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Leave of Absence this month on “Domestic Violence Awareness”? — If only ….

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Recommended reading this month:

Women’s Justice Center, PO Box 7510, Santa Rosa, CA 94507.  See previous blog.  The title (above) is a URL.


Help, information, activism on rape, domestic violence and child abuse. Ayuda informacion, activismo sobre violacion, violencia domestica, y abuso infantil.


Let’sGetHonest regrets to refrain contributing significantly this year to “Domestic Violence Awareness” month, as her own situation is currently in motion, and requires legal action and other action & attention.  

This is typical.  The months, drives (White Ribbon drive comes to mind) and conferences roll on, as do the personal events.


Over the years, handling escalations of the original situation has often pre-empted participation in the latest drive, month, initiative, or move to stop it.  So I may be leaving commentary THIS month to the true experts — those who are less distracted by experiencing the stuff, NOW, and are in making livelihoods conferenceing and helping those who are too stressed out, on the run, or occupied in court, looking for missing kids, re-assessing lethality risk based on latest local indicators (i.e., the last communications from the person left), and keeping their options open to not become a newspaper headline.  Many leaders in this field DO come from their own experiences, but nevertheless, too many are talking as if about foreigners.  


So, I’ll have to table my original plan to introduce readers, by logo and description, to the “players” in this field, adding my suggestions to domestic violence experts and organizations on what to do with [[more specficially, where to put]] some of the ideas (and the funds helping those ideas self-replicate, nationally and internationally).


Over the years, the conferences continue, while life after life is cut short, or bady distressed.   “Are we done yet?”  . . . . . I always found it odd that the conferences presenting statistics kept on  meeting while the stuff on the streets kept on adding to the statistics.  Perhaps if less time were spent in conference, and more in soliciting input from the men & women involved (input from men has an innumerable set of sites, initiatives, government, private AND faith-based, most with the word “fatherhood” in them), AND children, there might be a different set of statistics.


For example, WHY are so few people “onto” the role of the child support agency (US) in tinkering with turning the family law courts into behavioral modification centers, and Designer Family factories?  It’s fairly obvious:  part of abuse includes control of finances.  WOMEN WOULD LEAVE OTHERWISE!  EARLIER!     SO – – – if she goes to welfare, they generate a court order, and then go after the Dad.  This upsets him.  Then, without telling her, they have programs to solicit fathers to become more engaged with their children.  It’s not allowed (yet) to say:  “We are selling time with children/ minors through the courts” and so other means of applying pressure (including REFUSING to when the mother seeks collection and  needs it).  Our case, stalling was refined to an ART, then the second custody was switched, BOOM!  This same ponderous beast (child support agency) SPRANG into action (within the month) and terminated the current support obligation, even though the custody switch was temporary and obtained illegally.  

I know men and women both who are furious with this agency, nationwide, and I personally think it’s a trap that’s sprung, and heats up the “stakes” in a custody battle.  


Perhaps this accounts for the aura of detachment in some arenas — experts are needed to explain what’s going on, and interpret it for them, as if it’s not directly observable in some other form

Small Line

I’ll just post a few recommended readings — note:  you won’t find these in the usual circles, I believe.  These are books that helped me, and I intend them for people who might otherwise get a certifiably unenforceable restraining order, and let down either their guard, or the amount of safety planning that would’ve taken place without it.  BE PREPARED!

In THE GIFT OF FEAR, de Becker draws on his extensive expertise to explode the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable and shows that they usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of compelling stories from his own career and life, he unravels the complexities of violent behavior and details the pre-incident indicators (PINs) that can determine if someone poses a danger to us. With THE GIFT OF FEAR, readers learn how to:

  • Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
  • Rely on their intuition
  • Separate real from imagined danger
  • Predict Dangerous Behavior
  • Evaluate whether someone will use violence
  • Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them

Offering in-depth solutions to people who are dealing with domestic abuse or workplace violence or who are the targets of unwanted pursuit, de Becker also provides unique insight into death threats, stalkers, assassins, children who kill, and mass killers. After reading THE GIFT OF FEAR, individuals will be able to confidently answer life’s highest-stakes questions:

  • Will the employee I must fire react violently?
  • How should I handle the person who refuses to let go?
  • What is the best way to respond to threats?
  • What are the dangers posed by strangers?
  • How can I help my loved ones be safer?

With THE GIFT OF FEAR, Gavin de Becker has written an important book about human behavior, one which leaves readers stronger and safer. It put fear and violence on the national agenda in a way that empowered millions of people



Here’s another one written by a policeman who worked many years on DV calls.  I found it validating at least, that my instincts had matched his.  It’s also got some chapters relating to Christianity (moreso at the back) but the main points I gathered:  not to underestimate risk, but ACT.  My copy was utterly dog-eared, and I had to finally replace it for the library.


Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence & Abuse 

By: Donald Stewart
New Hope Publishers / 2004 / Paperback

Product Description

A veteran policeman with in-depth experience in domestic violence cases compassionately shares the Lord’s love for women caught in the cycle of flawed thinking and the bondage of abuse. Sgt. Stewart offers practical help and strategic advice, as he affirms your biblical worth!/ / / / 


The empathy part didn’t do much for me.  The details of his incidents, and his accounts of academy resistance to even taking any DV training were helpful, as well as the RISK levels, and asserting that a certain activity (i.e., animal abuse, property destruction) indicates someone has crossed a line and “you’re next!”    Good luck getting family law to take that seriously, but at least the individual could.  When talking to a man who has answered calls, has to go and report who didn’t make it, has come to crime scenes, and followed cases, this was helpful information. 



Finally — get some training.  It’s GOOD to have:

(SELF-Defense from Arm behind the Back Takedown – Hapkido


NOTE:  I am just including reference to the self-defense class to make a point.  It’s mental, physical, attitude.  Do not be passive.  Do not think that asking everyone and the neighbor for help is the ONLY for of activity necessary, and becoming a magnet for “advise me, please!” purveyors.  Do things that empower YOU and one of this those is information gathering.  Another thing is assessing the value of the information you gather.  But it’s a YOU thing.



It’s YOUR life and YOU are valuable.  And according to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, simply by being human, YOU were endowed by your Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are, first, LIFE, also Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.  


Believing these rights ARE unalienable is an attitude. Defending one’s unalienable rights is essential and can be costly when they are challenged.  A war was fought over them, remember?  So yes, it’s tough, and costly, but would you like to stick around without these?  They are central to life.  It has to do with integrity.

Therefore patronizing, namecalling, situation-proclaiming activities and conferences are fine, but the individual decides in the long run what is safe and what is not.  Particularly as abusers seek to wear down their targets over time by many means, those targeted are indeed affected, BUT they also are more fighters than many organizations seem to realilze.  It can take time (different to each) to regain and retrain onesself how to resist the INTERNALIZATION of those concepts.  Even when you’ve fought back (and resistance is a form of fighting back), it’s wearing on the soul.  BUT there are only two places the blame lies — internal (possibly leading to self-destructive activities and internal turmoil with sense of self, and calculating the hazards of asserting self) or external (which then prompts one to action. My experience leaving abuse was that too many individuals (particularly in close comfortable) were much more comfortable with the former arrangement.  I had to resist and declare, and set boundaries,w hich weren’t respected.    Failing to persuade me, apparently, contact was reduced to aggressive namecalling, and these individuals simply went across more vulnerable individuals in our case:  My children (who were simply stolen) and my elderly parent (who was influenced, and communications essentially cut off).  

On the converse side, I speculate that POSSIBLY the abuser (the person who doesn’t respect you, or the law, and lacks restraint towards at least one individual chosen to receive the abuse & hate) is operating on the other extreme, fighting demons from (his/her) own life history, externalizing them in the form of the “beloved” rather than, with actually MORE courage, facing what’s on the inside.  So, to punish another, categorize another, blame another has a sort of (though temporary, like a drug) “healing” and focusing balm to (him/her) it does the opposite to the target.  They also often tend to find and attract, as it were, like-minded individuals with their own need to externalize, and on and on it goes.

AGAIN, this is speculation, and please note the word “POSSIBLY.”  Like anyone, I would like some answers, but I don’t expect pat ones.


Wyoming, MN


BY THE WAY:  Note to WYOMING, Minnesota (who has a pending comment) — see first paragraph above.  (This will only make sense to someone whose comment to a Chisago County, MN murder/suicide is in “pending” for a bit, here).


Although you appear to have confused me with a Kansas State legislator (which I am not), talked about my “legal jargon” and assumed that my only understanding of domestic violence is from my own experience ( a reading of this blog would show it’s not), accusing me of “libel” and “slander” because I’ve reported based on information I DO have access to because, unlike you, I am not local and accessing private information possibly you do, and demanding I take down the names of the Ouellettes – – if you have vital information as to the facts, such as they are not actually dead, and neither Candi nor Doug died in the manner the newslines have reported, or anything relevant to what’s NOT in the press, timelines, etc.  then please start a blog and share it with the rest of us (and send a link by comment here).  I am always trying to put together timelines myself, most news articles start with a lead and jump around erratically anyhow.

On the other hand, if you are picking on what is thought to be a major issue, but is a minor one, then I’m not interested.

Until then, based on who it appears you are (one of Doug’s close cousins) (how’s that for info available on the internet?), I will assume that perhaps your recent shock & grief has clouded some processing of the information.  It IS a LOT to process that someone you were close to is accused of murdering his wife in front of his twin daughters.  Even more to process might if this accusation WAS true and your assessment of him only pertained to YOUR interactions with him, and not his wife’s (see other comment on my site, from a close friend of the wife’s, who wasn’t able to prevent this, either.)

When a “nice guy” actually DID strangle his wife, or ex- then SOMETHING in your world has to change.  Hers already did (it ended).  Either you’re going to hang onto the “nice guy” or you’re going to acknowledge that he wasn’t all that nice.  OR that some people can be nice to YOU and awful to someone ELSE.  You are going to eventually let go of your investment in the “nice guy” or you are not.  

Another route many close family members take (alas) is to fail to examine their own enablement, participation, or IGNORANCE of what was actually happening in that household, when you weren’t entertaining or socializing or working with the accused man.  In order to do this, I can only see one way out of the dilemma:  It was her fault.  She asked for it.  He was provoked.  The child custody dispute, being estranged, the employment, or stress, or mental illness, or . . . . or. . . .  (the answers are wide-ranging and many I’ve heard offered) . . . MADE him do it, pulled the trigger, passion, jealousy, hurt, or  . . . . . . . (fill in the blank).

I am here to tell you that “blaming her” comes with a price.  You lose your MIND and ability to make sound decisions.  I’ve watched it over the years.  Now I have to deal, regularly, with relatives who cannot tell wrong from right, only WHO is wrong and WHO is right.  There is no reference to an outside standard of reference.  

It also is going to keep an innocent person stuck in the oppressive dynamic she sought to leave, and it WILL affect the next generation unless she can somehow overcome it.  She has to get stronger. 


Again, as I pointed out in a recent blog, because the police say something doesn’t make it so.  IF you have something to contribute to that dialogue, I am interested (I, the author of this blog, and please do not contact Senator Faust-Goudeau on issues in Minnesota; she’ll be utterly confused and besides, she’s busy).  

I started to blog on LINO, Minn murder/suicide, apparently after a decade of DV.  Perhaps that might bear investigation, for example, why was he put in jail for only 2 days after a decade of violence, and a reported 48 calls to the home in 10 years?  And HOW can women in her situation be protected, or be URGED to defend themselves seriously, primarily by LEAVING, if prosecution is going to (as it obviously did here) fall short?  

 So (I notice today’s visit), call this a rain check, so I can do a better job when I do respond to comment, and will likely post it to.  No promises though, life happens.  And mine is, right now.  

Gotta go. . . ,. 


I think I have one more post coming, a very short one:


Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

October 5, 2009 at 10:42 am

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