Negotiating a Broken System

We desperately need implementation of our progressive laws!

I hear so much of these comments: "Just leave and get a protection order", "Walk away and don't look back" or "Lay charges".

Yes, sometimes that works - and it works when survivors know how the system works, are knowledgable about their rights or are assisted by someone who can guide them through it all - but mostly it doesn't seem to.

Abusers are often glib and charming - "ice to eskimo's in winter" types. They charm their way out, or lawyer up and bamboozle their way out, or even worse threaten, intimidate and beat their way out of the cases laid against them.

A lawyer, defending the abuser, once told me she was going to use the protection order as a bargaining chip for the divorce. On questioning the survivor's lawyer I was told "oh, yes, it gets done all the time."

All the time?

No concern that he is financially, emotionally and psychologically abusing his family, even though he was careful not to physically hurt them with the interim protection order in place. So, the idea was get her to drop the protection order for more money in the settlement. No thought about what he was capable of doing once that order was dropped.

Is a better divorce agreement worth that?

Sometimes when men go to report domestic violence they are laughed all the way out of police stations and courtrooms. No matter that they have evidence - their very masculinity is questioned for just reporting.

Sometimes the abusers don't even care about the protection orders and carry on regardless... Showing up at work places, following the survivor, degrading and humiliating them on social media and in public until the survivor will do anything to just make it stop!

In these cases the survivors are too scared to actually follow through and use the warrant of arrest in their possession - or try to and are turned away.

Sometimes no one really knows about the abuse because its done in private when there are no witnesses and it becomes a he said, she said debate. So, in order for the survivor to make a case, they have to stay, put themselves in danger and collect evidence that courts accept.

Leaving isn't always easy.

Please think about that.

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