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Archive for October 2009

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” \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” 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” \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” \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” 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.” **

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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.

 

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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)

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

leave a comment »

 

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

.THE GIFT OF FEAR
THE GIFT OF FEAR 
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

Quote

 

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.

Why?

 

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

October 5, 2009 at 10:42 am

Ever seen an armed and dangerous “child custody dispute”? Do disputes shoot? Responding deputies blame shooting on the dispute, not the guntoting young Dad.

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It wasn’t his fault, or his hands on the gun(s), it was that dang “child custody dispute” arising, say responding deputies.  It was half the (unnamed) ex-girlfriend’s fault, for not forking over the 3-month old when told to.  

And although 2 of her male relatives got shot, stepping in to protect, it is the poor, accused, walking wounded MAN (he attempted suicide after shooting, fleeing, being chased by police, including in a helicopter (??), and shooting himself) who grabs the headlines.

 

 

Here’s another “GIVE ME THE KID — or ELSE!”  that took a slightly different turn.  This time the shooter (Dad) wounded some others immediately (as opposed to just threatening to cut the mother’s throat, being jailed for this– for “about 16 months” plus “several months”–then when getting out of jail, calling 911, ambushing and murdering a responding sheriff in cold blood, drawing PLENTY of responding law enforcement fire, resulting in his own death, at age I think 27.)  

 

The knife-wielding, sheriff-punching/murdering man was married, the handgun/rifle-toting younger man was not.  Then again, the knife-wielding sheriff (or was it police?)-punching man later, in his ambush DID have a rifle, and after shooting the sheriff in the back, then grabbed the wounded officer’s own handgun and shot him again.

Perhaps the reason we have a fatherhood crisis is that when young and self-centered men don’t get their way in a custody exchange, they go start incidents that involve violence, and sometimes escalate to suicide.  

The infant daughter ONE was fighting over was about 1-1/2 months, the other infant daughter the OTHER was shooting relatives who intervened over was only 3 months old.  One father is dead already, the other one may die.  Clearly the PRIMARY social crisis both daughters will be growing up with is not early childhood trauma or any other “adverse childhood event”, growing up with, is not violence but fatherlessness, although the latter little girl had at least a grandpa and an uncle who protected her Mama, which indicates bravery & commitment.  

On the other hand, at age 3 months and 1-1/2 years they are already contributing to society — in the nature of newspaper fodder.  Later, if either mother requires any government assistance whatsoever, they will also be contributing to future social science studies by being low income,  possbly participating in a “female-headed household,”  and if mothers don’t learn from these incidents and pick a better man next time, another run through the system.  

 

Man accused of attacking Valinda family may die from self-inflicted wounds.

 

After reading article, please tell me why the headline doesn’t say upfront:  “Poor, accused (POLICE-FLEEING) MAN  may die from an owie (After shooting 2 other men, he shot himself).”

OR, it could come out and tell the truth, & mention a few other participants:

Publish under:  “Family” section, subheading “Fathers giving orders” (excuse me, I meant)  “Fathers can be nurturers too….”

Script:

“Girl, give me our infant — or I’ll shoot!  Your relatives, and then, when confronted on this, myself,” says Chino man, and does so, too.

 

Posted: 09/29/2009 10:14:39 PM PDT

By James Wagner, Staff Writer

VALINDA – A Chino man who deputies say shot his estranged girlfriend’s relatives and then attempted suicide Monday night remained in critical condition Tuesday and could die.

 

Photo Gallery: Valinda Shootings  (I’ll spare us….)

“We’re not too sure if he’s gonna make it,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Dwight Miley.

The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Bryan Ornelas, was taken to Citrus Valley Medical Center – Queen of the Valley Campus in West Covina on Monday night after the shootings.

A child custody dispute led Ornelas to shoot two members of his ex-girlfriend’s family, deputies said….

That’s a lie!  Can we start fining deputies for saying it and REPORTERS for writing, editors for publishing it, if there’s no disclaimer?  On this basis, she should have clawed out someone’s eyes or shot HIS family, if the dispute led to it.  I’ve been in a custody dispute for years, and I haven’t shot anyone.  How are law enforcement going to enforce if they keep putting this message out to the public — a custody dispute led him to do it. . . . . 

We have laws in this country.  One of them is against shooting people.  “The devil made me do it,” “God made me do it,”,” “unemployment made me do it,” “distress over the breakup of my marriage made me do it,” and “we had a custody dispute, which made me shoot someone,” are NOT legally valid excuses, and I would SO appreciate not having to read them in articles nationwide, year after year.

Then again, I’ve been in family law hearings, and you should hear the excuses for child-stealing and failure to work, and a few more.  These were received with straight faces by the personnel (and being in court, I didn’t gag til I read the transcript afterwards).  

If there is going to be a BIT of self-restraint in this country, ALL the ______ made me do it’s need to be flushed out of the headlines.  It’s ceased being amusing.  SELF-defense (not “ego-defense” or “pride-defense” or “my sense of masculinity-defense”) I believe in some circumstances MAY be acceptable reasons, although I have heard that women suffering long-term severe battering and abuse with no potential exit still go to death row, which is why movements to get justice for them have begun.  They typically get longer than men when sentenced.  

So a casual “A child custody dispute led Ornelas to shoot ANYONE is irrational and inappropriate.”

 

DEFINE “child custody dispute.”  As in, “I have the child in my arms (or house), therefore I have ‘custody’ “?  Or, there was a COURT order?  

If there was an order, it was either joint, or sole legal and joint or sole physical, and likely child support was involved as well.  If there was a COURT order, then it SHOULD specify visitation (of course, many of these are so  vague as to be unworkable, even when DV has been an issue, which we don’t know if it had, here.)

If there was a COURT order specific enough, then it may have been a child custody “dispute” but one party was wishing to comply and the other to deny its order.  So it is relevant.

Although I realize reporters can’t always find out (or reliably cite) who started the incident, in this field, a very heated field emotionally (and with lots — millions, nationwide — of $$ riding on it, highly entrenched interests — maybe not to the Ornelas/Rizo family, but nationwide), I find the over-use of domestic disputes “arising,” as if out of nowhere, and without cause, to be misleading.  Such things “arise” or “emerge” like the sun “rises” (or appears to).  There is generaly a reason for the season, or the emotions.  In the field of child CUSTODY, if there is something in the courts, than any dispute with that is a dispute with the courts, and not a private family matter.

 

Officers said  Ornelas shot himself in the head after a short pursuit.Ornelas and his ex-girlfriend have a three-month-old girl who was with her before the shooting, Miley said.

They are, or are not, living together?  Not shown – did she take off with the little girl after her relatives intervened?  (PROTECTIVE mother, eh?)  Apparently the little girl missed seeing someone shot, which was good, eh? But I’m sure the fatherhood folk will get her back with her Dad, if he survives.  After all, if not, he might shoot someone else.  Or, simply be an uninvolved Dad, not pay child support, and burden the state with welfare, if she can’t figure something else out for a livelihood.

The shooting occurred at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the 16200 block of Benwick Street in the unincorporated county area of Valinda.

Ornelas wanted to see the child but his ex-girlfriend didn’t want to give the baby to him, Miley said. Then a dispute arose.

 

Whose words is Miley reporting?  Why doesn’t he mention, “according to..” as he wasn’t actually there to see?  In courts, hearsay is hearsay.  Miley didn’t witness the dispute, so someone reported it to him.  

Apparently this WAS the dispute, and a common (and dangerous, sometimes) one it is, indeed.

AKA, baby as property.  Custody order was, or was not, in place?  I have an idea.  AT THE HOSPITALS, unmarried Moms are assigned sole custody which continues even during marriage til further notice or ABSOLUTE proof of neglect or abuse.  If a Dad is on the scene, participating, and proved this with DNA, let’s return to the days of “shotgun marriages” as it appears that the alternative is shotgun (or knife, or ball bat) “give me the kids.”

LOOK, LET’s CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES ON CHILDBIRTH & PARENTHOOD!

 It takes less than a half hour or so to start a baby, and around 9 months to finish the process.   MOTHERS, PHYSICALLY, ARE INNATELY MORE BONDED TO THEIR CHIDLREN BECAUSE THOSE KIDS ARE INSIDE THEM BEFORE BIRTH.  THEIR BODIES CHANGE REMARKABLY DURING PREGNANCY, AFFECTING MANY TIMES OTHER SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS (NOT ALWAYS, BUT USUALLY).  LABOR IS INDEED “LABOR.”  HAVING SEX IS, SUPPOSEDLY, MUTUALLY FUN, BUT LABOR TAKES HOURS (USUALLY) AND CAN INVOLVE HAVING PARTS OF A WOMAN’S BODY CUT (CAESARIAN) OR SNIPPED (EPISIOTOMY), SOMETIMES BY AN OVEREAGER MALE DOCTOR. (I thankfully avoided this, primarily by avoiding the hospital til right before birth, for one daughter, who was born very healthy).  Afterwards, if women nurse (“breast is best,” remember?  See my post, Australian authorities and Canadian trying to balance this with couples which split up so early).  It’s a radical readjustment of relationships, and I think a great one.  Therefore, to avoid shootings, abuse, threats to cut and 911 calls, kidnappings, and potential infanticide around exchanges, I have a simpler way (??).

UNMARRIED MOTHERS  — not their grandmas and not their boyfriends and not their aunts — GET CUSTODY UNLESS THEY ARE ON DRUGS or involved in gangs, etc.  As such, THEY are responsible unless rape (including statutory) or incest was a factor, and even then, she has the majority sayso because it’s HER BODY, and authorities go after the (____holes).   If stupidity on the woman’s part {{such as picking up, getting pregnant by, and then marrying an ex-Porn king on a rebound marriage at a bar, as happened earlier this year, resulting in her being beat to deathwith a ball bat on the baby’s 1st birthday, and the baby (GIRL) being, briefly, abducted}}was a factor, they still get custody and must learn to take care of their children somehow, and let’s give them the support.  If a young man, or middle-aged man, in this day and time is stupid or callous enough not to use a condom, when he’s uncommitted to the young (or older) woman, then he’s just not mature enough to handle children and can go practice first on small animals and at a job.

UNMARRIED MOTHERS WHO LATER MARRY — EITHER THE FATHER, OR SOMEONE ELSE — AUTOMATICALLY RETAIN CUSTODY.  IF THEY SCREW UP CRIMINALLY, THROW THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW AT THEM.  WITH THE MONEY SAVED FROM SOME OF THESE OTHER SELF-DEFEATING AND MUTUALLY-CONTRADICTORY GRANTS PROGRAMS, THIS COULD THEN BE POSSIBLE.  IT MIGHT EVEN HELP REDUCE THE NATIONAL DEBT.  PUT THE RESPONSIBILITY BACK ON THE INDIVIDUALS, AND THEIR IMMEDIATE ASSOCIATES.  BUT DURING MARRIAGE, AND IN LIGHT OF HOW FREQUENT DIVORCE IS, MOTHERS RETAIN SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY OF THEIR CHILDREN.  THE ALTERNATIVE (WHICH WE ARE NOW “IN”) IS INVESTING HEAVILY IN TRYING TO “BRIBE” MEN TO BECOME MORE RESPONSIBLE — AND IT AIN’T REALLY WORKING WITH THOSE FROM THE BRYAN ORNELAS’es to the JEFFREY LEVINGS (THROWING FUEL ON THE FIRE, the ends justify the means)– and we (yes, I said “we.”  Taxpayer funds are used through HHS programs driving the courts) AND THE “BRIBE” USED IS TWO-FFOLD:

1.  Money, in the form of at a minimum reduced child support payments.  The Bible, at a minimum (I cannot speak for th eKoran or any other writinges) says clearly that the love of money is the ROOT of all evil.  Any version of paying a man to “love” his own offspring is promoting this.  It also is disturbingly close to human trafficking, when child support is reduced in exchange for pushing or enabling men to spend more time with their kids than the existing laws otherwise would enable them.  

2. Children themselves.  This is why sites like “Courageouskids.net” have become necessary, and why some adult children SUE the participants in their traumatic childhood once they turn 18.  This is not the majority of divorcing families, but it IS a social problem.  And ONE case of child molestation or any form of abuse or neglect during exchange with a newly-enfranchised father is too much.  ONE is too much!  As to foster care, it’s not much better.  But I believe the children would be better off with a STABLE relationship with their mother, and particularly when such a mother has already separated because of violence to her by the Dad.  Or, violence to her children by the Dad.  

I am witness -and by far not the only one — that THE destabilizing effect in my post-separation life was the family law system, as tweaked by both the father (and friends) and — I learned, belatedly — a system of grants designed to tweak it in favor of noncustodial “parents,” but oddly enough, many, many of those programs have the word “fatherhood” in theiir titles, and even more in their texts, while the word “mothers” barely appears in:  Family Violence Prevention Fund (unless under a special category) and on whitehouse.gov.

I had restraining order on, and a healthy, solvent, contributing-t0-the community, kids actively involved in the community lifestyle.  This was attested to by social workers, parents of kids I taught, and colleagues, and by how the children were doing also.  The ONLY way to make all that evidence disappear was to haul me into family law, defending custody of the girls, fighting to assert joint legal, and in a venue famous (I later learned) for suppressing evidence in favor of psychobabble bearing no (and citing no) evidence, and from there repeatedly upending my own life, as mother leaving violence and trying to economically re-invent myself, and with sole physical custdoy of two daughters.  

WITH RESTRAINING ORDER OFF, AND “THE SKY’S THE LIMIT” AS TO INTERFERENCES WITH MY ABILITY TO WORK AND LIFE ON A WEEKLY AND MID-WEEKLY BASIS, YEAR ROUND, NO VACATION BREAKS AND NO SUMMER BREAKS (any and all contact was cause for arguing, debate, threat, and more and more involving law enforcement to adjudicate — and THEY refused to enforce clear orders, repeatedly, which is their job !! Even up to a custody order!) our daughters, have had the “crime pays — if you’re male” and the double standard passed on.  They learned firsthand the dangers of reporting abuse and leaving it.  They have learned it’s better to stuff it, internalize and blame themselves, or externalize and find someone to hate (better to join in with the gang rather than go against it).  Apart from, and to some extents DURING the initial restraining order, the only true peace we had was while it was on, and the caretaking parent could actually function as a normal human being and they could, by association feel fairly normal with their peers and in the activities at which they were prospering.

We are at a turning point as a society (always, but especially now, it seems).  Either women are full-status citizens or they are second-class citizens.  Now, women, including young women, have had a taste at full-status; the horse is out of the barn, “who let the dogs out?”

While we have not used that responsibly gender-wide, I think I could make a pretty good case that men haven’t either (see Holocaust, wars, weapons of mass destruction) etc.  And a woman who has a fighting chance off being treated like a human being without ALL of society, including relatives, religious institution(s), law (and its inforecment) and such in her society, MIGHT just fight rather than crumple.  We have internet and books, and courageous people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali have already spoken out, just as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X did on racism.  Phyllis Chesler exists and has published, and I’m only naming a very few obviously.  

Now, either it can be guerilla warfare, plus some other forms of male on female terrorism in order to try to chase a bunch cats (ever done that?), or the males — including those in the mainstream media — can start to adjust.  When people separate, there are going to be custody disputes.  Either we could go back — and I do mean REgress — to some fundamentalist religions that endorse honor killings, genital mutilation, forced marriages, and whipping, stoning, or otherwise punishing women for showing signs of life, and a piece of skin, and raise generations of haters and women who cannot even trust in each other (polygamy is by definition something of a supply & demand artificially enforced situation) OR we can go the other direction, and stop men from trying to turn back the clock and “just deal” with women as BOTh citizens AND occasionally mothers.  To fully deal with this, the educational system (I’m talking scheduling more than content) needs to be loosened up and homeschooling de-stigmatized, allowing family members to actually get to know each other, and not feel like oddballs in the community because they are actively participating in it daytimes.  Don’t give me the Philipp Garridos for an example — he was under failed sex offender supervision.  For every such incident, there is at least an equal one that takes place IN schools, including shootings, sexual assaults and “worse,” dumbing down and slowing down.  Or failing to fully support those who need more help.  

One of the worst things I know — and I DO know it — is where males incite their associated females to hurt other women.  I’ve seen it (and been targeted, while with children in the home).  If there is no solidarity on basis of gender, and no fair legal protection, and faith communities are so economically codependent with their own males (plus the volunteer services of the wives and kids that come with them, AND at times the distressed single women or single mothers that come for social/emotional nurturing too, having no families of their own) they cannot confrton domestic violence and child abuse, or even confront a member on crimianl charges of any sort against family members — that’s terrible.  

This young woman’s relatives stood in for her, and took bullets.

Sorry to digress, but I am thinking this morning, about how ridiculous it is to read incident aftter incident, when I already know what resources are being poured — a tsunami, virtually – into agencies that are supposedlyo fixing the situation.  Maybe we ought to just let go of the paradigm of “fixing” families at all.  If they’re broken, let them be broken, but when anyone breaks a law, bring consequences, and bring it WITHOUT respect of gender, or where the pay is coming from.  (Yeah, in which utopia….)


Authorities aren’t sure how the shooting unfolded but according to family members, the girlfriend’s father, Jesus Rizo, and brother, also named Jesus Rizo, intervened in the dispute.

Now THAT is brave.  Or foolhardy.  But I might have too, being there.  

The ex-girlfriend’s 58-year-old father was shot in the forearm and her 16-year-old brother was wounded in the upper arm, authorities said.  {{IN OTHER WORDS, they’re not actually saying this young man Ornelas did it?  They “were shot” and “were wounded” (passive tense}}

Everyone else, including the infant, had an age, what was Mom’s?

The incident continued to a home in the 1600 block of Mullender Avenue, where authorities chased Ornelas.

Witnesses and authorities said Ornelas sped down the street in a car, ran to the back of the house, entered it and put a gun to his throat.

 

IN the house, shot in the head, or BEHIND the house, shot in the throat.  Only the EMTS know for sure.

Sounds like a combination of witnesses.  Someone saw him speeding down the street in a car.  Unless they were faster than him, someone ELSE saw him behind the house, and he did indeed shoot himself, with the same gun that shot the relatives.  Maybe details will come out, but probably not before some other young man or disgruntled ex tries to nab another young child somewhere in these United States, and pulls off another police-report-producing incident involving threats or weaponry.  

It was there that Ornelas attempted suicide, deputies said.

Staff Writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this story.

james.wagner@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811 ext. 2236

 

ANOTHER COMMENT:     NAMED people in this story:  4 males:  Sgt. Miley, Bryan Ornelas, Jesus Rizo & Jesus Rizo — all male.  We also have all of their ages except the Sgt’s.   

UNNAMED people in this story:  the only 2 females (not county Staff Writer Ruby Gonzales, who contributed) ”  the infant girl and her mother, who  was named, in order “ex-girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, girlfriend, and ex-girlfriend.”  Neither her age nor name is not in there, or where she was during the shooting, although that the child wasn’t there seems clear.  She exists only as a man’s ex (a guntoting suicidal, orders-giving, retaliatory one, it seems).  NOTHING is said of her emotions or fears or reasons for declining to hand over a 3-month old baby.  (3 months, FYI, is pretty young.  That is a dependent child.  She was the mom….).  No reasons is given that she was not interviewed (as in, “could not be reached for comment” or “declined to comment.”    The story is only in the violence.  The headline emphasizes the man’s pain and suffering, and “self-inflicted wounds” — the word “wound” is a term used in warfare — the “wounded.”  This obscures the man’s violence.  Although someone (probably him) clearly DID shoot, because there are 2 relatives in the hospital; I tend to doubt it was the mother who fired the gun — the headline emphasizes that he was “Accused” of “attacking” family is very misleading.  He DID attack (shoot) and was chased for police by hit, to which he responded in an “adult” manner by fleeing.

I wonder, where was the girl’s MOTHER.  If an older female relative had been on the scene, might she have been able to talk down the young man?  She wa snot his “property” (i.e., sexually intimate) and she was not another male challenging the young man’s “property,” i.e., his little girl, and the order-giving status he held towards his “girlfriend.”  It seems to me that this situation might have done better with a voice of moderation around.  Then the armed officers show up (appropriately) and chase the guy.  

The account as given (he fled, and shot himself) It’s plausible.  It would fit a social pattern.  It may be true.  Point is, to the readers, it’s still hearsay, largely from the deputies.  No other witnesses are named in the article.

 

Now, this is the trouble with trying to find more information.  I googled “ornelas suicide” and unfortunately got this, a Mr. & Mrs. Ornelas

SANTA ANA – 3 Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

March 20, 1993,  

A 44-year-old Santa Ana man apparently killed his wife and then himself after fatally shooting a man he incorrectly suspected of having an affair with his wife, police said Friday.

Homicide detectives believe Jose Lopez Ornelas shot Albert Lujan Galindo, 30, outside Galindo’s apartment on East Pine Street early Thursday morning, Santa Ana Police Sgt. Art Echternacht said.   {{note age difference — jealousy. }}

A neighbor discovered Galindo lying in a pool of blood just outside his apartment about 5:30 a.m.

Police said Ornelas then apparently drove his wife, Diane, 45, into southern San Diego, where he apparently killed her before fatally shooting himself, Echternacht said.

Police said the case is still under investigation and would not elaborate on what linked Ornelas to the Galindo slaying.

San Diego police, who are investigating the apparent murder-suicide in the Otay Mesa area, discovered Jose and Diane Ornelas slumped over in his 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck about 10 a.m. Thursday.

The truck was first sighted on the side of Otay Mesa Road near Heritage Road about 8 a.m., police said. The engine was running, the hood was up and the lights and radio were on, according to San Diego Police Lt. Greg Clark.

There was a small handgun in Jose Ornelas’ right hand, police said.

Friends and neighbors told police that Diane Ornelas and Galindo drove together to their custodial jobs at UCI Medical Center in Orange, Echternacht said, and “all indications are that they were not romantically involved at all, but the husband apparently got jealous.

A hospital spokeswoman said Diane Ornelas and Galindo had worked at the hospital for about 10 years. Police said they do not know why Jose Ornelas may have been jealous.


AND, another Google result:

Yet another Ornelas was just going to work, in Las Vegas Area (I guess) and landed in the middle of a “strange crime spree blamed on alcohol & depressants” (2008).  It really was out there, too. . . .

Strange crime spree ends in suicide

Alcohol, anti-depressants** blamed in Sunday’s string of events

When Marcos Ornelas was walking to work Sunday, the waiter at Joe’s Crab Shack thought it was going to be another normal afternoon.

But as he got closer to the restaurant near the intersection of Flamingo Road and the 215 Beltway, he was greeted by dozens of police cars and a helicopter circling overhead.

(**as opposed to economy, despair over breakup of a marriage (or affair), jealousy, resentment at actually having been punished for previous criminal activity, or simply a custody exchange, or God, or the devil….)

 

More on the Bryan Ornelas case, topic of this post:  3 Hospitalized in Valinda Shooting

 

Benwick Street after “a dispute … regarding child custody,” said Sgt. Dwight Miley of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s station in Industry.

Ornelas had been arguing with his ex-girlfriend when the two men tried to intervene, and Ornelas shot each man in the arm once with a handgun, Miley said.

 

Given how many sheriff-described “disputes” end up with people in the hospital, and sometimes dead or dying, I object to the word “dispute.”  If it is not actually a legal term, remind me to save up my money, attend one of the joint DV-training conferencees women like me are generally not allowed as speakers, and get my two bits in.  In addition to recommending early intervention and immediate prosecution of any felony (or misdemeanor) domestic VIOLENCE (not “abuse”) incidents, officers should be fined 1% of their weekly paycheck every time they (post-shooting) say the word “dispute” in connection with the incident.  This should go into a pro bono legal fund for women fleeing family violence who are bounced into the family law arena.  This will not actually equal the federal funding to states to help noncustodial fathers, BUT it would be at least a drop in the bucket.  

The sergeant said Ornelas and the woman (aka “girlfriend” aka. “mother”) were the parents of the infant at the center of the dispute.  A Sheriff’s Department helicopter hovered overhead as Ornelas fled the home in a vehicle with patrol cars in pursuit.

 

A 16 yr old is a man…  A mother is a girl.  However the 21-year old Ornelas is behaving kind of immature here, like a baby (only armed).

Ornelas led deputies to another home in the 1600 block of Mullender Avenue, where he ran inside and shot himself with a rifle, authorities said. Ornelas had been at that home earlier in the day and was known to the residents there, Miley said.

{{which may explain the “witnesses and authorities said.”  }}

{{This young man seems to have been pretty adept with firearms (if not emotionally mature) I would recommend that, should he survive,  — and it will come, believe me, the young mother get some weapons training, and the father be informed that she has it,  for the next court-ordered custody exchange.   After all, she may or may not qualify for federally- or state-funded supervised visitation, but even their own materials admit that women are still sometimes shot, and killed, outside such exchanges.  Her male relatives may not want to put their bodies inbetween for target practice next time.  She will be smart enough, soon enough, to realize that if a MOTHER uses a gun in an illegal manner against a father, she’s going down for more years than he is.  And the female prisons, I heard, are not so overcrowded as the male.}}    Perhaps mace, or a Taser, or pepper spray, might be a deterrent for such a father, but I don’t know offhand.  He doesn’t seem like the law-abiding, in control of his emotions.}}

 

ANOMALIES:

Like the incident (a month or so earlier, post) in Minnesota, I’m wondering how the man could, being chased by police, pull off a suicide so fast.  I don’t handle guns, so I don’t know, BUT the first account says gun to his throat (a rifle?) and out back, not inside.  He was carrying a handgun and rifle both?  He was being pursued by police AND helicopter, but chose the rifle, not the handgun, to commit suicide with??  If he was going to do this, why not do it at the scene?  Who actually witnessed the last shot?

I can see why people are tempted to leave answering such questions up to the professionals, or local communities.  For one, with the internet, and nationwide coverage (of sorts), incidents like these seem to arise with breakneck speed.    Are they copycats?  Are these public messages to women/mothers as a whole that, “don’t even THINK about confronting me, or this could be you”?

 

Even if no action is taken, it is important, I feel, to think critically about what one reads.  I am uncomfortable (extremely) when the only source cited in a news report are the deputies, especially when an incident involves blood, hospitals, or any crime scene clean-up.

 

 

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