Caring eyes focus on domestic violence court

Full story: Chicago Tribune

They do their work in silence. They sit, watch, listen and write. When they speak up, their voices carry.
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DJDan

Glenview, IL

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#1
Feb 4, 2009
 
Will these monitors also report it if a judge is mean toward an alleged perpetrator?

Or is this all one-sided -- just looking for judicial slights of alleged victims and not alleged perpetrators?
jlp

Carol Stream, IL

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#2
Feb 4, 2009
 
"After the group recommended that the no-contact clause be standard, it was put into all of them."

Ridiculous. Nothing should be "standard". The law requires that bond be set on an individualized basis, not on what some special interest group wants (particularly when the COMPLAINANT doesn't want such a condition).

And I wonder if the "support" these people claim to give extends to protecting them from threats by assistant state's attorneys to prosecute them if they don't testify the way the state wants them to.
KAG

Springfield, IL

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#3
Feb 4, 2009
 
Seems rather arrogant of those judges to ban the monitors - after all the Sixth Amendment refers to a speedy PUBLIC trial.

Hope these monitors do some good in what is a difficult problem. Plus the state does so little in terms of mandatory counseling and punishment for repeat abusers - many of whom are middle class and wealthy.
steve

Homewood, IL

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#5
Feb 4, 2009
 
First off, if you ever went into a domestic courtroom, you'd know that 99 percent of the cases are dismissed because the women don't proceed with the prosecution. Therefore, it appears all these ranters on here must be former defendants with domestic violence cases.
Molly

Chicago, IL

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#6
Feb 4, 2009
 
Obviously you support domestic violence and agression towards women, and maybe children? You blame women for actually behaving in a manner that warrants being beaten?

The controlling, jealous behavior that men who beat women exhibit is shameful. There is no excuse ever to beat a woman, child, or anyone. NOT EVER! If you have problems, seek counseling. Find a third party, not emotionally connected to help.

This kind of behavior has gone on for so long without recourse, it's time someone paid attention. Too bad it requires volunteers to have to give up their time to go watch that victims don't have to suffer at the hand of both an aggressive controlling jerk woman beater, and then a judge who sympathizes with the perpetrator! Disgusting.
Donny Dubrow wrote:
Men have been so resoundingly screwed over by all aspects of the legal system but none more so than domestic violence courts, family courts, and divorce courts.
They are all so overwhelmingly misandric and tilted towards women it's not even funny.
All it takes is a mere accusation of impropriety - however unsubstantiated or unfounded and - if uttered from the mouth a woman it is accepted as gospel truth.
Not that I'd ever expect a woman to tell the truth in court (why start now, right?) but, perhaps, allowing a judge to ascertain what manner of shrill emotional, psychological and quite often physical abuse that the woman unleashed upon her male partner before the alleged violence occurred might be helpful in allowing the judge to ascertain whether such abuse may have predicated and, hence, somehow mitigate or lessen the male's culpability for his actions.
But, alas, the courts have fallen victim to the "women's rights" movement that ostensibly argues for "equality" and "justice" for women but, in reality, seeks to make them a protected class of citizens that are never held accountable for their actions and must be granted special judicial protections from men.
Been There Done That

Springfield, IL

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#7
Feb 4, 2009
 
Donny Dubrow wrote:
Men have been so resoundingly screwed over by all aspects of the legal system but none more so than domestic violence courts, family courts, and divorce courts.
They are all so overwhelmingly misandric and tilted towards women it's not even funny.
All it takes is a mere accusation of impropriety - however unsubstantiated or unfounded and - if uttered from the mouth a woman it is accepted as gospel truth.
Not that I'd ever expect a woman to tell the truth in court (why start now, right?) but, perhaps, allowing a judge to ascertain what manner of shrill emotional, psychological and quite often physical abuse that the woman unleashed upon her male partner before the alleged violence occurred might be helpful in allowing the judge to ascertain whether such abuse may have predicated and, hence, somehow mitigate or lessen the male's culpability for his actions.
But, alas, the courts have fallen victim to the "women's rights" movement that ostensibly argues for "equality" and "justice" for women but, in reality, seeks to make them a protected class of citizens that are never held accountable for their actions and must be granted special judicial protections from men.
If the victim were your mother, sister or daughter would you still feel the same way. Yes, there are a few bad apples, women who lie for one reason or another. However, the reality is that for too many women, this may be the best and maybe most help they can expect to receive. I suggest you do a little more research into domestic violence (i.e. talk to someone who's actually lived it) before you form such a sexist opinion. One more thing, there is no excuse for a man to hit a woman. If she's that bad to be around...leave, even if it means you need an order of protection.
RNT

Plano, TX

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#9
Feb 4, 2009
 
Donny Dubrow wrote:
Men have been so resoundingly screwed over by all aspects of the legal system but none more so than domestic violence courts, family courts, and divorce courts.
They are all so overwhelmingly misandric and tilted towards women it's not even funny.
All it takes is a mere accusation of impropriety - however unsubstantiated or unfounded and - if uttered from the mouth a woman it is accepted as gospel truth.
Not that I'd ever expect a woman to tell the truth in court (why start now, right?) but, perhaps, allowing a judge to ascertain what manner of shrill emotional, psychological and quite often physical abuse that the woman unleashed upon her male partner before the alleged violence occurred might be helpful in allowing the judge to ascertain whether such abuse may have predicated and, hence, somehow mitigate or lessen the male's culpability for his actions.
But, alas, the courts have fallen victim to the "women's rights" movement that ostensibly argues for "equality" and "justice" for women but, in reality, seeks to make them a protected class of citizens that are never held accountable for their actions and must be granted special judicial protections from men.
And women have been completely screwed over by society.

Sir, you have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps you should sit in court and listen to these cases. Perhaps if it were your daughter or your sister you might change your mind. Go to a hospital after a woman has been brutally attacked.

I am so happy to hear of organizations like these watch groups. It is nice to hear someone cares. So many of the obvious male posters to this article are clear indications that so many men in our country just want to keep getting away with their bad behavior. Violence against women is not acceptable. There is no conspiracy against men. Drew Peterson walking the street is a clear example of that.
jlp

Carol Stream, IL

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#10
Feb 4, 2009
 
I love the way some of you think you can tell my gender from my post.

I am a woman and have been a feminist since before some of you were likely born. And it sickens me to see the patronizing "I know better than you" attitude that some of these prosecutors have towards the complainants, some of whom do NOT want to have had charges filed in the first place. They treat women as having no minds of their own, no common sense, but think that they must be protected from themselves. They really believe that it's a GOOD thing to threaten a woman with jail if she doesn't say what they want. They treat women like children. It's disgusting.

Unfortunately, there's a "must arrest" policy, which means that despite what anyone at the scene tells the police, they have to arrest someone. While we certainly needed an antidote to the "never arrest" that we saw years ago, going from one extreme to the other is NOT the way to address it.
ccc

Chicago, IL

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#11
Feb 4, 2009
 
Its not that people do not want to court watch in Cook County, its that they are not allowed to court watch. Judge Leida Santiago Gonzales throws all court watchers out of her court room. And this has been reported to Judge Timothy Evans as well as Judge Moshe Jacobius and they have done nothing. The cook county family court system does not want people reporting the devastation caused by inept and corrupt officers of the court that happens on a daily basis to famlies, children, women, and men.
emt

United States

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#12
Feb 4, 2009
 
I agree with DJDan, those of us who have been present in domestic violence courtrooms can attest that the Defendants are treated unfairly. We have to remember that these are allegations and that they have yet to be found guilty.
In response to Steve, it is true that a majority of these cases are dismissed because the complaining witness doesnt show up or doesnt wish to proceed but you have to think about the reason they withdraw their complaints. Most of the time its because the allegations were false to begin with. A lot of these complaining witnesses make stories up in order to teach their partner a lesson or as an easy way to get them out of the house.
I also agree with jlp, prosecutors do threaten complaining witnesses with holding them in contempt or charging them with perjury and threats of calling DCFS and having their kids taken away.
Ron

Oak Park, IL

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#13
Feb 4, 2009
 
jlp wrote:
I love the way some of you think you can tell my gender from my post.
I am a woman and have been a feminist since before some of you were likely born. And it sickens me to see the patronizing "I know better than you" attitude that some of these prosecutors have towards the complainants, some of whom do NOT want to have had charges filed in the first place. They treat women as having no minds of their own, no common sense, but think that they must be protected from themselves. They really believe that it's a GOOD thing to threaten a woman with jail if she doesn't say what they want. They treat women like children. It's disgusting.
Unfortunately, there's a "must arrest" policy, which means that despite what anyone at the scene tells the police, they have to arrest someone. While we certainly needed an antidote to the "never arrest" that we saw years ago, going from one extreme to the other is NOT the way to address it.
You may be a woman, and a feminist, but you know NOTHING about domestic violence, the cycle of violence and the control an abuser has over his victim.
Lab

United States

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#14
Feb 4, 2009
 
"Their presence made me a little more assured that there would be some validity behind what the judge was saying and that his ruling would be fair," said a woman who asked that her name be withheld to avoid antagonizing the judge hearing her case.

How powerful a statement that the woman interviewed in this paragraph asked "her name be withheld to avoid antagonizing the judge hearing her case." Antagonizing the judge? Oh, my gosh, what the heck kind of a judge got her case? The people who are in the domestic violence court system are there because other means of dealing with domestic violence did not work. And, for those of you "Gentlemen" out there who believe that the system is stacked against you, there are facets of it which actually are; but, be aware, too, that a man who strikes or threatens a woman or children has an unfair advantage over his victims, too, so while the law says you are innocent until proven guilty, you truly will be treated as guilty until you are proven innocent. I am a survivor of domestic violence and I dealt with it at a time when the police would not arrest my ex-husband for what he had done to me. On one occasion, my ex-husband pushed me and drew his fist back to strike me in the mouth. Before he could, I yelled at him not to hit me, "don't you dare hit me;" our windows were open and our neighbours heard what was happening. One of the neighbours (gentleman) yelled up "If you hit her, I'll come up and hit you." That ended that session. Now that the police are compelled by law to make an arrest against the purpotrator, yes, the courts are jammed, but at least there is some accountability for the misdeed. Nobody said the system was fair, but with what men have gotten away with over the years, the system did swing the other way a bit too extremely. When where there ever be a middle ground?
Oh Puh-lease

Chicago, IL

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#15
Feb 4, 2009
 
Donny Dubrow wrote:
Not that I'd ever expect a woman to tell the truth in court (why start now, right?) but, perhaps, allowing a judge to ascertain what manner of shrill emotional, psychological and quite often physical abuse that the woman unleashed upon her male partner before the alleged violence occurred might be helpful in allowing the judge to ascertain whether such abuse may have predicated and, hence, somehow mitigate or lessen the male's culpability for his actions.
So you believe words should be met with violence? Sounds fair to me. Can I beat you for being a waste of oxygen?
Dr John Q Public

Grayslake, IL

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#16
Feb 4, 2009
 
WOW! It's utterly amazing how many posters here object to this group's presence who also seem to believe domestic violence is acceptable. Even more amazing is how they blame their victims for their own behavior. Get off the blogs and go get yourselves some serious help before you hurt someone again.
System Observer

Grayslake, IL

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#17
Feb 4, 2009
 
This group's court-watching impact upon "the system” only wants to ensure that justice prevails. If an alleged victim does not want their help, they can always refuse it. Those who want and/or need their assistance are no doubt grateful. An alleged abuser’s bond amount is not dependent procedural rules, but based upon the severity of the allegations, their history and the likelihood of recurrence. Domestic violence is not something to be taken lightly nor excused as inconsequential. People DIE from it. This group has clearly gained the respect of "the system" because their input is fair and unbiased. It never ceases to amaze me how many perpetrators of domestic violence also claim to be victimized by their victims (which seems to be SOP for abusers) who try to cast doubt upon their victim(s) and serves to abuse the victim further, which is an abuser’s ultimate goal. The Courts are acutely aware of this phenomenon. Many judges do become insensitive from the repetitive nature of the cases they hear on a daily basis; however, unless the abuser is in denial (which they typically are), it is incomprehensible why anyone would NOT want justice to be appropriately served for all concerned.

There are literally untold millions of people who would love to see a group such as this watch the Family Law courts where judges are allowed nearly unlimited discretion to rule however they want in any given courtroom across the U.S. Anyone who's been in Family Court will most likely tell you these courts do NOT act in the best interest of the minor child(ren) as they purport to do. Instead, Family Law courts allow themselves to be used as a vehicle to drive up attorney fees on both sides to the point of bankrupting the parents, which is NOT in the best interest of the minor child(ren). The legal system pretends this doesn’t go on when they clearly sanction the practice by allowing it to go unchecked. In a time when the divorce rate is 50%(with domestic violence often being the reason for the divorce), our legal system has evolved into a heinous system where the well-being of children and families are insignificant and inconsequential when compared to the vast amount of money greedy attorneys can suck from an insatiable system driven by those same attorneys.(Don’t forget that judges are lawyers before they become judges.) The resulting amount of damage done to the millions of families and their child(ren) is exponential, incalculable and incomprehensible. In short, courts,(particularly Family Law, Domestic Violence and Criminal) have evolved a very much from their conceptual ideals of promoting "liberty and justice for all" and “innocent until proven guilty” to a system of “guilty until proven innocent” and “how much justice can you afford?”

I sincerely hope this group continues doing their good work and would dearly love to see them expand operations nationwide to the Family Law and criminal courts. This dedicated group is clearly not in the courts for the money, power or prestige, giving them FAR more credibility than all the judges, lawyers and politically ambitious district attorneys combined.
Commoner

Grayslake, IL

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#18
Feb 4, 2009
 
ccc wrote:
Its not that people do not want to court watch in Cook County, its that they are not allowed to court watch. Judge Leida Santiago Gonzales throws all court watchers out of her court room. And this has been reported to Judge Timothy Evans as well as Judge Moshe Jacobius and they have done nothing. The cook county family court system does not want people reporting the devastation caused by inept and corrupt officers of the court that happens on a daily basis to famlies, children, women, and men.
It's not just in Cook County. It happens in all IL courts, except criminal. This problem would solve itself if it were mandated for all courtrooms to be staffed with an independent court reporter and each hearing was recorded or videotaped. Unfortunately, court reporters are expensive and only those who can afford to retain them have this advantage. Until, if and/or when all court hearings are recorded in some fashion, improprieties and injustice will continue. The judges want it the way it is because THEY do not want to be held accountable for their actions (or inactions) any more than alleged abusers do.
Unwilling Neighbor

Chicago, IL

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#19
Feb 4, 2009
 
Well, as as unwilling witness to several of the fits of the woman who threw her 3 month old baby against the wall a few weeks ago, it is quite evident that DCFS and even the courts to some extent, have a built-in bias in favor of the mothers. The bias is well enough established and acknowledged by DCFS management that they will reassign a social worker when the bias is brought to their attention. However, in most cases when dealing with young fathers, there is not much advocacy or sympathy for them within this system which is a major factor for why we have so many fatherless children now. DCFS walls are covered with posters about the side effects of coming from a fatherless home and yet, as they say, the proof is in the pudding; far too many households, after going through the domestic court and DCFS processes, end up fatherless.

And pity the young father who is with a woman who has learned how to manipulate the police and DCFS staff, as in the case of the thrown baby woman who had multiple filings of abuse against multiple men at the same time. DCFS rarely, if ever, will go after a mother who brings false charges against their man (or men in this woman's case).

If this advocacy group really wants to gain the respect of the courts and broader general public support, they have to stop appearing as though they are an advocate of just one side. No one is trying to justify violence under any circumstances, however, if their claim is to make the 'system' work, then they must disassociate themselves from references of gender or any political group with a gender bias. Otherwise, they should be honest and just admit their prejudice against dads.
WSJ

Highland Park, IL

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#20
Feb 4, 2009
 
These "watchers" should be commended for seeing a problem and volunteering their own time to do something about it. How can anyone argue with what they are doing? It's doesn't cost anyone money as most social services do.

If you feel so sorry for the defendants, then organize a group and do the same to support them. Otherwise, stop wining about something that you're ignorant about.

To the poster who said victims withdraw charges because the charges are false- there may be a few cases like this, but many victims withdraw charges for fear of being beaten again.
Richard Roma

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#21
Feb 5, 2009
 
Men have been so resoundingly raked over the coals over by all aspects of the legal system but none more so than domestic violence courts, family courts, and divorce courts.

They are all so overwhelmingly misandric and tilted towards women it's not even funny.
All it takes is a mere accusation of impropriety - however unsubstantiated or unfounded and - if uttered from the mouth a woman it is accepted as gospel truth.

Not that I'd ever expect a woman to tell the truth in court (why start now, right?) but, perhaps, allowing a judge to ascertain what manner of shrill emotional, psychological and quite often physical abuse that the woman unleashed upon her male partner before the alleged violence occurred might be helpful in allowing the judge to ascertain whether such abuse may have predicated and, hence, somehow mitigate or lessen the male's culpability for his actions.

But, alas, the courts have fallen victim to the "women's rights" movement that ostensibly argues for "equality" and "justice" for women but, in reality, seeks to make them a protected class of citizens that are never held accountable for their actions and must be granted special judicial protections from men.
jane lindsay

Decatur, IL

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#22
Feb 15, 2009
 
I am proud that the DeKalb Co. Court has seen the wisdom of this program. Domestic violence has been a solitary burden of suffering for its victims who have historically been alone in confronting their abusers. This is a critical time when the victims know that they are not alone; that people in the community believe them and are willing to publicly lend their support. Kudos to the judges, states attorney and police for recognizing the needs of victims of domestic violence. This acceptance is a benefit for all of us.

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