.  By now, I had associates to be concerned for the safety of, given the behaviors.


The THIRD time I moved, again for a fresh start, my kids were stolen, within 2 months of the move, again TOTALLY destroying my income base, prospects, and all but the most tenacious job I’d had to date.  That job finally did crater under the pressure on me, it was a profession that involved up-front leadership and being emotionally present and available to groups of people.  Despite my experience and training in this field, it did NOT mix well with complex, post-traumatic stress due to current stalkingi and increased aggressions from an ex.


THEN I was stalked again, as I recounted above, at which point officers again mocked, and countered me, even though they’d been dispatched to take a report.  I’d been so terrified, I’d driven to a nearby town to report, not the one so close to the incident.  


I have been again stalked, just for good measure, it appears, in the context of total violation of all visitation AND child support orders subsequent to the major “wins.”  Again, I reported to police, who barely deigned to take a report, called my daughters’ school in alarm (who refused to confirm whether they were or were not in attendance, which I later learned is inappropriate; as a parent, and with no restraining order of any sort on me, I had a legal right to know.  I wanted t o know if they were safe, because this guy was acting so weird.  ThIS time, it interrupted a replacement seminar I was taking to replace the lost profession:  Context?  I was totally unemployed and he had not been paying anything on his arrears.  I had complained about this to a relative (my mistake).  Two days later, the car was vandalized in front of my home.  I have considered leaving the state for safety, but my children are still here, and are not yet both 18 and separate from the household.

 

 

> > > > > > > > > 

 

I have never been given any explanation, to date, for the most egregious of the above anecdotes.  One of them, the explanation given the police officers didn’t make sense in context.  Subsequent to the one where I called 911 on the spot, and at my home, retaliatory, and frivolous-cause calls to the police were made by this man, claiming I was in violation of the court order, on a weekend.  For example, if I was even one minute late (even when i wasn’t).  

 

 

This is why sooner or later, one has to decide how to live one’s life.  IS one going to run?  IS one going to learn self-defense?  Is one going to totally change one’s lifestyle and livelihood — well, I’ve been forced, to, and sought to.   I often wonder what alternatives exist, or might have existed, to going through 10, 20, years of this, and knowing that one was not able to stay in touch with children in order that they might know this behavior is wrong.

 

The last “contacting me” (with no apparent reason) events happened in the last several months.  Again, I have no idea what for, responded “don’t call, EMAIL or WRITE.” and then went and called the woman he’s living with, to let him know someone is not being, emotionally at least, faithful.  

 

 

 

This below is called “AMERICAN ROULETTE” and put out by VPC.org.  It’s got facts and figures on the homicide/suicide by state, by gender, by weapon, by victims (always more than the person committing suicide, it seems) and again lists that, although GUNS are the most lethal and common, they are not at all the only weapons.  The incident I reported from YESTERDAY, the weapon was a baseball bat.

 

Realistically speaking, I don’t think we can have restraining orders on things like baseball bats.  Rather, it should be a policy of SEVERE and IMMEDIATE consequences for ANY violation of ANY no-contacft order.

 

I have spoken to women who have been incarcerated for less than threatening contact (for example, sending a birthday card).  The last such person I soke to in this regard was only YESTERDAY, and she indicated she was ready to go to jail if it would somehow help protect her child, who was in the cdustody of the abuser.  On this matter, look up the SHEILA RIGGS case.

 

STOPFAMILYVIOLENCE.ORG has a good chart (on my blogroll) talking about the difference between “average” family law cases, and those involving domestic violence.

 

The continued attempt to treat ALL such cases as relating to problems between BOTH parents (and failing to recognize the impact of abuse, long-term, and through the courts as well), upon a custodial parent  // typically mother) will continue to get more people killed until ENOUGH people figure out how to defend themselves and their immediate associates, wisely, and with weapons if necessary when threatened at least at home.  We need a new paradigm!

 

And courts need to stop promising their version of HAVEN when what results, long-term, or sometimes short-term, is HELL, and a short road to it. 

 

http://www.vpc.org/studies/amroul2008.pdf

 

 

Blog author’s note:  I may not be posting for a bit, due to technical difficulties with the computer (probably viruses) and wish to focus on the income issue for a while.  It is frustrating to have to keep replacing work, restructuring, reinventing, in middle age, when that’s about all the past decades have seen as well.  One longs to have a bit of predictability and closure.  However, changing the status quo when still legally involved with an abuser / stalker / parent of one’s kids, is typically a sign for new escalation.

 

This is why escape, when it happens, needs to be STRONG, SWIFT, and SUSTAINED.  BOUNDARIES NEED TO BE REAL. AND A REAL SAFETY PLAN.

AUTHORITIES NEED ALSO TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT MANY TIMES WOMEN WHO GET INTO THESE RELATIONSHIPS DID NOT HAVE  A STRONG FAMILY SITUATION; ABUSE DOES TEND TO RUN IN FAMILY LINES, AND THERE ARE DEFINITE ENABLERS, IF NOT ABUSERS, NOT JUST WITH INTIMATE PARTNERS, BUT SOMETIMES WITH PARENTS, SIBLINGS, EXTENDED FAMILY.  I DIDN’T HAVE TO ACCEPT AND FACE THIS UNTIL I GOT OUT, LEARNED THE REST OF THE LAWS, AND SAW HOW MANY OPTIONS MY OWN FAMILY HAD, BUT DIDN’T SEEK.  THEY WERE ENTIRELY SELF-REFERENTIAL AND ENTIRELY INTO THE ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION” APPROACH — WHICH DIDN’T DO A DAMN THING TO STOP A DAMN THING.

Written by Let's Get Honest

July 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm

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  1. […] Let’s Get Honest: Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestions?” Filed under: Domestic Abuse, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Courts, Family Rights, Great Bloggers, Violence against women — justice4mothers @ 6:26 pm From BADASS Let’s Get Honest: […]

  2. Please contact me through email, I read over a bit of your site, and I got your comment on mine, and think we should def. connect because we are fighting for the same things here.

    Maria Phelps

    August 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

  3. […] Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestio… […]

  4. […] Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestio… […]

  5. […] Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestio… […]

  6. […] Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestio… […]

  7. […] Perhaps we should just call them “Domestic Violence Restraining Suggestio… […]


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

The American Spring Network

News. by the people, for the people. The #1 source for independent investigative journalism in the Show-Me State, serving Missouri since 2011.

Family Court Injustice

It Takes "Just Us" to Fight Family Court Injustice

The Espresso Stalinist

Wake Up to the Smell of Class Struggle ☭

Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence

Finally! The Truth About Domestic Violence and The Church

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