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

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

Linus, MN — derailing the DV conversation, again. How dare they!

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It was misfortune, it fell down from the sky, accidentally, 2 days after an irate man with a fourteen-year history of violence was released from jail after the 48th DV call.  Now, let’s not talk about that bail, let’s talk about HER losing the battle, oh well.

 

Perhaps because restraining orders aren’t bullet-proof, I just have a hunch.  They equipped her with PAPER, and let him out of jail.  Now, oh dear, she lost the batttle. . . . . . PERHAPS we should look at the strategists this time, not the foot soldiers.

 

Police: Murder-suicide victim did ‘everything she could’ to protect herself

 

 

LINO LAKES, Minn. — It seems there’s never a typical neighborhood, and there’s never a typical victim when it comes to domestic violence. 

 

TRUE, but there are typical policies when dealing with it.  See if you catch one, below….

Friends say that’s definitely true of 48-year-old Pamela Taschuk, a woman they say was “vibrant.” 

“She was upbeat. She was moving forward with her life, whatever the circumstances. And that was consistent with the way she did everything. She always had a sort of upbeat, vibrant attitude and just brought a spark of life whereever she was at,” said Jeffrey Schulz, who worked with Taschuk at BlueSky Online Charter School. 

On Thursday night, Taschuk was killed (*) in her Lino Lakes home in what police believe was the final act of a long history of domestic abuse(**). 

(**) Did police call it domestic “abuse” or domestic “violence,” which is more accurate?….  “Violence” sounds like “vile” which it is.  “Abuse” well, it’s just a little softer sounding.  

I have an idea why it’s called “abuse” in Minnesota (as well as other places).   One is called Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs and the other is called the Domestic Abuse Project.  

(*) (2nd in order becuase I didn’t notice this first time through) . . . .   Taschuk was killed.   Well, ain’t THAT a little evasive.  What happened to the whoDUNit?  Of course, the story then gets to it:

Police say Pam’s husband, 51-year-old Allen Taschuk, dropped their 16-year-old son off at a nearby gas station. Taschuk then returned home, police said, and killed Pam with a single gunshot wound. He called 911 to request someone pick up his son before turning the gun onto himself. 

Officials say the case is both tragic and ironic — prosecutors say Pamela had met with them the very day she was killed. {{See later in story — she ALSO, the same day, attended a DV support group. I’ll get to this (one thing at a time. . . . but here it is:  “Moore says Pam was even at a support group just minutes before her murder.”}}

ONE thing that seems obvious to me — her support group was near the home — “just minutes” away.  She hadn’t left the family home.  Maybe the support group, in light of this, might speak to their organizers and consider recommending that women take an IMMEDIATE precautionary and SWIFT location-change.  And then let the prosecutors communicate with her, via fax, phone, mail, or from another prosecutor’s office, if necessary, perhaps?

“She was doing everything she could do to help us have a successful case,” said Paul Young with the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

(Although 14 years after the assaults had begun — and I’m not faulting the woman, but I think perhaps this is a word to the wise for those women who may have access to internet and not wish the same fate….There is an element of gambling in these processes….  I don’t like gambling with the stakes being human lives, especially Mom/Dad parent lives  . . . Anyhow . . . . .}}

Someone pressed charges after he beat her:

Pam’s battle against her domestic abuse spanned more than a decade.

Wow,  A husband beating a wife just got gender-neutraled.  For that, see this: The Grammar of Male Violence

{{I’m quoting a radical feminist publication, so therefore by association I must be a radical feminazi and lesbian, right?}}

Well, is that relevant to whether or not there is more than one way to describe a situation on which the details were known?  For example, where is the culprit in that decade?  Who was hitting WHOM just got deleted.  If she’d been hitting him, do you think the news media would have omitted this?  (and the answer is probably No.  On the 2nd part, but it’s going more towards the feminazi, if this will help save lives, than away from it, if moderation will not.  I don’t think violence towards women is a moderate act that should elicit a moderate response on the part of friends, neighbors, clergy, or law enforcement.  And friends should examine themselves, as should immediate family, in these matters.  Which, admittedly, ain’t always easy or comfortable.

Finally, BOTH of them are now permanently deleted, by bullets.  And yet the descriptors remains (as reported by police, or at least these reporters), when HE assaulted HER, it comes out as HER battling “domestic abuse.”  Because it takes two to tango, and she’s tangleed up in this sentence, I will presume that an aggressive male who eventually shot his 2nd wife, leaving his children fatherless, and stepmotherless (where is previous wife, or their mother?

 

In a press conference on Friday, Lino Lakes Police Chief Dave Pecchia said police had responded to 48 calls to the Taschuk home in the last 14 years  (neither of the couple being available for comment, we’ll have to take this at his word, unless someone on-line wants to look the records up)

In August, police arrested Allen after he beat Pam and wouldn’t let her leave.

What about the other 48 calls — did THEY result in any arrests?  Why did THIS one — because it was beating AND false imprisonment?  Or because they have a limit of 4 dozen per decade per couple?  Or because the first 47 were just domestic disputes, and now that two people are dead, the polic want to emphasize that they DID arrest this dude?  

I’ll tell you something.  MOST beatings have an element of false imprisonment in them.  Unless you buy that women like it, most won’t stick around voluntarily.  If we could see something beyond the short time, generally, at shelters, for us, and/or our kids, and/or how to work after or in a shelter.  “Hi.  I’m going to beat you.  Could you hold still for a while?  Please?” 

But two days later, he posted bail and was released.  

You know what?  Perhaps this should be the headline and not “murder/suicide victim…” First of all, the second word came second, and by then she wasn’t alive enough to be a victim of it.  First all, she wasn’t.  Sometimes I HATE the deletion of active verbs, condensed into adjectives to make room for a sentence spreading a sense of futility and helplessness — “she did everything she could to protect herself.”

>>>

{{What about exercising her 2nd Amendment rights to meet potential escalated violence (it’d been escalating, right?) with more than externalized paperwork and meetings?  I believe abusers are cowards at heart.  ESPECIALLY of women.  Picking on someone helpless, and resorting to this to dominate, is a sign of weakness, and need to feel superior, but not the guts to face someone equal in stature and with equal means.  Who knows what a batterer might do if he (or she) ever had to face and armed VICTIM, as opposed to armed responding officers after they’d already shot (or whatever the means) their unarmed, often female (or male), victim?  For starters, they’d probably go target someone else, unarmed, which may not solve the problem they carry with them — but it MIGHT solve the problem for that one person being targeted..}}

{{You know what?  When I read a report about two people shot that shouldn’t have been shot, I don’t like PASSIVE tense and I don’t like “generic nouns” to describe something that obviously had a person, acting, involved.  “Generic nouns” are good places for things like rain, clouds, tides, and so forth.  Sun rising, and whatnot.  I don’t think murder-suicides following someone incarcerated for only 2 days when the history of violence dates back 10 years……should be packaged in as commonplace language as events we take for granted.  Even so-called “acts of God” {{meaning, in insurance terms, “natural” disasters}} have a scientific causality.  

That he “was released” is not an act of God or a happening, it was MATERIAL to two deaths, and it had a human agent.  If that human’s hands were tied by policy, then the thing is to untie the policy noose.  On the other hand, did that human in this case VIOLATE an existing policy?   We’ll never know, and this article is CERTAINLy not interested in asking WHY he “was released.”}}

The door just opened.  It just happened.

QUIZ:  Do arresting officers set bail?  (I think not).  Judges do.  DO judges have guidelines, and if so, do they follow them?  So then (“Cast, Characters, Script, Action” in the repeat performance of a domestic violence murder/suicide after a man who’d just been confronted on it was inexplicably given a bail low enough to meet, posted it, and went for his gun….  This is, I repeat, a REPEAT performance in the same old script..not to mention a repeat review.  Do they have boilerplates for this type of reporting?  “Ask the police, ask the prosecutors, as a friend or so and commerorate her, comment on how unavoidable it was, and promote the local domestic violence shelter,  which she wasn’t in,  or program, or support groups,..which she was.  Or batterer’s intervention groups which he was, passing with flying colors, right up til that 2nd shot…  Spin the tale, frame the conversation…….)  

 Can we try a variation on this?

who just got deleted from this account of what happened?  Answer — the JUDGE.    Who deleted it, or didn’t report it?  The author (or editor), probably Karla Hult of KARE11.com news.  She was doing her job, I know.  Typical report.  He posted bail (HOW MUCH?  DID ANYONE BRING UP, ON SETTING BAIL, THAT HE HAD A DECADE LONG HISTORY OF ABUSE, 48 CALLS IN 10 YEARS, AND REPRESENTED A DANGER?    NOW THAT MIGHT BE A STORY.  REMINDS ME OF THE OCEAN CITY (TOMS RIVER NJ) ACCOUNT.  See my blogroll — it’s usually one of top 5 posts visited.  And I asked that question:  WHY was the dude released then?  

But prosecutors, friends and domestic abuse advocates say Pam kept fighting. Earlier this month, she got an order of protection against her husband. She was also getting a divorce. 

.  

I’d like to review these two sentences again.  My mind can’t just quite wrap around the verbal equating of “Pam kept fighting” with (14 years after he began assault & battery behavior against her (that’s what it is) with two activities:  Getting a protection order, and getting a divorce.  One more time, in blue, the 3 categories of Monday Night Quarterbackers, post-game analysts who ARE still alive (and probably still employed too) have this summary, and trick of language metaphor:

But prosecutors, friends and domestic abuse advocates say Pam kept fighting. {{HOW did she fight?  With what weapons?  Possibly as advised:)  (1) Earlier this month, she got an order of protection against her husband  {{actually that’s not fight, that’s closeer to flight, only not really for it, because no change of location was involved for HER}}  (2) She was also getting a divorce. 

How did her husband fight?   The last time, with a gun.  How did she fight?  with a protection order and a divorce.  

Filing for both the protection order AND the divorce, we ALL should know by now, the temperature is escalating — this woman is attempting to change the dynamics, and is getting help with it, too.  The “I rule THIS neck of the woods” dynamic is being shaken up.  She is in more danger now (if this be possible) when she was at home taking it on the chin, so to speak (wherever it landed).  if those were NOT life-threatening, although intolerable, illegal, and an indicator that her life WAS in danger, whatever it was then, it is now even moreso unless she gets ALL the way to safe FAST, because she is saying “STOP!”

So let’s look at this logic.  Things are going to heat up.  She is attempting to re-assert control, even defense.  Now ALL parties involved should know this by now, or they simply are illiterate and do not get on-line about DV, at all.  You can’t read too far before running across that truth.  “The most dangerous time is when a woman tries to separate….”  So let’s assess the survival tools this report just credited her (post-mortem, literally) with:

  • Man just out of jail with Gun v. court rulings (paper, theory).  
  • Man just out of jail, and history of DV, with Gun v. court rulings.  Let me see, which is likely to win? Gun, or court rulings? Place your bets, after all, it’s not YOUR life.

Which will win?  Well, that depends on the context and some variables.  Court rulings (“paper” or electronic) restrain in THEORY.  

Guns can restrain in PRACTICE, and for good.  They are heart-stopping (case in point)

QUESTION:  If it was someone you cared about, would you gamble on someone’s psychological or lethality assessment of a 14-year batterer, and logically, then wish the person attacked to have to live in a constant state of gauging that assessment, OR would you recommend something which would err on the side of SAFETY, for example, immediate and significant SEPARATION (distance wise, etc.) or DETERRENT-wise?  

Where’s your love at?  Where’s OUR love at?  


Is it moral or practical to play “paper, scissors, rock” with other people’s lives, at public expense??  After they have come to a public entity (or  nonprofit) for help and safety?  If unclear what this game is, see next section.  it’s a simple, context-sensitive game of wit, or odds, and only requires hands to play.  The losers may be humiliated, but aren’t hurt by the game, per se. . . Kids play it, grown-ups sometimes, too….


Paper, Scissors, Stone.

Reminds me of that kids’ game, “paper, scissors, stone.”  The key is context, and the thrill is not knowing what your choice will be met with from the other player’s.  For those who don’t know, I’ll let Wikipedia and Youtube illustrate:

 http://www.thethinkingblog.com/2007/12/10-steps-to-play-rock-paper-scissors.html

 

  1. Video results for paper scissors rock

 

Now, let’s reconsider Pam kept fighting:  She got a protection order and was getting a divorce.

 

Her weapons:  court orders.  

His, Previous times:- ?? only those two, and any witnesses know for sure.  (Maybe the previous 48 calls to the home revealed).  This last time, a gun.  Who had the better odds, given that this guy wasn’t the most law-abiding sort, evidently. . . . ??  The odds were stacked against her.  Her weapons were metaphors, his were tangible and had projectiles.  Moreover, whoever kept encouraging her to get these obviously doesn’t read the newspapers that often, or at least, the policies are at odds with the evidence.

Now, let’s consider. Let’s analyze (again):  Who’s alive, who’s dead, and whose advice did the dead woman follow?  Perhaps if she’d had and been able to follow better advice, SHE’d still be alive.  

I suspect (though I may be wrong, but I bet) had she not been murdered by her husband, her husband MIGHT not have felt it necessary to make a quick end to THAT process (rather than stay in jail — remember, he’d just spent 2 days in jail, and was probably VERY committeed not to going back again…)

Homicide in the U.S. — Plenary Panel from the 2009 NIJ Conference

(references something tried in Baltimore, based on in part the J. Campbell assessment)

In Maryland, you can see that our partner homicide averages about 1,200 per year. Sixty.nine men, women and children in Maryland. Our goal was to use this instrument, directed by this committee, to look at what an officer can do on the scene to deal with the danger of death at the scene at the time that they’re there. Sort of the golden hour that the health care industry uses, or the golden 24 hours, to get intervention into that home.

A lot of the committee members included DSS, which are critical; the prosecutors of course; law enforcement; and domestic violence advocates, our nonprofit providers. Dr. Campbell found some key things in her research, and she helped us to identify the things that many law enforcement officers know by instinct. What is the victim’s perception of what’s going on here? What is their fear level? What is the access to weapons? What happens with the threats of violence at the scene? What’s the suspect’s employment status, et cetera? You can read the rest…

What were the leadership issues we experienced as an agency? Of course, our relationship with external partners was critical. If you don’t have them, it’s a little hard to build this base. We were really blessed to have a lot of that infrastructure in place.

Culture. What is the attitude of your officers in the area of domestic violence? Is there emotional intelligence, or is it an immature culture about the issue? And how do you, as leaders, attend to that? What is the attitude in general with your county of the role of the state’s attorney, prosecutors, judges, et cetera?  

(AHA!!)

. . . . So, I would err EVERY time on the side of safety, caution, and take NO risks, rather than unacceptable risks.  We have gotten to the point in some situations were restraining “orders” are instead red flags, instigating further escalations.  When people are in an “intimate” relationship, it’s part of this to let down their guard somewhat.  People who take advantage of this by REPEATED physical assaults have made a MAJOR transggression, and this needs to be addressed as such.  ONE call to the police is unacceptable, and a huge red flag.

I have 3 short proverbs, or “gifts” (of information) to the next women (or men) hoping to restrain and out of control intimate partner, or one that has been ejected from the home by them already.  Or, if they are considering it.  AGAIN, I’m not an attorney and every one is to judge her situation and LISTEN to her instinct, and do NOT listen to people who say, listen to US, not your instinct; we aree the experts.

In the field of survival we have God-given instincts (or, if you prefer, natural) for this.  Appreciate them!  Do not sign them over the closest entity saying “let us help you.”  Help is needed, but as you had that guard up with the aggressor, also be alert from people that are taking your confidences and advising you how to get out.  It may be a way out, or it may be a dead end, such as this one.  Then afterwards, you will 

OH — closer to the bottom of the article about the VICTIM, here’s actually something about the SHOOTER.

 

Allen Taschuk served on the Centennial Fire Department as a paid, on-call firefighter for the last 20 years, accoridng to Chief Jerry Streich. He was put on administrative leave within the last year for undisclosed reasons.

 

“Pamela did all the things she could do in terms of protecting herself,” said Connie Moore with the Alexandra House Domestic Abuse Shelter in Blaine. 

WELL, HERE’S ANOTHER COMMENTATOR, NOT THE JUDGE WHO ENABLED THIS WIFE-BEATER TO GET FREE BY WHATEVER BAIL WAS POSTED.  And I bet he wasn’t too happy about even those 2 days in jail, either, I mean the husband.  Future women in trouble should call this shelter.  (Free plug — come to us!)  You too, might end up like Pam.  

Moore says Pam was even at a support group just minutes before her murder.

 

So much for support groups!  I rest my case!  Safety FIRST, support, SECOND.  

 

and this is why (post-restraining order) I stopped attending, because I wished to devote my time instead to something which might stop the trouble, and it was escalating — and not learn how to endure it.  I already knew how to endure it, from practice, years of it, but the more freedom I tasted the less taste I had for returning to abuse.  This is when things OD escalate, when this is sensed by the other person.

 

Given her long battle, Moore says . . .

This tells you who, perhaps, Ms. Moore has been hanging out with.  i recommend she carefully review “The Grammar of Male Violence” and change her talk.  Stop talking about the women that lost, and analyze the case in terms of who did what.

Ms. Moore, if you’re reading this, could you get a copy back to PRAXIS and BATTERED WOMEN’S JUSTICE  PROJECT AND ANY OTHER TRAINING CONFERENCES YOU ATTEND AS A SHELTER WORKER?  I know they have organizations up in Minnesota that teach cultural sensitivity as to subgroups of people being assaulted by their partners.  There’s funding for Rural, for Native American, and I know there’s IAADV  for African-American issues, with Dr. Johnson.  Would you relate, from me, that it’s not “her long battle” but (seems to me, at least this case) someone’s incompetence, that let this one “suddenly spiral out of control.” after a guy just got released from another beating on bail.  Stop deflecting blame onto the woman.  Sounds to me like she was doing HER part, but others weren’t doing THEIRS.  Maybe that why “she lost ” “her battle.”  

Where were the analysts?  They were collaborating on how to train all the folks that weren’s supposed to set that low a bail, but give her time to get the heck out of there, and TELL her to!  

Please show grammar sensitivity for the sub-group of WOMEN and stop blaming them when their prime shortcoming was simply bad advisors, who didn’t say GET OUT and STAY AWAY!  

Pam’s death highlights what else needs to be done in the court system and community to protect domestic abuse victims.

Not it doesn’t, it’ OBFUSCATES what else needs to be done in the sentencing procedure.  Chalk it up to another mess-up.  It was just a few dozen or so domestic disputes, that’s all.  

I’m going to rewrite that:  “to empower battered women.”  or “to STOP or RESTRAIN men who batter women.And stop calling it “abuse!” Stop giving the standard post-murder/suicide spin, and start quoting from court pleadings and police reports, if you can.  The next time a reporter contacts you after an “event” tell them some graphic truth and be blunt about it.  You might lose your job, though, but maybe a better calling might ben investigating these bail orders handed out.  . . .   If they force traffic violators (speeders, drunk drivers, etc.) to sit through accident footage, why is this less?  

 

“If a victim is saying ‘he’s threatened me, he says he’s going to kill me,’ we need to take that seriously,” Moore said. 

We who?   How many (more) women, boys & girls, and/or men  are going to die before the full panoply of that “we” starts to try something different?  Can something be diverted from, say, abstinence education, to helping families in danger MOVE while he’s incarcerated?

Moore said the court system should consider following a “lethal assessment” policy that requires officials to gauge exactly how great a threat a suspect poses to his potential victim. She said officials could then choose a more aggressive response with those suspects who pose a greater risk.   {{they COULD do this now, and aren’t. It’s not really rocket science...}} 

 

You know what?  The court systems is considering its own behind, associates and paychecks.  The sooner DV victims realize this, the better.  I say that from the perspective of the fatherhood movement, superrvised visitation movement, access visitation movements, and the inane acting like a lethal incident just “dropped out of the sky” and was the dead people’s (or fortune’s) fault.  

THIS lethality assessment stuff is maybe one of the  latest “lines” (myths) going through the training advocates loop. Lethality assessments go back to 1985, as does the habit of ignoring this in favor of “Designer Families.”  It presumes officials don’t have a clue that someone is going to get killed next time, just like they say in the post crime scene cleanup press conferences.  MOreover, these are used to promote organizations that don’t seem to check long-term follow-up — when that thing goes into the family law system, which doesn’t LIKE calling a crime a crime (see AFCC.com, “about” & history pages), then what?

Ms. Moore, please seek outside opinions.  Is this what women tell YOU, or is it what you are to tell the women?

It presumes the experts know BETTER than the women themselves where safety is and what a danger is.  That is a lethality risk in itself, they don’t!  Why not?  It’s NOT THEIR KDIS and THEIR LIVES or THEIR WIVES.  

For what I typically think about restraining orders in some contexts – they will restrain a person who is more concerned about consequences rather than less; they will piss off a person who has shown he (or she) will not, under any circumstances, take orders.  Or take orders regarding someone (or a certain class of someones) he  (OK, or she) has formerly dominated, as part of a life-style, or as central to his ego, social acceptance, or religion  (and now you know why I omitted the “or her” this time)

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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

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