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Archive for October 2009

Like slavery, Domestic Violence costs some and profits others. ARE we really all in this together??

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As we near the end of yet another Domestic Violence Awareness month, let’s evaluate the costs and benefits {say, what??} of domestic violence, and Let’sGetHonest — there IS a benefit to some folks for perpetuating it, and for some of the folks perpetually stopping it.

Face it:  An asset on one person (or institution’s) balance sheet is a liability on another.  An expense on one’s is income on another’s.  A loss on one’s may show up as a profit on another’s.  That’s called “transfer of wealth” and “marketing.” 

Right now, the American people (at least) have mortgaged their conscience (and families) to others in too many categories, and hopefully by paying taxes, the experts will take care of the major problems and the rest of us can get back to the grindstones, our passions, or whatever makes our days.

Hearing about slayings related to family breakups (innumerable and geographically widespread), or gangrapes after a homecoming dance (Richmond, CA — recent) , or workplace shootings by disgruntled ex-employees (Orlando, Florida), or international parental child abductions, asylum IN the United States from abuse abroad, or asylum abroad FROM abuse in the United States, and — now — at-home military massacres of  yet-to-be-determined cause (mental health caregiver stress + fundamentalist religious protest against the war in terror — Ft. Hood, TX — 13 dead) — and so forth.  These are high costs.  

How many common values do we really share?

The question is who’s invested in maintaining it, and who really is invested in stopping it.  Once that becomes clear, then another question is who is invested in the fruitless effort to turn a sheep into a goat, or a bad apple into a good apple. Are all apples really potentially good apples, or is this line of reasoning quack science?  And how long, and how much must WHO pay WHOM in trusting that the experts experimenting on — guess which communities — have those communities’ best interests at heart. 

Institutions do what institutions are designed to do — grow, and perpetuate themselves.  And pay employees to run them, PR to promote them, and advocates to advocate for them.  Face it, domestic violence is now an institution, and with many similarities to slavery.  And I do believe it has its own carpetbaggers — one reason I started this blog, too. 

I ran across TheLoop21.com, and was immediately taken by its common sense and uncommon points of view.  Here is one of their series on Domestic Violence:


TheLoop21.com

By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D.

Tue, 10/27/2009 – 07:18

 
Guns killed 305 Black women in 2006.

Read more of TheLoop21.com’s Red, Black and Green series on domestic violence.

Domestic violence in the African–American community must stop. It seems like an easy enough thing to say, but doing it seems like something else all together. We live in a society marked by violence. This country was founded on violent acts, many of which were against women, particularly Black women who were slaves

AND 

(2)  Second, consider whose loss == whose gain. 

 

now that we consider for whom DV is a literal $$$ EXPENSE, I suggest we consider, to which groups, businesses, entities, and/or individuals or professional classes of individuals DV is actually an INCOME, if not a business, a livelihood, a name, and a pretty solid cash flow, whether private or governmental. 

now here’s that article. . . .

Domestic violence in the African–American community must stop. It seems like an easy enough thing to say, but doing it seems like something else all together. We live in a society marked by violence. This country was founded on violent acts, many of which were against women, particularly Black women who were slaves. It would seem that having suffered such violence at the hands of former male and female slave owners, our cultural practices would demand that we respect and protect Black women from harm. It is truly sad, when the one thing that we can count on statistically speaking, is harm in the form of physical and emotional abuse from our intimate partners. 

According to the study “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2006 Homicide Data,” released by The Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit organization that conducts research on violence in the United States, 551 African American women were murdered by males in 2006. The study stated that there were 1,818 race-identified females murdered by males. While white women accounted for the largest total of those killed (1,208), African American women were killed at a rate nearly three times higher. How did most of the murders occur? Guns killed 305 of those women.

Intimate partners are literally blowing Black women away for a variety of reasons that include stress, mental illness, control, narcissism and pathology. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces and cousins are leaving this earth with wounded bodies and spirits and sadly enough the numbers are increasing, not decreasing. What does this mean for the black community?

It means that we have to do something to break the cycle of abuse and violence in our homes. If the majority of Black households are headed by women, what happens when those women are killed or injured? Talking about domestic violence hasn’t helped. High profile cases like those involving Chris Brown and Rihanna, Bebe Winans, Big Pun, Don Cornelius, Jennifer Hudson’s sister and Tyrese Gibson haven’t helped. Women offering testimony in church and on YouTube hasn’t helped. Men and women creating awareness campaigns during the month of October hasn’t helped. 

If you turn on the television or read a newspaper, there is a very high likelihood that a woman murdered by an intimate partner is somewhere in the content.

We know that domestic violence breaks up families. We know that children suffer emotionally, financially and spiritually with the sudden loss of a parent. We know that it leaves irreparable mental and emotional scars on women and men. But do we know the economic costs of domestic violence to the black community? Let me break it down for you.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in the United States, the cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, with $4.1 billion going towards direct medical and mental health services. 

Victims of intimate partner violence lost 8 million days of paid work because of violence committed against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends or dates. That equals 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity.

According to the National Funeral Director’s Association, the average cost of a funeral in the U.S. is $7,323 thousand each year. In 2006, Black families spent over $4 million burying African American victims of domestic violence.

According to the World Health Organization, the cost of domestic violence in the United States amounts to 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Sadly, I could go on but I’ll stop. Domestic violence is costing this country, and our community, much more than our mental, physical and spiritual health. It is costing us our economic viability and the ability to create financial freedom in our communities. How will we build wealth in our community, when so much of it is going towards costs related to domestic violence?

Appealing to the heart, mind and spirit has not worked in ending or decreasing domestic violence incidents in our country and in the Black community. While we are underachieving in so many arenas, we are overachieving in this one.

When strategizing on how to end domestic violence, think about it from more than an emotional, physical and spiritual perspective. Think about the economics of it. While we’re killing women, we’re killing the economy and our economic growth too.

Nsenga Burton, Ph.D. is managing editor of TheLoop21.com. She also writes the pop cultural blog Tune N, is a cultural clinic for Creative Loafing and an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Goucher Collegelike it!

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Read more of TheLoop21.com’s Red, Black and Green series on domestic violence.

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LET’S GET HONEST COMMENTS:

Dr. Burton, are you aware of IAADV?  May I also recommend randijames.com and rights4mothers.wordpress.com? 

Also, on my blog, I have a rather harsh, in some senses, response to a Kansas Legislator promoting another fatherhood initiative.  This is an African American woman raised by a pioneer activist, her own mother.  Yet the logic totally eludes me – – search “Oletha Faust-Goudeau” on this site.  I then researched her, a bit, and found that some key connections had convinced her to go in a certain direction, and not another. 

I personally wish more blacks could homeschool, rather than put their kids in HeadStart, then inferior K-12 school systems in which too many teachers have bad attitudes, but the one with great attitudes still have a bureaucracy to deal with.   The educational, economic, and court/law enforcement institutions, as well as our federal tax dollars are closely woven together in an operational LOOP. 

The comparison wish slavery is a good one.  Slaveholders profited, immensely, from free labor — obviously if you pay a slave nothing, or a subsistence wage, discourage literacy, break up families, rape enough of the women, and repeatedly tell them their problem is really discontent with their lot, that’s a lot of effort, but it’s also a lot of profit.  hmmm . .. kind of reminds me of aspects of our educational system, too.  but back to the point. . . . . . .        

Appealing to the costs of abuse to ‘us all’ as a society assumes that those economic costs to those profiting are actually higher than the benefits of abuse, in which those profiting from it have actually invested.

Following my line of reasoning yet?  . . . .  A chronic abuser does so because it is allowed, it produces benefits that that individual wants, and because no one has forced him, or her, to stop. . . . .      

I challenge “us” to consider — really consider — is ‘we’re all in this together’ a myth or not, in matters of DV, neighborhood violence, or national debt. 

In Richmond, California, a community is in shock – it will last a few weeks or months, I am sure — when a 15 year old girl leaving a homecoming dance and walking to be picked up by her father — there was a father involved — never made it there.  She took a detour with some friends, inhaled a lot of alcohol, it seems, and then she was no longer one of the gang, she was gang-raped.  And photographed.  And the gang was substantial.  This only stopped when someone at a nearby houseparty finally got outraged and called the police.  It is all over TV and newspapers.

People, where do we really think the gang mentality is formed???  Why was a 15 year old wanting to drink?  Why, in one of the highest homicide cities in the nation, and that’s the truth, was not her Dad able to show up at the FRONT door?  How could a young girl not have some friends (not the come, get loaded, and whoa — here are the rest of my male friends who’d ‘love’ to get to know you type of friend) walk her straight into her Dad’s car?  If her Mom and Dad were employed, were they paying taxes for an educational system where THIS happened, and where a 15 year old doesn’t have a real friend to support her even a few dozen yards after a dance, and set some better values?   Would the fatherhood movement have helped avert this situation?  I sincerely doubt it.

In the USA we have a remarkable thing happened.  We have an African American President and First Lady.  Not only, but our President was raised by a single mother and is bi-racial.  How much better hope can we have that someone at the top of the ladder of the top country in the free world, or at least one close to the “top,” would speak for us, feel for us, care for those hurting and those at the bottom, especially after what he went through as a youngster. 

I voted for President Obama.  Afterwards, and after losing my livelihood, and children, and watching friends also take repeated hits, because of family court corruption, I looked at whitehouse.gov and found out where the word “mother” stood, as far as usage.  I found uncomfortably close connections pre- and post-election between fatherhood groups and individuals, particularly Jeffery Leving, Esq., of Illinois, and the honorable stream of feminist backlash conservatives wanting to make sure the WOMEN (any color, but for sure African American) didn’t get too uppity and forget their place in life.  I learned that the Obamas were in 2007 the 10th richest US Congressman couple, somewhere underneath Rockefeller, Boxer, McCain, I think Feinstein?, and a Senator from Tennessee who was making a large profit in corporate daycare business, multinational.  How “us” is this Congress, really?  How many of their children went through the public school system and came from dangerous neighborhoods?  How many of them inherited no wealth or, what’s more, no business sense? 

How many of them are women??  Let alone African-American women.  Let alone African American Women who raised children alone?  Apply this also to the other institutions running national policy — I mean at the decision-making level, not the support staff level..  And where these top decisionmakers ARE women, how many of them are holding to policies which go against the grain in the matter of stopping domestic violence, vs. making a profit studying low-income people ground up by one system or another of many?

I fled my home yesterday, briefly I hope, because of a male without a professional or personal life of his own other than his refusal to acknowledge that in the USA, it is permissible to divorce, and no, you canNOT come back in my life.   I happen to know some of the fathers’ rights talks he has been egged on by, and this was after one of the firmest, plainest NOs it is possible to deliver.

This man alone was never the sole problem.  I survived and got out.  For years now, I have appealed to their own economic common sense in the enablers both local, familial, and in an everwidening circle, all I ran into, seeking my own life back, and if possible some contact with children who were being, in essence, held hostage to this IDEA that a single mother is a threat to society and her own children, per se — no evidence required, but proesting this in any form is evidence of bad character — and trust me.  For enablers, it has to hit VERY close to home economically or personally, to cause a change of position, opinion, or action.  And for those with the added religious gas in the tank — it’s an offence to their God, it’s disrupting society, it’s against nature, to let a competent woman leave a violent man with children in tow — and not go back!!!   their own life {and apparently maybe there wasn’t much life outside of dominating women} – – may not even be close enough.

I am typing on a strange computer from a strange place, struggling again with another technology, and I am getting damn tired of this of the stress on my friends, and acquaintances, children, and self. 

No struggle is without costs, and all worthwhile things are going to take a fight.  But maybe — TheLoop21 folks — we need to really understand that there are indeed sides, and who is on which one.  

The marginalized of society are the canaries in the coal mine.  They are the barometer and feedback to its institutions, because those institutions are run by like human beings with like instincts, only not so tested yet, perhaps. 

So are you a canary, a miner, or do you own the mine– or hope to?  The miners and the canaries had best know which one they are appealing to when it comes to domestic violence in the community.  Are you part of the Gold Rush, or did you have the foresight to invest in Levi Strauss, and the technology and suppliers of the gold rush folk?  Where’s the parallel in this topic?

I can tell you who some of the Levi Strauss investors, with real foresight and a replicatable business plan, were in the BUSINESS of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.  Can you?  If not poke around this blog, ones linked to it, or figure it out yourself.  HINT:   AFCC.  HINT:  MMPDI  HINT:  Center for Policy Research and a few others in the Denver area.  HINT:  practically the entire family law field.  Analyze a few of these, and you’ll recognize the business model.

Thank you for your tolerance, and hopefully this post offends someone enough to stop, pause, and ask other questions.

 

 

No safe refuge from mandatory mediation: Veena Charan (1990) vs Calif. Judiciary / Family Court Services

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This author went underground for her safety, later emerged, and has a few things to say about the justice response to calling domestic violence a CRIME and not a Dispute. 

Nowadays we’re back, in forms, in the press too often, and elsewhere, into calling it “domestic abuse.”  It’s a kinder, gentler word, like a bowtie on the contents of a garbage disposal.  Less upsetting, you know, than the truth.

I shared in early October that my situation is in transition (whose ISN”T that’s been involved?).  So assume that if I post here, it might be relevant, and important.  I’m going to talk about the SF Bay Area’s reaction to attempting to exempt domestic violence cases from mandatory mediation.  Even after Mrs. Charan got killed, obeying a (certifiably insane) restraining order.  I recommend this book.  I ALSO recommend you look at the earlier version, somehow. 

When Violence Begins at Home (2nd ed.)
A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse
Second Edition
by K J Wilson Ed.D.

Since its initial publication, this extensive reference has provided victims of abuse and their caregivers with guidance on everything from indicators of an abusive relationship to advice on leaving an abusive partner, from anti-burnout tips for helpers and social workers to current trends in domestic violence legislation. Recommended and praised by authorities in the field of domestic violence such as Susan Brownmiller, Del Martin and Karen E. Munch (“indispensable”, “the bible”, “one of the best”), the previous edition of When Violence Begins at Home has sold over 30,000 copies.

http://www.hunterhouse.com/shopexd.asp?id=413

WHYquote this book now?

I have the 1997 version of this book.  AFTER I got OUT of my battering relationship and INTO family court, and was stumped at how the concept of my wish to retain a restraining order fell on deaf ears, spongy receptors, and virtual denial by the FIRST round through this venue, and as my livelihood (and work schedule, kids education, etc.) began to start the long dismantling process which later ended in child-stealing on an (unsupervised, of course) overnight, after which, Good Bye Mama (I barely saw the girls again) — at the BEGINNING of this process, I did what Moms do.  We go get informed.  I went onto a used books distributor and ordered as much as I could afford.  This was one of them.  It was SO helpful to me then, and I photocopied some of the pages to relatives to explain how this power-based “intervention” in my life AFTER I got free wasn’t appropriate, or going to be worked, in fact, back off! 

You see, I hadn’t yet processed that there’s a type of family dynamics that tolerates abuse, but will NOT tolerate talking about it, which is apparently stepping on some sacred cow.   I have many times spoken of the family court arena as “shock therapy” and some kind of total immersion experience (think baptism, if this fits your religion) into, this world ain’t what it was cracked up to be.   And those labels on the doors?  They are VERY misleading, for sure. 

========

This has to be a “fast” post on this resource book.  I am going to quote from the preface by Del Martin, and her (I presume? though am not sure) comments on how the system responds to mediation.  You see, in our area, we have MANDATORY mediation.  If it were not mandatory, more kids (I assert) would still be living with their nonbattering parents, when that’s an issue, and the court professionals would have to go drum up some more business elsewhere.    Due process MIGHT take place, and as a consequence, PERHAPS the courts wouldn’t be so overcrowded (supposedly the real cause for “mediation,” although I suspect a closer cause is to be found closer to the AFCC folks, and their wish to transform the language of criminal law, which is “old” (fashioned, i.e.) in to the more fashionable, and MUCH better funded, when it comes to HHS and OVW, etc. — behavioral sciences field.  For AFCC.com,search my blog. or some of the others linked here,  for more on this outfit.  Also see comments on NAFCJ.net, highly relevant, still.

QUOTING, for public information only, from Foreword by Del Martin, author of “Battered Wives.” 

page x:

Dr. Wilson states that the Texas Council on Family Violence considers traditional counseling, family therapy, and mediation inappropriate in a battering intervention.  Mandating couple’s counseling or mediation places the battered woman at a disadvantage and in further jeopardy.

We are not dealing with domestic disputes or communication problems.  The batterer communicates quite clearly that he is the head of the household and will use force to maintain that power over family members.  We are dealing with abject, unreasonable VIOLENCE.  . . .. Appropriate intervention must deal with the batterer’s violent behavior.  You cannot mediate violence.  This bears repeating over and over again.

THIS part is relevant:

Unfortunately the California legislature has not yet understood that message.  Despite the 1990 recommendation of the Natioanl Cuncil of Juvenile and Family Court judges that NO judge mandate mediation in cases in which family violence has occurred, California’s judiciary persists in blocking attempts to exempt domestic violence cases from our mandated mediation of child custody and visitation “disputes.”  The best we have been able to get is the right of the battered woman to have a separate hearing without the presence of her battering spouse, to have a supporter accompany her during the hearing (I rarely got) and to preumse that mediators and judges will be trained in the dynamics of domestic v iolence.”

“SF’s Commission on the Status of Women created a subcommittee [when in doubt, do a committee, right?] to look at a citywide response to DV following the murdedr of Veena Charan by her husband in 1990.  Except for one thing, she had done everything by the book over a period of 15 months.  She obtained a restraining order and awas awarded temporary physical custody of her 9 year old son.  She sought a divorce and participated in mediation through Family Court Services as mandated by Californa law.  She cooperated with the prosecution of her husband on felony wife beating.  (See my Giles’ Amicus post).  The one thing she didn’t do was to avail herself of the safety of a shelter for battered women and their children.”

 

And now she’s dead, and her son’s natural mother is gone:

Joseph Charan was sentenced to 12 months in jail.  THE SENTENCE WAS SUSPENDED, HOWEVER, IN LIEU OF CONDITIONAL PROBATION:  domestic violence cunseling, a stay-away order, and 30 days in jail.  A few days later, before reporting to probation, he murdered his wife in front of teachers and schoolchildren {so much for it being just a “family” matter} before killing himself.”  (emphases mine).

I really hope readers will check out this book.  Here is another section, page xi:

All governmental departments that were involved in any way were coopeartive in tracing Veena Charan through the system to determine what went wrong.  All except the Family Court Services director, who claimed immunity because of client confidentiality.  The presiding judge of Family Court and the city attorney backed her position.  Members of the investigating committee were frustrated.  They needed to know what impact mediation had on Veena Charan.”

Perhaps they might have focused on WHY those 12 months became only 30 days, not leaving Veena enough time to get herself and her son safe, and reflect on what next. 

“Since then unsuccessful attempts have been made to amend the mediation clause in the law to exempt cases in which there is a history of violent episodesA father’s rights still prevail over the endangerment of wife and child.”

I’d like to mention here, I LIKE men, I just don’t like violence as a substitute for relationship.  Any father’s rights visitors (we know there are several around these blogs), we are not talking about all men, only about ones who have already been convicted of beating their wives.  Or who did this without a conviction.  OK?  So don’t take it personal if the shoe don’t fit.  There ARE some men, I can testify personally, it DOES. 

From her page ix:

The role of the judiciary must not be minimized.  Educating judges can be a problem because of their discretionary power and the assumption that they are above public reproach.”  Last year (i.e., 1996), the SF eExaminer revealed that SF municipal court judges were using “civil compromise” in domestic violence misdemeanor cases.  Defendants were being let off with an apology and a few hours of counseling.  Those of us who had orchestrated changes in policies of the criminal justice system were shocked.  . . . . . (para).  Supervisor Barbara Kaufman called for public hearings, and the judges were outraged that we dared to challenge their discretionary privilege. {{Gee, sounds like the guy I used to live with..}}   But the civil compromise clause is a legal option for cases involving neighborhood disputes, property damage, or petty theft.  It was never meant to be used in the disposition of domestic violence caseloads.

It was NOT meant for things that could lead to multiple deaths, or even one, or even a broken bone, or homelessness, or things that DV tends to lead to.  In case you haven’t guessed, I am opposed to the use of mediation at ALL when violence has already been identified, which the presence of a civil OR criminal restraining order should establish, if it was properly granted.

I know how many people cover up this type of violence, and I was a reporter.  I was not a woman covering it up, I asked for help.  It took YEARS before that help came.  Then it was stripped away by the simple act of taking a quick off-ramp into the family law venue, which was ready and waiting for just such cases.  We even hit the mediator BEFORE any divorce was filed — because children were involved. 

 

I’m out of time today, but my comments, reading this 12years after it was published:

 

1.  The author talks (incl. of this foreword) talks a lot — as many of these coalitions do — about CIVIL vs. CRIMINAL venues, with a brief side-long glance at FAMILY.  However family law was in full swing by the 1990s, it began at least back in 1980s, and the push into mediation, earlier than that.  See afcc.org.  It’s what the family law venue is ABOUT, primarily.  I find that odd — are we not doing research?  Are we on a one-track line of research?  Which brings me to:

2.  “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  Oops, I didn’t mean to get religious.  OK, “follow the money trail.”  If these groups and women were advocating, including with legislators, commissions, coalitions, and so forth, that mediation NOT be appropriate for DV, andyet it’s still MANDATORY for it (in this SF area referenced), then WHY? 

Possibly, with the Internet not in as full swing as it is now, the facts had not yet surfaced.  But again, look at the funding going to the California State Judicial Commission (for one, example) and look at the Access/Visitation and Fatherhood funding.

Sometimes, some days, I wonder whether the feminist (and I’m one, believe me, by now!), battered women’s advocates and coalitions are — at least nowadays — playing Good Cop/Bad Cop in these matters, by simply not talking about the economics. Perhaps if there were more mothers who’d lost custody in their ranks, or battered MOTHERS in the ranks (I can’t assess, but I DO wonder), they would quickly see the role of the Child Support Agency (“OCSE” nationally) in all this. 

The flora and fauna to study in why women are STILL getting killed, children molested, others abducted, Moms in prison for trying to protect, Dads sprung  after 2 days in jail, to go out and murder (just substitute the names, they seem endless sometimes), in that if the effort even is made to prosecute, and it actually HAPPENS (not something a battered parent typically has under HER real control), it’s STILL no guarantee of safety. 

Nor is training a batterer, a mediator, or a judge to hopefully pay more attention to the training than to the rewards at the end of the tunnel for a case well “disposed” of, thanks to help from the government in Designer Family Land, where the real crisis is fatherlessness.  Not moral turpitude in government employees, a system of bribes, or a system DESIGNED to minimize and ignore domestic violence, assault & battery behavior, and instead more into publishing tomes on “Parenting after violence.

Please, let’s turn those spectacles around and start looking at the SYSTEM with a critical eye.  I’m not interested in so much statistics, and probability when it comes to the life and safety of someone I am related to.  I am interested in:

 

LIFE,

Liberty

PURSUIT of happiness, which stalking, and being trapped in the family law venue, is kind of really getting in the way of.  To me, happiness was taking care of my kids, working, and participating in the community, developing good relationships with other people.

When I and my children are regarded as someone else’s property, that dynamic HAS to change.  And that includes becoming a “statistic” in someone else’s social science study of low-income people, or parents int he courts, or the impact of mediation on cases involving domestic violence, or any OTHER thing that has a federal grant number on the resulting report. 

ENOUGH, already!

 – – – – – – – – – –

 

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Toxic AZ Court Rx: Restraining Order & Ignore mother’s plea, order Couples Counseling = 1 more toddler for CPS

with 6 comments

Judge for yourself about this particular Judge, and re-write the headline to focus on WHO FAILED!

“Permission requested & denied to stay alive…”

 

 

Woman wanted to flee with son

before apparent murder-suicide

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/10/19/20091019peomurder1020.html

Peoria woman later killed in apparent murder-suicide

by Dustin Gardiner – Oct. 20, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

A Peoria mother whose body was found Friday had recently tried to leave Arizona after receiving threats from her apparent slayer, but a judge denied her request, court records show.

Two weeks before she was killed, Dawn Axsom pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla of Maricopa County Superior Court to let her leave Arizona with her son because she feared Gabriel Schwartz, the toddler’s father, would harm her or their boy.

Padilla denied the 26-year-old’s request and ordered the pair to attend parental counseling together.

Axsom’s body was found in her Peoria residence Friday. Police also found the bodies of Schwartz, 28, and Lisa Braden, 56, Axsom’s mother.

Schwartz is suspected of shooting and killing both women before turning the gun on himself, Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef said Monday.

Tellef said the violence likely began in the downstairs kitchen, where Schwartz shot Braden. Then, Schwartz went

upstairs, shooting Axsom in the master bathroom and killing himself in a bedroom.

Police discovered the grisly scene at about 10 a.m. Friday after Axsom didn’t show up for work and a friend and the friend’s mother went to the home, located in the 7400 block of West Sierra Street, to check on her.

When the friend knocked on the door, she heard Axsom and Schwartz’s nearly 2-year-old boy crying upstairs.

The woman called police, who arrived and found the child unharmed inside his crib.

“When the officer took the baby outside, he covered (the child’s) eyes so he couldn’t see anything,” Tellef said, recounting the scene.

Friends and co-workers who gathered outside Axsom’s residence Friday said she was having ongoing custody problems with Schwartz and expressed frustration that the court system wouldn’t let her leave Arizona when she knew Schwartz might harm her.

Court records show Padilla granted Axsom a protective order against Schwartz four days before the Oct. 6 hearing where he ordered her to attend parental counseling with him and denied her request to relocate to Maryland with the pair’s son.

Axsom’s son was placed into the custody of state Child Protective Services.

 

CPS — the ever-hungry cavern. . . . seeking more families to Eat.  they got another one, this time.  Lest we end up with a thinking populace.

 

These headlines will stop when NON-families and NON-court employees begin to realize this is affecting them, their society, and their community’s safety.  GET INVOLVED! ! ! !  STOP THE INSANITY! ! ! !

How many women’s & kids (& men’s) death is one shared parenting relationship worth?  Never mind, Big Brother DOES know best, not Mom.  yeah, right…

 

Here’s another article, same incident:  Short and Sweet, say-huh??
http://www.azfamily.com/news/Domestic-violence-advocate-questions-Judges-decision-in-Peoria-murder-suicide-65110047.html
 
Domestic violence advocate questions Judge’s decision in Peoria murder-suicide
 
 
by Ryan O’Donnell / 3TV
Posted on October 20, 2009 at 8:27 PM
Updated yesterday at 11:00 PM
PEORIA , AZ — On October 6, 2009 Dawn Axsom and her attorney pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla to allow her to leave Arizona with her two-year-old son, Xavier, but Judge Padilla denied the request.

According to court testimony, Axsom’s estranged husband, 28-year-old Gabriel Schwartz, had been arrested twice for DWI, was unemployed, and had made two failed suicide attempts.  This prompted Axsom to also file for an Order of Protection against Schwartz.

Judge Padilla granted Schwartz visitation rights, requiring a drug & alcohol and mental health evaluation to be completed within 60-days.

Two weeks after that court appearance, Dawn Axom and her mother Linda were found shot to death in their Peoria home, reportedly by Schwartz, who then turned the gun on himself.

Elizabeth Ditlevson, who works for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says it’s not just Judge Padilla, but other family court judges who don’t seem to take domestic violence as seriously as they should.

“Some courts are privileging an abusers access to their children over the safety of the victim parent and the child. We think that that is a huge issue and it needs to change” said Ditlevson.  
 
http://www.azfamily.com/news/Domestic-violence-advocate-questions-Judges-decision-in-Peoria-murder-suicide-65110047.html
 
Domestic violence advocate questions Judge’s decision in Peoria murder-suicide
 
 
by Ryan O’Donnell / 3TV
Posted on October 20, 2009 at 8:27 PM
Updated yesterday at 11:00 PM
PEORIA , AZ — On October 6, 2009 Dawn Axsom and her attorney pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla to allow her to leave Arizona with her two-year-old son, Xavier, but Judge Padilla denied the request.

According to court testimony, Axsom’s estranged husband, 28-year-old Gabriel Schwartz, had been arrested twice for DWI, was unemployed, and had made two failed suicide attemptsThis prompted Axsom to also file for an Order of Protection against Schwartz.

{{Please see my post re: Paper Scissors Stone, a child’s game — and whether the “paper” of a restraining order is sufficient protection against the (metal) of a gun.  In that case, the DV history (resulting in murder/suicide) was “only” 14 years long.  The dude was arrested, for 2 days, after which he got out and shot his wife.  And then himself.  Cool, calm & collected, even arranged for (teenager) not to be present & picked up after, or something.  SUICIDE ATTEMPTS = DANGER.  PROTECTION ORDER =/= SAFETY.  WHY are the courts acting like it is?  I’d blog more on this, but there was ANOTHER one, recently, again, different (young) couple.  This time the dude got her but didn’t finish offing himself, so he might actually face charges.}}

Judge Padilla {{automaton, or fatherhood advocate that he apparently was. . . . . }} granted Schwartz visitation rights, requiring a drug & alcohol and mental health evaluation to be completed within 60-days.

{{WHEN IN DANGER, SURELY A MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATION WILL PROTECT.}}

Two weeks after that court appearance, Dawn Axom and her mother Linda were found shot to death in their Peoria home, reportedly by Schwartz, who then turned the gun on himself.

Elizabeth Ditlevson, who works for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says it’s not just Judge Padilla, but other family court judges who don’t seem to take domestic violence as seriously as they should.

“Some courts are privileging an abusers access to their children over the safety of the victim parent and the child. We think that that is a huge issue and it needs to change” said Ditlevson. 
 

File that under “understatement of the year,” (but at least she said it).  Let sGetHonest sincerely believes, from her research, that this is apparently what family courts are on the map FOR, ing reat part.  It’s where the abusers go to hide.  The fact that nonabusers also manage to get actually THROUGH there and sometimes even settle divorce/custody/visitation matters doesn’t quite change the fact. 

For a more direct (and expressive)  version of the first account, from peoria, see Randijames.com.  Warning:  an obscene word or two on site.  Appropriately so — the situation is obscene, and not just once or twice.  It’s NOT just one or two, or three, or four, or five, families getting wiped out over these things, when safety COULD”VE been granted, IF it were a priority.  This site simply talks back to the news, which I like:

 

Eminent Danger Protective Measures Denied by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla, in Arizona–Mother has ongoing custody problems with the father in the court system

How does a mother have “on-going” problems? It should be open, and closed.

{{My comment:  Notice, the “mother” is at fault, SHE is “having ongoing custody problems.”  These might stem from a mediator, an evaluator, a judge, suppressed evidence, CPS  reports or police reports ignored, police reports not quite accurate, judges have conflicts of interest (but won’t recuse — see Oconto, WI), or there remains money in the family, or years til a child is 18.  Whatever it be, AFTER she is killed, it will be called HER battle and HER problems.  Or, ‘Their” problems.  Well, do no problems have causes, and are we now dwelling in a world totally absent of cause and effect, and are no courts able to determine which is which?  For example, if a guy tries to commit suicide, PERHAPS “couples counseling” might be that needle ina  haystack that will persuade himself NOT to off himself (and others who happen to be handy, or associated in HIS mindw ith her) — but then again, it ain’t likely th e root fo the prob lem.  And I doubt she could focus properly in couples counseling (had she survived til then) for fear of the suicide deal.  I guess the reason the JUDGES aren’t afraid of the suicide factor is it isn’t them, isn’ ttheir daughter, isn’t their PAYcheck, and won’t really reduce court business — there’s always (well, if a child survives) custody/foster care business.  As usual. . . . . . Well, (forgive me) (but it’s oBSCENE!)}}

–Mother KNOWS the father’s intentions because he threatens her

Refer back to “on-going” problems in the court

–Mother asks for a protective order, Judge grants it

Paper doesn’t protect, it just leaves a trail

–Mother asks to be able to leave the state with her son

Because this, will actually protect her, short of having a gun.

Judge Jose Padilla denies the request to relocate

Because then, the father wouldn’t have access to kill his father’s rights

Judge Jose Padilla orders parental counseling to be attended by the parents, TOGETHER

Because if someone’s threatening your life, you all should be able to work it out, for the child’s sake

{{Common knowledge in DV field is you do NOT have counseling together!  It’s dangerous!  Some pastors tried this in my case, it could’ve gotten us killed (and we DID have to flee the home for having gone without the father, once).  Even mediation rules, some states, insist that sessions can/must be separate where there’s been domestic violence.  Not that this really solves issues, but at least it acknowledges the situation.  So this Arizona judge does COUPLES counseling?  Check the Access Visitation funding in that county!  !!  }}

–Father kills his son’s mother, her mother, and himself, but kindly places a blanket over the child so as not to witness

–Motherless, grandmotherless, AND fatherless child, now goes into CPS custody

WHERE THE FUCK WAS CPS BEFORE THIS?

In situations of family violence, trade organizations like the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), with their host of judges, attorneys, GALS, and psychologists, push seminars and trainings which obscure violence and mask it with the psychological profiling of women. Co-parenting/shared parenting/parenting coordination, mediation, and parental alienation syndrome are highlighted as solutions to the endangerment of women and children.

PUT AN END TO THIS MONEY-MAKING, MISOGYNIST SCHEME THAT IS GETTING FAMILIES KILLED!! These same people are simultaneously creating new laws and ignoring the old ones (aka make your own rules and teach everyone else to follow them):

Enough for one day, and another fly-by post.  Better quality promised when access to my laptop regained.. . . .I’m  not even really tagging these much..

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Lord help us! — or, rather “California, help us!” [poor litigants MAY get “a better shot at justice”]

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I am entirely without time to spice this up with enough sarcasm, but caveat emptor, I say.  I add a few, short translations for the uninitiated. 

This story was headlines I gather in both Southern & Northern CA newspapers — different headlines, but page A-1, and same story.  Perhaps we should take a close look at it.

The comments are simply my first impressions.   

 California gives the poor a new legal right

By Carol J. Williams October 17, 2009


Under a new law, the state {{TRANSLATION:  Tax dollars}} will provide lawyers in key civil cases, such as those dealing with eviction and domestic abuse.

{{An odd term for Domestic VIOLENCE Awareness Month, don’t you think?}}

 

Advocates say underprivileged litigants will get a better shot at justice.

{{When in doubt, ask many advocates and an occasional underprivileged litigant.  For another point of view, I still recommend http://www.poormagazine.com, which I cited in my VERY first post here.}}

Irma Green, 62, lives on disability benefits and was represented for free by an attorney as she fought an eviction notice. Now California will pay lawyers in such cases. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times / October 15, 2009)

California is embarking on an unprecedented civil court experiment to pay for attorneys to represent poor litigants who find themselves battling powerful adversaries in vital matters affecting their livelihoods and families.

{{That’s odd.  I’m in that situation, in California, and have been “battling” for years to FIND pro bono legal help for such vital matters.  I didn’t find it, however, after I lost it all – meaning custody, right to child support arrears, a restraining order, visitation, or in effect ANYTHING enforceable in court, or outside of it, I DID find out about some of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the fatherhood-crisis guys.  }}

The program is the first in the nation to recognize a right to representation in key civil cases and provide it for people fighting eviction, loss of child custody, domestic abuse or neglect of the elderly or disabled.

Advocates for the poor say the law, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed this week, levels the legal playing field and gives underprivileged litigants a better shot at attaining justice against unscrupulous landlords, abusive spouses, predatory lenders and other foes.

{{Somehow I feel the term, a better “shot” at justice is a bit inappropriate for domestic violence (aka “abuse”) issues that sometimes involve firearms and familicides.  Moreover, when life is at stake, I am somehow not reassured by having a “shot” at justice (sounds more like gambling to me, than what those who wrote the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, etc., envisioned — particularly as to separation of powers.  Let’s see:  We are taxed, causing financial stresses, sometimes affecting domestic violence issues.  How taxes are actually used is a little obtuse, but now SOME of these taxes are going to be put towards getting  SOME of us a SHOT at getting back SOME of our legal rights, and/or children (see below….)}}{{??}}

Although some analysts worry that it could swell state court dockets or eat up resources better spent on other needs of the poor, the pilot project that won bipartisan endorsement in the state Assembly will be financed by a $10 increase in court fees for prevailing parties.

Anybody confronted with criminal charges has a constitutional right to an attorney, as set out in the landmark Supreme Court decision in Gideon vs. Wainwright in 1963. But such a right does not apply in civil court, and the majority of citizens fighting what can be life-altering civil actions now attempt to handle their cases without professional guidance.

{{Has anyone considered looking at what life-altering actions, which I happen to believe the matters of domestic violence, child abuse, and any form of extortion, robbery, etc., surrounding those, ARE (per se), are doing in the civil arena to start with?  Or about the origin & purpose of “family” law (which technically seems to be lumped here with civil law, but there are still more differences in standards and procedures, which an “Elkins Family Law Task force” is even as we speak (er, as I blog) addressing — now. . . . I’m serious, I’ve thought about this:

HOW did CRIMINAL differentiate between CIVIL?  And Family split off from civil?  Our founding documents talk about individual rights.  How come it’s worse to affect the “state” by, say, jaywalking or failing to pay a parking ticket, than an individual who is part and parcel, and like as not paying some of the salaries of that “state.”??}}

An estimated 4 million people seek to represent themselves in California in civil matters each year, the state Judicial Council estimates, not because they want to but because they can’t afford to hire a lawyer. “How ironic that you can be arrested for stealing a small amount of food — a box of Twinkies from a convenience store — and you’re entitled to counsel. But if your house is on the line, or your child is on the line, or you’re being abused in a domestic relationship, you don’t have the same right to counsel,” said Assemblyman Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles Democrat who sponsored the bill.

{{that’s VERY politically  correct term for domestic violence, wife-battering, husband-battering, child abuse, elder abuse, or any of those more graphic terms, including intimate partner violence.  Dept. of Sanitation must have been in on the speechwriting there…}}

California’s pilot project is the first in the nation to create a right of “Civil Gideon” and will be closely watched by access-to-justice advocates across the country, say legal analysts who expect the presence of lawyers to ease court congestion.

{{SOME of the court congestion relates to drug offences (3 strikes you’re out, etc.).  SOME of the court congestion also relates to the fact that, in family law, hearsay creates a court hearing, and it doesn’t get settled when it SHOULD if there is money to be made by court-appointed officials before a child turns 18.  I’m not ad libbing this, I know whereof I speak.  The courts will be cleared of YOUR case when:  1.  Children age out (most typical) 2. Potential money RUNS out, and it doesn’t appear that federal HHS funds to the courts are even CLOSE to doing that, to keep the debate (never settled by due process, evidence, fact-finding, etc.) going, or 3.  The woman, man, or children attempting to flee domestic violence fail, and one party ceases living.   THen it goes to criminal. or 4, which I caught My state attempting to do to MY kids — force me to choose (being a non-abusive parent, including on the record) between calling CPS or letting the batterer violate the court order, rather than simply enforce it as written.  Enforced court orders = decongested courts = less business for the associated professionals.  It’s that simple…) 

As conceived, the program will fund public interest law groups, where lawyers typically earn salaries more on the level of teachers than their well-paid colleagues from big law firms. Such legal aid groups are overwhelmed by the needs of the indigent. At least 70% of those with civil law problems are turned away for lack of funds, experts say. Groups receiving the money will be chosen by the Judicial Council{{***RED FLAG — Check FUNDING already going to Judicial Council, and track it if you dare!}}  , and the pilot program will be reevaluated to determine whether it should be continued beyond its 2017 funding guarantee. “The great thing about this is that local courts and local legal aid programs will team up and provide local solutions,” said Julia R. Wilson, executive director of the Legal Aid Assn. of California.

{{Let’s see — Judicial Branch, Legal Branch, as paid by IRS (taxes, i.e., state) from the Exec. Branch.  THAT”S a surefire separation of powers and decentralization}}.

Some legal analysts, however, see the project as a misplaced priority, especially given the persistent shortcomings in a criminal justice system many say is increasingly plagued by instances of wrongful conviction. “I think it is of considerable doubt that this is the best use of scarce resources on behalf of the poor,” said Lawrence Rosenthal, a Chapman University professor of civil rights law, arguing that the tens of millions to be devoted to civil case representation would be better spent on law enforcement, quality day care or lead paint eradication in low-income communities.

“There are a lot of questions that nobody asks when this kind of bill gets passed, because everyone is too busy applauding that more money is going to be paid to lawyers.”

{{Well said.  By the way, Chapman University is I think a Christian one.  Not that I’m all hot on faith-institutions (see my blog if you question this), but that is a good point.}}

 Three years ago, the American Bar Assn. called on states to provide a right to counsel in civil cases in which “basic human needs” are at stake.

{{UNALIENABLE CIVIL RIGHTS vs. BASIC HUMAN NEEDS.}

Since then, nine states have made moves to afford limited civil representation, but California will be the first to extend that to a broad array of family law and social justice issues. “A lot of states have moved forward bit by bit. What is noteworthy about the California situation is that the proposed pilot projects are in a lot of the core areas people have been pushing for, like foreclosure and landlord-tenant disputes,” said Russell Engler, a professor at New England Law in Boston.

Over the four-plus decades since the Gideon ruling, legal researchers have documented that when litigants have lawyers in civil cases, more just and cost-effective outcomes are reached.

For example, women seeking restraining orders against abusive partners were successful 83% of the time when they had legal representation, compared with 32% without an attorney, according to a 2003 report by University of Baltimore law professor Jane C. Murphy.

{{Did Ms. Murphy do the 5-year follow-up study on what happened when they attempted to renew a restraining order, and/or if such a case went into family law?  Now THAT would be interesting, because this is precisely where the quality legal help drops off.  Mine did, at least.}}

Giving civil litigants the legal advice they need to work out a settlement ahead of their court dates also cuts down on post-judgment appeals and the costly social services incurred when parents lose their rights simply because they don’t know how to navigate the legal system, analysts say.

 “In abuse-and-neglect cases, if parents don’t have representation, children spend more time in foster care, and that’s very expensive for the state,” said Laura K. Abel, deputy director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

The project gives hope to the legions of unrepresented civil litigants such as Angela Rhoden, 31, who said she was forced to leave her job in Atlanta earlier this year to come to Los Angeles after the father of her 10-year-old son seized the boy during a visit here and refused to return him. “When I came to California, I didn’t have legal representation, nor could I afford it. I didn’t even have a job at the time,” said the mother, whose case was recently taken up by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

{{See button blogs to the right.  Many of these are mothers who lost custody in a similar way to Ms. Rhoden, and nationwide, internationally.  I’m very happy for Ms. Rhoden’s help.  I also happen to know of mothers WITHIN California who’ve had their kids taken out, or taken within California, and are just stuck, period.  They’ve lost sometimes EVERYthing.  For example, Karen Anderson (California Protective Parents).  I’m not mentioning more names, but we are everywhere.  We are losing them not because we lack representation, but because judges, mediators, evaluators, and others, are ruling inappropriately, and in violation of the rules of court, and little we can do about it, especially not KNOWING the rules of court.  Moreover, there’s the cronyism factor.   How are more tax-paid attorneys going to fix that?  As I look at my own case — and I could afford an attorney here adn there in it — I believe that my attorneys both “threw” the case and compromised my rights.  Why?  They have to stand in front of a judge another day.  However, a mother’s, or father’s perspective, is to win, and get OUT of court.  There are so many factors to consider.}}

“To a certain extent, you know your rights,” she said. “But if you have a lawyer to speak on your behalf, the court just takes you more seriously.” Irma Green, an ailing 62-year-old surviving on $890 a month in disability benefits, said she would have been unable to fight off an eviction notice from her landlord in South L.A. if she hadn’t had an attorney represent her for free.

{{SHe is RIGHT, but that’s the COURT’s fault.  I’ve experienced this.  However, I know my case better than any attorney who speeds through my life is going to. . . . . . There are pros and cons to being represented, and MUCH more communication.  When push comes to shove, do you know what that attorney is going to say, on your behalf (supposedly) in the actual hearing?  If not, then caveat emptorWho pays the piper calls the tune.}}

“I can’t tell you how bad it feels when you’re sick and you’re a senior citizen and they’re kicking you out of your home,” she said, crediting the intervention of Neighborhood Legal Services with preventing her from becoming homeless.

(I would LOVE to comment further on this, and can, but a degree of anonymity should be preserved here!)

carol.williams@latimes.com Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

I hope readers will seriously look at yet another “PILOT” program in CA.  “Coming soon to your state” most likely, that’s how it’s done.  I wish I had more time to investigate, but as I’ve said elsewhere, the case is in flux and closure — well, when is that going to come?  It’s round XX and both parties have had to regroup and strategize. . . . . a few feints, sizing up each others’ connections, and so forth.  Making alliances.  This is called “Family” court, and supposedly not adversarial.  Yeah, right…..  It’s not over til the fat lady sings.  I guess that would be me, and I plan to!

Scapegoating, trans-millenial, trans-religion, bipartisan — same old “father absence” (meaning, Single Moms).

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Single mothers have it TOUGH.  Not only do they have to deal , too often, with  that ex that wasn’t absent ENOUGH, like our Lorraine Tipton in Oconto County, WI, facing JAIL for exercising her mother’s instincts and actually function as a personal “Child Protective Service,” when 3 CPS personnel in 2 counties, and a child abuse forensic interviewer confirmed that it had taken place.  That’s TOMORROW, we’re talking about . . . . . Not only do we have to fight like hell to get up to ground level if that guy was abusive or simply unsafe choice to start with, we also bear the blame for all of society’s ills on our narrower-than-his (many times) shoulders. 

U.S. Women have a Congress that has a paltry representation of half the country, I mean, the female gender, and doing a good bit of the world’s work, too.  Women got the vote after slavery was (supposedly) abolished and after African-American males.  Several wars later, whose cannon-fodder came from US, if we actually stand up for our right NOT to be slapped, beaten, strangled, or risk being killed in the home, AND we gave birth, we are being blamed for society’s ills and have to fight indignant males in the family law courts (and out of them) and forget it when it comes to faith institutions, I say.  And then we wonder about Raising Ophelia . . . . . (That’s a book reference). 

In a country that supposedly doesn’t buy into such superstitions as religion, but is supposedly tolerant of those who believe a God, their god, is REAL, any substitute superstitions talk will fill the gap.  Which makes my point, man is a religious animal, either that or mentally lazy.  Or mentally stressed out, such that they’d rather pay taxes and let someone else think FOR them, raise the kids FOR them, and produce healthy marriages FOR them. 

Where they run into REAL trouble is when they run into a REAL mother (meaning, one who knows right from wrong, safe from dangerous, knows the law, and actually protests when it’s broken, particularly with kids involved). 

As my laptop just got stolen, which along with no car makes life rather difficult — this is post-abuse (supposedly) life – – you get to hear from another person who’s more concise, and appropriately sarcastic.

 

I mean, listen to Randi James, who gives meaning to the book “Dumbing us Down” by at least talking back to the authorities.

Notice how (when it begins to cite statistics) how  the golden aura of “stats” seems to lend credibility and au thority to a major foundation’s study.  (Annie E. Casey being among the major ones around, and as far as I can tell, fairly conservative.  They also fund Family Violence Prevention Fund, the great group in San Francisco who (after getting significant increases in federal funding, in fact they’re one of the larger recipients around), showed a marked decrease in on-line presence of the word “Mother.”  I mean, throughout the site.  For reference, see my blog poking fun (although it’s not funy) the Obama administration’s transformation of our President’s single-mother household into a father-absent household.  The word is now “parent” when we want to equalize, and “father-absent” when we want to stigmatize, including by failing to even use the word MOTHER.  Good grief.

Anyhow I give you this post —  (see link).  Have a nice day!

Saturday Single Mothers, Absent Fathers, Pirates, Global Warming and All in Between In 2009,

I can’t believe people are still making the argument that single motherhood causes most of the societal ills, namely high crime rates and teen pregnancy. Have we still not acquired any critical thinking skills along this journey? What about the millions of dollars grant money from DHHS to study all of these problems? How many years do they need in order to figure out the answers?

In this article, it says that 1 in 7 girls at a certain high school in Chicago, are getting pregnant.

The principal in this school states, “It can be a lot of things that are happening in the home or not happening in the home, if you will. Absentee fathers are another factor.” Is that the best answer that he could come up with? How, exactly, are absentee fathers contributing to this rate of teen pregnancy? No, I’m serious, I really need someone to explain to me how NOT having a father allows for a teenage girl to get pregnant…..or better yet, maybe you should first detail what, exactly, is an “absentee father”?

I don’t have a link to the following information, but it was provided by my favorite rape-apologist, Paul Clements:

“(I)n a recent study by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation. Comparing statistics for its Kids Count report, the organization reported that Detroit ranks No.1 in unmarried births among the nation’s 50 largest cities. Of the 16,729 babies born in Detroit in 1997, 13,574 were black, 1,679 were white and 817 were Hispanic. Seventy-one percent were born to unmarried mothers.

 

[[Please click link  to see this (and more) in the original context]].

PS.  When in doubt, or faced with a problem, pour more money at it hoping it will go away.  the HHS and Dept of Educ have been doing this, and STILL our population isn’t “fixed” yet.  Maybe we should let parents do the job (and let Lorraine stay out of jail for doing HER job right).   

Enforce laws equally, or take them off the books.  It takes 9 months and labor, not  including any breastfeeding (if a judge, should you separate, thinks this is permissible), and the least we can do to mothers is not pretend that they have equal rights under the law just because they are (speaking from my country’s perspective) US citizens.  Or have been living here for a generation or so.

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Transplanted diagram of how it’s done — justice4mothers.wordpress.com

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How Abusers Use The Court System To Continue to Victimize Their Partners and Children

Written by Gail Lakritz and presented by Angela Warren at the Pueblo Conference on Oct. 14, 2009

(This is searchable, and was I believe Southern Colordao Domestic Violence Symposium.  I’ll maybe get the link up soon; took place 10/13 or 10/14/09, and was one of the FEW ones I saw talkinga bout the legal abuse also — Dr. Sharon Araji, Peter Jaffe, et al.)

In the last post (also today), I documented one case in one state, part of it.  

Just understand that not all is as it seems in this alternate reality called family “law.”

 

Gail writes:

When a woman finally makes that decision to end the abuse and to flee the abusive situation, she rightfully expects that the police, her lawyers and the courts will protect her and her children from further harm. Being a member of the Sheriff’s Posse, that is what I was thought. After all, the courts always operate solely by the law, correct? (Scan audience for nods of agreement) We all know that does not happen and that is why I was so confused by my litigation. When injustice reared its ugly head, it flew in the face of everything I thought our country stood for, and, as with most victims of abuse, I came to realize that the system is stacked against the victim.

Today, I want to speak to you about some of the ways the abuser will use the system to further the abuse during the litigation process. It is my hope that, by exposing these tactics, you will recognize in your peers, and perhaps yourselves, what is being done has real, and all too often, deadly consequences.

The litigation abuse begins the moment the abuser is arrested. He plays on the sympathy of the arresting officers. He will use excuses to enlist them in his game. He is, after all, a master at deception. He has years of practice. He is the person who can look you straight in the eye and lie. During the ride to the lock up, he will say things like “She is an alcoholic or a drug addict”, “She is always picking on the kids” or “She takes all the money and spends it on herself and we never have enough to eat.” Anything that will garner sympathy and sway them to lessen the severity of what is written in the arrest report. And, being taught to spot the antagonist of a situation as they true perpetrator of the situation, the police officer, who is generally male, will empathize with the abuser, and slant his report to favor the abuser. He will ignore what he has been taught, that the victim is most often the one who is hysterical and angry at having been attacked and side with the often calm and rational sounding architect of the situation. And the abuser has gained his first needed corner stone to further the abuse, for in the future, any calls to 911 will be met with skepticism by the police and all future reports of violence will be seen as insane acts by the actual victim.

During the booking process and his appearance for arraignment, when the victim is not present to hear what is being said to the magistrate, he will again repeat his reasons for the attack. Laying the blame on the victim. Now he has widened his circle of conspirators. Word will filter from these people to the Bailiff and on to the judge that there were “extenuating circumstances” that predicated the attack.

Now, as we all know, the key to any successful litigation is money. With money, comes the right lawyers and a venue that is considered to be the “home turf” for that lawyer. Abusers control the money, therefore, they can afford the lawyers who consider winning to be the sole measure of success, not the just application of the law.

In each court system in America, there are lawyers that are known to be the “dirty trick” lawyers. They are the ones who use often unethical and illegal means to deny the Constitutional Rights of a litigant and victim. They will look the other way, or outright encourage, the use of terror tactics against a victim. Judges and other lawyers within the local Bar Association know who these practitioners are will look the other way. In some court systems, judges will actually instruct new lawyers with “I don’t care what you do in my courtroom so long as I am not investigated” leaving the avenue open for them to ply their brand of law in any manner they see fit. The idea is to win, not to be just. The abuser will seek out these lawyers, perhaps getting the name of one from a police officer or someone else in the system who just happens to be overheard talking or from another inmate in the lock up.

So now, the abuser has assembled his “dream team”. The police, the dirty tricks lawyer and the complacent judge. What more could he ask for than to have swayed the system and set the victim up for further abuse? The abuser will get a slap on the wrist, be sent to Anger Management and, in some jurisdictions, have his record of abuse sealed. In Anger Management, the prep will learn new and better ways of abusing. He will learn to abuse without leaving the outward marks that would land him back in jail. He will hone his skills, through the knowledge passed on by other perpetrators attending these sessions. The things that worked for them will be shared in group in the form of “I reacted to the situation by….” You fill in the blank, as each and every one of you know the tactics, know how the pain can be caused both mentally and physically to a victim without leaving the marks or a trail of abuse.

The first thing the abuser will do after being released from jail is to widen his circle of allies. His dirty tricks lawyer has instructed him to get out in front of his victim, and being the superior liar that he is, he is only too willing to accommodate. Generally, abusers are loners, having few friends and having disassociated themselves from family. He has allowed only minimal if any contact between his victim and her family. He will suddenly become the “social butterfly” contacting people to enlist their help, always with the story of having been the victim in the situation. Neighbors that were shunned by him in the past are now become his confidants. Whispers of abuse by the victim are passed from one person to another. This serves two purposes. It provides a support system for the abuser as well as removing any hope of support for the victim.

The next step to the tried and true method of using the system to abuse is to make the victim seem insane to the system. The abuser or one of his allies will begin the relentless process of attacks that are designed to discredit. Break-ins of the home of the victim are a common means as are well placed phone calls where the abuser uses threats, such as the victim never seeing her children again. An abuser will actually enlist the help of the unwitting child, promising rewards of gifts or, if teenagers, no boundaries to live by. The abuser will reward the child for such things as removing evidence against the abuser from the victims home, lying to police or being complacent about what was witnessed in an incident. Often, no system of reward is needed. It is fear of the abuser, that places the child in the unenviable situation of having to lie. The child senses what will cause the wrath of the abuser to rise against them. If you come away from this presentation with anything, this is the one piece of information I hope you retain. The cycle of abuse is learned and continued by this one tactic alone, using the children as tools of abuse. Any person within the system who even suggests that the abuser use this tactic is guilty of nothing less than murder.

Police, having been repeatedly told that the victim is insane, will respond to such things as break-ins as a sign that the abuser is correct in his assessment of the victim. All too often, the abuser will leave something that informs the victim he was there, but at the point in time that the police are called, the victim will not know what is missing, if anything. Sometimes the victim will find veiled death threats, a picture that only the victim and her abuser knows the meaning of, a cartoon left on the computer screen, that is meant to frighten and intimidate. A tire will be slashed when her car is hidden from public view, mementos that have little or no monetary value will be missing. Reporting these incidents to the police enforce the abuser’s position. And, when the victim turns to her lawyer for help, if she has one, she is told to ignore all violations of her home and person. You see, it takes two lawyers to execute a well choreographed legal Tango, and by this time, the repeated calls to the police by the victim, the well placed lies by the perpetrator, and, with the assistance of the complacent judge, her lawyer has been won over to not assist in any meaningful manner. Thus the victim is turned into the abuser and seen only as a source of possible revenue for her own lawyer who will offer little if any assistance in seeing that justice is blind, not blinded by gold.

During the actual litigation process, there will be a number of players that will be easily swayed by the events that have lead up to this process. GALs and CLRs are swayed by having contact with the abuser and his ever growing stable of allies, lawyers, police and judges. If the children are afraid of the abuser, they dare not say anything to these people that would endanger themselves. Social workers, mental health professionals, even medical doctors who rely on the system for income will not oppose the well built facade of the abuser and his well scripted theater of abuse.

At this point, I would like to see a show of hands. How many of you are judges? Please raise your hands. Keep your hands raised, please. How many are police officers? Keep your hands raised, please. How many of you are lawyers who represent abuse victims exclusively? Good, now if you could all stand up and look around. Do you recognize people from your own court systems in this room? Isn’t it nice to know that some of the people who are not standing could, and I emphasis the word could, be manipulating you? Thank you, you may all be seated.

How do the dirty tricks lawyers actually manipulate? First, talk is cheap, and the dirty tricks lawyer and his client never seem to run out of voice. They will take every chance to influence the judge and the opposition lawyer if there is one, the GAL and CLR, the therapist and mental health evaluator , the social worker, shelter workers and people in the Court Clerk’s office. Ex parte is common and rampant in any court system. It can’t be stopped unless you, the judges, choose to stop it. A few well placed words prior to the opening of court, the happened, but planned, introduction of the abuser to you prior to proceedings so that you can see how likeable this person is and to get his side, again getting out ahead of the opposition in the litigation. Tools used to put a human face on an inhuman act of violence.

During the early stages of the litigation, the dirty tricks lawyer and an abuser will go for the “all or nothing” approach to a custody question. The abuser, and his lawyer, being confident in the groundwork they have already laid, will not present a parenting plan. They will often seek to move out of the jurisdiction, often so far away from the abused, as to effectively terminate all parental rights. The abused, on the other hand will present a generous plan which will include more time with the abuser than a court would normally mandate. The judge, being the Solomon of the court, knows he cannot split a child down the middle, will have to award temporary custody to one parent or another, and this is usually to the person who already has “possession” of the child at the time of the hearing. (make the hand sign for quotes when you say the word possession). If the victim was forced to flee without the child, or if the child happens to be visiting the abuser at the time of the hearing, guess who gets the temporary custody? Yup, the abuser.

This is the beginning of the motions process. The abuser’s lawyer will file motions with the court, often filing them back to back, and always asking for contempt sanctions against the victim. If the victim is unrepresented, this confuses and terrorizes her. If she is one of the fortunate ones, one of the women who was able to afford a lawyer, and motions and subpoenas are filed on her behalf, they are ignored by the dirty tricks lawyer. In the meantime, if she is Pro Se, her filings are ignored by the clerk’s office or disappear all together. It never ceases to amaze me how often victims report missing filings, even whole files of proceedings that have gone missing. I can only surmise how it could happen, all of which violate state law. When she asks for a subpoena which must go through the courts for approval, the subpoena that is received for service contains errors made by the person who entered it into the system, precluding the effectiveness of that subpoena. These errors would only be obvious to a trained lawyer, thereby giving the dirty tricks lawyer a reason to quash.

The motions process will offer more ample opportunities for the dirty tricks lawyer to ply his trade. He will mail important filings to the wrong address, often transposing the actual numbers, to prevent receipt in time for rebuttal. He will refuse to accept mail from the Pro Se and then claim that it was not sent to him. He will state a date and time verbally, but put another date and time in writing, often bolding it to attract attention to the erroneous information. He will send a copy of a minor issue in a motion, with proof of mailing, and have a second copy hand served. The problem with this is that he has actually filed two separate motions with the court, one of paramount importance and the one of minor importance. He will then have proof of two separate deliveries to the victim and state that the one hand served was in reference to the major issue while the one mailed was in reference to the minor issue. Of course, he will blame all of this on the victim. She gave me the wrong address, I never got it, she was served and I have the proof.

Depositions are an extremely useful tool for the trickster. Though most states follow the rules of the Federal Courts for deposition, tricksters do not. As all lawyers know, the only time depositions should be used is when information cannot be gotten by subpoena. The dirty tricks lawyer will force deposition to make the victim face her abuser in an environment controlled by the trickster. One deposition trick will be to inform the pro se that a date and time for a deposition of his client has been set. He will send a list of questions to be asked, and state that the deposition will be limited to these questions. This offers the opportunity to pound the Pro Se with intimidation and terrorist tactics of threats. It also forces the Pro Se into setting up a second deposition of her own. Not knowing that it is not required to submit questions in advance, the Pro Se will dutifully submit the entire list of questions to the trickster, giving him time to concoct answers that would favor him. And lest the abuser make a mistake, there is nothing to worry about. The Court Reporter in attendance is one favored by the lawyer. One only need to Google the search term “Changed Transcripts” to confirm this is a common practice. The number of hits are well in excess of 7,000,000.

Proffers are useful when it comes to the dirty tricks lawyer. It is not uncommon for them to submit Proffers to the Pro Se that are never filed with the courts. These are filled with the lies that the abuser intends on in court and are designed to see which arguments are going to be used to counteract the lies in court.

Surprise witnesses are the life blood of the trickster. No subpoena has been issued to these people to appear, but they just happen to be in the area when the court date came up. Judges have a duty to curtail the use of these convenient witnesses, but seldom do, preferring to overrule objections. Often, they are nothing more than hired guns for the defense, parroting whatever the trickster wants them to say. There is often no rebuttal for their testimony, as the Pro Se or her lawyer had no time to prepare for their appearance.

Witness tampering is blatantly illegal but used by the dirty trick lawyer and his client at every turn. All that is needed is for the potential witness to be mislead with a story of the victim being the true abuser, and after all, if they testify, they would be putting the children, and perhaps themselves, in danger. Surely, anyone in their right mind would not want to testify under these circumstances, given that few people are willing to testify in the first place. If that doesn’t work, there is intimidation of the witness. Most people have something in their backgrounds they would prefer no one find out. The dirty tricks lawyer is a master at using innuendo and sources like police, family and acquaintances to find that one skeleton. If that doesn’t work, there is always the avenue of the witness’s employer. Innuendo can be placed in letters to the employer from the lawyer stating that this or that has never been cleared.

In his bag, the dirty trick lawyer and his client rely on the assistance of Child Protective Services. If a direct call from his client does not produce the desired response, there is always the “innocent and disconnected” third party report. These reports can vary from the upper end of sexual abuse or exploitation of the child to reports that the mother is furnishing drugs to the child to such things as a child being left alone. In one case I know of, the GAL was talked into calling CPS when a teenage boy overdosed. What the GAL forgot to report was that the 15 year old had arrived from his father’s home with a plastic bag full of pills, and when the mother discovered them, he grabbed them and downed them in an attempt to get rid of the evidence. The same mother was accused of leaving the than 16 year old alone for two hours by the same GAL. Again the GAL left out a very important fact. The child was at the home of a friend.

Court orders are often altered to reflect what the attorney and abuser wants. One mother, while living here in Colorado heard a knock on her door one day. The father, who had never once exercised his visitation, had moved five years previously to Washington state. He went to the local Colorado police with an altered court order for full custody of the son, than 7 years old. No one questioned the validity of the order, in fact, the police were only too willing to help him in removing the child from the mother. She never saw her son again. She was able to locate him last year in a suburb of Seattle, but now 20, he has had it drilled into his head that she wanted nothing to do with him and had willing given him up.

If all else fails, there is always the use of Parental Alienation to fall back on. Dr. Richard Gardner, using no identifiable research and much to the consternation of all recognized authorities, first placed this Syndrome in the minds of the courts to discredit mothers and to help men save on alimony and child support payments. We are all familiar with the theory that states that the mother is toxic to the relationship between the father and his children and that the only true cure for this toxicity is to severely limit visitation or to remove it all together. Abusers and their attorneys love to use PAS. It is one of the most effective forms of abuse of the victim.

Through all the court abuse, and I have only touched on some of the verifiable things that women suffer in the courtroom, there is a continued onslaught from the abuser. Stalking, break-ins, destruction of property and threats of further harm to the victim are normal. Checks for alimony or child support that are never received are also widely reported. Harassment is an ongoing problem to the victim. Planting seeds of doubt of a mother’s love for her child in the child’s mind, any avenue an abuser can think of will be used.

All of this for one objective, to carry on the abuse. And, the players in the courtroom are all aiders and abettors to that abuse, whether they realize it or not. The crimes we allow these people to get away with are crimes that are punishable by law, and by each and every one of you allowing them to be predicated on victims of violence, you are taking part in those crimes.

Now, as one last thing, I would like some of you to take part in a fun little exercise to reinforce some of what you have heard here today. I would ask that every judge in the audience stand up and glace around the room. I want you to pick out a person here that you do not know and walk over to them and without saying a word, I want you to grasp their hand and shake it.

Now, again without giving this person your name, I want you to whisper in their ear the year, color and make and model of the car your closest loved one drives. Now, I want you, without giving the city or town you live in, to tell them the street address of that person. Good. You have just given someone who may be a trickster lawyer or an abuser all the information they need. You have just put your loved one in danger, possibly signing that their death warrant.

Think about it and try to have a nice day.

Authors Note: I, Gail Lakritz, grant permission for any and all parts of the above to be reproduced so long as the express purpose of the reproduction is for use in combating violence against women and children. All other reproduction of this article for any other purpose is expressly forbidden.

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm

A “case in point” of some family court matters. . . . .

with 8 comments

 

 

 

Again, see “selfreportedfool.org” and also see “justice4mothers.wordpress.com” for an article given at the Southern California Domestic Violence Symposium, Pueblo, Colorado:  Angela Warren speech is posted there (and my comment responding to it also). Then go to lizgates library.  Then think about how horrific it is that SOME children don’t sleep in the same house as their fathers at night.  One of these below didnt have a bed, maybe she didn’t sleep too well, either.  And she ain’t sleeping too well these days, as her mom faces contempt on a minor issue (including threats of jail), while the other charges keep dropping by the waysides.  

 

 

File this under “AFTER SHE SPEAKS UP — DOMESTIC VIOLENCE . . CHILD ABUSE”  And Cast Characters, Script, Action.

Disclaimer

What I’m posting here IS hearsay.  I have no firsthand knowledge of the actual events and have not personally met any of the participants (any more than I’ve personally met almost anyone whose writing shows up on my site!).  On the other hand they fit entirely with the patterns being reported nationwide.  Judge for yourself if this account is coherent, chronological, and reports a sequence of events in an orderly fashion.  This Mom requests blogging, I suspect she was just a little annoyed at getting a 30 day sentence, stayed, for (in essence) doing what Moms do, trying to protect that offspring.

Notice the staggering amount of people involved in what otherwise should be a straightforward situation.  I numbered them, making the original flow — well it no longer flows.  I just want us to notice.

Ask yourselves HOW is it possible for any mother to move forward in life with this situation.  As in other cases involving prior abuse, her re-marrying was a hotpoint for the ex.  Who apparently moved back in with Mom.  

I’ll highlight the different individuals involved.  Notice the roles they played in giving one little girl nightmares, along with, I imagine her Mom not a few restless nights also.

I was just going to paste the neatly paragraphed text.  However, I got involved counting the characters involved (about 36 by the end) and other commentary.  ASSUMING for the sake of argument this is factual (I happen to believe it is), this is but a sample of how it can go in the family law venue.  Trust the experts, they are all in control.

By the end you’ll likely see that the end goal is to put a child with a CONCERNED mother into foster care  needlessly, after repeated punitive measures for trying to protect her daughter.  This is how one little girl is learning how the world works.  Learn well, little one . . . . . 

 

AFTERWARDS, I’ll repeat, the uninterrupted text.  We are talking, waking nightmare, people.  For the adults, too.  And lots and lots of BUSINESS for the individuals in the courts, some of who may have personality disorders, I’d guess….

I’m responsible for chopping up the text, all bolds, all bullets, anything in {{……}}} and any scatalogical terms (there are none}.

After, I’ll simply paste the narrative version.  I think the restraint of putting it out beats the lack of restraint of filing repeated contempt orders on a woman trying to be a mother and move on in life, and judges scolding women in court for not getting along with dudes that THEY believe are molesting one of their offspring, especially after 2 separate individuals, qualified to do so, had it confirmed.

 

As this gives names, I assume that it might be found on FindLaw, etc. — the sequence of actions (not including CPS involvement) is likely public record.

==========

Can be blogged…..names named….agencies….blog blog blog blog blog blog blog….did I say you can blog? yes,,,you can blog =) 

 

A BEDTIME STORY (my title, not hers):

 

In 2003 my abuser forged my signature and had it notarized on a court stipulation giving him “50/50” custody and all back child support dropped, this is a paternity case. The notary was his real estate/insurance agent. The only reason I found out about the forgery is that he tried to remove our daughter, Michaela from daycare and they contacted me immediately.

People:  

  • 1. this woman/mother,
  • 2. her abuser, (Craig Hensberger — see next para.)
  • 3.  notary/real estate/ins. agent (conflict interest?),
  • 4. daughter Michaela, Daycare.
  •  

I filed a police report regarding the forgery, the DA, Jay Conley, he said that “even though we know who the likely suspect is there was no proof that my abuser, Craig Hensberger, did this”. Even though no one else would benefit from such an arrangement but the “likely suspect”.

  • 6.  Whoever took Police report (police unnamed)
  • 7.  DA Jay Conley (dismissive, even though it represented, if true, perjury and affected custody)
  •  

I got a handwriting analysis done on my own and presented that evidence to the DA, he stated that only “proved it was not my signature”, he refused to do anything. 

  • 8.  Whoever did handwriting analysis
  • 7.  DA (again) dismissive (again)

I went to court in front of Family Court Commissioner, Frank Calvert, of Oconto County, who just happened to be the GAL on my divorce/custody proceedings in 1997 who recommended custody to my ex abusive husband, John Fetterly.

  •  

9.    Former Abusive Husband, John Fetterly

10.  Former GAL, antagonistic {{give custody –of 3 older daughters?, not shown yet — to ex-abuser}} in 1997, now Family Court Commissioner, Frank Calvert.  CONFLICT OF INTEREST MUCH?

 

It was also Mr. Calvert who made sure that in his recommendations that in order for me to have primary placement with my older three daughters I was to have a “stable living environment away from Craig Hensberger”.

 

In 2003 Mr. Calvert moved up in ranks from lowly GAL to Family Court Commissioner and even with me expressing to him my concerns of his ability to be impartial I was ignored, chastised and intimidated by him. 

 

He refused to hear or see any evidence regarding the forgery and kept it as is, “50/50” custody and ordered child support in the amount of $25 per week based on 50/50 custody even though the father had placement every other weekend. 

 

Character note:  ex-abuser also forges.

 

The weekend of Fathers Day in June 2005 my daughter was in the custody and care of her father. {{indicates mother was likely obeying a court order}}  On Saturday of that weekend he was arrested for his second DUI in less than a year with our daughter as a passenger in the middle of the day

 

Seems to be a cluster of behaviors.  I fail to see the mothers’ involvement in this situation — he got himself arrested, apparently, while daughter was with him, not her.

 

At this time I had decided to move out of the state {{Fairly understandable in context??Or maybe there was another reason…}} and per the county rules sent a certified letter to my former abuser to notify him of our move. He refused the certified letter and it was returned to me, although he was alerted that I was planning on moving and then filed an objection to my move. 

 

{{Do these men read from the same rulebook?  Wasting her time, and money, obstruction of co-parenting communication.  Been through this myself.  Certified letters don’t grow on trees.  And aren’t free of $$ or time.}}

 

We again went in front of Frank Calvert who appointed GAL, Aaron Krzewinski. 

 

  • 11.  GAL, Aaron Krzewinski. 
  •  
  • COMMENTS:  Clear difficulties here.  Rather than actually rule on them (abuser, drunk & arrest, possibly forging a letter to gain ground in time with child, child support only $25/week), Family Court Knee-jerk reaction:  “QUICK!  Look official, call in another court professional.”  Note:  litigant (mother) questions the Commissioner’s impartiality.  WHAT are the chances that Calvert & Krzewinski are perhaps — cronies??

 

 

They ordered that my child stay in her current school but that Craig’s mother was to do all the transportation and supervision of placement. 

  • 12.  Craig’s (ex-abuser’s) mother.

 

{{COMMENT.  This woman/Mom wants to move.  Perhaps she has legitimate reasons, perhaps according to the court she doesn’t.  Are they discussing the reasons?  NO.  The first court reaction is punitive!, to make a stipulation regarding her daughter’s schooling (since when are courts educational experts??) and give transportation control over to the mother of the abusive ex — even though the same? judge had refused to allow her custody of her older 3 daughters unless she found stable housing AWAY from this same guy, Craig H.  Now how’s she supposed to do that if she can’t get away, period?}}

 

{{As to this practice — involving the abuser’s parents.  My comment:  They raised an abuser, right?  So how “cool” is that little one going to be in his or her care?  Parents set values.  Whatever happened to the adult offspring’s values, if he abused women?}}

 

This was when my former abuser anger began to escalate and he vandalized three vehicles of mine which rendered them useless as well as loosening all the lug nuts on my tires which could of killed me as the tire fell off while traveling to work one morning. 

 

13?  I’m going to hazard a guess that maybe she reported this (police).  I’m going to hazard a guess that perhaps she got help replacing the tire that fell of her car while it was going down the road.  At a minimum, passer by.  Then again, I have changed a tire and used a jack.  I bet she was just a little shook up and pissed off….

 

{{3 vehicles in order, or that she had simultaneously?  Doesn’t say.  }}

 

{{Note;  Sounds like so far, it’s a near-total “rout” in court.  He just won.  But, to punish her for being challenged? or caught (as in, DUI), here comes some vandalism, potentially lethal.  Oh yes, and she appears to be working.  Tire fell off en route to work.  Anyone hear about interfering with work as a characteristic of abuse??}}

 

Finally in October 2005, I moved in with my mother who lived well within the 150 mile radius I was allowed to move without notifying him. 

  • 13.  The Mom’s Mom.  An identified 13th party.

{{Sounds like financial independence is an issue here….Again, she is complying with court orders, ridiculous though they seem, at least to me}}

In December he served 20 days in jail for his DUI w/our daughter (the minimum is 30 days) and he also was allowed out on “Huber” so that he only had to report to jail at night when he was done working or not working. 

  • 14-15?  At least one jailer.  you know, that’s gboing to be more than one person involved in a man staying in jail 20 days.  But we’ll just chalk it up to ONE.

{{a free cot, and possibly one hot?  That’ll show him not to endanger children by driving drunk..  Kind of reminds me of Nicholas Soppa, head of OCSE, which comes under the noble HHS dept. of US government, who was (while working and I bet at a good salary) spending nights or was it weekends in jail over back “family” support}

After he did his time he filed a motion to enforce placement when he was in jail for most of December.

 

Again FCC Frank Calvert chastised me in court for not hav[ing] legal representation and stated that if he could make me move back he would.

{{See character #10 above, who now has affected the family’s (and see other 13 involved) life in:  1997, 2003, and here, 2005.}}

He then gave my former abuser every weekend custody and ordered that I drive roundtrip every weekend because my abusers license was suspended. He stated that it wasn’t “his fault I moved, it was mine”. He also refused to review child support and the $25 weekly was upheld. 

{{Gas, and weekend time, does not grow on trees.  But apparently this woman is supposed to make it.  Meanwhile, Commissioner Calvert appears to have some true 21st century notions of who is responsible for another individual’s criminal behavior.  Let’s see:  DUI vs. attempting, in accord to first stipulation to find stable housing AWAY from abuser, to move away froma buser?  Clearly the latter behavior needs to be punished….}}

In August 2006 I moved back to Oconto County with my then fiancé’ soon to be husband, Chad Tipton. 

  • 16.  Chad Tipton.  Must be a brave man, what with Hensberger, Calvert et al around.  Very perhaps, what with taking it so hard, repeatedly, on the chin from the court (after from the men, as described as “abusers”), our Mom here would like to have a companion or partner.  Perhaps Mr. Tipton found something to admire in her.  I can see it — stamina!  Well, I only speculate, but here is a 16th person in the drama.

It was the Labor Day weekend and we were set to drive her for visitation with her father. {{translation:  comply with court orders}} 

My daughter stated that she was scared to go because her father was putting his finger in her “butt crack” down her pants, she made a motion of up and down. She made this revelation and stated how uncomfortable it was to her.  {{note:  Labor Day means 3 days in a row. I don’t know how the 50/50 was arranged, but the little girl was in school part of the days.  Now she’s facing a 3-day, non-school weekend with Dad alone…}}

 

I immediately contacted Marathon County CPS who interviewed my daughter. They did make a TPR and advised that Oconto would then handle it when we moved there after that weekend. 

  • 17.  Marathon County CPS.  {I’m guessing that this is the county where her mother lived, within the 150 mile radius.  Or thereabouts}.  DAUGHTER IS INTERVIEWED.

During the first weeks of September 2006 my daughter was met at her school by Oconto County CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel

  • 18.  Ocoton County CPS, Carrie Silbernagel.

After not hearing from Ms. Silbernagel 

{{Note:  Not hearing???  A mother has just presented a daughter in another county, to that CPS worker, who believed the daughter’s account of sexual abuse by her father, and made a TPR.  Assuming this WAS true, how do you think a mother might feel?  How would a CPS worker assume a mother might feel?  yet it was up to the MOTHER to follow up with the 2nd county’s CPS.  Note — if this worker had followed the case at all, she’d have seen prior domestic violence and problems with the girl’s father, which should’ve been a red flag.  If she’d been overworked and couldn’t bget to it, than admitting that would’ve been the more honest thing to do}}.

 

I contacted her and she was very volatile towards me. Stating that she didn’t believe my daughter, that she believed she was “coached” and that she had children younger than my daughter who could provide specific details such as smells, times of days, etc. but my daughter did not. 

  • Apparently this worker doesn’t know much about “DID.”  Look it up.

She stated that she knew of my “history with CPS” and reporting false allegations of sexual abuse. I asked her to explain as I had never made any other report to CPS regarding sexual abuse. 

{{That phrase is a red flag (key phrase) to those who are familiar with some of the literature from the fatherhood movement.  Discreding DV and child abuse seem to be part of it.    }}

She referred to another CPS worker that I had allegedly spoke to in 2004 regarding my older daughter. She made comments that she “knew ALL about me” etc. 

{{In other words, without directly talking to this mother, and having dismissed her claims without informing the mother she did so, this new worker she has correctly analyzed her character.  WHAT ABOUT THE REPORT FROM MARATHON COUNTY?  Filed in the trash bin??  Welcome to this arena, folks!!}}

When I pointed out that my daughter is in danger as her fathers history of driving drunk. She then stated that “driving drunk with his child didn’t make him a bad father, he made a bad choice”.  {{And could’ve killed a child…}} She refused to take any action and the matter was closed. 

{{WELCOME to “DUE PROCESS AT CPS.”  Sound like too much authority vested in a single person??}}

In May 2007 my former abuser decided to file for sole custody of our daughter as his behavior was to the point of madness since I was getting married on July 7, 2007. 

{{This is what Presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama WANT, right?  And a whole BUNCH of conservative religious denominations across a few diffferent faiths.  No father absence, no female-headed households, these girl(s) are going to have a man in the home.  One less social crisis to worry about, right?

. . . .wrong . . . . . . }}

{{Sounds to me as though this is fully 10 years after she separated from Mr. John Fetterly, with a relationship inbetween?}}

It was during this time that FCC Frank Calvert recused himself finally after I had filed a complaint against him with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission regarding his impartiality and biasness.  [bias]

  • 19.  Wisconsin Judicial COmmission X however many they are, plus any support staff involved in the process.

{{Exercising her free will to protest wrongs.  Sounds like I read that in the Constitution somewhere.  Unbelievable, really, but the Wisconsin Judicial Commission — were they going to act or did the fact that she was serious wake up Commissioner Calvert, lest he get a real blot on his name??}}

By this time he was already facing charges of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon {{a.k.a. vehicle}} as he tried to run my then fiancé’ and 13 yo daughter in a grocery store parking lot one night as he waited outside for us. 

{{Had he done so, those charges would’ve also had an added charge, laying in wait.  }}

During that summer he was given… 

  • 20.  Since Calvert recused himself, let’s assume another judge (unnamed) is involved.  I’m up to 20 now, not including any grocery store personnel involved in witnessing the vehicular stuff.

every other week custody and they kept it that way until school started. Every bad behavior he gained more and more custody as the GAL was continually getting more money. 

{{Seems to be a pattern; I’ve noticed this too.  GAL is drawing a salary.}}  

By January 2008, last minute he agreed to joint custody and dropped his sole custody claim

{{i.e., “I’m dangerous to others, do not appear (if so, none is showing up in the narrative) to have found another woman, or let go of THIS one, despite, she’s about to remarry and is trying to have a life…..  But I still want JOINT custody of that daughter, even though I’m DUI, molesting (alleged), and dangerous in a vehicle (alleged).”}}{{Abusive habit:  Making outrageous claim, then backing up a foot, perhaps.  Typical of the controlling personality.}}

In February 2008 my daughter came home and said that her grandmother had forced fed her soup and then her vomit while threatening to beat “her ass” with a wooden spoon if she didn’t eat it

{{see personnel, #12, above….}}{{See my prior comments on the “wisdom” of giving kids to the custody of an abuser’s parent.  Sounds, like mother, like son .}}

 

I contacted CPS {{DOES she have another legal option?  Women are not so easily let off the hook in contempt of court orders in family law venues, FYI}}  and was told that the same CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel whose last name was now Burke as she married would contact me. 

  •  Not quite a player in the case, but I’m counting.  Add #21, Mr. Burke, simply indicating change of status for CPS worker.  Again, did Mr. Burke know that his new wife is blowing off charges of child molestation?

After I told her of the force feeding incident she stated that she wanted to get down to the bottom of this “once and for all”. 

  • {{Like, by checking some facts??  the phrase “get down to the bottom of this “once and for all” indicates a lack of patience, irritation.  Not exactly receptive. . . . . .  Indicates there’s a real puzzle to be solved, not a potential abusive situation.}}

She suggested to take my daughter to a neutral third party who would interview her, I agreed. Although she only needed one parents permission she made the appointment at the Child Advocacy Center when it was the fathers placement time to avoid any of my ‘coaching’ etc. 

  •  

On February 25 my daughter was picked up by Carrie Silbernagel Burke 

{{not coached or influenced by her, naturally — the woman who had ignored Michaela’s first set of complaints about her Daddy’s habit of putting his finger down her butt crack and moving it up and down….}}

and had my child interviewed by Sara Schumacher who was a forensic interviewer for child abuse victims. 

21 Real (not theoretical, like newlywed Mr. Burke)  “neutral 3rd party.” to interview I believe Michaela..Sara Schumacher who was a forensic interviewer for child abuse victims.

The interview was recorded and transcribed. During the interview not only did my daughter tell of the soup incident but once again how her father sexually abused her. She told both Sara Schumacher and Carrie Silbernagel Burke that he father had instructed her to lie that day to them. 

{{Perhaps with 2 there, this little girl feels a little safer.  Age?  In 2003, she was in day care.  This is 2008.  Can’t be TOO old}}

By that afternoon I received a call from Carrie telling me that they were substantiating the abuse and placing my daughter with me. 

{{Did I hear an apology anywhere from Ms. Carrie? Or a note of any future policy changes made in light of this oversight?}}

I thought that the nightmare was finally over. The CPS worker advised my husband and I that it would be a good idea if we left town for the night, get a hotel room as when she contact Craig he was extremely upset. She also advised that we should immediately file a child abuse restraining order for the TPR would not help protect my daughter very long. She explained that they would be filing a CHIPS (child in need of protection) petition {{Signifying??}}  and she would be in contact with us. 

{{So now, the Dad that was driving drunk and wasn’t a bad dad, had just made a bad choice, had been identified as making more than one “bad choice” AND they are acknowledging a possible volatile reaction.  Of course FCC Calvert (then GAL?) had noted this years ago, and it was I bet in the file.}}

The next day I filed child abuse restraining orders against Craig and Betty Hensberger and it was granted by Oconto County [[JUDGE or FCC, I presume]] Richard Delforge for 30 day pending the CHIPS petition. 

  • 22 (possibly already in the picture, above)  Richard Delforge.)

 

By March CPS {{NOTE:  2/25/09 interview with child identifies abuse}} was already back pedaling and we were advised by Carrie Burke that Corporation Counsel, Robert Mraz, 

  • 23 Corporation Counsel, Robert Mraz (unclear in context who this is….Which corporation?)

stated that I was already “protecting my daughter in Family Court” when in fact there was no such order but only the one in which she was to go every other week. Then CPS offered for both parties to sign a stipulation agreement for “co-parenting” classes for both parents

{{Never miss an opportunity to push those “co-parenting” classes.  Ladies, Gents — I suspect that some of this activity was funded by ACCESS VISITATION funding, and suggest you look into the finances of whoever was involved there….Like Child Advocacy Center?}}

They never even ordered any alcohol or drug assessment for Craig whose history of alcohol abuse was severe. {{Why fix an identified problem, when unidentified ones left to be pioneered through co-parenting classes?}} My attorney at the time, Michael Perry,  advised me not to agree to the stipulation and also my former abuser refused to sign. 

  • 24.  Attorney for mother, Michael Perry.

Also in March he was acquitted of his charge of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon (i.e., vehicle) (what about lying in wait?). Somehow my former abuser contacted my ex husband and had my older daughters recant their statements. When this was brought forward to the DA, Jay Conley of possible witness tampering, he stated it wasn’t because Craig only talked with my ex husband. 

  • {{In the absence of other facts, should I presume this was the equivalent of mind-reading, or Seance 101?  For WHY daughters might recant see my last post, Giles Amicus Brief about this topic.}}

On May 21, 2008, my daughters 10th birthday, an Administrative Appeal was held by recused FCC Frank M. Calvert. 

{{exCU U U USE me??}}

My lawyer and I were not privy to this hearing in which (1) my former abuser, (2) his attorney, (3) Corporation Counsel, Deputy Director of Oconto County CPS Greg Benesh [[I think this is 3rd, and not 2nd) and (4) Carrie Burke were a part of. {{WHY not Sara Schumaker, who’d done the interview?}}  {{Commentator added the #s in paragraph}}

  • 25 Craig H’s attorney John D’Angelo (see below)
  • 26 if not same person, Greg Benesh ((above) County CPS.

The only reason my attorney learned of this hearing was due to my abusers attorney, John D’Angelo, sending a copy of [[transcript of?]] the hearing in which Mr. Calvert unsubstantiated the sexual abuse allegations. My attorney advised me to get the recording from the hearing and I did. {{see Mr. Mraz, counsel, above?  I’m getting a little lost on the hearings…Plus, hadn’t Calvert recused himself earlier?  So this was then his SECOND hearing while recused??}}

{{As such, that hearing was illegall and should be scratched from the record.}}

What I heard was chilling as my character and credibility was more of an issue than the actual abuse. 

{{In other words, we are indeed in the family law venue, and not in a criminal investigation of outrageous abuse of a child, which she has now reported 3 times to 3 different workers}}

Especially in which Mr. Calvert snickers and makes fun of me that he’s “well aware of the difficulties with Ms. Fetterly-Tipton”. My lawyer instructs me to file a complaint with the judicial commission as Mr. Calvert had recused himself and he had no right to hear that case. When I requested the CD recording of the hearing Mr. Calvert’s assistant Julie Depouw stated that perhaps Calvert “forgot” he recused himself. A complaint was filed with the judicial commission regarding the ongoing bias and unethical practices of Frank M. Calvert. 

  • 27.  Mr. Calvert’s assistant Julie Depouw .  Let me see, does SHE have any ethical constraints in her behavior, as a civil employee, I’m presuming?

In July 2008 my former abuser wanted his placement times back. {{At about that time, this mother wants her LIFE back, i bet…}}  We went to court and after my two witnesses testified, 

  • 28, 29 – Mother’s 2 Witnesses

Sara Schumacher and Greg Benesh, Judge David Miron ordered a recess. 

  • 30.  Judge David Miron.

My lawyer, my former abuser’s lawyer, GAL Krzewinski met in chambers.

My lawyer returned to say that the judge was not going to hear any more testimony because so far we had not proven that there was any substantial change in circumstances for change in placement. {{As bad as that placement was to start with, given the child abuse, drunk driving, and overall harassments}} He also stated that due to her father subpoenaing my daughters counselor, Jennifer Werner, 

  • 31  Daughter, abused, is GOING to need a counselor, who is Jennifer Werner.  Is this now the 4th individual/expert the 10 yr old is confiding in? Since the courts have pretty much discredited her MOM.  Who is paying for that?  The abuser?  The courts (taxpayers..)?

her (Ms. Werner’s) supervisor 

  • 32 Child’s Counselors’ supervisor.

wrote to the judge to tell of his disdain that she was being ‘used’ as a pawn in this proceeding and she had no knowledge of the ongoing custody dispute (her counseling records do not reflect that). 

{{how can you counsel without a little background info?  At a minimum, prior legal proceedings are GOING to influence a child’s perceptions and give it some context}}

My lawyer stated I had to agree to two supervised visits, one overnight unsupervised, one weekend unsupervised then back to week on week off

{{Pardon me, but what the F___K??}}{{First of all, the attorney represents the mother, and not vice versa! and this is a protective mother.}}

providing that GAL Krzewinski and newly appointed counselor, Mike Mervilde, found no reason for that schedule, and they didn’t. 

  • 33 Counselor (GAL or counselor? Mike Mervilde…for FATHER (see below)

When I had tried to make further appointments with Mike Mervilde I was thwarted by saying that he was only court ordered to see her twice. When I requested copies of her counseling records I was told that my daughter wasn’t the patient, her father was. 

 

By the very first unsupervised visit my daughter came back stating her father was drinking and driving with her. Every other week she was coming home from his home with lice. CPS said that wasn’t neglect. My daughter refused to go for visitation and in October her father filed his first of three contempt motions on me

{{. . . .  not having a vital life of his own at this point, or other pursuits in this world….}}

I was found in contempt by Judge Miron and it was ordered that my daughter be forced to live with her abuser for five weeks straight, I was not allowed visitation

{{See STOPFAMILYVIOLENCE.org and elsewhere; NAFCJ.net, see all kinds of indications nationwide that children are being sent to live with their abusers after reporting abuse.  The clear intent of this is to tell BOTH the Moms AND the kids, they must NOT report abuse of any sort, up to and possibly including incest — or at least sexual molestation of a LITTLE GIRL.  I guess Wisconsin never heard of, or doesn’t care about, Joyce Murphy case…..}}

This was when I was first accused of PAS, a.k.a. ’brainwashing’ her. The judge stated that he believed that I had “poisoned” my daughter against her father. When I shook my head slightly the judge yelled at me to not shake my head at him.

{{Let me annotate.  By protesting, this Mom had gotten a crooked (i’d say) judge to recuse himself, Calvert.  Now here’s Miron (I think), and is he a bit better?  ??}}


She left on 10/31/09 and returned on 12/05/09.
During that time she was tormented and tortured by her father and grandmother. My daughter still says that was the worst time of her life. 

In February my daughter came home and said her father caught a 8lb Walleye and kept it alive in his 100 gallon fish tank for two weeks. He then proceeded to use her and sign her up for three different fishing derbies in one weekend with the same fish. He told my daughter if she told no one she would receive an ipod. The total of $150 of prize money that was won in my daughters name she never saw one penny or an ipod. 


Her father was caught in his lying, cheating and stealing but blamed her for “ratting him out”. This was the turning point that my daughter lost any last respect for her father, she would ask me, “why would he do this to me?”,
I had no answer, I still don’t. 

{{He’s a user….}}

She missed a weekend visit in March, by Monday he went to her school with the police to pick her up. {{MAYBE he had another kind of contest to win 2 weeks of child support for, $50 a pop}} She refused and the Gillett police officer, Gary Pemmrich, threatened my daughter that he would take her down to juvenile hall, she would be placed in foster care, she would never see me again and that she would have to go to a new school

  • 34.  Serve and protect (Dads) police officer Gary Pemmrich.


It was after this That my former abuser brought me to court again for contempt, the judge did not find me in contempt and dismissed it.
This was when Judge Miron made a threat that perhaps neither parent was fit and maybe he would put her in foster care. 

{{AND NOW YOU HAVE THE ENDGAME PLAN.  NOW, THIS IS THE MOM’S ACCOUNT, BUT THEORETICALLY, THE TROUBLE SHE’S CAUSING IS REPORTING ABUSE THROUGH THE PROPER CHANNELS, AND FUNCTIONING AS A MOTHER, FOR WHICH ONE TIME BOTH MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WERE PUNISHED, BY DAUGHTER SPENDING A5 WEEKS WITH 2 ABUSERS.  IS THIS OR IS THIS NOT A TECHNIQUE OF WAR, TO TORTURE RELATIVES FOR LACK OF “COMPLIANCE”??}}


He then changed the order that each parent could pick up the child directly from school rather than the police station as the drop off. {
{EVEN THOUGH — SEE START OF STORY — CRAIG H. HAD DONE THIS ILLEGALLY BEFORE, AT HER DAYCARE, HAVING ALLEGEDLY FORGED A JUDGE’S SIGNATURE, 5 YEARS EARLIER….}}

Shortly after she returned from her week placement stating how cold she was at her fathers, stating his electricity was “broken”. The next week it was the same, finally CPS was alerted that there was no electricity, running water/plumbing, refrigeration for food etc. They then began staying at his mothers small two bedroom home, my daughter was given a choice of either sleeping on the living room floor or the unfinished basement. By August my daughter had been frightened several times by her grandmother driving her drunk, specifically one occasion where they took her out with them to the bar and as the grandmother stumbled out of the bar she proceeded to get into the wrong vehicle and then drove them home, drunk. 

 

My daughter asked to stay at my home on his weekend 8/7/09 due to her older sisters coming for a visit. She kept saying how relaxed she was, how well she slept in an actual bed in her own room. She called him and told him she would not return to his mothers house because she had no bed or bedroom there. By 8/12/09 he filed a motion of contempt on me but waited until last minute 9/18/09 to  have me served. Due to the untimely notice it was dismissed, He soon filed another contempt. 

{{FILING CONTEMPT MOTIONS SEEMS TO BE A LIFE SKILL THIS GENTLEMAN HAS PICKED UP ALONG THE WAY….IF NOT SUSTAINING A SEPARATE LIVING ARRANGEMENT SUFFICIENT FOR A GIRL TO HAVE A LITTLE PRIVACY.}}

 

At no time after school started did he ever go to school to retrieve his daughter. In court on 10/14/09 he and his mother perjured themselves that she has her own room, I’m brainwashing her, they don’t drink. When asked why he didn’t go pick her up he would say he was “working” or he was “busy” but I was being held accountable. On 9/4/09 we drove up to the grandmothers house for my daughter to retrieve her clarinet. We requested the assistance of Oconto County Sheriffs Deputy Ryan Zahn, who happens to be the nephew of Craig Hensberger, grandson of Betty Hensberger. At no time did the grandmother attempt to keep my daughter at her residence, her father according to his testimony was working. 

  • 35, Oconto Co Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Zahn — purpose?  Normal pickup with a volatile situation.  She wanted a witness, I bet.  Too bad about the nepotism factor.

Judge Miron found me in contempt {{FOR WHAT?  GOING TO THE HOME?? TO GET A CLARINET??}} and ordered me 30 days in county jail, with it stayed and ordered that my daughter be picked up by her father on 10/16/09 after school. I was also found in contempt and ordered 30 days in county jail for claiming my daughter on my taxes even though he has an order to do so the IRS will not allow him to since he unlawfully claimed her from 1999-2007. Also because she lived with me exclusively from Feb 2008-August 2008 which the federal government agreed I could claim her. Judge Miron also made his threats again that maybe he would “contact CPS because neither one of us is a fit parent and maybe he should take he away from both of us”. He stated that maybe foster care was the best place for her. 

{{This judge is obviously trying to create a paper trail that would justify that outrage.  How is a mom supposed to function around all this?  And yet she’s trying…..}}

Since the (improperly delayed) contempt motion being served on 9/18/09 my child has began sleep walking, having night terrors, and was placed on Xanax for her sleep disturbances and anxiety issues brought on by her father. She has stated she is not going with her father ever again, she can’t and won’t. She won’t be in school tomorrow due to her flu and is adamant that nobody can make her go, not even me. 

{{end of narrative}}

UNINTERRUPTED VERSION:

In 2003 my abuser forged my signature and had it notarized on a court stipulation giving him “50/50” custody and all back child support dropped, this is a paternity case. The notary was his real estate/insurance agent. The only reason I found out about the forgery is that he tried to remove our daughter, Michaela from daycare and they contacted me immediately.

 

I filed a police report regarding the forgery, the DA, Jay Conley, he said that “even though we know who the likely suspect is there was no proof that my abuser, Craig Hensberger, did this”. Even though no one else would benefit from such an arrangement but the “likely suspect”. I got a handwriting analysis done on my own and presented that evidence to the DA, he stated that only “proved it was not my signature”, he refused to do anything. 

 

I went to court in front of Family Court Commissioner, Frank Calvert, of Oconto County,[[WISCONSIN]] who just happened to be the GAL on my divorce/custody proceedings in 1997 who recommended custody to my ex abusive husband, John Fetterly. It was also Mr. Calvert who made sure that in his recommendations that in order for me to have primary placement with my older three daughters I was to have a “stable living environment away from Craig Hensberger”. In 2003 Mr. Calvert moved up in ranks from lowly GAL to Family Court Commissioner and even with me expressing to him my concerns of his ability to be impartial I was ignored, chastised and intimidated by him. He refused to hear or see any evidence regarding the forgery and kept it as is, “50/50” custody and ordered child support in the amount of $25 per week based on 50/50 custody even though the father had placement every other weekend. 

 

The weekend of Fathers Day in June 2005 my daughter was in the custody and care of her father. On Saturday of that weekend he was arrested for his second DUI in less than a year with our daughter as a passenger in the middle of the day. At this time I had decided to move out of the state and per the county rules sent a certified letter to my former abuser to notify him of our move. He refused the certified letter and it was returned to me, although he was alerted that I was planning on moving and then filed an objection to my move. We again went in front of Frank Calvert who appointed GAL, Aaron Krzewinski. They ordered that my child stay in her current school but that Craig’s mother was to do all the transportation and supervision of placement. This was when my former abuser anger began to escalate and he vandalized three vehicles of mine which rendered them useless as well as loosening all the lug nuts on my tires which could of killed me as the tire fell off while traveling to work one morning. 

 

Finally in October 2005, I moved in with my mother who lived well within the 150 mile radius I was allowed to move without notifying him. In December he served 20 days in jail for his DUI w/our daughter (the minimum is 30 days) and he also was allowed out on “Huber” so that he only had to report to jail at night when he was done working or not working. After he did his time he filed a motion to enforce placement when he was in jail for most of December. Again FCC Frank Calvert chastised me in court for not have legal representation and stated that if he could make me move back he would. He then gave my former abuser every weekend custody and ordered that I drive roundtrip every weekend because my abusers license was suspended. He stated that it wasn’t “his fault I moved, it was mine”. He also refused to review child support and the $25 weekly was upheld. 

 

In August 2006 I moved back to Oconto County with my then fiancé’ soon to be husband, Chad Tipton. It was the Labor Day weekend and we were set to drive her for visitation with her father. My daughter stated that she was scared to go because her father was putting his finger in her “butt crack” down her pants, she made a motion of up and down. She made this revelation and stated how uncomfortable it was to her. I immediately contacted Marathon County CPS who interviewed my daughter. They did make a TPR and advised that Oconto would then handle it when we moved there after that weekend. 

 

During the first weeks of September 2006 my daughter was met at her school by Oconto County CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel. After not hearing from Ms. Silbernagel I contacted her and she was very volatile towards me. Stating that she didn’t believe my daughter, that she believed she was “coached” and that she had children younger than my daughter who could provide specific details such as smells, times of days, etc. but my daughter did not. She stated that she knew of my “history with CPS” and reporting false allegations of sexual abuse. I asked her to explain as I had never made any other report to CPS regarding sexual abuse. She referred to another CPS worker that I had allegedly spoke to in 2004 regarding my older daughter. She made comments that she “knew ALL about me” etc. When I pointed out that my daughter is in danger as her fathers history of driving drunk. She then stated that “driving drunk with his child didn’t make him a bad father, he made a bad choice”.  She refused to take any action and the matter was closed. 

 

In May 2007 my former abuser decided to file for sole custody of our daughter as his behavior was to the point of madness since I was getting married on July 7, 2007. It was during this time that FCC Frank Calvert recused himself finally after I had filed a complaint against him with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission regarding his impartiality and biasness.  By this time he was already facing charges of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon as he tried to run my then fiancé’ and 13 yo daughter in a grocery store parking lot one night as he waited outside for us. During that summer he was given every other week custody and they kept it that way until school started. Every bad behavior he gained more and more custody as the GAL was continually getting more money. 

 

By January 2008, last minute he agreed to joint custody and dropped his sole custody claim. In February 2008 my daughter came home and said that her grandmother had forced fed her soup and then her vomit while threatening to beat “her ass” with a wooden spoon if she didn’t eat it. I contacted CPS and was told that the same CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel whose last name was now Burke as she married would contact me. After I told her of the force feeding incident she stated that she wanted to get down to the bottom of this “once and for all”. She suggested to take my daughter to a neutral third party who would interview her, I agreed. Although she only needed one parents permission she made the appointment at the Child Advocacy Center when it was the fathers placement time to avoid any of my ‘coaching’ etc. 

 

On February 25 my daughter was picked up by Carrie Silbernagel Burke and had my child interviewed by Sara Schumacher who was a forensic interviewer for child abuse victims. The interview was recorded and transcribed. During the interview not only did my daughter tell of the soup incident but once again how her father sexually abused her. She told both Sara Schumacher and Carrie Silbernagel Burke that he father had instructed her to lie that day to them. By that afternoon I received a call from Carrie telling me that they were substantiating the abuse and placing my daughter with me. I thought that the nightmare was finally over. The CPS worker advised my husband and I that it would be a good idea if we left town for the night, get a hotel room as when she contact Craig he was extremely upset. She also advised that we should immediately file a child abuse restraining order for the TPR would not help protect my daughter very long. She explained that they would be filing a CHIPS (child in need of protection) petition and she would be in contact with us. 

 

The next day I filed child abuse restraining orders against Craig and Betty Hensberger and it was granted by Oconto County Richard Delforge for 30 day pending the CHIPS petition. By March CPS was already back pedaling and we were advised by Carrie Burke that Corporation Counsel, Robert Mraz, stated that I was already “protecting my daughter in Family Court” when in fact there was no such order but only the one in which she was to go every other week. Then CPS offered for both parties to sign a stipulation agreement for “co-parenting” classes for both parents. They never even ordered any alcohol or drug assessment for Craig whose history of alcohol abuse was severe. My attorney at the time, Michael Perry,  advised me not to agree to the stipulation and also my former abuser refused to sign. 

 

Also in March he was acquitted of his charge of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon. Somehow my former abuser contacted my ex husband and had my older daughters recant their statements. When this was brought forward to the DA, Jay Conley of possible witness tampering, he stated it wasn’t because Craig only talked with my ex husband. 

 

On May 21, 2008, my daughters 10th birthday, an Administrative Appeal was held by recused FCC Frank M. Calvert. {{SEE BELOW}} My lawyer and I were not privy to this hearing in which my former abuser, his attorney, Corporation Counsel, Deputy Director of Oconto County CPS Greg Benesh and Carrie Burke were a part of. The only reason my attorney learned of this hearing was due to my abusers attorney, John D’Angelo, sending a copy of the hearing in which Mr. Calvert unsubstantiated the sexual abuse allegations. My attorney advised me to get the recording from the hearing and I did. What I heard was chilling as my character and credibility was more of an issue than the actual abuse. Especially in which Mr. Calvert snickers and makes fun of me that he’s “well aware of the difficulties with Ms. Fetterly-Tipton”. My lawyer instructs me to file a complaint with the judicial commission as Mr. Calvert had recused himself and he had no right to hear that case. When I requested the CD recording of the hearing Mr. Calvert’s assistant Julie Depouw stated that perhaps Calvert “forgot” he recused himself. A complaint was filed with the judicial commission regarding the ongoing bias and unethical practices of Frank M. Calvert. 

 

In July 2008 my former abuser wanted his placement times back. We went to court and after my two witnesses testified, Sara Schumacher and Greg Benesh, Judge David Miron ordered a recess. My lawyer, my former abuser’s lawyer, GAL Krzewinski met in chambers. My lawyer returned to say that the judge was not going to hear any more testimony because so far we had not proven that there was any substantial change in circumstances for change in placement. He also stated that due to her father subpoenaing my daughters counselor, Jennifer Werner, her supervisor wrote to the judge to tell of his disdain that she was being ‘used’ as a pawn in this proceeding and she had no knowledge of the ongoing custody dispute (her counseling records do not reflect that). My lawyer stated I had to agree to two supervised visits, one overnight unsupervised, one weekend unsupervised then back to week on week off, providing that GAL Krzewinski and newly appointed counselor, Mike Mervilde, found no reason for that schedule, and they didn’t. 

 

When I had tried to make further appointments with Mike Mervilde I was thwarted by saying that he was only court ordered to see her twice. When I requested copies of her counseling records I was told that my daughter wasn’t the patient, her father was. 

 

By the very first unsupervised visit my daughter came back stating her father was drinking and driving with her. Every other week she was coming home from his home with lice. CPS said that wasn’t neglect. My daughter refused to go for visitation and in October her father filed his first of three contempt motions on me. I was found in contempt by Judge Miron and it was ordered that my daughter be forced to live with her abuser for five weeks straight, I was not allowed visitation. This was when I was first accused of PAS, a.k.a. ’brainwashing’ her. The judge stated that he believed that I had “poisoned” my daughter against her father. When I shook my head slightly the judge yelled at me to not shake my head at him.

She left on 10/31/09 and returned on 12/05/09. During that time she was tormented and tortured by her father and grandmother. My daughter still says that was the worst time of her life. 

 

In February my daughter came home and said her father caught a 8lb Walleye and kept it alive in his 100 gallon fish tank for two weeks. He then proceeded to use her and sign her up for three different fishing derbies in one weekend with the same fish. He told my daughter if she told no one she would receive an ipod. The total of $150 of prize money that was won in my daughters name she never saw one penny or an ipod. 

Her father was caught in his lying, cheating and stealing but blamed her for “ratting him out”. This was the turning point that my daughter lost any last respect for her father, she would ask me, “why would he do this to me?”, I had no answer, I still don’t. 

 

She missed a weekend visit in March, by Monday he went to her school with the police to pick her up. She refused and the Gillett police officer, Gary Pemmrich, threatened my daughter that he would take her down to juvenile hall, she would be placed in foster care, she would never see me again and that she would have to go to a new school. 

It was after this hat my former abuser brought me to court again for contempt, the judge did not find me in contempt and dismissed it. This was when Judge Miron made a threat that perhaps neither parent was fit and maybe he would put her in foster care. 

He then changed the order that each parent could pick up the child directly from school rather than the police station as the drop off. 

 

Shortly after she returned from her week placement stating how cold she was at her fathers, stating his electricity was “broken”. The next week it was the same, finally CPS was alerted that there was no electricity, running water/plumbing, refrigeration for food etc. They then began staying at his mothers small two bedroom home, my daughter was given a choice of either sleeping on the living room floor or the unfinished basement. By August my daughter had been frightened several times by her grandmother driving her drunk, specifically one occasion where they took her out with them to the bar and as the grandmother stumbled out of the bar she proceeded to get into the wrong vehicle and then drove them home, drunk. 

 

My daughter asked to stay at my home on his weekend 8/7/09 due to her older sisters coming for a visit. She kept saying how relaxed she was, how well she slept in an actual bed in her own room. She called him and told him she would not return to his mothers house because she had no bed or bedroom there. By 8/12/09 he filed a motion of contempt on me but waited until last minute 9/18/09 to  have me served. Due to the untimely notice it was dismissed, He soon filed another contempt. At no time after school started did he ever go to school to retrieve his daughter. In court on 10/14/09 he and his mother perjured themselves that she has her own room, I’m brainwashing her, they don’t drink. When asked why he didn’t go pick her up he would say he was “working” or he was “busy” but I was being held accountable. On 9/4/09 we drove up to the grandmothers house for my daughter to retrieve her clarinet. We requested the assistance of Oconto County Sheriffs Deputy Ryan Zahn, who happens to be the nephew of Craig Hensberger, grandson of Betty Hensberger. At no time did the grandmother attempt to keep my daughter at her residence, her father according to his testimony was working. 

 

Judge Miron found me in contempt and ordered me 30 days in county jail, with it stayed and ordered that my daughter be picked up by her father on 10/16/09 after school. I was also found in contempt and ordered 30 days in county jail for claiming my daughter on my taxes even though he has an order to do so the IRS will not allow him to since he unlawfully claimed her from 1999-2007. Also because she lived with me exclusively from Feb 2008-August 2008 which the federal government agreed I could claim her. Judge Miron also made his threats again that maybe he would “contact CPS because neither one of us is a fit parent and maybe he should take he away from both of us”. He stated that maybe foster care was the best place for her. 

 

Since the contempt motion being served on 9/18/09 my child has began sleep walking, having night terrors, and was placed on Xanax for her sleep disturbances and anxiety issues brought on by her father. She has stated she is not going with her father ever again, she can’t and won’t. She won’t be in school tomorrow due to her flu and is adamant that nobody can make her go, not even me.

A few PIPL:
Frank Metcalf Calvert
Judgment for money Dec. 08, satisfied APril 09:
Capital One Bank USA NA vs. Frank M Calvert
Oconto County Case Number 2008CV000451[Image of Lady Justice]The Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) / Wisconsin Circuit Court Access
Civil Judgment(s) $ 22,132.54 (Paid in full)
(Actually the link is a court system search tool).
 OK, I pulled up Craig T Hensberger, so here it goes: Technically this ain’t copying well, but it tends to verify the report that they guy
is very active legally, and a lot of cases are getting dismissed. . . . . 

 

 

<>02-28-08

Lorraine F Tipton vs. Craig T Hensberger 

Oconto County Case Number 2008CV000097 

The court did not issue an injunction against the respondent in this case. The reasons were stated on the record and 

may be explained in the final order. No adverse inference should be drawn against the respondent when an injunction 

is denied or a case dismissed. The fact that a petition was originally filed means nothing

 

<>02/20/2003

Lorraine Fetterly vs. Craig Hensberger Brown County Case Number 2003CV000322

 

The court issued an injunction against the respondent directing the respondent to not engage in certain conduct. The prohibitions are described in the injunction.

<>02-19-03 Craig T. Hensberger vs. Susan L Younger Oconto County Case Number 2003CV000061

Harassment Restraining Order. Delforge, Richard (Responsible Official)

Ms. Younger is about 38, and two attorneys involved:  Hensberger’s is David D Brown and hers Burke, Edward D.  In otherwords, he is filing a harassment order on HER.  Status:  Closed.

<>06-26-01 Oconto County Case Number 2001SC000577 Wells Fargo Financial vs Craig Hensberger

(Small claims of some sort)

Well, Mr. Craig T. Hensberger appears to have a twin brother (same birthdate, including year) called Craig I.  When you put it together, there show 22 cases (Oconto & Brown Counties) with him on it, including Ms. Younger’s harassment order against Him.

But just so y’all know the FISH story was apparently not a FISH tale, here’s one:

06-20-02 State of Wisconsin vs. Craig I. Hensberger Oconto County Case Number 2009FO000215

The defendant Craig I. Hensberger was found guilty of the following charge(s) in this case.

  • Transport Live Fish Away from Waters or Shores of Restricted Waters. This is not a criminal offense and results only in a money penalty for this offense.  (Let’s hope the $150 won paid the fine in full….)

Oconto County Case Number 2005CM000033  

The defendant Craig I. Hensberger was found guilty of the following charge(s) in this case.

  • Disorderly Conduct, a class B misdemeanor, Wisconsin Statutes 947.01.

Oconto County Case Number 2005CT000093

The defendant was charged with both OWI (2nd w/ Passenger < 16 Yrs Old) and Operating w/PAC-Passenger <16 Yrs(2nd).

The defendant was found guilty of OWI (2nd w/ Passenger < 16 Yrs Old) and the other charge, Operating w/PAC-Passenger <16 Yrs(2nd),

was dismissed by the court.  Craig I Hensberger was found guilty of OWI (2nd w/ Passenger < 16 Yrs Old),

an unclassified misdemeanor, Wisconsin Statutes 346.63(1)(a).

That passenger was the little girl . . . . apparently . . . . . . Clearly some priorities are upside down:  Where are all this mother’s “misdemeanors,” and if they aren’t there, then how come she and her daughter are being punished in this manner?  And who the heck is Susan L. Younger in the case?

Written by Let's Get Honest

October 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm

So Many Valuable Lessons from the “Giles Amicus Brief” (2005)

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(1) . . . BUT FIRST, let me (have some fun) present(ing) the DILEMMA of FAMILY LAW & CUSTODY in the face of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

 

CHILD CUSTODY, supposedly:

1. Safety & Welfare: The court’s “primary concern” is to assure the child’s health, safety and welfare. This codified policy is a companion to the Legislature’s express finding and declaration that “the perpetration of child abuse or domestic violence in a household where a child resides is detrimental to the child.” [Ca Fam § 3020(a) (emphasis added); see also Ca Fam § 3044]

(KINDof sounds like California Penal Code 273, spousal batterers are a clear and present danger to the physical and mental health of the citizens {{including LITTLE ones??}} of the state of California.  And so what is done about this?  The old 1-2-3.  

  • 1.  Restraining order, in one venue or another.  Possibly a night, or more, in jail (often not, but sometimes it happens), or in egregious circumstances, maybe even anger management classes. . . . . 
  • 2.  IF all are alive, when restraining order is about to expire, and kids exist, THIS is where family law can come in.  Alternate plan – it can come in right away, in other cases.  BOOM!  There goes safety and separation.
  • 3.  Thus it remains, until another “event’ happens, either a child-stealing, a custody-switch (with supervised visitation for the former PROTECTIVE parent, often a mother).  Or 18th birthdays.  Or (ad lib…).

IN THE INTERIM, spice it up with child support orders (and attempts to enforce them), parenting education, and a heavy dose of therapeutic jurisprudence.  


2. “Frequent and continuing contact” with both parents and shared parenting: ((??)) Further, an appropriate custody/visitation award must take into account the codified policy “to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy” . . .except where the contact would not be in the child’s best interest pursuant to Ca Fam § 3011 [Ca Fam § 3020(b) (emphasis added)]

==================

WOW, that “joint” stuff is what took me out from actually having a post-separation LIFE, of any significant duration at any significant endeavor.  The most years I ever got it up to was four in a row, one job, but the dynamic is this:  SEPARATION WITH SUCCESS FOR (the nonviolent spouse) == ESCALATION TO CAUSE FAILURE (from the enabled abuser)– ever tried to “share parenting” after domestic violence?  Or during it, for that matter?  During it, it was my job.  PERIOD.  Along with a whole lot of other non-paying jobs, including doormat and punching bag, wife, lover (when he was in the mood) and erstwhile Mom.  And bringing home the bacon.    After it, it was his, PERIOD.  Or the other closest male in the family.  I just was to take the remote control orders.  I protested, I lost custody.  Not even legally.  So be it.  Thank you, Mia Patria, fatherhood movement, engaging fathers, fatherlessness crisis, and faith institutions.  . . . . . 

(God, I miss those girls!)

 

(2) . . . Criminal v Family Law — from STOP FAMILY VIOLENCE website:

 

Creating Justice Through Balance: Integrating Domestic Violence

Juvenile and Family Court Journal, September 1, 2003

The core values underpinning family law—particularly as it addresses child custody and visitation—too often are at odds with the safety needs of victims of domestic violence. Family law, which has developed {{ACCORDING TO THIS SOURCE — and, I HAPPEN TO DIFFER PERSONALLY–FAMILY LAW historically had promoters, founders, etc.}} as a mechanism for defining, recognizing, establishing, reordering, or supporting the familial and intimate relationships that people have with one another, is frequently inadequate to address domestic violence. In contrast, the specialized domestic violence law provisions operating within family law function under rationales and theories distinct from those underlying family law. {{And are one weak-assed response to them, too!}} The inherent substantive tensions that arise when the two bodies of law are simultaneously implemented can result in conflicting court orders, unsafe interventions, and inappropriate remedies for survivors of domestic violence.

  • NEWS ARTICLE

    Custodians of Abuse

    Boston Phoenix, January 9, 2003

    Nearly 25 experts in custody litigation involving child-abuse claims were interviewed for this article. All had the same three complaints about family court — regardless of which state’s court system they were familiar with: – Family courts do not rely on criminal investigators to examine child-abuse claims. They rely on family advocates called guardians ad litem (GALs) – psychologists, social workers or lawyers who lack expertise{{AND/OR INTEREST….}} in investigating child sexual abuse. – Normal courtroom checks and balances don’t exist in family court. Unlike in criminal and civil court, there are no juries, plaintifs often lack legal representation, hence judges can act without scrutiny. Often judges act in ways that violate basic rights of due process. – Gender bias and traditional stereotypes of how women and men parent children continue to prevail in family court. As a result, while conventional wisdom has it that mothers almost always fare well in family court, statistics show otherwise.  More

(PAY ATTENTION NOT ONLY TO ARTICLE, BUT ALSO PUBLICATION….)

The above shows some of the dilemma — 2 languages, 2 approaches, 2 different sets of expectations, goals, and most importantly — standard of evidence when it comes to DV.  Yet one family can be experiencing behavior that is appropriately addressed in criminal, yet attempts made to handle it in family.  In general, no can do — I say.  

(3) . . .Giles Amicus Brief, 2005

At the end of the LAST post, I have a segment from a well-known — if you track these things — “Giles Amicus Brief.”  I explained why posting it, and gave a sample with highlighting of sentences, and a few comments, as to how it goes with domestic violence.  

Well, now I’m pasting the whole dang thing in here.  I believe that those who are literate, and able to visually sort legal cites from common English sentences will get a heads-up on what the criminal sector is saying about the crime of domestic violence:  the laws, the District Attorney folk, and those who help prosecute.  The word “prosecute” applies to the criminal sector.  The word “mediate/reconcile/educate (etc.) belongs to the family law sector.  Get used to both of them!  (Some couples experiencing violence never even made it to the criminal prosecution point — I’m one of those, and it was a shame, and a factor of the many enablers and public inability to put a NAME to the CRIME.  Or to accept that it had happened.  We’re talking California, and we’re talking turn of this century — not turn of the LAST century.  Backlash, denial, residual misogyny, or suppressed misogyny just waiting to spring into action, I don’t know.  But it’s unfortunate for the children.  And everyone else.

This brief will, perhaps, provide a backdrop of wonder and amazement at the trouble the family law sector has in “explicating domestic violence in the context of custody” and holding conference about who hits whom more.  Meanwhile, officers responding to a call, I’d bet, bring their guns AND if they have them, bulletproof vests.  That’s an indicator, OK? Sure,  it was a quarrel, a dispute, but any officer is still going to go in armed and protected….

Moreover, some officers — like some PEOPLE —  are also privately batterers.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, and hope whoever responds to the call, isn’t….

 

Moreover, I find it incredible that, given the amount of domestic violence that’s STILL prevalent, obviously (see headlines), the criminal people who are putting SO much efffort, and funding, into prosecutions (at least so I hear — I haven’t seen too much personally, though I hear it occurs.  Typically where one hears it occurred is after another headline — see other pages in my blog) — how can they possibly fail to realize what is going on in the family law system, which is closer to THIS:

 

 

(and after which you and yours may feel & look more like THIS than not…..)

(To protect the innocent, I have NO relationship to any of sources of the images, and only utilized Google Image Search to find them).

(I’m assuming readers would prefer NOT to have 1,000 of my words, when 3 images would get the job done just as well).

 

AN FYI on HOW IT CAN GO, PROSECUTING DV – 

For readers who have a high tolerance (or desire) to seek out the statements of the argument, and the ability to not be dissuaded by formatting of legal cites and extensive references, if that language is an unfamiliar one.  Go for the words you DO understand, and assemble the concepts.  There’s a lot of data in here. . . . 

(Excerpt from the end):


Arguably, some victims may refuse to assist in their batterers’ prosecutions due to factors that the batterer does not cause, including love and the hope that the batterer will change.  Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997) TA \l “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \s “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving tThe Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. EOImmigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \c 3 However, even in these circumstances, trial courts may determine that the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability by preying on the victim’s emotions and promising to change.  

 

{{Also it will discuss factors of initimdation and fears of reprisal, and whether or not the batterer caused these in intention to silence a witness or as a factor of what domestic violence simply is . . . . . The case, GILES, is where he was (I believe, but can’t affirm) protesting hearsay evidence that yes, he was the murderer — and his rights to confront his accuser were supposedly compromised, in that she was dead.  Talk about a fine point — but an important, Sixth Amendment one.  Yes, this is a vital issue, and this is how it sometimes plays out in the trial courts.

 

 Tom Lininger, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, conducted a survey of more than sixty prosecutors’ offices in California, Washington, and Oregon regarding Crawford’s impact on domestic violence prosecutions.  The survey included responses from 23 counties in California (which collectively included eighty-eight percent of California’s population).  Several courts have recently cited Lininger’s domestic violence research findings, including the Ninth Circuit Court of AppealsSee United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980 (9th Cir. 2005) TA \s “United States v. Hall, No. 04-50193, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 17148, at *21 n.6419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir.  Aug. 15, 2005)” .


“Crawford” will be explained in the Amicus…..

 

Why “Giles,” My friends?  

 

This came up when I searched “clear and present danger” of spousal batterers.  While the purpose of this Amicus Brief is to discuss the Crawford rule, as applied to a man accused of a DV murder who protested (using, I believe, that “Crawford rule” that his 6th amendment rights (to confront his accuser in court) ruled out the admissibility of statements from (either 911 calls, or prior statements), it’s KIND OF IRRELEVANT in that he had, allegedly, killed her.  They are saying, if he is allowed to call on this rule (and a narrow interpretation of it), that provides a profit from wrongdoing (a.k.a., case in point, femicide). . . . 

To  non-attorney on-lookers it may seem pretty fine-tuned argument, given a homicide happened.  But what about right to defense?

 

My purposes in pasting it here are a little different:

  •  Sample of legal argument (not a motion, but a legal reasoning process) in which almost every assertion is cited.  
  • The attorney for the groups filing (who are listed at the end), is Nancy K.D. Lemon, Esq., at UC Berkeley.  She is pre-emininent in DV law, and in training others in applying it, AND future attorneys.  So you are reading the work of a person very informed in the field of Domestic Violence.  
  • IT TALKS ABOUT THE ESSENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, I BELIEVE TRUTHFULLY.. . . AS THE PATTERN, WITH ESCALATION, AS COMPREHENSIVE, AND WITH EVER-PRESENT POSSIBILITIES OF ESCALATING.
  • IT TALKS ABOUT THE PRIME ISSUE OF VICTIM / WITNESS INTIMIDATION.
  • IT ACKNOWLEDGES THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM (couldn’t tell, again, from most family law proceedings….)
  • TO ME, IT HIGHLIGHTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TYPE OF REASONING IN THIS FIELD OF LAW (CRIMINAL) AND FAMILY LAW (a specialized — I say, bastardized — version of civil law).  

The dilemma of families stuck in the one system, yet dealing — systemically — with problems that fall clearly by evidence and definition within the crimnal — is serious.  They can be like flies in amber.  Their squeaks will not be heard in one venue, where if properly addressed (and that’s a big IF) in the other, someone would be in jail.  The public needs to understand this!  It’s a public problem affecting public bottom lines, and draining the one economy and putting the drained funds into the hands of those who run certain systems. . . . . 

 

For readers who can deal with a level of discomfort, if legal language is new to you, and go for the plain English language, if the “cites” are too burdensome, there is a lot of valuable information in this brief, filed in December 2005.  For those who can handle the cites also (unfortunately, because my source didn’t transmit the active links, it seems some of the fine-print cites show up in duplicate or triplicate — oh well, just look for the next complete English SENTENCE) — they have significance, quoting some of the major “players” (organizations, nonprofits, published works) in the DV field.  

As should be obvious, by now, to readers, I am speaking from the perspective of still dealing with the impact of years of DV upon my life as a single woman and mother, and in recent years, the added drama of becoming noncustodial in an egregiously illegal and trauma-producing manner.  And without further recourse to reverse the bad ruling.  This document explains SOME of why what may seem like the obvious thing to do, safety was a factor all round in doing it, as well as finances, as well as legal know-how.  

A previous, better-highlit version (of this 25 page brief!) was not saved last night, and so what you see is what you get.  You are on your own in this one, but I trust that the experience will help those who can navigate the rapids of a legal brief.  At the end, (if it’s new), consider yourself a little drenched, but let’s hope slightly different for the experience.

Also, for women or others in need of writing their own, it shows the level of detailed reasoning, and SUPPORTING EACH POINT, that should be involved when filing anything on your behalf.  Don’t let sloppy stuff go on the record.  

The word count in the brief (it says towards the bottom) is 7,000+ exempting certain cites.  The word count in this post, now, is 10,850.  Have a nice day!  Please COMMENT if this was helpful, or not — thanks.


 

 

 

 

Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Respondent in People v. Giles

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT 

 

The Rule of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing (“the Rule”) extinguishes a defendant’s Sixth Amendment confrontation right where the defendant procured the witness’s unavailability, regardless of the defendant’s intent.  

 

Crawford v. Washington does not require courts to exclude a victim’s relevant statements where the defendant himself has guaranteed that the victim cannot testify in court.  Crawford states that a defendant can forfeit his Sixth Amendment confrontation rights through his own wrongdoing.  A defendant will profit from his wrongdoing when, regardless of intent, the defendant procures a witness’s unavailability and the court suppresses the witness’s testimony as a result.  Should the court adopt the defendant’s flawed understanding of the Rule, abusers who have harmed or terrorized their victims to the point where they are no longer willing or able to testify will be acquitted much more often than previously.  Since neither the Sixth Amendment nor Crawford requires this result, this Court should not suppress the deceased victim’s statements in this case. 

The Rule applies equally where the defendant procured the victim’s unavailability by killing the victim or by instilling fear of reprisals.  Unavailability often results where, in absence of a direct threat, the batterer has abused the victim to the extent that the victim reasonably fears retaliation.  Batterers should be held responsible for causing the victim’s unavailability where a victim fails to assist the prosecution based on a reasonable fear of retaliation.  

Restricting the Rule to cases where the defendant intended to procure the victim’s unavailability would have a deleterious effect on domestic violence prosecutions.  Many batterers cause their victims’ unavailability without intending to silence the victim’s testimony at some future trial.  Rather, a desire to control the victim motivates a batterer’s abusive behavior.  Furthermore, a victim’s statements regarding prior abuse or threats are often the only means of establishing the batterer’s motive, identity, and propensity to abuse.  For example, since domestic violence homicide is often the result of an escalating series of battering incidents, the trier of fact must be able to hear evidence of prior abusive incidents in order to establish the defendant’s motive in killing the victim.  

The California Legislature has recognized the need to admit previous acts of abuse in domestic violence cases and California courts have traditionally admitted this evidence in the form of previous prosecutions, previous convictions, and eyewitness testimony.  However, many batterers successfully terrorize and sequester their victims so that the victims do not file charges and so that there are no eyewitnesses to abusive acts.  The defendant’s flawed understanding of the Rule would give batterers an incentive to further abuse and isolate their victims in order to prevent the justice system from intervening.  

 

In order to ensure the continued viability of domestic violence prosecutions and support the Legislature’s efforts to combat the domestic violence epidemic, judges must be allowed to determine that a batterer who causes a witness’s unavailability through murder or by instilling fear of reprisals has forfeited his right to confront the victim.  This Court should affirm the decision of the court of appeal.      

ARGUMENT

 

THE RULE OF FORFEITURE BY WRONGDOING APPLIES EVEN IF THE DEFENDANT DID NOT INTEND TO PREVENT THE VICTIM FROM TESTIFYING  

 

The Rule of Forfeiture is based on the equitable principle that the accused should not profit from his wrongdoing.  See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 158-59 (1879) TA \l “See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879)” \s “See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 158-59 (1879)” \c 1  (If a witness is absent because of the accused’s wrongful procurement, “he cannot complain if competent evidence is admitted to supply the place of that which he has kept away”; “The [forfeiture] rule has its foundation in the maxim that no one shall be permitted to take advantage of his own wrong.”); Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 62, 124 S. Ct. 1354, 1370 (2004) TA \l “Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 124 S. Ct. 1354 (2004)” \s “Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 62, 124 S. Ct. 1354, 1370 (2004)” \c 1  (“[T]he rule of forfeiture by wrongdoing (which we accept) extinguishes confrontation claims on essentially equitable grounds.”).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

A wrongdoer would profit from his wrongdoing whether or not he intended to procure the witness’s unavailability because, in either case, the accused’s wrongdoing prevents the victim from testifying at trial.    

The Rule applies where the wrongdoing consists of intimidation or other means to keep a witness from providing adverse testimony.  See generally Reynolds, 98 U.S. at 160 (admitting testimony of a witness from a prior trial because the defendant refused to reveal her location to a process server). See also State v. Wright, 701 N.W.2d 802, 814 (Minn. 2005) TA \l “State v. Wright, 701 N.W.2d 802 (Minn. 2005)” \s “State v. Wright, 701 N.W.2d 802, 814 (Minn., 2005)” \c 1  (“We agree with amici curiae that perpetrators of domestic violence frequently intimidate their victims with the goal of preventing those victims from testifying against them.  Thus, a forfeiture by wrongdoing analysis is particularly suitable for cases involving domestic violence.”).

 

However, a defendant would equally benefit from his wrongdoing if, after the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability, the court failed to admit the victim’s testimony  At least two courts have held that the Rule applies to a defendant who caused, without specifically intending to do so, the witness’s unavailability at trial.  The Kansas Supreme Court held that “[Where] the trial court determines as a threshold matter that that the reason the victim cannot testify at trial is that the accused murdered her [,] [the] accused should be deemed to have forfeited the confrontation right.”  State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d at 794.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that, in contravention of the Rule, a defendant would benefit from his own wrongdoing if a court excluded a victim’s testimony after the defendant procured the witness’s unavailability by killing her.  United States v. Emery, 186 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1999) TA \l “United States v. Emery, 186 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1999)” \s “United States v. Emery, 186 F.3d 921 (8th Cir. 1999)” \c 1

 

RESTRICTING THE RULE TO CASES WHERE THE DEFENDANT INTENDED TO PROCURE THE VICTIM’S UNAVAILABILITY WOULD HAVE A DELETERIOUS EFFECT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTIONS

Domestic Violence Assaults And Homicides Are Tragically Frequent 

 

For at least the past fifteen years, California law enforcement has annually received between 180,000 and 250,000 domestic violence calls for assistance.  California Attorney General’s Office, Domestic Violence-Related Calls for Assistance, 1986-2003 TA \ \c 3 , available at http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/candd/cd03/tabs/57.pdf; see also  TA \l “Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005)”  (“There are hundreds of thousands of persons in this state who are regularly beaten.”); Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey 38 (U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Nat’l Inst. Of Justice No. 183781, 2000) TA \l “Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey 38 (U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Nat’l Inst. Of Justice No. 183781, 2000)” \s “Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey 38 (U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Nat’l Inst. Of Justice No. (Nov. 2” \c 3  (indicating that about 1.5 million women and 834,700 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year), available at http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf.  In 1998, California law enforcement agencies made 56,892 arrests in domestic violence cases.  Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Report on Arrests for Domestic Violence in California, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 3, at 4 (1999) TA \l “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Report on Arrests for Domestic Violence in California, 1998, Vol. 1, No. 3 (1999)” \s “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Report on Arrests for Domestic Violence in California, 1998, Criminal Justice Statistics Center Report Series, Vol.ume 1, No.umber 3, at 4 (1999)” \c 3 , available at http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/misc/dv98.pdfFurthermore, the California Legislature has acknowledged that domestic violence is “the single most unreported crime in the state.” Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005)” .    

Far too often, an escalating series of abusive incidents leads to homicideSee Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 18290 (West 2005)”  (“[In many cases] acts of domestic violence lead to the death of one of the involved parties.”); People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603, 1606 (1995) TA \l “People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603 (1995)” \s “People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603,at 1606 (1995)” \c 1  (“We again confront a situation that, unfortunately, is becoming all too common, domestic violence culminating in murder.”).  Nationwide, an average of three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.  Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Subcommittee on Crime, Correction & Victims’ Rights, Ten Years of Extraordinary Progress: The Violence Against Women Act 30 (2004) TA \l “Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Subcommittee on Crime, Correction & Victims’ Rights, Ten Years of Extraordinary Progress: The Violence Against Women Act (2004)” \s “Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Subcommittee on Crime, Correction & Victims’ Rights, Ten Years of Extraordinary Progress: The Violence Against Women Act 30 (2004)” \c 3 , available at http://biden.senate.gov/documents/VAWA_Report.pdf.  In California, the Criminal Justice Statistics Center reported that there were 187 domestic violence homicides in 2003.  Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 1993-2003 TA \l “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 1993-2003” \s “Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 1993-2003” \c 3 ,   HYPERLINK http://caag.state.ca.us/cjsc/publications/misc/dvsr/rpt.pdf.         

 

 

 

 

The Nature Of Domestic Violence Makes It Likely That A Batterer Will Cause A Victim Witness’s Unavailability Through His Behavior That, While Not Necessarily Intended To Silence The Victim’s Testimony At Trial, Instills A Reasonable Fear Of Reprisal In The Victim 

 

Domestic violence victims frequently fail to assist in their batterer’s prosecutions.  This decision is often based on the victim’s fear of reprisal, including fear of violent and severe non-violent acts.  These fears are reasonable even in absence of a direct threat because they are based on the witness’s intimate knowledge of the batterer’s behavior.  Batterers may therefore cause a witness’s unavailability either by directly threatening the victim or by instilling fears of reprisal.  In response to this common evidentiary problem in domestic violence cases, trial courts must be allowed to determine whether the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability by instilling a fear of violent or severe non-violent retaliation, thereby forfeiting the defendant’s right to confront the victim at trial.

 

This Court has recognized that domestic violence victims are more prone than other crime victims to refuse to cooperate after initially providing information to law enforcement.  See  TA \l “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892 (2004)” \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)” \c 1 People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004) TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)”  (citing expert witness testimony regarding the “tendency of domestic violence victims to recant previous allegations of abuse as part of the particular behavior patterns commonly observed in abusive relationships”).  In fact, a recent study indicates that between eighty to ninety percent of domestic violence victims recant their accusations or refuse to cooperate with prosecutors.  Davis v. State, 169 S.W.3d 660, 671 (Tex. App. 2005) TA \l “Davis v. State, 169 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. App. 2005)” \s “Davis v. State, 169 S.W.3d 660, 671 (Tex. App. 2005)” \c 1  (citing Tom Lininger, Evidentiary Issues in Federal Prosecutions of Violence Against Women, 36 Ind. L. Rev. 687, 709 n.76 (2003) TA \l “Tom Lininger, Evidentiary Issues in Federal Prosecutions of Violence Against Women, 36 Ind. L. Rev. 687 (2003)” \s “Tom Lininger, Evidentiary Issues in Federal Prosecutions of Violence Against Women, 36 Ind. L. Rev. 687, 709 n.76 (2003)” \c 3 ). 

Domestic violence victims may fail to assist in their batterers’ prosecutions because their batterers have specifically threatened them with reprisal.  Alana Bowman, A Matter of Justice: Overcoming Juror Bias in Prosecutions of Batterers Through Expert Witness Testimony of The Common Experiences of Battered Women, 2 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 219, 248 (1992) TA \l “Alana Bowman, A Matter of Justice: Overcoming Juror Bias in Prosecutions of Batterers Through Expert Witness Testimony of The Common Experiences of Battered Women, 2 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 219 (1992)” \s “Alana Bowman, A Matter of Justice: Overcoming Juror Bias in Prosecutions of Batterers Through Expert Witness Testimony of The Common Experiences of Battered Women, 2 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Women’s Stud. 219, 248 (1992)” \c 3 .  According to a recent study, batterers threaten retaliatory violence in nearly half of all prosecutions.  Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003) TA \l “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response (3d ed. 2003)” \s “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003)” \c 3 ; see also Cal. Pen. Code § 136.2 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code§ 136.2 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code (2005) § 136.2 (West 2005)” \c 2  (directing courts to identify domestic violence cases so that they may issue various orders on their own motions, including protective orders, that will keep defendants from intimidating or dissuading their victims). 

However, based on their intimate knowledge of the batterer’s behavior, many victims reasonably anticipate retaliation even without a direct threat and consequently do not assist the prosecutionSee United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir. 2005) TA \l “United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980, (9th Cir. 2005)” \s “United States v. Hall, No. 04-50193, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 17148, at *21 n.6419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir.  Aug. 15, 2005)” \c 1  (“The difficulty of securing the testimony of domestic violence victims . . . against their batterers is well recognized.”) (citing Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005) TA \l “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747 (2005)” \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” \c 3 ); Buzawa & Buzawa, supra, at 183 TA \s “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003)”  (noting that despite increased societal attention to domestic violence, the rate of prosecution is still limited by victims’ inability to cooperate with prosecution).      

The Ninth Circuit recently acknowledged that the source of domestic violence is “power and control [that] pervades the entire relationship” so that “the battered woman’s fear, vigilance, or perception that she has few options may persist…even when the abusive partner appears to be peaceful and calm.”  Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003) TA \l “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824 (9th Cir. 2003)” \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” \c 1  (citing Mary Ann Dutton, Understanding Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence: A Redefinition of Battered Woman Syndrome,  HYPERLINK “http://www.lexis.com/research/buttonTFLink 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 1191, 1208 (1993) TA \l “Mary Ann Dutton, Understanding Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence: A Redefinition of Battered Woman Syndrome, 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 1191 (1993)” \s “Mary Ann Dutton, Understanding Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence: A Redefinition of Battered Woman Syndrome, 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 1191, 1208 (1993)” \c 3 ).  This Court also described this pattern in People v. Brown, noting that “even if there has been no other episode of violence, the victim may change her mind about prosecuting the abuser and may recant her previous statements.” 33 Cal. 4th at 907 TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)” .  

 

Furthermore, the California Legislature has defined domestic violence to include violent and various non-violent acts, supporting the proposition that victims may reasonably fear many forms of reprisal.  Specifically, the California Evidence Code states that domestic violence is “physical or sexual abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment that results in physical harm, pain, or mental suffering, the deprivation of care by a caregiver, or other deprivation by a custodian or provider of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.”  See Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)” \c 2  (following the meaning of domestic violence set forth in  TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005) \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)” \c 2 Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)” ). Additionally, the California Family Code defines abuse as causing bodily injury, sexually abusing a person, or placing a person in “reasonable apprehension of serious bodily harm to that person or to another” and, further, it provides that a victim may obtain a restraining order to protect against the batterer’s non-violent reprisals, such as “stalking, threatening,…harassing, telephoning,…[or] destroying personal property.” Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6203, 6320 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Fam. Code § 6203 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6203, 6320 (West 2005)” \c 2 .     

 

Most commonly, a victim reasonably anticipates a physical assault, including sexual assault or even death, if the victim attempts to end a battering relationship and assist in the batterer’s prosecution.  In fact, victims are at the highest risk of severe abuse or death when they challenge the batterer’s control in their attempts to leave.  Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 837 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” ; see also Martha R. Mahoney, Victimization or Oppression? Women’s Lives, Violence, and Agency, in The Public Nature of Private Violence 59, 79 (Martha Albertson Fineman & Roxanne Mykitiuk eds., 1994) TA \l “Martha R. Mahoney, Victimization or Oppression? Women’s Lives, Violence, and Agency, in The Public Nature of Private Violence (Martha Albertson Fineman & Roxanne Mykitiuk eds., 1994)” \s “Martha R. Mahoney, Victimization or Oppression? Women’s Lives, Violence, and Agency, in The Public Nature Of Private Violence 59, 79 (Martha Albertson Fineman & Roxanne Mykitiuk eds., 1994)” \c 3  (describing the phenomenon of “separation assault” in domestic violence relationships and finding that the majority of domestic violence homicides occur upon separation).  

 

Victims may also reasonably fear serious, non-violent reprisals.  For example, a victim may fear that the batterer will abduct or injure the couple’s children.  See Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 125 S. Ct. 2796, 2800-2802 (2005) TA \l “See Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 125 S. Ct. 2796 (2005)” \s “See TownCity of Castle Rock v. Gonzalesz, 125 S. Ct. 2796, 2800-2802 (2005)” \c 1  (describing incident in which batterer violated his wife’s restraining order against him, abducted his three children, and murdered them.); see also Maureen Sheeran & Scott Hampton, Supervised Visitation in Cases of Domestic Violence, 50(2) Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 13, 13-21 (1999) TA \l “Maureen Sheeran & Scott Hampton, Supervised Visitation in Cases of Domestic Violence, 50(2) Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 13 (1999)” \s “Maureen Sheeran & Scott Hampton, Supervised Visitation in Cases of Domestic Violence, 50(2) Juv.enile &and Fam.ily Ct. J.ournal 13, 13-21 (1999)” \c 3  (citing research that establishes a definitive link between parental child abduction and domestic violence).  In fact, twenty-five percent of batterers directly threaten to kidnap the couple’s children if the victim pursues legal action. Buzawa & Buzawa, supra, at 183.  

 

Additionally, because many victims depend upon the batterer for financial support, they may reasonably fear financial ruin or homelessness if they assist the prosecution.  A batterer’s control of the victim’s access to money and employment is common in domestic violence situations.  Diane R. Follingstad et al., The Role of Emotional Abuse in Physically Abusive Relationships, 5 J. Fam. Violence 107, 109 (1990) TA \l “Diane R. Follingstad et al., The Role of Emotional Abuse in Physically Abusive Relationships, 5 J. Fam. Violence 107 (1990)” \s “Diane R. Follingstad et al., The Role of Emotional Abuse in Physically Abusive Relationships, 5 J. Fam. Violence 107, 109 (1990)” \c 3 A victim may reasonably fear that, without the batterer’s financial support, she and her children are at risk of becoming homeless.  U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: A 27-City Survey (2004) TA \l “U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: A 27-City Survey (2004) \s “U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: A 27-City Survey (, December 2004)” \c 3  (citing domestic violence as the primary cause of homelessness in forty-four percent of the cities surveyed).  

 

Furthermore, many undocumented abused immigrants are at a heightened risk of financial ruin if they leave their batterers because they may not be able to obtain employment or public assistance.  Leslye E. Orloff et al., With  HYPERLINK “http://web2.westlaw.com/find/default.wl?DB=1137&SerialNum=0105667923&FindType=Y&ReferencePositionType=S&ReferencePosition=317&AP=&mt=California&fn=_top&sv=Split&vr=2.0&rs=WLW5.10&#8221; \t “_top” No Place to Turn: Improving Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Fam. L. Q. 313, 317-19, 324 (1995) TA \l “Leslye E. Orloff et al., With No Place to Turn: Improving Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Fam. L. Q. 313 (1995)” \s “Leslye EL. Orloff et al., With No Place to Turn: Improving Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Fam. L. Q. 313, 317-19, 324 (1995)” \c 3  (“The battered immigrant spouse rarely obtains the cooperation of her husband in obtaining a work visa … In addition, virtually all public assistance programs bar undocumented immigrants from receiving benefits and limit the eligibility of legal residents.”).  

Undocumented immigrant victims may also fear that their batterers will prevent them from obtaining legal status. Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Power and Control Wheel, in Domestic Violence Law 38 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2005) TA \l Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Power and Control Wheel, in Domestic Violence Law (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2005) \s “Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Power and Control Wheel, in Domestic Violence Law 38 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2005)” \c 3  (noting that immigrant women may stay in abusive relationships due to the threat or fear of being deported).  For example, if an immigrant victim is deported, she may be separated from her children indefinitely, especially if the children are United States citizens.  Orloff et al., supra, at 324.  The victim may return to poverty, famine, a health-related epidemic, civil war, political persecution, or a country that does not protect her from domestic violence.  Karyl Alice Davis, Unlocking the Door by Giving her the Key: A Comment on the Adequacy of the U-Visa as a Remedy, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 557, 571 (2004) TA \l “Karyl Alice Davis, Unlocking the Door by Giving her the Key: A Comment on the Adequacy of the U-Visa as a Remedy, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 557 (2004)” \s “Karyl Alice Davis, Unlocking the Door by Giving her the Key: A Comment on the Adequacy of the U-Visa as a Remedy, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 557, 571 (Winter, 2004)” \c 3 .  Additionally, the victim may no longer be able to provide financial assistance to her family in her home country, or her friends and family may ostracize her if she seeks to separate from the batterer.  Id.  

 

More generally, a victim of domestic violence may fear reprisals even when the victim seems to withdraw cooperation with the prosecution out of a desire to reconcile with the batterer.  Many batterers provide “loving gestures,” such as “expensive gifts, intense displays of emotion, sending flowers after an assault, making romantic promises, tearfully promising that it will never happen again,” that in fact threaten the victim with abuse if she does not respond.  See Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 837 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” .  The Ninth Circuit recently stated, “[P]hysical abuse, threats of harm, and isolation are interwoven with seemingly loving gestures. … Amnesty International [] describes such ‘occasional indulgences’ as a method of coercion used in torture…The message is always there that if the victim does not respond[,] the perpetrator will escalate [the abuse].”  Id. (citing Leslye E. Orloff, Manual on Intra-family Cases for the D.C. Superior Court Judges 15 (1993) TA \l “Leslye E. Orloff, Manual on Intra-family Cases for the D.C. Superior Court Judges (1993)” \s “Leslye E. Orloff, Manual on Intra-family Cases for the D.C. Superior Court Judges 15 (1993)” \c 3 ).  Moreover, the Ninth Circuit has recognized that a victim’s decision not to testify against the batterer is not typically the result of passivity or submission but is rather an attempt to stop the violence, based on experiences where cooperation with the batterer proved to be a successful strategy.  See Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 838 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” .  

 

.Finally, the batterer’s intimate knowledge of the victim greatly and reasonably enhances the victim’s fear of reprisal.  Unlike most other perpetrators of violent crime, the domestic violence defendant typically has lived with the victim, thereby becoming familiar with the victim’s thoughts, behaviors, habits, and daily routine  California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Benchbook, Domestic Violence Cases in Criminal Court 23 (2000) TA \l “California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Benchbook, Domestic Violence Cases in Criminal Court (2000)” \s “California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Benchbook, Domestic Violence Cases in Criminal Court 23 (2000)” \c 3 ; Brown, 33 Cal. 4th at 899 TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)”  (“A fundamental difference between family violence and other forms of violence (such as street violence) is that family violence occurs within ongoing relationships.”) (citing Am. Psychological Assn., Violence and the Family 15 (1997) TA \l “Am. Psychological Assn., Violence and the Family 15 (1997)” \s “Am. Psychological Assn., Violence and the Family 15 (1997)” \c 3 ).   

 

 

The Victim’s Prior Statements Of Abuse Are Necessary  Evidence In Murder Cases Because They Are Often The Only Evidence Of Previous Domestic Violence Acts, Which Are Relevant And Necessary To Establish The Defendant’s Motive, Identity, And Propensity To Abuse 

 

California courts and the California Legislature have recognized the need to admit previous domestic violence acts in murder cases on issues of the defendant’s motive, identity, and propensity to abuse.  Previous acts are relevant to domestic violence murder cases because homicide typically occurs within the context of the cycle of violence.  California courts have previously admitted evidence of prior domestic violence acts in the form of the defendant’s prior criminal record or eyewitness testimony.  However, many batterers do not have prior criminal records and, due to the victim’s isolation by the batterer, there are often no other witnesses to domestic violence actsTherefore, a victim’s statements are necessary to establish the defendant’s motive, identity, and propensity to abuse because they are often the only evidence of previous domestic violence acts. 

 

{{My comment:  Given THIS, then how is it when a case lands in the family law venue, the victim (now often called a partner in a high-conflict marriage, and equally held responsible for any violence or stress that comes from the situation)’s very accounts are dismissed or minimized based on attribution of her motives — she just wants to gain control, and is not telling the truth.  This assessment then becomes the focus, rather than the facts.  What I am pointing out (saying) is that, the family ideology, principles, methodology and framework is to DENY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WHEN IT HAS OCCURRED and to DECRIMINALIZE that behavior, and Re-CRIMINALIZE the parent subject to it.  Although DV is (see top paragraph above) indeed relevant to both parenting ability and (LEGALLY speaking) custody — I have sat and watched a judge expressed boredom when I summarized the DV history (as apparently records of it were considered irrelevant by mediator and judge alike), in the context, there were several MORE, RECENT incidents of it which had brought us before the court.  It’s an entirely different mindset, and intentionally so.  This cannot be and is no accident, and it is at this point a serious social problem for our country, and others.}}

 

A murder defendant’s abusive history is relevant to determine his motive, identity, and propensity to abuse because domestic violence homicide is often the result of an escalating series of battering incidents.  See Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, at 3-4 (June 25, 1996) TA \l “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876 (June 25, 1996)” \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” \c 3 , available at  HYPERLINK “http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/95-96/bill/sen/sb_1851-1900/sb_1876_cfa_960624_094659_asm_comm.html&#8221; http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/95-96/bill/sen/sb_1851-1900/sb_1876_cfa_960624_094659_asm_comm.html [hereinafter Assem. Comm. Rep.] (“[B]attering episode[s]…usually escalate[] in frequency and severity.”).

 

This buildup of multiple violent acts stems from the very nature of domestic violence, which frequently manifests itself as a cycle of violence that escalates over time.  The Ninth Circuit recognized the cycle as comprising “a tension building phase, followed by an acute battering of the victim, and finally by a contrite phase where the batterer’s use of promises and gifts increases the battered woman’s hope that the violence has occurred for the last time.”  Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 836 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)”  TA \l “Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 836” \s “Hernandez, v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d at 824, 836” \c 3  (quoting Dutton, supra, at 1208). 

 

{{Comment:  This phrase “increases the battered woman’s hope” is a “mind-reading” and likely came from someone who has not experience DV.  DV is a survival situation from the moment it begins, and the ffocus of very much often on the PRESENT, with short-term future — the focus is not having the next incident.  To state that we do indeed “hope” that it was the last incident is demeaning to women, and minimizes what we do to stay alive and keep our children alive in such situations, and hopefully injury-free.  Given that separation and independence-seeking provokes increasing levels of restraint, to accuse us, living with this, of being in as much denial as the community often is – — well, NO.  Perhaps sometimes, at a level, facing to fully face the situation does enter into emotional survival – – because, I believe that there are indeed maximum levels of fear which a person can have, and still function calmly and practically in situations. . . . . .      The batterer’s use of promises and gifts is part of the routine, and is maybe INTENDED to increase our hope – – OR possibly to defray / deter reporting and possible consequences.  Maybe it’s to allay his own conscience — who knows?  So let’s cool it on the mind-reading.. and attributions!.}}

 

 

This Court also acknowledged, “Most abusive relationships begin with a struggle for power and control between the abuser and the victim that later escalates to physical abuse. … When the victim tries to leave or to assert control over the situation, the abuser may turn to violence as an attempt to maintain control.”  Brown, 33 Cal. 4th at 907 TA \s “People v. Brown, 33 Cal. 4th 892, 907 (2004)”  (citing expert witness testimony).  Each violent incident is therefore part of a larger pattern of power, control, and physical abuse rather than a discrete act removed from the dynamics and history of the relationship.  See Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 836-37 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)”  (“‘[A]busive behavior does not occur as a series of discrete events,’ but rather pervades the entire relationship.”) (quoting Dutton, supra, at 1208); Assem. Comm. Rep. at 3-4 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)”  (“[A]ny one battering episode is part of a larger scheme of dominance and control.”).  

 The California Legislature has determined that the reasons favoring the admission of uncharged criminal domestic violence incidents outweigh the reasons favoring the exclusion such evidence.  See Johnson, 77 Cal. App. 4th at 420 (discussing the legislative history of Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 and Assem. Com. Rep. p 5).  See also Assem. Com. Rep. p 5 (“Since criminal prosecution is one of the few factors that may interrupt the escalating pattern of domestic violence, we must be willing to look at that pattern during the criminal prosecution, or we will miss the opportunity to address this problem at all.”)

 

{{PROBLEM:  This brief accepts, and Cal. Law also does, that criminal prosecution is one of the “few factors” that “may” interrupt the escalating pattern, then answer this question:  And I believe that at a gut level, spouses/partners who have been battered DO “get” this, how come when pregnancy and birth has occurred — or common property — in family law arena, the whole dang court doesn’t “GET” it?  Are those experts dumber than the average person, or the criminal sector?  Or is there a reason family law as a speciality exists, with it separation from the civil & Evidence codes in general, and stricter standards?  And could PART of that purpose include to reframe the conversation around criminal behavior within the family unit, or separated family unit?}}

 

 

Prior domestic violence incidents show the defendant’s propensity to commit domestic violence crimes.  The legislative history of California Evidence Code Section 1109 recognizes, “The propensity inference is particularly appropriate in the area of domestic violence because on-going violence and abuse is the norm in domestic violence cases.”  Assem. Comm. Rep. at 3-4 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” ; See also People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020, 1024 (2000) TA \l “People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020 (2000)” \s “People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020, 1024 (2000)” \c 1  (upholding the constitutionality of Cal. Evid. Code § 1109).  Further, the Legislature has recognized, “Without the propensity inference, the escalating nature of domestic violence is …masked.  If we fail to address the very essence of domestic violence, we will continue to see cases where perpetrators of this violence will beat their intimate partners, even kill them, and go on to beat or kill the next intimate partner.” Assem. Comm. Rep at 3-4 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” .  In a recent murder prosecution, a California court admitted the testimony of several witnesses as evidence of prior, uncharged domestic violence offenses and concluded “with substantial assurance that defendant’s propensity to commit crimes of domestic violence [and to murder his wife was] more likely than not to flow from the proved prior acts of domestic violence.”  People v. Pescador, 119 Cal. App. 4th 252, 260 (2004) TA \l “People v. Pescador, 119 Cal. App. 4th 252 (2004)” \s “People v. Pescador, 119 Cal. App. 4th 252, 260 (2004)” \c 1  (internal citations omitted).

 

 

{{HIGHLIGHT, READ, COMMENT AS APPROPRIATE — I gave a few samples above}}

 

Additionally, this Court has held that trial courts may admit eyewitness testimony of domestic violence to establish the defendant’s motive and identity in a murder trial.  “[E]vidence tending to establish prior quarrels between a defendant and decedent and the making of threats by the former is properly admitted and is competent to show the motive and state of mind of the defendant.” People v. Cartier, 54 Cal. 2d 300, 311 (1960) TA \l “People v. Cartier, 54 Cal. 2d 300 (1960” \s “People v. Cartier, 54 Cal. 2d 300, 311 (Cal. 1960))” \c 1 .  Likewise, on the issue of identity the court held, “Evidence of motive may . . . solve a doubt . . . as to the identity of the slayer . . .[and] is admissible against a defendant, however discreditably it may reflect on him, and even where it may show him guilty of other crimes.”  People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393, 396 (1915) TA \l “People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393 (1915)” \s “People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393, 396 (Cal. 1915)” \c 1 .  More recently, lower courts have followed this Court’s holdings.  Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th at 1611 TA \s “People v. Linkenauger, 32 Cal. App. 4th 1603,at 1606 (1995)”  (citing Weston, 169 Cal. at 396 TA \s “People v. Weston, 169 Cal. 393, 396 (Cal. 1915)” , the court held that evidence of eyewitness testimony of prior abuse and threats was properly admitted in order to establish the defendant’s motive and identity HYPERLINK “http://www.lexis.com/research/buttonTFLink?_m=9b5fdc8e6cf0f444d98b1cf7f925c742&_xfercite=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b32%20Cal.%20App.%204th%201603%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_butType=3&_butStat=2&_butNum=24&_butInline=1&_butinfo=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b169%20Cal.%20393%2cat%20396%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_fmtstr=FULL&docnum=1&_startdoc=1&wchp=dGLbVlb-zSkAA&_md5=4f5ee7cbf41130c250e7943c5ff18f6b&#8221; \t “_parent” );  see also Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th at 1026 TA \s “People v. Hoover, 77 Cal. App. 4th 1020, 1024 (2000)”   (“Where a defendant is charged with a violent crime and has or had a previous relationship with a victim, prior assaults upon the same victim, when offered on disputed issues, e.g., identity, intent, motive, etcetera, are admissible …”) (citing People v. Zack, 184 Cal. App. 3d 409, 415 (1986) TA \l “People v. Zack, 184 Cal. App. 3d 409 (1986)” \s “People v. Zack, 184 Cal. App. 3d 409, 415 (1986)” \c 1 ).  

These rulings are consistent with California Evidence Code Section 1109, permitting “evidence of a defendant’s other acts of domestic violence,” and Section 1101 TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1101 (West 2005)” \s “§ 1101” \c 2 , emphasizing that “nothing…prohibits the admission of evidence that a person committed a crime, civil wrong, or other act when relevant to prove some fact (such as motive, . . . intent, . . . identity, . . .)”.  See Cal. Evid. Code §§ 1109, 1101 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109, § 1109, 1101 (West 2005)” \c 2 .    

However, despite California’s judicial and legislative stance that previous domestic violence acts are relevant and necessary in domestic violence murder cases, prosecutors often will be unable to prove prior acts if courts restrict this evidence to the defendant’s prior criminal record or eyewitness testimony from someone other than the victim.  Instead, a victim’s statements are often the only available evidence to establish prior domestic violence acts and are therefore essential to domestic violence murder cases.  

Most deceased victims file domestic violence reports before their batterers kill them, providing numerous statements to police regarding the batterer’s abusive behavior.  See Buzawa & Buzawa TA \s “Eve S. Buzawa & Carl G. Buzawa, Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response 183 (3d ed. 2003)” , supra, at 88 (citing study in which eighty-five percent of domestic violence homicide victims had reported a separate domestic violence incident to police at least once before the incident leading to their deaths, and fifty percent of domestic violence homicide victims had called police five or more times).  However, as discussed supra, many victims later recant or fail to even appear at court due to fear of reprisals.    

Additionally, unlike many other crimes, there are often no eyewitnesses to the abuse because the batterer socially and physically isolates the victim from contact outside the home.  This Court has noted, “[M]any battered women remain in the relationship because of . . . social isolation.”  People v. Humphrey, 13 Cal. 4th 1073, 1078 (1996) TA \l “People v. Humphrey, 13 Cal. 4th 1073, 1078 (1996)” \s “People v. People v. Humphrey, 13 Cal. 4th 1073, 1073, 1078 (1996)” \c 1 .  The Ninth Circuit recently reviewed a case involving physical isolation, where a victim’s spouse locked her in the home and refused to allow medical treatment.  Hernandez, 345 F.3d at 830 TA \s “Hernandez v. Ashcroft, 345 F.3d 824, 837 (9th Cir. 2003)” .  Furthermore, domestic violence incidents usually take place in the privacy of the home. People v. Gutierrez, 171 Cal. App. 3d 944, 949 (1985) TA \l “People v. Gutierrez, 171 Cal. App. 3d 44 (1985)” \s “People v. Gutierrez, 171 Cal. App. 3d at 944, 949 (1985)” \c 1  (citing  HYPERLINK “http://www.lexis.com/research/buttonTFLink?_m=614717a118cadce688a9ecf2401cc1d7&_xfercite=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b171%20Cal.%20App.%203d%20944%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_butType=3&_butStat=2&_butNum=28&_butInline=1&_butinfo=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c%21%5bCDATA%5b53%20Cal.%20App.%203d%20786%5d%5d%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&_fmtstr=FULL&docnum=1&_startdoc=1&wchp=dGLbVzz-zSkAB&_md5=4f5d57fe8d06a0095ed3dc11f0ad5a70&#8221; \t “_parent” People v. Cameron, 53 Cal.App.3d 786, 792 (1975) TA \l “People v. Cameron, 53 Cal.App.3d 786 (1975)” \s “People v. Cameron, 53 Cal.App.3d 786, 792 (1975)” \c 1 ).  Batterers often isolate their victims by controlling when they leave the house, where they go upon leaving, to whom they speak, and their daily activities.  Mary Ann Dutton & Catherine L. Waltz, Domestic Violence: Understanding Why It Happens and How to Recognize It, Domestic Violence Law 66, 68 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2001) TA \l “Mary Ann Dutton & Catherine L. Waltz, Domestic Violence: Understanding Why It Happens and How to Recognize It, in Domestic Violence Law 66,(Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2001)” \s “Mary Ann Dutton & Catherine L. Waltz, Domestic Violence:  Understanding Why It Happens and How to Recognize It, in Domestic Violence Law 66, 68 (Nancy K.D. Lemon ed., 2001)” \c 3

  This isolation impacts virtually every form of evidence a prosecutor would typically seek to introduce at trial.  Lisa Marie De Sanctis, Bridging the Gap Between the Rules of Evidence and Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence, 8 Yale J.L. & Feminism 359, 370-72 (1996) TA \l “Lisa Marie De Sanctis, Bridging the Gap Between the Rules of Evidence and Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence, 8 Yale J.L. & Feminism 359, 370(1996)” \s “Lisa Marie De Sanctis, Bridging the Gap Between the Rules of Evidence and Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence, 8 Yale J.L. & Feminism 359, 370-72 (1996)” \c 3 .  For example, because there are often no eyewitnesses to an incident of domestic violence, there will likely be no 911 calls from parties other than the victim.  Additionally, because many batterers isolate their victims from friends and family members, these individuals may be unaware of any domestic violence until the batterer is formally charged. See Janice A. Drye, The Silent Victims of Domestic Violence: Children Forgotten by the Judicial System, 34 Gonz. L. Rev. 229, 239 (1998/1999) TA \l “Janice A. Drye, The Silent Victims of Domestic Violence: Children Forgotten by the Judicial System, 34 Gonz. L. Rev. 229 (1998/1999)” \s “Janice A. Drye, The Silent Victims of Domestic Violence: Children Forgotten by the Judicial System, 34 Gonz. L. Rev. 229, 239 (1998/1999)” \c 3 ; Cris M. Sullivan, The Provision of Advocacy Services to Women Leaving Abusive Partners:  An Exploratory Study, 6 J. Interpersonal Violence 41, 43 (1991) TA \l “Cris M. Sullivan, The Provision of Advocacy Services to Women Leaving Abusive Partners:  An Exploratory Study, 6 J. Interpersonal Violence 41, (1991)” \s “Cris M. Sullivan, The Provision of Advocacy Services to Women Leaving Abusive Partners:  An Exploratory Study, 6 J. Interpersonal Violence 41, 43 (1991)” \c 3 .  As a result, friends and family members are often unable to testify to any history of domestic violence, leaving no evidence of the past abuse other than an unavailable victim’s statements.  

 An Intent-Based Application Of The Rule Will Significantly Diminish The Number Of Domestic Violence Prosecutions, Undermining Prosecution Efforts And Exacerbating The California Domestic Violence Crisis 

 

The California Legislature has established that prosecutions are necessary to reduce domestic violence incidents and has made great efforts to assist these prosecutions.  An Assembly Committee Report stated, “[C]riminal prosecution is one of the few factors that may interrupt the escalating pattern of domestic violence.”  See Assem. Comm. Rep. at 5 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” .  Further, the Legislature has declared, “[Since] spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California,…[we will] support increased efforts by district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices to prosecute spousal abusers through organizational and operational techniques.”  Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005)” \c 2 ; see also Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005)” \c 2  (establishing Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program within the Department of Justice that provides financial and technical assistance for district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices and promotes vertical prosecution in order to convict spousal abusers).

In order to address the domestic violence epidemic, the California Legislature has passed a host of laws intended to increase domestic violence arrests, prosecutions, and convictions.  See, e.g., Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005) TA \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)”  TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005)” \c 1 .  For example, these laws require arrests of persons who violate restraining orders (Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); encourage arrests where there is probable cause that a person committed a domestic violence offense (Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); require that suspects arrested for certain domestic violence offenses appear before a magistrate rather than be cited and released (Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); and encourage prosecutors to seek the most severe authorized sentence for a person convicted of a domestic violence offense (Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005)” \c 2 ).  See generally California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California Laws Relating to Domestic Violence (2005) TA \l “California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California Laws Relating to Domestic Violence (2005)” \s “California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, California Laws Relating to Domestic Violence (January 2005)” \c 3 ,  HYPERLINK “http://www.caadv.org/docs/dvlawsfinal.pdf&#8221; http://www.caadv.org/docs/dvlawsfinal.pdf (providing a comprehensive overview of hundreds of California code sections related to domestic violence).

Additionally, the Legislature has enacted several evidentiary rules specifically designed to facilitate domestic violence prosecutions, including laws allowing experts to testify when relevant, such as when a domestic violence victim recants or refuses to testify (Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005)” \c 2 ); permitting evidence of previous acts of abuse in a criminal action in which the defendant is accused of an offense involving domestic abuse of an elder or dependent person (Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)”  mentioned supra); and permitting introduction of some forms of hearsay evidence when the domestic violence victim is unavailable to testify (Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005)” \c 2 ).  

Despite the Legislature’s efforts to improve domestic violence prosecution efforts, however, there has been a substantial drop in domestic violence prosecutions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford.  In the first year after Crawford, California prosecutors reported that they were dismissing a higher number of domestic violence cases than in the preceding years. Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford TA \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” , supra, at 749-50.  Sixty-one percent of responding prosecutors reported that Crawford had significantly impeded domestic violence prosecutions.  Id., at 772, 820.    

Before Crawford, prosecutors often conducted “victimless prosecutions,” where they relied on hearsay statements made by victims to police, medical personnel, clergy, social workers, and others because the victim would not testify at trial.  Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the “Testimonial Statements” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 387, 387 (2005) TA \l “Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the \“Testimonial Statements\” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 3873(2005)” \s “Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the \”Testimonial Statements\” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 387, 387 (2005)” \c 3 ; Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution?, 28 Seattle U. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005) TA \l “Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution? 28 Seattle U. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005)” \s “Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution? 28 Seattle Univ. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005)” \c 3 .  Further, these prosecutions often proved successful in combating domestic violence.  See, e.g., Casey G. Gwinn & Anne O’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (1993) TA \l “Casey G. Gwinn & Anne O’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (1993)” \s “Casey G. Gwinn, J.D. & Sgt. Anne O’’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (Spring 1993)” \c 3  (“Nearly 60% of our filed cases involve uncooperative or absent victims and yet we obtain convictions in 88% of our cases…Our strategies are working to reduce violence in intimate relationships in San Diego”); Linda A. McGuire, Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence TA \l “Linda A. McGuire, Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence” \s “Linda A. McGuire, , Esq., Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence” \c 3 , available at  http://www.bwjp.org/documents/prosecuteV.htm (reporting that San Diego prosecutors’ and law enforcement officials’ strategies , including conducting victimless prosecutions, decreased San Diego’s domestic violence homicide rate by 59% from 1991 to 1993) (last visited Dec. 7, 2005).   

  The post-Crawford drop in domestic violence prosecutions indicates that some prosecutors and judges have failed to recognize the Rule of Forfeiture as an applicable exception to the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation in many domestic violence cases.  See Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 607 (2005) TA \l “Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 60(2005)” \s “Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 607 (2005)” \c 3  (stating that Crawford “has caused great disruption and massive uncertainty” in the prosecution of domestic violence cases).  Specifically, this trend indicates that prosecutors seek to admit an unavailable victim’s statements under the Rule only when a defendant intends to procure the victim’s unavailability at trial instead of when, as often occurs in domestic violence cases, the defendant causes the witness’s unavailability by killing the victim or by instilling fear of reprisals.  As a result, the legal system appears to reward batterers by dropping some charges, dismissing entire cases, or acquitting the batterer of domestic violence charges when the victim’s statements are the only evidence to establish a battering relationship.  

Furthermore, if batterers know that prosecutors will move to dismiss charges or lose domestic violence cases whenever batterers successfully terrorize and sequester their victims, they will intimidate and threaten their victims in order to derail prosecution.  See Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford TA \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” , supra, at 808 (raising concern that if courts require a victim witness’s live testimony in order to admit any of the victim’s statements, it is more likely that an abuser will threaten the victim before trial in the hope of preventing prosecution).  Conversely, if the judicial system holds batterers accountable for causing a victim’s unavailability, batterers will have less incentive to intimidate their victims into silence.   

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, amici respectfully request that the Court affirm the decision of the Court of Appeal.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_________________________

Nancy K. D. Lemon

Calif. State Bar No. 95627

Boalt Hall School of Law

University of California 

Berkeley, California 94720

(510) 525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 

 

 

Dated: December 11, 2005

 

On behalf of

 

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)

 

Asian Law Alliance of San Jose

 

California National Organization for Women (CA NOW)

 

California Women’s Law Center

 

City of Santa Cruz’s Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women

 

Glendale YWCA

 

Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project

 

Marjaree Mason Center

 

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence

 

Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children

 

South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center

 

Walnut Avenue Women’s Center

 

Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE)

 

WomanHaven, Inc., d/b/a Center for Family Solutions

 

Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres

 

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

 

I certify that this brief complies with the type-volume limitation of the California Rules of Court Rule 14(c)(1).

Exclusive of the exempted portions in California Rules of Court Rule 14(c)(3), the brief contains 7638 words.

 

 

 

 

_________________________

 

Nancy K. D. Lemon

Boalt Hall School of Law 

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, California 94720

Telephone: 510-525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 

 

 

Dated: December 11, 2005

 

 

 

PROOF OF SERVICE

(not relevant for purposes of this post) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This segment quoted by LetsGetHonest above — before entire Giles text)

 

 Defendant concedes the second issue on review.  The Rule applies even where the wrongdoing is the same as the offense for which the defendant is on trial.  A defendant will profit from his wrongdoing regardless of whether he procured the victim’s unavailability during trial or before the prosecutor filed charges against him.  As the Kansas Supreme Court observed, “[B]ootstrapping does not pose a genuine problem.”  State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d 789, 794 (Kan. 2004). TA \l “State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d 789 (Kan. 2004).” \s “State v. Meeks, 88 P.3d 789, 794 (Kan. 2004).” \c 1  

 Arguably, some victims may refuse to assist in their batterers’ prosecutions due to factors that the batterer does not cause, including love and the hope that the batterer will change.  Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997) TA \l “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving the Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \s “Linda Kelly, Domestic Violence Survivors: Surviving tThe Beatings Of 1996, 11 Geo. EOImmigr. L.J. 303, 308-309 (1997)” \c 3 .  However, even in these circumstances, trial courts may determine that the batterer caused the victim’s unavailability by preying on the victim’s emotions and promising to change.  

 Tom Lininger, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, conducted a survey of more than sixty prosecutors’ offices in California, Washington, and Oregon regarding Crawford’s impact on domestic violence prosecutions.  The survey included responses from 23 counties in California (which collectively included eighty-eight percent of California’s population).  Several courts have recently cited Lininger’s domestic violence research findings, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  See United States v. Hall, 419 F.3d 980 (9th Cir. 2005) TA \s “United States v. Hall, No. 04-50193, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 17148, at *21 n.6419 F.3d 980, 988 n.6 (9th Cir.  Aug. 15, 2005)” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAGE  

 

 

PAGE  25

 

 

 

 

““The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” **

leave a comment »

It’s DV Awareness Month.  Are you aware?  I’m not seeing much in the headlines this year.  It’s more than just a label. . . .or an ideology.  Here’s part of what it looks like, after reporting.  


( ** quotation below….)

In the website “selfrepresentedfool.org”  Dr. Natalia A. Sidiakina both organizes & analyzes the non-obvious and expresses the very obvious impact of the family law system as only someone not yet? ground up by it can.  

 

Legal System in California Promotes Domestic Violence Against Women”

(copied in entirety, after I get through my intro — shorter than usual today….)

While some people are furthering their careers and researching, not suffering through “familycourtmatters,” I still stand amazed at the volume and breadth of information– legal, cognitive, financial, and social, AND philosophical —  that some people can not only process, but interrelate, and still come out impassioned, expressive, but coherent and with detailed analysis — that women who have been through this basic tyranny through the courts, can.  Perhaps these are survival skills.  To sustain violence over many years is a motive driven by emotion, but enabled like any other war with strategy, foresight, diplomacy/deceit at times, and timing, and intimidation.  It is a skilled mixture, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those good at both the abuse and surviving it might make excellent chefs, or businessmen & women.  For those who have been targeted, add stamina and a rock-solid motivation keeping “the pilot light lit,” year after year.

 

People, we are in trouble in this country, and that trouble as in any ages is, FIRST, unjust judges signing these orders, but they do not operate in a power vacuum at all — and ones that aren’t,also can take retaliation, as did Richard Fine, in L.A. County, even as we speak.  Even as women reporting abuse take retaliation, sometimes in the form of taking their children, too. For “taken children” to be brave enough to speak up, or want to, is a whole other matter.  I do believe that part of the reason their custody gets switched to the batterers/abusers/molesters (speaking, in cases where this has already happened, or after reporting it when it has) is to shut them up.  The court just send a message — speak up, or if one parent speaks up, and you live with your abuser.  Or strangers.

I have not met this woman, and was unaware of the site, that I recall, until yesterday.  But it both summarizes, puts in philosophical framework, AND annotates, many issues — not all of them (child abuse, for example, doesn’t seem to be the primary feature in here), but what happens when a woman tries to report, or leave, abuse.  If she is still alive, what kind of life can she have?  

Are you are employed (or not), a parent (or not) married (or not), in addition to paying taxes, did you give to your neighbor, at your faith institution or progressive atheist organization, at the office, church, or local homeless shelter (or not)?

If so, still please dedicate one hour of your time to reading this site in its entirety, and thinking about its contents.

(You will notice I didn’t really appeal to people on the boards of organizations supposedly handling these problems in the court.  There’s a reason I didn’t…..Nor did I appeal to religious leaders of any faith as a segment.  There’s a reason I didn’t there, too.  I’m appealing to people of average and relatively moral sensibility to not turn the other cheek to this type of system, because you’re not an expert in it.  This is what too many of the experts in the family law system DO.  The DOING of that is a drain on the economy, and your taxes (USA, I mean, and especially if California — featured here.)

 

http://selfrepresentedfool.org/

Pages include:  

  • Neurobiological basis of abuse of power.
  • Democracy in CA is Moneycracy
  • Legal System in CA is Immoral
  • Current Legal System Leads CA To Tyranny
  • Legal System in CA Turns Children Into Slaves   (Think not?  Where have you been living?!  See sandiegochildtrafficking.org.   See Courageouskids.net.  Google “California Protective Parents.”  See “The Leadership Council” (a website).
  • “Legal System in California Promotes Domestic Violence Against Women”  (posted below….)
  • The Courthouse, The House of Torture  (details her physical reactions to emotional torture in the courtroom, and how this limits a battered woman’s ability to self-represent after her attorney has quit, when funds ran out.  Her story is here too, I believe.)  
  • Need for a Paradigm Shift and Legal Reform in CA

(etc.)

Complete with cites, neurological basis, and coherent explanation of the money issues in a divorce.  This is written by a PhD/MBA, so don’t expect just a rant, or even that.

The woman who wrote this is no fool — at all.  In addition to JusticeForWomen.org, which talks about the process we go through — this woman’s site hits almost every major facet, and I would add to a “should-read/must-read” status.  It’s also current.

 

Below here represents one page of her site, verbatim, and not (for once) my comments to it:
Self-Represented Fool : “The One Who Represents Himself Has A Fool For A Client” (Lawyer’s Joke)

 

“Legal System in California Promotes Domestic Violence Against Women”

Copyright© 2008-2009 by Natalia A. Sidiakina for Self-Represented Fool®

                                  All rights reserved.

Natalia A. Sidiakina permits unrestricted not-for-profit use, distribution, and reproduction of this article or any part thereof in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. See original citations in the articles on this web site and examples of citations below in this web page. For more information and permission for for-profit use, distribution, and reproduction please contact info@selfrepresentedfool.org.

”The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” 

– Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

 

 “Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.” 

– Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC)

 

**“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” 

– Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” 

– Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC)

 

 

The current legal system in California promotes domestic violence against women.

(main article was written in July of 2008)

 

Violence is the exercise of power and, as such, is addictive. In family settings, a more powerful spouse can “modify other’s states by providing or withholding resources or administering punishments”[1]. In case of domestic violence against women, the more powerful spouse is a husband, who controls financial resources and, consequently, social status.

 

 

Most men’s violent and abusive behavior in family settings, as contrary to supportive and providing behavior, results from the suppression of cognition by stress or other means (alcohol, drugs, etc.)[2]. Suppressed cognition allows anger to erupt at whoever is handy and less powerful, making the wife and children easy targets.

 

 

Frequently under stress, the suppressed anger of men, who were abused as children, gets expressed through domestic abuse and violence.[3] Stress is increasing generally in California due to war in Iraq, rising oil and food prices, financial crisis, home equity deterioration, foreclosures, exorbitant health insurance costs, economic stagnation, transferring of high-tech manufacturing and research to Asia, resulting unemployment, etc.

 

{{Let’s Get Honest inserted comment:  Two of these commas should be omitted, making the phrasee “who were abused as children” a limiting phrase (conditional) and a qualifier added, I think:  “The suppressed anger of men [omit comma] who  were abused as children [omit comma] [add SOMETIMES] gets expressed through domestic abuse and violence.”   Obviously not ALL men were abused as children.  Or let’s hope they weren’t…}}


{{My personal opinion.  I don’t know that every man who commits domestic abuse (i.e., violence against an intimate partner or family member– see legal definitions) was abused as a child.  Possibly, but that still excuses it, adn there IS no excuse.  What about being egged on by others?  What about simple entitlement, as accepted too often in at LEAST the 3 “Abrahamic” religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, in chrono order) and/or because they — as the writer here expresses in another page — get a dopamine rush off it?  Another potential source of significant stress for children can be the school situations.  Either way, I noticed this statement as an assumption I don’t particularly agree with.  There is STILL no excuse!  On another page — the Neurological Basis of power, she compares the collective turnoff of the conscience preceding the Holocaust, the genocide — in short, the emotional DISTANCING of one population from another, turns of the morality.  I have seen this within my own family, and I most definitely detect it in the “subject/object” pathologizing paradigm (to overuse a term, but it seems to work…) within the family law system, in which a crime is not a crime is not a crime, but is re-cast as a family conflict.  }}

 

Stress from work is also increasing because most employees have bosses and peers who bully them also because of the stress and because bullying is pleasurable and addictive as it increases the dopamine levels in the brain[4]. 37% of the US employees, or the majority of potential non-bullies assuming a 50/50 ratio, are bullied at work[5].

 

 

Unlike sexual harassment, bullying has no legal remedy in California and is dismissed as “interpersonal conflict” between employees. Because bullying is addictive and because bullies have no motivation to stop it, the number of bullied at work employees will be increasing. Therefore, the number of stressed employed men (and women) with suppressed cognition in California will be also increasing.

 

           

            Abusive husbands are unlikely to seek divorce or change their addictive violent behavior as long as things are going their way in the family settings. An abused wife in California is extremely unlikely to report domestic violence because such reporting will necessarily result in her husband’s arrest and, consequently, an inevitable divorce, her financial downfall, and the high likelihood of her becoming homeless and even loosing custody of her children.

 

 

After divorce, housewives will struggle to find employment even at low wages of less than $15/hour and will likely be bullied at work. For many women, a bullying husband is less threatening than bullies at work.

 

 

Husband’s arrest for domestic violence can result in a criminal case against husband or a dismissal. If the abused wife presses charges, her husband, who controls financial resources, will hire an influential criminal law attorney to defend him. After hearings and a trial, the abusive husband will be either free or in jail. Being in prison will necessarily result in husband’s loss of employment and financial crisis for the family.

 

 

The jailed abusive husband will hate his wife, will hire an influential family law attorney, will direct his attorney to transfer all family funds and assets to ensure that wife would not have access to them, and will file for divorce. The family is likely to loose its residence because the main breadwinner and the mortgage payer will be gone. Naturally, no housewife wants that. According to the family law center of Sonoma County, more then 50% of arrests for domestic violence result in dismissals prior to the establishment of a case.

 

 

            If the arrest results in a dismissal, especially after the case was tried, the arrested husband will have more stress from the arrest and the court hearings and will naturally harbor a lot of hostility and anger against his wife. Moreover, the balance of power in the family will be changed by the arrest, and the arrested husband will no longer be satisfied with his marriage.

 

 

Since the abusive husband controls his family’s financial resources, he will hide and transfer the family assets in the secret preparation for divorce. He will hire an influential family law attorney and then will file for divorce requesting custody of the children, no spousal support and no attorney’s fees to his wife.

 

 

It will be extremely unlikely for his abused wife to have sufficient separate property assets and separate income to maintain continuous legal representation. Consequently, she will become self-represented shortly after the beginning of the divorce.

 

 

            During the trial, the abusive husband’s attorney will lie to the judge and will make the wife look like an alcoholic, a drug addict, and a completely unfit parent. The family law trial judge will ignore any evidence and pleadings submitted by the self-represented wife.

 

 

After divorce, the abusive husband will remain living in the family residence with the children, and his abused ex-wife will likely receive no or minimal spousal support and no property because the major portion or all of the community property will be used to pay for the abusive husband’s attorney’s fees.

 

 

            Women are more vulnerable to stress and twice as likely as men to develop anxiety and depression under stress[6]. Any infection, even minor flu or cold, will necessarily exacerbate the stress on the body. If the abused wife was employed during the marriage, she is likely to lose her employment because she will likely develop severe anxiety and major depression as a result of the stress during her divorce litigation. A depressed woman will have an impaired cognition and no energy to look for a new employment.

 

 

The current medications for depression take several weeks to have a clinical effect, and only 40%-50% of antidepressants work. Because of the side effects and ineffectiveness, a depressed woman will have to try 2-3 different medications to find the one that works. This will take a few months.

 

 

While being depressed with no funds and no legal knowledge, the abused wife will not be able to either hire an appellate attorney or self-represent herself in appeal and prepare in 1-3 months a good quality Appellant’s Opening Brief. As a result, the injustice created by the trial judge will become permanent.

 

 

In conclusion, the abused wife will report domestic violence ONLY when she fears for her own or her children’s lives.

 

 

In wealthy Marin County, for instance, domestic violence against women was growing quietly in the past years and is currently a primary type of violent crime accounting for 30% of violent crime cases (over 60% of violent crime arrests)[7].

 

 

Thus, the current legal system with its unrealistic deadlines and exorbitant legal fees implicitly promotes domestic violence against women.

 


[1] Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D.H., Anderson, C. (2003) Power, Approach and Inhibition. Psychological Review, Vol. 110, No. 2, 265-284 at p. 265, on the web athttp://socrates.berkeley.edu/~keltner/publications/keltner.power.psychreview.2003.pdf

 

[2] Dr. Forward, S. (1990) Toxic Parents. Bantam Books, p.3, 120, 124, 137

[3] Dr. Forward, S. (1990) Toxic Parents. Bantam Books, p.3, 120, 124, 137.

[4] Scientific American Mind, April/May 2008, p.14.

[5] Kim, J.N. (2008) The Cubicle Bully. Scientific American Mind, July/July 2008, p.13.

[6] National Institute of Mental Health official web site; Andreasen, N.C., MD, PhD, (2004) Brave New Brain. Oxford University Press, at p. 237-238.

[7] Cal. Courts Rev., Spring 2008, p.8. At dismissal rate of 50%, DV arrests represent 60% of violent crimes.

 

Copyright© 2008-2009 by Natalia A. Sidiakina for Self-Represented Fool®

                                  All rights reserved.

Natalia A. Sidiakina permits unrestricted not-for-profit use, distribution, and reproduction of this article or any part thereof in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. See original citations in the articles on this web site and examples of citations below in this web page. For more information and permission for for-profit use, distribution, and reproduction please contact info@selfrepresentedfool.org.

(END OF QUOTATION FROM THIS WEBSITE PAGE)…..

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LINKS OR INACTIVE LINKS, AND HAVE PASTED & COPIED THIS SITE FROM BEGINNING OF TEXT TO BOTTOM OF FOOTNOTES…

 

CAL. PEN. CODE § 273.8 : California Code – Section 273.8

The Legislature hereby finds that spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California. The Legislature further finds that the concept of vertical prosecution, in which a specially trained deputy district attorney, deputy city attorney, or prosecution unit is assigned to a case after arraignment and continuing to its completion, is a proven way of demonstrably increasing the likelihood of convicting spousal abusers and ensuring appropriate sentences for those offenders. In enacting this chapter, the Legislature intends to support increased efforts by district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices to prosecute spousal abusers through organizational and operational techniques that have already proven their effectiveness in selected cities and counties in this and other states.

I am going to bite my tongue about that training.  

There’s more – read the fine print, and wonder.:

(a)There is hereby established in the Department of Justice (DOJ) a program of financial and technical assistance for district attorneys’ or city attorneys’ offices, designated the Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program. All funds appropriated to the Department of Justice for the purposes of this chapter shall be administered and disbursed by the Attorney General, and shall to the greatest extent feasible, be coordinated or consolidated with any federal or local funds that may be made available for these purposes.

The Department of Justice shall establish guidelines for the provision of grant awards to proposed and existing programs prior to the allocation of funds under this chapter. These guidelines shall contain the criteria for the selection of agencies to receive funding and the terms and conditions upon which the Department of Justice is prepared to offer grants pursuant to statutory authority. The guidelines shall not constitute rules, regulations, orders, or standards of general application.  {{Then what DO they represent?}}

(b)The Attorney General may allocate and award funds to cities or counties, or both, in which spousal abuser prosecution units are established or are proposed to be established in substantial compliance with the policies and criteria set forth in this chapter.

(c)The allocation and award of funds shall be made upon application executed by the county’s district attorney or by the city’s attorney and approved by the county board of supervisors or by the city council. Funds disbursed under this chapter shall not supplant local funds that would, in the absence of the California Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program, be made available to support the prosecution of spousal abuser cases. Local grant awards made under this program shall not be subject to review as specified in Section 10295 of the Public Contract Code.  {{gee. . . . . }}

(d)Local government recipients shall provide 20 percent matching funds for every grant awarded under this program.

In the next post, I am going to put the “

Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Respondent in People v. Giles”

 

This is a 25 -page brief (Dec. 2005) on behalf of several organizations, responding to< I THINK, an accused spousal murderer’s right to confront his accuser.  (again, speculation from memory of this), part of his defense was, his right to confront his accuser was being compromised.  Well, she was dead, dude!  Unbelievably, this brief addresses that issue.  However, I include it because it came up when I searched on “Clear and present Danger.”  IF you can go to the subject sentences of each paragraph, it also will provide more insight on domestic violence as an issue.  Also, given that it’s written by Nancy K.D. Lemon, Esq. — prominent in this field, and at UC Berkeley Boalt School of Law, I think it’s worth posting. . . . . On the NEXT post.  

Here, though is the ending of this document, FYI.  Again, consider what the woman above (one among how many?) went through. . . . .

<><><><><>

 An Intent-Based Application Of The Rule Will Significantly Diminish The Number Of Domestic Violence Prosecutions, Undermining Prosecution Efforts And Exacerbating The California Domestic Violence Crisis 

 

The California Legislature has established that prosecutions are necessary to reduce domestic violence incidents and has made great efforts to assist these prosecutions.  An Assembly Committee Report stated, “[C]riminal prosecution is one of the few factors that may interrupt the escalating pattern of domestic violence.”  See Assem. Comm. Rep. at 5 TA \s “Assem. Comm. Rep. on Public Safety S.B. 1876, atpp 3-4 (June 25, 1996)” Further, the Legislature has declared, “[Since] spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California,…[we will] support increased efforts by district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices to prosecute spousal abusers through organizational and operational techniques.”  Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005) {{{I JUST CITED, ABOVE}}}

 

{{DO readers YET? understand why the family law venue, as populated by the noble “AFCC” with enablements by also the “OCSE” (search my blog on this) “MUST” exist if batterers are to get away with this, when there are children?  Why there MUST be, despite these D.A. legislated efforts in the 2005s to STOp domestic violence, and stop it by characterizing and prosecuting it as the crime (it is indeed criminal in intent and effect, seeking to undermine the basis of principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence:  Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.  There is no happiness possible in abuse, because there is no liberty, and sometimes it stops life, too.  Ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump..) – – there MUST be a contrary movement, a groundswell of indignant (primarily fathers) to RE-Characterize and DE-Criminalize the language and, with that, prosecution, of criminal behavior towards individuals, including children, and re-cast it as “parental rights” and “family conflict.”  ???  These motions are essentially in DIRECT opposition to each other. . . . . . .

{{ NOW, friends, begin to understand – I feel I most certainly have experienced this, along with others — how the CRIMINAL PROSECUTION side, this law enforcement, indeed plays too often (they do!) “good cop/bad cop” with the family law venue, withholding prosecution sometimes, and purusing it other times — same law, same county, same personnel.  I am in the middle of this struggle presently, where I have a total and clearly identified — but who can enforce? and at what risk to the parties involved, not just me? — legal right?}}  However this document is dealing with the criminal prosecution side — not the family / custody issues side – apparently segmented in too many brains, but overlapped in experiences of families going through this, with kids.}}

 

[Not new Para. in original] TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.8 (West  2005)” \c 2 ; see also Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.81 (West  2005)” \c 2  (establishing Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program within the Department of Justice that provides financial and technical assistance for district attorneys’ and city attorneys’ offices and promotes vertical prosecution in order to convict spousal abusers).

In order to address the domestic violence epidemic, the California Legislature has passed a host of laws intended to increase domestic violence arrests, prosecutions, and convictions.  See, e.g., Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005) TA \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West 2005)”  TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13700 (West  2005)” \c 1 .  For example, these laws require arrests of persons who violate restraining orders [[NOT DONE IN MY CASE]] (Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 836(c) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); encourage arrests where there is probable cause that a person committed a domestic violence offense (Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 13701(b) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); require that suspects arrested for certain domestic violence offenses appear before a magistrate rather than be cited and released (Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 853.6(a) (West 2005)” \c 2 ); and encourage prosecutors to seek the most severe authorized sentence for a person convicted of a domestic violence offense (Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Pen. Code § 273.84(b) (West 2005)” \c 2 ). 

 

Additionally, the Legislature has enacted several evidentiary rules specifically designed to facilitate domestic violence prosecutions, including laws allowing experts to testify when relevant, such as when a domestic violence victim recants or refuses to testify (Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1107 (West 2005)” \c 2 ); permitting evidence of previous acts of abuse in a criminal action in which the defendant is accused of an offense involving domestic abuse of an elder or dependent person (Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005) TA \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1109 (West 2005)”  mentioned supra); and permitting introduction of some forms of hearsay evidence when the domestic violence victim is unavailable to testify (Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005) TA \l “Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005)” \s “Cal. Evid. Code § 1370 (West 2005)” \c 2 ).  

 

{{You will notice “Cal. Evid. Code is being cited here.  However, the family law SEPARATED the Evid. code from itself years ago, I heard (early 1990s?) per a CA NOW Family Law website description of the history of this system (the 2002 report).  . . . . So it seems to me that this separation was intentional.  THEN, a certain father got caught out with his representation, in essence “caught” by those local rules, and now we have — locally — an “Elkins Family Law Task Force” pulled together to rescue this Dad (whose name also happens to be Elkins, DNK if coincidence or related to the original Meyer Elkins.  There are lots of Elkinses areound, so maybe  not…) because and specifically because, family law is so different from civil procedure.  Well, that was a built-in, intentional system bias!  (From what I can read).  Back to the text….}}

 

Despite the Legislature’s efforts to improve domestic violence prosecution efforts, however, there has been a substantial drop in domestic violence prosecutions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford.  In the first year after Crawford, California prosecutors reported that they were dismissing a higher number of domestic violence cases than in the preceding years. Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford TA \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” , supra, at 749-50.  Sixty-one percent of responding prosecutors reported that Crawford had significantly impeded domestic violence prosecutionsId., at 772, 820.    

 

{{Apparently this relates to where the victim(s) are basically terrorized out of testifying, based on a very real belief that they (or loved ones) will be significantly hurt if they do, and that the system isn’t going to particularly protect them.  ALthough I doubt readers are up to the reasoning yet, I feel this feeds significantly into the PAS debate (Parental Alienation Syndrome) which, while I know where it came from, I feel could be sprung in reverse on mothers who have lost their kids (possibly DUE to the use of this legal tactic) and those kids are smart enough to keep their mouths shut.  In short, treating people who have been exposed to abuse, long-term and significant, whether by WITNESSING it to a parent, or sibling, or EXPERIENCING IT DIRECTLY (or both) — they have a right to self-protection, which may very well, their point of view, entail joining in on the abuse of the left-behind parent (or else), or simply clamming up.  For more insight into this, read the journal (true story, written after he got out and became an adult),   “The Boy Called It” and a secondary brother who became “it” after the original boy was rescued from the family.  In this case, it was the mother abusing, horribly so.  The name escapes me presently, but is searchable….  I had a hard time reading it, as it cut close to home..in the dynamics of being targeted, as a child, for the denigrating behavior, while siblings were not…OK, back to the GILES amicus….}}

 

Before Crawford, prosecutors often conducted “victimless prosecutions,” where they relied on hearsay statements made by victims to police, medical personnel, clergy, social workers, and others because the victim would not testify at trial.  Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the “Testimonial Statements” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 387, 387 (2005) TA \l “Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the \“Testimonial Statements\” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 3873(2005)” \s “Melissa Moody, A Blow to Domestic Violence Victims: Applying the \”Testimonial Statements\” Test in Crawford v. Washington, 11 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 387, 387 (2005)” \c 3 ; Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution?, 28 Seattle U. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005) TA \l “Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution? 28 Seattle U. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005)” \s “Andrew King-Ries, Crawford v. Washington: The End of Victimless Prosecution? 28 Seattle Univ. L. Rev. 301, 301 (2005)” \c 3 .  Further, these prosecutions often proved successful in combating domestic violence.  See, e.g., Casey G. Gwinn & Anne O’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (1993) TA \l “Casey G. Gwinn & Anne O’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (1993)” \s “Casey G. Gwinn, J.D. & Sgt. Anne O’’Dell, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Stopping the Violence: The Role of the Police Officer and the Prosecutor, 20 W. St. U.L. Rev. 297, 303-04 (Spring 1993)” \c 3  (“Nearly 60% of our filed cases involve uncooperative or absent victims and yet we obtain convictions in 88% of our cases…Our strategies are working to reduce violence in intimate relationships in San Diego”); Linda A. McGuire, Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence TA \l “Linda A. McGuire, Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence” \s “Linda A. McGuire, , Esq., Criminal Prosecution of Domestic Violence” \c 3 , available at  http://www.bwjp.org/documents/prosecuteV.htm (reporting that San Diego prosecutors’ and law enforcement officials’ strategies , including conducting victimless prosecutions, decreased San Diego’s domestic violence homicide rate by 59% from 1991 to 1993) (last visited Dec. 7, 2005).   

 

{{COMMENT:  search Case G. Gwinn on this blog, I believe I posted the article about his attempts to coverup DV of one of his employees, and a lawsuit by another one he assigned to the cover-up, step in the gap procedure.  When threats came to the secondary employee (lawsuit said?) his response was to make sure she wasn’t on HIS floor, where he also might be targeted.  Another “problem” I have with Casey J. Gwinn is the establishment of the replicating Family Justice Center Alliance, made possible by a $1 million grant from Verizon.  This was happening at a time I myself was desperately seeking (yet did not get) help to obtain a cell phone for my own safety, from Verizon, or anyone else for that matter, being stalked and so forth.  While they had their high-profile websites, we women were on our own, here, on the street level….I cannot tell you what I went through in the past 2 years alone just to keep a damn PHONE on!  How’d you like to deal with that?}}

 

  The post-Crawford drop in domestic violence prosecutions indicates that some prosecutors and judges have failed to recognize the Rule of Forfeiture as an applicable exception to the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation in many domestic violence cases.  See Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 607 (2005) TA \l “Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 60(2005)” \s “Robert P. Mosteller, Crawford v. Washington: Encouraging and Ensuring the Confrontation of Witnesses, 39 U. Rich. L. Rev. 511, 607 (2005)” \c 3  (stating that Crawford “has caused great disruption and massive uncertainty” in the prosecution of domestic violence cases).  Specifically, this trend indicates that prosecutors seek to admit an unavailable victim’s statements under the Rule only when a defendant intends to procure the victim’s unavailability at trial instead of when, as often occurs in domestic violence cases, the defendant causes the witness’s unavailability by killing the victim or by instilling fear of reprisals.  As a result, the legal system appears to reward batterers by dropping some charges, dismissing entire cases, or acquitting the batterer of domestic violence charges when the victim’s statements are the only evidence to establish a battering relationship.  

Furthermore, if batterers know that prosecutors will move to dismiss charges or lose domestic violence cases whenever batterers successfully terrorize and sequester their victims, they will intimidate and threaten their victims in order to derail prosecution.  See Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford TA \s “Tom Lininger, Prosecuting Batterers After Crawford, 91 Va. L. Rev. 747, 769 (2005)” , supra, at 808 (raising concern that if courts require a victim witness’s live testimony in order to admit any of the victim’s statements, it is more likely that an abuser will threaten the victim before trial in the hope of preventing prosecution).  Conversely, if the judicial system holds batterers accountable for causing a victim’s unavailability, batterers will have less incentive to intimidate their victims into silence. )

 

{{Violations of Sixth Amendment right to confront is flagrant and essential to the family law process, far’s I can tell.  This is done when the accuser is no longer the individual himself alone, but a mediator’s or evaluator’s report obtained by separate meetings (if requested for DV) from the victim (no longer considered a victim in family law either — she is a person who has a “problem” called “conflict” within the family, and as such it is as much HER duty as HIS to make it stop — which is virtually impossible, many times, without prosecution or protection of some sort.. . . But notice how much more detailed and specific the conversation is when it is in the CRIMINAL side of prosecution here..}}

 

 

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, amici respectfully request that the Court affirm the decision of the Court of Appeal.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_________________________

Nancy K. D. Lemon

Calif. State Bar No. 95627

Boalt Hall School of Law

University of California 

Berkeley, California 94720

(510) 525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 

 

 

Dated: December 11, 2005

 

On behalf of

 

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)

 

Asian Law Alliance of San Jose

 

California National Organization for Women (CA NOW)

 

California Women’s Law Center

 

City of Santa Cruz’s Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women

 

Glendale YWCA

 

Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project

 

Marjaree Mason Center

 

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence

 

Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children

 

South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center

 

Walnut Avenue Women’s Center

 

Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE)

 

WomanHaven, Inc., d/b/a Center for Family Solutions

 

Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres

 

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

 

I certify that this brief complies with the type-volume limitation of the California Rules of Court Rule 14(c)(1).

Exclusive of the exempted portions in California Rules of Court Rule 14(c)(3), the brief contains 7638 words.

 

 

 

 

_________________________

 

Nancy K. D. Lemon

Boalt Hall School of Law 

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, California 94720

Telephone: 510-525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 

 

 

Dated: December 11, 2005

 

 

 

PROOF OF SERVICE  (NOT relevant to the discussion)….

 

 

FOUND on the WEB at:

[DOC] 

Domestic Violence, by its Nature, Frequently Results in Forfeiture 

 – 

File Format: Microsoft Word – View as HTML
Additionally, the California Family Code defines abuse as causing bodily injury, ….. “[Since]spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the 
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/GilesAmicusBrief.doc – Similar – 


 

I simply consider the family law arena, and/or its collaboration with other arms of the system that SHOULD enable a citizen to live a normal life after separating from abuse / domestic violence — and WITH the children being PROTECTED from further, dangerous, or threatening, undermining interactions with the othe rparent.  In short, when can we just take a stand and say NO! and mean it to this vice, abuse?

 

Only when it ceases to produce benefits for others.


“Why does he DO that?” A walk on the wild side…. [with some 2013 updates]

with one comment

(note — see the comment, from 2009. The person “gets” what I was doing in the post, thank you!)

I am speaking as an owner and long-time appreciator of the book. “Why Does He Do That?  Inside the Minds of Angry & Controlling Men.”.. which showed up like a savior, emotionally, right as my case plummeted from stablized position under protection of a restraining order, into the volatile, “mandatory-mediation” arena of Family Court, which reminded me of “Chutes and Ladders”, with more chutes than ladders.

You take one false step (or have your family placed at the top of a chute through being hauled into this venue) and are on a chute.

Kind of like life WITH the abusive guy (or woman) to start with, anyhow, huh?  Hmm…  Wonder why they function similarly!

(The post on “Family Court Matters a la  board-games” is in pre-development stage, meaning, a little gleam in the blogger’s eye still.  Paper, Scissors Stone (last post) got me thinking for sure…..)

If you haven’t read Lundy Bancroft’s material AND/OR you are not yourself a victim or being forced to co-parent with a batterer, you’re not fully informed in the domestic violence field, period.

(2013 Update, In Hindsight):

Then again, if we’d all been talking about something besides “batterers” perhaps neither Batterers Intervention Programs nor “domestic violence” would have developed into “fields,” coalitions, or industries.

And the conversation about those fields and how THEY operate is the conversation that no one seems to want to talk about, even as updates to “The Batterer As Parent” have been published and being circulated in various circles.

I mean, think about it (why didn’t we earlier??)  There is a crime called “assault and battery” — but by the time someone has become a “batter-er” that means, it’s habitual — which means someone else is experiencing “domestic violence.” How can you domesticate “violence” and what’s domestic about it? (Well, you can tame down its labeling and call it domestic “abuse” — which has been done…

In fact, as it turns out, “BIPs” are actually diversionary programs to criminal prosecution for the beating up on others. Some people figured out, along with programs like, “moral reconation therapy(tm)” and Psychoeducational classes for kids undergoing divorce — that the more programs the merrier. I guess… The money is made upfront in the trainings, yours truly (The United States Government, which is essentially “yours truly” — the taxpayers) set up the policies and the corporations and then runs the population through them every time someone shows up actually needing some realtime social service — or justice — or help.

I can’t explain it too well in a single post, but this conflict was staged and manipulated in order to obtain more and more central control (literally, an economic stranglehold) on most of us through those of us that are willing to sell out for collaboration, sales, and the conference circuit.  As sincere or genuine as these individuals may be, I do know they are playing on empathy to increase sales.  I do not know whether or not they see the endgame, after their own use has expired in the long-range plan of bankrupting Americans so we are left as a human resource without other options than begging or slavery, at a sheer subsistence level.

Some of us have been their in marriage, we have been there AFTER filing restraining orders, which were intended to protect us (allegedly), but we were NOT there after even a year or two in the family court Archipelago.

Somehow, in this destitute and distressed state, we grasp at straws of empathy and keep referring friends and neighbors to explain our own situation to the same types of information — such as if only someone would JUST UNDERSTAND batterers’ psyches, our kids would be safer, and life would be better.

Anyhow, what follows was from very early in this blog (October 2009) and shows my understanding at that time.  Even then, I was questioning the logic of the question.

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