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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Posts Tagged ‘Intimate partner violence

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

leave a comment »

 

(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.” **

leave a comment »

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


( ** quotation below….)

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

 

Legal System in California Promotes Domestic Violence Against Women”

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

http://selfrepresentedfool.org/

Pages include:  

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

(etc.)

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

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

 

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

 

“Legal System in California Promotes Domestic Violence Against Women”

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

                                  All rights reserved.

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

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

– Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

 

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

– Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC)

 

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

– Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

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

– Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC)

 

 

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

(main article was written in July of 2008)

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

 

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

 

           

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

                                  All rights reserved.

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

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

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

 

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

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

I am going to bite my tongue about that training.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

<><><><><>

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

CONCLUSION

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_________________________

Nancy K. D. Lemon

Calif. State Bar No. 95627

Boalt Hall School of Law

University of California 

Berkeley, California 94720

(510) 525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 

 

 

Dated: December 11, 2005

 

On behalf of

 

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)

 

Asian Law Alliance of San Jose

 

California National Organization for Women (CA NOW)

 

California Women’s Law Center

 

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

 

Glendale YWCA

 

Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project

 

Marjaree Mason Center

 

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence

 

Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children

 

South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center

 

Walnut Avenue Women’s Center

 

Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE)

 

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

 

Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres

 

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

_________________________

 

Nancy K. D. Lemon

Boalt Hall School of Law 

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, California 94720

Telephone: 510-525-3164

Attorney for Amici Curiae 

 

 

Dated: December 11, 2005

 

 

 

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

 

 

FOUND on the WEB at:

[DOC] 

Domestic Violence, by its Nature, Frequently Results in Forfeiture 

 – 

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


 

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

 

Only when it ceases to produce benefits for others.


Analyze This: Wichita Woes — What happened after 911? (1st time, 2nd time).

with 2 comments

I rest my case on “certifiably insane protection orders”. . . . 

 

This article is a quiz (answers below).  Do this:

A.  Put events in order.  

B.  What piece of the puzzle doesn’t “fit” and which pieces are missing?

C.  Keeping this within Kansas, bring this case history  to Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, recently found sponsoring (yet another) Fatherhood act of some sort in Kansas and ask for commentary.  Request permission to record, and share on youtube with the rest of us, why a man like this needed to be within cutting/shooting range of his 21 month old daughter.  (Because if he didn’t get this, someone was going to pay, bad?).  And how the (decade-plus) of prior fatherhood initiatives may or may not have contributed to this young man’s sense that after punching XXX officers and threatening to slit the throat of his wife, for calling for help, society still owed him something…

D.  Rewrite the headline, more appropriately reflecting the crucial issues in the case.

And then Alternately

E-1.  Pray to the tooth fairy that this isn’t you or anyone you know and/or recite after me:

E-2.  “it spiraled out of control.  We had no idea.  It spiraled out of control.  The real social crisis of our time is fatherlessness, not lawlessness.  It wasn’t his fault.  It wasn’t her fault.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault.  Nevertheless, the Feds + faith-based + local agencies will fix this situation.  We WILL eradicate violence against women and murder by men if we JUST try harder, train more professionals, and dump some dollars in that direction.  We WILL, right??”


The children are our future.  Now, Where’s that Valium?

Kansas.com


Suspect in deputy’s shooting had violent past

. . . (and they married WHY???)

Comments (0) 

BY TIM POTTER

The Wichita Eagle

The 27-year-old man accused this week of ambushing a Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy had a history of violence against his ex-wife — and against officers.

{{For why the word “had” is used, see 2nd article, below}}

 

In 2005, Richard Lyons’ ex-wife, Jenifer, accused him of holding a hunting knife to her throat and threatening to kill her after she called 911, an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court said.

Lyons pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served several months in the county jail followed by about 16 months in a state prison.

He was released on parole on March 2, 2007. His sentence and parole supervision ended on April 11, 2008, records show.

In March 2005, four Wichita police officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a knife at his ex-wife’s home in the 900 block of South Waverly, in southeast Wichita.

Lyons had arrived and “demanded she give him their infant daughter,” the affidavit said.

She reported that they argued and that after she called 911, Lyons held a 4- to 6-inch knife blade to her throat and threatened her. The knife reportedly came from a sheath attached to his pants.

“Jenifer said she hung up the phone because she was in fear for her life and believed Richard would carry out his threat,” said the document, used to bring the felony aggravated assault charge against Lyons.

On the 911 call, a male voice could be heard saying, “I will cut you,” the affidavit said.

When he went to get a diaper bag in another part of the house, his ex-wife grabbed her two children and fled, the affidavit said.

At the home, officers found signs of a disturbance, and when they tried to arrest Lyons, he punched two officers, the document said.

Although prosecutors also initially charged him with two counts of misdemeanor battery against an officer, those two charges were dismissed after he agreed to plead guilty to the more serious charge of aggravated assault, records show.

His ex-wife obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Lyons.

In April 2005, about a month after the incident involving his ex-wife, court records show Lyons was living at the house where he is accused of shooting Deputy Brian Etheridge this week — first with a rifle and then with the deputy’s own gun.

Etheridge was responding to a 911 call from the South Rock Road residence, reporting a theft — a report authorities now think was concocted.

In Lyons’ 2005 divorce case, court records say he was working for Colortime in El Dorado at the time. The court at one point required him to pay $234 a month in child support.

At another point in 2005, Lyons temporarily lost visitation with his 1 1/2-year-old daughter because of the incident involving his ex-wife.

On Tuesday, a man who said he was Lyons’ father declined to comment.

Lyons’ ex-wife could not be reached.

In September 2003, about two years before the knife incident, Lyons was convicted of misdemeanor battery against an officer.

In the years before that, he had been convicted of felony criminal threat and misdemeanor domestic battery and criminal damage to property, records show.

As a juvenile, he had misdemeanor convictions dating to 1995, when he was 12, for criminal damage to property.

Wichita school district records show that Lyons withdrew from Metro Boulevard Alternative High School in July 2002.

Contributing: Hurst Laviana of The Eagle Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

QUIZ ANSWERS (mine) BELOW:  (I interspersed A & B as dialogue)

Events, apparent order (quite different from article, which jumps around considerably)

  • 1995 Juvenile Richard Lyons, age 12, has misdemeanor convictions for criminal damage to property, ergo he was born about 1983.
  • July 2002, Lyons withdraws from alternative high school (age, about 19)
  • Between age of majority (2001?) and 2003, he has convictions for felony criminal threat AND misdemeanor domestic battery, meaning, probably against a WIFE or GIRLFRIEND.  This is called “domestic violence,” folks.  SEE 1994 VAWA Act.
  • ??? somewhere in there he gets married to Jenifer Lyons.
  • Sept. 2003, misdemeanor Battery against an officer.
  • Somewhere in 2003  Jenifer gives birth to his child.  (Note:  Physical assaults sometimes begin with pregnancy.  Mine did).
  • Somewhere between then and 2005, they get divorced.  (Given the assaults, probably understandable.  What’s not quite understandable is why they got married, unless the pregnancy PLUS her lack of other options to survive (i.e., HER family of origin support), PLUS no doubt some of this federal pushing of marriage on everyone…??  Who knows.  Maybe they wanted to.  Maybe HER household (how old was she?) was a place she needed to get out of.
  • By 2005, he has a child support order in place and is actually, it appears working.  Apparently they’ve entered the family court system somehow, I’d guess.  The man is all of 22 years old, so this is a good thing and possibly a change for him?
  • THIS IS TAKING LONGER THAN I PLANNED.
  • OBVIOUSLY they had “visitation” (unsupervised, obviously).  Note:  He assaults women AND officers, felony-style, and threatenes (someone — seee above).  He destroys property and punches policemen.  NEVERTHELESS, an infant needs her Daddy.  Daddies can be nurturers too.  If we try hard enough, perhaps all of us (through funds, and social support and of course parenting classes) can transform this young man into a real nurturer before he kills someone for telling he can’t combine nurturing infants with wife assault.

Now in March 2005, things start getting, well, interesting:

  • In 2005, Richard Lyons’ ex-wife, Jenifer, accused him of holding a hunting knife to her throat and threatening to kill her after she called 911, an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court said
  • HEre’s the account, I rearranged some sentences.  Apparently by now there are 2 children (both his?  Maybe not?) 
  1. Lyons had arrived (EXCHANGE OF THE KIDS  RIGHT?  Here’s a CLASSIC CASE involving DV, and no help with the exchange.  Yes, I’d imagine this was in family law system already, totally oblivious (per se!) to the potential danger of the situation, despite lethality assessments and DV literature dating back to at least 1985 (Barbara J. HART), 1989 (Family Visitation Centers started in Duluth Minnesota), 1994 (Violence Against Women Act) and all kinds of other literature.  THis hadn’t reaached the “heartland” yet, I guess. )  and “demanded she give him their infant daughter,” the affidavit said.  ((OMISSION – was there a custody/visitation in order or not?  if so, was it clear and specific, as many states require (but don’t practice) cases involving DV be, to avoid incidents like this?  If it WAS clear and specific, was his demand in compliance with or NOT in compliance with that order?  As they say, and we see, this isn’t typically a guy that plays by the rules, not even the rules for graduating from high school, or refraining from damaing others’ propery.  We’ll, he’s about graduate from punching officers to putting a knife to his wife’s throat.  I wonder if this was the first time….)
  2. She reported that they argued {{POSSIBLY OVER WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS HIS TIME TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER?}} and that after she called 911, {{POSSIBLY THE ARGUMENT CONTAINED SOME THREAT OR PHYSICAL ELEMENTS?}} Lyons held a 4- to 6-inch knife blade to her throat and threatened her. The knife reportedly came from a sheath attached to his pants.  {{May I speculate that perhaps Mrs. Lyons was aware that Mr. Lyons sometimes carried knives, and this may have contributed to her decision to call 911, even if the argument was only “verbal” in nature?}} 
  3. On the 911 call, a male voice could be heard saying, “I will cut you,” the affidavit said.  (I’m going to assume this is “evidence” and it was his, not a responding officer’s.  I will further assume that this was a criminal prosecution, because someone actually got ahold of that 911 call.  GIVEN the history, was this a creditable threat?  It appears to the reader that her report was accurate in this part.  Contrary to the “false allegations” stigma associated with women reporting violence (or threats of it), ” because they want to get custody,” this report seems to have some merit.
  1. “Jenifer said she hung up the phone because she was in fear for her life and believed Richard would carry out his threat,” said the document, used to bring the felony aggravated assault charge against Lyons.  {AS FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS SHOW, YES HE WAS CAPABLE OF AND WILLING TO COMMIT MURDER WHEN HE FELT WRONGED OR WAS ANGRY OR ??  SO HERE, SHE DROPS THE “911” METHOD OF SELF PRESERVATION AND, if I may add, protecting her children, WITH HER KIDS OPTS FOR THE “FLEE” METHOD.   Amazingly, a charge was actually filed.  For why, possibly, read on.
  2. When he went to get a diaper bag in another part of the house, his ex-wife grabbed her two children and fled, the affidavit said.  {{I have done this flee while he’s in the other part of the house routine, often enough}}
  3. HERE COME THE RESPONDING OFFICERS:  In March 2005, four Wichita police officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a knife at his ex-wife’s home in the 900 block of South Waverly, in southeast Wichita.   {{Officers KNOW domestic violence wih a weapon can be lethal.  They didn’t send one custody evaluator, one parenting educator, one mediator, and one guardian ad litem, they sent FOUR officers, and I BET they were armed…  Yet women are left to face this, sometimes weekly, without adequate protection.}}
  4. At the home, officers found signs of a disturbance, and when they tried to arrest Lyons, he punched two officers, the document said.

Not one but 2 officers.  Tell them to thank Wade Horn, George Bush (Jr.), former President Clinton, present President Obama, (well, adjust for the year), and others for those punches to the face.  Father-engagement.  Healthy Families. . .. You’re in it. . . . . . .   Were these male and female officers, I wonder, and which ones got punched.  But in an incident, it could easily be any of them.

Moving on in our sequencing:

5.  Prosecutors initially charged him with two counts of misdemeanor battery against an officer.

6.  he agreed to plead guilty to the more serious charge of aggravated assault.  (good move, as they saw evidence, and he was already heard on tape threatening to cut her.)

7.  The lesser charges (above) were dismissed.  Is this called a “plea-bargain?

8.  His ex-wife obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Lyons.   (((WHEN?? see last post on police reporting of incidents).  Now?  Or had she earlier?  Criminal, or civil?)

 

NOW — figure out this timeline if you can:

9.  Lyons pleaded guilty to aggravated assault (See 6, above.  WHEN?  WHAT MONTH 2005?) and

10. served several months in the county jail followed by about 16 months in a state prison.

March 2007 is 24 months from March 2005 (date of assault).  Ergo “about 16 months” plus “several months” possibly does NOT add up to 24.  How many people do this kind of mental math when reading leading bleeding headlines?  

March 2005 (arguing, resulting in 911 call, threatening to slit wife’s throat in retaliation for calling 911, with 2 kids, one of them a toddler girl, in the home, Mom + 2 flee for safety, 4 police come, 2 of whom are punched) – March 2007 is most definitely 24.

The question is, what is “several” months?  Is it 8, or 9 (8 + 16 = 24, right?)   WHEN did he plea-bargain?  After punching officers and threatening to kill wife was he then RELEASED in this foul mood?  If he threatened to slit her throat and assaulted people who tried to help in March 2005, what kind of response might we expect after being sentenced, if he was released on bail?

11. He was released on parole on March 2, 2007.

12. His sentence and parole supervision ended on April 11, 2008, records show.

 

What this section of reporting does is to reassure that his crime (of — see above) was indeed punished properly.  Or was it?

13.  In April 2005, about a month after the incident involving his ex-wife, court records show Lyons was living at the house where he is accused of shooting Deputy Brian Etheridge this week — first with a rifle and then with the deputy’s own gun.

Omittting the obvious — after arrest (i’m going to hazard a guess that the 2 punched officers or their colleagues eventually handcufffed the guy) he was free on bail or own recognizance until arraignment and incarceration

YES, you read it right, finally.  Threaten to slit her throat, punch TWO responding officers, and get out scot free, for a few months.  This is an interesting sentence (I don’t operate under press deadlines, but still . . . . .  the sentence bridges four years of time:  2005 & 2009!)  Well, not quite scot free.  He was punished with not seeing his daughter, “temporarily.”  Wonder what time frame THAT word spans.

14.  At another point in 2005, {{Can we get a hint which month?}} Lyons temporarily lost visitation with his 1 1/2-year-old daughter because of the incident involving his ex-wife.

When I filed for a DV restraining order with kickout, and we had the guns, knives and assaults thing, but not on officers — we got ALMOST 7 days with no visitation, as I recall.  Perhaps at the most 14, as he had to find a place to live.

 

Now here is about the slain officer:

  1. Sheriff: Deputy was ambushed
  2. Suspect in deputy’s shooting had violent past
  3. Marriage came as a surprise to Johansson
  4. Deputy was quiet, funny, passionate about his work
  5. Opinion Line (Sept. 30)
  6. Robbers strike as police look for killer
  7. Deputy’s funeral set for Friday
  8. Sedgwick County Commission remembers slain deputy
  9. Opinion Line Extra (Sept. 30)
  10. Wichita man arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty

 

Sheriff was Ambushed

A black band around the badge of Sheriff Bob Hinshaw. The badges are in honor of deputy Brian Etheridge, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday.

WICHITA – Richard Lyons set the trap shortly before noon on Monday by calling 911 to report a theft at his house.

He then hid in the shadows of a tree and brush in the backyard of a house in the 3600 block of South Rock Road with a high-powered rifle, authorities said Tuesday. He waited for a law enforcement officer to show up.

That happened to be Sedgwick County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Etheridge.

“It does appear to have been an ambush situation,” Sheriff Bob Hinshaw said Tuesday of the shooting death of Etheridge, 26, the first Sedgwick County deputy to die in the line of duty in 12 years.

Lyons, 27, was shot to death a few hours later in a field not far from the house in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers.

“It’s scary,” Hinshaw said. “It could have been any law enforcement officer… this was just a call to 911 to get any officer to respond.”

Investigators spent Monday night and Tuesday collecting shell casings and other evidence, Hinshaw said, piecing together a chain of events from what was left behind.

Based on that evidence, Hinshaw offered this account:

Lyons called 911 at 11:42 a.m. Etheridge was dispatched to the address just east of McConnell Air Force Base and radioed his arrival at 11:51 a.m.

When no one answered his knock on the front door, he asked dispatchers for contact information for the caller. He then walked around to the backyard of the house and saw no one.

Lyons was hiding in the shadows on the bright, sunny day, and opened fire with a .30-30 rifle — a weapon commonly used by deer hunters — when Etheridge turned his back as he was either approaching the back door or returning to the front of the house, Hinshaw said.

The bullet hit Etheridge in the back, penetrating his body armor and knocking him down. Lyons approached the fallen deputy and tried to fire his rifle again, but it malfunctioned.

He took Etheridge’s gun and shot him in the leg before disappearing.

Etheridge radioed for help, and scores of law enforcement officers from throughout the metropolitan area converged on the scene.

The wounded deputy was alert and communicating with the first officers on the scene, Hinshaw said, but their priority at that time was his medical care — not gathering information about the suspect.

Escorted by patrol cars, an ambulance raced Etheridge to Wesley Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

Authorities established a one-mile perimeter around the house and urged residents inside that area to leave if possible.

Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams said authorities had information indicating Lyons was likely inside the house, so that address remained the focus of their attention even as law enforcement officers combed outlying areas within the perimeter.

Tear gas was deployed twice into the house in attempt to flush the suspect out, Williams said, and SWAT team members were preparing to blast open the front door at about 5:15 p.m. when authorities were notified that the suspect had been spotted hiding near a tree row in a nearby field.

Agents from the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were patrolling a field in a Humvee when one of the officers spotted Lyons’ leg as he lay on the ground.

They stopped the Humvee, and Lyons stood up and fired at the vehicle with the deputy’s handgun. He then began running, firing several more shots as the ATF agents and KHP officers ran after him.

The law enforcement officers returned fire, striking Lyons “multiple times,” Hinshaw said.

Lyons was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.

Investigators hope to talk to neighbors and relatives of Lyons, Hinshaw said, but he doesn’t expect every question raised by the shooting to be answered.

“We may never know what the motive is,” he said.

Results of the investigation, including the use of force, will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Flags at Wichita City Hall and other city buildings have been lowered to half staff in honor of Etheridge. They will remain at half staff through Friday, the day of Etheridge’s funeral.

“We’re just really shocked and saddened by what has happened,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “It has affected all of our law enforcement agencies.”

Brewer said the city is providing counselors for police officers who were involved in the shoot-out and others who may be shaken by the violence.

“Every time they make a stop or enter a house, they don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “This demonstrated just how much risk there is.”

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

 

FIRST 911 — from a woman — consequence, she’s threatened and has to flee for her life, BUT her ex-husband IS jailed — for about 2 years, or less.


SECOND 911 — from the formerly jailed young man (27 yrs old is young) — his ambush.  SOMEONE was going to pay.  Was Etheridge (the officer killed) a responding officer in the former arrest, or just anyone in uniform would do?  Was he upset at what had happened in prison?

Was this suicide by cop?  Sounds like possibly, to me.

 

WOULD IT HAVE PLAYED OUT DIFFERENTLY IF THE COUPLE HAD STAYED TOGETHER, OR WOULD SHE BE A STATISTIC, NOT THE OFFICER?

ANYONE WANT TO DO A PSYCHOLOGICAL WORK-UP ON THIS ONE (PLACE BESIDE THE WORK-UPS ON PHILLIP GARRIDO, AND HIS WIFE?)  WAS IT UNEMPLOYMENT MADE HIM DO IT?  WAS IT THE CHILD SUPPORRT ORDER?  WAS IT ACTUALLY TAKING CONSEQUENCES FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?  WAS IT HIS LACK OF A FATHER IN THE YOUTHFUL HOME (FATHER CONTACTED DECLINED TO COMMENT).  DID HE NOT HAVE A PLACE IN SOCIETY, WAS THAT IT?  WAS HE ON MEDS?  was he FORMERLY ON MEDS AND NOW OFF MEDS?  

WOULD’IT HAVE BEEN BETTER TO, AT ABOUT $20K/PRISONER/YEAR (??) KEEP HIM IN  LONGER, OR INDEFINITELY?  

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I SAID EARLIER ABOUT “COLLATERAL DAMAGES” OF DV (OR SIMILAR PHRASE) IN YESTERDAY’S POST?

 

I do have one comment, here:  Something sounds narcissistic in the mix.  This person was supposedly a hell-raiser from an early age, but didn’t get help.  Possib ly being a father was a shot at sanity, but I think that the child support order was probably NOT a good idea for such a person.  It would’ve been better for all to let her do welfare.  She’d probably get off it quicker without the threats to her life than with them.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES IN KANSAS:

http://www.ksag.org/page/domestic-violence  (Attorney General Site):

Domestic Violence

The new Domestic Violence Unit within the Kansas Attorney General’s Office seeks to keep our families safe, stop domestic abuse and end the cycle of violence that threatens our communities.

Online Resources:

(Be sure to catch this “get inside their head” speculation (many didn’t apply to my case, i know):  date:

Source: The Battered Woman by Lenore Walker, Harper & Roe, 1979.  (I’m comforted to know that the Attorney General has the latest psychological profile of batterers and their victims — only 30 years old…..) 

  • Believes all the myths about battering relationships  {{NO one questioned me, and I hadn’t heard these…}}
  • A traditionalist about the home, strongly believes in family unity and the prescribed sex role stereotype  {{The alternative being, punishment….}}  {{BY THE WAY, this now describes the Health and Human Services Dept., in general, on this matter….}}
  • Accepts responsibility for the batterer’s actions  {{SAYS WHO?}}

Resources for Law Enforcement

 

Child Exchange and Visitation Center Program – (CEVC)

This program provides supervised child exchange or supervised child visitation to children and families at risk because of circumstances relating to neglect; substance abuse; emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; domestic or family violence; etc. The state portion of funding can be used to fund the local match required for receipt of federal child exchange and visitation center grants.

Mighta been helpful for Jenifer Lyons . . . . . 

The Essential Elements and Standards of 

Batterer Intervention Programs in Kansas  

The Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer Intervention Programs were developed over 

seven years through the hard work of many professionals who are dedicated to ending 

domestic violence in Kansas.   The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 

convened the initial work group and wishes to thank the following organizations for their work 

during this process: 

Developed and/or Reviewed by representatives from the following: 

Alternatives to Battering, Topeka 

Correctional Counseling of Kansas, Wichita   {{MAYBE Mr. Lyons got this and didn’t take kindly to it?”}}{{Or, the problem was, he DIDN’t get it?}}

Family Crisis Center, Great Bend 

Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board 

Halley Counseling, P.A., Girard 

Johnson County Office of Court Services 

The Family Peace Initiative, Girard 

Kansas District Judges’ Association 

Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall 

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six 

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 

Kansas County and District Attorney Association 

Kansas Department of Corrections  

The Mental Health Consortium 

Office of Judicial Administration 

Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center, Hutchinson 

Wyandotte Mental Health Center 

Family Crisis Center, GreatIn 2007, The Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board (GDVFRB), chaired by 

former Attorney General Robert Stephen appointed a subcommittee to review and update the 

Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer Intervention Programs. The GDVFRB adopted 

these as best practice standards in providing batterer intervention programming in Kansas, and 

recommended that the Office of Attorney General implement a training and certification program 

for providers of batterers intervention programs. 

Attorney General Steve Six readily accepted the recommendation to train and certify batterer 

intervention providers in Kansas using the Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer 

Intervention Programs in Kansas.   

For More information about this initiative, contact the  

Director of Victim Services in the office of 

 Kansas Attorney General  

Steve N. Six 

120 S.W. 10th Avenue 

Topeka KS 66612-1597 

785/368-8445

 

“FATHERHOOD  IN KANSAS (google, results 124,000)

 

ACCESS VISITATION IN KANSAS:

Child Custody, Support and Visitation Rights – Kansas Bar 

Visitation, often called “access” is the right of the parent who does not …. Child support and visitation are considered by statute in Kansas to be two 
http://www.ksbar.org/public/public…/child_custody.shtml – Cached – Similar – 


Crisis Resource Center of SE Kansas –

Child Exchange and Visitation Center. 669 South 69 Hwy.  Wichita Childrens Home Child Access. 810 North Holyoke 
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/…/access_visitation…/ks.html – Cached – Similar – 


Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson website  Funding Source, The Federal State Access &Visitation grant program is a formula grant program to states and 
http://www.governor.ks.gov/grants/grants_savppp.htm – Cached – Similar – 

 

  1. Overland Park Visitation Attorney | Leawood KS Parenting Plans 

     

    Visitation & Parenting Plans. Kansas Visitation Lawyer  custody or non- residential custody, your children have the right of access to both parents. 
    http://www.cavlaw.com/PracticeAreas/Visitation-Parenting-Plans.asp – Similar – 


    You will have access, at our Download Site, to the legal forms you need to modify custody-visitation in Kansas

    These forms are the most current versions 
    http://www.custodycenter.com/MODIFYCUSTODY-KS/index.html



    Following an emotional breakup, many moms allow or deny visitation by whim, {{OR WHEN HE THREATENS TO SLIT ONE’s THROAT< CASE IN POINT}}
    leaving the dads without regular access to their children. 
    http://www.kslegalhelp.com/Divorce-and-Family…/Paternity.shtml – Cached – Similar – 



    YES, THERE WAS A DIRE LACK OF SERVICES FOR MR. LYONS…

Finding a Firm Place to Stand, Prying Loose Violence and Abuse

leave a comment »

Note on display:  Twice, I painstakingly went through and re-inserted the paragraph breaks in this post, and saved the revisions.  I do not know why they aren’t all displaying anymore, so presume only the most curious readers will wade through the nonparagraphed texts.  I did not (waders will find this quickly) correct all typos.  I am talking about how to THINK about the issues in family court and deal with them.  They become greater, often, than the issues which brought a family there to start with, and generally result in impoverishment of one or more spouses in the process, which then becomes an ongoing issue for the duration of the case.  
Although the label on the door speaks ‘reconciliation” “mediation” “family” and “negotiation” “parenting” and all kinds of good fuzzy words, the fact is it is a form of warfare.  First, between the parents, and second, upon the parents, and their rights and of course their wealth. I have been in this system many years as have other mothers I know.  Stamina is always an issue, and attitude even more so.  What I am interested most in, though, is angle of approach and reducing personal frustration by refusing to hold to myths which have proven to be myths, and arguing points that, though they shouldn’t be, are truly “moot.”  
I finally got out of my abusive violent marriage, and good thing, when I found a place to stand and vocabulary to describe the situation.  Then I had to experientially understand that something else was possible.  I had to believe that other ways to exist would open up, even if I didn’t yet know what they were, but the one firm decision was, this was NOT the way I was going to spend XX more time, no matter how murky the exit seemed.
I would like to leave a bridge for others and tell them where the U-turns and dead ends are, like a scout.  This would be best done before both my children have “aged out” of the system (one almost has).  Part of that process is chosing the right place to stand in looking at it.
ALMOST NONE of the evaluations of the family law system, or recommendations to reform it, deal with the issue of child support, although certainly both mothers (and mothers’ groups) and fathers (and fathers’ groups) complain loudly about unfair support orders, or unpaid ones.  That seems foolish to me.  While many others talk about the professionals in the courts, and complaints and versions of them, very few talk about the entire SYSTEM of this, or the HISTORY of this.  So in order to understand a thing, one must step OUTSIDE and look further, after the “full-immersion” version of what’s in there.  I was shocked, and am shocked, to find a trail leading back to places like Washington, D.C., Denver Colorado (in an upcoming post) and places like Minnesota, or Texas, in explaing what the heck is going on in California.  Or for that matter, on other continents.  Failure to understand this is silly, given globalization and the internet, however typically this is about how it goes on the local level.  
When I walked into some domestic violence family law places many years ago to try and get a handle on the violence that was ongoing and becoming more frequent, more frightening, more destructive (to work, relationships, income), and I was concerned also about whether it would turn deadly, the business of the day was bonding with other women, hearing their stories, learning I was NOT alone or without resources to change something, and learning the vocabulary.  While this is normal (and part of abuse is generally being talked AT and down TO, not conversed WITH, so this experience was important and validating), what I did not do at that time was question what this center was doing, who was running it, who had conflict of interest with whom, and why we were headed into the family law system when I had felony level domestic violence going on at home?  Why weren’t these people showing us how to deal with police?  
One time during an incident, they even SENT police (when I called to try to avoid an attack that was building up and couldn’t get out), but why wasn’t the difference between criminal and civil explained, that I recall?
Now these organizations have “morphed” also, which is another topic.
Meanwhile, this post “morphed” into two topics, and then I started reflecting, which makes three:  
So please bear with the initial posting, and then in a bit I will cut the pie into appropriate, more digestible pieces.  
I used to, more often, wonder about what happened to this statement, in the family law system’s communal “head” and reasoning.
It’s already been voted into law  I believe this statement to be true, experientially:

http://www.sddvc.com/pdf/2008finalwithsignatures.pdf
This is out of San Diego: Law Enforcement Protocol:

The California State Legislature has declared that:

(1) “[S]pousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and
physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California.” (California
Penal Code section 273.8.)

(2) “A substantial body of research demonstrates a strong connection between
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.” (California Penal Code section
13732(a)). 

So the next question is, “What are YOU going to do about it?” (when in court).
Or, “What can I do about it, when this is my family?”
Or, “What can I do about it, when this is my friend, or my community, or . . . . . . “
Or, if one is exceptionally social-minded or moved by this:  What can I do about this?”  PERIOD.
My approach, until I learned, experientially, the next truth, was this(same document):

“The decision to prosecute a batterer lies within the discretion of the District Attorney
and the City Attorney. Victims do not “press charges”, “drop charges” or
“prosecute” their batterers.

Ay, there’s the rub.  So, they go get civil or family court restraining orders, which are less respected.  Or, they go to their family, friends, faith institution, etc.  Then they find out what their:  family, friends, faith institution, etc., are about.  And the years go by, the kids grow up. . .  . . . 


Ay, there’s the rub.**  So, they go get civil or family court restraining orders, which are less respected.  Or, they go to their family, friends, faith institution, etc.  Then they find out what their:  family, friends, faith institution, etc., are about.  And the years go by, the kids grow up. . .  . . . 


**”To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub”  

Origin From the celebrated ‘to be, or not to be‘ speech in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 1603:

HAMLET:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
 To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;

 

When there is a clear and present danger, one (which one?  ONE!  We.  I, you, the mother, the wife, the father, the neighbor, the society, although I’m not into communal society dreaming a single particular dream. . . . . It runs to abuse . . .. . Who interprets the dreams?  WHo dreams them, the king?  Do we have a king in this country?  Ostensibly no, but our behaviors don’t always indicate this belief, no matter who’s currently in office), one cannot afford to dream.
But in “Family court matters” we are told to, as parents, or have our head examined by the local shrink more familiar with the dream.
I’m burnt out on all the propaganda in this field, let alone being preached AT from multiple quarters.  The beginning of any school year, which for a former teacher, and former mother with kids in the house, and former musician/performer, is often a tough time emotionally.  
So I’d say a WHOLE lot of this system is itself a “moot point” and intentionally so.  It’s not what it pretends itself to be, and don’t you tell me this is because judges jsut don’t “understand” the domestics of domestic violence.  They understand the power dynamic JUST FINE and are part of it.
Well, THIS post will have to be revamped for sure tomorrow morning!  What a day!
1.  Moot points and
2.  Paradigms as tools to pry loose from a confining world view that leaves one trapped in useless dialogue.
 And now here is
3.  Reflections, descriptions.
Just to be ornery, let’s do this in reverse order:

3.  How it feels (reflect, describe, (OK, complain)):

(I also have spliced in some reflection and reaction (personal).  Well, I will sort this thought laundry after it’s been rinsed, spun and dried. The situation arises today because I’m simply tired of a lifestyle of seeking funding, seeking grants, seeking ways to make a dysfunctional system function (it’s not “dysfunctional from certain points of view) and weighing that alternative with the prospects of launching a proper civil suit to demand damages for torts, or access funds due people in my situation, it’s called “victims of crime” funding, but they are working on shuffling this into the domestic violence shelters, supposedly), OR simply getting through another day when life is racing by, with no way to access and have reasonable contact with either daughter?  What would I do?  Bring one of them along for a grants application, or have them sit by while I fill out legal paperwork against their current caretakers?  Not hardly! I no longer associate with the former professionals, or have even funds for a museum trip.  Show them how to ask a stranger for bus fare?  This gets old after a while, particularly processing so many alternatives.  I need to pray).
I have about five decades of life under my belt, and now two-fifths of these dealing with a singular issue — family violence, and leaving it.  And approximately four and a half of these inhaling and exhaling music, for which I no longer even have an appetite, which is bothersome if you’ve lived and breathed this mode of living for such along time.
Of the approximately two-fifths of these decades dealing with the family violence issue, up until three years ago, my sole focus, intent, and drive was 3-fold:  
1.  set boundaries, and defend them so I could adequately
2.  Get both daughters a reasonable education without so much stress and melodrama (because the fight was over this, within the family)i.e., get them back into the arts and off to colleges on scholarships.  Literally the only way to do this as a single mother and with such limited funds, was homeschooling, which had just been stopped, or an alternate variety of the public school which gave them (and me) time to do the arts through independent study, or collaborative agreements with (by their ages now this was available) a local community college.  We got 2 weeks only into this in summer 2006, anda the girls were literally stolen by his father and a girlfriend from my custody on an overnight visitation, sending into chaos 1, 2, and this:  
3.  Regaining financial self-sufficiency and some decent STABLE relationships (or, barring that, at least income) by engaging in:  piano, choir and voice — which was what most of my life had been about, apart from being a mother and leaving abuse.

I believe it’s quite understandable why I don’t feel like taking up with a male for either sex, warmth, shared housing, or simple companionship before feeling literally, safe in my own skin, house, and profession.  For one, it’s outside of my personal beliefs to sleep around, and part of this is practical. I do not want to engage in another relationship without the financial capacity to leave should it turn the same direction again.  PERIOD.  And, I don’t want to engage in a relationship with a needy male who can’t pull his own weight and needs a woman to do so, or to help punish and ex, which is the type of person my ex made a beeline for in his second live-in relationship.
The question, who ARE you continues to come up, when the usual definitions don’t do, and this is an issue women constantly face as they go through life.  When the trip through family court adds to the turmoil with stigmatizing labeling, psychologizing and theologizing about who a woman is because she has personal limits on abuse and (________ deleted), it takes strength to redefine where one stands.
Which brings up the issue of, if you’re that strong, what does one “need” a partner for, as most of us do want to be wanted.  Sex?  Money/  Someone who knows you over time to eat a meal with on a regular basis, and some conversation (I’m strongly tending towards the latter)?  Someone to have some fun (and intimacy) with?  Yep.  So, then which religion do we throw out, eh?
 
I have always known that I was able to relate solitary (as to the art and work, nature, writing, etc.) BUT also in social groupings and communities was necessary, including individual friendships and relationships.  My family was nothing of this to me, they went through the routines, and in fact the only one whose conversations hold much weight with me at this point is actually my father, who has been gone 26 years.  At least he had a sense of humor, all I get from the surviving relatives is dogma, and bitterness, now that I surfaced as individual AND mother, and serious about both.  Like I said, i was tolerated to the extent I forked over the futures of two children I gave birth to, and the less complaint, the better.  That concept was disgusting to start with, and how it happened, worse.  How much more important values can a mother transmit to her daughters than that it’s unacceptable for any man to assault a woman, let alone a pregnant one, and that they are NOT commodities, but individuals?  That the laws of this land exist to protect them (actually false at this point, they are “moot” in practice) and that RIGHT is in this direction and WRONG is in that direction.  That true is true and false is false when it comes to certain facts, and that these matter?  That the sky, not the gutter, is the limit for them in all categories of life, and this includes demanding no double standards in work, in marriage, in life, and in schooling.  IN communication and anywhere else.
And that it is of CRITICAL importance to call that event what it was, several years ago, and a travesty and misfiring of the justice system, and a coverup of a felony action, covered up because it was committed against a female, not a male.  In the long arch of life, these are important.  
As is choice of college.
As I’m running out of years, and options (and have run out of funds) and have hammered away at the problem of ethics, illogic, and troubling immorality within, in order:  marriage, family, faith institutions, and ever expanding circles, including legal, family court, child support, and finally (how much further up can one go?) the U.S. Federal Government, and how it’s put together, apparently, I struggle between investing in another income initiative (knowing what this brings on from the family) and going for legal enforcement of some right (knowing how corrupt THAT system is) and continually calculating the odds.
Over the years, and as a female, I was naturally taught to seek help, collaborate and cooperate in this matter of throwing out a man that was dangerous, and maintaining a safe, but kindly access to my kids’ father, and yet also asserting –and REbuilding, really — a personal integrity and identity as mother, and professional.  
After multiple betrayals, and eventually, watching my  non-immoral, non-narcissistic, employed, tax-paying, non-law-rejecting supportive friends and colleagues (many of them also parents) vicariously, through this support, worn out, drained, and finally need to distance themselves to protect their OWN livelihoods and personal time, what remains instead is the toxic relationship with the ex-parent, and a continual need to replenish income and social contacts, however there is little common experience on which to make them.  
Meanwhile, whether with children or (criminally, was how this happened) absent children,  I was seeking simple law enforcement, asserting a right to reach financial independence in any legal moral way I saw fit, not in the politically correct to relatives and ex manner. I wanted control of my own infrastructure, and I wanted EVERYONE out of my personal turf that had no legal business there and no right to be there.  Boy, THAT was a war!  
How suspicious this is to our society in general.  Can’t a woman get a little peace?  My “liberal” relatives had a snit fit over me, without a resident male in the household, even though the resident male was, literally tearing up the place, and at times, portions of my face.  In front of our children, too.  What’s liberal about THAT?
I have been literally ordered to give my relatives what they wanted, and shut up about it afterwards — make the court orders, ALL of them “moot points,” prostrate myself and fork over all major decisions about life income and their schooling.  They wanted MY KIDS, through the father, who at one time tried to offer his custody rights to these people in order to follow through in a prior personal threat to do this, solitary confinement for the sin of standing up!
In that sense, yes, it was “about the kids,” but when it gets to suppressing facts, lying, and breaking laws, it’s not about any children but about ego.  How dare these folks use me as a surrogate mother to compensate for a prior elective choice, irreversible past menopause, to not have children?  And break laws, intentionally ignore and dismiss domestic violence, and felony child-stealing, all kinds of bribery, manipulation and extortion, and serious character defects in the father (such as failure to support even himself, let sufficient work to also help support them) in order to get their way?  
How dare my daughters be used for social, emotional props from a religious group that tolerates wife abuse?  But they are.  How DARE their distress fund the legal systems in two counties — but it does.

2.  Paradigms, Tools to Pry Loose, Places to stand and the Lever of Language

Well, there are a lot of fish in the sea, tne the ones that don’t travel in schools that dart too and fro as athey are told to, and with each changing current, are the somewhat smaller groups of predators with teeth.  So, I guess the task at hand is to figure out where the “teeth” are in this life.  And where is the MOST relevant truth at any individual point in time.  Where is the place to stand to move the system, or at least pull up the heavy stage drapes revealing the scaffolding, the catwalks, the prompters, and the actors without their stage makeup on.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So, the first rule in depth perception is using both eyes — 2 Points of View.
For someone totally immersed, the first key is another set of experiences, a paradigm or language tools with which to Uproot Abuse and expose its roots.  Hint:  If one way fails, perhaps you have the wrong tools, and/or are standing in the wrong place.
(Where I’m eventually going with this is the money trail in the courts. . . . .. we won’t get there today….)
The reason I KNOW this is both the man who knocked my teeth loose
(for adjusting the volume on the radio from  earsplitting loud, at the wrong time)
AND
my family of origin
AND
it’s obvious by now the family law system (cf. grants to courts for “Access/Visitation” being administered by OCSE,
office of Child Support Enforcement.  There’s not even an attempt to conceal this on the websites)

2A.  Dude, it’s about the money.  That’s the paradigm to understand in understanding the family law system.  This means child support and federal grants have to be examined as well, as well as job referrals, and private conflicts of interest among professionals on the same case.

They all know it’s about the money.  So why do we all go into court and pretend it’s about the laws, REALLY?  It ain’t.  What is that, a courtly dance?  Pirouettes, music, and all?  And to half the people involved, at least, who can REALLY believe any more it’s about the kids – good grief!  (see my last post).  They themselves are growing up and saying they’re TIRED of being used in this manner.  They grow up suffering all kinds of problems later, and then support other underground economies, like DRUGS.  Then the fatherhood groups say this is because there’s a lack of father involvement.  The fact is, the converse might be true — abusive Dads were KEPT in relationships too long. And while aspects of the system might be responsible for excessive jailing of African-American men, and men more than women, that’s not the woman’s fault when a child is at stake!

You know what some women I’m aware of got jailed for?  Primarily,  failure to pay child support, and taking their kids to prevent child molestation after it’s already happened.  There’s a woman in southern California without contact with her kid.  She says she found him pimping himself on the internet and contacted him (with an RO in place) to say STOP DOING THAT!  She was threatened with jail for breaking a no contact order.  Was anyone else concerned about a young man pimping himself on the internet to get away from an abusive Dad?  There are all kinds of horror stories, and they are not just stories, either.

2B.  Anything that is obviously, over time, a moot point, then this is not the reigning paradigm, even if you wish it were or thought it should be.  Another one is actually primary.  is the goal to change the system or win your case

(and which first?  Because one timeframe is shorter than the other.  This is where many organizations, with a cash flow, employees, business offices, and a little momentum, have a different world view than mothers, who have fast-growing children and fast-changing situations personally.)


MOOT POINTS:  
When I was married, pretty much every thing was a “moot point” but what “mood” someone was in.  It didn’t take too long to figure this out, but what to do about it was definitely a work in progress, and required my adjusting my concepts of both marriage, self, relationships, and (most importantly) PRIORITIES until I came to the conclusion that OUT was BEST.  

I have been questioning recently why I bother to blog.  Will it change anything?  Does it make someone feel better or give a person hope or more tools to make sense of their situation?  Does it help record these “stolen” years?  I blog, therefore I am?  Is it as much a contribution to society as my former practice, teaching kids, youth, and adults to SING, which I know was empowering and helpful to society.  It was another “paradigm” for many of them, to hear what they could do, especially ensemble. And there is some terrifically beautiful and inspiring choral music out there; one can draw from different centuries and DEFINITELy different cultures. ANd build a skill, some discipline, some good times in the process also.  What a great profession!

On the other hand, in the years behind me is a trail of court actions pronouncing one thing or another, after which I’ve been dumped by the roadside of life, having fulfilled my civic duty:  Surrogate mother (as to our family line) and Family Court Client (as to the last many years).  Before then in life, tuition has been paid through two sets of bachelor’s degrees, and our difficult divorce has justified (supposedly) the existence of several court-related and many nonprofit institutions, none of which (from MY standpoint) have fulfilled their assigned purposes, as judged by what the titles proclaim they do.  For example, “Child Support Enforcement” “Restraining Order” “Custody Order” and “visitatin/vacation” schedule.  All became “moot points” in our case history.  So as far as “giving at the office,” I’ve done my part in life.
The collateral of THESE becoming “moot points” is that my work history and efforts have become JUST as “moot..  I would get jobs, only to lose them around the above.  And then  be targeted for further ridicule from my own family who were both the source of many of the job losses and (my mother) of some of the help to recover from them, since my local government determined not to enforce its own laws when a mother & woman was concerned.  Go figure THAT one out.
Now we are to start again, but the situation has not been closed, and moreover, more cooks are involved, within my own family.  The second chapter of leaving abuse is leaving the family of origin, or the abuser’s associates’ influence. 
So, I have been bounced out of the paradigm of getting and maintaining and income, and investing some planning in doing so, into the paradigm of navigating either the government bureaucracy of welfare, being insulted that the same government drove me and my kids back there, from a different segment, OR (as my ex either does, or simply exists under the radar; which isn’t clear yet) trying to go “off the grid,” OR, getting back into the arena.  
What happens with wrong paradigm?  You lose! A lot.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that, barring repentance, a new character implant, or true reformation, or actual, actual inner spiritual awakening (not just the kind that gets probation vs incarceration, or that wins the heart of a gullible vulnerable female), “conciliation” isn’t really the reigning paradigm in the family law courts.  OSTENSIBLY it is, but in practice and practice shows intent, it ain’t.
While I was operating under the (illusion, I say) paradigm of LAW vs. Enforcement/compliance, etc., and with the vocabulary I learned post-separation to describe this abuse — because without a tool for the mind, the words, one is hard put to dig, pry, or loosen a situation, to objectify it and decide what to do with it, the people on the other side of the court motion, including one unrepentant woman-batterer, were using the pretense of negotiation to enforce ultimatums, point by point, on my life that no court order warranted.  And while the courts and police exist to handle this, it was not practically possible once the downward slide got going with some speed.  And the first thing that slid away was jobs. and with them relationships and sources of referral for more work (i was self-employed in the profession as many if not most classical/teaching musicians are)
So  WORDS ARE CRUCIAL, just as words justified abuse and oppression in marriage — the wider picture was the rapids ahead — family law, instead used the exact opposite paradigm  the paradigm of pathologizing conflict and reuniting family.   The paradigm of Big Brother (and his other relatives) as “doctor” and anyone that comes through the doors as little children needing coaching for their “squabbles.”  It was the paradigm of “Reunification” for the good of society.  Only much, much later did I learn of the paradigm of the social crisis of “fatherlessness.”
Words alone are not indicators; when they are only as good as their context and who is speaking.  So listening to content only is a literal, Western-minded, linear type of thinking that just don’t work in the jungle.  One has to listen differently than one was taught to in school and in other areas where tuning out the static and background noise would actually be functional.   Again, abusers and people whose intent is to dominate, not reason together, listen and observe in this manner also.  This listening goes on outside the courtroom, and in fact outside the courtroom is often MORE relevant, and INSIDE, while the arena whre a judge signs and order, is a very, very small portion of time in the life of a lawsuit.
WORDS.  So, enter “cognitive dissonance” the first time it hits you, and a lot of water (time) under the bridge dealing with it emotionally.  THAT is the point of the game . . . . .   like a spider injects toxin into its prey, to numb it, or a lion roars, or sometimes headlights can blind a deer.  The point is the fascination that freezes the prey.  The TALK is the toxin.
So for some years and months, and to different entitites, I kept talking law, rules, safety, and “get real!”, while this system kept talking different words, but they were only smokescreen words.  I had already (the year prior) translated the family “talk” sufficiently to act on it.  I deciphered that they rejected the analogy of domestic violence (not to mention the restraining order then in place, also) and I acted accordingly, and went about my won business.  Problem?  Hadn’t fully analyzed the situation yet, how adversarial indeed it was, and what was at stake, namely total control of my daughters.  
To take the words coming through the family law system at face value is to deal with the pawns, not the bishops, knights, rooks, or kings and queens in the game, which have different powers, patterns of movement and move (except the king) further and faster, although if you get the ponderous king stuck between a pawn and a knight, it’s still check-mate.
So, there are two paradigms and two languages in effect; one is public (glitter and sham) and the other is private, and that IS the money and professional affiliations involved.  That IS the business of the court, literally, and it is interlaced with the business of government, and the total transformation of society into basically, I’d summarize it, basically back to a feudal system.  The Court, The Courtiers, the Courtesans (of course) and the subjects.  Fealty counts.  Betrayal of secrets is punished harshly, as individuals suffer when attempting to individually break a family code that tolerates almost anything WITHIN its ranks, but not disloyalty to “outsiders.”  To them, this is “good.”  TO those who disapprove of the family cult or clan, it is “bad.”  There you have it.

2C.  GENGHIS KHAN:  Who was he?  Who was his army?  How did they conquer so much territory?

That’s a lot of territory. Now, it’s less geography, populations.  Technology and using language to transform beliefs.
The Devil’s Horsemen:

“The Devil’s Horsemen.”

 

The conquering Mongols were most feared by their victims as “the devil’s horsemen” who carried everything before them and left nothing behind.” (Genghis Khan & the Mongol Conquests, 1190-1400 [page 8]) The “invincible” Mongolian Army faced little opposition, physical, nor mental, until they began campaigning in areas outside of the steppe regions.

. . . 

The first problem that the Mongols and their current leader Genghis Khan overcame, was the complex planning needed in order for them to defeat their more organized, and better equipped foes. “New military technologies therefore had to be learned and relearned

. . . 

At Xiangyang in 1272 Khubilai Khan was forced to send to his kinsmen in the west for counterweight trebuchets, the latest thing in siege catapults, to breach its walls.” (Genghis Khan & the Mongol Conquests, 1190-1400 [page 9]) The need for a more strategic way of fighting allowed the Mongols to evolve. Without that evolution, the Mongols would never have been able to stand up to their well-trained, well-organized enemies. This extraordinary skill to adapt, and thus survive, helped the Mongols not only in the physical aspects of warfare, but the psychological. Becoming an enemy that has the ability to adapt and thrive in any situation and on any terrain earned the Mongols the title of “the Devil’s horsemen”.

Application:
When you begin studying grants, particularly as to “Domestic VIolence Coalitions” and “Healthy Marriage Coalitions” as I have, you’ll see the heavy upfront investments in INFORMATION DISSEMINATION and “Technical Support” infrastructures.  Money to shelters may be cut back, but not discretionary grants to preventative organizations that confer, publish, conference, and advise — no sirree!  
This is the “technology” of our age.  Backed up, though is the reputation of terror.  This system can literally terrorize, tear up, traumatize, and restructure a family at will.  As Ghenghis Khan united warring tribes, after establishing his reputation, I can trace (and others have) how certain organizations (nonprofits / for-profits) have positioned themselves as “experts” in several fields and united, dominated the conversations in these fields for decades.  As I like to say, “before you got up for breakfast.”
Whereas formerly these fields supposedly (and probably) were separated:  “Father’s Rights’ (i.e., anti-feminist), Violence Against women (i.e., feminist, meaning, we’re human beings with equal rights, not baby-producers or upstart rebels), and Child Protection Services (I can’t say whether these groups ever performed the function, and I haven’t studied them as much) they now pride themselves on collaborating.
The “technology” of our time is the internet and information, but it is indeed backed up by police force to incarcerate — OR, to release from prison some thug that is GOING to kill or terrorize again.  Toms River, Minnesota, California, Nevada, you name it, it happens.  

The Mongols

by antonio2godoy</a>” href=”http://socyberty.com/author/antonio2godoy/” mce_href=”http://socyberty.com/author/antonio2godoy/”>antonio2godoy in History, March 29, 2009

This is an a little description of what the Mongols were like under Genghis Khan’s rule.

(I put it in very fine print, because it’s not central to this post, just related:)

The Mongols were amazing herders and horse back riders. Within time they dominated China and Eastern Europe. Who would have envisioned that these nomads, herders that relied on animal and natural resources for survival, would reign over a great deal of territory belonging to the Chinese and Eastern Europeans?! But with the leadership of Genghis Khan, the Mongols conquered all who opposed them and ruled with an iron fist earning a reputation for extreme cruelty. Then, after a hundred years the Mongol empire disappeared. After reading this you’ll learn how the Mongols put effective leadership first and then effectively manage it with discipline.

 

. . . Genghis Khan changed his name from Temujin after numerous victories. Temujin was born in 1162 and was part of the Kiyad tribe close to the Burhan Khaldun Mountains. He had three younger brothers and his father, Yesugei, was the tribe leader. Yesugei arranged Khan’s marriage to Borte at a young age. Yesugei was poisoned at a dinner of a neighboring tribe. Although Temujin was next in line, he still had to prove that he was the strongest to before he can lead over the tribe. At the young age of 13 he killed his brother while hunting. Age 17 Temujin married Borte and united two tribes. Borte was then kidnapped by an enemy tribe. Legend says that Timujin sent an army of 40,000 to rescue his wife which may have led him to his destiny. After Temujin conquered and united numerous tribes, as well Mongolia his name was well known throughout the land as Genghis Khan, Ruler of the world.

 

{{establish dominance.  A “name” is very important to leadership}}

 

Many historians consider Khan ahead of his time because his army was well structured, trained and equipped. He organized his 80,000 soldiers into divisions of 10,000, with 1000 in each regiment, 100 in each company and 10 in a squad. In 1206 all of Mongolia was conquered. {{HE WAS 44 years old}} 

Khan made all of his soldiers from different tribes pledge loyalty to him. He won his victories with his skilled horse warriors and archers. He required his soldiers to wear light leather and metal tunics with protective silk undergarments. Khan also made sure his soldiers had enough equipment like 2 bows, a quiver of 60 arrows, scimitar, and attached 5 horses. His soldiers also carried useful tools such as meat pots, needle and thread and objects to sharpen arrows.

 

Khan controlled his people by a code of law he created called the Yasa. These laws were extremely cruel and harsh. The death penalty was a sentence for many offenses including stealing, cheating on your spouse, {{interesting, eh?}} resigning from combat in the middle of a battle, not paying taxes three times and even peeing in public water routes

 

Genghis never taxed the outside land he conquered. He let defeated kingdoms live as they liked, which gave people the choice of religion, and to live with their custom laws and celebrations.

 

((Therefore not provoking their rebellion.))


Another place to stand to move the world.

When I finally Decided to Leave / Moot Points.

The final decision to get OUT came when I experienced two full weeks (not just one, as I had an earlier time in the marriage) actually free from his abuse and threats, for the most part, and still fully functional in my beloved profession of music.  This was WITH little girls (stilll, then) in attendance.  I was amazed at the experience of being talked to, working, and interacting with people for several days in a row with no trauma, and no likelihood of imminent trauma, geographically near.  
Then I returned, and experienced the response to my having been “allowed” out of this man’s control for the first 2 weeks (that I recall) in almost 10 years.  Literally.  There were no other such 2 weeks.  
To “pay” for this, all my belongings were thrown out of the bedroom I was then living in, and my ex ensconced himself IN, putting locks on the door, and again, I was (since not working) reduced to hoping or asking for a $1.oo or perhaps $2.00 for the day, with small children to care for, and I do not recall if an operational car at this time.  Yes, I did, but cars still need gas to go anywhere.  I specifically remember shamelessly, if he forgot to close the door all the way, going through his pants pockets for spare change.  This is a while back, but as I recall there was no bank account and no income — the last full-time apparently had so threatened the guy that another man was brought into the home to try & persuade me to turn all income over to my husband shut down my bank account.  Alternately, I could quit my job.
 This was discussed in front of me AND two growing daughters, as if I were not even there.  We are talking a woman in her 40s, and in an urban California area.
Because I now had, experientially, not just theoretically (BIG difference!) 2 points of view, back to back, this highlit the situation.  The guy was indeed right to be extremely threatened by letting us out from underneath his thumb for a few weeks, because witnessing his retaliation to this, DID indeed tip the scale between fear of action and inaction.  I was disgusted enough and wanted the better way of living ENOUGh, to get out.  
When others got out:
In another blog here, I mention a woman who was held captive to her father for many years, and had to bear children for him.  She was able to report WHEN SHE KNEW HER KIDS WERE SAFE.  “Alyssa” a.k.a. Jaycee Dugard, who also fathered two children for HER kidnapper/rapist (though not her own father) was also able to get free finally, when she was in one room, and her captor/father of her daughters (Phillip Garrido) in another room, both with law enforcement there.  I don’t know all the details, but I bet that Mr. Phillip was NOT in the room during the conversations with Ms. Alyssa when the truth came out.  
Another woman, that Phyllis Chesler connected with the Dugard case, and that I also mentioned on-line, had been kept captive in a BOX 23 hours a day for years, until she was allowed out and graduate to family slave.  She’d been told that a group called ‘the Company” would come and cut off her fingers, or do horrible things to her family, if she rebelled or left.  (Incidentally, I consider stalking and other threats, along these lines, basically, this is a form of control and intimidation to force compliance).
One day the other woman got tired of the same man’s betrayal and mistreatment, and she told the captive that there was no “Company.”  The person then got on a bus and went home.  She’d been captive for YEARS.
When an individual parent exhibits this amount of control over contact with the other parent, and child abuse or domestic violence has not been identified as a cause, the court would be RIGHT to switch custody.  However, instead they tend to do it in the opposite situation after it HAS been identified, and sometimes even on the record, with evidence, etc..
What is happening in the court system, my friends (and enemies) is that mothers, morally, cannot get out, because their kids are going into unsafe situations.  In this scenario, they have a choice of abandoning their own kids under basic threat to hurt them MORE to save themselves, or staying in the fight, and passing off the drama and drain to society.  
Therefore, the family law forum, and the systems that resonate to its drumbeat (or vice versa, it’s a synergy!) is practically a foolproof business model. While there is SOME attrition — some people will escalate, and annihilate one or more family member, but even then the survivor and the paternal grandparents or maternal can duke it out around who gets the kids and how.  Meanwhile, new kids and new divorces/separations are happening weekly, monthly, year after year.  
Other “attrition” could be considered when parents actually do settle out of court and do NOT escalate to high-conflict (a misnomer) and/or violent custody battles.  To the parents, this is good.  To business, it’s not, really.  Hence, putting a child into the hands of the wrong parent guarantees they will come back, and back, and back, until some or both are destitute or dead, or simply cannot handle it any more (my current situation is 2 out of 3, and you can figure out which one I’m  not).
 In this paradigm, the “business model” paradigm, a kidnapping – – though on the books, a felony — can be even better — someone can, but depending on which parent (male or female) may not get jail time.  
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA how many federal grants and studies are based on captive audiences, literally?  Plus the professions staffing the jails, and the skillsets those professionals acquire?  For example, the social worker from a corrections center, in Lodi, California — whose wife he imprisoned, starved, and humiliated for 22 months, until finally she called 911, and when the police cars approached, she RAN out and DOVE through an open patrol car window. They apprehended this man it says with $23,000 and NINE (count’em) (9) weapons.  Her life musta been hell.  The man doing this learned how to control people and play two-faced “let me fix you” (while I use my woman at home, that I imported for the purpose) and apparently how to use a gun also.  (search my blog I blogged this article recently).
Generally, though, with a kidnapping, the left-behind traumatized parent is going to go to court again and again to try and get justice, just as the disgruntled ex did when the cause of separation was domestic violence or child abuse.  Evaluators mediators and court-appointed attorneys are hopping for business, and I’d imagine have more caseloads than they can personally handle.  The profession is certainly booming.  Supervised visitation centers and professionals to go with them, and software to support these centers, is also BOOMING.  It is a replicatable business model described and sold on the internet — see “The Duluth Model.”  See Family Justice Center Alliance, st arted with a million ($1million) grant from Verizon (may blog this).  
The presses (on-line and/or print) are churning, and periodicals addressing the problems in the family law venue area going full steam, and to publish in these is a notch in the career belt; to quote them lends a sense of authority, and along with these there are conferences on how to stop violence against women, help fathers become better parents (and gain access to their children) and of course how to stop children from experiencing abuse, trauma, molestation, kidnapping, or anything distressing.  That IS, presumably, (??) what family law is all about.
And so, I was thinking about my situation here, where so many avenues already tried, and failed, failed, because the law is a “moot point” unless enforced, and the law enforced is also a moot point if the person held back by it gets pissed off and comes close to express this is in a nonverbal way, either stalking (itself an escalation), or the risk implicit behind the stalking, which I don’t want to name just now.  All of the theory is moot point in certain circumstances.
I know that I need to stand a different way and in a different place, probably with a different TOOL, to do THIS:
???
Archimedes:

The engraving is from
Mechanic’s Magazine
(cover of bound Volume II,
Knight & Lacey, London, 1824)

Courtesy of the
 Annenberg Rare Book &
 Manuscript Library
 
 University of Pennsylvania
 Philadelphia, USA

Wall painting in theStanzino delle Matematiche in theGalleria degli Uffizi(Florence, Italy). Painted by Giulio Parigi (1571-1635) in the y

“Give me somewhere to stand and I will move the earth.”

Greek Mathematical Works, by Ivor Thomas, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1941, vol. II, p. 35

 

First, analyze the situation accurately.  Accurately, the chances of a court order being respected in my situation, or someone doing something about this (even if officially asked to in a motion) are nil.  Most times, while I went about this, a guerrilla attack (and clearly purposed as such) came from another “gang” member offended by the principle that my motions should disrupt their equilibrium, the equilibrium of the self-anointed, self-evaluated, self-selected, with zero accountability.  Point 1.  The lever must be long enough and not break under the weight.  The longer the lever, the less weight need be applied.

Where to stand?  I say, look at the finances.  Do not approach a crook and talk about ethics!  Do not talk about someone drunk with power and talk about the immorality of using their power!  Talk in terms they understand, not your own paradigm!  How do you think we got into this place to start with?

WOMEN NEED A PLACE TO STAND IN THIS LIFE.  WE NEED TO MAKE AND DEFINE THIS PLACE IN FAIR NEGOTIATION WITH MEN.  WHEN CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED, THIS FAIR-NESS IS EVEN MORE CRUCIAL.

YOUNG WOMEN NEED TO BE TOLD SOME HARD TRUTHS — THERE ARE MEN THAT WILL GO FOR YOU TO PRODUCE A BABY (THIS CAN ALSO BE TRUE OF THE YOUNG MEN).  PARTICULARLY IF YOU ARE YOUNG AND FERTILE, AND HE’S ON A REBOUND.  OR IF YOU ARE OLDER AND AFFLUENT, IN THIS CASE, YOUR HOME IS NEEDED FOR A NEW HOME FOR HIS KIDS FROM THE FIRST WOMAN.  OR, ALTERNATELY, YOUR CHILDREN FROM A FORMER MARRIAGE MIGHT DO, TOO.

i feel this is just as applicable to professional women in their late mid to late 30s/early 40s as others. Until our society starts VALUING women as people and as women (including mothers!), the whole climate isn’t healthy enough all round, and people need to know in the river of life where the rapids and sharp rocks lie.  This differs by culture and community, and it AIN’T up to Washington D.C. and a bunch of economists and human behavioralists drawing research from shelters, prisons, and head start outfits, to set the standards!  (OR, churches, dammit!  The average church these days, I’ll speak for Protestant, is basically a cult.  In every sense of the word.  Marketing spirituality and social connection and good feelings, for a price, allegiance. . . .  And money, and services).

 

So now we get too MOOT POINT.  This post is just about a moot point today: I’ll revisit it in a while.

 

Idiom:  Moot Point


If something’s a moot point, there’s some disagreement about it: a debatable point. In the U.S., this expression usually means that there is no point in debating something, because it just doesn’t matter. An example: If you are arguing over whether to go the beach or to the park, but you find out the car won’t start and you can’t go anywhere, then the destination is said to be a moot point.

Category: Law

View examples in Google: Moot point

 

Wiktionary:

  1. (US) An issue regarded as potentially debatable, but no longer practically applicable. Although the idea may still be worth debating and exploring academically, and such discussion may be useful for addressing similar issues in the future, the idea has been rendered irrelevant for the present issue.
    Until we rebuild downtown, whether we build more parking spaces is a moot 

     

Moot point  (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/moot-point.html)

Meaning

An irrelevant argument.

Origin

Some may disagree with the above meaning and argue that it means ‘a point open to debate‘, rather than ‘a point not worth debating‘. That former meaning was certainly the correct one when the term was first coined, but that’s going back a while.

In this post, I refer to the second usage


Laurence Humphrey, the president of Magdalen College, Oxford, wrote Nobles or of Nobilitye, a manual of behaviour for the English nobility, in 1563. In that he wrote:

 

“That they be not forced to sue the lawe, wrapped with so infinite crickes and moot poyntes.”

 

In medieval England, moots, or meets, were assemblies or councils where points of government were debated. The country was split into juridicial areas called hundreds and administered via assemblies known as hundredmotes. The form of government has long since vanished but the term hundred is still in use as the name of the procedural device which gives consent to MPs’ resignation. British MPs aren’t allowed to resign and, when members wish to leave Parliament they may do so by applying for the notional position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds. In such assemblies points which were put up for discussion were said to be mooted.

The change in meaning has come about following the introduction of ‘moot courts’, which are sessions where law students train for their profession by arguing hypothetical cases, i.e. ‘moot points’. The lack of any substantive outcome from these theoretical cases has led to the ‘unimportant/not worth discussing’ meaning of ‘moot point’, which is what many people accept today.

 

 

 

 

Here is one WHOPPER of a “moot point.”  I used to think that bringing this one up would make a difference.  I was so glad to see this written here.  But, it’s a moot point — in practice no one actually believes this.  If they did, too many programs would have to shut down.

 

Let’s go over this again:

http://www.sddvc.com/pdf/2008finalwithsignatures.pdf
This is out of San Diego: Law Enforcement Protocol:

The California State Legislature has declared that:

(1) “[S]pousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and
physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California.” (California
Penal Code section 273.8.)

(2) “A substantial body of research demonstrates a strong connection between
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.” (California Penal Code section
13732(a)). ”

Now, same document:

“The decision to prosecute a batterer lies within the discretion of the District Attorney
and the City Attorney. Victims do not “press charges”, “drop charges” or
“prosecute” their batterers.

So, those offices bear looking at. When they don’t prosecute for any of those (or child-stealing, case in point).

 

Ay, there’s the rub.**  So, they go get civil or family court restraining orders, which are less respected.  Or, they go to their family, friends, faith institution, etc.  Then they find out what their:  family, friends, faith institution, etc., are about.  And the years go by, the kids grow up. . .  . . . 

 


 


The ACES study — Bridging apparent Skipped Synapses in Family Court thinking….

leave a comment »

Happy Labor Day post.  I give you one study I refer to often on this blog, that dates back to 1998, and one (more) inane/insane custody discussion from Australia, case dating 1999-2003, and topic, joint legal custody and visitation with a young girl and the father who crushed her baby brother’s skull with his bare hands, baby being 3 weeks old and in his father’s arms at the time.  The court is less concerned with that behavior than the mother’s “phobia” (odd label, eh?) about that behavior.  Nothing much new for Family Law Arena — this is its speciality, in fact, stigmatizing parents that actually seek to protect their kids from trauma, abuse, and possible (in that case) death.

 

ACES (below):  Bridging the Gap between Childhood Trauma and . . . . .Negative consequences later in life.

 

Or should I call this bridging the gap between theory and reality?  Which results in the ever-widening “Chasm,” the Court public Credibility Gap.

So, how does one talk with mad engineer at the helm of a runaway train with one’s kids on it?  How get one’s kids safely OFF the train?  because in this venue, it doesn’t seem possible.  If they spend the duration of their childhood on this train, perhaps this will become their new “normal” and then another generation of trainsters and railway-hoppers will grow up, have kids, and provide new cargo for this Trip to Nowhere (except the trips to the bank for the railroad and its employees).  Like the formerly renowned rail system in the U.S., it took a lot of subsidy to keep the thing operational.

There are basically two types of conversations going through the courts:  

1.  IN open court — in open, and 

2.  Behind closed doors — in private.

The heart of the matter is in the 2nd arena.  Best interests of the child is static, sound-fluff and media-bytes.  It’s not reality, and I don’t any longer believe that any one who makes a living in this arena seriously, seriously believes in this paradigm — or if they do, their eyes are simply closed, because the cat is out of the bag.  

I believe the language the speak, as any good employee or business person truly does, is that of who is paying their bills. One reason I know this is that I actually experienced leaving an abusive marriage, and how vital a part finances was in getting free.  I also watched systematic economic abuse (mismangement, comandeering of access to basic funds/cash flow/steady jobs that would make this possible, and so forth), which restricted and delayed the exit.   

Which would you be more accountable to as a secretary whose family’s food and rent (lifestyle) depends on your pleasing that employer?  Up to your own personal level of moral/social tolerance (and ability to choose), a disgruntled customer in the waiting room or on the phone?  Or your employer?    . . . . Well, what about judges and other professionals, some of whose salary (US$) is well over $100,000 and lifestyles and associates to match?  Along with judgeships go political influence and possibly later activity — it’s a career path.  It took a lot of convincing in California (and publicity) for these judges to give up (statewide) their almost $20 million in SUPPLEMENTAL pay, but not until one of their own, an attorney in Los Angeles, was firmly intimidated and jailed for reporting financial corruption (Richard Fine case), which was his actual job to do in this city, as I understood it.  He was put in punitive solitary conffinement, moreover, and I heard, disbarred, for actually bucking this system.

However, these articles ARE about “best interests of the child” and whose head is where in being unable to figure that out in a given case involving infanticide! Or other horrors to any growing child, or the parent of any such child.

 

I am going to start grading the Family Law systems in my country, and in any country that imitates policies that I give an “F” in my country:

 

1998 THIS study is also old, and underestimated.  Probably because of its common sense, like the 1989 and 1992 ones I quoted earlier, from NOMAS, talking about why the HECK have we got to continue exposing each new generation of children to more and more parents who batter, and then posing STUPID questions like, why is the next generation ending up in jail, or beating THEIR women, or taking the assaults, either.

WHY is business as usual, THAT’s why.  A case came to light today where an Australian court (dealing with similar issues down under) is ordering psychiatric evaluation for the mother of a two-year old because the two-year-old’s father, quickly knocking up another woman, had just crushed to death the newborn (3 weeks old) infant with his bare hands, in response to the baby’s crying.  The man is in jail, and the court is trying to tell the mother that she needs to have her head examined for wanting to make sure this doesn’t happen to the one that came out of HER womb.  No, I am not kidding!

 

FAMILY LAW – Children – parenting orders – contact in prison – father incarcerated for killing child of another relationship – specific phobic anxiety of the primary carer and compromised capacity to care for the child – no significant contact ordered.

At what point do we get to have the COURT’s “head”  – and values — examined?   ???

 

O & C [2005] FMCAfam 200 (29 April 2005)

Last Updated: 6 June 2005

FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT OF AUSTRALIA

REASONS FOR JUDGMENTIntroduction – the proceedings

1. This matter comes before me as the final hearing of the competing applications of the various parties concerning B M C born 9 March 1999. Final parenting orders were made in relation to B on 20 February 2002 whereby B lived with the mother and the father had regular contact. However, on 11 March 2003, the father killed his newborn child of another relationship, Z, and the father is now incarcerated until approximately February 2006.

Yes you read that right.  Infanticide:  3 years.  3 hots and a cot.  Wonder if he’ll get out on parole early, like Garrido did, in time for a repeat performance.  Sounds like it didn’t affect his entitlement much, being incarcerated for baby-killing; he still wants to assert his shared parenting responsibilities and rights.  Where’s KING SOLOMON (of the Bible) when you need him?   Where’s the anti-abortion pro-lifers when you need them?  This mother, of child “B” is a pro-lifer.  She doesn’t want HER kid to suffer the same fate.  For expressing and acting on this protective, motherly sentiment, she may be sentenced to a lifetime — or at least for the duration of B’s childhood — of having her “head examined” over this “phobia.”

“Phobia” being, I guess, being afraid of something the Court isn’t afraid of, probably because it’s not the Court’s offspring involved or at risk.


2. The proceedings were initiated by the mother filing an application on 1 July 2003 in which she sought that previous parenting orders made by this court on 20 February 2002 be suspended and that she have sole responsibility for making decisions about the long term and day to day care, welfare and development of B. Effectively, she sought that there be no contact between B and the father.

3. On 21 November 2003 a Form 3 response was filed and served on behalf of the father  {{BEING AS HE WAS INCARCERATED??}}. Relevantly, the father sought joint responsibility for long term decisions affecting B and contact in prison 

 

RELEVANT:  What the jailed Dad wants.

IRRELEVANT:  what the killed 3-week old baby wanted before his Daddy crushed his skull together:  probably either some cuddling, a diaper change, some milk, or to be held differently.  Or his Mama.

IRRELEVANT:  What the mother wants, safety for HER kid, and her concerns taken seriously.

YES, this WAS 2006, “DOWN UNDER,” and a term well-earned from what I can see of this decision, at least.

As to his paternal grandparents:  Well, their son was an adult at the time, but still, they raised this guy.  PERHAPS this should be considered “relevant” in allowing unsupervised contact of child “B” with them.  (Not mentioned are her parents. . . . or mother of the deceased newborn.    )

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

I give you one more reason (not including Phillip Garrido, Jaycee Dugard, and any woman who opts to marry a convicted kidnapper and raper) to take domestic violence seriously:  The children:

   

 

What is the ACE Study?

The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.  Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD, 
MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study 
of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma 
(ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.

 What’s an ACE?

Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:

 

  1. Recurrent physical abuse
  2. Recurrent emotional abuse
  3. Contact sexual abuse
  4. An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the 
    household
  5. An incarcerated household member
  6. Someone who is chronically depressed, 
    mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
  7. Mother is treated violently
  8. One or no parents
  9. Emotional or physical neglect

 

Origins and Essence of the Study (2003)

 

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES AND STRESS:  PAYING THE PIPER (2004?)

 

The findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, an ongoing collaboration between Co-Principal 

Investigators Vincent J. Felitti, MD, of Kaiser Permanente, and Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, of the Centers for 

Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

 

Because the two links above are in multi-column format, I can’t copy and paste.  I exhort you to take a look at some of this.

 

Please note that “one or no parents” was NOT on the top of the list, as it is on current “fatherhood.gov” policy, or HHS/ACF grants prioritization in the Designer Family mode it appears to be stuck in.

 

Women, including women like me, whose children have been exposed to from 1 to all of the factors above, are after removing their children FROM such factors, having the courts force them back in through shared parenting considerations.  IN this case the theoretical ideal is held over the head, and clubbing protective parents, of the practical reality that Batterers do NOT make Good parents until they thoroughly address the battering behavior, and what drives it.  Moreover, men have graduated with flying colors from programs allegedly adjusting their attitudes, and gone right out to murder that bitch who forced them to sit through it (McAlpin is one case that comes to mind, Bay Area, 2005.  Within just a few days, her body was discovered in a trunk).

 

 

 

 

Again, the issue becomes who gets to rig the test and give the grades?  I give any policy that lacks common sense — protect the kids! — and ignores the golden rule and “F.”

 

Golden Rule in Family Law:  Do unto OTHERS as you would have them do unto YOU (i.e., if it were YOUR kid, whose father just killed a newborn, would you as a judge order the woman who was alarmed at said murder to have her head examined, and the child ordered into contact with the parents of the killer, OR would you yourself be alarmed, and rule accordingly?)

 

If it’s not good enough for YOUR kid, it’s not good enough for HER kid.  That’s the golden rule in the courtroom, I say.

 

This of course presumes that a judge cares about his or her own kids, which may be a presumption indeed; some judges have been convicted of collecting child pornography and making some of it (Thompson, NJ), another of sexual harassment of female employees (Fed. District judge in Texas).

 

 

Mixed Sentiments — from a different battlefield — on the Passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, who valiantly fought: Brain Cancer, for Not Leaving Children Behind, and for Caring for the nation’s Health.

with 2 comments

AUGUST 26, 2009

 

I rarely sleep, and as the TV flashed with news of this lion of a personality, and carrier of the family name, it coincided unfortunately with the third year since I lost my daughters to felony child-stealing, in retaliation for reporting, in seeking asylum from domestic violence.

I struggle with respecting this event, with discomfort about our nations hyper-respect of public figures.  Senator Ted apparently was a womanizer as well as struggled with alcohol, and eventually married a woman 22 years his junior; do his many public accomplishments compensate, is this just the way of “famous men” that change society?

He lost two brothers to assassination, assassinations that affected our country.

I am currently reviewing the work of a young woman, local, that lost a sister and a brother to murder, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and probably also wrong color.  She too is near the end of her dynasty — both parents gone.  Her mother took the loss of two children hard, and also was fighting cancer.  Her older sister was seen talking to some people in a van.  She was found later, hog-tied, stabbed many times, raped many times, and thrown out like trash in a dumpster.  Her SISTER.  Her brother was stabbed in the heart for confronting someone trailing other women.  Why do I run across people like this?  I don’t know, except I don’t live in a castle or gated community, and I find people’s stories interesting.  I have been cut out of my own daughters’ stories by a  top-heavy, supposedly well-intentioned system that knew that two bright girls were not going to escape its radar or grasp, and that mother must therefore disappear.

Unlike me, she figured out FAST that a system was not going to protect her own two sons, and found a trusted friend to become guardian, so at least she can see them.  Like others, for a fee.  Like me, she wants some version of the truth to survive for her children.


We are allowed to give birth, but too often, not to also speak.

 

How famous is Senator Ted, then, and how much more important his story, and his contributions?  Should I mourn him more than others?  And yet it’s clear he worked hard, campaigned hard, pushed initiatives through, and changed our society.  How can I handle this today, when I shouldn’t be blogging but doing something more self-preserving.  Do I share the national regret and awe?  

Quite honestly, no, but I mean no harm in saying so.

How long can I afford to pause and commemorate? 

Probably shouldn’t have today, but i did.

 

it is easy and common to pick heroes and praise them, and transfer parts of our identity to heroes who gave their lives in service, and forget the non-heroes, some of whom I commemorate below.

I am not sure where Senator Ted falls in this mix.  I think the metaphor of this book has come to the rescue.  It seems both to symbolize the federalism and the poverty, and the reporting of it that go together in the topic “FAMOUS.”  

 

 

Let us Now Praise Famous Men

The book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men grew out of an assignment the two men accepted in 1936 to produce a magazine article on the conditions among white sharecropper families in the U.S. South. It was the time of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt‘s “New Deal programs designed to help the poorest segments of the society. Agee and Evans spent eight weeks that summer researching their assignment, mainly among three white sharecropping families mired in desperate poverty. They returned with Evans’ portfolio of stark images—of families with gaunt faces, adults and children huddled in bare shacks before dusty yards in the Depression-era nowhere of the deep south—and Agee’s detailed notes.

As he remarks in the book’s preface, the original assignment was to produce a “photographic and verbal record of the daily living and environment of an average white family of tenant farmers.” However, as the Literary Encyclopedia points out, “Agee ultimately conceived of the project as a work of several volumes to be entitled Three Tenant Families,though only the first volume, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, was ever written.” Agee considered that the larger work, though based in journalism, would be “an independent inquiry into certain normal predicaments of human divinity.

 

The resulting single book is a critically praised opus that leapt over the traditional forms and limitations of journalism of the time. By combining factual reportage with passages of literary complexity and poetic beauty, Agee presented a complete picture, an accurate, minutely detailed report of what he had seen coupled with insight into his feelings about the experience and the difficulties of capturing it for a broad audience. In doing so, he created an enduring portrait of a nearly invisible segment of the American population.

 

My father had a love, and some ear, for poetry, and always claimed he could hear the rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer (or possibly it was the 23rd psalm) in Agee’s “Knoxville, Summer of 1915.”  Ever the critic (and unable to carry a tune himself) he tried to talk me out of both music, and Christianity (unsuccessful in both cases), and we had something of a truce.  I do not have, emotionally or socially, a family at this point; I have made my own in life, and as to the one with whom I share DNA, it’s the two daughters only (now gone) and the deceased Dad, and my memories of him will have to do.  . . .  

So perhaps the Agee reference, the federalism, and my wish to point out, that deep poverty and distress still exist, sometimes still caused by either the basic human lusts, or the governmental god-like posturing, will make up for my mixed sense of duty in perhaps failure to “note” with enough awe, the passing of another member of the Kennedy dynasty, regardless of on how wide a screen and with how broad a stroke for how long, he painted his visions of what the United States should be.  For one, as a woman, a mother, and a Christian, I do not share his multiple visions on how to help the poor and educate America.  I do not think this is the original American vision, a totalitarian welfare state, an inverted pyramid building the 21st century equivalent of pyramids of social structure.  I think this “nation/religion” is the way of Egypt, milennia ago.  No, I do not.  But still, Let us Now Praise Famous Men.  

 

One of the follies of humanity is poor choice of who to praise and with whom to associate — famous  preempts worthy. 

 

Throughout the book, Agee and Evans use pseudonyms to obscure the identity of the three tenant farmer families. This convention is retained in the follow-up book And Their Children After Them

lthough Agee’s and Evans’ work was never published as the intended magazine article, their work has endured in the form in which it finally emerged, a lengthy, highly original book. Agee’s text is part ethnography, part cultural anthropological study, and part novelistic, poetic narrative set in the shacks and fields of Alabama. Evans’ black-and-white photographs, starkly real but also matching the grand poetry of the text, are included as a portfolio, without comment, in the book.

Although at its heart a story of the three families, the Gudgers, Woods, and Ricketts (pseudonyms for the Burroughs, Tengles and Fields) the book is also a meditation on reporting and intrusion, on observing and interfering with subjects, sufficient to occupy any student of anthropology, journalism, or, for that matter, revolution.

 

 

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY 1962-2009

August 26, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Senator Kennedy has authored more than 2,500 bills throughout his career in the United States Senate.  Of those bills, several hundred have become Public Law.  Attached is a sample of some of those laws, which have made a significant difference in the quality of life for the American people. Download the PDF document of his accomplishments here.

 

Reflections:

Who old enough does not remember? the assassinations, the plane crash, and now we have newsbroadcasts, and a nation commemorating the legacy of this Senator from Massachusetts.  It is healing to commemorate, with respect, men who have changed the face of the nation.  Last night, I watched on TV, Charlie Rose seeking to know this man through former friends and writers, and also speaking with the Senator also.  As I saw the shock of white hair, the broad, broad charismatic smile, and listened to Senator Kennedy promote Education and Health Care, his two major federal programs and passions, I had a hard time.  I heard the Senator talk about how America cannot be left behind in globalization and MUST give EVERY child the capacity to succeed in a global economy.

 

I thought, where are the memorials for the people who were not born into Kennedy family, but still died?  

Viet Nam Memorial

By thee have I run through a troop and leapt over a wall

Psalm 18:

1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

. . . . 

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip

 

WHO MOURNS THESE?

 

Deborah Ross (51) and Ersie Charles Everette (58)

2009 Tried to break up, Shot to death at work, in a Tollbooth, and her male friend in a parking lot, ambushed

Cross said the shootings appeared to stem from a domestic dispute as Burris and Deborah Ross, 51, a California Department of Transportation toll booth collector, had recently broken up.

“He clearly had no regard for human life, so we wanted to apprehend him as soon as possible,” Cross said. “We had authorities all throughout Northern California trying to find this guy.”

Burris apparently opened fire with a shotgun shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, killing Ross and Ersie Charles Everette, 58, of San Leandro, Calif., who was sitting in his truck in the toll plaza parking lot.

Ross and Burris had shared a house in Richmond, and neighbors said the two had been having financial problems. Richmond Police were called to the house on Saturday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Bisa French said Wednesday. It is unknown what the nature of the call was as no report was taken, French said.

Although their relationship had just ended, Burris was aware of Everette, who drove Ross to work Tuesday, Cross said.

“Somehow, he knew the guy was there at her job, there’s a connection between the two victims, but what that relationship is, we don’t know at this time,” Cross said.

Everette, known as “Chuck” by those who knew him, was a longtime, well-respected bus driver for Golden Gate Transit who had received numerous accolades, spokeswoman Mary Currie said Wednesday.

“He was a likable guy, a good guy,” Currie said. “Passengers liked him. His co-workers liked him.”

Tuesday’s shootings occurred at the bridge over the northern portion of San Francisco Bay that connects well-to-do Marin County with Richmond and other East Bay suburbs. Witnesses said a man used the butt of a shotgun to shatter the window of the No. 3 toll booth, then fired at least three times inside, stunning rush-hour commuters in the westbound lanes before fleeing in the van owned by Western Eagle Shuttle of San Rafael, Calif.

Officers found Ross’ body inside the booth, while Everette was discovered slumped over in a white pickup truck in a nearby parking lot.

> > > 

2009/2008  Torres, Catalina (44) & Eustacio (41),  Sgt. Paul Starzyk

Brother, Sister, both domestic violence workers, both murdered by an “ex”

 

According to the San Francisco chronicle, on the evening of July 19th, Eustacio Torres was shot by his ex-girlfriend at a converted garage that Torres was renovating. Torres and his girlfriend, Bernadette Agustin, met about five years ago when Torres was renovating her house. They became partners in that business for a few years. The market started to tumble downhill, and their buildings went into foreclosure causing them to lose money. This caused tension between the couple. After some time, their relationship started to become difficult for both of them. Torres realized that Agustin was dangerous; however he never got a restraining order against her. On the evening on July 19th Agustin went to meet Torres at the garage. Prior to this incident she bought a pistol. She brought shot him with it.

About a year ago Eustacio Torres’ sister, Catalina Torres, a volunteer for a battered women’s group, was shot and killed inside of her Martinez apartment while trying to protect one of her customers in a beauty salon.

Her customer’s husband, Felix Sandoval, entered the beauty salon raged at his wife who had a restraining order against him. Catalina and her customer jetted out of the beauty salon. Sandoval couldn’t find his wife so he followed Torres to her apartment and shot her in the head, simply because she was affiliated with the incident. He then shot at the door and hit Sgt. Paul Starzyk. He still busted in and shot and killed Sandoval.

Since these two murders are a year apart and both victims come from the same family, the Torres family is suffering deeply from these two tragedies.

It is sad, yet ironic how both tragedies happened in the way that they did. They were related and both incidents happened a year apart. Considering the fact that Eustacio, Catalina’s brother had to help bury her, it is sad that he got killed also. They both worked together in a domestic violence group together. Now the Torres family has lost two of their family members to similar incidents.

MARTINEZ — Last September, Catalina Torres’ family struggled to find answers about why she died at the hands of an estranged in-law who also killed a Martinez police sergeant.

> > >

Less than a year later, they find themselves again trying to find clarity after the slaying late last month of her brother, Eustacio Torres, by an estranged girlfriend in San Diego.

According to San Diego police, the bodies of Eustacio Torres, 41, and Bernadette Agustin, 52, were discovered by his nephew — Catalina Torres’ son — in the early-morning hours of July 20 at his home on in the Paradise Hills area. Investigators believe that Agustin shot Eustacio Torres and herself.

Eustacio Torres’ death follows the slaying of his sister Sept. 6, 2008, by Felix Sandoval. Sandoval burst into a Martinez beauty salon looking for his wife. She was not there, and he confronted her cousin, Catalina Torres, at a nearby apartment. While she shielded one of the home’s residents, Sandoval shot and killed her.

Sandoval then shot at police approaching the apartment, mortally wounding Sgt. Paul Starzyk. But Starzyk’s final act was to kill Sandoval, saving the others in the apartment.

Sandoval was in the midst of a divorce from his wife, who had filed a restraining order against him, and Catalina Torres had been supporting her separation from him. In San Diego, Eustacio Torres was severing ties with Agustin. Although the Torres family has experienced two devastating losses, Noe Torres, youngest of the six siblings, said they do not feel like victims.

A memorial fund has been established in Eustacio Torres’ name. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch to the account number 2629533015.

 

Since these two murders are a year apart and both victims come from the same family, the Torres family is suffering deeply from these two tragedies.
It is sad, yet ironic how both tragedies happened in the way that they did. They were related and both incidents happened a year apart. Considering the fact that Eustacio, Catalina’s brother had to help bury her, it is sad that he got killed also. They both worked together in a domestic violence group together. Now the Torres family has lost two of their family members to similar incidents.

 

2008 account “Details emerge in Martinez triple shooting:

Catalina Torres survived domestic abuse and became a strong advocate for a nonprofit group that helps victims of domestic violence.

“She was a battered woman who became an advocate,” said Maria Preciado, Torres’ close friend. “She took negative experiences and turned them into positive things.”

In a tragic turn of events, the 44-year-old STAND Against Domestic Violence volunteer lost her life Saturday, an innocent bystander in a deadly domestic disturbance involving her cousin’s estranged husband.

Officers were called to the salon about 11:35 a.m. Saturday on reports of a domestic disturbance. Sandoval broke the salon’s front window with his hand and entered holding a gun, police said. According to witnesses, he was looking for his estranged wife, salon owner Margarita Sandoval.

Martinez police Chief Tom Simonetti said Felix Sandoval, who was waving the gun around, never fired a shot in the salon, but confronted his teenage daughter in the parking lot behind the salon and told her he was going to kill his wife and his other children. Sandoval ran to an upstairs apartment on the opposite side of the parking lot where Torres, an unidentified woman and three of Sandoval’s children were, the chief said.

 

Elnora Caldwell, 46

She asked for protection

 

SEPTEMBER 2008, This beautiful woman Tried to Leave, Died, Stabbed, on side of the road

Contra Costa sheriff building death penalty argument in wife stabbing

 

 

Investigators said Monday that they are trying to build a death penalty case against an Oakland man who allegedly stabbed his estranged wife near the Caldecott Tunnel and pushed her out of his pickup in front of stunned motorists. Robert Woods, a 47-year-old former maintenance worker for the city of Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of murdering Elnora Caldwell, 46. Caldwellobtained a restraining order against Woods earlier this year, saying she was afraid of him. She was stabbed to death Saturday night and pushed from the pickup on a stretch of Fish Ranch Road that passes over the east end of the Caldecott Tunnel. ..Caldwell’s family members believe she was kidnapped Saturday from her Oakland home, perhaps by someone other than Woods.

Police and witnesses said Woods went to Caldwell’s Oakland apartment and washed up, then turned himself in to an Oakland police officer in the area. More than a dozen motorists stopped to help Caldwell. Some gave her chest compressions and others jotted down the license plate number of the GMC pickup. Alameda County Superior Court records show that Caldwell applied for a domestic violence restraining order against Woods on April 29, and that the order was to be active until 2013. 

Caldwell wrote in her application for the restraining order that Woods had shoved her after showing up unannounced at the Nordstrom department store in San Francisco where she worked and accusing her of infidelity. In 2007, she wrote, Woods pulled her hair during an argument in his truck, forcing her to flee and take a taxi home.

In a third incident, Caldwell said, her husband broke a glass sliding door at her apartment.

It has to stop,” Caldwell wrote of alleged verbal and physical abuse.

Court records show that Woods was fired from his job as a maintenance worker for the city of Oakland last year for allegedly doing drugs and threatening to kill co-workers.

? ? ? 

 

Domestic Violence Murder/Suicides – Here’s a summary:

In the U.S., estimates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) are that more than three women a day are killed by their intimate partners. Women are killed by intimate partners more often than by another acquaintance of stranger.Most of these murders involved were preceded by physical and psychological abuse.

Outside the domestic realm, males are killed much more often than females; they are killed most often in fights with other men.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 1,055 women and 287 men were murdered by their intimate partners in 2005. These figures are striking, because in the past, in the 1970s and earlier, the numbers of men and women so victimized were about even. In other words, there has been a significant decline in the numbers of men killed by their partners but not for women.

The number of men who were murdered by intimates dropped by 75% between 1976 and 2005 (BJS). The number of black females murdered in this time has declined but the number of white females murdered has dropped only by 6%. Statistics Canada (1998, 2005), similarly, reveals a sharp decline in the numbers of male domestic homicide victims but not of female victims of homicide.

The reason that women are resorting less to murder of their partners is most likely because many of these women were battered women who felt trapped in a dangerous situation. Today, the presence of violence prevention programming and the availability of shelters are paving the way to other options. The fact that domestic violence services apparently are saving the lives of more men than women is a positive, though unintended consequence of the women’s shelter movement (see van Wormer and Bartollas, 2007).

 

 Nina Reiser (31), mother of 2.  No asylum in America

2006, Russian-born Oby/Gyn tries to divorce Hans Reiser (WIKIPEDIA) but disappears on exchange of children

Nina Reiser Hans Reiser

Hans Reiser Admits to Murdering Nina Reiser, Pleads to Reduced 

In 1998, while working in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Hans Reiser reportedly selected from a mail-order bride catalogue,[9] and subsequently married, Nina Sharanova (Нина Шаранова), a Russian-born and trained obstetrician and gynecologist[10] who was studying to become an American licensed OB/GYN. Reiser himself stated that he met Nina when he went to a date set up by a Russian dating service; Nina had come along to translate for his date. . . . 

In May, Nina Reiser alleged in court filings that her husband had failed to pay 50 percent medical expenses and childcare expenses as ordered by a judge and was in arrears for more than $12,000. [13]

Recovery of Nina’s body and sentencing

According to officials, prosecutors agreed to a deal whereby Reiser would reveal the location of his wife’s body in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree murder. The deal was made with the agreement of Nina’s family, but was subject to final approval by Judge Goodman.[45][46] On Monday, July 7, 2008, Reiser led police to Nina’s body buried in the Oakland hills. Reiser’s attorney, William DuBois, who was handcuffed to Reiser and accompanied by a heavy police guard to the site, said that the remains were found buried on the side of a hill between Redwood Regional Park and the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, less than half a mile (< 800 m) from the home on Exeter Drive where Reiser lived with his mother, and where Nina Reiser was last seen alive on 3 September 20

 

Anastasia Melnitchenko, 22, unmarried, No asylum in America 

2005 Tried to break up, stalked; a clearly preventable homicide — her body found in car trunk

Body-in-trunk suspect got lots of counseling

‘Doing satisfactorily’ after 6 months of weekly sessions

He was fulfilling that obligation Oct. 19, two days before Melnitchenko disappeared, when he attended a weekly session of a program in Richmond run by Priority Male Center for Positive Peaceful Living

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The El Sobrante man charged with murdering a woman he had repeatedly terrorized attended a two-hour counseling session for domestic violence offenders just days before the slaying, authorities said Tuesday.

McAlpin was on probation stemming from eight felony convictions in two separate cases for stalking, threatening and attacking Melnitchenko on several occasions from 2001 to 2004. Part of his sentence in the most recent case was that he attend a yearlong domestic violence prevention program.

THE BEST WAY TO “PREVENT” VIOLENCE IS TO SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO GIVE NO QUARTER TO PERPERTRATORS.  MCALPIN WAS A COCKY OVERENTITLED YOUNG MAN WITH NO RESPECT FOR THE WOMAN, OR THE LAW — AND FROM THE STORY, IT’S CLEAR WHY HE HAD NO REASON TO RESPECT THE LAW, TOO.  I DNR BUT I SUSPECT HE WAS WHITE.  I DON’T THINK THIS POOR WOMAN EVER EVEN LIVED WITH HIM.  THEY DATED BRIEFLY.  SHE DIED.  THE STORY OF HER DEATH INTERSECTS WITH THE STORY OF A JUDGE WITH A MISSION; I MAY TELL IT ANOTHER TIME.  THIS EVENT INTERSECTS WITH MY ATTEMPTS TO GET HELP IN 2005, THE SAME YEAR. I REMEMBER TRYING TO TELL MY FAMILY THAT THIS STALKING, THESE INDICATORS, SPELLED TROUBLE!  MY PROBLEM WAS WHO I TOLD, WHO I SOUGHT HELP FROM, AS WAS ANASTASIA’S.

Taking matters into their own hand; two brothers kill widow & her relatives: 

Winta Mehari, 28; her brother Yonas Mehari, 17;

and their mother, 50-year-old Regbe Bahrengasi

Widow and HER relatives killed in revenge, seeking money, by deceased husband’s relatives.  2 year old involved.

2006 – No Asylum for Eritrean Family from revenge, greed,

extortion? in the Golden State

Planned to exterminate family during Thanksgiving Dinner?  

ALAMEDA — A dispute over money was the cause of the shooting deaths of three members of an Eritrean family in Oakland on Thanksgiving Day, a relative of the victims alleged Tuesday after the suspects in the case were arraigned on charges that could bring them the death penalty.

Asmeron Gebreselassie, 43, the suspected gunman, and 39-year-old Tewodros Gebreselassie were each charged Tuesday with three counts of murder; one count of attempted murder for the non-fatal shooting of Yehtram Mehari, the brother of Winta and Yonas; one count of kidnapping for allegedly taking Winta Mehari’s 2-year-old son from the scene; and two counts of false imprisonment involving two other family members, Angersom Mehari and Merhawi Mehari.

 They also were charged with two special circumstances murder allegations that could earn them the death penalty: multiple murder and murder during the course of a kidnapping.

 The victims and the defendants were all members of Oakland’s sizable Eritrean community. About 50 members of that community, many dressed in traditional Eritrean clothing, packed Tuesday’s court hearing.

Oakland police say they think the motive for the shooting at the Keller Plaza apartment complex at 5301 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland about 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving was that the Gebreselassie brothers wanted revenge for the death of their brother, Abraham Tewolde, 42, on March 1.

Police said Abraham Tewolde’s cause of death was undetermined and his brothers were suspicious of Winta Mehari, his widow.

 Keflezighi said Tewolde died of natural causes but Tewolde’s family members asked Mehari’s family members to give them money.

 

I REMEMBER THIS ONE.  I WAS DRIVING TO EAT DINNER, TAKEN CHARITABLY IN, NOT WITH MY DAUGHTERS, BECAUSE THEY’D ALREADY BEEN TAKEN, COMPLICIT WITH MY OWN FAMILY AND AROUND MONEY ISSUES ALSO.  I RAN INTO POLICE CARS & TV CAMERAS BLOCKING THE WAY.

Was this misogyny?  Was this something like an honor killing?  What WAS this?  A young man, apparently a good one, was killed, victim to two men seeking revenge on his mother.  His crime?  Being a brother, apparently!

Meanwhile, students and teachers at Berkeley High School were mourning the death of Yonas Mehari. The boys varsity soccer team, which he played on, wore black armbands in his honor and dedicated its season to him Monday night.

All the victims and suspects were immigrants from Eritrea, and the killings have shocked the East Bay’s tightly-knit community from that small East African nation. Many people packed the courtroom today, and others without seats waited in the hallway.

Hundreds of mourners have been visiting the apartment complex, home to a large number of Eritreans and Ethiopians, to pay their respects. Many have also brought food for the family and donated money for transporting the three bodies to Eritrea for burial, for medical bills for others injured in the attack and for care of Winta’s Mehari’s son.

Police said the brothers, who also live in the apartment complex, were angry at Winta Mehari over the unexplained death of their brother, Abraham Tewolde, 42, who was her husband. A mechanic who ran a small auto shop on Broadway, Tewolde collapsed and died March 1. An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of his death, coroner’s officials said.

Police said the Gebreselassie brothers suspected Winta Mehari had some role in her husband’s death. Tewodros Gebreselassie, an engineer, attended the party at the Mehari’s third-floor apartment on Thanksgiving, and police said he admitted to helping his brother plan the attack.

Witnesses told police that Tewodros Gebreselassie was talking on his cell phone and said, “Yeah, they’re all here,” according to court records. Minutes later he opened the apartment door for Asmeron Gebreselassie, who then opened fire on the Mehari family. When the shooting started, Tewodros Gebreselassie grabbed his 2-year-old nephew, Winta Mehari’s son, and carried him back to the second-floor apartment where the Gebreselassie lived, witnesses said.

Asmeron Gebreselassie also shot his brother-in-law Yehtram Mehari in the foot, witnesses told police. Another brother, Angersom Mehari, jumped out a window and suffered a broken back. A third brother, Merhawi Mehari, hid in the closet and avoided injury.

Police found the boy unharmed after the two brothers surrendered to a SWAT team following a brief standoff at their apartment. The guns he allegedly used were later found, police said.

At Berkeley High School, students, teachers and counselors spent Monday and today remembering the 17-year-old Yonas Mehari, who played soccer, ran cross country and helped tutor other students.

“I’ve known him for four years, and I really saw him as a leader, an independent thinker and just a really sweet kid to be around,” said Kristin Glenchur, athletic director at Berkeley High. “He was always around volunteering for something” such as working the scoreboards during football games or the concession stands, she said.

His slain mother was active in the Eritrean Orthodox Church in Oakland and was popular among her immigrant community, estimated by the Eritrean consulate in Oakland at to be about 3,000 people.

Donations to the Mehari Family Fund can be deposited at any Bank of America branch under account number 0560942210.

 

SUMMARY:

Sometimes there is no refuge from family violence — members take the law into their own hands; oftentimes greed is a factor, as in many cases above.  McAlpin appears to have just been a man with a mission intersecting with a system with a different mission.  She got cross in the cross-fire of attempts to reform a man after:  kidnapping, stalking, assault, and threats to kill.  

How IMPORTANT is it that the United States set the standard that misogyny is “anathema” it’s unacceptable?

I fear that Senator Ted, Presidents Bush, Clinton, and now Obama, have failed to do this.  Moreover, women’s groups also, subject to the same human emotions, claw and fight each other sometimes to the top, seeking scarce prestige, or abundant federal funds.  This is also a spinoff of misogyny.  We who watch such things don’t see such huge, huge divides among the men’s groups.  We have now an older Republican white President, a young and charming (and philandering) white President, and an even younger and MORE charming African-American President, all united in fixing the crises of fatherlessness, and making sure that mothers don’t actually get to (safely) fulfil their motherhood unless a man is present, and it’s CLEAR we do not have have equal protection or rights under law, despite the claims to the contrary.  If so, where are all the dead men on the side of the road simply for leaving?  Where are the women blowing away a few family generations to take the law into their own hands?  They just aren’t there!

 

I should be more respectful, and I will take another day to be so, of the passing of a major political figure this week, Senator Ted Kennedy.

I wish I did not have a troubling memory of his womanizing, of the two programs he promoted the mOST (education/health) which have negatively affected my family the MOST.  I wish that the date of his passing did not coincide with the date my kids were stolen, yet remain within (at last sighting) driving distance, but inaccessible to me, because I simply took a stand against misogyny and violence.

I took a stand for telling the truth in court, and not mincing words.  Perhaps I am very disrespectful.

I wish I were not thinking of how he endorsed our current President, for whom I too voted, not being fully aware of his stance on the ubiquitous and impoverishing, endangering to women “fatherhood” movement.  It is never enough, never enough — always another initiative, another grant, through churches, through family members when they are themselves swept up and confronted by their failure to confront, and through family law system, and through an unbelievably condescending virtual caste system by the elite making it near impossible for less fortunate to escape the economic abuse that would enable them to escape threats of injury, death, having children abducted, either by the ex or through the courts or (case in point) both, and through violence to our civil rights within this nation.

They said Sen. Kennedy worked like a dog, and i believe it. Some of us do, too, on a single issue that doesn’t often go away.  I never tried to raise his offspring, and I do not appreciate his or any other administration , or their programs, just because they have the platform, prating on about how to raise mine, married or single, through a burdensome system that doesn’t even impart decent values, let alone decent academics.  And in 20 years of THIS battle, I’ve never had a hand laid on any of mine, anything that was mine, or on ME, from someone who openly said he or she hated me or wanted to hurt me.

It was always from the “helpers” and those “concerned.”  Sure. . . . 

 

But in re:

Kennedy’s Battle With Cancer Lost


U.S. has lost a great statesman, obviously.  But before this, long before this, we have lost something else.  We have lost self-respect as individuals, and transferred it to our leaders, HOPING in them.  This is misplaced hope too often, and it’s unwise.

Jeremiah was a prophet who watched and spoke out against the deterioration of his nation:  For this, he got left in a pit without water, and would’ve starved there, were he not later rescued.   Later, Jesus Christ, also preaching “repent” got crucified.  

Jeremiah 17

.

5 Thus saith the LORD: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited.

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out his roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat cometh, but his leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately sick: who can know it?

10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

11 As the partridge that gathereth young which she hath not brought forth, so is he that getteth riches, and not by right; in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For the past 20 years, I have sought refuge in my home, from my home, from my family’s close resonance to the tune my ex-husband played. I have a logical mind, and mind seeks logic to piece a life together, even if the logic is to accept chaos.  But I HAVE found a logic to the, what I will call, narcissistic, self-referential habit of federal domination of the markets — well MOST markets.  Education, family design, health care, welfare, child-bearing practically, and reform.  

The U.S. is succeeding at incarceration — we are the world’s LARGEST jailor — and failing at education.  The reason we are failing at education is because we have trusted our leaders to design a system.  Instead, they designed an ECONOMY to support themselves, and placed our children at its mercy.  This was a transformational system of values sold as good, but not in practice good.  It is possible to succeed very well in this educational system and be an utter failure as a person.  It is also possible to fail in this system and be a business success.  Or to fail all round.

I am 50-plus.  At this age, I had to pick WHAT to dedicate what’s left of my life to; and it was a hard choice between Family Law system and Educational System.  Both systems hurt my kids and my family, and are creating the tiered society, while claiming to provide the opposite.  I have a relative with her own children run through a private school system that took offence that i too — in a different way — opted out of the local public schools.  In truth, I believe that if our daughters succeeded without wealth at what she’d sacrificed to become wealthy and with wealth BUY, it would somehow show up her life plan.  Our respective nieces might be competing for similar college slots – – I don’t know.  

But I have watched close up, and then system-wide, forced failure and social exclusion for simply doing something about it.  So have many fellow-blogger mothers (see right column).

Look at this graphic:

(it’s an old one) from “America, What Went Wrong“? An book that documents the destruction of the middle class.

An INDEPENDENT middle class, with time to think, and understanding basic business principles, will hold its government accountable.  A DEPENDENT (upon professional jobs, many of them government-sanctioned or supplied), which my generation came from (but not my parents) will indeed do the dirty work and bidding of the top group, keeping the heirarchy in place.

From 1990 to 2009, I have been overexposed to impoverishment, and how it’s manufactured.  I watched my husband do this, in order to keep himself on top, he was willing that the ship should go down.  Nothing more mattered, and all discussions were moot (or off) that didn’t first establish this dominance.  Neither I nor our children were actually to show up as people, or with needs, but as performers.

Now, according to the myths taught in public school (and elsewhere) about HOW government works (which dealing with in-home abuse didn’t really leave time for an official study of), it should be possible to leave the situation.  No one should care HOW I leave it, so long as it’s done legally and without harm to our children.  However once we showed up as a household, without a resident male, in waltzed the “experts,” ignoring the facts, the danger, the track record, and proudly proclaiming situations that didn’t exist as though they did.  

Having some exposure to the Bible and its language, this was easy to detect as playing “god.” And naturally, I protested.

And so, the divide and conquer of the middle class, overeducated fools (lots of academia, insufficient truly hard times), scrabbling to assert their intellectual dominance and right to explain away that violence happened in their family, and they, too, failed to report.  

In the long run, I chalk it up to basic human emotions of (1) pride (2) fear (3) greed (4) prejudice (THIs kind, “misogyny.”)  Where logic fails, dominance by gender — or age (it keeps flipping around, the varieties of messages I get), only a few years — or marital status, or SOMETHING to preserve the us/them, Object/subject relationship which is not a human relationship.  Because surely they didn’t misdiagnose a situation, the judges were wrong, I was wrong, the statistics were wrong, everyone else was wrong, and this intact family unit (sort of) was “right.”  Or else. . . . . Social shunning was tried, and I didn’t repent, to the antes were upped, and my kids were stolen, and all contact cut off.  

Perhaps it is because of working so hard on these issues, I have been watching politics from afar.

Perhaps it is because of these issues, I have a different “take” on the passing of a Senator that was compared last night to Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.  The words “dynasty” may apply, but these are NOT words coherent with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Here’s a woman talking sense:

 

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts…. New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don’t succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.

 

This is the theme of the National Fatherhood Initiative, there is a “crisis in fatherlessness.”  I have watched these manufactured crises on a personal level and also a national level and have begun to get an understanding of some of the causes and sources, ONE of which is most definitely the educational system.  Divide and conquer, and assume control of assets and assessments.  That’s elementary.  One very empowering activity, to young people, is the arts, and self-sufficiency.  No problem.  Delete the arts, if possible, and free time, and uninterrupted quantities of time for reflection, and also do not study (honestly) either history or the economic system, in particular not the history of any system one is currently in.  Again, I saw this in my marriage, how the most basic amenities were threatening to my “intimate partner.”  THE most threatening one apparently was access to a steady cash flow.  If I got this by working, the reserves must be eliminated by his working less, or making the process of getting to/from work more burdensome and timesconsuming.  Rooms got trashed or re-arranged while I was out, at class or working or with the kids.  There was no stability.  Once you get the pattern, it’s only a matter of breaking it.  My writing (I was also journaling the abuse) threatened this person.  I exported the journals.  He exported his behind and friendship to the people into whose care I’d put them.  I went and got them back. . . . . But it was too late.  They had to be turned, I guess (?).

Here’s another one which speaks to it about “lockdown” of the fortress continents.  Care must be taken to incorporate cheap labor:

Fortress continents

The US and Europe are both creating multi-tiered regional strongholds

There is so much in life to be considered, but in considering memorials, again, I keep coming back to scripture:

“Pray for kings and all that are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Tim. 2:1).

“It is not good to have respect of persons.” (James).

You know what, with all due respect, it’s not.  LIFE is about what you respect, and who you honor:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

There is not to be a tiered respect of people according to how MUCH of this world they’ve changed.  We, ALL of us in the U.S., are to respect ourselves, and the founding principles of this country, which then allow us to respect at LEAST our neighbors.  

“Love worketh no ill towards his neighbor.”

Sometimes it’s simply in what one does NOT do, that love.

So, below are my unforgiveable (??) thoughts, in respect that a Senator has died, on seeing the extensive television recognition of this man, and hearing about what he had been doing while I was across the country, trying to stay afloat and keep the pilot light lit in my own life, spiritually and physically.

And I have to go about what’s left of this day, seeking funds sufficient for today and build something to tomorrow.

I saw a charming, Robert-Redford smile, and I thought about Chappaquiddick

about this man’s marriage to a woman 22 years his junior, a 38 year old divorced attorney single mother, and wondered things that were less respectful than appropriate.  I thought about the CFDA pie chart I know, where his two most passionate areas:  Education and Health — were THE largest and most impoverishing segments of the budget; and the effect of this incredible top-heavy Federal language transformation into a welfare state directing lives of the lowly.  

It did not help when I learned that this person was a prime author of the “No Child Left Behind” act and a real pusher of Head Start.  Trust the elite to prescribe for the poor every time.  It is also quite unfortunate that his death this week commemorates about 3 years fo the “death” of my relationship with my own daughters, and primarily because I REFUSED to accept that poverty resulting from violence should result in becoming a surrogate womb for childless narcissistic relatives convinced that, having not experienced what my daughters and I did, or accepted court rulings already made, that they, TOO, “knew what was best” for three females leaving family violence.  When I refused, I was punished by these people, and part of the punishment was declaring what I provided for our daughters, either was irrelevant and did not exist, and what they wished instead, was somehow superior.  

The punishment included the gradual deletion of the arts, the dumbing down of my children, the deletion of jobs in my profession (in the arts) because of the need to fight family!, and eventually the criminal removal of children (minors) from my household in order to, ostensibly, “rescue” them somehow, by totally removing all contact with a law abiding, working, intelligent, informed and independent mother. I have had cause and many years to reflect on the benefits and fallbacks of my own, and my ex-spouses public educations amid dysfuncitonal families, mine in a different way from his, and the values that differ.

This gives a totally different perspective on “No Child Left Behind,” when one realizes that the children of those promoting this policies (if such exist) do not always attend public schools, and if they did, they are not in lower-income neighborhoods.  To me, the mark of acceptability is, if it’s good enough for YOUR child, then I’ll listen.  

I’ll finish with this well-written summary:

MichaelMoore.com Commemoration


August 26th, 2009 2:25 am
Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77

 

‘Liberal Lion’ of the Senate Led Storied Political Family After Deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy

ABC News

Aug. 26, 2009 — Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.

The man known as the “liberal lion of the Senate” had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” the Kennedy family said in a statement. “He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.”

Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, the youngest Kennedy brother who was left to head the family’s political dynasty after his brothers President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated.

Kennedy championed health care reform, working wages and equal rights in his storied career. In August, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — by President Obama. His daughter, Kara Kennedy, accepted the award on his behalf.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, known as Ted or Teddy, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May 2008 and underwent a successful brain surgery soon after that. But his health continued to deteriorate, and Kennedy suffered a seizure while attending the luncheon following President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

For Kennedy, the ascension of Obama was an important step toward realizing his goal of health care reform.

At the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, the Massachusetts Democrat promised, “I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate when we begin the great test.”

Sen. Kennedy made good on that pledge, but ultimately lost his battle with cancer.

Kennedy was first elected to the Senate in 1962, at the age of 30, and his tenure there would span four decades.

A hardworking, well-liked politician who became the standard-bearer of his brothers’ liberal causes, his career was clouded by allegations of personal immorality and accusations that his family’s clout helped him avoid the consequences of an accident that left a young woman dead.

But for the younger members of the Kennedy clan, from his own three children to those of his brothers JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy — once seen as the youngest and least talented in a family of glamorous overachievers — was both a surrogate father and the center of the family.

And certainly it was Ted Kennedy who bore many of the tragedies of the family — the violent deaths of four of his siblings, his son’s battle with cancer, and the death of his nephew John F. Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash.

 

 

Kennedy, Youngest Kennedy Brother, Led Political Dynasty in Wake of Tragedy

Edward Moore Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass., on Feb. 22, 1932, the ninth and youngest child of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

His father, a third-generation Irish-American who became a multimillionaire businessman and served for a time as a U.S. ambassador to Britain, had risen high and was determined that his sons would rise higher still.

Overshadowed by his elder siblings, Teddy, as he was known to family and friends, grew up mostly in the New York City suburb of Bronxville, N.Y., and attended private boarding schools. He was expelled from Harvard during his freshman year after he asked a friend to take an exam for him.

After a two-year stint in the Army, Kennedy returned to earn degrees at Harvard and then the University of Virginia law school. He married Virginia Joan Bennett, known by her middle name, in 1958. The couple would have three children, Kara, Teddy Jr. and Patrick.

By the time he reached adulthood, tragedy had already claimed some of his siblings: eldest brother Joe Jr. was killed in World War II, sister Kathleen died in a plane crash, and another sister, Rosemary, who was mildly retarded, had to be institutionalized following a botched lobotomy.

But then the family hit its pinnacle in 1960, when John F. Kennedy became president.

His brother’s ascension created a political opportunity, and Joe Kennedy decided he should take over JFK’s Senate seat. Ted Kennedy was only 28 at the time — two years short of the required age — so a family friend was found to hold the temporary appointment.

In 1962, Ted Kennedy — backed by his family money and the enthusiasm his name generated among Massachusetts’ Catholics, was elected to the Senate.

 

The Only One Left

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. His brother Robert became the focus of the family’s — and much of the country’s — dreams.

Following the tragedy in Dallas, Robert and Ted Kennedy became closer than they had ever been as children.

“When I was working for Robert Kennedy, there was hardly a day in which the two of them didn’t physically get together, I would say at least three or four times,” said Frank Mankiewicz, who served as an aide to Robert Kennedy. “I mean, if, if Sen. Robert Kennedy wasn’t in his office, and nobody knew where he was, chances are he was seeing Ted about something.”

Five years later, while pursuing the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 against Lyndon Johnson, Sen. Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed. That left Ted as the only surviving Kennedy son.

“He seriously contemplated getting out of politics after Robert’s death,” said Kennedy biographer Adam Clymer. “He thought, you know, it might just be too much. He might be too obviously the next target and all of that. But he decided to stick it out and as he said on more than one occasion, pick up a fallen standard.”

Kennedy was seen by many as his brothers’ heir, and perhaps he could have won the White House had he stepped into the presidential race then. But he didn’t. And the very next year there occurred a tragedy that would forever block Ted Kennedy’s presidential ambitions.

In July 1969, following a party on Martha’s Vineyard, Kennedy drove off a bridge on the tiny Massachusetts island of Chappaquiddick. The car plunged into the water. Kennedy escaped, but his passenger did not.

Kennedy later said he dived into the water repeatedly in a vain attempt to save Mary Jo Kopechne, one of the “boiler room girls” who had worked on Bobby Kennedy’s campaign. But Kopechne, 28, drowned, still trapped in the car.

Questions arose about how Kennedy had known Kopechne — he denied any “private relationship,” and Kopechne’s parents also insisted there was no relationship — and why he failed to report the accident for about nine hours.

Kennedy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He received a two-month suspended sentence and lost his driver’s license for a year, but the political price was higher.

Kennedy was re-elected to the Senate in 1970, but the accident at Chappaquiddick effectively squashed his presidential hopes.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1979 against incumbent President Jimmy Carter.

Once when his daughter Kara, then 19, was passing out campaign leaflets, a man took one and said to her, “You know your father killed a young woman about your age, don’t you?”

 

 

Kennedy Curse: Political Power, Personal Tragedy

Sen. Ted Kennedy was not done confronting personal tragedy.

In 1973, 12-year-old Teddy Jr. was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he had to have a leg amputated. Kennedy’s marriage to Joan deteriorated. Some blamed her drinking, others cited his alleged womanizing. The couple divorced in 1981.

In contrast, Kennedy’s career in the Senate continued to flourish.

He supported teachers’ unions, women’s and abortion rights, and health care reform. He sponsored the Family and Medical Leave Act. And he was seen as a stalwart of the Democratic Party, delivering several rousing speeches at conventions.

Former Boston Glober reporter Tom Oliphant, who covered Kennedy’s career in Washington, observed, “It’s not all back slapping and, and personal relationships. I think one of the things that sets Kennedy’s politics apart is his, what I call his dirty little secret. He works like a dog.”

Political analyst Mark Shields said Kennedy’s “concerns were national concerns, but his forum for achieving his ends and changing policy, became the Senate. And he mastered it like nobody else I’ve ever seen.”

But another family incident exposed Kennedy’s vulnerabilities and held him up to public censure.

A nephew, William Kennedy Smith, was accused of raping a woman at the family’s estate in Palm Beach, Fla. The case generated lurid headlines around the world. Kennedy was at the estate at the time of the alleged attack and had been at the bar where Smith met his accuser.

Eyebrows were raised even further when a young woman who had been with Kennedy’s son Patrick that night revealed that she had seen the senator roaming around the house at night, wearing an oxford shirt but no trousers.

Smith was acquitted following a highly sensational trial, but the incident definitely left a dent in Kennedy’s armor. His alleged heavy drinking and womanizing were widely lampooned, and in October 1991 he thought it prudent to be low-key in his opposition to Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, who had been accused of sexually harassing a former subordinate.

Kennedy’s life, both professional and personal, took a turn for the better in 1992.

He married Victoria Reggie, a divorced attorney with two children from a previous marriage, Curran and Caroline. That year Kennedy also supported Bill Clinton, an open admirer of the Kennedy clan.

“Well, sometime during our courtship, I realized that I didn’t want to live the rest of my life without Vicky,” Kennedy said about his wife of nearly 30 years. “And since we have been together, it’s made my life a lot more fulfilling. I think more serene, kind of emotional stability.”

Elected in 1992, President Bill Clinton appointed Kennedy’s sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, ambassador to Ireland. And in 1994, Kennedy had the satisfaction of seeing his son Patrick elected to the House of Representatives from Rhode Island.

But tragedy returned that year.

In May 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died of cancer. Kennedy had remained close to his sister-in-law, who once quit her job at a publisher’s after it came out with an unflattering biography of Ted.

 

 

Kennedy’s Battle With Cancer Lost

Kennedy had served as a surrogate father for many of his nephews and nieces, but he may have been closest to Jackie’s children, Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr.

He was horrified when in July 1999, five years after Jackie’s death, John Jr. and his bride of two years, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, along with her sister Lauren Bessette, were killed when the small plane John was piloting crashed off the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Sen. Kennedy led the family during the harrowing wait for information as Coast Guard crews searched for the missing plane.

When the bodies were retrieved from the ocean, Kennedy and his two sons went to identify the remains. The senator’s eulogy for his nephew who “had every gift but length of years” and “the wife who became his perfect soul mate” touched grief-stricken Americans.

It was an all-too-familiar sight for those who remember Ted Kennedy mourning the deaths of his brothers John and Robert, and helping the family bear up after the deaths of Robert’s sons David and Michael.

For decades, it was Ted Kennedy who carried the burden and led the way as the patriarch of a family seen as America’s answer to royalty.

 

With all due respect, we do not need any more royalty in this country.  We need to set our sites on something invisible, something written, but something of principle, that unites us.  Our leaders need to stick to that, and out of respect to OURSELVES ,we should demand that.


Who’s actually TALKS with the REAL stakeholders when it comes to Stalking, Domestic Violence (not “abuse”), and Child Abuse??

leave a comment »

I have a question, after finding an unusually honest commentary on how the model code for stalking laws was developed.  I’ve spent some years, in the process of seeking help, becoming acquainted with the standards for what makes sense, according to LOTS of organizations.  I then tried to bring this common sense into actual practice in our own case after it hit the family law venue.

Yeah, right..

I have a question.  As usual, thinking aloud (and posting as I go), the introduction gets longer and the original content that inspired the post, lower and lower.  Presently, scroll down to just below all the graphics (logos) and there’s the question, and in primarily BLUE content, the quote that started today’s post.  

 

Eventually, over the years,  I got to the point of connecting more and more dots, including why would it take this amount of diligent searching by a woman with two college degrees and highly motivated to get some answers, to come to the inclusion that the tipping point is where the intent to publish hits the point to put it into practice.  This is a fulcrum.

Eventually I stopped just reading only content, and started paying more attention to in which publication things were published (most of which I couldn’t afford to subscribe to).  THEN I started connecting which nonprofit (or, some of these are almost exclusively the project of some government grants, and say so right on the websites) with which publication, which which professionals.  This is what would in interpersonal interactions be called “body language.”  Only, without warm bodies and live voices and actual interaction face to face, the next best substitute, especially for those without a travel fund, is sometimes a little background check.  On-line.  Free.

What I post here today was written a while back by a professional now involved in addressing some family court issues, and who I hope to meet someday soon.  We appear to have been circling around geographically within a few miles of each other, but consistently in different venues.  In other words, she has worked for and at organizations I’ve sought help from and whose halls I’ve sat in as a “client.”

It’s probably time to make a phone call.  Meanwhile, today’s a difficult time for me, and I can’t quite say why without revealing which case.  Please bare with some of the over-writing here, and understand why today (and I acknowledge, yesterday), sarcasm is pretty high.  Fact is, I miss my daughters, and it’s the beginning of a school year.   Instead, I get the back hand and the ugly side (or no side at all) of the parent and other adults in control of their lives.  I can and have read law, and after looking, still don’t see that I’ve committed a crime in these matters, and I most certainly HAVE seen and identified several ones committed since the case switched from civil to family law, which I to this day believe is where batterers go to hide, and keep up the same pattern of behavior, only with more validation.

Oops, there I go again.

 

 

ANYHOW, as to the conferences and subscriptions, I have a suggestion:  Instead of a grant to explicate the context of domestic violence in custody decisions (apparently a recent one) and the “Domestic Violence Conference of the Decade,” whose speakers and sponsoring organizations I did take a pretty good (on-line) look at — and got the general picture for sure — and ANOTHER one I just heard of today:

(boy, the logos, and PR, and branding, is getting more and more professional!):header

(SEE:  http://dvinstitute.org), which it appears just happened in Detroit. . .. 

 

 

 

IDVAAC

 

Here’s another one about to happen in San Diego:

http://dvinstitute.org/announces/files/Partial%20Brochure-5-18.pdf

The logo makes me think I’m back in grade school again (check it out — I couldn’t click & drag).

It has a wooden post with 3 pointers, “Future, Present, Past” all askew on a sky background.

  • “FUTURE” is pointing right (the only one pointing right) and UP (ditto).
  • Present is horizontal and point left, indicating a change of direction.  From WHAT?
  • Past is pointing left and down.  Talk about not very subtle.

I could suggest some more detailed logos.  Perhaps the length of the line I stood in yesterday for $15.00 coupon to go get food, which allowed me to get some nonfoods, which Food Stamps program, onto which I’ve been forced back because of former failed systems, most of which interfered with My system called, working! and complying with court orders.  Because we might also have a problem with drugs, alcohol or tobacco, or who knows, perhaps just for simplicity, and of course for the safety of those distributing (i.e., no cash), we could only go to ONE store (a few miles away, which is great for those without cars, with children, and poor enough to need help with food).  I figure out the expense to time ratio of this, and between wait, and buses, it was approximately $4.00/food benefit per hour, four hours expended in getting coupon and food.  Not including getting home with it.  A far cry from a conference.

This line contained live people with real stories, and mostly people of color, different colors, sizes, and manners;  most of them also, women, many with children, and each with a story, and their own method of dealing with the long wait.  It was detailed and usually cheerful, this waiting is routine.  I didn’t see anyone I recognized although I’d been there many times before.

Perhaps I should show some children crying, with a forensic child psychologist, or CPS worker.  Perhaps I should show a woman crying.  Perhaps I should show General Assistance being cut (as it is) to make way for some of the grants I’ve been blogging on, including yesterday.  

If economic distress causes violence (I don’t believe it does) than perhaps this is partly why.  But an inane signpost over these words? – – 

 

A New Direction for a Safer Tomorrow:  National Conference on Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange

Yeah, that and a new specialty in the field, too. . . . . Not THAT new, but apparently . . . . 

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Office on Violence Against 

Women are proud to sponsor the first National Conference on Supervised Visitation and Safe 

Exchange. This conference will inform professionals  (WILL INFORM WHOM??  WHOM????)

 

about how to provide supervised visitation and safe exchange services that account for (HOW ABOUT PREVENT??) domestic violence. 

 

THink about this:  if there is a need for supervised visitation and safe exchange, that means domestic violence is already there.

Pare

nts who don’t threaten to abduct, or hurt a Mom without supervision, or do this (and many do), wouldn’t need this.

 

 

National experts will provide education on safety for adult victims and children; services for diverse populations; community 

collaboration; and advocacy, in the context of domestic violence and supervised visitation and 

safe exchange.  The conference will highlight effective practice and programs, offer tips and 

tools, provide an opportunity for networking, and inspire and invigorate participants. 

 

 

Expert Faculty . . .  

 

 

 

(I dare site visitors here to look up each and every expert and determine where they are coming from, and who pays their organization’s bills.. . . . . . )

 

Would you like to see a similar brochure?  OK, here.  I found it (this search) at

 

http://parentalalienationcanada.blogspot.com/2009/02/domestic-violence-conference-of-decade.html

 

 

 

California Alliance for Families and Children

Please forward to colleagues and friends
Family Violence Treatment and Education Association (FAVTEA)

THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONFERENCE OF THE DECADE!

From Ideology to Inclusion 2009:

New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention
With Featured Presentations By:
Murray Straus, PhD
Murray Straus, PhD
* Deborah Capaldi, PhD
Deborah Capaldi, PhD
* Don Dutton, PhD
Don Duton, PhD {{NOTE:  S/BE “DUTTON”}}
K. Daniel O'Leary, PhD
K. Daniel O’Leary, PhD
* Sandra Stith, PhD
Sandra Stith, PhD
* Richard Gelles, PhD
Richard Gelles, PhD
Also Featuring:
Sarah Avery-Leaf, PhD * Mohammed Boabaid, PhD * Ellen Bowen, LCSW
Jan Brown * Wendy Bunston, MFT * Michelle Carney, PhD
Ken Corvo, PhD * Carol Crabsen, LCSW * Christopher Eckhardt, PhD
Lynette Feder, PhD * Richard Felson, PhD * Kimberly Flemke, PhD
Joel Garner, PhD * Lonnie Hazelwood, MSHP, LCDC * Denise Hines, PhD
Jodi Klugman-Rabb, MFT * Christopher Maxwell, PhD * Eric McCollum, PhD
Daniel Sonkin, PhD * Arlene Vetere, PhD * Carolyn West, PhD
Date: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 26-28, 2009
Place: Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel
Los Angeles, CA
More info: PDF 2009 Conference Flier
Most presenters serve on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journalPartner Abuse, published quarterly by Springer publishing. For more information, go towww.springerpub.com/pa

Sponsored by:
California Alliance for Families and Children
and
Family Violence Treatment & Education Association

TO LEARN MORE OR SIGN UP, GO TO:
WWW.CAFCUSA.ORG

 
Domestic Violence Training DVDs Now Available!
See the founders, the pioneers, and today’s most respected experts together at the one-of-a-kind, historic conference, “From Ideology to Inclusion:.”Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence The conference was held February 15-16, 2008, in Sacramento, California.

DID I forget, in addition to any conference fees, there’s (like any good market niche) the collateral sales market too.  Incidentally, downloading information is one of the lowest overhead, most profitable fields of direct selling around, once it’s in place.  It’s a GREAT business model.  

Is that enough Ph.D.’s?  Surely I should just their judgments about my danger level, experience of domestic violence, and whether my kids are or are not at risk of — shall we say — parental abduction — better than my own.  After all, look at the degrees!

I wonder whether it has occurred to any of these people that some women leaving abuse might prefer going for not just “job training” but more degrees themselves, rather than defending from the latest round of accusations through this system, or for that matter, the latests fads sweeping through it. . ..  

Speaking for myself, I already had the degrees, I just wanted “permission to practice” what I was already trained in and couldn’t, formerly, because of the domestic violence situation.

Remind me to get another Piled Higher Deeper (then I won’t call it that any more…), it may pay better than blogging for nothing, if I’m in one of these fixing people fields.  Which, however, I wasn’t.  I was in music, which helps heal people many times.  It changes them.  But it doesn’t approach from the point of view, unilaterally:  “You need fixing, and we will do it!”  It’s more transformative than legislative in nature.  Funding for the arts is in jeopardy, but not for family-fixing.

 

SO, who attended THIS conference?

Who attended this one? (Sorry folks, if you just missed it, this past June):  In the words of one of the groups above:

The conference quickly became an international event after its announcement. This was due to all of the internationally respected experts that presented at the conference, as well as attendees that came from all over the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. Easily 95 percent of those who had registered and attended the conference were with state, local and U.S. government agencies, including officials and staff from the Department of Health and Human Services.  It was also attended by a myriad of public health agencies, Social Services, law enforcement, treatment providers and family law practitioners.  The list goes on. In addition, several states had representatives from their Judicial Branches attend, including judges.

Seems to me about the only people NOT there were:  family court LITIGANTS, battered women, protective mothers, children who had aged out of the system, in the custody of an abusive parent (these young people DO exist and are now speaking out:  Courageous Kids, Alanna Krause, others.  I WONDER what my daughter will say, or realize, when she turns 18, soon.)  I don’t see the category “shelter workers” there.  I don’t see “domestic violence advocates” as a category, do you?  Family law practitioners and treatment providers, You BETCHA!


Because of the historic nature of the conference, {{and surely not because of PR, contacts with someone at the station, or anything of a mercenary or publicity-promotion nature…}} Radio Station KFBK-AM 1530, in Sacramento interviewed Erin Pizzey, the founder of the shelter movement and one of the conference presenters  (incidentally, it seems Ms. Pizzey, daughter of an ambassador, has come to the conclusion that the shelter movement is run by radical feminists and socialists, and was turned on by them for not going along.).. . Everything is always “radical” “new” “Pioneering” and “launched” (etc.) in this field.

Perhaps this next testimonial may explain why the D.A. was so resistant to allowing me to not lose, or help me regain, custody of my daughters when it was their FATHER, not their MOTHER who had taken them so long ago:

After going through the post conference surveys, we learned that most attendees gave the conference overall scores ranging in the 4 & 5’s (with 5 being the highest score). We have heard directly from many attendees who are mediators and evaluators in family courts, and they called the conference the best they had ever attended on the issue. Many of them have been in the practice for 30 years. One District Attorney wrote:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and felt it was one of the best I’d ever attended (I’ve been attending DV conferences ever since the Judicial Task Force put on a statewide conference after the OJ case!)”

(The clear and blatant theme of this one appears to be that women are equally as violent as men.  Hence, the publication “Partner” abuse (and “abuse” not “Violence’)  Title:  From “Ideology” to “Inclusion.”  

Oops:  http://www.cafcusa.org/2008%20conference.aspx

It appears these reviews are from the 2008 conference, which was merely “historic” and not “the conference of the decade.”  Sorry in searching on the latter term a merely Grand conference got confused with the truly Grandiose, which is about how the language goes too.  But it’s not truly likely that the same organizations, in alliance are likely to change directions themselves.  They exist, many of them, to change directions of OTHER venues, and other people’s, well, court cases.

(Tell you what — this inclusion does not appear to work in reverse quite so well…)

 

But, who are the real stakeholders?  

 

Why not instead just raise funds for subscriptions for women leaving abuse to some of the publications talking about us, and our children, and our batterers, and our stalkers, and our children’s abductors, and our options, and how to intervene.  

If we could have some “supervised visitation” to some of these conferences, I’m sure we would be competent to stand up and dispel some illusions circulating around these topics.  I have known for a long time what would and would not take this household towards safety and self-sufficiency and been asking for it from institutions that had it to offer, they said.  

This has fallen mostly on deaf ears. So now I am more interested in talking to these people’s supervisors, and employers, which FYI, happens to be in many cases, the federal grants system.

(note:  I talked myself into two such “Screening for Abuse (or, Domestic violence)” type conferences within recent years, AFTER I lost my kids, and while in PTSD, Poverty, dealing with stalking, and working one remaining job.  I overcame the PTSD of speaking up, and was called “brave” for doing so, in front of many strangers.   One was aimed at health professionals, and was nationwide.  ANother was aimed at custody evaluators and was not, although I would characterize BOTH of them as having analyzed the problem of abuse pretty darn well.

It was extremely validating and didn’t make a damn bit of difference in the case, and I doubt will in a whole lot of others.  Why?

 

Because INFORMATION is not MOTIVATION.

EDUCATION doesn’t produce behavior change unless the MOTIVATION to change exceeds the benefits of NOT changing.

Overcoming PTSD to speak in front of strangers, is not my definition of brave.  My definition of “brave” entails facing potential death, which I have, not facing a strange audience.  It entails facing down that man, with a loaded gun and crazy talk, in my own home, and not just once.  The bravery THAT time related to the fact I was a mother, and young children were in the home.  My definition of brave is, knowing the possible impact, telling my family to go take a hike and get a life, when they violated my boundaries post-restraining order, and made it consistently clear after this clear statement, that this was not on THEIR agenda.

Similarly SOME people need to start recognizing that surviving abuse may be luck, or it may show competence, and start getting a different attitude about who you are dealing with, when a person shows up not too coherent immediately after an incident.  Or when they show up in court (repeatedly forced to, thanks to the family law venue, which specializes on hearsay vs. evidence) also not coherent enough, possibly because of who’s present, and because of the authoritatarian and “it could change on a dime” nature of the interchange.

At this public speaking at a conference for PROFESSIONALS in the FIELD time, I also almost spent a night on the street, because in the process of speaking up, I mislaid car keys, took a commute back home, and found out the keys were in another city.  Getting them back took half a night, and more money (of the very little I’d gotten by chance the previous day, allowing me the commute to this conference), help from two friends by phone (my own cell being off) and it was cold, too.  I then imposed on someone who was actually a music client (so to speak) to stay overnight so I might not, in the fatigue and stress, oversleep work the next mornign which at this point would’ve resulted in being dismissed.

About a year later (this being halfway through the court cases following child-stealing) I was indeed suddenly dismissed by this same group.  Possibly they had what’s called “vicarious trauma” dealing year after year (and it was that) with my inability to get free from ONE abuser, and his friends, and the family law mishandling of a simple, simple restraining order renewal. Which I didn’t, FYI, get.)

I want to say something:

Since then, I have looked into the financing (funding, folks) of this same organization, and at its website.  See my post on “the amazing, disappearing word “Mother.”  (The group is not featured, but the principle applies).  It is a premiere group in the war against violence, not against “women” but, well, “family violence.”  I have to really question why in this same state, funds to shelters have been axed, but not to this group.  I have to ALSO question why I couldn’t get simple help when I needed it (and that includes, to date) from any of the entities that exist to provide it, after some of the original ones made a few policy mistakes, major ones, in designing the original custody order.  

 

So, why not just invite us to the conferences?  Note: before, THAT, raise funds to make sure that their phone and internets stay on (and deal with on-line stalking as well).   For example, the other year, had my phone been on, I trust I could’ve found a job and retained access to a moving vehicle through what’s called “work” — even though, through family law inanity, I lost custody on an overnight over a year earlier, all my profession in the aftermath (and buildup), and all hope of collecting any child support arrears in the process.  

You know what these conferences are to me, any more?  They are like ambulance-chasers.  They are carpet baggers.  

They are like a person with a boat with room in it, and not too far to BOAT to shore, but too far for most people, particularly people in danger of shock, or fatigue, or not in top marathon shape — they drive by in the boat and wave.  Sometimes they grab a kid in the process.  They congregate in boats, and talk to each other about the shipwrecks.  They even SOS — the shore — for more gas, and refreshments — and “technical support” — to converse — exclusively with each other — about “how to rescue shipwrecked sailors.”  SOMETIMES some of them even pull out a child or two, or three, and give the child into the care of other people making a living off the shipwrecks — OR the other parent that helped cause it.  That’s bright.

Then they have conferences about “shared parenting.”  Or, even about “the context of custody-switch.”  Or sometimes even about “the advisability of mediation in family law cases involving allegations of domestic violence or child abuse.”  I’ve read many of these, and they are (unlike this blog) generally copyedited, slick, and even have nice charts, sometimes color coded bar graphs, and the whole nine yards.

But what they don’t have is the voices of the people in the water which might show where they missed the boat in these discussion.

NOW — do I think ALL the people in ALL the conferences have impure motives and self-interest in the forefront of their minds?

NO — I know that ALL people are imperfect and have impure motives and self-interest to some degree, including me.  

That’s what the Constitution is about, and why any sitting President is sworn, under oath and in public, to preserve, protect, and defend it.  It’s about putting some restraint on tyranny.

This includes tyranny by simple exclusion from policy-making conferences.  

It should NOT be necessary for almost every mother (or father) who goes through divorce to switch professions and join one that might help him or herself defend herself in a family law custody action, and it PARTICULARLY is not fair where one partner (and it’s most likely to be the female one) has a life in the balance.  Not just an emotional economic life, but also a physical life to her or her kids.

TRUTH has a lot of depth and nuances, but the underlying principles are basic, and basically, SIMPLE.  When we are talking about human behavior.  As a teacher of many years, and I have taught, coached, directed, co-taught, co-directed and/or performed with beginners (tone-deaf) to professionals (in 3 venues:  piano/vocal/choral), I know that the same basics work every time, as much as how people sing and their particular voices differ.  Certain basics HAVE to be there, including:  Air, vocal cords, something to sing, and to do it well — a REASON to sing.  

Same for offices, lifestyles, businesses.  There is income, expenses, cash flow, overhead, etc.  There is some basic math involved.

What the extended decades-long (I’m approaching 10 years, I know others who have been in longer) nonending family law venue DOES is simply divert cash flow.  It STOPS what existed before, and recreates a NEW version according to its paradigm.  Many times, it stops the process and incentive for either parent to work.  

So, IF the actual desire is to STOP VIOLENCE, or CHILD ABUSE and SAVE LIVES:  I recommend starting to pay parents, particularly those who are experiencing stalking, abuse, or other threats, for some of these subscriptions, so we can keep up with what’s being proclaimed about us and our kids and our lifestyles, 

Or, alternately, we could stop the conferences and get back to something halfway reasonable,  like our own businesses.  Right now, this thing is really getting out of hand. . . . .  After a few years of chasing around the experts, and being ever so happy they had “analyzed” a situation well, I began to realize this is about where it stops.   With the talk.  (Well, not really, the dynamic of the situation is changing, but the “you’re making it up” folk are cancelling out the “you’re minimizing abuse” folk.  Even when they “collaborate.”)

I actually DO have a life (still — not the same one, but a life) to get back to, and it’s clear that this is going to go on, well, forever.  I DO have some things I wish to do in life than stop people so intent on stopping domestic violence, they have kept it going a good long while, and people so intent on sharing custody that they are not about to, ever, acknowledge that this is getting too many people hurt.  No, “supervised visitation” is NOT a good alternatives, that I can see.  For one, I was not offered it once in many years, although it would have been very appropriate given where the problems were happening in our case.  Most people I know that HAVE supervised visitation (at their own expense) are women who got it AFTER they reported abuse.  They lost custody and have to pay to see their kids.  

Do I want to spend the rest of my life fixing this problem?  No.  I don’t think it’s going away soon.  On the other hand, do I accept what has happened and zero accountability for what was stolen from my daughters, and me, and the unnecessary destruction involved?  No.  Do I want to lose something more if I confront again?  No.  Would you?

So. why not let the real stakeholders in on the discussions with the “stakeholders” in these systems?  Why should we have to run around studying the industry, and finding out about each new conference half of us can’t attend anyhow?  And with speakers we have already been exposed to their work, and a sometimes (I speak for myself) even know which grant or grants program is funding the thing and the policy?  Have we become a nation of actually employed experts whose very jobs are robbing from the unemployed, whom they are studying?

(I do apologize for my sarcasm here.  But my phone is only on today because someone had a good hair day, as opposed to a bad hair day, and another dribble of child support arrears showed up, enough for phone and not much more.  In order to get some nonfoods (which is illegal on Food Stamps) rather than ask someone I know for this (again), I waited 2 hours to get a single coupon unredeemable except at one store — not nearby.  I waited til the next day to redeem it.  On that day, which involved approximately SIX total bus trips, none of them involving more than  10 mile radius total, and after having walked 2 of those miles without proper shoes, I took the baggage home (involving a sack of potatoes and more) and looked for work, a lead on charity cars, and more.  Then my phone went off (as happens when one doesn’t pay in time).  THIS MORNING, I talked the bus driver into letting me on half price, because the feet wouldn’t make a similar distance this time.  It just so happened (couldn’t have been planned around or predicted) that — just under the deadline, a deadbeat Dad paid again. I reflected at how similar this was to life when I LIVED with this man (particularly as to unpredictable access to any kind of cash, and having to dedicate half a day or more to something that would take 20 min to an hour in a car). 

The primary difference being then that I had the joy of a little company with my daughters, who were growing up still.  I wonder where they are and what they are thinking today.

 

So, let’s change the dynamics:

Benefits (from OUR point of view, at least):

  • Life
  • Liberty, hopefully
  • Pursuit of happiness
  • Decreased National Debt ($1.9 TRILLION, I just heard?)
  • Safer classrooms, probably
  • Many, many more benefits.

Detriments (possibly from publishers, conferrers, model code designers, and a WHOLE lot more):

  • Some professions would have to find a new market niche, because the problems their professions live off would likely abate.  Like those who have lived through (see subject line) they would have to be resourceful, flexible, think on their feet, and probably no longer have a “captive” audience or a steady stream of federal grants to solve problems, but enter the free marketplace like the rest of us.
  • The professed Ph.D. experts would have to move over for the actual “experts.”  An expert is one who has experienced a thing, and has a vocabulary sufficient to communicate to communicate to others what it was.  Typically, this entails knowing others involved in the same thing.  OUR vocabulary, not the expert social science vocabulary.
  • Cash and jobs would flow in a different direction.

 

I think those would be the primary differences.  The question is, HOW would America Survive without the economy of pathology?  And the paradigm of the us/them; subject/object expertise heirarchy?

 

What year do you think this was written?

(Scroll to bottom for answer).

I have pasted an entire section from an article I found on-line today, as I was thinking about the mental segmentation and disconnect between different types of justice (courts), between courts & police, between police & prosecutors (from what I can tell), between “domestic violence” professionals and “child abuse professionals” (meaning, these professionals desire to STOP domestic violence and child abuse, by analyzing and, based on analyses, communicating their results and asking for policy changes.  Then, if the policy changes, the matter comes up, is the PRACTICE changed.  Again, the typical mentality is to “train” the professionals to practice what’s right.

Very few actually deal with the realities of human nature, namely, that there is no single branch of employment, business, and no profession, where most of the employees are altruistic, and none of them are dangerously self-serving, or motivated by, for example, basic human greed, denial, or lust for power.  

This excerpt is a sample of what I’d call honest writing, which shows how even a “model” practice that is published — certain perspectives were omitted. I would imagine that in this case, the voices of the people with these perspectives (the victims the model code was hoping to help) were not present for the dialogue.  THAT is indeed a problem, this gap.

 

it’s really a matter of language.  You see, calling an intersection of court, law enforcement, and social services workers when discussing issues that affect people who come under the category victims (i.e., of crimes) without including the victims — IN THOSE DISCUSSIONS — is exclusionary.  

It is a larger subset of a larger divide, called “service-providers” (including the “service” of JUSTICE) vs. Recipients/clients.

I’ve blogged on another post here about the effect of stalking on me, and including through other family members.  It is a total life-changer (and illegal).  I do not know how to sustain regular employment around the degree of it that has come into my life, and have totally switched goals in order to accommodate, if possible, the safety factor.  I know other women who have done this.  It’s NOT a game, and NOT a joke, but every law enforcement officer I reported to treated it as such, and added in some verbal abuse to go along with my attempt to report.  I have reported it to almost every agency or type of individual involved in my case, as I also reported the risk of child-stealing (which happened) and my concerns about the lethality factor in our case, a combo. of gut instinct, only to then find literature that shows my gut was right.

It is an odd feeling to find out how much of one’s life had already been discussed and conferenced about, and how long ago, and relate this to how many women have been killed since because even this (in its own words) “flawed” model still isn’t being followed.

Nevertheless, here it is.  It is in off-blue (not “link” color) italics.  Any bold or underlining, or variations from italic blue, are my additions,or emphases, except obviously the bolded section headings:

 

National Institute of Justice Project to Develop Model Anti-Stalking Code for States

Limitations of Report from Domestic Violence Perspective

In response to the great and sudden interest in state stalking codes, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) created a project to develop a model anti-stalking code for states, releasing their final report in _________. (see below) Interestingly enough, the report does not refer to the NIJ’s history of involvement with this issue, which included the development of a model harassment code over 10 years ago.

Unfortunately, the resource group which developed this model code included no domestic violence advocates. (An issue which continues to this day/Let’s Get Honest comments in other fields) Presumably this accounts for the fact that domestic violence, rather than being seen as a central issue in the development of the model code, is relegated to tangential status.

Domestic violence is rarely mentioned in the report, and when it is it may be in a footnote. See, e.g., footnote 83, pages 38 – 39, which touches briefly on the overlap between domestic violence and stalking, and reports without comment on law enforcement attitudes that domestic violence stalking incidents aren’t worth much attention: “… While 77 percent of responding jurisdictions in Australia and Great Britain reported investigating stalking-type incidents, none considered stalking a major problem . High-profile cases were rare in the responding countries, and most agencies consider stalking primarily a domestic violence problem. Typical victims are women of any age escaping abusive relationships with dominant males , they reported… Stalker’s methods did not seem to vary from those used by American stalkers, and the course of events seemed to escalate from unwanted contacts to following and face-to-face threats…” (emphasis added) The message appears to be that a crime in which the primary victims are battered women is not “a major problem.”


Domestic violence is hardly mentioned again until page 92, where one paragraph acknowledges the usefulness of drawing upon criminal justice personnel’s experience with domestic violence in formulating strategies against stalking. However, the report then lays out a research agenda which downplays the body of applicable domestic violence research which has already been conducted. The report calls for research on stalkers (i.e. their behaviors, motivations, demographics, histories), stalking as a crime (i.e. its prevalence and reponse by the criminaljustice system), and the usefulness of restraining orders in stopping stalking (i.e. how well the victim, defendant, and criminal justice personnel understand how to enforce them). Given that the overwhelming majority of stalking cases are domestic violence cases, we can already answer many of these questions.  {{I alternate emphasis so every sentence is read in this paragraph.}}

In the discussion on sentencing, the report does not mention batterer’s counseling even once in its three-page discussion of evaluation, treatment, and mental illness, {{I’m not at this point highly enamored of batterer’s counseling, probably because of so many incidents I’ve read where counseling was ordered over incarceration; the batterer then aced the counseling, and went promptly out and murdered his former, reporting, partner.  And I believe that where even a 10% outside chance of “murder” as a side-effect of ineffective counseling happens, the chance should not be taken.  The concept that behavioral science, which is “prognosis” can substitute some how for safety, is not sound thinking, in my view. }}or in the principal recommendations where counseling is mentioned. This is unfortunate, since there is a growing body of literature on the efficacy of batterer’s counseling which would be applicable to the 70-80% of stalking cases involving domestic violence, and since there are also studies showing that most therapists are woefully untrained and uninformed in the area of domestic violence.  {{Cobblers see shoes.  Lawyers see legal issues.  Therapists see personality problems.  I have been stalked, battered, and lost access to the children through “family court matters,” so obviously this is kind of what I notice, too.  So even correcting the “training” and “uninformed” factors (imagine the expense) would still be in essence asking a professional in a field to change their outlook on the field. }} 

The timing of NIJ’s model code report was also unfortunate. The research was done before any appellate cases on stalking had been published, before the volume of commentators in law review articles, and when very few states had amended their statutes. The model code was based on two surveys sent to police departments around the country and to four other English-speaking countries, telephone interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys, and analyzing the various state statutes on stalking and related issues.  {{THIS PATTERN IS COMMON WHEN IT COMES TO GRANT SITUATIONS FOR POLICY CHANGES.  FIRST, “DEMONSTRATION,” SOMETIMES (NOT ALWAYS) STARTING SMALL. THEN, “PROCLAMATION” BASED ON THE PRIOR “DEMONSTRATION” WHICH WERE NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WHOLE PICTURE}}

 

It is unfortunate that the NIJ report was not seen as Part I of a two-part process, since it is necessary have an in-depth assessment of how the statutes are actually working in order to evaluate the NIJ’s proposed model code.  {{This may have  been “unfortunate,” negligent, or intentional.  I don’t know which; I wasn’t there.  At least this author comments on it.  After a while, one begins to notice how many things termed “unfortunate”  — weren’t quite left up to fortune.  This word cropped up in a mediator report in my case, referring to something which had happened specifically and ONLY after repeated interventions and decisions prompted by said mediator. }}

Analysis of utility of model code proposed by NIJ for battered women

Benefits of Model Code

But even with all the above limitations, the NIJ Report has a great deal of useful information and policy recommendations which could help battered women and their children.

For example, the Report’s principal recommendations for a model stalking code include the following, all of which could be helpful to domestic violence victims:

  • a continuum of charges, including felony status
  • option of incarceration
  • orders to stay away from victim
  • counseling
  • victim notification before stalker released
  • early intervention
  • systems put in place so that civil and criminal judges know what the other courts are doing with the same case
  • a research agenda
  • a multidisciplinary approach

In Chapter Two of the Report, the proposed model code is discused in detail. Probably the most beneficial statement is the following: “Of utmost importance is a state’s decision to require the criminal justice system and related disciplines to take stalking incidents seriously.

{{CAN YOU NAME AT LEAT 3 RECENT INCIDENTS WHERE IT WASN’T?  TOM’S RIVER, A TOLLBOOTH IN CALIFORNIA, AND A HOME (WITH TWO LITTLE GIRLS TRYING –BUT FAILING — TO SAVE MAMA’S LIFE) WHERE THESE RESTRAINING ORDER VIOLATIONS OR STALKING OR SEPARATION DANGER WAS NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY?}}

The useful elements of the proposed code include a broad definition of prohibited acts; allowing “implied threats”, as opposed to “credible threats”, to be sufficient; the use of increasingly serious penalties to deal with increasingly serious acts, and encompassing misdemeanor and felony sanctions; and the broad definition of intent: “In other words, if a defendant consciously engages in conduct that he knows or should know would cause fear in the person at whom the conduct is directed, the intent element of the model code is satisfied.” The drafters made a similar comment in regard to the fear element: “In some instances, a defendant may be aware, through a past relationship with the victim, of an unusual phobia of the victim’s and use this knowledge to cause fear in the victim… a jury must determine that the victim’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances. ” (emphasis added) This language may open the door to the introduction of evidence regarding the stalker’s past threats toward the same victim, and to expert testimony on stalking generally, which will probably be beneficial to victims.

Similarly, Chapter Three’s sentencing provisions are also generally useful for battered women. The overall goals include protecting the victim, allowing law enforcement to intervene when appropriate, sanctions, and treatment for those defendants who can be helped.

The requirement of victim notification, and accompanying acknowledgements that some stalkers may be more dangerous when released from prison, and that stalking behavior often escalates into violence as time passes are very important for battered women. So are the enhanced penalties for restraining order violations, use of a weapon, minor victims, or prior offenses toward the same or another victim. All of these are typical of domestic violence cases. The no-contact orders upon release are likewise key for protecting battering victims. The advantages and disadvantages of requiring convicted stalkers to wear electronic bracelets are discussed sensitively.

Chapter Four, on pre-trial release, also contains recommendations which are generally good for battered women whose batterers stalk them. These include taking danger to the public into account, considering eliminating release on one’s own recognizance, recommended factors for courts to consider in each case, possible conditions of release, including no-contact orders, victim’s right participate in bail hearings, victim notification of pre-trial release and copies of release orders to the victim.

Chapter Five’s strategies for implementation are also generally helpful for battered women. The emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach underlines the need for all societal systems to work together to end this problem. The recommendations about the response of the criminal justice system are good as well, including training, better police policies and procedures, strengthening restraining order enforcement, providing judges with full criminal and restraining order histories of the defendant at every stage of the case, and the need to keep DMV and voter records of stalking victims confidential.

The NIJ’s proposed model code generally complies with the model code recommended by Susan Bernstein, which was discussed above. The NIJ code includes “threats implied by conduct”, and uses the history between the parties as a context in determining the nature of the threats. While the NIJ code does not mandate using computerized informational tracking systems, the larger NIJ Report recommends these, and also recommends the imposition of increasingly stronger penalties, including felonies. Though Bernstein’s recommendation that harassment include “unconsented conduct” is not addressed directly in the NIJ code, it appears that the NIJ drafters intended to encompass such conduct. Thus, the only key element listed by Bernstein which is not addressed by the NIJ Report is the reasonable woman standard.

Flaws of Model Code

On the other hand, the code has some flaws. First, threats toward the victim’s family are limited to those directed at her “immediate family”, which is defined very narrowly. It would be better to encompass the extended family, both because stalkers do not so limit their behavior, and because many ethnic groups in the US have a much broader definition of family than the nuclear version. Coverage should be provided if the stalker is threatening the victim’s aunt, uncle, grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, godparents, godchildren, in-laws, etc.

Second, “[t]he model code language does not apply if the victim fears sexual assault but does not fear bodily injury.” The drafters discuss the risk of contracting AIDS or being injured for resisting, and state that states may want to include fear of sexual assault in their statutes. However, the idea that sexual assault is not bodily injury in and of itself is ludicrous, and any historical distinction between these two types of injuries should not be maintained.

Third, the drafters propose that states allow for either restitution to the victim, or civil causes of action. It is unclear why victims should not have access to both remedies, since they are not interchangable: restitution is ordered by the criminal court, and covers only out of pocket expenses, while tort suits are under the control of the victim, and also allow for awards for pain and suffering and punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.

Return to top of the page


  

Effectiveness of anti-stalking codes in general for battered women

We last turn to the question of the effectiveness of anti-stalking codes in general for battered women. On the one hand, such codes can be useful. They serve as an acknowledgement that stalking behavior is wrong, and should be criminalized. They contribute to societal awareness that stalking is often part of the overall pattern of domestic violence. They may be an additional charge which prosecutors can use. In some cases, stalking laws can stop the cycle before more violence occurs by criminalizing behavior which otherwise would be non-actionable. On the other hand, there are many limitations to the efficacy of stalking laws in preventing abuse and violence. In some jurisdictions, stalking laws are the latest fad: they represent feathers in the caps of legislators and criminal justice system personnel, without attempting to solve the underlying problems of men’s violence toward women generally and domestic violence in particular. Secondly, there appears to be a belief in some locations that stalking statutes will be a panacea, that if the legislators can merely write the magic combination of words, they will be able to stop this offense. Such viewpoints fail to take the big picture into account — i.e. without fundamental attitude changes on the parts of law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, juries, media, therapists, and the general public, the same old attitudes about domestic violence will attach to stalking cases and result in inaction, undercharging, light sentences, and ineffective orders.

In order to be effective, stalking statutes must be one piece of a much larger coordinated community response. Key pieces of such a response would include in-depth training and written policies addressing domestic violence and stalking, and would be an integral part of the criminal justice system, health care system, educational system, and other social stystems. The training and policies would state that domestic violence is wrong, criminal, and not tolerated. An additional key piece of the response would involve cooperation between all the different parts of the above systems, such as protocols for cooperation, regular interdisciplinary or inter-agency meetings, and death review teams, reflecting the reality that everyone has to work together if we will ever be able to stop domestic violence.

But even with a true coordinated community response, anti-stalking laws are still a limited tool in preventing domestic violence.Even with severe sanctions, some stalkers, like some batterers, will not stop or will repeat this behavior with other victims when released from jail. And some victims may still be reluctant to cooperate with prosecution because protections they are offered by the criminal justice system are inadequate to prevent retaliation. They may also feel sorry for the stalker, love him, want him to get counseling, etc., or they may be forced to deal with him for years to come because they have children in common. It is notable that many state stalking statutes do not cover situations where the former spouse/stalker has visitation rights. This is a major problem for battered women, whose batterers often escalate the violence after separation and transfer their attempts to control the woman to the custody/visitation arena.

In conclusion, anti-stalking laws are a step in the right direction, but in and of themselves will not solve the problems of battered women or other stalking victim.

 

 

MY SUMMARY:

(I only commented on top part of article, for a pattern of asking questions.  ALL of it brings up good points, and I hope was read).

 

I COME BACK TO CONCEPT OF SELF-DEFENSE, AND a Survive! mentality for women.  (See my Toms River, NJ post).  Don’t break any laws, but do like the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared.”  AND, prepare to survive.  I suggest that women pretty much be very pro-active in figuring this out themselves and with their own resources, until such day arrives where model codes are appropriate, or if appropriate, enforced, and if enforced, enforced seriously.

I deeply regret the years of my

(1) calling out for others to help me, while

(2) trying to maintain and help myself both, and immediately leave the situation.

I would have been BETTER engaged in time and energy not to have bothered with the first part.  Unfortunately, like many women leaving abuse, economics was a huge issue, not just recovery and safety.  This is why any effort to address DV issues not taking into account economic issues is simply unrealistic.  At this point, i also believe that any discussion of domestic violence which does NOT discuss the negative impact that the realm of family law has had upon all the research, all the laws, and all the protective meaures in place, will not make a major difference.  The efforts cancel each other out.

 (Verbal Confrontation, or even taking protective action, on  my part just brought greater escalations and punishments.  In fact, this was typically where it got physical).  I am talking about both IN the battering relationship (in my case, called “marriage, co-habiting years” AND in the afterwards years (taking a stand as  a separate woman, with children in the household.).  I remember one year of emotionally healthy, solvent, sanity — while a restraining order was in place.  There was a storm brewing, but the majority of the situation was a sense of growing prosperity and strength, and — apart from the source of this — peace.  This was BEFORE I’d had a few hearings in the family law venue.

The only benefit I can see from the whole process is that I now caution women to avoid absolutely every facet of it possible, and go about establishing their own:  Safety, solvency and self-determination.  It is also necessary to understand that doing so is not just a threat to one’s ex, potentially, but also to the entire “SYSTEM” if you don’t do it “their” way.  Which means becoming dependent on aspects of this for safey, solvency, and forking over self-determination to a parenting plan (or something similar) obtained through a custody evaluator or mediator, who are influenced by forces one doesn’t normally have input to deal with, in part because one doesn’t know they exist to start with.

Now, as to my doing this myself, it may entail abandoning this blog, also.  However, speaking out is part of a healing process also, and it’s a vital part.

While advocates from more than once side of the fence now dialogue and collaborate with each other (as women and thereafter sometimes men (including men who killed them) continue to die, and children continue to suffer abuse, and some go missing — the one side of the fence that is often not heard — IN the policymaking discussions, IN print IN the publications on these matters, IN the professional organizations that make a livelihood dealing with these matters, and basically on the IN, not the OUT, in these discussions — will continue to be the people with most at stake — their lives.

It is common sometimes to list the “stakeholders” in each new conference.  I have looked at many of these lists.  Rarely are the actual parents, targeted child, or targeted spouse (when it comes to child abduction or domestic violence or stalking, ALL of which are related, by the way) invited to confer.  And if they did, and what such people said WAS published, or broadcast, what about retaliation?  Ever think about that?

 

WHEN WAS THE EXCERPT WRITTEN?

About 15 years after Toms River, NJ – – 1994:


Found at:

http://www.mincava.umn.edu/documents/bwjp/stalking/stalking.html#id2355674


Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse

Domestic Violence & Stalking: A Comment on the Model Anti-Stalking Code Proposed by the National Institute of Justice

Nancy K. D. Lemon
Battered Women’s Justice Project

 

 

Publication Date: December 1994

(And the blank date in the excerpt was Oct. 1993).  


 

Toms River NJ femicide/suicide post-mortem concludes strangled DYFS worker should’ve hooked up with “agencies such as ourselves”

with 8 comments

She “did everything right,” filed a protective order and “reported every violation,” and even moved out of a home she owned, but still her death was her fault, because she (being a state employee) didn’t hook up with “agencies such as ourselves” to develop a safety plan.  it wasn’t the county prosecutor’s fault because, well, sometimes domestic violence just “spirals out of control.”  It wasn’t her coworkers’ faults (I don’t say that it was), because they (self-report) they were concerned and talking about intervention.  it wasn’t any police officer’s fault, because bail should’ve been set higher.  It wasn’t, as far as I can tell, anyone’s fault, is the general conclusion.

It is a self-defense mechanism, and entirely human, to ask “why” when something this horrific happens.  It challenges a lot of theories (myths?) about the field of “domestic violence” and shakes up one’s confidence in authorities that were supposedly handling these problems so the rest of us could get about our lives.

Clearly it is in the interest of the stability of the social fabric (at least for those not IN such relationships currently, for whom stability basically doesn’t really exist outside the self-created kind) that said authorities should be interviewed, published, do press conferences and give an explanation.  Then the public can accept their explanation, or ease all but the most persistent of interests, and go about their business, while the police, prosecutors, judges, and others continue to go about THEIR business of issuing protective orders that don’t protect, and releasing people with clear criminal intent and identified disrect for the law, on their own “recognizance.”

Case in point, this suicidal/murdering father was known to be a check-bouncer and significantly behind on child support.  When he came up with $1,500 bail, why were no questions asked about why he could raise a bit less than that for his past-due support?  He had 3 sons.

Why would not, of all places, the coworkers at DFYS where she worked, not see that this man was seeing $$ in a relationship, even though she herself may have thought this meant “love.”  (or companionship).

 

Here’s the article, then my commentary/questions — below it.  This is the 3rd article I’ve posted on the Zindell/Frisco situation in Toms River, NJ.

 

August 17, 2009

Toms River murder-suicide highlights domestic violence cycle

 

{{That’s ONE spin.  I personally — from afar — think it actually highlights system failure, and inexcusable system failure, too.  What about ‘evidence-based practice in this field, in NJ?}}

 

Victim worked for DYFS

By MARGARET F. BONAFIDE
STAFF WRITER  “(APP.COM news — see link above)

The murder this week of 30-year-old Letizia “Lisa” Zindell “rattled the public” because the victim was both educated and knowledgeable in the cycle of domestic violence, said Mary Pettrow, associate director of Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities.

Zindell held a master’s degree in criminal justice and was about to earn her second master’s degree in social work. She worked for the state Division of Youth and Family Services.

“To think, “How can a DYFS worker be a victim of domestic violence?’ ” stunned people, Pettrow said. “There are a lot of professional women who are victims of domestic violence.”

People think domestic abuse is “just physical violence,” Pettrow said. “But often, it is much more subtle. Abusers attempt to control the important aspects of their partner’s life using intimidation or threats and other psychological and emotional tactics.

“Even if you have not been hit, the cycle of violence exists,” Pettrow continued. “There is tension, a verbal or physical assault, then contrition. It is subtle. Over a period of time, that escalates.”

That escalation took its double-deadly toll, police believe, some time after 10 p.m. Wednesday night. The man whom police believe killed Zindell, Frank Frisco Jr., had been released from jail that night about 5 p.m.

Frisco, 36, was being held on restraining order violations and child support arrears, among other fourth-degree crimes.

Zindell was discovered strangled to death Thursday afternoon in the back seat of her car, which was parked in a friend’s driveway in the Penny Layne condominium complex in the East Dover section. A short time later, police found a suicide note in her Lafayette Avenue home penned by her ex-fiance, Frisco, against whom she had a restraining order. Police found Frisco hanged to death in the detached garage.

Friends said that Frisco’s growing control issues and instability had escalated to a display of rage against Zindell in front of his and her family and friends at a party after the couple’s rehearsal dinner. The next morning, Zindell called guests to say the scheduled June 21 wedding was off.

She moved out of the home she owned, leaving him behind, and stayed with friends at the condominium complex where her body was found Thursday. She filed a restraining order against Frisco and called police every time he violated it, friends said.

He had been jailed each time and was placed as an inpatient at a local mental health facility on at least one occasion since Zindell ended the relationship hours before their scheduled June 21 wedding, authorities.

“She did everything right,” as far as restraining orders go, said Kevin Arnold, an Island Heights police officer and resident. He has known the Zindell family since she was a youth. Zindell worked with Brooke Arnold, Kevin’s wife, at DYFS.

At work, Zindell’s life was excelling. She was promoted to take Brooke Arnold’s place following Arnold’s promotion.

Prior to the breakup, Zindell’s co-workers were genuinely concerned for her.

Before Zindell called off the wedding, “We were talking about interventions,” Brooke Arnold said. “He manipulated her so she could not talk to anyone. And she is an extremely, extremely intelligent person. It makes you think if this could happen to Lisa, it could happen to anybody.”

“What is distressing is this is a typical cycle of domestic violence. . . . It just spiraled out of control,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said at a news conference held after the discovery of the two bodies. “The initial violations did not involve acts of tremendous violence, but consistent with what we know about domestic abuse, it often starts out with harassment that often spirals into violence, and that’s exactly what happened here.”

“She was just really well-rounded, from a good famly, and he bled her dry,” Brooke Arnold said. “Something just needs to be done about restraining orders. His bail” was too low.

“These kind of (controlling) behaviors, if not addressed, over a period of time escalate and become physical,” Pettrow said.

“Anyone who came in contact with her, loved her,” said Angela Sarantinoudis, a co-worker at DYFS. “She was personable and down to earth. She was committed to her job and clients.”

“One of the hardest things in this story, is she had the world in front of her with access to resources we deal with with clients everyday. But she was not a client,” Sarantinoudis said.

Breaking the cycle of violence without support is extremely hard, Pettrow said.

It is necessary to link up with agencies such as ours to create safety plans to break the cycle of violence,” Pettrow said.

“This is a heart-breaking tragedy for our agency as well,” Pettrow said. “Our hearts go out to her family. Help is only a phone call away. Take steps to prevent the cycle of violence before it is spiraling out of the control.”

The Providence House Hotline is 732-244-8259 or is toll free at (800) 246-8910.

All services are free and confidential.

 

I would like to share my dialogue on reading the post-mortems of this account:

First of all, any sense that in Ocean County, the word isn’t out about this type of crime, should be made clear:

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES REPORTED BY NEW JERSEY STAR LEDGER RESULTING IN MURDER-SUICIDE FROM 1998-2008

(The Blood & Tears of Domestic Violence: A Survivor’s Revelation)(note:  she has a Victim Safety plan as well, read a few paragraphs:  http://www.DonnaSavage.com)

 

2008/06/28… Man who allegedly killed his wife at YMCA was under court restraint
The man who allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife Thursday night as she watched her son in a YMCA swim class had a court order forbidding
him from having any contact with her, law enforcement officials said yesterday
.

2007/06/02 Sat   Man in murder-suicide distraught over woman PERTH AMBOY: A man who fatally shot a woman May 26 and wounded three other people  before fatally turning the gun on himself was apparently distraught over his failed relationship with the woman,…

2007/01/22 Mon  Attack on estranged wife is foiled — Police report a phone call saves woman from assault, fire set by her husband.   …Reza forced his wife into the basement, where he held her captive and tried to sexually assault her at knifepoint, police said. But a friend’s chance phone call and the woman’s panicked screams stopped what authorities said could have been a murder-suicide.”The way this fire was starting to move . if another couple of minutes had gone by, we would’ve been dealing with a couple people (trapped by fire) in the basement,” Police Chief Joseph Clark said yesterday. (Geographic location unclear from summary)

2007/01/08 Mon  Motive for killing Ocean Gate family is unclear, police say —
…Suspected murder-suicide is Ocean County’s third in four months …motives for the killings is unclear. While one neighbor remembers hearing the husband and wife argue loudly and into the night, others described them as a happy couple. Though violent crime is a rarity in Ocean Gate, population 2,100, the deaths were the third murder-suicide in Ocean County in four months. Shellhamer, who attended the couple’s wedding, called the pair “very nice, pleasant people.” Kyle, she said, used to play in the yard with her two sons. Married last April, Peckham and… 

2007/01/07 Sun   A woman, her young son and her boyfriend were found dead inside an Ocean County home
… was released from the Somerset County Jail yesterday after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail. Couple, boy found dead in Ocean County home. A woman, her young son and her boyfriend were found dead inside an Ocean County home yesterday in an apparent murder-suicide. Jeff Eyerly, 46, was found hanged inside the East Point Pleasant Avenue home in Ocean Gate, authorities told the Asbury Park Press of Neptune for a story posted on their Web site. The bodies of Carol Ann Peckham, 41,… 

2006/09/22 Fri  Couple shot to death in Lacey — Case apparently a murder-suicide
… went frightfully wrong. After an argument, David Walters followed his wife into the garage and shot her in the head, authorities said. He then turned the gun on himself.
Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher called the deaths an “apparent murder-suicide.” Neither he nor Lacey Township Police Chief William Nally knew what caused the argument. David Walters did not leave a suicide note, Nally said. “Why wouldn’t he just walk away? What could be so bad that he couldn’t just walk…

 

2006/05/05 Fri  Shock and mourning follow Middlesex murder-suicide 
TOM HAYDON, SULEMAN DIN AND NAWAL QAROONI STAR-LEDGER STAFF Their romance started with a personal ad in a newspaper and quickly led to a wedding in a Las Vegas chapel. But their marriage was turbulent, neighbors and friends said, leading Donna Palladino to seek a restraining order against her 32-year-old husband, Joseph Palladino Jr. Less than 24 hours after he was served with the order, Palladino killed his 36-year-old estranged wife 
early Wednesday morning, stabbing her between… 

2006/05/04 Thu  MURDER-SUICIDE LEAVES THREE DEAD IN AMBOYS — Woodbridge man kills estranged wife, her mom and himself  
… Donna Palladino, who lived in Barnegat, had been staying with her mother in the South Amboy home since her father’s death.
William Beckmann’s wake was to be held yesterday and his funeral today. Both were postponed. Yesterday’s murder-suicide came less than a day after Joseph Palladino was served with a final restraining order his wife had obtained in Ocean County. The order was the result of threats her estranged husband had made against her in telephone conversations,

2004/03/29 Mon  Violent marriage ends with murder-suicide 
… STAR-LEDGER STAFF A marriage marked by domestic violence ended with a husband stabbing his wife more than two dozen times, killing her before fatally stabbing himself, Ocean County authorities said. An autopsy performed Friday, two days after the murder-suicide in Forked River, Lacey Township, showed that 37-year-old Kurt Rosenberger stabbed 33-year-old Kathleen Rosenberger 28 times, said Lt. Robert Urie, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office

2003/10/26 Sun  Couple die in apparent murder-suicide — Authorities say husband shot wife, himself in the presence of toddler granddaughter
… In this story about a murder-suicide in Elizabeth, the gender of a 2-year-old child found in the house with dead grandparents was misidentified due to incorrect information provided by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. The child was a boy, not a girl. A man with a history of domestic violence apparently shot his wife and then himself yesterday, leaving their distraught 2-year-old granddaughter trapped in their Elizabeth apartment…  ..

2000/05/16 Tue  No charges for Seton guards in abduction — Police: Inaction cost precious time in case that led to murder-suicide  
… yesterday they could not press charges against a security guard and his supervisor who apparently ignored pleas for help from a witness to last week’s abduction of a Seton Hall University student. The victim was later killed by her ex-boyfriend in a murder-suicide at his Westfield apartment. ‘We really don’t have a charge to file against them,” said Lt. Frank Brunelle of the Westfield Police Department, the agency leading the investigation. As Christopher Honrath, 24, forced Sohayla… 

((AND SO FORTH))


NOW REGARDING TOMS RIVER 2009:

 

Sources of commentary (per this article):

Ocean County Prosecutor comments:
“”What is distressing is this is a typical cycle of domestic violence. . . . It just spiraled out of control,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said at a news conference held after the discovery of the two bodies. “The initial violations did not involve acts of tremendous violence, but consistent with what we know about domestic abuse, it often starts out with harassment that often spirals into violence, and that’s exactly what happened here.”

{{note”  The initial violations did not involve acts of tremendous violence” .  notice attitude.  This is what i ran across in my own case, when I attempted to tell police, in an incident that I took violations of court orders seriously.  I also took threats to abduct seriously.  Too bad they chose not to.  I have explained to a policeman in a situation that because of the background of DV (and this was a situation that frightened me and had me trapped at home in a cul de sac situation without a vehicle to escape with) I am taking this seriously.  It was “blown off.”  This “blowing it off” response by a single policeman in my area was taken, apparently, as a declaration of “open season” for that season, and since, culminating — let’s hope — in felony child-stealing one and a half years later, as my reports of concern about that ALSO were “blown off”, shouted down, etc.

SO, . . .. 

My question, to this response:
1. Who is Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford, and what does her (press conference statement) exonerating any type of legal/judicial/ or law enforcement miscarriage mean by “it just spiraled out of control” refer to specifically? Because it seems to me that a man was put into a mental hospital, when incarceration (without bail) would’ve been more appropriate, given the “lethality indicators” in his case. That’s my opinion.

2. How could a prosecutor be unaware of the prior lethality indicators in this case — was it lack of training? Was she so young and just unaware that economic abuse is an indicator, and that the love of money might be a motivator? My take on the situation was that someone in the police/legal community WANTED this woman dead, because otherwise, they would’ve taken appropriate measures to make sure she was not killed. How did her stalker know where she lived, since she’d left her own home (per this article), etc.

//www.georgian.edu/georgian/2007/cent_content.aspx?id=10479

Marlene Lynch Ford ’76

In June 2007, Marlene Lynch Ford was nominated by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to be Ocean County Prosecutor, a position she still holds today. Prosecutor Ford graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History from Georgian

Ford Court College and was the recipient of the Departmental Award for the Department of History, Economics, and Political Science. She pursued her dream of becoming a lawyer and earned her juris doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1979  {for non-locals, I believe Seton Hall is a well-known, well-respected Catholic University in NJ}.  

PERSONAL QUALITY:  SMART!

Prosecutor Ford practiced law in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, before a successful run for the General Assembly in 1983, becoming the youngest women (sic) ever elected to the New Jersey Legislature at the age of 29. She served two terms representing the 10th Legislative District in Ocean County. During her first term, she ensured {HOW?  By authoring them?  Pushing for their passage?  Which bills?}} that more bills were signed into law than any other first-term legislator.

PERSONAL QUALITY OR CONNECTIONS:  POLITICALLY SUCCESSFUL

During her second term, she chaired the Assembly Judiciary Committee {{INTERESTING!}}and sponsored over 75 bills that were signed into law, including the Domestic Violence Prevention Act of 1990 {{Note:  Amazing:  this is before the 1994 VAWA act was passed}} ; the Victims Rights amendment to the New Jersey Constitution; and the Ford Act, the largest tax reduction at that time in New Jersey history.

PERSONAL QUALITY:  ACTIVIST, PARTICULARLY IN DV AREA

Prosecutor Ford was nominated by Governor Jim Florio to be a Superior Court judge in 1992, and she served in the family division for four years and the civil division for ten years.

PERSONAL QUALITY:  Well, the Governor liked her, obviously, or got her a judgeship.  Comments (i.e., speculation on my part):  JUDICIAL experience in the family law division.  NOT exactly (if anything like other parts of the country) a place that is tough on criminal enforcements, one might think.  I would love to see how those various cases went. . .

She was honored by New Jersey Monthly Magazine in 1992 as one of New Jersey’s Heroes for her role in expanding the rights of people to fair housing and employment, regardless of their sexual orientation. In 2006, she was promoted to presiding judge of the family division. She also served as the chair of the Committee on Model Civil Jury Charges and chair of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Outside Activities of Judiciary Personnel. (the what??) Georgian Court University awarded her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for her outstanding legislative and judicial work on behalf of the citizens of New Jersey in 2006.

Summary courtesy:

 

Has Prosecutor Lynch Ford had a family? 

 

COMMENT FROM:  Catholic Charities Providence House Domestic Violence Services Associate Director, Mary Pettrow:

The murder this week of 30-year-old Letizia “Lisa” Zindell “rattled the public” because the victim was both educated and knowledgeable in the cycle of domestic violence, said Mary Pettrow, associate director of Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities.

 

From what I can see, Mary Pettrow is very experienced and understands the dangers of domestic violence, AND the word was out in Ocean County, among the powers that be.  I searched, and found 11 categories of help through this Providence House listed in Ocean County alone! through Catholic Charities.  They appear to be a press go-to resource after another DV murder.  This one, in 2006 in which, of course, the neighbors and police had no idea. . .. 

Neighbors, police had no indication of domestic problems
September 22, 2006

The Asbury Park Press consulted with Mary Pettrow of Providence House for an article on the murder of a Lacey Township woman. Pettrow told the Press that domestic violence is often a progressive pattern and that “warning signs are not always apparent to outside people.”

CRIMINAL DEFENSE TO  DV  CHARGES IN OCEAN COUNTY — A FACTOR IN THE CASE??

In my attempt to look up who that was in Lacey township in 2006, I came across this Criminal Defense firm, stating that while Northern NJ has plenty of lawyers, who’s a person accused of something to turn to in Southern (incl. Ocean County) Jersey?

(NOTE:  the list of incidents above, dating back to 2000 was also found in my attempt to find out more about the 2006 this same Providence House associate director/director, had been consulted about 3 years earlier.)

 

Ocean County is a great place to live and practice law.  The crime rate is low, especially for serious crimes.  Many people that are facing criminal charges do not have the money for private attorneys.  As a result, there are almost no attorneys that solely practice criminal law in Ocean County.  In addition, it seems that very few attorneys who focus a majority of their practice in northern New Jersey counties venture down to the court in Toms River.  Will you get an attorney that will fight for you?

At Jack Venturi & Associates, we live and practice in Ocean County.  Our criminal defense attorneys are proud to bring a tough and aggressive style of practice to Toms River and Ocean County as we believe that defendants in Ocean County deserve quality representation without having to break the bank.

And here’s their assertions of how aggressively they will defend against “domestic abuse” (notice:  not “domestic violence”) in this Southern NJ shore area.  While it is actually domestic VIOLENCE (even in the title to this section), notice how in the text it becomes “abuse” which somehow doesn’t sound so, well, you know, ‘violent.”  NOTE:  this isn’t accidental.  NOTE:  Well-known (and well-funded) DV group out of Minnesota has a well-known “Domestic ABUSE Intervention Program”, as is a different, “Domestic Abuse Project” out of Minneapolis with a well-known author in the field (Edleson, if I”m not mistaken — which I might be).  Whether this is simply in those cases because a vowell makes a better acronym than the letter “V,” or because of ain intention to downgrade the severity of the issue in the public’s minds (i.e., in their language describing it), I cannot say, in that case at least.    But I am on alert for the terminology-switch, for sure.  This a criminal defense attorney firm (and domestic VIOLENCE is a crime — either felony, or misdemeanor) (and it sometimes escalates up to death(s)), so when that entity chooses to downgrade the term, I notice.  

New Jersey Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

In New Jersey, a family or domestic abuse charge can be a serious offense with long-lasting and life-altering penalties. If you have been charged or are facing domestic violence charges in any court in New Jersey, you should make sure that you have the most aggressive and effective domestic violence defense lawyers on your side. At Jack Venturi & Associates, our attorneys provide criminal court and family court defense to clients in domestic abuse cases.  With offices in Toms River, New Brunswick, Eatontown & Princeton, we can represent you in any court in New Jersey.

A domestic abuse charge can affect your employment, your family, and the rest of your life. You should make sure that you come to court prepared to make the most compelling defense on your behalf. Contact Jack Venturi & Associates to meet with our attorneys and start preparing your defense today.

Click here to read about the recent success that our domestic violence defense attorneys have had in New Jersey.

We understand that every case is unique; every case is different.  Our attorneys will take the time to know you and your family and help prepare the best defense in your case. With our assistance you can be rest assured that you are entering court armed with attorneys who know how to present your side of the story. Our New Jersey domestic violence restrain[in]g order defense attorneys can assist you with any of the following charges:

  • Domestic abuse  {Good grief which is it?  This website is training applicants how to name it, I gather}
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Restraining orders: temporary restraining orders and final restraining orders
  • Child neglect
  • Domestic disputes {translation:  what the first press release after a murder calls it, case in point, see “California” – on my recent blog/  toll booth shooting initially was characterized in news as arising from a “domestic dispute,” i.e., she somehow provoked him while at her job in an enclosed toll booth.  The next report characterized it quite the opposite.}
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic disturbance

{{NOTE:  isn’t that an interesting assembly of charges that seem to come hand in hand with “domestic violence” charges?  Yet in the venue of family court, they are still convening studies (and taking federal grant money, LOTS of it) to “explicate” the context of this behavior in custody determinations, even though laws exist in many states saying that batterers don’t make good parents.  That’s probably WHY more research is “needed” to (reframe) the discussion.

We can also help you vacate a New jersey final restraining order or appeal a final restraining order that has been entered against you.

This criminal defense firm also mentions — right up front — things that many women are not told, fleeing DV into the arms of the local justice center, or agency.  They are told to file restraining orders, and make custody arrangements, and not told what is going to happen in the family law venue (which exists primarily in part to weaken consideration of crimes as crimes, I say), nor will they be reminded THIS:

Constitutional Protections for the Criminal Defendant

The United States Constitution and its subsequent amendments define the scope of governmental power and reserve certain individual rights to the people. The first 10 amendments, also called the Bill of Rights, contain basic, fundamental rights of individuals on which the government may not impinge. Many of these constitutional rights provide protection to criminal defendants in the criminal justice system. The Fourteenth Amendment extends substantive due process rights beyond just the federal system to criminal defendants in state courts where the vast majority of criminal trials occur.

The basic constitutional rights of the criminal defendant permeate every aspect of the criminal justice process. If you have been accused of a crime, whether federal, state or local, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can explain these rights to you and help you to fight for them at every step of the way.

The stage at which a woman with children is likely to be remembering these above privileges (and thank God for them) is likely to be after a custody-switch in the family law venue which violated this due process.  However, the person opposing the charges is not so likely to be unaware of these rights.

I know this is quite a bit astray from the Toms River case, except my question is, after a murder in 2006, same thing, same Providence House director quoting the same truths about the domestic violence cycle, how come someone died THEN?  (And who?) and what policy changed, if any, after that?

 

Per zoominfo:  Indicator the Probation Dept. might have been aware:

The Probation Association of New Jersey, Local 106 – [Cached Version]

Published on: 6/8/2001    Last Visited: 2/2/2002  

Contact: Mary Pettrow, CSW, Program DirectorProvidence House, a Program of Catholic CharitiesPO Box 104Toms River, NJ 08754732-244-6257


We were very fortunate to have representatives from the Probation Association of New Jersey volunteer their time to assist us with projects to maintain the clean and home-like appearance of the facility” stated Mary Pettrow, Director of Program Services for Providence House.If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the Providence House 24 hour hotline — 732-244-8259 or, in the 609 area, (800) 246-8910.If you are interested in volunteering, call 732-244-6257.

 

Looking for volunteers for domestic violence response teams
September 23, 3008

September 23, 2008 Whiting, NJ– Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities, and local police departments are seeking volunteers to assist victims of domestic abuse. These volunteers must reside in the following municipalities: Toms River, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Lavallette, Island Heights and Lakewood. Volunteers would be part of the Domestic Violence Response Teams (DVRT) located throughout Ocean County. DVRT volunteers meet with victims at the police station following a reported incident and provide supportive listening, options and referrals to help those affected by domestic violence. Volunteers are required to attend 40 hours of training over a period of 10 weeks. Ten of those hours will be spent observing cases heard in Superior and Municipal Courts. All prospective volunteers must undergo a background check and interview process, and must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid NJ drivers license, and available transportation. Interested individuals may contact Donald Horbelt, DVRT Specialist, at 732-350-2120 by November 7, 2008 for more information.

http://www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/news_arch.php?PHPSESSID=a3e29bff11ce388b63df4f67a63387fd

Several articles here refer to Providence House, including that Prosecutor Lynch-Ford might have known about it, as well as police chiefs, mayors, Ocean County Freeholders, and others.  So “what gives” that Ms. Zindell didn’t get to their doors yet, or feel she needed to?

 

Providence House thanks awareness month supporters
November 14, 2007

On behalf of Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities we wanted to share with you how grateful we are for the community support that was shown during October, which was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Specifically, on Thursday, October 25, 2007 staff, clients, and community members celebrated the journey from “victim” to “survivor” of domestic abuse. The day began at the Providence House Outreach office located on Schoolhouse Road in Whiting with a flag raising ceremony on the newly installed flagpole given to Providence House by Manchester Township. PHOTO: Mayor Michael Fressola, Mary Pettrow, Associate Director of Providence House, Police Chief William Brase, and Councilman Kenneth Vanderziel joined to raise the flag to start off the day’s events (see photo, below). The Catholic Charities outreach building has also become a satellite location of the Manchester Police Department – a partnership that will greatly benefit the community and those affected by domestic abuse in Manchester Township.


The staff of Providence House then transitioned into preparations for the thirteenth annual Celebration of Survivors event held that night from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Whiting. This annual commemoration honors all those affected by domestic violence, from clients who have worked so hard to transition from the role of victim to becoming a survivor to those who have lost their lives at the hands of someone who claimed to love them. At the beginning of the ceremony, Ms. Madelin Einbinder, representing Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch-Ford conducted the opening candle lighting. Many of the clients participated in this event either by speaking; writing a poem, or taking part in making affirmations about the positive steps they have taken in their lives. Clients of Providence House created a beautiful quilt depicting the various phases of domestic abuse and the journey to becoming a survivor, which was on display that night. The Ocean County Freeholders and the Township of Manchester gave Proclamations declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Every year at this event awards are given to particular groups or individuals that have generously supported Providence House throughout the years. This year three honorees were awarded this accolade: Dr. Peter Lewis for choosing Providence House to be an ongoing beneficiary of the “Smiles for Life” program; Verizon Wireless for its cellular phone donation program, sponsorship of the Providence House gift auction, and provision of trainings to clients on job seeking skills; and the Zonta Club of Ocean County for being actively involved in addressing violence against the elderly through the creation of the Elder Abuse Task Force. The audience was deeply moved by all of the components of this special program.

In closing, another very important occurrence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month for which the staff of Providence House was extremely grateful was the recent grant of $80,500.00 from the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. This contribution will continue to make it possible for victims of domestic abuse and their children to receive free, confidential, and professional services through the various Providence House programs. Please let your readers know that if you or someone you know needs assistance or would like to learn more about domestic abuse, please contact the 24-hour hotline at 732.244.8259 or 1.800.246.8910.

There is also a significant article on this same web page about a parallel (??) treatment program for men, dating to 2008, Feb.

I remember a certain close to Valentine’s Day long ago, a severe and escalating incident involving guns (and a close call) was defused.  The next day, or soon after, I attempted to discuss this in the religious, joint-counseling we had been recommended to (and did) attend.  BIG . . .. BIG . . .. mistake.  They didn’t want me to bring this up, so I shut up.  I was asked (in a show of grandiose, after the incident, and public, pretense – – absent any repentance or apology or acknowledgement for how this incident had affected me, including from those counseling — to go attended a couples Sweetheart dinner and dance at the same church.  I was still in shock, and went, and entering into the ladies’ room, recognizing someone I knew whose husband knew of the incident, I collapsed.  The ladies room of this church was apparently a safer place (to me, emotionally), than the pastor’s office in the exact same hallway.  After speaking my piece to a woman, I wiped up off my face, straightened up, and went out to the event.  I have a photo from it; and look frozen.  I don’t see that its import registered — at all — with anyone employed by the church.

So, here is an article around Valentine’s Day written from the perspective of a man counseling men who have been court-ordered into treatment for Violence against, presumably, their intimate partners  From the same organization and page as the Providence House one:

From Violence to Compassion
February 14, 2008

Valentine’s Day is here – the time for expressing affection with loved ones. It seems improbable that the people we love can sometimes be the people whose hearts and bodies we hurt. Yet we know domestic violence is a reality, even on Valentine’s Day, necessitating shelters and services to protect women and children. If we really want to protect women and children we must also reach the men committing these offenses. Through court mandates, some men who have abused their partners and children enter our treatment program. Our goal is that they take responsibility for their actions so that the intergenerational cycle of abuse is stopped.When I started this work 25 years ago, we had a plan. Confront them. Lecture them about male privilege. Change their social beliefs to accept women as equals.

{{read on:  sounds like the men coming through the program helped talk them into abandoning said plan, including accepting women as equals….}}

Trouble was, as seen through the rear view mirror of time, we were replicating the power tactics we wanted them to stop. We had the “truth”, and I was going to force it on them.

{{LET’s GET HONEST, anecdotal commentary:  When I brought this up to individuals in my own case, the exact truth, and have continued bringing it, up, I found no such audience or understanding.  This is in fact the general attitude I have noticed in the family law venue, and (generally speaking) in other venues in which “experts” tell those who have actually “experienced” violence and near-death or other trauma (ongoing, often enough), how to view their own experiences — namely, to minimize them.  This is in effect telling people NOT to trust their gut and NOT to trust their own assessments of things that they actually have gone through assessing and taking legal action on.  As such, it’s condescending, and yes, we do (whether male or female) pick up on the condescension AND the power tactics.  One reason we understand this is that domestic violence IS a power tactic.  The violence part is about power, punishment, and refusal to take orders, particularly from a woman (inferior in the relationship.  Again, and unfortunately, too many “faith institutions” echo the same dynamics, including Catholics, Catholic Charities and other large institutions of various sorts.}} 

 

We got compliance, significantly less capital “V” violence, the violence that is against the law. But when you looked closer at the picture, we saw more small “v” violence, the emotional and verbal abuse often goes under the radar of law enforcement but is equally damaging to its victims.

The prevailing sentiment is these men are monsters with no feeling who deny, minimize, or take no responsibility for their actions. {{Welll, as to all but the first part — which I can’t speak for, not being inside the other person’s head, I CAN speak for the other parts:  deny, minimize and take no responsibility for their actions:  Yes.  This is true.  }}  My 25 years in the trenches have allowed me to learn from these men who abuse the same lesson I learned from the victims of abuse. They taught me that if humanity and compassion are goals, therapists must create an atmosphere of emotional safety in order to address the hidden shame and hurt that the men so fear. Frequently, men hide their perceived wounds behind a controlling and domineering veneer. We call these wounds “core hurts”, a term coined by Dr. Steven Stosny** in his work with men who have abused. These wounds usually originate in childhood and lead a man to believe he is unlovable, powerless, rejected, and unworthy of earning trust. The “core hurts”, hidden with accompanying shame, are actually mistaken beliefs about himself. Men who have abused hide this pain and shame from themselves and from others with a “mask”. They use the mask that many men use, but include physical and emotional violence. This mask ranges from the grandiose exuberance of exaggerated manhood to the “strong, silent type”. But behind the mask are men who use power, status, achievement, etc, to prove that they are better than others. Men notch their belts with money, cars, conquests of women, and athletic accomplishments, as demonstrations of superiority, of their definition of “manhood”. Power and winning are used in place of compassion in their relationships. Power may get compliance, but deep inside, these men know that they remain feeling unlovable. They try to manipulate “love” out of others, but they feel unlovable on the inside. When someone does express love to them, they cannot accept it because they do not feel lovable at their core. No amount of love from others will make someone who feels unlovable believe that they are worthy of love. They must do that work on themselves.

The men I have worked with have taught me that, given a welcoming sanctuary of emotional safety, inclusion, and acceptance, they have the courage to go behind the mask that hides their shame to heal their “core hurts’. An interesting thing happens as they expose these wounds and deal with the feelings of unlovablity, powerlessness, etc they were covering up. Their internal beliefs, beliefs about themselves, change. They discover their own lovability and internal power to regulate their own emotions (as opposed to their external power over others.). In the beginning of this compassion for self, they start feeling better about themselves, more worthy of love. And how does a person worthy of love treat others? Many of these men have found that they treat their partners, their children, and their co-workers with more compassion. They realize that both the capital “V” violence and the small “v” violence hurt their loved ones’ ability to trust, love, and connect. The men who do this work can hear and understand the hurt they caused others, and start to make amends.

For the men who dig in and work on themselves, their work does not stop when the treatment ends. About half the men who complete the program volunteer to come back to our “Passing It On” night where they help new group members have the courage to look inside themselves. When the men look behind this mask, the false manhood, the addictions, the aggressions, even the passive withdrawal into stonewalling, they see that they have discarded their own humanity. When the men do the work, one of the most common phrases we hear is “I got myself back”. “Myself” has been there the whole time waiting to be discovered. None of this means that these men should not be held accountable for their actions; they are totally responsible for their behavior no matter what the other person does. However, once inside treatment programs, if we want their humanity to re-emerge, we follow what these men have taught us: Create a safe place where shameful hurts can heal, and the humanity and compassion in the human spirit grows. We have seen men who have the courage to do this work change their definition of manhood to include expressions of sadness, allowance of fear, inadequacy, and imperfection. Compassion becomes a practice and self-responsibility becomes a discipline. The men start connecting with others with more humanity, more humility, and more acceptance.

Protecting women by providing shelters and supportive services is essential. So is holding the men accountable through the legal system. Most men do not come unless there are external forces. At the same time, creating a safe place for men to heal the shame and pain behind their violence will further this effort.

David J. Thomas, LCSW, LMFT, DVS
Program Supervisor, Family Growth Program of Catholic Charities, Trenton
Thomas has worked at Catholic Charities with family violence since 1977

Which brings me to the point of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood recipients in NJ.  I thought, SURELY, the reason Ms. Zindell had to die was New Jersey somehow had missed the boat on udnerstanding that DV can be lethal, and they were also short of teaching “healthy marriages.”  But here is someone out of Trenton, who is a devotee (apparently) of Dr. Sosny, who teaches, for a fee of course a Boot camp for Smart Marriage attendees.

Dr. Stosny is offering his celebrated Boot Camp training exclusively for
Smart Marriages attendees. Participants will learn invaluable skills in
emotional regulation and dealing with chronic resentment, anger, or
emotional abuse. You are free to use the any of the materials and skills you
learn merely by attending the training. You will also have the opportunity
to become a CompassionPower associate and to use Dr. Stosny’s name, trademarks,
and website for marketing, for a small annual fee. This fee is usually $250, but for Smart Marriages
institute graduates, the fee is only $100 a year.

The CompassionPower Boot Camp consists of 3 sessions of 8 hours each. Love
without Hurt consists of 4 intensive, two-hour sessions, with 22 pages of
homework assignments.

If you do any kind of family education or intervention, you will certainly
encounter hidden emotional abuse and violence against spouses
and children. In some couples you’ll notice harshness and hostility,
but in many you will not – abusers can be charming and affable in public.
Most abuse occurs in private when a loved one, purposely or inadvertently
triggers the abuser’s sense of failure or inadequacy – as parent, spouse,
lover, or provider. This causes a sudden drop in self-value, which makes
them feel powerless and unable to see anyone else’s perspective.

 {{i.e., it wasn’t “the devil made me do it” or “she made me do it” but “my drop in self-value made me do it.”

((While there’s I bet truth to the fact that this aggression IS a reaction to the sense of lowered self-worth — I mean what kind of man with a sense of self-respect would go assault (or kill, or beat up on) his wife or girlfriend?  SO WHAT?  Why cannot we not talk about simply the self-respect that goes with understanding what laws are, and the civic duty to comply with them?  I have been through unbelievable situations without violating laws against abuse, stalking, visitation interference, child-stealing or anything of that sort.  In consequence for this level of self-restraint, and after appealing to the justice system(s) for justice, the police for enforcement, the child support system for enforcement, and the courts for protection orders, I have totally lost my sense of safety in my own neighborhoods, all expectation that child support arrears of any sort are going to come in, and with zero assistance as to either protection, victim compensation funding (although a crime was committed and income was lost — ALL income, as a matter of fact) because of this crime and no other identifiable reasons, I have gone to zero again.  this was AFTEr all the years of violence in the home.  So, I have little sympathy for organizations or programs where men, after wounding women physically and in other categories, can get an ear for licking their wounds and wounded egos in front of a ready ear.  Did SHE get this mercy somehow?  Did she get it from the men in question that had to be ordered into treatment to start with?.  What kind of racket and set of alliances is this, anyhow?))

Aggressive impulses occur automatically when people feel powerless,
but unlike most of us, abusers act out the aggression. The power-and-control
tactics for which they are known are merely attempts to keep family
members from doing something that might make them face their failure
or inadequacy as parents, spouses, lovers, or providers. That’s why
research shows that efforts to change behavior without empowering
abusers fail.

Both the Compassion Power Boot Camp and the Self Regulation:
Love Without Hurt
 add-on program feature Stosny’s empowering concept of innate
Core Value, the unique human drive to create value and maintain an inner
store of intimate, aesthetic, spiritual, moral, compassionate, and protective
experiences. The centerpiece of the program is HEALS, which is used to
treat resentment, anger, and violence. HEALS automatically raises self value
during the sudden drops that lead to abuse, by conditioning Core Value to
occur with the first signs of resentment, anger, or anxiety. The experience of
Core Value makes it possible to see other perspectives and be compassionate
to loved ones.

 

(Where government programs meet market niches; we’re in it.)

Searching on David J Thomas (above’s) program area, Family Growth Services, it would appear that although there’s a high overlap with the department Ms. Zindell worked in, somehow a connection was made.  Perhaps, because she wasn’t yet a “family”?  Here:

Community and Population Served by the Organization 

The Children and Family Service Division serves more than 500 abused and neglected children annually and attempts to also bring their families under the wing of its services. Its programs operate in Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Ocean counties. Division programs are made possible by an extensive network of more than 700 employees and 400 volunteers. Many clients are referred to Catholic Charities from the corrections system or from the state Division of Youth and Family Services.   ..Family Growth helps abusive families change violent patterns of interaction so that children can remain safely in their own home and rebuild their basic trust.

 

<><><><><><><><><><><>

Well, that’s it for this (now long) post, for now!


(2 more headlines) Distraught and Distracted? A Domestic Dispute (or, the economy) made them do it? These 2 men seemed Organized and Coherent (“Cool, calm & collected”) before, and after, 3 planned murders, apparently.

leave a comment »

 

Good afternoon, Plano, Texas and other visitors, I hope you are well today.  I include a headline contest below for viewers of the 2nd article.  Submit via comments.

Unfortunately, 2 (more) bleeding headlines.

 

(1)  California, “not a hot-blooded event”

 

The day before the killing, he delivered flowers and candy to her, and said they could just be friends….after a 13-year relationship

Follow up to the “distraught by economy” “domestic dispute” version of a double-homicide this week:  She was trying to end a co-habiting relationship, and, unfortunately, worked in a toll booth on a busy bridge.  When jogged up and shot her to death, there wasn’t a ready exit. Yet the first article portrayed it as a “domestic dispute,” a real knee-jerk, inappropriate phrase.  Before I could point this out in a post, Demian Bulwa of the SF Chronicle straightened us readers out in a follow-up article:  This murdering man set up the situation, and the unidentified 2nd man murdered was a friend of the girlfriend, a kind male who had given the woman a ride to work (which, did the murderer have work?  So, she goes to work, and is killed there…)

I did no follow-up research, but reading the first article, could’ve laid money, if I had some, that it was indeed a cold-blooded assassination.  Even so, the article below uses the word “rampage.”  No, the DC Sniper was a rampage.  The Columbine shootings, maybe not.  This one.  He didn’t shoot bystanders, or motorists.  He had two targets, and made them.

Folks, that’s ALSO typically how domestic violence goes.  I hope someday we “get it” that having a nice chat with someone doesn’t mean a lot, even when it’s daily for years, in these matters.  Do we just not KNOW each other, and know how to assess character any more?  Or characterize an incident after character just showed up, with a loaded gun (and apparently — below, a knife too).  

 

Bridge killer set up slayings, prosecutor says

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, August 13, 2009

08-13) 13:51 PDT RICHMOND— Nathaniel Burris, the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her male friend at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza, set up the rampage {sic} by slashing a tire on the man’s pickup truck so he could blast {kill.  the object was to kill.  The decibel level was not the main point} him with a shotgun as the victim waited for a tow service, a prosecutor said today.

(selections from the article):

The pickup truck belonged to 58-year-old Ersie Everette III of San Leandro, but was driven to the toll plaza Tuesday afternoon by Burris’s ex-girlfriend, Deborah Ross, a toll taker, said Contra Costa County prosecutor Hal Jewett.

Everette arrived later, having been dropped off by a co-worker after getting off his shift as a Golden Gate Transit bus driver, his family said.

Jewett said Burris, 46, punctured a tire on the truck, apparently with a knife, before Everette showed up, then hid where he could watch Everette though a pair of binoculars.

When Everette arrived and saw the damage, he called AAA for help, Jewett said. He was still waiting at 5:30 p.m when Burris approached and shot him once from close range, the prosecutor said.

{{I am so sorry that this individual, it appears did not suspect that his truck might have been chosen for a reason, rather than say, random violence.  Or that some other solution could’ve been had for fixing the tire.  There are down-sides sometimes to NOT being on alert.}}

According to police, Burris then jogged across traffic lanes to Ross’ toll booth and shot her several times before fleeing in a van that belonged to his employer, an airport shuttle company. He was arrested early Wednesday after he was spotted in the van on Interstate 80 in Placer County.

{{Can we deduce this man, driving for an airport shuttle company, did not have a criminal record?}}

Characterizing this crime as a tragedy is an understatement, particularly with the calculated and deliberate way he committed these crimes,” said Jewett, who heads his office’s homicide unit. “This was not a hot-blooded event but a cold-blooded series of killings, and we think the charges reflect that.

Ross, 51, and Burris were in a relationship for 13 years before she broke up with him just before the killings, Ross’ relatives said.  {{how much “just before”?}

The day before the shootings, Burris delivered flowers and candy to her in the Richmond townhouse a mile east of the toll plaza that they had shared, and said they could remain friends, Ross’ relatives said.

{{Just be friends after that long a relationship?  In general, don’t you believe that, ladies!  Well — are you SURE you know that guy?  If you were so sure, how come after years, the answer is, separate?}}{{and I do NOT know if tying the knot would make a difference or not.  At this point, I just do not.}}

{{Flowers and candy — if these aren’t normal, consider it a red flag?}}

Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French, a department spokeswoman, said it is not clear whether Ross was romantically involved with Everette.

{{Whether he was or not, he was probably perceived as such.  As helping her.  1. He was male, and 2.  he helped her.}}

Everette’s relatives said today that he and Ross had been engaged and had talked of marriage.

{{wait a minute — she broke up with him JUST before the killings, yet was ready to marry someone else, perhaps?  Although the two that were living together did NOT get married. . . .  That must’ve upset Burris….}}

Ross’ relatives, though, said the two had merely been friends from an Oakland church where Everette was a deacon.

{{Probably she shared about some of her troubles with Burris?  Was Burris going there too?  Was there a history of violence, or etc.  Were there really no indicators, or were people just not alert?}}

One of Ross’ sisters, Jane Walker of Oakland, said she was shocked to hear of the new allegations involving Burris.

“Oh my God, that’s scary to think that you can know someone all these years, and that they would plot and plan something like that,” she said. “He deserves whatever they give him. He’s not the person I thought I knew, and I’ll never forgive him.”

{{If my own family had similar sentiments, after I filed a domestic violence restraining order with kickout, I would not be here writing this blog.  We’d probably both — he, and me — have moved on in life without further escalations, child-stealing, fights around child support, and all that.  PROBABLY.  I tell you one thing that would probably be different.  I’d still be working in my profession, and have the children here.  But my own family, like MANY families, didn’t “get” the reality of the relationship}}{{Sorry, in their pain about their sister, but the thought comes to mind that NOW they are aware….}}{{What is the lesson here?  All that glitters is not gold?  People are not what they seem to be?  Nice guys can turn violent — or have criminal thoughts and act on them?}}

 

Burris is expected to be arraigned in a Martinez courtroom as soon as Friday morning. He is being held without bail at Contra Costa County Jail, where he declined a request for an interview today. Richmond police brought Burris back from Placer County on Wednesday evening.

The shotgun used in the killings was found in bushes under a window at the home of Burris’ mother, authorities said. Ross’ relatives said the mother lives in Sacramento. Efforts to reach her have been unsuccessful.

 

Read more:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/13/BAHO1982PG.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0O6stJgMK

(2) Pennsylvania, I think

I’m running a contest for the most appropriate,

subject line for this article.  Submit in comments.

Non-sarcastic entries will be summarily dismissed

as utterly inappropriate:


Murder suspect wants to place kids

By Liz Zemba, For The Valley Independent Wednesday, August 12, 2009

 

A Fayette County man accused of running over over his wife with his car and killing her wants his parents to have legal custody of two of his children.

 

>>>YES, they did a good job raising this man, and would be great prospects for raising the children of the woman he murdered.  There are no other decent, mature adults around with terrific track records of children they raised, who wouldn’t be tempted to backpedal (or have a conflict of interest) on the issue that, their Dad killed their Mom, but was really a nice guy at heart. Which is going to be something, an issue, those children will have to deal with.  

>>>By the way one reason I didn’t post yesterday (other than aftershock off the tollbooth shooting, and other work) another case came up of a woman being recalled from iceland over a custody battle with a U.S. father.  Hoping to find out more about that situation, I ran across a “cold case” (so to speak) from the 1990s, in which two Mormon parents snatched their daughters baby and took off to Iceland.  (Hanes/Shelton/Zenith). This had uncomfortable reminders, as in my case, when family members get a certain opinion of a certain generation, and decide they’re better parents than others.  Add to the mix, the poor Mormon grandmother was on her 6th husband couldn’t conceive, and tried to persuade her own daughter to donate some eggs.  Maybe I’ll post that one — it has a runway snatch, shows how CHURCH folk often protect their own (case in point, when my kids were stolen, more than one church group appears to have helped try to sanitize the situation).<<

In addition, Ronald Lee Higinbotham wants the cousins of a third adopted child to have custody of that youngster.

 

Can we “just say no” when the guy has, allegedly, just killed a woman, intentionally, with a car???  How far does co-parenting (only she’s dead) and “Fathers, get involved with your children” GO?  How about setting a little standard.  I PERSONALLY think that if a man can’t stop hitting his wife, he should lose access to his kids, and stop sugarcoating it.  I didn’t think this 7-8-9 years ago, but now in retrospect, it would save society a lot of grief (and grief counselor social services).  Can we at least say:  “IF YOU MURDER YOUR WIFE, YOU’RE OUT OF THE PICTURE, THIS IS JUST “OVER THE TOP, out in left field, WAY out of line:  GOT IT?”  You want to murder her, and then participate in some decision-making process about your kids?  No!!!  Not only will we not follow your suggestions, we are not interested in them.  Someone who hasn’t murdered recently, or been accused of it, will make decisions regarding your children.  I know we aren’t all perfectly insightful, but I suspect you likely aren’t at this point, OK?

Then maybe the next person who had a domestic dispute, or felt a sense of loss when she left, or it was the economy — (or maybe it was overentitled narcissism? ???  In action?  Or, maybe misogyny, I mean we had a single man elsewhere just walk in a gym and start spraying bullets at women — not men —  hitting some and killing them….. to assuage his feelings of rejection.  Until he also killed himself…)

So, it’s  – – – No, No — you kill your wife, you lose custody privileges.  TIME OUT!!!   It’s called a deterrent to the next asshole.  (Am I allowed to call someone who (allegedly) ran over his wife and killed her with a car a bad name?  If he’s innocent, then I retract the appellation.  If not, then I don’t. ) 

Has this yet been tried, consistently, across the board, across the nation?  YOu kill the woman, you lose visitation privileges AND any whiff of joint legal custody.  What, is the man now suddenly (how suddenly?) repentant and “concerned” for his kids?  Was killing the wife part of how he expressed concern for his kids?

Has anyone posed these questions at a conference of experts yet?  I know Jack Straton of Nomas did in 1992 re Supervised Visitation.  Was he not on the list in the ones deciding these things?  He had a Ph.D., isn’t that an entrance requirement? (or, MFT, or being in law enforcement, or Esq., etc.)  

This culture is expert at turning its backs on and shunning mothers trying to leave, particularly women from communities that base a lot of emphasis on families (as mine did, although I had a leg in the professional world, which I FOUGHT to keep in there).  I mean, as I’ve pointed out before, the white house was real good at shunning the word “mother” and “motherhood” from its game plan (except in the context of home visitation nurses, or getting the kids back to Early Head Start and Mom back to school).  LOOK:  just TRY it, try turning the  back on men that murder — at least for a LITTLE while.  Give them some alone time to think about what just happened.

Higinbotham, 44, of Brownsville, is charged by state police with criminal homicide in the hit-and-run death of his wife, 30-year-old Carmen Higinbotham.

 

LADIES:  I can be wrong, but I recommended (based on some headlines that keep popping up in this topic) sticking to men within 10 years of you.  It’s not a guarantee, but it MIGHT be a deterrent to being used as a baby-maker. I know prime time is prime time (apparently she was 21 for the first daughter by him, and he? had previous children too).  But, in the U.S., there should be other situations you can help develop yourself in, for the kids’ sakes.

In a criminal complaint, state police allege Higinbotham drove his 2000 Hyundai Tiburon over his wife shortly before midnight June 20 on Route 40 near 7235 National Pike, then left her to die.

 

Not just into, but over.  Not his “estranged” wife, but his wife.

Yes, I think every one should trust this man’s judgment and follow his suggestions about the disposition of offspring. That way they won’t lose touch with the man who murdered their Mom, or at least people related to him.  AND anyone, well, who put adopted children into his care.

Carmen Higinbotham was the mother of six children, including two of her own, two stepchildren and two who were adopted.

According to separate civil actions scheduled to be presented in Fayette County motions court today, Ron Higinbotham is the natural father of two of the children – a 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. He is the adoptive father of a third child, identified as a 15-year-old boy.

The two younger children are staying in West Brownsville with Ron Higinbotham’s parents, Patricia Ann and Donald Lee Higinbotham Sr., according to one of the filings.

In a separate civil action, Higinbotham wants a judge to grant custody of the adopted 15-year-old boy to the boy’s cousins. The boy’s cousins, Eric W. and Maxine R. Rosie, of Smithfield, already are caring for the teen, according to the civil filing.

Attached to both filings are custody agreements, both of which have been agreed to and signed by Ron Higinbotham.

 

He sounds very coherent and organized for someone who did such a deed.  I wonder if he got help from a “healthy marriage promoting responsible fatherhood” funding, or whether he will get help from “mentoring children of prisoners” programs either to encourage father/daughter/son contact in accord with our national policy that the TRUE social crisis of our time is “fatherlessness.”

 

Well, this is part of its face, and part of how SOME fatherlessness gets started.

He remains lodged in the Fayette County Prison without bond. {That’s reassuring, for now}.  He faces a preliminary hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 28 before South Union Township District Judge Joseph George Jr.

 

{{I’m just a little speechless on how to summarize this one…. Help, readers…Analyze, comment, suggest: how could that question even come up?}}{{well, he has a right to file whatever civil action he wants to.  Just sounds real organized there, real together, or real, he got some help in that matter.  So how come women can’t get help on child support enforcement against a former ex, under current policy, if he falls into the “Father’s Return” policy target audience, eh?  90% of the “help” evaporates once a case gets into family law, and believe me, the word is out on that one.


I would’ve been SO much better not looking for help, at all, and just enrolling immediately in some law courses, while working, with children in the household, rebuilding a business, trying to establish boundaries, newer, healthier relationships, advocate for my daughters’ educations, after they’d been forced back into inferior situations (by this same persion) and healing from all that prior abuse.  I should’ve been sitting in a legal classroom rather than calling nonprofits, agencies, and so forth, the people assigned to take care of these situations.  Of course I’d have to do this during school hours while I was working, because women that work when are looked down upon in this venue for not being a homemaker.  They are also looked down upon for BEING homemakers, a situation that often puts them in need of child support, and vulnerable to secret bargaining with the access/visitation-mongers.

I made another serious mistake during a brief period of a single, evening job, duration about 2-3 hours, when both children were teens.  I said to my daughter, go ahead, go with your friend to her youth group.  BIG mistake.  Churches might as well have a target on the outside for stalkers and as a source of great, submissive, and needy 2nd wives, or people that will help such people down the road apiece in their quests.

That was SUCH a brief time, and it quite backfired for my situation. God bless the churches in this matter – — they are real faithful to those who come through the front doors, and real watchful also, to safeguard their flock from within and without (like the churches I was in while being battered at home those years).

 

After the emotions surrounding the latest femicide, homicide, aghast, we didn’t know, surprise, shock, grief, etc. (if there’s still some lost in the public bloodstream/ psyche), THEN what.  What action to take?  What insight to gain.  What policies to question.  What prevsiou assumptions to question about who you know how well?  Any – – – or none?  What’s the bottom line.

 

Here’s what the Bible says.  Of making many books there is no end, much study is weariness of the flesh.  Hear the words from a wise masterbuilder:  

Fear God, and keep his commandments:  this is the whole (duty) of man.

Ecclesiastes 12, end of the book.

 

From the mouth of Solomon son of David, whose father set the way for him to build the temple, lived a lavish life, possibly leaving descendants (more than possibly) in Ethiopia, had no end of women (wive and concubines both), even with all that concluded “vanity of vanity, all is vanity” and in the end helped burden and take down his kingdom, in great part through burdensome debt.  

He then had a son, Barack (EXCUSE me, Rehoboam), who when cautioned to ease up on the federal spending said, listened to his younger, progressive, utopia-minded advisors and retorted, “you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet, we will stimulate yet more economy” and under whose realm the kingdom split, possibly because of this.  Or because (it’s said) of all the other gods all those wives, making allegiances with other kingdoms, brought in.

It’s possible I have the facts (and probably I have the quote) quite wrong:  feel free to look them up, almost any version,or language, at 

http://bible.cc.

 

“The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, given from one shepherd.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished:  of making many books, there is no end; and much study [including blogging] is weariness of the flesh.  Let us hear the conclusion of the matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments for this is the whole of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good, or whether evil.

 

I’ve been in the legal system now almost 10 years.  One  thing I have noticed — there are very, very few situations that don’t correlate to situations already described in the Bible, if you understand principle, the heart of the matter.  Our culture is in many ways as polygamous as any other, and as sexist.  There is still war, there is still poverty, there are still many gods, and there is still no utopia.  

BUT – – –  BUT – – — in looking at the 10 Commandments (Exodus or Deuteronomy), nearly every one of them has a correlative in some criminal law, except the sabbath.  There is no law about adultery, that I know of, but men still kill when they feel cheated on, so I’d say that’s a caveat.  This is not related to whether or not they themselves may or may not be cheating.

AND, moreover, a person who does not believe there is a God, or there will be a judgment and that their secret places are going to remain secret – — who really, really doesn’t think that someone will find out, or if through cleverness, deceit, immunity, or simply accumulating cronies, and power — criminal behavior won’t be caught — that person is dangerous.  

Thou shalt not kill (any complaints with this one?)

Thou shalt not bear false witness (any complaints with that one?)

The two outside ones:  Thou shalt have no other gods before me –and thou shalt not covet — are probably the hardest.  

The Catholics get around the 2nd one, no graven images, by omitting it, and then patching up the 10th one to come up with 10 total.  I saw this engraved in stone, and thought it was an anomaly, til I heard George Carlin’s version of the 10.  (If anyone has a video link please SEND it!) 

Honor thy father AND thy mother — well family law just shot that one to hell.  …… in the name of “co-parenting” we will ignore the behavior of one parent and reward the other.  . . . OK. . . . . . .  

 

Is it really that complicated?

$2.4 million for designer families in California, and cut the shelter money (but not the money to the DV coalitions nationwide).

I found out yesterday that of that $2.4 million, it was taken from TANF funds.  Go figure!

Oh, and that about $2 million was going to a Poverty Court for the homeless in SF, rather than, say housing.  They have holding cells though (see “poormagazine.com”), for homeless people who are being a nuisance and committing crimes or misdemeanors.  This should of course be a blog.

We are supposed to have as a nation a degree of self-discipline and self-control.  To encourage that, we are so confused about religion in the public schools, we supposedly eliminate this.  Then put back in Character Education to replace it.  The 10 Commandments are thrown out of a courthouse (after a lot of arguing), but the faith-based groups have a welcome home when it comes to both making and enabling policies.

Whatever happened to inalienable rights, and let us figure the rest out, for example how to get up, sit down, go out, come back, and raise our kids?  If we break a law, then punishment, if we don’t, then none.  

Although I did vote, and did catch a good deal of the last Presidential Election, I have not had a reprieve from “family court matters” yet.  I did, however, notice the Messianic promises of our current president (for whom, by the way, I voted.  And by whom, presently, as a former single “female-headed, father-absent” household, I feel betrayed.  I did not expect this person to confuse his background with the background of women who left because of violence and don’t feel like re-engaging.

For one, we also don’t, some of us, want to end up like the woman on the road above, or the woman in the tollbooth.  We don’t want our children to be emotional OR literal orphans as to their mothers.  WHAT is so hard to understand about that, National Fatherhood Initiative (and your nonprofit, governmental-agency offspring)? And why is the OVW (Office of Violence Against Women) curtsying towards this movement, as I last heard in an NCADV policy alert about funds to shelters being cut — a high-ranking woman in the office visited President Obama’s Town Hall on Fatherhood.  Take a stand with the rest of us and stop giving an audience to doctrines that get women killed.  Stop talking about “preventing” violence and do the right thing once it happens – – stop TALKING about accountability and let’s say that killing and beating and stalking and all this really IS wrong.

 

And let’s get that message into the family law system, or get the people running the place out of their offices and make them spend a few days in a shelter, or in a soup line, and ask women there how they got homeless. (The former was done, at least an overnight, once in NYS, I heard). OR, let’s get the homeless and others from the shelters (not just a single, sanitized spokesperson, or maybe two) and see what they look like, into these conferences — EVERY one of them — on what to do about all the poor folk.  We will personally explain (without threats) what we think of all this, and about being threatened ty the system after we have been threatened by individuals for thinking that we can think, and THINKING that it would be better to totally separate the batterer — not the reporter — from minor children for a least a very significant season, and too bad if this is sad for him, he should’ve thought before lashing out with kids around.  Or without them.

A recent joke (well, not that recent) going around a certain county, where they help people who lack food EAT, that the county was seeking volunteers to count the homeless.  They felt that this count might be better done by a few of them (and for pay, too).  

While I realize that there’s not an identified presence in any system for Burris, or that I know of for the other person here, I still say, let’s re-route some of those diverted funds that discuss “what to do” into “doing.”  For example, a year ago, I would’ve been content with a SINGLE (let alone 3 in a row) unemployment checks.  All I wanted then was phone and internet sufficient to keep going in a business I was already jumpstarted.  Years of living so marginalized through this system (NOT “the economy, I guarantee you in this case”) and with total chaos in relationships made building anything much up (with weekly visitations, any one causing an incident?) a moot point.

To “solve” this I now have no access to either child and am expected to buck up and do it again, and forget that for the past many years, each successive time I did so, it escalated and was stopped.  What was that, family entertainment?  

(end of whine).

The question is not, is the topic getting national attention.  It is.  The question is, what use is being made of all the funds that follow the loudest, or best connected, speakers?  A nation of non-investigating sheep is going to get sheared.  Then complain about the cold.  Complaining about the cold doesn’t make it much warmer.  Find out who are the sheep-shearers, and take the scissors.

http://usaspending.gov

http://taggs.hhs.gov 

And your local county business offices, etc.

Cross-check data between the two databases (which ain’t easy; yesterday I saw a missing $2.342 million in one state, marriage funding, from one database, different recipient names, one listing of programs is by program number, the other alphabetical by program name, but done inconsistently.  The years covered are not the same.  A program which receives MILLIONS in funding, and has for many, many years is not searchable in one.  The other one, you can search awards by number, but not get a description, however it appears to have more spreadsheet type functions, the other alllows one to sort on many more fields, but not total reports, etc.

(that’s only a start)

etc.

 

 

 



Until you have talked to a law enforcement officer, with guns, holding the immediate future or your children in (his) authority, realized he knows who has custody, and watch him and his friends turn down your requests to honor this, and thereafter ask a district attorney to do th esame thing:  Honor and existing custody order and file a report to get them back — it’s just something, that’s all.

 

And then just watch how aggressive and persistent the follow-up is when it’s serve and collect vs. serve and protect, same area.  Who were all those laws for, exactly?  ??  And why can’t our country do a little better than a single abusive family system did the prior decade?  Or better than a few religious institutions, in this single matter, single case.

 

Ah well, of making many books . . . . . . 

Don’t forget the headline contest, though….

 

 

 

WHY won’t we ask WHY judges underestimate lethality risk in domestic violence cases? (papers.SSRN.com)

with 10 comments

 

Before this:

I would like to personally apologize for the lousy hyphenation in the last post.  I will bring this to the attention of my webmaster (when I get one).  As to blogging, I’m an old dog learning new tricks.  As to polishing my blogs — my life still falls under these lethality risk categories, which the abstract below refers to as “Danger Assessment” (“D.A.”, not to be confused with “D.A” meaning “District Attorney” in some jurisdictions), and has for years, and when I feel that the “survival” aspect has changed, I will probably (from thence forward) be more careful.    

Til then — and I do realize partly BECAUSE long-term family law entrapments have made long-term planning a “moot point,” I will for the short-term, get them up there, period.  I tried about 3 ways yesterday to get the chart within the confines here.  I also know that one cannot post a link to this particular database which actually saves the search.  Instead, it brings one only to the search page.  

If I were a different person, I’d just slap up the article and barely commment on it.  All these “Says Who?” and “Why THIS focus in such an important field?” wouldn’t resonate within my mind.  

But being who I am (daughter of a research scientist who talked back to ideas, including writing his backtalk to the author in MY books), and also, no longer so credulous about the “helping” institutions  / nonprofits that structure most of our environments, for any single promiment assertion — and even moreso for any “intervention” into my life on the supposed basis of helping (and PARTICULARLY) from an expert whose own life — or whose children’s, or friend’s children’s — safety, futures, and course of life are not affected — I will continue to say WHY are only THESE questions being posted, and not other, seemingly obvious ones, and post this as I can.  

I‘ve found that the answer to Why Not ask THIS?” usually points to financial emotional involvement, or other vested interests between the theorist and the ongoing business that such an unsolved problem drives in the direction of these fields of theory.  (In other words, conflict of interests…)

The other part of “who I am” is someone who experientially understands the profound disinterest shown by court denizens (may I use that word?), and moreso, policy-setters (including judges) in whether or not their decisions actually compromise someone’s safety or solvency, or a child’s contact with the parent who just experienced the switch from custodial to NONcustodial.  

(The long sentences is bad writing. I don’t recall this coming from my father, so I’ll take personal responsibility for it.  Especially the long sentences with all the parenthetical phrases, which lack a main verb, that I typically see later.  I guess my brain’s RAM filled up, and the main subject just dropped off the back end somehow before I got in the matching verb.  I’ll work on this, but doubt I’ll join the “Twitter” generation.) 

Anyhow, sorry, it’s not on the map, to fix everything, I don’t have time.  I will try to get some help on how to quote articles, though, so hyphenation happens.  In former work life, I was a stickler on format, down to the commas and unseen spaces, and in fact something of a copyeditor.   (Long-term exposure to trauma-producing events DOES change one’s priorities, and thinking, too).

Meanwhile, my policy is to get the information POSTED, and those who care to follow up (are highly motivated to do so) will have some more tools, and possibly ask some questions they might not have thought of before.  IN short, I am leaving a track record and a paper trail, in part in CASE something untoward happens.  The status quo of my case — and life — since the moment it left renewing a restraining order, and took the exit chute into family law — has been, both inside and outside the court — that if I accepted the current abusive status quo (whatever abusive, work-destroying and income-deleting level it was at), and did NOT try to enforce ANYTHING (or expose prior illegal/criminal activity), then POSSIBLY, like a good little doggie, I might get some tidbits, even POSSIBLY a glimpse of one of my daughters.  If not, then escalation.  

This same venue applies I believe in the courtroom arena.  As domestic violence has been exposed, action on it has mostly been diverted to TALK and TASK FORCES.  And publications.  As thankful as I am for the developing body of research by all these experts which seemed to validate both my experience and what I wanted to happen, appropriately given the violent background of our marriage, somehow it just never did.  

I now believe all this is a stalling technique.  The researchers, building their reputations, often have a leisure the “participants” don’t. 

The EXPERTS are generally “ABOUT” developing liaisons, alliances, conferences, and sometimes (unfortunately) cronies.  The LITIGANTS are NOT invited, generally.  This is the EXACT opposite of what I believe those leaving abuse need.  They need to be free and self-sufficient as MUCH as possible, and not have to sell their souls — cheap, at the most vulnerable points of life — to the closest available bidder, and cheap, too.   

Survivors generally don’t have that long a leash, timewise.  The thing they need is safety, and a long enough break from abuse, to get free and economically independent.  This goal is intrinsically opposed to what the controller/abuser/batter wants, as we gradually come to learn (I use the “we” as to that category).    Any policies which require them to depend in any way upon that batterer are going to be a recipe for trouble, and a chink in the protective armor.  

Anyone who has survived BOTH abuse AND then a season in family law (and if they won custody, AND maintained it under a challenge from the ex-abuser; i.e., stalking through family court or otherwise, I think there’s  probably one of two main reasons:

1.  They already HAVE strong alliances in this venue, and resources (which are a protective factor in leaving abuse, incidentally), OR

2.  They REALLY have some savvy, or are with someone who REALLY has some savvy on the HOW to get corruption to “back off.”  that requires a different, skeptical, and challenging (whether openly or not) mindset.  For example, “I know who’s paying you off.”

Anecdotal:

  • An acquaintance of mine (not mentioned anywhere on this blog) recently found evidence that a forensic videotaped interview of her child, one that I think was instrumental in a custody switch, had been tampered with (sections deleted / edited) illegally.  That is a powerful tool for her.  
  • My case has had multiple transcript errors, some of then understandable, but still significant, including getting two individuals’ names confused, and then a significant deletion to a clear, coherent and concise statement I knew that the entire courtroom heard (no expletives, but a pointed comment).  The mediator’s report is almost not worth a mention; every one had factual errors, and there were substantial procedural errors, also.
  • The bottom line is the judge.  The judge is the one who signs the order.  Beyond that, in practice, there is the issue of what happens when those are ignored.  (What a morass!).

If you don’t understand the dynamic of trying to “please” and “cooperate” with an abuser, or abusive (essentially meaning corrupt and intentionally oppressive, in order to achieve a private — not public —  personal benefit, typically related to power or money) organization, then either talk to a woman who got out of such a relationship or pick up Patricia Evans’ “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” and read the chapters about Reality I (Power Over) and Reality II (Cooperation, or whatever its term was).

The family court language AND structures THROUGHOUT talk about sharing, cooperating, mediating, conciliation and so forth.  In TRUTH, it’s exceptionally abusive and tyrannical in how this plays out.  

So, here’s my attitude:  I give credit for altruism where it’s due.  


“In God We Trust.  Every one else pays cash, upfront.”

 

“Pays cash”-in the form of evidence of other cases helped, or having stemmed the tide of family wipeouts, or in short whatever the case in point is — and they do so upfront, like an attorney’s retainer.  This should go for attorneys and nonprofits alike.  Unfortunately in this venue (once in it), often a crisis of some sort provokes a series of hearings.

Operating on hope in this venue is certifiable insanity.  Don’t go that route — do your own research, even in a crisis.  Do your best to NEVER get caught in a crisis.  I did, but the reason was, I kept hoping in the wrong institutions.  Leaning on a broken post or fence.

I would like to personally THANK the judge that provided the first restraining order, which enabled me to physically/financially PROVE that even under severe duress, and after a lot of destruction, that with a LITTLE space and a LITTLE support, I could indeed make it financially, emotionally, personally and socially, etc., and so could (have) my daughters.  I have already proved that the issue was indeed the abuse, and that with this person out of my household, and not in daily contact, I could manage.

I would also like to personally thank the organization in the city where I lived (it had the word “Family Violence”) in it, even though in several aspects, the order and the process WAS a real screwup, they DID get that initial order.  For that I think them, and the mistakes they made, I later called back in.  I don’t see that practices have changed in the past 10 years or so.  They are beholden to who pays their lease, as we all are, and which MOST people don’t think twice about, but litigants SHOULD.

Well, let’s get to today’s point, which struck a nerve with me, although it  was incidental to looking up something else):

I don’t know WHY I ask questions that I don’t see getting asked VERY often among — especially not among — experts in the fields I am an “expert” (absent a Ph.D. saying I am) as to experience AND reading lots of the literature.  

TOPIC:

WHY? do judges so underestimate the lethality risk in cases that involve domestic violence?

This abstract of an upcoming social science article proposes that they “just don’t understand,” as do many well-intentioned family court reform movements, which I am not part of for that reason.  This upcoming appears to propose that inserting a lethality risk assessment IN the courts — although I think a good thing to publicize — might save lives.  

I disagree.

The underlying premise is that the judges, including most or all judges, in these venues care.

Based on experience and hearsay, and headlines, I also disagree.

In fairly recent months, in the United States, we have had (anecdotal from my memory, some details may not be precise):

  • An Illinois Governor ousted for corruption.
  • Another Governor caught cheating on his wife, although WHY that is actually headline news beats me….
  • 2 Pennsylvania judges convicted of taking kickbacks, depriving hundreds of juveniles of their legal rights and sending them into detention or camps at locations the same judges had financial interest in.  THey DID get caught, but it took time.
  • A Texas area (Fed. District) judge sued for sexual harassment, long term, of some of his female employees.
  • This is older, but a NJ (as I recall) judge with last name Thompson was caught traveling to Russia for sex with (as I recall) an underage boy, and also caught substantial child pornography.  This was a JUDGE.

The illusion that all people in public office, or working to protect children — or for that matter women — is a dangerous one that needs to be dropped.  The motto is not appropriately, “Just Trust Me…” but the Texan “Don’t Tread on Me,” when it comes to governmental representatives on public payrolls.  With the vacant space of warm fuzzy feelings of connection in one’s mind, insert principles, and phrases, from the U.S. Bill of Rights AND our Constitution, which our President is sworn to uphold, and if He or should it some day become a She, does not uphold this, He or She should be impeached or “encouraged” to resign.  

Side-benefit — you’ll be better informed, and this is great for self-confidence.

This Constitution and those civil and our legal rights (in any individual custody case) are a “use it or lose it proposition.”

The social science of risk assessment may have validity, and I believe many times does, BUT the key issue should be due process in decisions, and afterwards enforcement.

An honest look — and “Let’s Get Honest” — I’ve got a start here, AND some tools on the site — at the finances of our government will show that a way COULD be found to get sufficient law enforcement of existing laws if there were a communal, a corporately communal policy will to do so.  


Beyond that, the 2nd Amendment is a crucial one for survivors of Intimate Partner Violence, and it’s time we understood this.  Perhaps when more abusers understood that we UNDERSTAND this, they might back off, and let us get back to the other principal issues of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness — or at least a roof over our heads, and food.

Advocacy is necessary, but we need to pay close attention of which of our advocates are advocating for what, HOW they do so (do THEY respect due process, and open communications) and what they are really about.  The best advocate in any situation for an individual is the one that has the most at stake, and when it comes to DV, that is, literally, lives, honor, and fortunes, like those (OK, men), who signed, so long ago.

OK:  from the valuable site, http://www.SSRN.com, free to join and informative. …. with a warning, it’s not a standalone in “family court matters” — there are major players and publishers also in the courts, whose abstracts I don’t find on here, and a warning that one needs to look at the funding, and in short, spend a good amount of time researching the people in the field to get a grasp of it, I was glad to find this database (huge) on a variety of topics, many of them within “Family Court Matters.”

 

http://papers.ssrn.com

 

Stop the Killing: Potential Courtroom Use of a Questionnaire that Predicts the Likelihood that a Victim of Intimate Partner Violence Will Be Murdered by Her Partner


Lynn McLain 
University of Baltimore School of Law

Amanda L. Hitt 
Government Accountability Project (GAP)

 

Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society, Fall 2009 

Abstract:      
(The draft of this article is currently undergoing cite checking and revision by the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society and will be published in final format in the Fall 2009 issue of the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society.)

Judges in domestic cases often underestimate the risk to a mother and her children that an angry and abusive father or other intimate partner poses. In a recent Maryland case, for example, {{CASTILLO}} two judges refused to deny a father visitation or require that visitation be supervised, despite the fact that the father had threatened suicide. During the father’s unsupervised visitation, he drowned all three of his children, then attempted to kill himself.  {{THE MOTHER IN THE CASE WAS, I THINK, A PEDIATRIC DOCTOR, THE IGNORANCE OF EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE WAS OUTRAGEOUS – IT WASN”T JUST HEARSAY TESTIMONY AS TO HIS MENTAL STATE}}.{{Or in at least one Maryland case, “Castillo”}

The Danger Assessment tool (the D.A.) developed by a Johns Hopkins Nursing professor and validated by herself and other social scientists shows how much the father’s thoughts of suicide increased the risk that he would commit murder. Had the judges had that Danger Assessment, the children might have been kept safe.

NO, I say, “had the judges had — AND HEEDED — that Danger Assessment”

 

The attached article does something that we think has never been done before. It takes the D.A., which has been used widely to counsel domestic violence victims, and investigates whether and how it might be admissible in myriad types of court proceedings, both civil family law proceedings and criminal matters. The primary goal is to inform judges of the importance of the impact of the complex of factors in a particular case, including unemployment of the abuser, access to a gun, the presence in the home of children from an earlier relationship, and threats of suicide. 

My co-author and I hope this will be a pivotal article that will lead to the taking of steps that result in heightened understanding by judges and provision of greater protection for victims and their children. We suggest (1) how the D.A. evidence may be admissible (or not) under current rules; (2) the possible advisability of amendments to current rules or statutes; and (3) judicial training on the D.A. factors.

 

Keywords: domestic violence, intimate partners, suicide, homicide, Danger Assessment Tool, family law, visitation, abusers, guns, weapons

JEL Classifications: K19, K39, K49, I18

Accepted Paper Series

 

<><><><>><><><><><>

This (still being checked for cites) informative paper is available at link above; I recommend reading it.

 

The “LETHALITY RISK” or “HOMICIDE /FATALITY REVIEW”  is not exactly new:

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

Warning:  list of links/titles may trigger PTSD in survivors.

Can you handle this?

 

1985, by a Ph.D./RN, Jacquelyn Campbell

and possibly the study referred to above:

 

 
DANGER ASSESSMENT, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN. Copyright © 1985, 1988. 

1990, by an attorney, Barbara Hart

Formerly @ PEnnsylvania CADV, now property of MINCAVA (Minnesota; below).

ASSESSING WHETHER BATTERERS WILL KILLBarbara J. Hart, Esq.,

 Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence1990, 

Barbara J. Hart’s Collected WritingsMinnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, St. Paul, MN.

Copyright © 1995-2004 Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse.

 

 

1999, Campbell et al.

Stalking & Femicide

Homicide Studie.

 

 
STALKING AND INTIMATE PARTNER FEMICIDE, Judith M. McFarlane, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Susan Wilt, Carolyn J. Sachs, Yvonne Ulrich and Xiao Xu, Homicide Studies (volume 3, number 4, pages 300-316), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA: November 1999. Copyright © 1999 Sage Publications. 

2000, CDC Epidemiologist

 

Maternal (pregnancy) mortality had fallen 99% this century,

except homicides….. 

 
RESEARCHERS STUNNED BY SCOPE OF SLAYINGS: FURTHER STUDIES NEEDED, MOST AGREE, Donna St. George, Washington Post, Washington, DC: December 19, 2004. Copyright © 1996-2004 The Washington Post Company.

In the mid-1990s, Cara Krulewitch sat in a dark, cramped file room in the office of the D.C. 

medical examiner, poring over autopsies for days that became weeks, then months. She was an 

epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assigned to the District.  

 

Krulewitch wanted to see whether maternal deaths were being undercounted, as was common 

elsewhere across the country. Granted access to confidential death files, she assumed she would 

find more deaths from medical complications of pregnancy – embolism, infection, hemorrhage – 

than anyone knew.  

 

What she stumbled upon instead was a surprising number of homicides:

Krulewitch dug into medical archives and came across a 1992 journal article from Chicago and a 

 

1995 study from New York City. In both, homicide had emerged as a significant cause of 

maternal death. It was difficult for the uninitiated to comprehend: Were pregnant women being 

killed in notable numbers?  

 

“I didn’t understand it at all,” said Krulewitch, whose study was published in the Journal of 

Midwifery & Women’s Health.  

 

Her research came at a time when maternal mortality rates in the United States had fallen a full 

99 percent from the last century, with fewer than 500 women a year dying of medical problems 

related to childbearing.  

 

Even now, studies that analyze maternal homicide are relatively rare.  

 

One of the most comprehensive studies came from Maryland, where researchers used an array of 

case-spotting methods, expecting to find more medical deaths than the state knew about. Instead 

they discovered that homicide was the leading cause of death, a finding published in 2001 in the 

Journal of the American Medical Association.  

 

In 2002, Massachusetts weighed in with a study that also showed homicide as the top cause of 

maternal death, followed by cancer. Two of three homicides involved domestic violence. “This is 

clearly a major health problem for women,” said Angela Nannini, who led the study.  

 

2000, Chicago, Women’s Health Risk (collaborative)


2002, West Coast U.S.

Women’s Nonprofit Justice Center 
HOW TO INVESTIGATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDE – A GUIDE FOR INVESTIGATING THE PATH LEADING UP TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES- FOR FRIENDS, ACTIVISTS, JOURNALISTS, AND ALL WHO CAREWomen’s Justice Center, Santa Rosa, CA: 2002.   


2003, Reuters Health Report

Post-mortem when they didn’t die:

 

I have some commentary, so am expanding this one:

Many Women at Risk of Being Murdered Don’t Know It

 

By Alison McCook

Friday, November 28, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Nearly one half of women who are about to experience an attempt on their lives at the hands of a boyfriend or husband may not realize they are in danger, new research reports.

A look back at warning signs for 30 women who survived an attempted homicide by an intimate partner revealed that 14 did not know their lives were at risk, and said they were “completely surprised” by the attack. {{ABOUT 1 out of 2}}

Most attacks occurred around the time that women tried to end the relationship. And while nearly all women had experienced previous episodes of abuse and violence from their partners, not all instances had been severe.

These findings suggest that, in some cases, the warning signs that a woman’s life is in danger may be hard to read, lead author Dr. Christina Nicolaidis of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland said.

Nicolaidis and her colleagues interviewed 30 women between the ages of 17 and 54 who had survived an attempted homicide by their current or former boyfriends or husbands.  {{NO ONE should have to undergo this!}}

All but two of the women had experienced episodes of violence or controlling behavior, such as stalking or preventing them from going anywhere alone, from the man who tried to kill them.

{{I have been reporting such behavior to professionals in my case both on AND off the record.  I have signed statements of witnesses in the file.  There was a prior DV restraining order, and I have sustained serious injury already.  There were weapons.  There has been CONSISTENT stalking, which frightens me – almost as much as the nonresponse to it by others in authority also frightens me.  My last “feint” at getting an anti-stalking order was this past spring (I think).  The last incident was last month.  There is a reason WHY this is being systematically ignored in courts — specifically but not only family courts.  But I have also been reporting this to police officers responding to an event since the year 2005 at a minimum.  It is COMMON SENSE that stalking resembles the type of stalking actually done of a hunter by its prey.  When it comes to people, it has a dual purpose:  it may be to kill, or it may be to send a clear message sent to terrorize which (basically) it does.  I have a blog here on what this did to my life, almost half a post as I recall.  The absolute NON response of too many authorities to this issue tells BOTH the stalker AND the prey that the situation is uncontrolled, and (she) is on her own.  I have also been stalked  — and I would back this one up in court if challenged — THROUGH other people, and several of them.  In order to accommodate this, I have ceased significant contact with these people, explaining why.  AFTER all this, my daughters disappeared on an overnight visitation, and they were NOT informed of all the allegations in print and in person by their parent about the situation.  This was not done out of love for the girls, I am sure, but as a hostage taking in this unwrapping situation.}}  {{Excuse me…..}}

And while 22 of the homicide attempts occurred when women were trying to end their relationships, most women said they were breaking up for reasons other than violence.

Classic risk factors for an attempted homicide by an intimate partner include escalating episodes or severity of violence, threats with or use of weapons, alcohol or drug use, and violence toward children, Nicolaidis noted. While every woman included in the report experienced at least one of these standard signs, they were clearly not all “classic” cases, she added.

“The problem is that we often expect women to come to us describing a life filled with many or all of these risk factors, when in fact there may only be a few (risk factors) buried beneath the surface,” Nicolaidis said.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Lorrie Elliott of the University of Chicago Medical Center writes that these findings demonstrate that counselors need to recognize that “any level” of physical violence or controlling behavior from a partner can signal a woman’s life is at risk.

{{True, BUT – — BUT – – – it’s judges, and law enforcement that I’ve found need to recognize this, as I did since I left the guy until now.}}

“Curricula on domestic violence should be revised to reflect these findings,” she notes.

{{WHOSE curricula?  Because family law pretty much is being “revised” as a profession to dilute this awareness, from my experience.}}

 


2004, DV Death Review Team, CANADA

 
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE CHIEF CORONER: CASE REVIEW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATHS, 2002Al J. C. O’Marra, BA, MA, LLB, LLM, Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Government of Ontario, CA. Copyright © 2004 Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

 

2006, VPC, East Coast USA

Washington, D.C. nonprofit

Homicide Data Analysis

VPC Theme:  Gun control (I believe), and Alaska is the Worst

   
ALASKA RANKS #1 IN RATE OF WOMEN MURDERED BY MEN ACCORDING TO VPC STUDY RELEASED EACH YEAR FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH IN OCTOBERViolence Policy Center, Washington, DC: September 20, 2006. When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2004 Homicide Data – Females Murdered by Males in Single Vilctim / Single Offender Incidents    

 

 
   

2007 Boston Globe,

“Special Report”

Theme:  Why they kill; Promotion:  Upcoming book

 
CONTROL ISSUES DRIVE MEN TO KILL SPOUSES  SPECIAL REPORT, Laura Crimaldi, Boston Herald, Boston, MA: September 3, 2007. Copyright© 2007 Boston Herald Inc. Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners.   

 

Batterers who use lethal force against their partners are engaged in a losing game of control that pushes them to kill because otherwise they have no chance of getting their partner to submit, according to a veteran psychologist.

 

{{As “Let’s Get Honest,” I chime in with my opinion:

Except in LITERAL self-defense (not, defense of the ego, or self-concept), as in cops responding to domestic disputes, or a person physically assaulted in certain situations, and even then Killing is a choice, just as abuse is, or any other — especially repeated — criminal behavior.  The mark of a person is what he or she will or will NOT allow him or herself to be “pushed” to do.  PERIOD.  This is pyschology talk, and while it’s true, it still falls short, making linguistic excuses.}}

 

{{{JUST a note:  For at least — at LEAST — SOME major monotheistic religions (all 3, I believe), this is conceived of a divinely-ordained, and a requirement of women.  ONE of these religions means “Submission” (I’m told).  ANOTHER, this mandate is taken out of context (of itss text), but in my case, was continually “an excuse for the abuse.”  ANY policies dealing with such men will have to deal with the issue that to them, failing to control “their women” is sometimes genuinely conceived of as having failed their God.  Hence, the killing, to “win.”  I have been personally (before separation) warned never to oppose this man or he woudl “escalated” til he wins.  From what I can see, that hasn’t changed yet, that dynamic, and there is a track record to display evidence.  


When here comes a venue, family law, that tells us to “reconcile” parenting, or almost anything else of importance, with a person holding such a viewpoint, it is basically consigning the relationship, the children, and the target parent, which will be the woman under this religious view, to defending her own life, as the courts aren’t going to.  It’s an intolerable situation, and transmits these ideas down, another generation.}}

 

 

David Adams, co-founder and co-director of Cambridge-based Emerge, a batterer’s program, is the author of “Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners,” to be published this month by Vanderbilt University Press. 

 

((FYI:  NOTE:  The other Co-founder and co-director, I believe, was Lundy Bancroft, who I often cite, have posted on, and have a link to.  }}

 

 

In the book, Adams identifies five types of lethal batterers: the jealous partner, the suicidal partner, the career criminal, the substance abuser and the materially motivated partner. 

 

Adams interviewed 31 men who killed their female partners as well as women who were nearly killed by their batterers. {{From the Horse’s mouths.  If reported well, I’d listen!}}

 

He said the men who resorted to fatal force were “possessive,” “more controlling” and tended to come from households where they witnessed abusive fathers beat their mothers. At some point in their lives, the men decided to mold their behavior after their father’s behavior, he said. 

 

 

“For many of the killers that I interviewed, some of them said that they had in effect lost – that they had lost a relationship, lost the partner that they only fought to control and the only thing left was to kill,” Adams said.  “It was the ultimate act of control, but also an ultimate act of defeat.

 

 

 

June, 2009, Public Health Perspective;

 

The effect of TV News items on IPV deaths

 

Conclusion: Given the results observed in the case of IPV-related news, t

here is an evident need to develop a journalistic style guide in order to determine what type of information is recommended due to the potential positive or negative effects.

Keywords: battered women, copycat, femicide, mass media.

 

 I’ll be back tomorrow.  BUT — do we think there is a need to study the topic some more?  Or to take a woman seriously when

she expresses this concern? 

I am so far beyond “reporting” or being aware of these things, PAST the point where I realize who is not interested, and now

working on the WHY are they not interested in the places that have the MOST authority to do something about it.

 

In the meanwhile, self-defense and safety awareness skills count.  A lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


%d bloggers like this: