Taking Your Abusive Mate To Court Why Some Women Dont

Today I went to court against my abuser. The incident had actually taken place back on Halloween 2005 and he was arrested and held in jail 48 hours. I had serious injuries, was photographed by a police photographer, and treated on the scene by an Emergency Medical Technician.I had called police to my personal residence that night after being slammed in the left eye 3 times by my abusers closed fist. This was not the first incident of violence I had suffered at his hands. There had also been numerous other physical and verbal assaults.

Our first trip to court was in January and I was subpoenaed by the D.A. My abuser had an attorney who was able to put the case off until today. (during all this, I am living right next door to my abuser and have an alarm in my home and a special 911 cell phone due to his battering). In January, after the case is reset for March, I am not told by anyone and I set in the courtroom for hours because I was not told it had been rescheduled. Finally, I realized my batterer and his attorney were gone so I asked the Bailiff.

He told me I could leave, the case was reset.So, the big day came today. I arrived on time because my abuser had entered a not-guilty plea at some time and had chosen a bench trial. (a hearing before a judge and NOT a jury). I am sworn in and called to testify first by the D.

A. After my testimony I am told I must wait OUTSIDE the courtroom while the police officers and my batterer give their testimony. WHAT? Why am I not allowed to hear any of this. I am the victim.

I was shocked by this.I wait outside the courtroom for what seemed like an hour. Finally the bailiff tells me I can re-enter. I am shocked by the fact that the D.

A. and my abusers attorney are in the MIDDLE of their closing arguments. I had missed the ENTIRE trial and all testimony other than my own.

It boils down to this. My abuser was allowed to hear ALL testimony before taking the stand and was allowed to dispute anything he disagreed with, I was not given this opportunity and I did not understand why. I have no idea what the police officers nor my abuser said on the stand and I was never asked for my side of anything HE said.

I was outraged!.The judge did find in my favor sort of. She said she felt I had probably started the entire incident and that my abuser's ONLY mistake was not leaving when I had asked him to. She further stated that she believed he was only defending himself and went to far to the point of battery. I was ready to SCREAM at this point.

What had he said in my abscence to convince this judge of this? The court had presented at least 12 episodes of abuse inflicted upon me by the batterer. These incidents included fractured ribs, a broken tooth, an incident of sicking a dog on me which caused a sever bite, choking me to the point of unconsciousness, etc. Yet, this judge believed I had caused it!.In the end, after making ME feel like the criminal and victimizing me again in my opinion, the judge did charge the abuser with Domestic Battery, 12 months probation, court ordered counseling, and a mandatory 200.

00 fine.I should have been happy but I was not. She went on to say she believed him (the batterer) to be sincere and she felt jail time was unnecessary. Again, I was shocked!.

Had I been allowed to take the stand again (I was not) I could have told her of the repeated abuse since Halloween 2005 when I would come home and find him in my house waiting for me and threatening to kill me if I did not drop these charges.The moral of this story. It seems criminals have more rights then victims AND I understand why so few women actually report abuse.

The courts seem to favor the criminal. Will I ever report abuse again by this man. I seriously doubt it.


By: Dariana Donovan

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