14 comments on “Every Picture Tells a Story [48 Hours Episode] – Why I am Thinking of Finally Pressing Charges

  1. I am with you in this uncertainty. There will be a next victim, just as we were a next victim. I have little to no faith or trust in the court system, especially in the land of the ” good ole boy” mentality. Gods will be done in your decision making……it is difficult.

    • I don’t know if you read the post, but I talked about my agitation with this in “Brush off Your Uniform – You’re Covered in Treachery.” You should be able to search it in the search bar on the right side of the blog pages.

  2. Technically, it is not up to you to “press charges”–that is up to the prosecuting attorney. It is up to you to report. Reporting is hard, but it is the only way to hold abusers accountable. At 22 months, it is unlikely that your case would be prosecuted. However, reporting would get the abuse on record, which is important if you abuser comes after you or after some other target.

    The effectiveness of reporting depends enormously on how well your local police and prosecutors respond to domestic violence, and what support services are available to you after you report. The criminal justice system is a very blunt instrument, but it is the only mechanism we have to make people stop doing stuff they want to do.

    This sounds pedantic, probably because I taught classes on family violence and on victim services for almost 25 years. After all those years, I have heard in depth why people hate reporting their abusers. I was in a relationship ages ago that was escalating toward abuse, but had the resources to leave fairly early in the process. I was lucky in many ways. I also know that just leaving is unlikely to make him stop. I hope you work through this and find a safe way to hold him accountable.

    Thank you for this resource. Your struggles help me think through my own experiences.

    • I am aware of this. I already went through family courts, I had a stay away order, I had the initial emergency order, and I have some pictures – but no medical report corroborating this. DV services in my area stretched to the limit. You can’t always get ahold of anyone. They tend to push people through the courts without explaining their options. At the time this is happening, you don’t have the mental and emotional whereabouts to asking if there are other options, what if this, what if that…. they should be doing it for you, and since many of them have been there themselves, they would do well to keep in mind the burden of urgency. There were plenty of things I was not told were options. They cycle us in and out like we are in line waiting to go through the turnstile. I also had the problem of him working for three agencies in three towns neighboring each other (one of them is the town of the last incident), and he also worked with another agency doing weapons sales. The drug agency and the DA from the neighboring county were so pleased with his work (due to promotions and all the good press earned) from a rather successful drug bust where they caught about 30 dealers in one weekend (thanks to him) that they extended their influence to the county we lived in and often helped him get out of trouble. I had no avenue to safely report anything. That was taken away. And even if they don’t charge him, I don’t care. How many more does he have to hurt before someone opens their mouth?

  3. It makes me think how few cases of domestic violence is ever reported compared to how many actually happened. Perhaps it was a push that didn’t cause major injury just bruises, or just a brief restraining, or a shorter burst of temper that was disturbed somehow or limited due to being in public, or even children got in the way. The idea that violence has to be big and life threatening, in order to be reported, is hard to counteract. No one wants to run to the police with small matters. However small fires can easily turn into big fires and big fires can quickly become raging and out of control.

  4. Reblogged this on Blog Of A Mad Black Woman and commented:
    This episode just goes to show how anyone can unfortunately, be drawn into Domestic Abuse/Violence.

    It also makes me glad that I reported my abuser two months after leaving him (which I was not going to do), because now, if he does it to someone else and they come forward, my traumatic experiences are on record.

    “How did a woman like Cathy, a strong woman with friends, family and money end up a victim of Domestic Violence?” ~ Narrator

    • You know, I got so angry when they asked that question at the end…. It irritates me every time someone does that. Like there was something wrong with her and not the fact that man is an animal. Like she was broken instead of those who saw things and sat in silence anyway. WE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. The abusers are. THEY mislead us. THEY verbally destroy us. THEY put their hands on us, rape us, beat on us, humiliate us, tear us apart, steal our money, and cut us off from everyone we care about. THEY ERASE US. THEY are broken. Not us. And all people have the nerve to do is question us. Judge us. Ridicule us. The more I see this, the angrier I get at myself for being too scared to report him… and I still am too scared to report him in some ways, because he has his friends stacked in the right places. And I just get to continue to clean up his mess.

      • You did the right thing at the time it happened. Just like I did. Honey don’t be mad at yourself for his actions. I know all that you say is true about them misleading us, etc, and that people judge us, etc. Believe me, I know exactly what you are talking about. (His step mother told me I was responsible for what happened). However, I don’t like seeing/hearing you like this. I love you too much. I know it’s taking a long time for you to stop clearing up his mess, but you will get there. Just wait. All in God’s timing.
        You have ways of contacting me privately if you need to talk. I’m always here for you.
        Love always. xx

  5. I wish you strength in whatever you decide. It’s not an easy decision to make, despite what some would think who’ve never gone through what you’ve gone through. Ultimately your own safety matters most. Though that may include taking care of peace of mind, if such a thing is possible.

    • My safety doesn’t mean much to me if someone else’s is going to be jeopardized. My struggle is no matter what decision I make, many people have their safety compromised. There is no peace. Just chaos, and I want it to stop.

  6. I hear you.

    I never had charges brought against my ex for domestic violence (I had him charged eventually under anti-stalking laws, as the best means of securing my safety). Mostly because I felt I had left it too late for evidence, and because I was just too deep in the aftermath of abuse to do it.

    Some days I wish that I had sought justice for the abuse, but I doubt it would have changed the outcome for him – or the other women he will inevitably meet – at all. A prison sentence wouldn’t change him – a perpetrator’s programme might, but that isn’t mandatory in our criminal justice system. It should be. I agree though that regardless, if his abuse was on record it may have made a difference for some other woman.

    You’re a brave lady, and I admire you for wanting to do what others could not.

  7. You are so brave doing this, and I wish you well. Stay safe and look after yourself physically and emotionally. Try and build some support around you with family and friends or a good counselor. take care.

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