Thursday, March 29, 2007

Segment from 20/20 on Domestic Abuse

Posted by Hannah at 9:24 PM

I saw this on TV, and finally someone posted it on youtube.

This man shows clearly what emotional and verbal abuse is about. He also decides to use physical abuse as well.

What's telling about this case is that even tho there is a video tape over an hour long - husband made his child tape it for 'training purposes' to show the family WHY she deserves this......its a misdeanor! In court could be sent to jail for max. a year, but out without 9 months. The fact that her boss paid attention, and kept a calendar as to when she was hurt, the video tape, and 2 out of 3 children stepped up in court to testify against him.....and also other things I'm sure he was sentenced to 30 years. They asked him to plea out so the children didn't have to take the stand, and he refused to do that. He got the longest sentence on record without killing someone for domestic abuse. Most never see jailtime of substance at all because it is very hard to convict!

I posted this on a panel of abused women and men. They come from all walks of life, and from all over the world. They are both people of our faith, others faiths, or no faith following at all. There comments are something I wish to share because people need to know WHY I scream so loudly on this issue! WHY the church should listen, and not push it away!

My heart broke for that poor woman! And her children, who were also being abused by that maniac! I never stop asking myself how anyone could be so evil and I don't believe I'll ever have an answer to that question.

THAT was hard to watch....what a horrible heart goes out to that woman.....SOOOOO interesting to see how it evolved....first, he was overbearing, like her dad, then he was controlling, did not want people around, weirdly jealous.....sound familiar to anynone? Then, he became progressively more and more controlling, until it finally became physical....and the saddest part....he would have killed her, I am sure...if she had stayed. Those poor children, I hope her sons will learn, somehow, to truly love a woman, and the daughter will one day be able to believe what she was seeing....

Even worse, the judge said it was an "unusual situtation",.....for those of you that were or are physically abused, I bet it seems pretty run of the mill.....

Dear God, please help these women get away from these men, and please allow the children that grow up watching this to somehow not repeat history....

My friend was murdered by her stbx husband, whom she had left, gotten a PPO against, and was divorcing. He came to the apartment where she was staying with her son from a previous marriage and her little boy from their marriage. Her older child let him in the house and he went to her bedroom, where her little one lay next to her in bed, and killed her with an ax as she lay sleeping next to her little boy. She was a brilliant, beautiful woman- ivy league educated, quick-witted and insightful, a Sunday school teacher, a woman who had had one of those 5-star careers and quit to teach in an inner city school system. She had a smile that lit up a room, and the warmest, funniest, most open manner about her. She had had two VA/EA marriages and the last one ended in her death. And I never knew. She didn't know I was in a EA/VA relationship at the same time that she was.

I truly believe that VA & EA are meant to destroy as much as violence is, but the perpetrators hold themselves in check only because they fear the consequences of being caught.

Tear the curtains back. Exposure is the only way. Shows like this are so important.

When they showed the film of when she said she "I think I can care about what my children do." And the way he took the word "think" and twisted it into something it wasn't was SO very familar to me. My husband has been doing this to me for so long...and the sick part? HE accuses me of parsing my words, changing my stories, lying and manipulating. It is EVERYTHING he does.

It's no wonder women don't go to the police. Look how hard it is to prove verbal/emotional abuse! Even physical abuse! Bumps and bruises aren't enough!

This reaches decent people anywhere in the world on a visceral level. It instills silent, healthy anger that prompts action sooner or later, in some form. I don't think it's possible to legislate penalties for verbal and emotional abuse, but it is possible to legislate funding for education, awareness, police response if physical violence is threatened and for couneling and the treatment of victims. Awareness, fostered by media exposure such as this, is obviously crucial to bring the issue of VA,EA,PA into the sphere of political action.

The fact that the abusive "star" of this television segment was given a sentence that exceeds some murder sentences is telling. Decent people don't like this sht.

One lady mentioned that her family wanted her to force the issue in court when the divorce started, and her lawyers advised against it. Told her to go for the no fault divorce, because the chances are next to nothing she would get justice.

Most of the attys I spoke with advised me to do as you are planning. Just get the divorce. The chances of him "paying for the abuse," at least through the legal system, are next to none. It's not worth wasting what it would cost in legal fees.

In a perverse way, this woman is lucky because 1. the abuse was obvious and overtly disgusting (and you didn't have to know the context to recognize it) and 2. as humiliating as he meant the recording to be, it's documented.

What do you bet the guy still gets liberal visitation with his children?

One thing I am disappointed in -- I wish they had not focused so much on the physical abuse. I know that is what makes people the most emotional but the most DAMAGING abuse was the 45 minutes of "you THINK you are interested in your children..." and then "you THINK you love your children..." that precede the beating. THAT is something that she could have done nothing about in court!

That is also the part that most feel isn't that big of a deal either. Systematic control is normally how it starts - and grows worse as the years pass.

I would like to see others pay the same or a similar penalty. The impact of what these abusive people do goes way beyond the primary target.

What really hit home for me was the word twisting part.
You *think* you care about what your kids do?
You *think* you love your kids.

Is so much easier to see live and in person than read articles that try to describe it,
when you see the twist, hear the's all too familiar.

With my son's dad...he tried to strangle me after a soccer game when my son was about 7 years old...right in front of my son. I tried to get the TRO for myself AND my son. They said they can't for my son because he was not violent with my son! Again...ANGER runs through every part of me because of the lack of common sense on part of the court...the law...whatever. So? What? My son has to get beaten to a pulp before I can do anythign about it! Needless to say, I wasn't happy about it.

Abuse is NOT about physical violence. It's all about CONTROL.

I can't say that enough.

The physical abuse is awful...just awful. The verbal/emotional is bad enough....but I know how it felt when my husband would yell, scream, talk over me, never let me say more than maybe a half a word without interrupting, call me stupid over and over...and tell me I'm an idiot...but when he would come toward me and get in my face...that was adding to made me more afraid (mind you he's never HIT me ON PURPOSE), and when he'd grab me...and put me on the floor or where ever...while screaming and yelling over my crying and begging him to please stop to listen to me...pinning me down...then proceding to get in my face and YELL at me...THAT scared me...BUT...he never hit me!! NEVER hit me. He would chase me around the house sometimes...and I actually had to HIDE in the closet back in the little corner tucked behind the walk in closet...after going through all that, I can't imagine the horrid feeling of not only being verbally/emotionally abused...but the getting slammed in the face...getting beat up? All of that would be just too much. That may have been just all it took to drive me over the edge...

The poor woman said it exactly right in the beginning, she was saying how she was just trying trying trying so hard to please her husband, make him love her, be deserving of love, and be the perfect wife/mother. But nothing she could do would please that jerk off. So many of us try that with our EA's.. oh man..

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Anonymous said...

I am currently getting a divorce and getting out of an emotional abuse situation which cycles between periods he can be nice and periods he's cruel. I still have images in my mind of him yelling at me with my two very young children running to me to hide behind me afraid of their father. He's almost hit me twice, and both times the only thing that stopped him is that he didn't want to get in trouble.

Please, if you are in this situation, do not wait for it to get worse - the sooner you leave the better off you will be and the sooner you can find yourself again. I was in counseling and she told me I've completely changed from being totally afraid, intimidated, unsure of the future to regaining control of my life.

Also, please pray for all the individuals in these situations, that they will heal, find their inner strength, and be able to leave.

Anonymous said...

I guess one has to have this kind of tape to be believed. Some of us will never have it; and this emotional and verbal abuse is there. What is one to do? what is one to do? Most of men out there (my huband included) are educated and smart enough or better yet sophisiticated NOT to leave any evidence and to know that in court you got nothing. This is sad very sad.

Hannah on 11:43 AM said...

I do agree.

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