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U.S. judge fines two women who return to abusers

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  • U.S. judge fines two women who return to abusers

    I say go judge, but who knows I may be wrong.


    I edited this post because the link was distorting the size of the thread, to see the link click on the link provided by MikeTX in the next post.

    [ 01-08-2002: Message edited by: SpecOpsWarrior ]
    "I don't know karate. But I know Ka-RAZay! (Yes he does!)" The Payback - James Brown

  • #2
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    • #3
      I'm with the judge as well.

      On one hand these women needed emergency protection, on the other hand they couldn't stay away from their abusers until the 2 week hearing date.

      The defense that these women were still in love with their abusers should not overide the order. That is a weak excuse.

      I'm guessing there are some type of battered women's shelters in every state, so the "has no place to stay" argument appears to to misleading.

      Don't misunderstand me, anyone who strikes a woman or violates a protective order deserves a "football score" prison sentence. I put them in the same category as child molesters.

      This is serious stuff and I applaud the judge for the wisdom, and more importantly the courage to oversee these orders as firmly as she issues them.
      Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.

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      • #4
        I applaud the judge, too. She is trying to get the attention of a lot of abused spouses.
        A lot of time, women return not for love, not because they have no place to stay but because of psychological problems. I know it must be so frustrating to try to help these women.
        But one thing I'm not sure many understand is this: Some women return because emotional abuse is all they have known their whole lives. They were probably severely abused in childhood, either emotionally and/or physically. Soemtimes, when it's all they have known, they go back to it. It's a mindset that is very hard to break. They have to seriously work on their self-esteem because they believe this is all they are worthy of. It's really sad.
        I had a friend who's husband hit her one night. She called me and I asked if I needed to take her to the hospital. She said, "Oh, no, he didn't mean to do it". That's how they think because it's all they have ever known.

        [ 01-08-2002: Message edited by: Mitzi ]

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        • #5
          Mitzi, I agree with you but in there is no section to check off on the Protective Order that says "Void if she still loves him".

          The abuser: is (rightfully) held accountable if they violate it.
          The police: are bound to enforce it or risk lawsuits or worse.
          The victim: should have some level of responsibility too.

          In Mass., if a wife consents for her estranged husband to see/be with her in violation of an order it mattres not, under MGL the officer is REQUIRED to make the arrest. I've seen this happen more than once. Cases like that make a mockery of the system.

          [ 01-08-2002: Message edited by: BRICKCOP ]
          Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.

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          • #6
            I've been to all the training on domestic violence, can say all the politically correct phrases and make a lot of arrests for DV, and still have no sympathy or understanding for women who return to abusers. That she needs him for support is a crock. This is America - get a job! And don't tell me the line that they have no skills. Burger King is always hiring. People's safety is their own responsibility. The first time he hits her, she should be tossing him out on his butt, and making sure he gets thrown in jail so far back they have to pipe in light.

            The latest judicial fad here is orders prohibiting "non-consentual contact". So she has him over, he says something she doesn't like and she calls the cops, saying she wants him to leave and he is violating the order. Wrong! He leaves, but there is no arrest.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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            • #7
              Having no sympathy for the abused? Hmmmm I guess after you see time and time again you start to realize that this is not something they want to do it is something that they feel they have to do as they are kinda brain-washed to the fact that they have to stay with this abuser for noone else will care about or take care of them. This has to be the hardest thing for a abused person to break free from. IT is like a junkie trying to break free of a drug. IT is not going to be easy and it is not going to be pretty but the end result is what makes it all worthwhile. I have seen first hand how a abused person goes back time and time again and I did not understand it. Now that I am older and have more information I know it is something that some can not help and it is a pattern that they will keep repeating till either they get some serious help or they get killed.

              There is plenty of help out there and the women should be helped in seeking the right people out. But the end choice is still going to be theirs when they decide to go back if they go back. A protective order only works as good as any other piece of paper. IF the abuser is allowed back in then that paper is not going to do squat to protect them. IF they do not let them back in and the abuser still comes in that paper is still going to do squat to protect them. It is up to the police when called to figure which of these two conditions are met and make a decision based on that. I think if the abusee let the abuser back in then the writ should be null and void but if it is the second case then a arrest should be made.

              JUst my take on all of this.

              Klar
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              • #8
                I understand why a battered spouse would remain with the offender due to misguided sense of love, a past history of abuse etc.. but I will never accept it as a valid reason. I think the judge in this case was right on the money.
                No partner is worth your tears -
                the one that is won't make you cry. - Anonymous

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                • #9
                  I am not to sure about this.

                  I can see the judges point, shes frustrated, she handles these hearings and gets frustrated when the battered spouse returns to her abuser, right after they have requested an Order of Protection (my jurisdictions lingo). Basically they have violated a court order.

                  The problem as I see it is, when women start getting fined, publibly reprimanded in a court room, and even possibly jailed, there not gonna want to have anything to do with an order of protection. I can see it now, a battered woman goes to a shelter and hears another woman talking about the time the judge threw the book at her because she got an Order of Protection. Your gonna have batttered women afraid of utilizing the courts and the police.

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                  • #10
                    Well, courts are pretty much to the point. The laws don't have the luxury of looking into what the abused go through.
                    These women DO have psychological problems but there really isn't much that can be done about that. To be able to change would take years of therapy.
                    Many of them just don't understand what is going on in their lives. I mean, a guy verbally, emotionally and physically abuses you and you still think he loves you? It's crazy. But, when someone has a mindset, it's just too hard to get around usually. So, they have to take their lumps. I understand WHY things are done the way they are. But I also feel bad about the fact that many of these women DON'T understand. An abused woman is a scared, confused woman.

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                    • #11
                      I have absolutely no problem with this. While I denounce all forms of domestic violence, the victim must take some responsibility in getting away from the situation. I am sick of these women who want my sympathy after we have gone to their house on a d.v. call for the hundreth time. Go to a shelter, do anything.

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                      • #12
                        I can really understand the judges frustration and action on this one but having handled so many cases of abuse I like everyone else can't understand no matter what a woman has to do why she would go back to the abuser until it became personal. About two months ago I learned a lesson from a woman who is in my church and I teach Sunday School to both of her children. She's about 28 and I have known since she was a little girl. She asked if she could call me that night. She's a pretty young woman with two children and always seems happy. At her wit's end she wanted to get it out. She called to ask me what to do since she had filed for divorce from the husband but she was worried more about him since he was living in the woods camped out and she was living in the house. When she appeared in court the day before he went balistic in the court room was removed and the judge gave him no visitation rights to the children until he went through anger management. My first question was did he ever hit you and she explained he had been beating her the last ten years but was scared to tell anyone. What made this real serious is he had left a note on her car saying he was going to take her and her mother and father out the next day. I went over to the house and called the police on the way and sure enough he did show up and was arrested. We went the next day back to see the judge who had him committed. She finally opened up and a couple of ladies from the church came over but all she could say was how nice a person he was after being beaten for 10 years. This poor woman is brain washed that she needs him, she feels she is worthless, and the ugliest person in the world. She is one of the prettiest women you ever want to meet. She showed me why she always wore long sleeves and dresses. She was covered with bruises. They booked him with aggravated and simple battery after I found out about that. It will take this woman years if not a lifetime to get over this. The sad thing help was so close not just with me but with other people but he isolated her. Also the tramatic effect of the two little girls 5 and 7. This all started when the little girls told me in Sunday School they were going on a trip and it was in the middle of the school year and I asked them where. The mother was going to try to run. He got a harsh taste of jail and it has changed his attitude for the time being anyway. She and the kids are going to thepary. He hasn't been able to see the children. It's hard to change over night what it took him ten years to convince her. She is doing a lot better however now and has enrolled back in college.
                        Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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                        • #13
                          Seeing as how this happened in my backyard, I reckon I should comment. Especially since her actions were the topic of some heated debate at my FOP meeting tonight.

                          Personally, I like Judge Thornton, as judges go in Fayette County. (That might qualify as a backhanded compliment!) She's pretty tough on criminals and isn't hesitant about cutting defense attorneys off at the knees when they start to beat you up on the stand.

                          Some officers here don't care for her at all. There were some horror stories told of her refusing to sign warrants when rousted out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, because as she supposedly put it, "The police department doesn't NEED to be bothering me with this crap. You're just trying to cover your @$$!" In her defense, although I wasn't present at any of the specific incidents thrown out in the meeting, I have been on enough scenes where we had probable cause out the wazoo to take various actions without a warrant and the powers that be WERE too afraid to proceed without a judge's signature to CYA to suspect that she was probably right.

                          I have also reached a point in my career where I could just about give a damn when it comes to repeat domestic violence victims. I'm sorry, but as stated above, most of the victims' arguments don't wash with me any more, especially the "I don't have anywhere to go argument." Yes, we have a spousal abuse shelter in Lexington, as well as a Salvation Army women's shelter and God only knows how many motels. Not to mention the fact that the Police department, sherrif's office, and the whole damn court system in Fayette County will bend over backward trying to protect these victims. Despite my inner loathing of them coupled with the fact that I love nothing more than getting "10-15" (enroute to jail) with the COMPLAINANT on ANY call I go on, I will bend over backward to try to help a domestic violence victim, male or female, gay or straight, if for no other reason than I'm afraid not to.

                          Despite all this, I have seen protective order after protective order violated by the party who took it out in the name of love or some such foolishness and we have seen some spectacular tragedies around here. Just this past summer, a woman was shot down in the middle of the street by her ex-husband, against who she had a protective order that SHE violated by going to HIS house. This occurred shortly after felony charges of Burglary were dropped by the prosecutor AT THE VICTIM'S REQUEST in exchange for a plea to misdemeanor Assault 4th. Part of the bargain included the protective order, that was ignored by the victim when she met her demise. The press had a field day with us and the prosecutor when it was the victim who did everything but paint a bull's eye on her back.

                          All of that being said, I'm not sure that Judge Thornton's actions were entirely correct. I know this is dragging on, but a little background on KY protective orders might be useful. After an episode of domestic violence (By which I mean an actual, physical assault. No, ma'am, your husband yelling at you for burning dinner alone is not criminal. See ya!) the injured party may apply for an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) to grant "immediate relief" for 14 days. After the 14 days, both parties are to appear in court and plead their cases. At that point, the judge may issue a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) that is good for up to three years. Both EPOs and DVOs can have various conditions placed upon the respondent (the perp) ranging from mild such as "shall not commit any further acts of violence or damage any common property" to severe such as orders to vacate the residence, awarding custody of children, and placing distance limits on the parties, i.e. "respondent to remain 500 feet away from petitioner and to have no contact or communication except through court."

                          Currently, the conditions are placed on the respondent only and if he violates any of the conditions, officers SHALL arrest him for it. This means that the victim can invite the perp over to make up, get ****ed at him, call the cops, and have him taken to jail for violating the order without facing any criminal penalties herself. Attempts have been made in Frankfort to address this double standard through the state legislature, but they always fail.

                          It is my understanding that both of the women cited for contempt were in the 14 day EPO stage. Often EPOs issued right after an assault are stronger than the later DVO that is issued after both parties appear in front of the judge and talk about how they love each other, didn't mean it, and want to make up. In addition, the respondent to an EPO has no legal recourse until his hearing that occurs after 14 days.

                          Even though the petitioners are not subject to any criminal penalties, Judge Thornton's position is that they can still be subject to adminstrative penalties for not complying with the terms of the 14 day EPO, that they asked for, without going through the judge first. Therefore, she has used her power and judicial discretion to cite them in contempt of court. They aren't guilty of any "crime," they're guilty of an administrative offense for not following the court's instructions. It seems to me that Judge Thornton might be splitting some legal hairs pretty fine here, but maybe they'll get off their butts in Frankfort and fix the law.

                          [ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: Dukeboy01 ]
                          It is good to hate the French. -Al Bundy

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