The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Posts Tagged ‘domestic’

Topeka Council discusses failure to prosecute domestic battery

In domestic law on October 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

The city plans to repeal the city law of Domestic Battery being a crime, in their thinking that the DA will be forced to begin prosecuting.

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Claudine Dombrowski, a domestic violence survivor, told the city council she thought the city would see an increase in domestic violence if the city repeals an ordinance for it.  TIM HRENCHIR/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

Two domestic violence survivors addressed the Topeka City Council on Tuesday evening after it heard the first reading of a proposal targeted at forcing Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor to resume prosecuting domestic batteries committed in Topeka.

“I just ask that somehow there has to be a resolution,” Jo Charay told the council.

Charay and Claudine Dombrowski appeared separately before the council during the public comments portion of its meeting.

She said domestic battery cases should be prosecuted in district court instead of Topeka Municipal Court because “the city does not have the resources and the agencies to deal with domestic violence the way that the county does and the state does.”

The council is expected next week to consider the proposed changes, which would include repealing the part of the code that bans domestic battery.

Dombrowski told the council her mother always told her two wrongs don’t make a right. She said repealing the part of city ordinance banning domestic battery would be “the second wrong” after Taylor stopped prosecuting those crimes.

Dombrowski also said criminal activity undoubtedly would increase when the consequences for it are removed.



Topeka, KS – Domestic Violence Case’s Still Not being Prosecuted

In domestic law on September 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

This is beyond insane and illegal. See 9-22-2011: Claudine Dombrowski on Intimate Partner Violence and Barry Goldstein protecting Battered Women in the Courtrooms on Zeus Radio

Interim city manager Dan Stanley hoped to see Topeka’s governing body reach a consensus Tuesday on how to deal with Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor’s decision to stop prosecuting misdemeanors committed in the capital city, including domestic battery.

That didn’t happen, Stanley said after a work session Tuesday evening focusing on that topic.

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Interim city manager Dan Stanley spoke Tuesday evening at a work session where the Topeka City Council discussed how to react to District Attorney Chad Taylor's decision to stop prosecuting misdemeanors committed in Topeka, including domestic batteries.  TIM HRENCHIR/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

Stanley said he will continue the discussion next week, when he will arrange for the governing body to hear the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would repeal the part of city ordinance making domestic battery a crime.

Such a move would force the district attorney to handle the prosecution of those who commit domestic battery in Topeka, according to the city attorney’s office.

Council members John Alcala, Sylvia Ortiz, Chad Manspeaker, Bob Archer and Andrew Gray each indicated at the work session they could support repealing the domestic battery ordinance.

“If the D.A. thinks that we don’t want to play hardball, I say we all suit up and play hardball,” Manspeaker said.

Alcala said, however, that he also could support entering into a one-time arrangement for 2012 through which the city, the county commission and the district attorney enter into a “friendly compromise” to share prosecution costs.

Stanley said after Tuesday’s session that he saw no clear direction from a majority of the governing body on what to do and would continue the discussion when the governing body next week hears the first reading of the proposal to repeal the domestic battery ordinance.

Governing body members generally act on proposed ordinances one week after they are heard for first reading.

Taylor announced Sept. 8 that he would no longer prosecute  misdemeanors committed in Topeka, including domestic battery, saying his action required the city attorney’s office to prosecute the cases his office would no longer handle, an obligation Stanley said the city isn’t prepared to execute.

Stanley told governing body members last week the city’s options included:

■ Seeking to negotiate an agreement through which the city would pay some costs to help finance the district attorney’s prosecution of misdemeanors.

■ Seeking some period of transition while the city develops a program for prosecuting and providing services related to domestic battery cases.

■ Trying to force the district attorney to prosecute.

Stanley said the proposal on next week’s agenda for first reading would  pursue the latter strategy by seeking to repeal the ordinance banning domestic battery the council adopted as part of the uniform public offense code developed by the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Chief city prosecutor Craig Spomer said the city may repeal the section regarding domestic battery while leaving the rest of the code in place.

Spomer said Topeka police officers filing reports on cases regarding domestic battery have written them up “since the beginning” under the state statute banning that crime instead of under the city ordinance.

He said the city ”for a lot of years” hasn’t prosecuted domestic batteries, as the district attorney’s office has handled those.

In response to a question from Councilwoman Denise Everhart, Spomer said the city’s repeal of its domestic battery ordinance wouldn’t necessarily mean Taylor would choose to prosecute the cases involved.

Everhart  asked Stanley about his statement  reported in The Topeka Capital-Journal last week that if he had to pick from among the city’s options, he would arrange for it to assume prosecution of the domestic battery cases.

Stanley replied that he would choose that option “in a perfect world that I could construct with infinite money, the perfect court and perfect support system,” though that isn’t what the city faces.

Stanley also told the governing body he had had discussions with county officials and senses “there is a willingness to negotiate something that is fair to all.”



WICHITA, Kansas – Police Arrest Man in Domestic Violence Homicide.

In domestic law on September 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm
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domestic violence homicide.
WICHITA, Kansas (KSN) –
ichita police have arrested a man in what’s being called a domestic violence homicide.

Shortly before 11 a.m. police received a call about a woman who was not breathing. Officers went to the 800 block of South Beverly and found a woman in her 40s dead. Officers initially said her death appeared suspicious, but hadn’t immediately called it a homicide.

After investigating, they now believe it was a case of domestic violence, and have arrested a man that had been dating the woman.  Her identity has not been released.



Domestic Violence is Currently LEGAL in Topeka, Kansas

In domestic law on September 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

ease comment on the original article here,

 Topeka domestic abuse survivor trembling over DA’s decision to pass down misdemeanors

We need outrage to stop this political game playing at the expense of wom

Please comment on the original article here,

 Topeka domestic abuse survivor trembling over DA’s decision to pass down misdemeanors

We need outrage to stop this political game playing at the expense of women.

Right now in Topeka Kansas—Domestic violence is LEGAL.

Since last week’s decision of the County DA to stop prosecuting Domestic Violence in the city limits, there have been 35 Domestic Violence arrests that have walked with no charges. The City manager Dan Stanley is considering a repeal in the City Ordinances that Domestic Violence is not a crime within the city, so that the City Judges and Prosecutors do not have to charge, prosecute and try any Domestic Violence. The District Attorney’s Office is refusing to accept ant City Domestic Violence Crimes.

Why it would be worse for victims.

It is very dangerous for victims of DV to report the crime as the consequences from the ‘perp’ are even worse than the actual ‘incident’ being charged. BATTERER RETALIATION. So when a DV case is pursued, it’s got to be with heavy consequences to the perp, as she (the victim) is in even more danger than she was when the charge was filed.

How a victim is treated usually has little to do with the actual system, but has everything to do with the people who work in the system.
The issue is making sure the judges understand what they should be looking at for evidence in domestic violence cases. How the judge or victims’ rights advocates, police offices or city prosecutors or district attorneys or assistant district attorneys and their staff are educated, and implement those tools to aid victims and insure justice is much more important than which court should have jurisdiction.

Domestic Violence is defined as a “pattern of control’’
1. DV tag law
2. DA has a DV task team that do all the DV cases.
3. It is extremely rare that a dv charge is ever held at dv usual they are reduced to ‘damage to personal property and disorderly conduct.’ Then it is still a misdemeanor, only after three such convictions does the 4th time warrant even felony status.
Perhaps with the DV tag law, which will document all the ‘disorderly conducts, damage to personal property with a tag at the bottom showing was in relation to domestic violence—will show that pattern and perhaps then they can change the ‘misdemeanor dv conviction to felony sooner than with the NON attainable 3 DV misdemeanor convictions to the 4th as a felony.

The County DA’s office needs to maintain the Domestic Violence cases—or person injury crimes. They need the money to maintain at minim mum what they have and been doing in the area DV. In fact they need more than even that . Its is the DA’s office—the people that bring the crimes to paper, to the system, of Charges, and begin the long process of getting it through the system and getting ‘justice’ and consequences for the crime.

The DA works closely with the Secretary of State’s e.g. address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, the Attorney general’s office who also has a DV task team, and the Governor’s Office that gives grant funding, specific to ensure and to continue the legal prosecution of offenders, the KCSDV that provides up to date education, and best practices of understanding, prosecuting, supporting the victims of Domestic Violence and Coercive Control. The DA’s office has made huge advancements in the past 30 years with this heinous crime.

To toss it to the city will be to throw all that to the wind, the dark ages of Domestic Violence if you will—is even darker now.

I have no problem with other misdemeanors-NON person Injury offences such as hot checks, small claims courts, Code enforcement and violations.
The Commissioners want to cut the budget, money, there are many County expenditures that are wasted. There are Court programs that can be cut without threat to public safety, Like parenting classes, Drug Classes, several of the so called CSO that do noting but ‘busy work’ that cannot be done by the City/municipal court. But of all the county cuts—the last one would be to cut the DA’s office—the only avenue to even begin to seek justice. For any crime, violent crimes, even violent crimes labeled as ‘just dv”.

Where city ordinance- codes are the main cases – to high grass, code compliance, housing buildings, traffic, parking meters.

However, of the two Judges (and only Judges at Municipal/city Court)

Lloyd C Swartz – A history to include usual district court ‘Case manager’ who blocks access to justice has a history of harming battered mothers. (I myself included)

Vic Miller – 3 supreme court Admonishments for Violations of the Attorney Code of ethics. 1. Incompetence, injury, Mental.
At one point they were going to ‘disbar’ him, until he hired lawyer john ambrosia as defense. This hardly ever happens, I have seen attorneys make death threats, physically attack patrons in the court house, accepting bribes and shown evident biased and lack of neutrality—those actions have failed to be admonished by the Disciplinary board let alone make it to actual supreme court public admonishment.

Even Stanley the acting City manager- KNOWS how dangerous this is.



Topeka domestic abuse survivor trembling over DA’s decision to pass down misdemeanors

In domestic law on September 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

PLEASE COMMENT ON ORIGINAL ARTICLE! We need OUTRAGE to stop this political game playing at the expense of women. Right now in Topeka Kansas—DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is LEGAL. Since last week’s decision of the County DA to stop prosecuting Domestic Violence in the city limits, there have been 35 Domestic Violence arrests that have WALKED with no charges!
The City manager is considering a repeal in the City Ordinances that Domestic Violence is NOT A CRIME within the city.

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rowbar, it was a misdemeanor. I’ve had both my wrist broken and it was a misdemeanor.”
When Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor decided to hand over misdemeanor cases, like Dombrowski’s, to the city, she knew it would weigh heaviest on victims of domestic violence. Knowing the consequences a victim could face when the abuser is arrested, then released, she advises victims not to call the police. She says, “You, as a survivor, know how to survive. You just keep surviving. If you call the police right now, and God forbid you end up with the city, you might die.”
Dombrowski says she’s disgusted at how poorly survivors are treated after making the terrifying decision to call authorities. She says community leaders see it as, “Let’s put these victims in with weed control and dog at large and parking tickets. That’s how important you are to our community.”
Dombrowski says the word “misdemeanor” has such a harmless connotation and wishes people knew the horrible actions hiding behind it. She says, “I was pushed through plate glass windows and if I had not been in a relationship with this man, he would be in prison.”
If the city does decide to take on the domestic abuse cases, Dombrowski hopes it’s only until funding can be restored at the District Attorney’s office. She says, “We’ve just jumped back 30 years into the dark ages, and it’s very dark. The lights just went out in Topeka.”
She says many times the misdemeanor charges get reduced to disorderly conduct and destruction of personal property, and she can’t imagine how easy the abusers will have it in city courts. Dowbrowski says you can help domestic violence victims of Topeka by demanding more money for the District Attorney’s office, so they can continue to protect the public.

Wednesday morning, Topeka Interim City Manager Dan Stanley said there is some thought being given to repealing the city ordinances to force the prosecution back on the county. He says it will then be up to the D.A. to prioritize what cases should be prosecuted.
Stanley says he’s concerned about what will happen to the individuals whose cases are not being prosecuted. He says, “We know of three cases where judges have released the people accused of domestic violence back out because it their understanding that the district attorney will not prosecute and so there may be more of these.”
Topeka Police Officers are forwarding misdemeanor cases involving domestic violence to the District Attorney’s Office. Stanley says the D.A.’s office has already turned away 30 cases. He believes the  victims and their families are most affected.

16 years after enduring constant physical abuse, the memories still shake Claudine Dombrowski to the core. She says, “I was beaten with a c

“No excuse for domestic violence” (Claudine Dombrowski)

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Published: 9/14 9:16 pm

Updated: 9/14 10:19 pm


“No excuse for domestic violence” (Claudine Dombrowski)

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Published: 9/14 9:16 pm


Updated: 9/14 10:19 pm




Make My Case Count! Jessica Gonzales v. USA – IACHR Final Report

In domestic law on August 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

International Commission Finds United States Denied Justice to Domestic Violence Survivor
Jessica Gonzales v. USA – IACHR Final Report

International Commission Finds United States Denied Justice to Domestic Violence Survivor

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My name is Jessica Lenahan and I am a survivor of domestic violence and an advocate for battered women and children. Six years ago, I turned to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an international tribunal responsible for promoting and protecting human rights throughout the Americas, because the justice system in the United States had abandoned me. Today, IACHR issued a landmark decision in my case that found that the United States violated my human rights and those of my three children, Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie.

In 1999, my estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, kidnapped Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie in violation of a domestic violence restraining order I had obtained against him. I repeatedly contacted and pled with the Castle Rock Police in Colorado for assistance, but they refused to act. Instead, over a 10-hour period, the police responded to a fire-lane violation, looked for a lost dog and took a two-hour dinner break. Late that night, Simon arrived at the police station and opened fire. He was killed and the bodies of my three girls were found in the back of his truck. No investigation ever took place to determine the cause, time and place of my children’s death.

I sued the town of Castle Rock for failing to enforce the restraining order I held against my husband. My case went all the way to the Supreme Court, but they ruled that the enforcement of a restraining order wasn’t mandatory under Colorado law.

I felt utterly abandoned, but I wasn’t done fighting. Instead I turned to IACHR.

In a decision released today, the commission found that the U.S. is failing in its legal obligation to protect women and children from domestic violence, and makes clear that the U.S. government has a duty to protect domestic violence victims by taking steps to ensure their safety, including the enforcement of restraining orders. It also requires that the U.S. examine how it fails domestic violence victims and ensure that victims of domestic violence receive adequate protection from their abusers.

But this decision isn’t just about me.

In the United States, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, and every day more than three women are killed by their intimate partners. These statistics reveal that domestic violence amounts to nothing less than an epidemic and the failure of police to enforce the law directly contributes to this epidemic. A 911 call to the police must mean something and the police can’t ignore multiple emergency calls throughout the course of the night as they did in my case.

I did everything I was supposed to do on that fateful night to protect and save my daughters. I even would have tried to rescue them myself had I known the police would do nothing to find them or to enforce my restraining order. We respect our laws because we believe they embody our government’s commitment to protecting our lives and the lives of our children. Unfortunately, I had to lose everything to realize that we are often not guaranteed basic protections from our government unless we demand them.

The IACHR decision can stimulate necessary changes in U.S. law and policy, if the U.S. government takes IACHR’s assessment of law enforcement’s failings seriously and implements its recommendations.

I hope my case will serve as an important precedent that other women can rely on when they find themselves in a similar situation where the police refuse to enforce a restraining order. I urge you to rely on it to speak out on the issue of domestic violence and to make sure that our government hears you.

You can learn more about the IACHR report, as well as my case and the process that led to my petition to the IACHR, here, here and here.



Alarming number of kids killed in domestic violence incidents in New York State in 2010

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Mothers are not allowed to leave with their children.

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Domestic violence murders jumped 10% in New York last year.
Domestic violence murders jumped 10% in New York last year.

ALBANY – Domestic violence murders jumped 10% in New York last year – and it’s kids who are increasingly getting caught in the cross hairs.

A new report by the state Criminal Justice Services division determined 37 minors were killed in domestic violence incidents in the Empire State last year, up from 17 in 2009.

And the jump appears to be largely city-centric, with 25 kids killed last year, compared with seven in 2009.

“All of those trends are alarming,” said Michele McKeon, chief executive officer of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The surge in children’s deaths drove the overall number of domestic violence deaths in the state to 144, including 77 that took place in the five boroughs, the report found.

In 2009, domestic violence resulted in 131 deaths, down from 147 in 2008.

The Daily News reported earlier this month that the total reported domestic violence cases in the city rose more than 12% last year.

Attacks on women by “intimate partners” went up even more – 17.3%.

Advocates blamed a combination of factors for the increases but pointed to a tough economy and funding cutbacks for prevention and awareness programs as key reasons.

“The sense is that there are more and more requests for service, and certainly less services are available,” McKeon said.

McKeon said state funding for domestic violence programs has dropped from just over $3 million three years ago to $510,000 now.

“Unless we are talking about prevention, we are just putting Band-Aids on bullet holes,” McKeon said.

Officials told reporters yesterday that the state is undertaking a number of steps to stem domestic violence, including new training programs for police officers.

NYPD chief spokesman Paul Browne argued that last year’s figures were an anomaly, noting that so far this year homicides for children ages 9 through 17 are down 27% and that slayings of kids even younger are down 45%.

One bright spot in the state report was a 19% drop last year in homicides committed by the victim’s “intimate partner” – 73, down from 90.

The report also showed that 44% of adult female homicide victims in the state were killed by their husband, boyfriend or girlfriend. “That means the least safe place for a woman in New York State is her own home and that the person that’s most likely to kill that woman is a loved one,” said acting Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Sean Byrne



To Prevent Violence, Insist Men Stop the Abuse

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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A recent editorial about a domestic violence murder case in Massachusetts placed the onus on stopping this violence on women. Rob Okun says the responsibility lies with men too, and that it’s time for men to speak up.

A recent editorial about a domestic violence murder case in Massachusetts placed the onus on stopping this violence on women. Rob Okun says the responsibility lies with men too, and that it’s time for men to speak up.

(WOMENSENEWS)–In the drive to end violence against women, even well-meaning allies can take a wrong turn.

Such was the case with a recent editorial in a small city newspaper in the progressive city of Northampton, Mass., two towns over from where I live. The community has a long history of working to prevent domestic violence, including longstanding collaborations among a variety of stakeholders, such as battered women’s shelters and the police, the district attorney’s office and, at 22 years, one of the oldest batterer intervention programs in the country.

“Seeking safety for women” was the headline of the Aug. 1 editorial published in response to the life sentence domestic violence murderer David W. Vincent III received. The brutal 2009 beating Vincent inflicted on his girlfriend Rebecca Moulton in Pittsfield, Mass.–plus not calling for medical assistance for the nearly eight hours following his assault–undoubtedly left many hearts aching and minds enraged. Unequivocally, the responsibility for what happened rests with Vincent.

But what missed the mark, by a wide margin, was the editorial’s final sentence, which placed an onus on women that rightly belongs with men. “Unless we all help women understand the danger they face from violent partners and insist they seek safety, these tragedies will continue unchecked,” the editorial concluded.

“When their partners turn violent,” the editorial reminded readers “women are at tremendous risk.” Fair enough.

Burdening the Woman

Huh? It makes little sense to place the burden of preventing violence on the woman. Why “insist” she seek safety instead of emphatically and unambiguously demanding violent men stop abusing?

Becky Moulton, a “funny, creative, smart and sweet” woman, as the editorial described her, is more than a symbol of the domestic violence epidemic that continues to plague society. Her senseless murder presents us with an opportunity to commit (or recommit) ourselves to preventing such acts. That opportunity will be compromised, though, if nonviolent men are not part of the effort.

It’s time to shift the paradigm from women seeking shelter from men’s violence to insisting angry men stop abusing their partners. And, we need that shift everywhere–our educational system, media, sports culture, government, the courts, faith communities–so we can collectively lay to rest a damaging, outmoded view of men and masculinity.

That shift also means teaching boys and girls (and men and women) to look at relationships through the lens of equality. The old-school belief of men dominating women, which sanctions misogynistic music videos, produces television shows that objectify women and denigrate fathers and fails to confront privileged men (most often, white) flouting their entitlement, all must be loudly and relentlessly challenged.

Begin With Education

We’ve come a long way from the days of police turning a blind eye to family violence perpetrated behind closed doors. But we have to do more than just arrest and jail perpetrators, or order them into batterer intervention programs. We have to begin educating elementary school boys and girls about respect in relationships before their ideas about gender solidify.

Imagine clergy, policymakers, coaches, parents and teachers articulating a vision of a better world, a healed society and a cooperative community. And imagine that the final sentence of a newspaper’s domestic violence editorial read: “Unless we educate boys and men about healthy relationships–including teaching nonviolent, conscious communication–some men will continue to believe dominating and abusing women is acceptable behavior and domestic violence tragedies will continue unchecked.”

Women have a right to expect that they no longer have to work to prevent domestic violence alone. Since the majority of men are not violent, it is time for them to speak out about the abuse a minority of men perpetrate.

Doing so is one way to honor the memory of Rebecca Moulton and offer a small measure of consolation to her family. To repair a culture of violence, where domestic abuse murders too often still occur, can we do anything less?



‘If You Leave Me I Will Kill You’

In domestic law on August 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm
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Last October, Rebecca Robertson and her boyfriend were arguing in their garage, relatives said, when she came out and told him: I’m leaving you.

The couple had known each other for more than a decade and had a daughter together. They had planned to marry.

As they argued into the early morning, Robertson went into their northeast Charlotte home for a cigarette, and her boyfriend, Barry Leake, followed.

“What you going to do?” Robertson asked him, according to a relative at the home. “Kill me in front of my kids?”

The Domestic Violence Advocacy Council marched in response to the killing last month of Ebony Taylor, Charlotte’s most recent domestic homicide. Davie Hinshaw –

On the sofa, Robertson’s three children and their three young cousins slept.

Leake turned and shot his 31-year-old girlfriend. As the horrified children ran screaming into the street, Robertson, 39, shot himself. By the time police arrived, both were dead.

Robertson’s death illustrates the danger women often face when they decide to leave abusive partners – a danger highlighted in a new Mecklenburg report: “If You Leave Me I Will Kill You.”

In three of four cases that a local task force reviewed for that report, victims heard some version of that threat before their husbands or boyfriends killed them.

The Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Fatality Prevention and Protection Review Team is a pilot project created by the state in 2009 to identify gaps in services and promote communication among agencies that investigate and intervene in domestic violence. The goal: Prevent domestic violence-related deaths. Mecklenburg County is the only one in the state that has such a review team.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police respond to about 35,000 calls about domestic violence each year, according to the report.

“Our numbers are disturbingly high,” said retired District Judge Jane Harper, who heads the team. “There’s a disconnect between the innovative programming and the consistently high numbers.”

‘I’ll kill you with this’

Last year, nine people died in intimate partner killings in the county, according to the Mecklenburg Women’s Commission. So far this year, two have died. Each year since 2002, Mecklenburg has led the state in domestic violence homicides.

The fatality review team is prohibited from naming people involved in the homicides they reviewed, but the report finds common factors in each.

In all four cases, the victims were women and their abusers men.

One victim died of a gunshot wound, two were strangled and the other died from blunt force head trauma.

In two of the cases, the suspect committed suicide immediately after the killing.

At least three of the four killers had previously made death threats to their victims. One man showed his victim a gun and told her, “I’ll kill you with this,” according to the report.

Finally, friends, family or co-workers knew about the violence or threats leading up to each killing.

“Some … expressed their concern to the victim and encouraged her to leave her abuser,” the report said. “But not one person reported the abuse to law enforcement.”

Other findings:

None of the women ever sought a domestic violence protective order against their abusers, even though one of the men had been charged with violence against the woman he later killed.

Only one woman was in contact with a domestic violence service provider, and apparently none ever told health care providers about their abuse, including one woman who made several trips to the emergency room.

Nowhere to turn

A domestic violence survivor on the review team recalled her own violent three-year marriage. When she was eight months pregnant, her husband kicked her in the stomach and pushed her down a flight of stairs.

It’s wasn’t until later that she found the courage to leave. She remembered hearing her young son scream as his father broke down a door during an argument.

“No, I’m not having this,” she told herself. “I’m going to end up going down the stairs again.”

As she reviewed the homicides for the report, she thought back to her own abuse. She could feel the women’s frustration and pain.

“They didn’t know where to turn.”

The team’s report includes recommendations for police, the courts, health care professionals, local domestic violence agencies and even friends and family who suspect a loved one is being abused.

The report encourages prosecutors to have convicted abusers ordered to complete batterer intervention treatment programs.

The team found that primary care providers and obstetric and gynecological offices should screen for domestic violence, as well as emergency room staff.

Signs of strangulation

Angie Alexander, the forensic program coordinator at Carolinas Medical Center, said every female age 12 and older who comes to the hospital’s emergency room is screened for domestic violence, regardless of the reason for her visit. Men are also screened if their injuries appear suspicious.

The report said doctors and nurses should make it clear to victims when injuries must be reported to police – such as injuries caused by a weapon or those that cause grave bodily harm. Victims fearing reprisal might not reveal how they were hurt if they believe it will be reported to police.

Many of the report’s recommendations were for police, who the team found had insufficient training to handle the high volume of domestic violence calls they receive.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department requires 12 hours of domestic violence training for recruits and two hours more every other year.

But the report said that’s not enough. It suggests additional training and strategies including:

Temporarily seizing weapons in a home where violence has occurred.

Staying with a victim until her safety is reasonably assured.

Identifying signs of strangulation – a common means of attack that often leaves little physical evidence.

A death prevented?

Police in some areas of Charlotte are experimenting with new efforts to combat domestic violence homicides.

Talk of making changes in three of the police department’s 13 divisions began last year after the murder-suicide involving Rebecca Robertson.

A victim of domestic violence is 70 percent more likely to be injured or killed when she is leaving her abuser, said Amanda Wilson, United Family Services’ director of strategic initiatives and advocacy.

If Robertson had established a relationship with police maybe she would have called to let an officer know she was leaving her boyfriend, said Capt. Gregg Collins, commander of CMPD’s Freedom Division.

“We might have prevented that one,” Collins said.

To read the full report, visit



Domestic Violence: Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses

In domestic law on July 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

At least 1 in 3 women will either be physically or sexually abused during her lifetime.

Today, another woman will die.

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Across the United States, up to 3 million girls and women will be physically abused this year.

Violence between intimate partners predominantly affects women: in 2001, 85 percent of domestic violence victims were women and 15percent were men. Women of all races are equally vulnerable.

Partnership to Tackle Violence

ry Kay Inc., based in Dallas,Texas, has been a corporate leader in addressing the concerns of women since its founding in 1963, and in 2000, expanded its charitable outreach to includeviolence issues. This year, Mary Kay has provided a grant to Women’s eNews to fund this series and its ongoing coverage of gender-basedviolence against women.

“Shining a bright light on domestic violence is one of the most important ways to bring it to an end,” says Mary

Women’s eNews is partnering with the Mary Kay Inc. to cover domestic violence in a new eight-part series. Mary Kay Inc., based in Dallas,Texas, has been a corporate leader in addressing the concerns of women since its founding in 1963, and in 2000, expanded its charitable outreach to includeviolence issues. This year, Mary Kay has provided a grant to Women’s eNews to fund this series and its ongoing coverage of gender-basedviolence against women.

“Shining a bright light on domestic violence is one of the most important ways to bring it to an end,” says Mary Kay Vice President AnneCrews, who was named a 21 Leader for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews in January. “Mary Kay is proud to support Women’s eNews in itsefforts to develop deep, insightful reporting in the many aspects of domestic violence.”

Crews added: “Domestic violence, rape, stalking and murder threaten and destroy women’s dreams, their families and, too often, their lives.”Crews also serves on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, which advises the federal Justice Department in developing deep, insightful reporting in the many aspects of domestic violence.”

Crews added: “Domestic violence, rape, stalking and murder threaten and destroy women’s dreams, their families and, too often, their lives.” Crews also serves on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, which advises the federal Justice Department in developing strategies and policies related to gender-based violence. “We are excited that the award-winning journalists at this nonprofit news reporting organization will be digging into several important domestic violence issues that have not otherwise been deeply explored,” she said.

Mary Kay has made cancer research and domestic violence issues of priority partly because of its history as a woman-owned business.

Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief of Women’s eNews and a survivor of domestic violence, says the series is intended to deliver to readers the information that will help women survive domestic violence as well as improve the services provided to them.

Additional Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-7233 or
TTY 800-787-3224
Calls Are Anonymous

Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence:

The Family Violence Prevention Fund:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

National Network to End Domestic Violence:

Podcast of October 2006 donation of $20,000
to each of 150 family shelters nationwide by
Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation
(requires iTunes intalled):

Council of Europe Campaign to End Violence Against Women:

World Health Organization Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women:

“Bringing Fear Home,” Dallas Morning News, June 6, 1993
[Adobe PDF document]: Morning News.pdf

U.S. Justice Department, Office on Violence Against Women:

Mother Jones, Special Report: Domestic Violence:

“The Days After,” a 16-page special section from the (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser, that examines the impact of domestic violence in Acadiana, La. 2006 winner for the DART Award for newspaper coverage:

Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, Domestic Violence Resources:



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