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Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

Domestic violence charges most frequently dropped

Courts ‘not adept at handling’ cases

August 24, 2006

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Domestic violence is one of the most common crimes around, and it can be one of the most serious: Three times in the last three years, a Lawrence-area woman has been killed and her boyfriend or partner charged in the death.

But it's anyone's guess as to how consistently domestic-violence cases are being prosecuted.

Partly because of the unique nature of the crime, prosecutors acknowledge charges are dropped much more frequently in domestic cases than in other crimes. Factors driving that include the back-and-forth nature of relationships, the potential for intimidation of the victim and a law that requires police to make arrests whether the case is ultimately strong enough to prosecute or not.

No good numbers

Joyce Grover, legal advocacy coordinator for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said there are no good statistics kept on how many domestic-violence arrests statewide end in charges being filed - and what happens from there.

"We don't really know why cases are not being filed, why they might be dismissed, how many of them result in a plea agreement, how many diversions there are," she said.

And tracking the cases through Douglas County District Courts is no exception. According to police agencies, there were more than 300 domestic-battery cases in 2005 in Douglas County that ended in arrest, but court records show there were only 146 people charged with domestic battery.

Dist. Atty. Charles Branson said those numbers don't sound right, given that in the first six months of this year his office filed 127 domestic-battery cases.


This photo, taken by a family member of Tara Balch's in early April, shows how she looked about five hours after an incident in which she said her boyfriend punched and choked her. Balch is now upset at how prosecutors in Jefferson County have handled her case.

This photo, taken by a family member of Tara Balch's in early April, shows how she looked about five hours after an incident in which she said her boyfriend punched and choked her. Balch is now upset at how prosecutors in Jefferson County have handled her case.

Of the 146 cases that turned up in court records for 2005, about one-third ended with charges being dismissed. Branson said that's an unusually high number compared with other crimes - but that domestic battery isn't a typical crime.

"There are cases where we will see that it is in the best interests of the state and the victim to not proceed with the case - that there have been enough remedial measures put into place that we feel it isn't appropriate to go forward," he said. "If you look at property crime or other person crimes, you're not dealing with an ongoing relationship of people. ... If the continued prosecution of the matter has the effect of destroying a good or a viable relationship that somebody made mistakes during, that's contrary to our goals."

Branson said the traditional court system simply may not be set up to handle domestic-violence cases.

"The fact of the matter is ... we're not adept at handling these cases yet," Branson said. "I think some jurisdictions have made steps in the right direction by having domestic-violence courts."

Arrest required

Grover said the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, a federal law, signaled a change in how domestic battery was handled by the courts. It created things such as protection-from-abuse orders that could be enforced across state lines, more money for police training and support for prosecutors' offices in handling domestic-violence cases.

A Kansas law now requires police to make an arrest if they arrive at a home and find evidence of domestic violence. But advocates say that what happens when the case goes to court can vary greatly, depending on the county.

Extended interview

Sarah Terwelp, executive director of Women's Transitional Care Services Enlarge video

In some parts of the state, attorneys and judges still view domestic battery as an interpersonal problem instead of a crime, said Sarah Terwelp, executive director of Women's Transitional Care Services in Lawrence.

'Full-out beating'

Topeka resident Tara Balch says that's the way she felt she was treated in Jefferson County after an incident in early April in which she was battered by her then-boyfriend. She said she got a broken nose, two black eyes, a chipped tooth and handprint-shaped bruises on her back.

"It was a full-out beating," she said. "I was literally and legitimately scared for my life."

When she met with county prosecutor Michael Hayes, she learned her boyfriend would be given a chance to apply for diversion and have his charge dropped.

"The prosecuting attorney seemed to think that it was two drunken people hitting each other," Balch said. "He told me he was dropping charges, and I began to cry. ... He said this was his policy - to drop charges on the first offense."

Hayes declined repeated requests to grant an interview about Balch's case or how he handles domestic-violence cases. Balch has met with Hayes twice. On the second visit, she said, she brought along advocates from Women's Transitional Care Services, from a Topeka battered-women's agency and from Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's office.

Her boyfriend is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 19 for a diversion hearing.

"In Jefferson County, I would say there's a lot of education that needs to happen about what domestic violence is," Terwelp said. "From the information I have, they're still kind of back in the period of the '70s, you might say, or even the '60s, where they see it as a relationship issue that needs to be dealt with privately."

Terwelp said Douglas County, too, could stand improvements in how domestic-violence victims are treated. She said that the Lawrence area lacks a "communitywide" response to domestic-violence, and that there are ways to make the process of going to court easier on victims - for example, by allowing them to testify on closed-circuit TV or by finding ways in which cases can be prosecuted without their testimony.

As the system now works, people such as Balch must go to great lengths to see their cases through, she said

"It's placing all the responsibility for the abuse on the victim instead of where it should be, which is on the batterer," she said.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

If people are being physically abused drunk or not that is a serious matter. It seems to me when a relationship has reached that point separation is the only way to go. If a party to this offense is afraid to press charges that should tell the DA and law enforcement the victim should seek counseling before failing to press charges or dropping charges. Physical abuse is not a sign of love.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 3 months ago

agreed....I think one of the issues is all the false alarm calls police get..or the many calls from a couple who are equally guilty of it........domestic calls are dreaded by police.

bugmenot 8 years, 3 months ago

While I cannot arbitrary say that all women (or men, just to be fair. Although you can bet I am thinking of a man beating his SO on this) that are victims of domestic violence deserve it, I will say that they SOMETIMES deserve it. Violence against people who truly deserve it is perfectly acceptable to me. Some people will only learn if you threaten their well-being.

my2cents 8 years, 3 months ago

Even if the victim refuses to press charges, the law still allows for DA to file against the aggressor.
The cycle has to end somewhere; maybe if the DA filed more cases, there would be a drop in Domestic Violence.

In Franklin County, Officer's hand out information packets to victims of DV. In the packet is information about safe houses, victim services, hotlines and other important tools to break free and move on.

Maybe something like that should be done in DG Co.

rousseau108 3 years ago

They do. It's part of the state law's requirements, not just something in Franklin County.

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 3 months ago

Having dealt with Mike Hayes in Jefferson County, I can tell you he is in an idiot... like most of the other higher ups there.. They are more concerned about themselves, than keeping people safe.

Kat Christian 8 years, 3 months ago

I think we need more education about this. Women need to be made aware and to understand that once they are abused by a man, not just physically, but mentally intimadated and controlled also - that man is not going to magically change just by saying he's sorry because he broke an arm or bruised a face. It will only get worse at that point if the woman stay with him. The only thing to do at that point is to leave or seek out legal help. I know it's easier said than done but if the woman can get away from an abuser and it's best to do it early on. Young women need to be made aware of this. So I think the first report of abuse both partners should be made to attend an abuse awareness class. Also, women should be given brochures when they see a physician, brochures should be in grocery stores. It needs to be made known to these women that they have options.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

The wheels of justice move slowly. A lot of the prosecutors don't have time to fiddle with domestic violence cases, because they have to get home and take their crappy jobs out on their significant others.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree, Defender. Bugmenot sounds like he likely beats his wife and kids regularly, and probably needs therapy and perhaps even imprisonment to keep the rest of us safe from his pathological behaviour.

irishblues 8 years, 3 months ago

The woman in the picture - could have been me 30 years ago. The police would come, haul him off to jail, he'd get out and I'd forgive him, because he said he LOVED me. Vicious cycle. Took a 3rd beating to get it thru my head NOT to forgive him and get the hell out. Not once tho, not once, did the DA prosecute him until he beat up somebody else in a bar fight months later. The message I got, was it was OK to beat your wife in a drunken rage, but to beat up a stranger in a bar was not.

Sounds like not much has changed. God Bless Tara! I hope she finds her strength to move on and UPWARD!

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to see a picture of Tara Balch's knuckles. Being a Topeka chick, she probably beat the hell out of that guy for giving her those black eyes.

betti81 8 years, 3 months ago

"Having dealt with Mike Hayes in Jefferson County, I can tell you he is in an idiot... "

dbrm4ever2006: This is the first thing I thought of when I saw his name. (Can't say I agree with the rest of your post). I am still wondering how he got elected.

irishblues 8 years, 3 months ago

Lesson #1 to my sons when growing up and becoming young men. " stop that - no hitting!" was not enough verbage.

No one, and I mean no one, has the right to put their hands on anyone else in anything other than a loving and kind action.

Lesson #2 was: You d*mn well better never start a fight with anyone, but you absolutely have the right to defend yourself, so you'd better finish it.

Sounds contradictory, I know. But it worked. They would walk away when they could, but if they were attacked, they could finish it- then walk away.

Point? I hope Tara does have cuts on her knuckles or a big bruise on her knee from defending herself!

Rhoen 8 years, 3 months ago

<<<"The fact of the matter is ... we're not adept at handling these cases yet," Branson said.>>>

It's not that the authorities have not YET had enough time to figure out how to handle cases of violence against women - I think that they may not have been particularly motivated to handle them better.

The Jefferson County situation may not be an exception to the rule. Sounds like the first one's free there (unless a homicide charge could be filed on the first one). Failure to prosecute these crimes sends a message to the attacker that the beating was justified.

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 3 months ago

Our court system stinks. Its all about money. Whoever can afford the best lawyer walks. Look at OJ. I am ready to see one of these women fight back and knock the crap out of her man with a wooden bat. If the court won't do anything, why not.

juscin3 8 years, 3 months ago

I know that when I worked with the the domestic violence attorney, she would not drop the charges on the person if the victim wanted the charges dropped. It's up to the attorney if they have enough evidence then they can file a charge. Even if it is not considered a domestic battery, they can charge them with disorderly conduct. With her, it didn't matter, as long as she found something to charge them with because she knows that the person is guilty of their crime, that's what she would do.

Some of the cases ended up where the person was being charged with intimidating a witness. Some of the victims there in LV would not cooperate with the attorney therefore the attorney would have to dismiss the case.

They also have an advocate come to the home and talk with the victim and give them information as well where they can stay at and so forth. They even passed a grant where they got cell phones that you can just dial 911 on it and nothing else when they needed help.

I know that LV is a smaller county then DG is, and I don't know what kind of help they do have here in town.
I know that it is aggravating that the person being charged gets a diversion for their crime. BUT, at the same time, if they screw up ONE time, it can be revoked. Most of the time on the diversion, when they mess up again, they will be given a second chance. After that, then they revoked it. That is what LV would do. Guess it depends on the situation on why the diversion was being revoked in the first place.
It is sad to see or hear that a person got hit by their significant other, but if they are still with them and it keeps happening, they can only blame themselves for sticking around.

OfficeGirl 8 years, 3 months ago

I also taught my kids to NEVER start a physical fight, to try to talk and reason with the person. If a person can't be reasoned with, you should just walk away. If they are so stupid that the only way they can communicate is with their hands they are not worth the time and trouble. I taught my kids to defend themselves if someone else started something physical with them, but that THEY should never start anything. Charges against abusers like this get dropped because the victims are afraid of the repercussions of prosecuting them. Even if they don't resume the relationship, they are still afraid. Restraining orders are only as good as the paper they are written on and the people doing the battering know that. Someone who is beating you up is not going to let you get to a phone to call for help. You can't scream for help when someone is choking you. You can't get out of a house to go for help if someone is determined not to let you out of the house. IF you are able to call for help, by the time the police arrive the abuser is long gone and unless the police see for themselves that person violating the restraining order, nothing will be done as it is a he said-she said type of deal. Many people don't get it and will keep going back to their abusers and dropping charges. Others who do get it and try to do something about it are still at risk until prosecutors start taking this type of behavior seriously. Why is hitting a stranger taken more seriously legally than hitting someone you "love"? There is NO difference.

Kodiac 8 years, 3 months ago

Another annonymous source Mr Conservativeman?

Did you make this up on your own or was it a member sent by your Russian friend or maybe you have a website you this from. Inquiring minds want to know.

Kodiac 8 years, 3 months ago

Need more coffee not "member" but memo

reginafliangie 8 years, 3 months ago

Who made man the "king", I wanna see men do some of that crap you mentioned conservativeman, never in a millon years would they do any of that to please a woman, but yet women are expected to do that for their man? What kind of crap is that? We are all equal, and last time I checked, most married couples both work. So why does the woman have to keep working after she gets home to keep her man "happy"? Its a 2 way street, both parties should be doing their equal share around the house. I hope your list was a joke, cause it certainly made me laugh.

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 3 months ago

Jefferson County sucks anyways.. a couple of years ago, when my daughter was in Kindergarten in McLouth, there was a meth bust across the street from the school.. There were 2 small children in the trailer that was busted, and everyone was arrested. The sheriff's dept. never notified parents, and everyone involved in the case was let go, even after all of the drug charges, and child endangerment charges.. Mike Hayes, and all of the rest of jackasses in Jefferson County, are not qualified to do their jobs, and do not care about anyone but themselves. If you don't have money in that county, they don't give a rats ass about you..

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

dbrm4ever, I have also dealt with Jeff Co. and you're so right. What a bunch of idiot yahoos. That place is definitely an old boys club and I doubt very seriously that they give a rat's a** about someone beating their wife. If you think Mike Hayes is bad you should've had dealings with the moron that was in there before him. He was the biggest loser I have ever come across and I still get mad when I think of that guy and the run around he gave me.

mom_of_three 8 years, 3 months ago

There is never an excuse for domestic violence.

But I do believe in self-defense.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 3 months ago

oh cman so much to say but just not going to take the bait.

plady 8 years, 3 months ago

Branson said the traditional court system simply may not be set up to handle domestic-violence cases.

Well it should be by now...its not any different then 2 guys getting in a fight an being drunk.. Our system needs someone better educated in the law you put your hands on someone the wrong way you should be charged they are quick to get someone for writting bad checks and giving the jail time and someone can beat someone they get probation unless the die then the might send them to jail our system is a** backwards!!!! DOUGLAS COUNTY NEEDS TO CATCH UP WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD!

mom_of_three 8 years, 3 months ago

When I was 12, my mom told a longtime male family friend that she didn't like his interference in our family life (mom was divorced and I had a younger sister). He didn't take that too kindly, and started abusing my mother. He had never done anything like that before. It didn't take me long to run to the neighbor's house to call the police. I knew it was wrong then.
He left before the police arrived. No charges were filed and he was married at the time. He could have came to his senses or it could have been due to the arrival of the neighbor lady with the baseball bat.

craigers 8 years, 3 months ago

I think all of the abusers of women should be lined up at last call on a nightly basis and tell everybody what they did. After the patrons of that fine establishment (hopefully they don't bring weapons that night;) are done with teaching them a lesson then they should be tried for domestic battery. Men that beat on women are punks and should be knocked out cold.

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 3 months ago

acg... That was Vanderbilt that was before Mike Hayes, and he was an idiot.. you are right about the old boys club. If I was this lady, I would get an attorney, and sue the crap out of the county for not protecting my rights as a citizen...someone needs to show Jefferson County what it means to follow the law.

alm77 8 years, 3 months ago

Branson said "... If the continued prosecution of the matter has the effect of destroying a good or a viable relationship that somebody made mistakes during, that's contrary to our goals."

I'm trying to think of a situation where two people in a "good and viable relationship" make the "mistakes" of punching eachother and call the police...

Someone want to enlighten me here? Its my understanding physical violence doesn't exist in a "good and viable relationship".

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 3 months ago

Conservativeman,

I guess I must not be a very successful Muslim wife because I would never follow any of this crap. I am too busy working as a professional with a full-time job. I know that lists such as this exist, but they are either written by Wahabis who aim to control women, or Westerners who aim to perpetuate negative stereotypes of Muslim women for their own agendas. If you want to open a constructive dialogue, be my guest. I consider myself to be an Islamic feminist so it might be an interesting discussion. If you want to see a realistic portrayal of the life of an American Muslim woman, visit my blog, "My Mid-Twenty-Something Jihad," at blogspot.com.

As for Tara Balch, I wish her the best. I went to high school with her and her brothers. She was bright, popular, and pretty, and I never would have thought she would have become a victim of domestic violence in a million years. It just goes to show that it can happen to anybody.

reginafliangie 8 years, 3 months ago

Conservativeman, I am not muslim, so that won't be happening in my home anytime soon. People are equal, men or women. No sex is any better than the other. You have the right to believe in your ways. And I will believe in mine. But it does seem like a sad, sad way to live.

alm77: I agree, I think once the punches start all the "viable relationship" is pretty much a lost cause.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand this... a few years ago I was involved in an incident of domestic violence. My bf (at the time) was arrested... I later wanted to drop the charges and was told by the DAs office that I was not allowed to do that, all domestic battery cases were automatically prosecuted no matter what the victim wanted. Is this not happening anymore in DG county?

Linda Endicott 8 years, 3 months ago

" '... If the continued prosecution of the matter has the effect of destroying a good or a viable relationship that somebody made mistakes during, that's contrary to our goals.' "

There are no "good or viable" relationships that include physical or verbal violence. And physical violence in a relationship shouldn't be considered just as a "mistake". THAT is part of the reason why there aren't more criminal charges made against abusers. the attitudes of the police, the attorneys, the judges. The system sucks.

Only 1% of abusers ever change, and even then only with intense therapy two times or more times a week.

And please, Mr. Branson, abusive relationships are neither "good" nor "viable". A woman (or man) is much, much better off in the long run being out of an abusive relationship. Trying to work things out is only a recipe for further disaster in the future.

A system that puts all the effort of changing things on the victim, instead of the perp, is wrong. If you were walking down the street and a total stranger jumped you, punched you, choked you, when the police intervened would they be telling you, "are you SURE you want to press charges? Look, he's sorry he did it. He says he'll never do it again." If it is a crime when someone does this to a total stranger, then it is still a crime if someone does this to their significant other. Why is this such a difficult concept for the system to understand?

In what other violent crimes do the police ask the victim first if they want to press charges?

It's a good idea, sunshine_noise, for the first report or arrest in domestic violence cases to require both parties to take a course in abuse awareness, and the dynamics of abuse. However, I think that all therapists, judges, police officers and attorneys should be required to take these courses, too. Far too many of them are clueless when it comes to domestic violence. But by the time the first arrest occurs, the victim has usually already endured physical abuse many, many times.

mytwocents, if Franklin Co. now hands out packets with info for victims, that's a good thing. They certainly didn't do this in my case, though. I had police officers try to talk me out of pressing charges, I had them telling me that my abuser loved me, he was sorry, he would change, it would be okay. The police had no problem back then of talking to a woman with marks on her face, trying to talk her out of charges, and then just walking away with no concern at all about her possible safety.

Perhaps, if the police respond to a domestic violence call and they don't treat it seriously, and later on the same situation escalates and the victim becomes a murder victim, the officers who responded to the first call should be held liable for their choice to walk away. That would probably change how most DV cases are handled.

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes, Jim Vanderbilt! I couldn't remember his name. I do remember, however, that to Mr. Vanderbilt it's no big deal if your husband's exwife kicks in your front door and attacks you, after she's been told repeatedly to leave the premises. After all "she didn't do that much damage, did she?". I think the AG's office needs to look long and hard at Jeff County. Something's not right with that place.

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 3 months ago

I have contacted the AG's office about Jefferson County, but have never gotten a response, or heard of any investigations...

angelofmine 8 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes they really don't take these cases as seriously as they should. But they have to be pretty skeptical at the same time. That's difficult. A lot of people abuse the system for their own revenge in a relationship, and the people that really do need help fall through the cracks.

In my own situation, I think the prosecutor did a great job and I was pleased with the outcome. I'm in a different county though. My ex learned that he needed to stay away, and was warned/reminded by nearly every official to include the judge what a no-contact order was after he got out of jail. He seemed to have trouble remembering that at first, but by the end, he figured it out.

Bugmenot - Why don't I send my psychotic ex over to your house? After that silly comment, you really "deserve it!"

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

"... If the continued prosecution of the matter has the effect of destroying a good or a viable relationship that somebody made mistakes during, that's contrary to our goals." DA Branson


No wonder so few are prosecuted, given this warped opinion of our illustrious DA!! What "good or viable relationship" ends up with a woman being beaten? And why? Because according to the DA, "somebody made mistakes." That somebody being the sorry, worthless, waste-of-skin, cretin who was doing the beating!!

gggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

crazyks: sorry, I didn't see your post before I began my rant about the same thing :) Guess it can't hurt to repeat it, not that it will do much good :(

BrianR 8 years, 3 months ago

Aye, Jeff. County's a hideout county, innit?

JimmyJoeBob 8 years, 3 months ago

Irish it sounds like you forgave him for everything he had done prior to the third beating. I am sure you were not on the DA's back to have this piece of *&$% prosecuted if you allowed him back into your house. To really resolve the problem the victims in these cases need to take responsibilities for the mistakes they made by staying with the abuser or protecting them. It still sounds like you want to blame someone else after 30 years. You have to admit you were part of the prosecution problem.

"The woman in the picture - could have been me 30 years ago. The police would come, haul him off to jail, he'd get out and I'd forgive him, because he said he LOVED me. Vicious cycle. Took a 3rd beating to get it thru my head NOT to forgive him and get the hell out. Not once tho, not once, did the DA prosecute him until he beat up somebody else in a bar fight months later. The message I got, was it was OK to beat your wife in a drunken rage, but to beat up a stranger in a bar was not.

Sounds like not much has changed. God Bless Tara! I hope she finds her strength to move on and UPWARD!"

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 3 months ago

Jefferson County is sooooooooo shady... I always wonder what happens with the drugs after a drug bust there... I have a brother in prison, because of their backwoods mentality... what he did was wrong yes, but the star witness changed her story the day of sentencing, and the judge looked at my brother and said oh well.... I want to set an example with you...see ya in 5 years....But yet a drug dealer, child abusers, and wife beaters are let go... go figure

BrianR 8 years, 3 months ago

Craigers, Why stop there, why not a good Old Testament-style stoning?

Violence begets violence or is everyone in denial about that?

Swampfox 8 years, 3 months ago

Much "family violence" and spousal abuse is justifed by the following:

"A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death."

(Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

" But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst."

(Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

" When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property."

(Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

" "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves."

Numbers 31:7-18 NLT

NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 3 months ago

THE REAL STORY: white trash girl and white trash guy get drunk and beat the crap out of eachother. White trash girl wants charges pressed against her white trash bf for "revenge". PLEASE PEOPLE! The article said they were "beating eachother up". They are both at fault. I wonder what the guy looked like. He probably had a few scratches and bruises himself. Lock em up together and let them finish it the way they know how, and the leave the DA out of it.

passionatelibra 8 years, 3 months ago

Where does it say they were beating each other up?

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

No, the article didn't say they were beating each other up. The article said, "The prosecuting attorney seemed to think that it was two drunken people hitting each other," Balch said. "He told me he was dropping charges, and I began to cry. ... He said this was his policy - to drop charges on the first offense." Nowhere in that article did it say that the boyfriend was also abused or received any injuries. You should reread NLD. You should also not assume that Tara is white trash because she was the victim of a hateful jerk woman beater. He's trash, definitely, but why her? Because she's a victim? Because she's a resident of Topeka? And I'll have you know, white T has nothing to do with it. Just as many affluent people smack their spouses around.

NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 3 months ago

I have known Mike Hayes a long time, and he would prosecute IF there was a reason. I still think they were "hitting eachother", just as he assumed. There is a LOT more to this story, you better believe that!

passionatelibra 8 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for clarifying acg. I thought I had missed something. As for the white trash comment...

I have seen people with money act a heck of a lot "trashier" than those with less money.

Confrontation 8 years, 3 months ago

Conservativeman: It's interesting how you bash the Muslim religion, yet you fail to realize that most domestic violence in the U.S. is a result of Christian beliefs. These men who beat their women will say, "She's my property. She must do what I say. It's in the Bible." Just as some Muslim men bend religious rules to get themselves off, the so-called Christian men are doing the same. Look at how many Christian wives follow all those made-up rules that you posted. People of all faiths claim that their books allow them to treat people in certain ways. It's all in the interpretation, and everyone seems to have their own. Maybe if men, in general, were raised to treat women as something other than sex objects, we would see a difference. In the meantime, I hope there aren't other people like reginafliangie who are ignorant enough to believe that your statements from one Muslim reflects the beliefs of all of them. You have to look no further than your Catholic, Christian, Baptist, etc., churches to find your women haters.

survivor 8 years, 3 months ago

Until you have been on the other end of that abuse, don't judge anyone. It does not matter your race, gender, income, etc. It still should not be allowed to happen. It is a fact that douglas cty is the most lienient on their stand with DV. If you look back over the course of the 1990's to the present. When has a victim ever prevailed. The percs get all the rights, and protection, and the victims live with it, in fear for the rest of their life. It is not easy to get away. Sometimes they just won't leave you alone, and the police tell you that something bad has to physically happen to you, before they will do anything. Then they give them a diversion, and they go out and do it again. Kansas does not have a victim protection law. Maybe we should start there and get strong with what we want from our state and local juridictions. Abusers do not change.

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

Mike Hayes was elected because, as hard as it is to say, Jim Vanderbilt was an even bigger idiot. This is not Mike Hayes' first reign as PA in Jeff Co. either. This is the 3rd that I've lived here for, if I remember correctly. I've seen this same type of thing time and time and time again. Maybe you and he are buddies, ottr, and that's great. But when you're friendly with a person that doesn't necessarily mean you know how they'll behave in their job. I've heard nothing but bad, from anyone in Jeff Co. about their feelings about Mike Hayes. People he's prosecuted and people who've been victims that he's ignored outright. He was the lesser of the evils in this last election, to be sure, but that's all that can be said about him as a PA.

CanadianPassport 8 years, 3 months ago

It's painfully frustrating how little the police can do in these situations. If the bastard keeps coming back before justice is served, and you aren't content to let him eventually kill you or drive you insane, then there's really only one solution: Wait in the living room with the door unlocked, 12 gauge in hand. Tell the officers that your life was in imminent danger, send flowers to his mom, or don't.

survivor 8 years, 3 months ago

There was a case back in the 90's. A guy wouldn't leave the woman and her kids alone. He tried to burn them all up with gasoline, the DA said that it wasn't attemped murder....... . Cause no one died. Is that stupid or what.? There is a prime example of the protection the victim receives and the rights of an offender in our precious Douglas cty. The judges, the law enforcement, the lawyers all need to get a clue. They will send someone off to prison for smoking pot, for more years then if someone tried to kill their spouse. Oh, and then you are supposed to mediate with the abuser. Wrong, the victim should never be put in that situation. The justice system just needs to step up and frickin do their job.

Confrontation 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by reginafliangie (anonymous) on August 24, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Conservativeman, I am not muslim, so that won't be happening in my home anytime soon.

---Need I say more? For you, I guess I have to. You are stereotyping the muslims right along with your brother, conservativeman. You assume that women are held in slave roles in all Muslim homes, and that this type of thing wouldn't happen in other homes. Go to the library, borrow some books on Islam, and read what the women have to say. This type of psycho Islam is only practiced by those who twisted the Koran to fit their sick desires. That's a small percentage of Muslims. What about the ultra-conservatives whose wives are forced to behave like slaves in their homes, right here in Lawrence? Oh, no! That can't be! They're not Muslims! Get a clue.

granny 8 years, 3 months ago

When I was a youngster I would hind behind he couch in the middle of the night and watch and listen to my Dad slap my Mother around. It was so terrifying to me and I didn't know what to do. I was 4 years old at the time but I can still vividly see where my parents were standing and see him repeatedly fisting her in the face. I am most certain there were times that I did not witness because of the black eyes that would suddently appear. When I was six years old, in my first year of school, I came home from school one night and Dad was at it again. He hit my mother right in the face with his fist as they were standing in the door way. I got right in between him and mom with his fist flying. I said "Dad don't ever hit my mom again, if you want to hit somebody then hit me". I can honestly say I never saw my Dad hit my mother again and there weren't any more black eyes. However, the sadness still remains in my mind of the many times that I saw the beatings.

I keep a gun at all times and I am not afraid to use it. If a man beat me there is no doubt he would have to die. I just hope some man is not stupid enough to think I wouldn't use it. Probably end up in prison because men are allowed to beat women but he would never touch another woman. That is the best way to handle an abuser because our laws most certainly do not protect woman.

DON'T TOUCH ME, YOU WILL BE SORRY!!

granny 8 years, 3 months ago

woops - should have been "hide" behind the couch!

reginafliangie 8 years, 3 months ago

I said that?? Wow, I don't think so. I had no idea how Muslims live their lifes until conservativeman brought it up. I have no idea what happens in other homes of any religion. I was just stating that that type of "rule(s)" would not fit in my household or lifestyle. Others may live as they chose. I think you are looking for a reason to pick a fight.

reginafliangie 8 years, 3 months ago

btw, I wasn't sterotyping anybody, since I don't know the "ways of islam" I had to assume conservativeman did from the list he provided, in turn, saying that that was a sad way to live if its true. How is that sterotyping? I never made any bad remarks, just said "sad".

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree Granny. You bring the violence to me, you better expect some in return. I know its not right, but I would rather be in jail than know some guy could beat some other poor girl. Like I said before, I hope she got a few good licks on him too.

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 3 months ago

NorthLawrenceDude, I have also known Mike Hayes for a long time... he represented some of my family members, and I personally having lived in Jefferson County, know that not many people like him or his wife Jan... If he was such a good person, why let a "wife beater" walk... Because he has no morals, of his own, and is as corrupt as everyone else in that county...

OfficeGirl 8 years, 3 months ago

JF Co has too many resident inbreeders to come into this century. Good 'ol boy system alive and well.

anceee 8 years, 3 months ago

To think of the courage it takes a victim to report the abuse that's likely gone on for quite a while to have the abuser get a diversion. Many women do go back but maybe they wouldn't had the cases actually been processed.

If a person is abused and reports it and then goes back to that same relationship and it happens again so they report it again the person who is abused will not be able to get help from the state. SO lets say a woman forgives her husband the first time but he reverts and goes back to his old ways and she calls the police again and leaves him but can't make it on her own she wont be able to receive help from the state (daycare, food stamps, housing...nothing). Great system.

Swampfox 8 years, 3 months ago

"White trash"?

Sounds "racist" to me!

Steve Jacob 8 years, 3 months ago

I think for the most part that unless is drug related or murder or rape, most people do not go to jail for first offences. Uspecally in this case, where the DA knows getting a conviction in-front of a jury will be tough.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 3 months ago

logrithmic....There is very little "victim bashing" going on here.....this issue is also not the same as"two people get in a fight at a bar"....Contrary to some of the comments here, i have seen couples who were in a abusive relationship pull their act together and cut the crap out.....in my experience 75% of the time drugs and alcohol abuse was involved....20% was some on going emotional turmoil that kept rearing it's ugly head and 5% was one of the people in the relationship was just plain nuts. couples who have been together for awhile end up knowing just how to infuriate their partners......If they do not learn how to stop the B8llsh!t cycle it will escalate into a horrible fight and in some cases turns violent.....I am talking about your average everyday f*cked up couple not the complete nutjobs....One of the hardest things i had to learn is to not indulge in rage...Rage is just another appetite like drugs or gambling....It has a strange purity to it, or at least feels pure....And once you get a taste for it you allow yourself to indulge in it until it becomes habit.

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 3 months ago

With regards to the "white trash" discussion earlier, I know nothing about the boyfriend or who he was. However, Tara's family is not at all what I would consider to be "white trash." It is irrelevant anyways. Domestic violence has no socioeconomic boundaries. It is a mentality, just as being white trash is a mentality, more than it is a socioeconomic status.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Swampfox those Bible quotes are absolutely terrifying.

pandemic 6 years, 4 months ago

24 August 2006 at 9:37 a.m.Suggest removal Permalinkcrazyks (Anonymous) says: " ': If the continued prosecution of the matter has the effect of destroying a good or a viable relationship that somebody made mistakes during, that's contrary to our goals.' "There are no "good or viable" relationships that include physical or verbal violence. You clearly have never made a mistake in your life nor have you any idea what the charge of domestic assault can be used for. The majority of cases clogging our courts involve no violence or assault or injury whatsoever. Many times the "victim" really thought that the police were there to help diffuse a heated argument and end up horrified that they have set in motion a process which is designed to destroy any relationship it touches. If there is no injury and the "victim" is adamantly opposed to arrest and prosecution, it may just be that she knows more about her life than you or the police do, and is not now or ever was in danger and wants to put an isolated incident behind her and move on. Who do you think you are to tell her she should leave her husband, that she should assist in prosecuting him for something that she never intended him being arrested for in the first place?? That she should thank the all-knowing system for depleting her finances and putting more strain on her marriage than has ever existed? You can be arrested for grabbing your spouses arm (not hard or in any way injurous, mind you) as she turns away, standing in front of the door when she wants to go , breaking your own things in your own home. . In cases of verifiable documented injury, it still should be judged on a case by case basis. What if one partner develops a drinking problem and does something destructive, but they have been together for 15-20 years and no criminal history or violent behavior? Should the spouse who was hurt negate the obvious and follow your advice and say screw the last 20 years? Or perhaps should the one with the problem, if motivated, seek help? Is there no scenario that your narrow mind can see that merits a second chance or shall we dissolve every relationship where anything considered domestic violence willy nilly?Only 1% of abusers ever change, and even then only with intense therapy two times or more times a week.please refrain from making up statistics, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.In what other violent crimes do the police ask the victim first if they want to press charges? Simple assault. I have had at least two or three incidents in my life that wouyld land me in jail no questions asked if it were between me and my wife, and the police show up, see two men who shoved or punched one another and ask me what I want to do. I say nothing if the other party doesn't, and they leave. That is a clear violation of my 14th amendment right to equal protection in that it gives the impression that a spouses safety is more important than mine.

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