Domestic Violence and No-Contact Orders

Nina Shapiro, a reporter at Seattle Weekly has written a very insightful article regarding domestic violence at Seattle Municipal Courts. Ms. Shapiro has consistently examined numerous areas of the Washington State Judicial system with a careful eye. Having dealt with Domestic Violence cases in our practice, this was a look at some of the issues that are rarely raised in a public forum, given the emotionally charged nature of these cases.

How the Cops and Courts Turn Abused Spouses Into Voiceless Victims
The “enlightened” approach to domestic abuse has left women passive and powerless.

“People have a right to make bad choices,” agrees Pat Valerio, another public defender who works for the Associated Counsel for the Accused. A no-contact order, she says, is supposed to be for the benefit of someone who wants to be protected. It’s not “to have all the power of government coming in and saying, ‘We know better than you; you need to get over this guy.'” The state’s policy, she says, is just another way of overpowering a person who’s supposedly already been overpowered by her partner.

Local practices around domestic violence are the result of a decades-long push by women’s groups and others to get such cases taken more seriously. In 1984, Washington state enacted a law requiring police to make an arrest when they arrive at a scene where they believe domestic violence has occurred. Merril Cousin, executive director of the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says the law followed a number of studies suggesting that arrests reduce recidivism more than, say, “having the guy walk around the block, which is what they used to do.”

In theory, women could ignore no-contact orders they didn’t want, and sometimes they do. But their partners will face the consequences if, for example, the two of them are pulled over in a traffic stop. “We try to tell our clients it doesn’t matter who initiates contact,” says Valerio. “If they do anything but hang up the phone or walk away, he’s in violation.” She tells of one case in which her client called 911 because his alleged victim was on his front porch in the middle of the night, screaming. When police arrived, they jailed him for violation of the no-contact order.

“The reality is, many of the people involved in these situations are going to be together, and have families together,” Hayden acknowledges. “People don’t want to split up.” Allman believes that victims are looking for things they’re not getting from the prosecutor’s office: “more reasonable jail time,” perhaps family counseling, and “help at home with child care, the stressors that are causing offender behavior in the first place.”

Domestic violence is a complicated area of law with no easy answers or solutions. However, we should be able to reexamine our judicial system to determine whether processes are dragging to many innocent people into its current.

75 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 00:29h, 07 November Reply

    Good grief! This is my story except for the pregnancy and the charger. My rights were totally taken away. I am very disappointed with the legal system. A child molester can get away with so much more! It makes me sick!

  • DrMoreau
    Posted at 19:47h, 19 December Reply

    This seems to be my story as well.

    America’s judicial system is set up to make America fail. One of the supposed strong points of our country is supposed to be the freedom to decide for yourself, and while I understand that in some cases the woman is being “forced” to drop charges IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE!

    I wish I NEVER called the police when he broke my closet door, because that is ALL that he did, and he left. I called because I was worried that it would escalate. I just wanted him to leave the house for the night.

    NOW we have a no contact order, and I have a hearing for January 3rd to have it lifted, but the DV Prosecuting Attorney has told me that a “judge” has to decide.

    The worst part is that our daughters first Christmas is this year, and the person who is supposed to be on MY side, but I can tell she is not. She is an advocate for womans rights, but only HER idea of what a womans rights are.

    AND they didn’t even invite me to the arraignment, and I didn’t go b/c I didn’t think that I needed to, and I was watching my baby instead. I wish I went so I could have spoke my mind. Hell, he SLEPT AT MY HOUSE the night before his arraignment.

    We resolved the situation ourselves, we don’t live together anymore. We’ve been getting along much better… for a whole WEEK before they gave the no contact order.

    I hope to God that the judge understands.

    What can we do to change this!?!

  • John
    Posted at 01:19h, 05 March Reply

    I’d like to give a perspective from the man’s side for a change. Think of this, you have done everything right all your life. You paid taxes, bought your home, worked for the betterment of your family, never struck your wife, and one time your wife gets pissed off at you, throws her cereal in your face, and you try to defend yourself over a 10 second period.

    She taunts you, as you pack to get out for a while so she can cool off, and you stupidly throw it back in her face “Go ahead call the police”. Next thing you are in handcuffs, spending the next 36 hours in a cold jail sleeping on the cement floor. You are brought before the judge in handcuffs and schackles, where he puts a 5 year do not contact order in place. Sound reasonable?

    I cannot go home or within 250 feet of it for any reason. I am no longer capable of performing one of my responsibilities for one of my businesses, which may lead to its failure. Sound Reasonable?

    Does government belong in this role of mandating guilt where none exists, or taking away civil rights at the drop of a hat? If I want to live like this, I’ll move to Russia.

  • riley
    Posted at 23:14h, 16 June Reply

    It’s happening to me too. What a total nightmare. Someone needs to get rid of this Draconian law.

  • Completely upset
    Posted at 00:51h, 30 July Reply

    Yes. I think the no contact law is bullshit. Well, unless it’s a big offense (like i.e. beating the hell out of you) I think jail time is bullshit. Have had 2 incidents. Both are very displeasing and show how the law can be a bunch of idiots.
    1. Distant Past: Dating a guy, we lived together. At first, he would push me….got over it, talked about it etc. Thought past was past…yadda, yadda, yadda. After a while wwe starting fighting again. I told him to move out (The leas was in my name). Then, he went completely crazy on me. Beat me up to let me lay on the floor. Luckily, my phone was by me. I didn’t even call the police…I called my Aunt…she called the cops. All I could do was lay there. From that I had at least 8 bruises along with everything else that hurt. I followed through with everything. This guy gets of with 2 months jail time…tell me that?
    2. 5 years later…left the past behind. Got married. Now, me and my husband are arguing. He Hits my arm. Whether accidental or not I call the cops because…been there. Not going to live through that again right? Now mind you we have a kid together. No contact…we only have one vehicle at the time (well, because of gas prices). Now, how the hell am I supposed to do anything? I’ve tried talking to the states attorney…nothing. She’s a victims advocate….oooohhh. My husband and I have come to work things out.

    The thing I don’t get is why are they trying so hard to prosecute him (they want in jail for at least 2 yrs) yet the guy that actually beat me up walks free with only 2 months?…

  • Kelley
    Posted at 04:19h, 30 August Reply

    I am currently in the midst of a nightmare DV case. Unfortunately I called the police when my fiance shoved me and we are taking the case to trial, but in addition to that my son called hte police when he thought he shoved me and then ran to the neighbors. Can you help?

  • Felonious Assault
    Posted at 23:41h, 31 August Reply

    This is actually starting to scare me. What scares me is that this seems to be happening everywhere and I’m hearing the same stories over and over again.

    I’m from Ontario Canada and it’s the same up here. I was doing research for the site in the link on my signature and I came across this site.

    My story is a little different though. My wife is bipolar and she mixed meds with alcohol which triggered an rapid cycling anger episode and she called 911. When they arrived they charged me immediately after noticing a scratch she had suffered earlier…and I mean just that a scratch. They asked her if I did it and she said no many, many times. The responding officer called her a liar in my presence and his partner handcuffed me and they took me away. (What scares me even more is that my wife used to be in landscaping 2 years ago and did tile work, bush planting, digging, stump removal etc. If she had that job now and the resulting scratches and bruises, would I have been blamed for causing them because a police officer imagines it?)

    From holding cells to actual jail until bail could be arranged (my wife managed to call everyone in my cell phone and there was a troupe in court), and then the no contact rule, as well as using all savings for attorneys etc. I’ve just been informed that the case will not be going to trial until at least February 2009 and I will be a part from my family during that time. (In my case 500 feet) I was the major bread winner of the family, but because of the nature of the charge and no contact rule they also told me that I cannot give my wife money directly or it would look like coercion. My wife as a result is raising our 9 month old alone with nothing, had to go on social assistance which is an even further drain on the economy, and I will miss my older stepsons first day back at school, our sons first birthday, his first words, and his first steps, along with Christmas New Years and our anniversary.

    They conducted no investigation and I have absolutely no criminal record, never even been charged for anything in 36 years. I work in a high security field and I have always kept my nose clean because I know my chosen field would require a criminal record check which is now also in jeopardy. If they manage to get this to go through or try to get me to deal so this ends sooner, I will be unable to find employment in my field. If they had just spent some time they would have discovered nothing at all happened, but the police, crown, everyone involved just doesn’t seem to care that they have ripped a family a part for a crime that never even took place. That is not justice.

  • Nick
    Posted at 05:11h, 24 September Reply

    Oh wow! I never thought that I would be in company of others who are dealing with the same issue!
    My loving wife got hammered one evening and decided to get into an argument with me because she was drunk and wanted to watch something else on t.v. long story short. the 911 call was placed and hung up immediately because no crime was committed by either party and it was stupid drunk argument on both sides about it. i was getting ready to go half a mile to my parents house where they live when the police showed up. literally im outside getting ready to leave and they are there. they start pressuring me and questioning me as well as her. then asked a simple question about how i got literally a baby scratch like u could do it with a fingernail. which by the way happenned when we were making love earlier that evening. i explained how, next thing i know my wife is being taken out of the house in handcuffs. my children are asleep or so i thought. They witnessed mommy being taken away by the police. what kind of impact does that have on them? yeah, you can do the math! i get this victims packet like im some sort of victim. the jail is closed sunday and so i had to explain to the kids why mommy was gone, without making her be seen in a bad light nor the police as they need to grow up respecting them. monday i go to the arraignment and we are slapped with a no contact order which neither of us wanted. and its a protection order. “from what” my wife changing the channel on the television? come on what an abuse of power by the state, the officers are doing they’re job because this is the only mandate that they cannot use judgement on or they will be fired. its a glitch in the system. i will probably be deploying before this is over. my family wont survive financially and/or relationship wise because of this no contact order and the worst part about it is that it was over something soo stupid! i understand that in certain circumstances this may be justified if someone was beaten or a real crime committed but come on how dumb is this law? so far the 2nd week into this i have spent over $6000.00 dollars which was supposed to be for sustaining my family while im overseas as an emergency fund. now i may forced to be overseas fighting for our country and our freedom while my very own is being infringed upon by the state. not able to talk to my family via any communication while halfway around the world. where i could die at any moment. how messed up is that? that should be illegal! whoever created this law in 1985 may had good intentions but has overstepped their boundaries. what i want to know is how can we band together to get our rights and civil liberties rightfully back. so that this does’nt go on anymore. we are in 2008 almost 2009 thats 23 years of this nonsense. its time to fix this garbage mandate. police officer’s need to have more options in such cases as well as victim’s, defendants. its should be in the couple’s hands if they want to stay together or separate. not the state’s misguided regulation. furthermore, why in the world as the alleged victim am i getting propaganda which is all about a female being the victim. that is sexist and discriminatory! to say the least i am not a happy camper in the least bit and i will be heard as soon as i find out how to make my voice heard rest assured i will do so even if it takes 5 years. the legal system is supposed to be fair and non bias but its clear and evident that it is not the case. By the way, in my personal opinion the victim’s advocates are a joke and a waste of the tax payers dollars for the most part. they really dont do anything for you and can care less about the individual, they ARE NOT the VOICE of the victim as they self proclaim. you are better off getting a child to be your voice than the advocate. In my case i wanted the best attorney as my legal council and it broke the bank but it may be worth it, i will know tomorrow after i see the judge. for those of you who are victim’s and are upset YOU ARE NOT ALONE! the big question is how do we the people fix this faulty law? who do we talk to and how do we get this changed so others dont have to deal with this nightmare? this is NOT justice nor is this the intention of the person who put this in place, they must not have thought it through all the way before putting it in place.

  • ROI
    Posted at 22:12h, 01 October Reply

    Nick, so what happened after the judge?

  • ROI
    Posted at 00:45h, 04 October Reply

    no-contact order was lifted. charges will be dropped.

  • Jan
    Posted at 06:55h, 27 October Reply

    Please help with any advice whatsoever. I am the Victim – So the prosecuting atorneys office states. No-one will listen to me. My husbad had his arraingment and they said I not need to be there. I wrote a statment, though seems that it was ignored becsuse they said at his arraingment how do they know I really wrote it. (Because the Prosecuting attorneys office told me I could write it and send it in, so I did) Now I get a letter saying she’s from the Prosecuting attorneys office and victims advocate and here to help and direct me in a ny way. BS – They don’t give a crap that this was a Huge mistake, I big mistake, they just want to prosecute. {My daughter go scared, during a 5 min fight, husband trew a cup, she called 911 – No joke – Husband went to Jail}! MY Husband HAS NO criminal record and this has never happened EVER, I had not one scratch on me.
    The cop was unpleaseant and now theres a “No Contact order” and the Next hearing is in a MONTH.
    Now WHAT – Just wait??!!! I can’t do that, They also won’t even help try to get it lifted.
    From all the comments I have read, Yes I agree a victim is someone that needs/wants help, who was hurt and bruised, or it has been an ongoing thing.
    I am not the victim,and my husband is not the criminal. ANY advice would be so appreciated.
    I talked with a lawyer and I can’t afford 6 thousand dollars.

  • Rebecca Sipe
    Posted at 20:36h, 06 January Reply

    This is SO true across the board! I am in Oregon and am going thru the same situation as all of you! One night of a little too much to dring, one family argument out of control and my boyfriend is in jail and dealing with legal issues for years!! I NEVER wanted charges pressed and the procecuting attorney NEVER EVER asked my side of the story. So much for having a just legal system. We are doing everything right and they still have set tye system up for all to fail. Any Oregon advice out here would be great!

  • Jan
    Posted at 01:07h, 09 January Reply

    Follow up from my previous post above – Oct 27th, 2008.

    Well so far since my last post we had a preconfernce, that was a waste, we sat there for over 2 hrs listening to everyone elses DV charges. Most all of them took the plea. So that means, pretty much they got fined, probation and 1 – 2 yrs of DV treatment. My husband Still stuck to “NOT GUILTY” I swear because of it, the judge DID NOT lift the “NO-Contact order” It’s BS. He’s never has a criminal record, this has never happened, cops never came to home before, I WAS NOT at ALL even scratched or even touched for that matter, I have never cried out for help…. anyways they set him for trial. and Jury trial following next week.
    This seems just so illegal – I say F- the bad cops and F the State prosecuting attorney. ……..
    They want to Subpeona me to show up in court AS a “WITNESS” I still can’t believe this is happening and I don’t even know if I should show up, because it sure didn’t do any good at the preconference when I spoke to the Judge.
    This is so ridiculous.

    ( Now I understand about the Victims Advocates – They aren’t there to help/protect you, they are there to PROSECUTE – no justice….)

    My advice – DOn’t SPEAK to anyone especially the PA office or anyone from there. they will just lie to you……

    Still confused in WA……….

  • Catherine
    Posted at 15:45h, 18 March Reply

    I can’t believe I’m joining such a long chorus of voices! It’s wonderful therapy to see that I am not alone. I’m terrified to contact the prosecutor and ask her to drop charges against my husband, even though I want to, because she might think I’m an “enabler.” The offense was a minor physical scuffle between me and my husband which left no injuries. First time anything like this has happened in a 16 year relationship. Now we face thousands of dollars in legal fees, possible fines, and expenses for the “batterer’s treatment” he’ll probably get. We need the time and money for other things, like marriage counseling, which would be more useful. What’s more, I just found out I have thousands of dollars worth of dental work I need done. If I can’t get it done, it will be the state, not my husband, who has done me actual physical harm!

  • Jan
    Posted at 22:53h, 19 March Reply

    – My Follow up – See my Last Three posts.

    OK So from my last post of this BS going to JURY trial – Well My advice to all was stay clear from the Prosecuting attorney from anyone from that office. DO not I repeat DO NOT get subpeoned. DO not answer your door. Do not, As I give you the Advice that I DID…. IT saved me and my husband from all this BS we went through for 85 days.

    to make this LONG story short…. DONT give in. (especially if you didn’t do anything harmful} If my husband took the BS plea we would be paying up our asses in ALL the court fees, attorney fees, and the BS treatments they say to do.
    anyways at the pREtrial guess what – THEY Dropped all charges……….

    All because WE didn’t (husband) Give in or give up. AND I ignored all contact from the P A office. And I did not get subpeoned.

    click on the notify of follow up if you want to chat back.

  • Jan
    Posted at 22:56h, 19 March Reply

    TO: Catherine

    What state are you in?

    My situation was in WA

  • Juan Jimenez
    Posted at 01:05h, 31 March Reply

    I myself was convicted of Domestic Violence back in 1995. I completed all the classes that I was forced to attend then i joined the Army where i had a great 11 years. I’m still with the same woman who called the police many years ago and I have never been in trouble since. Why should we all pay the price for a simple mistake. Also in closing I am trained as a special op soldier so i really dont need a weapon to get the job done. This law is a joke.

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 16:43h, 01 April Reply

    I am in the same situation in Oregon right now. It is crap. My husband and I got into a verbal yelling match. The cops got called. I got a bloody nose. However, he did not hit me. I am pregnant and had a bloody nose earlier. My husband informed the cops not to enter our house, yet they did. He told them he wanted his attorney present before questioning, yet they ignored that. I told them they were not to take any pictures of my home, and they did. He got arrested. We have a BS no contact order.

    The victims advocate is a load of crap. They think I am a victim, but I am not. They are forcing seperation which is not good. We wanted to work this out on our own, but they will not allow it.

    We now have to pay so much money to take this to trial. I am so mad, I want my life back and my husband back. Any advice?

  • Hovering
    Posted at 22:12h, 11 May Reply

    Jan- Not sure what the ‘preconference’ is, I’m in WA too. I was the ‘victim’ of a really non violent incident in which i didn’t even call the police. First time this has ever happened for me or him, we’ve been together 4 years, it was just a drunken mistake on his part, but I wasn’t injured. I have already made the request to lift the NCO, judge decided to only modify for email contact only regarding financial issues only. Pretrial is next week, I’m not required to go. Wondering what will happen. We both want this to work out so bad.

  • Jan
    Posted at 18:00h, 20 May Reply

    to; Hovering – seems these get to me late in my junk.

    Pr conferance was after arrainment. It may be called Pre-conference trial. For how he will plead if it will go to trial. They will probably offer a plea and make him p[ay a fine and take the stupid classes.

    I went to try to lift the no-contact order I tried twice. The judge didn’t even care. Waste of time I should not of gone. PRE-Trial the PA said I should go – I LEARNED not to go and NOT talk to anyone. PLEAD not guilty.

    If you go they will have a CASE to try to prosecute. They may try to Subpeaona you also. JUST do not open your door for NO-ONE. Believe me the process servers are dogs and will try and do anything to hand you papers. If that is the case that it will go to trial.

    contact me and I will check everyday.
    [email protected]

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 20:39h, 20 May Reply

    When you get subpoenaed, they are dogs. I was recently subpoenaed. I saw it was the sheriff, and did not answer the door. I went to another room in my house to finish my phone conversation. He left it on my front door mat. The DA told me that it was allowed for him to do that. However, if you read the subpoena, it says personally hand deliver. I was pissed because they left it where anyone could have picked it up and read what was going on.

    Then during my husbands trial, the cop LIED, the DA lied. My husband got convicted of contempt of court. The DV charge is still pending. However, the judge still pinned him with the DV package. Tell me how fair this is.

  • strong
    Posted at 03:46h, 26 May Reply

    To: Whoever Will Listen,

    I am a 43 yr old man in my 14th year in a public service career. I’m engaged to be married to a wonderful woman who has a ten year old boy, both of whom I love dearly.

    About a month ago we had a disagreement mostly the result of poor communication. We were both under a lot of stress, working constantly to remodel her old house, an ongoing project we had devoted months of spare time to. We then decided to buy a new home on acreage in an area we wanted to settle in for good, had to stop work on her house and turn the focus towards preparing mine for sale; we didn’t comprehend the scope of that project until we looked at it with an eye towards making it ready to go on the market. I was able to secure the loan for the new place based on good income and excellent credit – we both knew we were taking on three mortgage payments and a bridge loan until one of the houses sold, and on top of that we worked continually.

    The day of the disagreement we engaged in a bit of a battle of egos. We failed to communicate on some issues of personal importance, and in the evening we had a scene. I had been drinking, I am mostly to blame for immature and angry behavior, we both have come to realize each of our own contributions. The next day she called the police dept. She was upset and angry and admits she wanted to retaliate, she also says she was interested in obtaining some kind of assurance that I would not bother her for a couple days. The respondent on the phone asked if there was a problem, she replied we had had an argument and she felt uncomfortable with me right now. The respondent asked if she had filed a police report, saying that would be the first step, could she come in to the station and be interviewed. My fiancé obliged. She was asked if I had touched her, and other questions with no knowledge of how it would be used, or what the consequences could be. She exaggerated many things, not wanting to appear frivolous. When I read the report, I was amazed. Much of what she reported did not happen at all! Talking about it later, after she had calmed down, she admitted that much of what she reported was physically impossible, exaggerated or mis-stated.

    She is not a dishonest person. I could understand how someone in her position could respond as she did.

    She is still learning the extent of the repercussions of getting the police involved as this little journey through Hell unfolds. She adamantly wishes she had not contacted the police. She did not realize the choice of pressing a charge would not be hers. She did not realize I would be jailed. She did not realize I may lose my job, we may lose our new home. She did not realize a court mandated no contact order would keep us apart, for a month so far, and we still do not know when it will be lifted. We have been kept from tending to our business, which is considerable with all we had taken on. I have missed meaningful events, such as seeing the play I helped her son rehearse for. Almost 3,000$,
    money intended to be a safety buffer to pay bills has gone to a lawyer. We cannot sleep together, touch each other, see each other. We missed our planned wedding date, May 22nd. Our families are dismayed. We have suffered anxiety and depression and loss due to the police and court involvement in our personal lives to such an exponential degree that our original problems seem now entirely insignificant by comparison, and we just want the goddamn “authorities” to butt- out of our lives!

    She has told everyone from the prosecutor to the so – called “advocates”, to the police dept. representatives that the report is false and exaggerated, but to no avail. We are both treated with contempt; indifference. We are patronized, treated as children, only worse because children should never be treated this way. All of us are being punished. Our livelihood is at stake; our lives are being ruined for us and NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

    We see no justice in this charade, we feel as if we have no rights, and we certainly do not trust the “system”. We have come together more as a result, we have discovered issues we each have to deal with more effectively and done so at a faster rate than we would have under normal circumstances.

    We appeared before the judge after her petition to lift the no contact order. We were not allowed much input, the judge hardly made eye contact. It took all of five minutes for him to refuse our wish to be allowed counseling and to leave the order in place except for the modification that we could communicate by “letter” or “phone”. The judge cited statistics as the main influence in his decision; once again we were not treated as persons. We were both shocked.

    Obviously these laws petitioned for by special interest groups were “intended” for good reason and good result. I’m reminded of the saying, “The Road To Hell is Paved With Good Intention”. Is it the intent of the state to create more victims and more destruction?

    This needs to be addressed somehow- even a former police officer has written me a letter stating that since the state’s adoption of the cookie cutter, “make an arrest, press charges” mandate that he arrested many people who shouldn’t have gone to jail during the last two years or his service there. I myself see it often enough due to the fact that I work closely with the police and have gone to plenty of domestic violence calls. Seldom is anyone really hurt, most often when the male – usually – is being put in handcuffs, the female quits crying and shouts “What are you doing? – don’t take him to jail Please! He didn’t do anything”. It is not just a punch or a slap even that can constitute “battery”, a touch will do! My fiance’s experience has been that in trying to now tell the truth she is met with a sorry gaze and a patronizing hand on the shoulder – THEY THINK SHE IS CAVING IN TO WEAKNESS, AN “ENABLER”!!!!!

    The lawyer stated there must be 60 cases on average a month through the courthouse. Sounds like quite the little epidemic, until you end up on this side of it and realize that policies in general are adding to the problem. In 14 years I remember so few cases involving real injuries that I can hardly give weight to exaggerated statistics based on case loads. Please take a moment to refer to the web site of “Washington Criminal Defense” then click on “domestic violence”, read the Article by Nina Shapiro “, click at bottom for “comments” for a very sobering look at what much of today’s cases must be comprised of; I believe there are thousands of people suffering this injustice.

    Our case is still pending, we are still praying the charges will be dropped.

    I would like at least to see legislation to change this situation that strips people of their right to make their own personal choice in the most personal of matters – and put a stop to this unjust intervention of the state into people’s most private affairs when it is not wanted or warranted.

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 17:07h, 26 May Reply

    Strong,

    If you are reading this, our situation is very similar. I have had to postpone our wedding reception and my husband is not allowed contact with me and I am pregnant. I find out what our baby will be in about 2 weeks and he will be missing that.

    I would be interested in speaking with you to compare notes. Let me say how unfair this issue is. Nothing happened with my husband or I and we are both being punished.

    My email is [email protected]

  • Catherine
    Posted at 21:32h, 26 May Reply

    Jan,

    Sorry for answering your question so late. I honestly haven’t checked this site since I posted before. Yes, I am in Washington State. In this state, there needs to be an activist group for people in our situation. We need to go to the legislature. Someone at the Northwest Women’s Law Forum, of all places, heard my story and said that I should try to change the law. So has my dad, an attorney in Tennessee. Because he works for Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee, he is now obligated to ask all of his low-income clients if they have been involved in domestic violence, even though it has nothing to do with the kind of law he practices or the cases his clients bring him. It’s an offensive question he’s embarrassed to ask. The anti-domestic violence crusade has become a witch hunt. Like all witch hunts, it must be stopped.

    Catherine

  • Hovering
    Posted at 02:48h, 12 June Reply

    An update of my situation- the first pretrial didn’t go so well, he plead not guilty, so the continuance date is Monday the 15th. Sounds like it won’t be resolved then either because the police report was all wrong, so of course my statement I sent to the lawyer (which is the truth) contradicts that, and that’s what’s making this all screwed up. And the fact that I can’t have a voice, I’m psuedo-homeless, jobless, and have to lay low from the servers so that I don’t get subpoened. I will definately be bringing this to the attention of state and city leaders, as this is complete BS and so unfair and unjust. I will report back after Monday’s outcome.

  • Catherine
    Posted at 20:14h, 12 June Reply

    Hovering,

    Hope you aren’t offended if I say I’m praying for you. I really am. I’ve been there–not jobless or homeless, but left feeling like I’m just some passive vessel for the state to manipulate as is pleases. They don’t know how deeply humiliating and demoralizing it is. Now I’m terrified because I have a little boy, and I’m worried that if things don’t change some nut case will make a false accusation against him when he’s grown and mess up his life. I called my state senator’s office. The assistant, who sounded like a thirty-something like I am, agreed with me that it is screwed up and that the law needs to change. She said she’d talk to her boss and call me back, but she never did. Nonetheless, I am writing down some thoughts to take to the Legislature at some point. Want to join forces?

  • Kelley
    Posted at 03:54h, 13 June Reply

    I cannot believe that you are all out here, I have been feeling so alone for the past two years and a victim of our judicial system. My case is so similar its frightening, but of course it shows that the government is taking over our personal lives and destroying families that really just need a little help with learning to deal with day to day stress.

    My fiance and I had a no contact order for over a year because he pushed me and I mistakenly called "911" because I wanted him to get a second opinion on how we would benefit from counseling, I never realized what a nightmare I began by calling and I swear to god that I will NEVER call them again. It has turned a once not perfect, but loving working relationship into one that has turned me into a basket case, made me unable to hold down my job, almost loosing my home to foreclosure and my son being subjected to my x-husband trying to push child custody questions on him associated with my being a fit mother etc. My fiance has had to fight the fact that I am both his lover and the woman that can put him in prison for up to 5 years, even though parts of the police report are fabricated and exaggerated. Its a horrible feeling to know that there is nothing I can do to repair what the courts are destroying.

    When I received a request from the courts to write a victims impact statement I actually wrote the courts that there were two victims in the case, my fiance and myself and we were both victims of the court system. The judge did remove the no contact order and we were able to resume a somewhat normal life for about 2 months and then my son over heard what he thought was us arguing and a heavy thud and called "911". Of course the police arrived and both my fiance and I told them that nothing happened, but my son, who is 12 gave a statement saying that Keith had hit me. He was mad at me for taking his x box as a punishment and his father, who wants custody told him to call 911 if he ever heard anything that he thought was a fight. Needless to say that my statement was called a lie, my son who tried to recant after he realized that Keith would go to jail, actually tried to help and the officers involved said that it was too late that he was going to be taken to jail. I also didnt sign my statement as I didnt want it to be altered after I had signed it, which was what happened to the first police report.

    I went to the arraignment and made a statement that the occurance was false and of course the judge said that i was protecting him and that I couldnt protect myself, so a 3 year no contact order was slapped on us.

    At times i want to give up on life, I think that if I am so powerless and my best friend can be taken from me due to false statements and my rights taken away, why is life worth living. I dont want to get out of bed, I dont want to eat and i dont want to have to face the courts as I know what whatever I say will be twisted to be used against the man that I probably will never be able to see again in my life.

    can we put together a petition and have it signed, this has to stop. I cant stand the thought of another couple/family having to go through the unneeded pain that is inflicted by a judicial system that can only see black and white and not grey.

  • Kelley
    Posted at 04:10h, 13 June Reply

    One other quick comment. The victims advocate is NOT a voice of the victim, it is a prosecutors mole who befriends a victim as a seemingly unbiased person who will then make certain that the victims voice is heard. Everything you tell them is reiterated to the prosecutor and is used against the defendant. I used the rule of WHO PAYS their PAYCHECK…. the advocate is a member of the prosecutors office, so dont be fooled. The only friend you will have is a good private attorney or possibly a public defender who isnt over worked and simply trying to close as many cases as possible so they arent overworked. A valuable website that has helped me immensly is http://www.dvmen.org . The site has some content that bashes those women that use DV as a means to get custody of their children, which is such an evil truth in some cases. However all in all it got us to take the case to trial, which is the ONLY way that the truth can be heard and hopefully a group of unbiased jury members can truly see the truth in what the courts have distorted into just another money making venture. I realize that the DV laws are needed for those women and MEN who are persecuted and victimized by physically abusive relationships, however there HAS to be a way for those of us who made an error in judgement to be able to have our voices heard and our families saved. Love and Best Wishes to all of you and your families. My heart is lightened by the ability to write to you all. Thank you

  • Catherine
    Posted at 18:07h, 13 June Reply

    Not trying to be a pest–okay, maybe I am, but for a good cause–I am going to harass the Legislature about this and I can’t do it alone, so let me know if you want to help!

    Catherine

  • Kelley
    Posted at 10:35h, 14 June Reply

    I am willing to do whatever I can to help, in whatever way I can. Not certain what it takes to get an RCW code changed but it is RCW 10.99.040
    Duties of court — No-contact order. That needs to be altered. It currently states the following;

    (1) Because of the serious nature of domestic violence, the court in domestic violence actions:

    (a) Shall not dismiss any charge or delay disposition because of concurrent dissolution or other civil proceedings;

    (b) Shall not require proof that either party is seeking a dissolution of marriage prior to instigation of criminal proceedings;

    (c) Shall waive any requirement that the victim’s location be disclosed to any person, other than the attorney of a criminal defendant, upon a showing that there is a possibility of further violence: PROVIDED, That the court may order a criminal defense attorney not to disclose to his or her client the victim’s location; and

    (d) Shall identify by any reasonable means on docket sheets those criminal actions arising from acts of domestic violence.

    (2)(a) Because of the likelihood of repeated violence directed at those who have been victims of domestic violence in the past, when any person charged with or arrested for a crime involving domestic violence is released from custody before arraignment or trial on bail or personal recognizance, the court authorizing the release may prohibit that person from having any contact with the victim. The jurisdiction authorizing the release shall determine whether that person should be prohibited from having any contact with the victim. If there is no outstanding restraining or protective order prohibiting that person from having contact with the victim, the court authorizing release may issue, by telephone, a no-contact order prohibiting the person charged or arrested from having contact with the victim or from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance of a location.

    (b) In issuing the order, the court shall consider the provisions of RCW 9.41.800.

    (c) The no-contact order shall also be issued in writing as soon as possible.

    (3) At the time of arraignment the court shall determine whether a no-contact order shall be issued or extended. The no-contact order shall terminate if the defendant is acquitted or the charges are dismissed. If a no-contact order is issued or extended, the court may also include in the conditions of release a requirement that the defendant submit to electronic monitoring. If electronic monitoring is ordered, the court shall specify who shall provide the monitoring services, and the terms under which the monitoring shall be performed. Upon conviction, the court may require as a condition of the sentence that the defendant reimburse the providing agency for the costs of the electronic monitoring.

    (4)(a) Willful violation of a court order issued under subsection (2) or (3) of this section is punishable under RCW 26.50.110.

    (b) The written order releasing the person charged or arrested shall contain the court’s directives and shall bear the legend: “Violation of this order is a criminal offense under chapter 26.50 RCW and will subject a violator to arrest; any assault, drive-by shooting, or reckless endangerment that is a violation of this order is a felony. You can be arrested even if any person protected by the order invites or allows you to violate the order’s prohibitions. You have the sole responsibility to avoid or refrain from violating the order’s provisions. Only the court can change the order.”

    (c) A certified copy of the order shall be provided to the victim.

    (5) If a no-contact order has been issued prior to charging, that order shall expire at arraignment or within seventy-two hours if charges are not filed. Such orders need not be entered into the computer-based criminal intelligence information system in this state which is used by law enforcement agencies to list outstanding warrants.

    (6) Whenever a no-contact order is issued, modified, or terminated under subsection (2) or (3) of this section, the clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the order on or before the next judicial day to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order. Upon receipt of the copy of the order the law enforcement agency shall enter the order for one year or until the expiration date specified on the order into any computer-based criminal intelligence information system available in this state used by law enforcement agencies to list outstanding warrants. Entry into the computer-based criminal intelligence information system constitutes notice to all law enforcement agencies of the existence of the order. The order is fully enforceable in any jurisdiction in the state. Upon receipt of notice that an order has been terminated under subsection (3) of this section, the law enforcement agency shall remove the order from the computer-based criminal intelligence information system.

    There should be something stating that at trial the victim will be offered the option of having a no contact order issued against the supposed defendant if one is felt necessary.

    Or something like that.

  • Jenn
    Posted at 07:39h, 15 June Reply

    Oh My God! I never knew this place was here, and sadly if it wasn’t for the fact that this just happened to me earlier today I most likely would have never known!

    My husband and I had a stupid argument outside, over the house being a mess. he was mad and was going to take the kids (we have 3) to the park so i could clean the house in peace. i explained to him that all i wanted was his help in cleaning the house, and that since he was mad he shouldn’t drive with the kids anyways.

    He has been without work for the last 2 months and we have been barely scraping by with stuff we have had saved up. now it’s running low, very low. so he has been stressed to try to find a job.

    Anyways, while i was trying to get the kids back out of the car, he had grabbed my arm and tried to pull me away from the car. I had to shove him off so i could continue to get the kids out. Well to make a long story short, a person driving by saw this and decided that it was best to call the cops. they told the cops that he hit me. NO SUCH THING HAPPENED!!!! I don’t know who this person was, they did not stop and ask if everything was ok, or if i needed them to call the cops, no they just took it into their own hands to ruin our lives.

    the cops showed up about 20 mins later and wanted to know where the “male of the house” was. I had told them that i did not know, that it was possible that he had gone to buy some cigs.

    they waited for him and by the time my husband got home there were 4 cops all in different cars here waiting for him.

    they took pictures of me and my face, saying that my red face (from crying) was from him hitting me. they did not leave me with any information on who the arresting officer was or any officer that was involved was, they only gave me a tiny piece of paper with the case number and told me to contact either the DV Court Advocates or the DV Team in the morning. Oh yeah, and that there was a no contact order in place now. I told them that whoever called was a liar, and that I refused to press imaginary charges. they said it did not matter, that once they are called out to a DV incident they have to arrest someone. So our 3 kids (8,4 & 2) got to witness their father get arrested and put in a cop car, and told that they cannot see or speak to him.

    The cops patronized me saying “do you want your kids to witness this type of violence and think it is okay?” and yet it was perfectly fine to watch as they took their dad away for no reason? I have been trying to instill in my children to trust the authorities, but they make it so hard when they arrest perfectly innocent people that the kids know has done nothing wrong.

    The thing is that the cops do not know who they are messing with, my husbands grandfather was a commissioner and knows a lot of people, on top of that I have some of my own friends in high up places. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get my husband out of this unfair accusation and treatment as soon as possible!!

    I agree that this has to stop!!! I am with whoever in getting this BS out of the system!! This has gone into a horrible place, and it needs to be stopped! NOW!

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 18:17h, 15 June Reply

    I am still looking for people to help me get the no contact order rescinded. It is nearly impossible since no one listens to the “alleged victim.” Since his charges were dropped and he was slapped with contempt of court, the no contact order is still in place. If you know of someone who is high up who is willing to help someone in Oregon, even though my husband is currently residing in Washington, anything would help me out! I just want someone to listen to me and listen to how unfair the judge, the cops, the entire process is.

  • Catherine
    Posted at 22:30h, 15 June Reply

    Jenn’s story breaks my heart. I hope that you can get this resolved soon!

    I think we women who have been victims need to meet. We are a protected class, which, under the Constitution, are supposed to live free of discrimination in this nation. Yet we are being discriminated against. If a police officer, prosecutor, judge, or “victim’s advocate” says anything to you that suggests you are being treated this way because you’re a woman, including comments about statistics about other women who have been victims or who have lied to protect their husbands, WRITE IT DOWN. Write down the name of the person who said it, the comment, and the date. They’re treating us like we’re cheap, like we can just be treated like one collective mass of estrogen instead of individuals with our own minds. If we don’t fight, nothing will ever change.

    Catherine

  • Jenn
    Posted at 22:01h, 17 June Reply

    He was release on his O.R. I was able to get him to be able to see the kids, but the judge still insisted that there be a “temporary no contact order so we can cool off”. I think that it is a load of crap, because to get it removed is the same process as a normal no contact order!

    I don’t see how the judge can approve of him seeing the kids, especially if there was any type of “danger”. They are defenseless children, you would think that if it was okay for him to see, and even have where he’s staying, defenseless children then it would be okay for him to be home and be around me too.

    This is a nightmare that has to stop! I can’t sleep with out him, I have been able to sleep a total of about 2 hours every night and that was with the aid of sleeping pills. I haven’t been able to eat, even cooking for the kids makes my stomach turn, I am just so stressed out because I want him to be home. I hate having to have one of my friends take the kids over to him, or have his brother sit with the kids while he leaves so i can pick them up.

    When they arrested him they didn’t even read him his rights, when the cops took pictures of me I had told them not to, and on top of that while the cops where at my house they were insinuating that I was lying about everything i had told them. From me not knowing where he went, to my face, and the statement i told them that nothing happened.

    I am not a liar, I have never been accused of lying before in my entire life! Not even as a child by my own parents. I have always told the truth and will always stick by the truth.

    From what we have been told by our lawyers it should be dropped and nothing should have to be on his record. Even so I want to get something done about this stupid law. it infringes on the rights of us as the “victims” to have no freedom of speech, or a mind of our own to say that we do not want something done to the person we love.

    I have been with my husband for almost 11 years, we were 14 when we got together, I love him with all my heart, but if I ever had any type of safety issues or concerns I would be the first to do something about it. I would not be one of those women that would let it happen. that would be submissive and take what they get. Considering I am fighting it all the way you would think that I would know what I am talking about.

    Thank you to those that have commented, I will keep you all posted. His next court date is the 25th. Which I guess would be considered his arraignment.

    To answer the question of if I knew anything that could be done, not off the top of my head, but I will look into it.
    I promise.

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 22:49h, 17 June Reply

    Jenn, we are in the same boat. My husband pled not guilty to the assault. It was dropped after we spent money on a lawyer. However, he was caught at home because we knew the charge was b/s. So instead of giving him the normal contempt of court punishment, they are giving him the same punishment for assault. He was NEVER convicted of domestic violence, yet he still has to take the evaluation.

    Get this, I spoke with his PO yesterday, he is now on formal probation for 2 years for CONTEMPT OF COURT. What gets me is that his PO decided to believe the police report. All the information in the police report was suppressed for court because the cop intentionally violated 3 of our constitutional rights.

    There are so many lies within the reports, it is unbelievable. It disgusts me that the judge upheld the no contact order for CONTEMPT OF COURT even though no violent act was ever committed.

    I even testified that if he ever hit me or anything, he would be out the door. I would not be having children with him nor would I have married him. I have been there done that and that ended in divorce.

    I agree that the alleged victims have no say in anything. No body listened to me and no body still does. Not even the PO who would rather believe the lies in the police report than an eye witness. My husband and I know the truth and I am sick and tired of being victimized more by the justice system. I am 22 weeks pregnant, and my husband has had to miss out on so much so far. I cannot even clean the litter box out at home. I can’t pick names out or even start thinking of how to decorate the nursery.

    All this for CONTEMPT OF COURT. My advice to anyone out there is always to plead NOT GUILTY! Never accept a plea bargain. If you didn’t know, you cannot appeal a plea bargain.

    I know we need help with this situation. This is over CONTEMPT OF COURT and not assault. Give me a break. From much of my research the domestic violence industry is a big money maker. This makes sense to me now since my husband was never convicted of anything violent, yet they gave him the same punishment. They want our money. We have very little. I don’t even know how to fight this anymore.

  • Jenn
    Posted at 06:42h, 19 June Reply

    “Oregon Issue”
    All I can tell you is to keep fighting. as long as he never plead guilty to anything there is always hope. so was he actually caught back at the house? or did they just assume he was?

    Now the lawyer you paid for, is that done and over with? Or will they still help you make the appeals?

    The lawyer that we have cost us $3500, which we had to borrow from family. But as long as this is going on, or any type of continuation of this is happening, he is there for us. If anything branches out from the initial reports like what happened in your case, we do not have to pay him anymore, because he considers it part of the same case.

    My husband’s court date got moved up to this Monday instead of having to wait until Thursday. Our lawyer is positive that even though it is his arraignment, and he will plead not guilty, that they will drop it completely.

    I can’t wait to see him though on Monday. We have never gone this long without being together and seeing each other, or even actually talking to each other since we met! It is driving me crazy! He is such a goody two shoes that he has not taken any chances what so ever. The only way I know anything is going on is because of his brother and mother keeping me informed.

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 00:53h, 24 June Reply

    Well, the pretrial continuance took place on the 15th and thank god there was a dumb, brand new prosecutor that dismissed it. Yay, charge and NCO dropped. But to live in hell for those 2 months made me think why do others have to go through this BS? Why does it have to continue? IT DOES NOT! We seriously need to bring this to the attention of our State and City leaders NOW! Every one of us who has or is going through this NEEDS to speak up! The more voices, the more heard we will be.

    I feel even worse for the couples that have a verbal argument and someone else call the cops, not knowing the severity of the reprocussions of a DV call. It’s a sneaky little devil that’s out to bite everyone in the ass, even if they don’t deserve it.

    But if you are in this now, be careful, be smart, and it really pays to do your research. If you are the victim, don’t even bother dealing with the DV advocate.

    Bless you all for your support and stories. It’s a sad way to get to know you, but I wish you all the best and hope that one day this stupid law will be banished.

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 00:56h, 24 June Reply

    oh, and I am beginning a gvt. issue blog on facebook and this will be the next Hot Topic…so if you are willing to share your stories or what damage this has caused you, please- email me for more info. Thanks!!!!

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 03:38h, 30 June Reply

    I would love to join the group on facebook! I am so outraged by our situation. It is still ongoing. Still dealing with the NCO on a contempt charge since the DV stuff was dropped. Did you know that the DV industry is a multi million dollar industry? I received an email today and would love to share on FB. Maybe I will post it here if I can figure out how to reference it correctly! Very interesting!

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 03:42h, 30 June Reply

    My email is [email protected] if you want to contact me via email. Can’t find me on FB under that though.

  • D Taylor
    Posted at 22:39h, 30 June Reply

    Reading all these stories is really hitting home! I have a friend going through accusations of DV right now. With all the recent stresses about the economy, job losses, high prices and finance problems. People are really getting desparate! All I can see from this heavy handed tactic for DV is that 1. People accused of DV no longer have nothing to loose. Won’t this cause an unsafe environment for everyone? 2. The so called victims are victimized by this system. 3. Once the word gets out on how you can really screw with peoples lives, does the words revenge and spite come to mind? Where is the accountability? Also, true victims will know that they can’t call 911 for fear of the no contact order because they depend on their abusers. There is no checks and balance. And let’s call this for what it really is all about! Money! Plain and simple! I did the research, for Washington only, this is a $1.9 billion dollar business. This is legalized organized crime folks!

  • edward
    Posted at 10:11h, 01 July Reply

    i have read all the posts here and i am seriously worried that i won’t be able to see my wife again.
    i have a pre-trial hearing on 7/13/09 i don’t have money for a lawyer so i am going with the defender association (tda). for what i read my chances of reuniting with her are hopeless. the story is this we were both drinking that day at the end of the night she went to sleep, i was mad over some overdraft fees from my bank, alcohol didn’t help me forget about my financial situation so i started throwing stuff around the house thinking of what i could sell to help me, my wife came out of the room to calm me down so we got loud, i was never mad at her, she told me that what i was doing was not going to help me get money, she grabbed my guitar thinking i was going to smash it, we louder but never violent, she took our guinea pig and left the apartment waiting for me to calm down, she came back and i was in a better mind judgement and we went to sleep, 30 or 40 minutes later police were inside my house without our permission, my wife doesen’t speak english very well and the police mislead her in her testimony, they took pictures of injuries such as scratches and and some lesions on her feet, the scrathes are fron the guinea pig’s nails and the lesions on her toes are from her new shoes. police report said that i was i caused those injuries also the police report said that i pulled her hair and and kicked her, and she was afraid of me because i had beat her many times before which is not true.
    she does not speak english very well and with police involved she got nervous. police handcuffed me and took me to jail, i heard her screaming at the police don’t take him away he did not do anything to me!!!!!.
    48 hours later i went to my first court and got to read the police report with all this nonsense that did not happened
    she went to my first court and was asked by the judge if she felt safe around me and she said yes but it was ignored the judge said that the police statement said that i was violent before
    so i was released with a thousand dollars bail and a no contact order, at the first court it was obvious that her english is not very good because she was asked if we had children, she said yes and we don’t, plus the night of the incident she asked one of the police officers that he spoke spanish and he said no.
    my question is can she be my witness at the pre trial, and what are my chances that they lift the no contact order?
    please help!!! i have never been in jail in my life i don’t even have a parking ticket i am a good citizen i drink once every 2 or 3 months, it is not fair that for one night of dumb behaviour that never involved violence towards my wife i wont be able to see her in a long time.

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 20:13h, 01 July Reply

    Man, now that I have been through this, I know the ins and outs of the DV laws and feel terribly for all of you. What has already been laid out from others regarding advice is what you need to follow. Accused- Be persistant and don’t give up. Do whatever it takes to get a real lawyer or else you’ll be stuck. Even if you pay something to the Public Defender, they will still not help you as much at all. Victims- lay low, don’t talk to the prosecuting atty or advocate for any reason as they don’t care about you and will try every way to get more out of you for more evidence to prosecute. Don’t show up at hearings, try to avoid getting subpeoned if it goes to trial (it may be hard, but do what you can to dodge them), call a lawyer yourself for a free consultation on what to do. Other than that, hush up. There is really nothing you can do to persuade anyone. You can try to have the NCO lifted, that usually requires going through the advocate, showing up to court, and chances are they won’t budge on lifting it, but possibly modifying it. DO NOT MENTION for financial reasons, they may use that as you relying on your SO for money. You are best of to submit your own victims statement voluntarily to the prosecutor, but in doing this- HANDWRITE IT IN BLUE INK, TELL HOW ITS CAUSED YOU GRIEF, DO NOT DISCUSS THE INCIDENT ITSELF, MAKE A COPY OF THE LETTER, AND MAKE SURE ITS SENT CERTIFIED SO YOU KNOW THEY RECEIVED IT. Other than that, lay low, and, tough as it is, wait it out. For those victims who do not speak english well, they need to find an interpreter. But, like I said, victims just need to lay low or else they can use it for more reason to prosecute if you are around.

    Best of luck to the rest of you. Please don’t forget to join my facebook discussions.

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 20:17h, 01 July Reply

    PS- If the defendant is offered a
    deferred prosecution or pre-trial diversion, you would essentially be put on probation and it will most likely include DV treatment and the NCO would stay in place. So DO NOT TAKE IT and DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY.

  • Catherine
    Posted at 22:59h, 01 July Reply

    Edward,

    I don’t know what your wife’s first language is, but surely there’s an interpreter somewhere in Seattle she can use to tell the clear truth about her situation. The interpreter would need to tell her that, under the law, she is a prosecution witness, and the prosecutor is not legally allowed to tamper with her testimony. That means the prosecutor cannot use her lack of command of English to put words into her mouth. If I’m right, the prosecutor would be committing a crime if he or she did that.

    Hovering, my situation was different than other people’s, I guess because I live in Bothell. Here, I did speak at the arraignment hearing and the judge followed my wishes in not granting a NCO. I even used the economic difficulty argument, and both he and the prosecutor were sympathetic. Every jurisdiction is different. The best thing to do is to talk to as many lawyers as you can who have dealt specifically with your prosecutor. Some may be willing you give you a few free minutes of quick advice by telephone.

  • Jan
    Posted at 02:26h, 02 July Reply

    Edward:

    THIS as you write WAs just like what happend to my husband and I.
    See previous posts.
    All I can say is. The PA is out to get you and your WIFE needs to NOT talk to anyone. AND NOT get subpeaned.
    you may email me with any questions.

    WA ates laws are BS – I have truly LEARNED ALOT.

    They try to label me as the victim – BUT not to even care at all to what I had to say.
    PLEAD NOT guilty!!!!!
    Jan

  • JAn
    Posted at 03:01h, 02 July Reply

    Edward =
    Plead not guilty

    Have your wife not talk to anyone. Have her NOT get Subpeaoned.

    Plead NOT guilty…… DO not have her go to ANY of your Court trials OR hearings. The PA and victims advocate will try to tell her SHE has to.

    THEY tried Subpeaona me over 30 times. THIS is no LIE. I did not open my DOOR FOR ANYONE. I made sure no one was in my driveway when backing out…..
    email me with any questions.

    Your story is JUST like mine. Tacoma/pierce county . the officer LIED… I surely would like to Speak my story in Real life………..

  • JAn
    Posted at 03:04h, 02 July Reply

    TO:

    no longer -hovering- but still outraged

    Im Jan – Posted on hear my story started in October – ended Jan9th. 80 days of hell.

    I WOULD like to Join that FB group…..

    I would like to post my police report to show the LIEING cop what he wrote..

  • JAn
    Posted at 03:05h, 02 July Reply

    sorry for posting two times to Edward – didn’t think it went through the 1st time and had to rewrite.

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 20:18h, 06 July Reply

    Here is something interesting I got from the Equal Justice Foundation. I have been doing research for DV and found this to be rather funny, yet DV is a serious issue. The cops, judges, etc. take this too seriously! My husband and I had a verbal altercation, and they considered that DV! You have to be kidding. Enjoy this read!

    Food fight with Cheetos results in dual arrest for domestic violence in Shelbyville, Tennessee

    By Brian Mosely, Shelbyville Times-Gazette

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 – A local couple arrested on domestic assault charges Sunday had an unusual choice of alleged weaponry — Cheetos.

    Warrants filed by Cpl. Kevin Roddy, of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, stated he responded to a call at a home on Pass Road, where 40-year-old James Earl Taylor and Mary S. Childers, 44, were allegedly involved in an argument.

    According to Roddy’s report, the pair became “involved in a verbal altercation” with each other “at which time Cheetos potato chips were used in

    “There was evidence of the assault,” the report read, “however no physical marks on either party and the primary aggressor was unable to be determined.”

    Both Taylor and Childers were charged by Roddy with domestic assault. Both posted a bond of $2,500 and will appear in Bedford County General Sessions Court on July 15.

    http://www.t-g.com/story/1549895.html

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 23:11h, 06 July Reply

    @ Oregon Issue-
    Wow, that is just ridiculous. It’s all over the place and it’s just gone too far.

    @ Catherine-
    Ya, I know other cities/jurisdictions can be different, it sucks that Seattle is the worst and we had to deal with their ridiculous BS. Why can’t it be the same all the way around? They actually listened to you, that’s how it should be.

  • Catherine
    Posted at 00:01h, 07 July Reply

    They only listened to me about the no contact order, but I now realize how lucky I was! I’m still mad that I couldn’t get charges dropped and that we have to pay for this waste of time batterer’s treatment.

    Things will change eventually. Once it was commonplace in some parts of the country to take babies away from young unwed mothers because of the assumption that they couldn’t take care of them. Of course, today that’s considered a gross violation of a woman’s rights—and it will one day be considered a violation of her rights to “protect” her from a husband who poses no real danger to her.

  • janice
    Posted at 02:40h, 07 July Reply

    i think wa.laws are f***ed up.and the idiots with lights are taking control from weman and some men.the courts say they listen but don’t.they say we are a free country but where are we free?we can’t raise our kids the way we want we have cps/dcs up our asses,or we can’t have a simple disagreement/arguement with our partner without beating eachother without idiots with lights getting called and taking someone in and placing no contact order on them.it’s so stupid!how can they say we live free? i am going thru the same thing as most if not all of u,my partner and i got into a disagreement and voices were raised,i had a small scratch on my arm they made a big deal out of it,it went away a few min later.i did not call the idiots with lights a stupid bistander did,without knowing what was going on and made accusations about what was going on.the idiots came told me i had no choice that wa.law states i have no choice the court took them from me.to make it easier on the victom i asked so if i don’t want him to go? he said u have no choice!i’m thinking damn thats not my freedom.i thought texas was bad when it came to not protecting weman from abuse,wa,is taking it over board,where’s the balance in it all? what state?it’s sad..to think this world is so f***ed up.is there anyone out there to help victoms of the system.when its not working for us but against us? and what do we have to have to get it? i’m willing to picket to get help,if need be to protect our freedom,who would do it with me? here in washington? let me know we can meet and make plans maybe it will help.not sure but it’s worth a try.

  • janice
    Posted at 03:07h, 07 July Reply

    i ment without idiots with lights saying we are beating our partners….when we know we are’nt.just because u may hold ur partners arm say talk to me please,or raise ur voice to get ur point accross…u are considered a bad person now days.i remember yrs ago when men use to beat slaves and there wives and others sat and watched…now they go to far over board…i don’t know who is fault for all this paranoia,but it needs to stop..it’s hurting innocent people like us,out here having normal disagreements/arguements…u may as arrest my kids,hell every kid on the block my nieghbors,hell let the criminals out put us all in there…we get more done to us then most of them.they get 3meals good ones,steak at that.t.v.beds,out door activities,college,now days they get time with there kids,and get to train service dogs,get to go do road work out here with us..they have it good.for doing things so bad,they are murderers,thiefs,rapists..etc. all we are,are normal people who are trying to learn to live together,hell why does’nt the judges give mandatory family/relationship counsling/parenting classes if u have kids,i would love to take them…hell i could us all the help i can get.and i am sure my partner would agree it would make our relationship a whole lot stronger…we would learn to talk,not yell,learn to compramise,not butt heads,the system could work for the better if the system was’nt fighting it’s own self we have enough people in jails/prisons for more serious stuff,we can use other ways of stopping abuse…other then jail,no-contact orders,etc.give help! where help is needed.

  • Jan
    Posted at 21:02h, 07 July Reply

    BELOW IS a Staement from FJC of Pierce county – Tacoma.

    Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by an individual to establish and maintain power and control over another individual. Abusive behavior can include physical harm, threats of physical harm, depravation of food, sleep and-or money, intimidation with a weapon, forced sexual contact, restraining someone from leaving, emotional abuse and verbal abuse.

    MY OPINION – Pierce county Prosecuting attorney and victims Advocate. WAS the ABUSER in my case…… THEY made my life miserable, and deprived me from my life, money, family, stabiltiy becasue of the NCO.

  • janice
    Posted at 02:11h, 10 July Reply

    ya,i am not affraid of the my fiancee,a matter a fact he’s probrably affraid of me..lol.not..we are so inlove.we just had a stupid arguement.if any of those stupid people making all these rules and regulations on us can tell me that they have never had an arguement or raised there voices at home or in public they are lieing to us and themselves…and if they go to church and tell god to forgive them they are hipacrits to.i am not perfect and never claim to be.yes we all make mistakes,i just want to be treated fairly and so does my fiancee,and when i say he did not abuse me i want to be heard.not treated like a statistic,just because other abused weman act that way does not mean i am one of them,they can not say all weman that get into an arguement with there partner are abused weman or they might want to place there wives right there next to me and every other woman they call abused…i know lots of police that abuse there wives yet they call themselves being so innocent and place us in jail or our men in there ..what ass holes…they should be ashamed..ya i bet even the president argues with his wife behind closed doors,even in congress they argue to get things passed,so why is a crime for us to argue to get our point passed in our relationships…? what a bunch of b.s….we need to get our free country back and stop trying to control eachother…I AM NOT BEING BEATEN SAVE UR TIME AND ENERGY ON THE REAL CRIMINALS WHO ARE DOING THE CRIMES….!!!!

  • Stacie
    Posted at 01:36h, 16 July Reply

    WOW! I thought I was all alone. Me and My Finance were at a party and he got attacked and the people who did it called the police and told them he was going crazy and hurting people so he got arrested. My Finance was so beaten he went to the hospital no jail time. yet.. But during the attack I got hit and the police just thought he did it i told them he did not but they would not listen. My Finance is still in a neck brase and bruse the other guys have not one bruse on them. So at the arraniment the judge put a no contact order on us and I have not spoken or seen him in nine days. Our three kids are heart broken and miss there dad. We are suppose to get married on January 23 but who knows if they will ever let me see him again.. I am a working mom and now I only have one income and scared please help

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 00:49h, 20 July Reply

    Ok, I started a petition- please read and sign. If you are not from Seattle, I’d still encourage you to sign it- and you may also start your own petition for your city/region. Feel free to use my wording and adjust if desired. Thank you! We WILL make a difference!

  • no longer -hovering- but still outraged
    Posted at 00:50h, 20 July Reply
  • Stacie
    Posted at 04:26h, 29 July Reply

    So had the pre-trial today and yup they wont left or modify the no contact order so still heart broken and mad I can’t believe the laws here they choice who you can love this is not freedom

  • Kelley
    Posted at 06:42h, 29 July Reply

    I need help and quickly. My x husband is attempting to get custody of my son… long sordid story and is using Keith and my DV case as a way to sway CPS in my favor….. Someone (reportedly my x) called 911 and reported a violation of a no contact order and the Sheriff showed up at our house, because of that Keith was taken away to jail and is now facing 4 years in jail. We are attempting to get him into DVBT treatment, but since he is still incarcerated I cant find any agency that will allow him to register. Does anyone know of a Washington based , court approved DVBT treatment program that allows inmates to enroll in good faith that they will attend as soon as they are released from custody??

  • Kelley
    Posted at 06:43h, 29 July Reply

    That should have said sway CPS in his favor to release custody of my son to him.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 20:46h, 08 August Reply

    all these stories are horrifically familiar! I was arguing with my husband one evening, we both have tempers. We were near an open window and I told him that if he didnt shut up I would scream out the window that my husband is hitting me(very stupid I know, but I was very mad at him) well, I did that and someone heard and called the police. The police came to our house and spoke with us seperately. I did tell the police that he showed his fist to me durring our verball arguing, but I never said he put fear into me or even so much as touched me! They arrested him on domestic violence in the 4th degree which I understand to mean, threatening and putting fear into someone, I never told the cops that is what he did, but they ended up taking him to jail and he had to attend court the next morning. Upon attending court, the judge looked at the evidence and didnt really see anything to go on, so they realeased him with no bail involved. I thought it was over! and I had learned my lesson about screaming out a window and telling police anything at all, because they twist what you say for their own benefit. I got a call from the wittness advocate maybe 2 weeks later saying that the prosecuter needs to make a decision weather to go on with the case or not and do I want to add anything. My stomach dropped to the floor because at that point I thought it was all finished!! SO, of course I told the story again of how there was no abuse, and that the whole thing had been blown way out of proportion by authorities, and no I didnt want him prosecuted. Just last night in the mail, we receive papers stating that my husband has to go to court in 2 weeks for dv 4 charges! It is really putting a strain on our recovering relationship, and to make matters worse, he is not even a us citizen, he is the holder of a green card, so in worst case, he could be deported! Which of course, I would go with him. Washington state sucks big time!! We are hirring an attourney for this and now we just pray that all turns out ok. These people have made this big case out of nothing and I am very angry!! Im only glad that a no contact order was never issued, after reading all of your stories, I see that it could have easily been that way!! My husband has never been arrested and has no record, I have been with him for 5 years and we share 2 children together, I am not in an abusive relationship and now I have alot of work to do to prove this, Im not sure if the presecution even has enough to go on or why they are taking this even further!

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 03:48h, 10 August Reply

    I am starting a new blog. Please feel free to comment and spread the word of this unjustice.

    http://unjustice-unjustice.blogspot.com/

  • michelle
    Posted at 00:58h, 31 August Reply

    i had a court ordered no contact order for my sister-in-law. well she started coming to my moms house bringing the grand kids. she holds the kids against my mom. well she knew i lived there3 and she knew what the judge said. but she still continued to come around. well things started esculating between us and my mom threatened to put me out if i called the police. well when i came home she was there and i was trying to call the d.v. we got on a fight and her head got split opened. well she called the police on me and filed charges. they didnt even take her to jail and filed charges on me. so whats the purpose of the order if they can violate it and u get in trouble for defending ur saelf?

  • Ashley
    Posted at 22:31h, 08 September Reply

    You know… something similar happened to me. My mom was the one who called the cops – she doesnt like my fiance, but we were fighting. They took him to jail for 2 nights since it was the weekend. He made bail last night. At his bail hearing they put a no-contact order on us. He didn’t touch me. His charge is harassment – domestic violence – because he is with me. He did nothing wrong. He had a domestic violence assalt from 7 years ago… his ex girl friend threw a box full of his things at him so he threw a pop bottle at her. He was the one to go to jail that time. He is planning on going to trial and pleading not guilty. Why did the dumb judge even do a no-contact order on us? We have been dating for 4 1/2 years and he is being charged with harassment? His family is going to help him with a lawyer. He is afraid to come near me, call me, anything. He doesn’t want to go back to jail. I hate feeling like the government can control who we talk to. I’ve never been told I can’t see someone I want to see as an adult. This concept is so weird. I don’t understand if it’s mutual, why we can’t see each other. I hope he gets a good lawyer and gets the charge dismissed.

  • Darilyn
    Posted at 03:46h, 04 October Reply

    I have a question about all this. I live in Oregon- my boyfriend was charged with harassment almost 3 years ago (stupid situation like many others listed here- we were yelling and the neighbors called the cops, I never did nor did I say he hit me- didn’t matter, they never even read the police report at the court hearing). It’s been a nightmare- he ended up pleading guilty just to get out of jail since Washington County just kept holding him without bail and adding continuances to the court date (he waited months for his court appearance). We had a no contact order I kept trying to fight- it eventually took 9 mos and a bunch of bullshit counseling, etc for both of us. He was put on probation and just recently violated the terms of his probation when he was called in and tested positive for alcohol. He got his probation revoked and is currently spending the last 20 days in jail (was given 120 days total). They just re-issued the no-contact order AGAIN, so I can’t talk to him or see him AGAIN. My question is- after his sentence is totally over and he’s not on probation for this harassment charge, can the State of Oregon continue to enforce the no contact order? I cannot believe we are back where we started from 3 years ago. I have already called his probation officer and the jail and of course they won’t tell me anything- they never even tell me when they reinstate it, I just have to wonder why he isn’t calling me.

  • catherine
    Posted at 20:28h, 08 October Reply

    Darilyn,

    Sue. Take it to the Supreme Court. I’m serious. The government has NO right to tell you whom you may or may not see. The law is sexist. It treats us this way because it assumes that we are weak and stupid because we’re women. SUE! SUE! SUE!

  • Oregon Issue
    Posted at 20:46h, 08 October Reply

    Darilyn,

    I am sorry to hear that about Washington County. If you read my posts, our police report was read in court, but it was all lies. The cop LIED on the stand. Go figure and he gets away with it. Washington county is a joke. They don’t listen to you. The PO won’t tell me anything, the judge is totally out of line, and the DA lied as well. I cannot believe this stupid law. I never told the police my husband hit me either, but they don’t listen. They just want to arrest someone to get money for the DV industry. I would imagine that when he is off probation and out of jail that it should be all over. But be careful because once you are in the system, they seem to haunt you. Washington county is one of the worst counties in Oregon. I want to move out of this county in the worst way to get away from all the BS that they do to all of us.

    I also want to sue the city and the cops for this BS they are putting us through. They made me cancel our wedding reception. I am out a TON of money and no one seems to listen to me. I want my husband to appeal, but we have no money. No one seems to be willing to help and I cannot find any resources for those of us who have been found wronged by the justice system.

  • Tim
    Posted at 12:21h, 17 October Reply

    I was told in wa. if your a male charged with DV your life is over, does anyone have the name of a good female lawyer I can use, I feel that’s my best chance of getting this charge lowered or dropped, I guess I can dream. I spent 3 days in jail, and all I did was hold my wife from slapping me. This system is a crime and needs to be looked at, for the children suffer the most from all of this . What the hell are we doing to our families.

  • Erika
    Posted at 20:19h, 25 October Reply

    I was falsely accused of scratching and attacking my boyfriend when in reality I was the one that was assulted! My boyfriend had pushed me down on our hardwood floors because I was trying to leave. I said I was going to call for help so he pushed by me and ran up the stairs to our only phone in the house. I was afraid he was going to lock me out of the room so I couldnt call for help. When we were on the stairs I was able to grab the back of his shirt to try and stop him. But it ripped and he rushed to the phone and called 911. He told officers that I was attacking him. I was later arrested because there were scratches on his back. I told officers that I knew for a fact that I did not scratch him and that if i had to i would go as far as to take a lie detecter test. I was honest about everything yet I had no marks on me….so i was arrested. Let me tell you I am 5’1 maybe 105 lbs. I work as a CNA in a nursing facility and have no record whatsoever…not even a speeding ticket!! I am not a violent/angry person and would never try to hurt anyone!! I have to go thru a public defender and have so far had two (my first one went to superior court) I guess my boyfriend has realized the seriousness of the situation and is now admitting that the scratch was from working on his car and that he wants the no contact order lifted. He told my attorney and prosecuter that the police said that he HAD to say the scratch was from me other wise he would go to jail and loose his kids to their mother. I have pre trial tomorrow and have only spoken with my public defender once who didnt give me any insight on my case. As a matter of fact when I met with him that was the first time he GLANCED at my case. He wants me to settle for disorderly conduct but who knows if the judge will even be okay with that. I have no idea what to expect! I am so scared to loose my job…i have already lost my pets and home. What do I do? Can anyone help?

  • Catherine
    Posted at 18:39h, 27 October Reply

    Jessica,

    If you see my earlier posts, you’ll see we were in the same situation in the spring except that my husband was in your shoes. The domestic violence laws are unconstitutional, I believe, both in how they are written and certainly in how they are prosecuted. I have spoken to my state senator’s office, and their lawyers tell them that the only way to change these laws is if there is a public movement to get them changed!!! I’m not so sure. My dad’s a lawyer, and my gut tells me that if your SO recants and says you didn’t scratch him, there perhaps shouldn’t be any case against you (unless there’s something about it you’re not telling us). Have you tried talking to a civil rights attorney? My hope is that one of these screwy cases goes to the Supreme Court, which surely will agree with us that these DV laws need to be reworked from the very bottom.

  • Kelley
    Posted at 18:47h, 27 October Reply

    There has to be something that we as citizens can do, the DV laws give the state and county officials the right to run our lives and to be honest it has pitted me against the man that I love the most in the world and also made it so that the judges involved with the cases make choices for me as if I were a child and not a tax paying adult who can make decisions for myself. In addition, DV has to do with control issues, so isnt the state and county just continuing to persecute those victims of domestic violence by not even allowing them to take control of their life decisions and mandating who they can and cannot be involved with. Everyone makes mistakes and of course there are those women that need to have protection, but the ways teh laws are written they do not empower families and women/men, they actually force you to take on the victim role and surrender to being powerless.

  • Erika
    Posted at 18:51h, 27 October Reply

    They dropped my assult to disorderly conduct, gave me 40 hrs of community service, 250 in fines, and 1 yr of bench probation. Even though my boyfriend told the public defender and the prosecutor that I never touched him, they didn’t bring it up in court, they still went with the old police report! My public defender said that if I wanted to go to trial he couldn’t guarantee that they would drop it…which scared the you know what outta me because I can’t afford to loose my CNA license. It was strange because they were going to make me do anger management on top of it all. As soon as I told my PD that there was no way I was going to do that he talked to the prosecuter for a sec. came back and said they would get rid of the anger management if I didnt go to trial. It was almost like they didnt want me to go.

  • mark Supanich
    Posted at 23:37h, 05 January Reply

    Our group lobbies in Olympia starting next week. This is one of the issues. I would like all the people on this site to know they are invited to join us to tell their story’s. They will be tring to pass new laws with even harsher punishments. If they would just go after the real abusers instead of just doing it for the money and biger numbers to fill their own agendas this state would not be so broke. Mark

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