The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Posts Tagged ‘victim’

Victim of North Naples homicide remembered as caring mother, ‘best friend

In domestic law on July 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm
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The Collier County Sheriff's Office is investigating the homicide of 45-year-old Suzanne Marie Bishop at Naples Keep Condominiums in North Naples Tuesday.  One male was transported to NCH North Collier Hospital and is now in the custody of deputies while the investigation continues.  Michel Fortier/Staff

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the homicide of 45-year-old Suzanne Marie Bishop at Naples Keep Condominiums in North Naples Tuesday. One male was transported to NCH North Collier Hospital and is now in the custody of deputies while the investigation continues. Michel Fortier/Staff

Suzanne Bishop didn’t have a lot, but according to her daughters what she had she would give.

Suzanne Bishop's photo from her Facebook page

Now, Bishop’s three children only have those memories of their mother to last them.

She wasn’t perfect either, they said, but she was still a great mom.

Collier County sheriff’s deputies found Bishop’s body in a North Naples apartment on Tuesday morning, the victim of what is being investigated as a homicide.

Christopher Serna, 34, of 152 Cypress Way E. Apt. 4, was arrested later in the morning and faces a second degree murder charge in connection with her death.

According to Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports, before deputies arrived, Serna phoned his father and asked him to call 911. When his father got to the apartment and attempted to unlock the front door, Serna prevented him from entering.

Deputies got to the ground-level condo in the Naples Keep complex at Palm River Estates shortly after 4 a.m. in response to a possible assault. There, they found Serna covered in blood, with numerous cuts on his hands, reports said.

Deputies then discovered Bishop, 45, dead inside the apartment with “obviously non self-inflicted traumatic injuries,” according to reports.

The nature of those injuries and the cause of death have not been made public, and no further details of what happened to Bishop were released.

Neighbors said they saw Bishop in Serna’s apartment complex over the weekend, and again Monday afternoon in her car near the building.

It is unclear what the connection is between Serna and Bishop. However, she was arrested last week on a battery charge following an altercation with her boyfriend, Alexander Amador. In May, Serna was interviewed by the Daily News as he visited the North Naples grave of his grandfather, Cecilio Amador, as part of Memorial Day activities.

Neither law enforcement nor Serna’s privately hired lawyer have confirmed how Serna knew Bishop, or if Serna and Alexander Amador are related.

Bishop’s family said they did not know who Serna was or why their mother was at his apartment.

Serna’s arrest history in Collier County includes misdemeanor DUI and drug charges in 2002 and 2003.

Though Bishop had hit a few rough patches in life, her death stunned family, friends and co-,workers. They described her as spirited and loving, with a sense of humor and quirkiness that made a lasting impression.

“She was caring, loving. She was my best friend,” said her daughter, Jennifer Hunter, 23.

Bishop gushed about her children — two daughters and a son, all in their early 20s — in Facebook posts.

“I can’t really say that she was perfect all of the time,” said her daughter Samantha Hunter, 21. “She was a fun-loving person. She was always a great mother.”

Bishop had a few run-ins with law enforcement, including a domestic violence charge a week before her death following an altercation with Alexander Amador. They were living together in Golden Gate Estates when a fight turned physical. Bishop was arrested.

Alexander Amador, who was at the home Tuesday afternoon, declined to comment on Bishop’s death.

After Bishop was released from jail last week, she called friend Curtis Vaught and asked to stay with him, Vaught said. She had no place to go, she told him.

Vaught agreed to let her sleep on the sofa in his Naples home for a few weeks. The handyman had known Bishop since he first hired her to work cleaning homes eight years ago, and they had kept in touch.

He was trying to help her find work since her job at a North Naples bakery was only seasonal. On Monday, Vaught lent her money for gas to look for work or go to interviews, but Bishop told him instead she was headed to meet a friend on Marco Island, he said.

He wasn’t surprised when he woke up on Tuesday morning and saw the couch empty. She had been in and out of the home a lot in the few days she spent there, he said.

“She always had some kind of crisis,” Vaught said. “She had the greatest heart in the world. She just couldn’t get her life together.”



Mother in shooting dies; second victim in ‘grave’ condition

In domestic law on July 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

A mother of four young children died Tuesday, a day after she was shot at her home. The children’s father is suspected in the killing and remained hospitalized and in police custody.

Police said there was a history of domestic violence between Hayden and Sandora. Sandora had taken out protection from abuse

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Renee Sandora, 27, died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. An autopsy was likely to be performed Tuesday, according to Maine State Police.

A second shooting victim, 28-year-old Trevor Mills of New Bedford, Mass., remained in grave condition, police said.

Police said the father of Sandora’s children, Joel Hayden, 29, will be charged in the shootings when his condition improves from injuries he suffered in a car crash as he fled from police. He is under police guard at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he is being treated for serious back injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

State Police collect evidence Tuesday at the scene of a shooting at 322 Bennett Road in New Gloucester. Renee Sandora, the mother of four children, was shot Monday and died Tuesday.

Police on Tuesday weren’t sure of Hayden’s most recent address. He has a criminal record in Maine, which indicates he has lived in Lewiston, Gray and New Bedford, Mass.

McCausland said that the relationship between Sandora and Hayden was deteriorating around the time their 3-month-old twins were born. It wasn’t clear whether the two were a couple at the time of the shooting.

Police were also trying to learn more about the relationship between Hayden, Sandora and Mills.

A relative of Sandora said Tuesday that the family was not ready to speak to the press.

Police said there was a history of domestic violence between Hayden and Sandora. Sandora had taken out protection from abuse orders against Hayden in the past but none were current, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Hayden, whom police described as an unemployed telemarketer, has a criminal history in Maine that dates back to 2004. He has felony convictions for separate instances of eluding an officer and possession of oxycodone.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported that Hayden was arrested by federal agents in Lewiston in 2004 in connection with a shooting in Massachusetts.

The newspaper said he was charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder.

Police said Hayden led them on a chase to the York County town of Lyman on Monday. Hayden crashed near Hawg Haven, at the intersection of routes 202 and 5. The car, owned by Mill’s mother, was towed to a state police garage and will be examined.

Sandora, along with other family members, served as a volunteer driver for Regional Transportation Program Inc., a Portland-based non-profit agency that provides transportation to the elderly and disabled.

She had been a volunteer for about five years, and gave rides five days a week.

“And then when her shift ended and even though she wanted to end her day, if there were rides we couldn’t figure out, she would step up to do those, too,” said Sara Trafton, RTP’s executive director.

Sandora recently started driving again after giving birth to her twins, Trafton said. Her oldest child was about 8 years old, she said. She had close family members who helped care for the children while she volunteered.

“She has four beautiful little children. As dedicated as she was as a volunteer, from what I saw she was a really dedicated mom,” Trafton said. “We’re all in shock and grief here.”

While Sandora talked about her children often, Trafton said she never heard about the children’s father or had any indication of trouble at home.

“She talked about her kids and about her riders,” Trafton said. “She was just a bright, young, dedicated woman and someone who was there to do whatever she could to get people where they needed to go.”

On Tuesday, state police detectives and evidence technicians searched Sandora’s Bennett Road home — a light blue mobile home with children’s toys in the front yard. A police dog was at work in a cordoned-off area.

Nicky Andrews, a neighbor, said she heard shooting Monday evening but didn’t think much of it at the time. A nearby gravel pit serves as popular spot for target practice. She learned later from friends that a dangerous suspect could be on the loose. It was a frightening situation for a normally quiet area.



Profile of a Batterer

In domestic law on July 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Batterers are as diverse as the victims of domestic violence, but what is most similar about batterers is the use of power and control as the main tactics in their abusive behavior.

1. Jealous
2. Blames others for his faults and circumstances for his problems
3. Demonstrates unpredictable behavior
4. Verbally belittles his partner
5. Always asks for another chance
6. Says he will change
7. Plays on his partner’s guilt and love
8. Closed-Minded – His way or no way
9. Seems charming to outsiders
10. Abuses (physically, verbally, and/or sexually) his children
11. Regards his violent behavior as acceptable
12. Angry with other women
13. Believes in rigid gender roles
14. Isolates partner from family and friends
15. Controls where partner goes and who partner sees
Although both men and women can be abusers, approximately 97% of all batterers are men. Abuse is often a learned behavior. The person who uses any form of violence to control or manipulate a partner often has low self-esteem, may refuse to accept responsibility for the violence, and may believe the violence is justified. Often the batterer will try to excuse the behavior or blame the victim for causing it. The tendency to use abuse as a control tactic is aggravated by the use of drugs and alcohol. Overcoming a substance abuse problem, however, does not usually end the abusive behavior. Batterers can overcome abusive behavior through the appropriate treatment and counseling, separate from their substance abuse treatment.



Beware Family Court: What Victims and Advocates Should Know

In domestic law on July 1, 2011 at 4:33 am
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In Family Court a Victim Is on Her Own Against the Abuser.
In Criminal Court it’s the State That Takes On the Abuser.

This is why criminal
cases are named in the form of ‘The People (meaning the
state or society) versus John Doe’, whereas family court
cases are named in the form of ‘Jane Doe versus John Doe’.

The criminal court
system pits the immense powers of the state against the accused.
In marked contrast, family court is merely a stage set by the
state where two private individuals can come to battle out their
personal differences, using their own devices, with the state
acting more as a weak referee, and wielding very little power.

Family court and criminal
court are profoundly different in premise, structure, power, and
purpose. The moment a victim steps into family court, whether
to seek a restraining order, custody and visitation rulings, a
divorce, or any other family court order regarding her abuser,
she’s literally opening the door for her abuser to launch unchecked
counterattacks against her, in an arena that was never designed
to deal with criminal dynamics, with the very real possibility
that the abuser may end up turning the family court against her.
In family court, an unprepared victim of family violence can be
as vulnerable to the perpetrator’s abuse as she is in the home.

Most people mistakenly
think that the difference between family court and criminal court
consists mainly in the different issues these courts deal with.
It’s a mistake that can seriously endanger victims of family violence
who too often trust that the family court system is built to protect
her in much the same way as the criminal system. Nothing could
be further from reality.

In family court, the
family issue at hand – whether custody, divorce, visitation, or
restraining orders, etc. – is deemed a private matter of such
minor consequence to the community that the two individuals in
a family court case are on their own; each responsible for investigating,
preparing, conducting, and defending their own cases. To be sure,
they are each free to hire their own private attorney to help
them if they wish – or if they can. But this factor also generally
serves to further disadvantage a victim of family violence and
to further empower a violent abuser, since it’s usually the abuser
who controls the family funds and can hire a private attorney,
and the victim who cannot.

In Family Court an Abuser can Launch Free Ranging Counterattacks
against the Victim.
In Criminal Court, Counterattacks by the Abuser Are Forbidden
or Tightly Restricted.



A Mother was shot to death by her estranged husband- 5 year old daughter witnessed

In domestic law on June 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm

After her Father Killed her mother, he killed himself, then the 5 year old child walked out of the house.

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Neighbors of a woman killed Sunday by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide described her as pleasant, saying she often walked through the neighborhood with the couple’s 5-year-old daughter.

“She was nice and really sweet,” Williams said.

Manika Mittal, 33, was shot to death about 2 p.m. by her estranged husband, Sandeep Mittal, at their home at 5660 Stone Crossing Drive in western Winston-Salem.

When police arrived, they found her dead at the front door.

Sandeep Mittal, 42, was still inside the house, with the couple’s daughter. At some point during a nearly two-house standoff with police, he stabbed himself in his arm and neck with a knife, police Capt. David Clayton said. No shots were fired during the standoff.

After her father died, the child walked out of the house. Officers went inside and found Sandeep Mittal’s body in a rear bathroom.

The Forsyth County Department of Social Services is caring for the girl, who apparently saw at least some of the incident, Clayton said.

Manika Mittal moved out of the house about two months ago, taking an apartment on Reynolda Road, police and Natasha Williams said. It was unclear why she moved.

Neighbors said they never saw or heard the couple arguing.

Before Sunday’s incident, police had never been called to the couple’s home, and the couple, both immigrants from India, had no history of domestic violence, Clayton said.

“She was quiet and mild-mannered,” Usher said of Manika Mittal.

Sandeep Mittal was a computer software engineer. Manika Mittal also had a job, Clayton said. It was unclear Monday what she did.



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