I live in Monroe County in NYS.
Am I sure it actually matters where in this country you live? No, I am not. I have spent most of my life in NYS and all of that time I was with one abuser or another.
What I can start with is from my side of the table the laws seem unfair to people who have been abused. I want to clarify what I believe abuse to be: anything demeaning, demoralizing, or violent done mentally, physically, or emotionally to another person you have having ANY type of a relationship with. This can include your spouse, partner, live-in, child, parent, almost any person that you have a regular relationship with.
I turned 40 this year and this will be the first full year of my life that I will experience NO daily abuse. How do I figure that? Well, I have been abused since I was a few months old with physical violence, neglect, verbal battery, torture, mental warfare games, and more. When I moved away from home I married a man who physically abused myself as well as our children together. He verbally abused his family and physically destroyed me. It went as far as me waking up in the middle of the night with him forcing himself into me whether it was anal rape or vaginal rape. It is wrong. After he tried and was almost successful at killing us I met and married another abuser.
Did I see any signs that either was or could possibly be an abuser? Looking back yes I did! Did I ignore them or brush them off for a multitude of different reasons? Absolutely, I did.
“Look at how the person you are dating treats family! This will show you how they will treat you once the LOVEY period wears out.”
My 2nd marriage was full of him cheating, holding sex hostage or any physical contact for that matter, verbally demolishing all of us in the house, and near the end physically putting his hands on my children in abusive ways.
Finally separated from my second husband I decided to make a very bold move and end my relationships with all of my abusive family! This was all so overwhelming and emotionally debilitating at times. I was throwing away ALL of the abuse I had known for 38 years. Part of me was and still is at times very lost without the stability of what abuse brought to my life. Was it awful almost every day? Yes it was more than awful. The last 5 years I thought about hanging myself in the shower almost every day but felt so scared and alone that I never said anything. I knew if I said something to anyone who might be able to help I would risk losing my children and that was worse than the abuse or death.
Now at the point I am writing this we have been in court almost 2 full years fighting over the divorce, custody, financials, and the toiletries.
Onto the nitty gritty of it all:
My ex, John, broke the orders of protection that were in place at the time. Charges were filed, he was arrested, he plead them out… Uhm okay. He made a deal that I agreed with at the time. He would move from NY to Florida for a 3 year period to avoid further legal consequences in NYS because of breaking the order of protection. I can handle him moving… It would be better for everyone if his abuse and abusive family was away from us and we had time to work on healing. Where my greatest frustration, anger, and dumbfoundedness comes in is how he has verbally battered all of the people involved in our case for months and he will never face consequences for it. In the past 5 months alone he has sent semi threatening emails, screaming and swearing voicemails, and abusive phone conversations with the attorney for our children, the clerk for the judge, the visit supervisor, and my attorney. He HAS broken the law with his behavior as well as put fear into people trying to get his way. I finally got up the nerve to ask why won’t he get in trouble for these violations what was explained was horrifying…
I was told that if any of the people involved in our case had him arrested they would then be compelled to testify against him in a case of their own. This would create a problem with them representing anyone in our case. This includes the court clerk whom he has harassed as well as the childrens’ attorney. They would all have to remove themselves from the case and possibly even the judge because it is his court clerk. Then what would we do? We have spent 2 years with these people working towards getting us all safe and healthy… our only option is to either let his behavior continue and he will abuse everyone or fight back and the kids and I will have no choice but to start over completely with new representation.
How could any legal system allow this? While I understand conflict of interest and understand some cannot seperate cases in situations but this is outragous.
I decided to write a letter to a local agency that helps change laws, represents clients, and more. What I wrote is as follows:
I am writing because I am trying to get some legal questions answered if possible. I am currently represented by legal aid and they are fantastic. With that said my question is as follows:
My attorney, the attorney representing my children, and the supervisor for visitations have all experienced mild to almost extreme verbal abuse from my husband who is the defendant in the case. He has called screaming and swearing, emailed threatening and abusing, and been all around scary to them at times. He at one point physically got in my attorney’s face as if he was going to hit her. He just keeps getting away with being abusive and when I finally thought to ask why I was told that they didn’t want to pursue legal action because it would force them to recuse themselves from my and the children’s case. They could not represent any of us and testify against him.
My curiosity is: are there any exceptions to this rule? If so what are they? If not why aren’t there? And what exactly is the law page and paragraph as well as case-related details that I can read about this type of situation? I have spent 40 years in abusive relationships and am exhausted at how things fall away or get shoved aside for the right reasons but it allows the criminals to think they are invincible to the abusive threatening actions.
I would really love a response and an opportunity to possibly discuss this with a legal mind that might give me a better understanding of it all.
Thank you so much for reading my book of an email and have a brilliant day.
The abuse has to stop! Not just for myself but everyone else!