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New Balance 574

If you would know the value of money , go and try to borrow some .

Poor Richard

Our Senator said:

"There is undoubtedly abuse of the order of protection system, but this policy will apply to a different--and hopefully far less frequent--situation: the criminal violation of such an order.

Here is Poor Richard's translation of Senator Barrios' comment above: “I don’t care about the victims of frivolous restraining orders.”

Ross

"Steve in East Somerville" writes about the comparative murder rates in different states...
Steve, what does this have to do with the topic under discussion? The murder rate in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire is far lower than MA - I can cherry-pick states to compare, also - and it still has nothing to do with allowing the victims of domestic violence the TIMELY means to defend themselves.

My suggestion was to make it easier for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves. As it stands now in MA, a woman in fear of her life must first find a gun-safety class (she could probably find one being held within a month of first starting to look), and then and only then can she apply for her License To Carry. Once she's applied, it will take her at least another month before she is told if her Chief of Police will allow - I repeat: ALLOW - her to have an LTC, and if he will allow her to carry said gun with her for her to defend herself with. Note that it is almost impossible to get a permit to allow herself to carry if she lives in Boston, Brighton, Alston, Charlestown, Cambridge, Worcester, Springfield & Quincy as the Chief's of Police in those cities do not believe that a citizen has the right to defend herself. By the way, by statute, the Police Dept must reply to the applicant and either grant or deny the license within 40 days - a deadline more honored in the breach than the observance in cities like Boston, where it can take up to 100 days for a response. I should also mention that Boston requires a range test, in violation of state law, that the applicant must pay for herself.

And what makes you think that the batterer that put her in fear for her life will wait the several months until she CAN defend herself?


Steve further suggests that gun ownership does not make people safer...

Steve, the crime rate has DECLINED in every state that has passed laws requiring that citizens with clean records be issued carry permits when they apply for one. If that's not so, why do such cities like Washington, DC, New York, NY, & Chicago, IL, all of whom have a total ban on handguns, all have such high murder rates?

Yes, you can legally own a gun in Massachusetts. If you can afford the close to $200 minimum that is required to get the state to issue a license that allows you to exercise a Constitutionally protected right. Would you be so condescending, I wonder, if you had to pay $100 for the right to post in a public form like this - to exercise your First Amendment rights?

Which brings me to the question at hand: Senator Barrios, why do have no comment on my suggestion? You keep talking about how effective a GPS solution is, but it is only effective in the aftermath - how does a GPS bracelet protect a domestic victim from being attached?

Paul McKay

Senator Barrios, can I assume that you aren't going to respond to my questions posted January 24, 2007 at 03:30 PM?

I know you've read them, and the link that I left you. Why don't you have anything to say about this situation?

Amy Harris

Thank you Senator Barrios for beginning a dialogue on the issue of domestic violence and batterer accountability. I am the Director of the Chelsea ASAP Batterer Intervention Program. It has been frustrating both locally and at the State-wide level to experience the lack of accountability within the judicial system in referring batterers to the 40 week DPH certified programs, or for that matter, to any program. Research was conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Probation which found that well over 50% of batterers were referred "no where".
A batterer who is referred to a State certified program is screened for lethality, substance abuse, and mental health issues and the court is notified immediately of that individual's appropriateness for intervention. In addition most Batterer's Programs work closely with the partner and the children to link to appropriate support services. Judges throughout the Commonwealth, in over whelming numbers, still don't get it and maintain the co-culpability view of domestic violence.
I would suggest that a first priority for legislation is to impose a penalty on judges who continuously refuse to refer batterers to certified intervention services. Most batterers fall below the lethality scale-they and the partner, and the children, can benefit tremendously from services.
Please consider working with us, the judicial system, and DPH in drafting legislation to hold judges accountable who do not hold batterers accountable.

Amy Harris

Thank you Senator Barrios for beginning a dialogue on the issue of domestic violence and batterer accountability. I am the Director of the Chelsea ASAP Batterer Intervention Program. It has been frustrating both locally and at the State-wide level to experience the lack of accountability within the judicial system in referring batterers to the 40 week DPH certified programs, or for that matter, to any program. Research was conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Probation which found that well over 50% of batterers were referred "no where".
A batterer who is referred to a State certified program is screened for lethality, substance abuse, and mental health issues and the court is notified immediately of that individual's appropriateness for intervention. In addition most Batterer's Programs work closely with the partner and the children to link to appropriate support services. Judges throughout the Commonwealth, in over whelming numbers, still don't get it and maintain the co-culpability view of domestic violence.
I would suggest that a first priority for legislation is to impose a penalty on judges who continuously refuse to refer batterers to certified intervention services. Most batterers fall below the lethality scale-they and the partner, and the children, can benefit tremendously from services.
Please consider working with us, the judicial system, and DPH in drafting legislation to hold judges accountable who do not hold batterers accountable.

Paul McKay

Steve wrote: "I am not a "men's rights" activist and I fully realize that male batterers are responsible for the vast majority of domestic abuse and almost all of the abuse cases that result in murder."

Steve, that simply isn't true. The incidence of violence initiated by women is approximately the same as that by men. Men are obviously more physically powerful and more able to do damage with their hands, women are therefore more likely to use weapons, resulting in increased lethality. The following is a quote from a recent study published by Prof. Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire's Family Research Laboratory. Click my name to see the entire paper. (PDF file)

"In the 35 years since I began research on partner violence, bit by bit, I have seen my assumptions about prevalence and etiology contradicted by a mass of empirical evidence from my own research and from research by many others. Consequently, I have gradually come to a much more multi-faceted view of partner violence. This view recognizes the overwhelming evidence that women assault their partners at about the same rate as men, and that the motives for violence by both males and females are diverse. However, few others have reached the same conclusion, and some of those few will not publicly express their position for fear of the type of ostracism that I have experienced (partly described in Straus and Gelles (Straus & Gelles, 1990). Instead, the evidence on gender symmetry in prevalence and etiology is typically disregarded and often explicitly denied (Straus & Scott, In press). As will be suggested in the conclusion, this denial has crippled prevention and treatment efforts."

The first step to correcting a problem is identifying it. We, as a society, cannot fix problems we ignore. Domestic violence is wrong, period. It's wrong when men do it, and it's wrong when women do it, which they most certainly do. If we refuse to recognize the scope and the causes of the problem, how can we ever expect to fix it? Demonizing men is not a solution. Demonizing violence is part of the solution, making excuses for and denying the existence of certain classes of violence is not.

Curt Rogers

Thank you Senator Barrios for devoting your initial Blog to domestic violence.

I applaud your desire to re-frame the policy discussion to focus on accountability of the batterer. The ideas you presented are a solid beginning to a long dialogue that will hopefully allow us one day to arrive at the best standard of domestic violence policy – policy which offers the strongest protection possible while protecting the rights of the innocent.

I am new to Blogging and must say I am distracted by the many threads of the conversation to which I wish I could respond. However, I will limit my response to two core issues:

1) Accountability: It would appear that we are at a crossroads. There are some domestic violence evaluative tools and assessments used by police and judges to determine perpetrator and victim status. These are flawed, but they are what we have. Do we continue to spend time trying to refine these tools to create ones that are more perfect – or do we accept them and begin to ratchet up accountability based on these current tools’ outcomes.

As the Director of the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project for the past 12 years, I have seen the evaluative tools used by police, community-based advocates and the criminal justice system fail miserably for male victims (gay, bisexual, trans and straight) and I am concerned about increasing accountability without further refinement, without basic corrections to the current biases in the system, and without intensive training for the individuals using these tools.

I know of gay male victims who have been arrested along with their partner when they have called the police for help during an attack by their abuser. I know of judges that issue mutual restraining orders for gay male couples because without gender to rely on it is too difficult for them to parse out who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. I know of a straight male victim of domestic violence who was continually denied protection from his local police and was told that if he called them again, he would be arrested.

I worry about giving this broken system more teeth before we make it a more accurate. I know victims of domestic violence whose lives have been further devastated by the system as it works now and I cringe at the thought of the system being capable of wreaking more damage.

2) Inclusivity: There has been a lot of discussion on this posting regarding gender and sexual orientation inclusivity. Some have hit Senator Barrios hard for his language. Ironically, one person even pointed the Senator to the website of my organization (the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project). This is ironic for me, because Senator Barrios has long been an ardent champion of GLBT domestic violence issues. I have know him since he ran to be my State Representative, I have worked closely with him for many years and I am proud to call him my friend. I KNOW Senator Barrios is well versed in the realities of GLBT domestic violence.

Still, I agree with the intent of most of the postings regarding gender inclusivity. The system is broken and biased against male victims. However, for me, the language referring to gender in the posting pales in significance to the truly important policy shift Senator Barrios is advocating. This is what I wish the responding postings focused on (and some do) – the beginning of a discussion of ideas (however raw, flawed, politically incorrect…) that can move us towards more effectively holding batterers accountable and providing victims with safety and dignity.

Steve

To Jellyfish and Ross: do you realize how the murder rate in Massachusetts compares to "pro-gun" states like South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana? Look it up. Even people in Montana (where just about everyone owns a gun) are more likely to be murdered than people who live here.

You can argue for gun-rights on a constitutional basis and make a strong case. If you are going to argue that widespread gun ownership somehow makes people safer, you are arguing against the facts. BTW, you can legally own a gun in Massachusetts. I've lived here all my life and know many avid sportsmen, most of whom have no problem with our gun laws.

To Senator Barrios: thanks for setting up this blog.

I have concerns about restraining orders: my mentally-ill aunt once applied for one against my father in an attempt to extort money from him (it was denied when she failed to appear in court). I don't know what would've happened if she had pursued it. Hopefully nothing. Nonetheless, the experience has given me pause. I am not a "men's rights" activist and I fully realize that male batterers are responsible for the vast majority of domestic abuse and almost all of the abuse cases that result in murder. (Ironically, my father is a probation officer and former social worker who has a long professional history of dealing with male batterers.)

I appreciate your efforts to improve our criminal justice system to protect other battered women from the tragic fate of Dorothy Guinta-Cotter. As your constituent, I am concerned about your statement "I recognize these [civil rights] burdens but believe they are outweighed by the present-case burden upon the battered partner whose liberty is so often lost." I do not necessarily think that the additional restrictions you are proposing, inasmuch as they apply only to batterers who have already violated an existing order or have a history of domestic violence convictions, necessarily present a civil rights burden (anymore than criminal incarceration in general). I do think that civil rights "burdens" on one group for the benefit another are a bad idea and a slippery slope. I ask that you give due consideration in your legislative proposals to protecting innocent men from being victimized by abuse of the system. I realize this does not happen nearly as often as some of these "men's rights" activists would have us believe (most of them seem to suffer from "it's everiybody's fault but mine" syndrome when discussing their personal experience with restraining orders). However, our goal should be that it NEVER happens. That means enacting legislation that increases protection of battered women WITHOUT imposing additional civil rights "burdens" . I'm sure it won't be easy, but I think you're a great legislator and I'm confident you can do it.

Nice job setting this up. I hope you can find the time to be an active blogger - I think it's an excellent means of communicating with your constituency and I hope more elected officials follow your lead.

-Steve in East Somerville


Paul McKay

Dan, right wing trolls whining and trying to destroy the Senator? Please. Cartoons belong on the funny pages, not in a serious discussion of social ills. If you must sling mud, perhaps you could find a more appropriate discussion in which to do it.

Dan

Re: gender neutrality:

"Mr. Weebles," you admit that most domestic violence is male on female. English is a gendered language. Why in the world should the Senator bend either the language or the facts to not offend? The substance of the Senator's suggestions are equally applicable to male and female. In fact, most of the time he uses the term "batterer" rather then a gendered term.

Getting overly offended on the use of pronouns in a post is classic troll behavior. If you are not a troll, attack the substance, not the grammer.

Beth Leventhal

It is a pleasure to see this discussion taking place. It reminds me of a story whose full details I don't remember, but the basic gist is that years ago, Golda Meir (Israel) was told that the incidence of (male) rape (of women) was climbing, and someone suggested to her that perhaps there should be a curfew for women so they wouldn't be out on the dangerous streets at night. She turned to the person and said that from what she had heard, perhaps it should be men who were under curfew.

For so long, our cultural perspective has been that the survivors of domestic violence bear responsibility for ending the abuse, and when it continues, we blame them -- by taking away their kids; by making them leave their homes, their communities, and their connections to hide in shelter; by firing them from their jobs when their batterers harrass them at work; etc. I can't say that your proposals, Senator, are THE answer (nor do I think that you're suggesting they are), but I do believe that this shift in discussion -- away from survivor-blaming and toward batterer accountability -- is absolutely essential if we are to develop the combination of possible answers so that we can offer survivors options to choose from which can best fit each individual situation. Thank you for making this issue a priority.

I would also like to add from my perspective of being both a survivor of same-sex battering and a community activist around GLBT domestic violence. While these same issues around holding batterers accountable exist in GLBT communities, they show up in additional ways as well. Just to name a few:

1) Awareness within GLBT communities about domestic violence is not high, and there is great fear about having it recognized -- particularly now as our relationships are under such scrutiny during the current "debate" about same-sex marriage. An issue that remains hidden is a difficult one around which to propose systemic change.

2) There is only one organization in the Commonwealth providing certified batterer intervention groups to the GLBT community -- Emerge. They are great, but they can't serve the whole state.

3) In our experience at The Network/La Red, police are far more likely to make either no arrest in situations of GLBT domestic violence, or to make a dual arrest.

4) In our experience, restraining orders are routinely either not given out or mutual orders are given out. They are then less likely to be enforced or enforced correctly.

There is much more to say than can fit into a blog comment. But, it is my hope that, as we move forward in our thinking and strategizing, we remember that all communities are not in the same place around battering, nor do they have the same historic relationship to the legal system (this is of course true for many communities, not just the GLBT community)
-- and that we think inclusively.
Thanks.

Mr. Weebles

"Wow, poor Senator Barrios. He posts an interesting, substantive post on how to reduce domestic violence in general, and some right wing trolls whining about the unfair court system come and try to destroy him."

Right-wing trolls? Once again, I'm offended. I only asked Sen. Barrios to post a more gender-neutral version of his original post and now I'm a right-wing troll?

Dan

Wow, poor Senator Barrios. He posts an interesting, substantive post on how to reduce domestic violence in general, and some right wing trolls whining about the unfair court system come and try to destroy him.

Senator, I hope you don't take these jokers as typical. Most people realize that, yes, domestic violence is a problem, and yes, the largest part of that problem is male on female violence. While gay domestic abuse is an underdiscussed topic, and female on male violence, does, of course, happen, the majority of the problem is male on female. We shouldn't lose sight of that.

Furthermore, the Senator's original post was pretty much gender neutral. Male or female, we need better ways to prevent abuse from turning to homicide.

Paul McKay

Senator Barrios writes:

"Indeed, those who have been on the 'receiving end' of an order of protection might have some concerns about that process, but the process we discuss is the (hopefully) not-so-routine violation of those orders, and how to promote a more succesful compliance with them. The violations and the lack of proof as to their occurence point out the lack of police and court's power to enforce their own orders....and that's where GPS comes in."

Sir, I am a domestic violence victim, though the abuse at the hands of my partner pales in comparison to the abuse upon me at the hands of the Commonwealth. Your legislation would have put a GPS bracelet on me back in August 2004, though I am guilty of absolutely nothing other than being a male. Over two years later, when the Appeals Court reversed my conviction I suppose I would then have been able to take it off. Frankly, I think that 80 hours of Batterer's Intervention Program for a misdialed phone number was insult enough, and as it turns out the Appeals Court agrees with me. Please read the link appended to my name, know that every word I wrote is true and that I have the documentation to prove the vast majority of it (which I will gladly provide on request.) Then, please tell me just a few things.

1. Where did I go wrong? What should I have done that I didn't do? What did I do that I shouldn't have? What would you have done in my situation?

2. Why is it that after spending an enormous amount of time, money and grief on fruitlessly prosecuting me for completely imaginary crimes, I can't seem to get a single human being in the employ of the Commonwealth to take any interest whatsoever in the string of obvious felonies that have been committed against me and against the Court, the supposed embodiment of our commitment to the rule of law?

3. Do you think I should still be the subject of a 209A order to this day? Do you think I should be GPS trackable? Why or why not?

4. What can be done, and what are you willing to do, to see that this or worse doesn't happen to anyone else? If it doesn't happen in Massachusetts today, it will happen tomorrow. My case is not unique.

I'm happy to see that you have this forum, and I'll be even happier if it engenders a substantive, productive discussion of the true and twin problems of both domestic violence and 209A abuse. No one should be subjected to either.

Rob Daugherty

This blog entry, "Restoring Liberty and Equality to Battered Women" is quite misleading in that it gives the impression that only women are battered. Yes, if one looks at the physical strength and size of the typical couple, men are stronger and bigger. So, the idea of a man getting abused is difficult to accept. But, if you were to look at police records and actual statistics, women abusing men is far more common than most people think.

In other words, by giving the impression that only women are battered, you offend many, many men who know otherwise. This, in turn, places you and your proposal into the category of typical politician-speak: You say a lot of things that sound good, but when you truly attempt to apply your ideas, they simply are not viable.

You state: "This does not mean immediate arrest of all alleged assailants; it means immediate danger assessment by police can screen out those cases where lethal violence threatens to kill or maim."

Given the huge amount of frivolous restraining orders doled out by the judges simply because someone "is in fear," how might you go about protecting the rights of the supposed abuser? In other words, people lie. A lot! How will the police know the difference IMMEDIATELY when our JUDGES consistently do not know even after hearing both sides?

Your proposal sounds good on paper. However, until restraining orders are reduced to only those who truly need them (as opposed to those who simply want the upper hand in a divorce or child custody battle), there simply is not enough people in our police force to take care of what you propose.

Oh wait! I know. Why don't you just raise taxes to pay for more police on the streets?

This is what you want, isn't it? It's the only solution you propose.

Well, I don't want it. Instead, why don't you fix the problem of our courts doling out false restraining orders. This won't require higher taxes and will allow our law enforcement to focus on those who truly are abusers.

If you do this, the PEOPLE will love you. You might anger some of your lawyer and judge and feminist friends, so be careful. We wouldn't want principles and knowing the difference between right and wrong get in the way of you keeping your job.

We have a leak in the huge boat of restraining orders. Instead of raising taxes to hire more people to shovel water out of the boat, do the right thing and just fix the leak.

remember

Senator,

Domestic violence in the gay community is the rampant disease nobody wants to talk about. Now that we are accepted for who we are, we should begin to openly discuss our other plaques. Please check out: www.gmdvp.org/--this is a story we should not keep straight.

Mr. Weebles

"though I point out to the gentle reader who suggests that 24% of homicide victims of domestic violence means female-on-male violences has neglected to consider that most of these deaths (at least in Massachusetts) are male children or an intimate partner of the woman killed by another current or former male partner."

I believe you're incorrect. That statistic was taken from Fox and Zawitz (2004) and only includes persons defined as an Intimate Partner. Children and third parties are not included in that study.

And why did you focus on that one statistic? Do you believe that the others are incorrect as well?

Will you change your original post to be less gender-specific or will you continue to insist that domestic violence is only a male-on-female crime?

Jarrett Barrios

I am appreciative of the many comments--most of them serious and on the topic of domestic violence. One observation for the "men's rights" bloggers who have weighed in--there is an important difference between the resraining order itself and the violation of the restraining order. Indeed, the former is a civil order, the latter a criminal violation. Indeed, those who have been on the 'receiving end' of an order of protection might have some concerns about that process, but the process we discuss is the (hopefully) not-so-routine violation of those orders, and how to promote a more succesful compliance with them. The violations and the lack of proof as to their occurence point out the lack of police and court's power to enforce their own orders....and that's where GPS comes in. It is not applied easily or without substantive evidence at a dangerousness hearing on the violation of the order. Individuals who have respected the order will never find themselves in this situation, and even if they did, it would be easy to comply with...as it creates a permanent record of violations--or lack thereof.

The issue of 'balance' in the courts regarding the initial issuance of orders is different, though I point out to the gentle reader who suggests that 24% of homicide victims of domestic violence means female-on-male violences has neglected to consider that most of these deaths (at least in Massachusetts) are male children or an intimate partner of the woman killed by another current or former male partner.

There is undoubtedly abuse of the order of protection system, but this policy will apply to a different--and hopefully far less frequent--situation: the criminal violation of such an order.

Thank you all--and keep coming back.

Jarrett Barrios

Hans Bader

As a lawyer from outside Massachusetts, I have to point out that the Massachusetts courts are already famous outside the state for issuing domestic violence restraining orders based on false allegations.

The idea that the "current system is fundamentally unfair to battered women" is the farthest thing from the truth. Massachusetts judges and prosecutors bend over backwards to credit even the most thinly-grounded complaints of domestic violence.

Even after one judge in a local court ultimately learns that a complaint was groundless and refuses to renew a domestic violence restraining order, the complainant can simply go back into court, find a different judge, and demand a brand new restraining order based on new, false allegations.

In the Edward T. "Zed" McLarnon case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court essentially immunized false allegations from any civil redress, by holding that a restraining order, even if subsequently proven to be based on false allegations, issue-precludes the victim of the false allegations from ever suing for the damage done him.

That conflicts with settled law (on issue preclusion) in most other jurisdictions, which makes clear that issue preclusion doesn't apply to temporary restraining orders, which are based on a preliminary evaluation of the evidence (and often without even hearing the accused's side of the story).

The Massachusetts courts are embarrassingly biased against people falsely accused of domestic violence.

And frankly, courts tend to be biased against male victims as well. The Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, in its study of large urban counties, found that when a husband is killed by his wife without provocation, the sentence upon conviction is only seven years (whereas when the genders are reversed, the sentence is 17 years).

Thus, it is battered men, not battered women, who are denied equality and liberty (when they call the police seeking help, they are often treated as the perpetrator, rather than the victim).

Hans Bader
J.D. Harvard Law School, 1994

(Note: I shouldn't have to mention this, but in case you are wondering, I am happily married (never divorced), and have never been accused of domestic violence).

Mr. Weebles

Mr. Barrios:

I found your post on domestic abuse to be quite politically incorrect, and and an affront to men throughout the Commonwealth. Throughout your diatribe, the batterer is consistently referred to as "he" or "him." While the majority of batterers are male, available data indicates:

- 3.2 million men experience "minor" abuse (such as "pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting") per year.

- In the United States, approximately 800,000 men per year (3.2%) are raped or physically assaulted by their partner.

- At least 371,000 men are stalked annually.

- 3% of nonfatal violence against men stems from domestic violence.

- In 2002, men comprised 24% of domestic violence homicide victims.

- Approximately 22% of men have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological intimate partner violence during their life.

Please change the wording as soon as possible so as to avoid offending any other men.

Thank you.

Ross

Dear Senator Barrios,

Your "liberty zone" is an interesting idea: instead of incarcerating the batterer, you're incarcerating the VICTIM to a set of previously-defined areas!

If that's not enough, you're also depending on the police to continuously monitor the batterer's whereabouts AND respond in time to prevent an attack. Since the Supreme Court has ruled that the police department has NO responsibility to protect an individual, why do you think that this will work?

Instead of putting the victim in prison, why not give her (or him; men can be abused, too) the power to defend him or herself: let this person purchase a firearm without any of the 1 to 6 month waiting that this state routinely inflicts on someone who wants to purchase a firearm? (that waiting period is how long it takes to get a License to Carry in this state.)

This way, you've just taken a potential victim and empowered her to protect her own life. No police monitoring needed, no huge investment in GPS technology and the concomittant increase in our already-high taxes. The only downside is for the person who tried to attack this now-no-longer-defenseless "victim".

kathypodgers

I agree that women who report domestic violence should remain at home.

I also believe that obtaining a protection order might result in an immediate and violent response from the abuser. It's like he thinks "So, you think you can rat me out?? After all I've done for you?/ I'll show you what happens to back stabbers!" Thoughts like that, that propel the person who the protection order was obtained against to immediate action.

Then societies response. He confides in his family and friends. They all verbalize sentiments like "That ungrateful B****!" and "What are you gonna do about it?"

Then there are the social workers, right here in Cambridge! They are more than ready to "blame the woman." When I was infected with HCV from a tainted blood transfusion and became severly ill I was unable to "do" anything. I was literally so weak and tired that I had to crawl to the bathroom from my bedroom. My husband, ex, was angry that I had not recovered from childbirth, and was not back to speed. He was filled with resentment. Of course, no one knew what was causing my symptoms, and non A non b hepatitis was not isolated and named HCV until 1989. However, when we sought counciling here in Cambridge, the councillor did not believe me at all. i was so ill, and he was so smooth spoken, she blamed me, agreed with him that I was withholding sex for "attention." (or control?) her failure to encourage us to persue medical tests for my severe disabaling symptoms resulted in me going undiagnosed, and in him starting to abuse me for being "lazy" and manipulative.

Reading your post here, just now, brought it all back. No one I sought help from believed me.

That set me up for the abuse.

It is a sad story, what good are the experts?

I am glad to see you in the blog world, welcome.

Kathy

JellyFish

How utterly absurd to listen to all of you pretend that any kind of government assistance or a silly piece of paper is going to stop a man or woman who is out to kill or injure someone. You can pass all of the laws you like and set up a hundred thousand new government programs.

You will never succeed in stopping domestic violence or in protecting the victims.

Dorothy might be alive and well today had she had a firearm to defend herself with. Based on what you wrote, Jarrett, she was apparently completely unarmed and helpless.

Given MA bigoted and hate-based laws against firearms ownership, it's no wonder this poor woman never had a chance. Are you people aware that a woman cannot even buy pepper spray in MA without a license?

And you wonder why this woman died and why more like her will die?

Please, come down from your pseudo-utopian fantasy-land and realize that self-defense is a God-given right. Until the state of MA amends its pro-criminal gun laws and removes the license requirement for things like pepper spray, more women (and men) will continue to die.

pers-1765

I was recently on the receiving end of a restraining order because of a roommate that either simply wanted me out of the apartment and was willing to file a false affidavit or he filed an affidavit in a delusional state.

Anyone can get a restraining order in the state of MA. No one has to have hit you, no one has to have threatened you, all a person has to do is claim that they were placed in fear of imminent physical harm. That's the box my roommate checked off. You go to a judge, they rubber stamp it, and then the police issue the order and make sure you are removed from the residence.

At your hearing you are not innocent until proven guilty, you are not even guilty until proven innocent, you are guilty, period. All the plaintiff has to do is answer in the affirmative when the judge asks, "Are you still in fear of this person?" and the order gets extended.

And on this form that a person fills out to initially get one of these things a person can claim whatever they want about who they want the restraining order against, and they don't have to list a damn thing about themselves. The police that showed up at my door and the judge at my hearing were all confused thinking I owned a gun because of a box my roommate checked off. And that I had an alcohol problem! I've never touched a gun in my life let alone own one. My roommate is the one that owned 2 guns. My roommate is the one who only 2 weeks prior joined AA. Did he have to prove one iota of what he claimed? Nope.

This whole restraining order/domestic violence system feels incredibly unconstitutional. It's like something from Kafka. I'd expect it in Soviet Russia, not Massachusetts.

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  • Revere
    3rd Tuesday of every month from 8:00-9:00 am at Nick's Deli, Washington Ave
  • Everett
    1st Wednesday of each month from 8:00-9:00 am at Dunkin Donuts across from Pope John
  • Chelsea
    3rd Saturday of each month from 11:00am to 12:00 noon at Dunkin Donuts, Prattville
  • Charlestown
    2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 8:00-9:30 am at Dunkin Donuts, Bunker Hill Mall
  • Cambridge
    Last Sunday of each month from 8:00-9:30 am at Darwin's, 1629 Cambridge Street
  • Allston/Brighton
    3rd Thursday of every month from 8:30-9:30 am at the Dunkin Donuts, North Harvard Street
  • Senator Barrios Office Hours