2010-09-18 - 5:13 a.m.
Difference between New York and Virginia in handleing domestic violence issues:
In VA when I walked into a court with my handset from a phone that had the Caller ID log which was EVIDENCE; unequivocle EVIDENCE of a violation of a protective order and the caller having had called me 20 times a day over the past few days; I ended up showing that to the PROSECUTING VA COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY in a negotiation room and the State of VA SETTLED that case and didn't even bring it to trial.
I just don't quite get it. There had ALREADY been a protective order including any violation would result in automatic conviction.
Not that I WANTED the man thrown in jail- I was pointing out that if he did not take the order to leave me alone at any point I COULD GO IN AN HAVE HIM THROWN IN JAIL FOR CLEAR VIOLATION.
So yes; I did not push for that consequence.
And my desire for the calls to stop DID get across as I think he got the message that if he continued to harass he WOULD end up in jail.
But this is the difference between VA and NY
I think had I walked in a court in NY with that evidence under a protective order that he is not allowed to call, the state of NY would not have ALLOWED me to demonstrate any compassion whatsoever. And to be honest, when I ask the question "What could be done differently" when thinking of the woman in Lovesttsville who was MURDERED by her husband (in recent years); or when asking "What could we have done differently?"
There was breaking and entry of the home I was living in during my protective order.
I came home to a broken window on the back door. Of course I called the police before I even entered the home to ensure safety as I WAS NOT going into that house and was afraid to get out of my car as it was dark and isolated and I wanted to be sure he was not there waiting for me.
So considering my experience of having discovered a protective order in VA can easily be WALKED THROUGH and IGNORED without consequences, I think there is ALOT that the state of VA could do differently to avoid tragedy from happening.
Here is how the state of NY handled a violation of a protective order indicating NO CONTACT:
As in every comparison of how the states handle these matters; the difference is dramatic.
Which reinforced that I believe it FACT that had I called the police that day in NY when there were hands around my neck throwing me against a wall yelling "I should kill you" in FRONT of my children on MOTHER's DAY because I did something like knock over LEGOS or didn't clean them up or some such craziness...
Well, the man would have been thrown in jail with a ridiculous number of COUNTS for each recent transgression at that time.
Which is why I decided right then and there it was the LAST time my children would witness Their father abuse me.
I decided that if I LEFT and they were not witnessing his abuse of me, that would be sufficient protection.
Time will tell there was wisdom in that,
What is clear to me is that if I had called those five years ago,there is a VERY HIGH PROBABILITY that this same man would STILL BE in JAIL in NY today. I would not be here in my job and in my new home. I would be living in Fayetteville NY. Or maybe I would have still come back home and I would be living on the farm and maybe I WOULD HAVE MY JOB.
And maybe I would have the support of the lovely little school and community who have tried to be supportive.
Maybe... but not likely as if he was in JAIL we would have stayed there so they could VISIT their Daddy in Jail.
So we would all likely have been still in NY rather than return home.
That would have become our home- Maybe.
I wonder how having a Dad in jail for domestic violence would have affected my girls, our girls, his girls.
I have to think that the time spent with him is positive in some ways, and I hope in MANY ways.
It is disconcerting to see the negativity toward me that is clearly nurtured by him.
With good resources however I am convinced I can teach respect of me as well as set the example to demand respect of others of your self.
I hope my examples are stronger teaching devices than what they have seen elsewhere.
And I hope MY CHOICES to provide safety, sucurity and love and support for a solid foundation for my children have in the end been wise ones.