Women Stage Protest at Larimer County Justice Center

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Since: Aug 07

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#1
Sep 26, 2007
 
FORT COLLINS They stood outside holding signs in anger. They are angry at Colorado judges who are ordering victims of domestic violence to meet with their abusers in child custody cases.

Wednesday, a group of a dozen people or so gathered at the Larimer County Justice Center to promote a message.

"Right now, the judges in Larimer County and all over the country are making domestic violence victims meet with their abusers even after they had the courage enough to escape," said Sara Blom.

Blom, of Fort Collins, says that, in her case, that means "cooperative training," or meeting face-to-face with her ex-husband, the man who pleaded guilty to domestic violence harassment several years ago.

Magistrate John Jostad, who is handling Blom's case, writes in his ruling that such sessions are "in the best interest of the child."

However Blom said, "(It's) like a rapist and a rape victim forced to be in the same room together. It's no different."

"Educate judges, save lives!" the group shouted as it marched around the building.

Blom and the others want a law created that would require judges to receive training on domestic violence.

The court administrator in Larimer County says the judges can't comment on specific cases, but did add that judges already receive such training.

Blom says the training doesn't allow victims like her to speak directly with the judges.

Mark Workman, a family law attorney in Fort Collins, defends those like Magistrate Jostad.

Seeing as how "domestic violence" is a broad term which can encompass a host of offenses aside from assault, Workman says, there may be cases where cooperative training would make sense.

"They're going to need to raise those children and so we would hope they would work together on some level," Workman said.

Blom says she and other domestic violence victims can work through a third party. She says ordering victims to meet in person with their abusers throws them back into the same shadow which they had hoped to leave behind.

“I miss you T!”

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#2
Sep 26, 2007
 
Is this guy smokin' CRACK?

Since: Aug 07

LaLa Land

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#3
Sep 26, 2007
 
GSXR Chick wrote:
Is this guy smokin' CRACK?
Must be smokin' somethin'!

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#4
Sep 26, 2007
 
I still can't believe what he said/doing, he HAS to be on something!

Since: Aug 07

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#5
Sep 26, 2007
 
His picture, he looks like a lunatic.

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#6
Sep 27, 2007
 
Kaelynn wrote:
His picture, he looks like a lunatic.
Haha! That's what I thought!

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Since: Aug 07

Arvada Colorado

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#7
Sep 27, 2007
 
Good morning fellow posters! Did you see the thread on this last week (maybe it was the week before)?

Since: Aug 07

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#8
Sep 27, 2007
 
Marine Corps Vet wrote:
Good morning fellow posters! Did you see the thread on this last week (maybe it was the week before)?
Yes, but that was when he first came to light. Now the ladies are out there protesting his decision. I'm really happy this woman decided to make a big stink about this and didn't just do what she was ordered to do and put up with it out of fear. That dick needs to either change his toon or resign, or be impeached.

Since: Aug 07

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#9
Sep 27, 2007
 
*tune* HAHA

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Since: Aug 07

Arvada Colorado

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#10
Sep 27, 2007
 
Kaelynn wrote:
<quoted text>Yes, but that was when he first came to light. Now the ladies are out there protesting his decision. I'm really happy this woman decided to make a big stink about this and didn't just do what she was ordered to do and put up with it out of fear. That dick needs to either change his toon or resign, or be impeached.
Okay, you're probably going to think I'm a real jerk for this, but read my post first. Some of the things I'm posting here, I already did before, so I won't go into allot of details unless you ask. "CO Rick" fought a battle on this the last time the topic came up, and it made me stop and think. At first, I felt pretty much the same way as you do, as my sister is in an abusive marriage. Rick's point then was that not all DV "crimes" have to do with physical, or even mental abuse. A friend of mine and his wife were both charged with some sort of DV crime due to an argument they had, in which a neighbor called the police. Apparently one of them threw a clock to the ground, and the other one kicked it. Nobody was injured, there was no pushing or shoving, or anything physical for that matter. Regardless, the police were called, and they were both arrested. They both had to complete a court ordered 36 week domestic violence program. Beings that I know these two very well, I asked them about this particular story I'd been watching the posts on all day. This is what I found out:

The story states that this woman's husband plead guilty to "harassment" charges several years before. When I asked my friend about this, he told me that he had 7 different people in his classes (his wife had 4) that were charged with the same thing. Do you know what they actually did to get charged? 2 were charged for arguments, 3 were charged for repeated phone calls, and 2 were charged for showing up at their exes house for visitation, in which the ex would not let the kids go, and the police were called. Nothing violent in nature with any of these incidents. Now of course I'm not excusing any type of physical or mental abuse, but Domestic Violence is such a broad term (the article you just posted says the same thing), that it would be unfair to automatically assume that this woman isn't just trying to use the system for her benefit. Now I don't know the specifics on this case because they don't give us very much info, but I'm assuming the judge does. My current wife and I both have kids with our exes, and in both our cases the judges took the "best interests" of the kids very seriously. It could be entirely possible that this judge is seeing more of a custody issue here. Now before you hang me Kaelynn, I'll be the first one to stand up and voice my opinion of how screwed up our legal system is. But in all fairness, they aren't always wrong. I think it's individuals within the system that cause me to believe that, and not the system as a whole. I don't know if this judge is part of the problem, or part of the solution, but when you read the whole story, I'm not so quick to believe this woman is being forced to have direct contact with a formerly physically abusive spouse. It appears entirely possible that the relationship went South, and she is trying to use the system for her benefit. The story also reads that they aren't doing this for every DV case, only the ones where it is in the best interests of the kids. Which to me reads, "the non-violent DV cases". The woman in this story is comparing her having to communicate with her ex, to a rape victim having to confront her rapist. Doesn't that seem to be a bit of an exaggeration given the harassment charge she is comparing it to? What do you think?

Since: Aug 07

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#11
Sep 27, 2007
 
Marine Corps Vet wrote:
<quoted text>Okay, you're probably going to think I'm a real jerk for this, but read my post first. What do you think?
No, you're right. I totally see your point. It is true, not all domestic violence is really abuse. On the other hand, just because you weren't raped, doesn't mean you're not terrified of the guy. She's causing an awful big fuss. There must be a reason. Plus, she isn't speaking just on behalf of herself. She is speaking out for other women too, who were told the same thing by the same judge, and have since come forward. She's doing it on behalf of all of them as well, not just because of her own case. Oftentimes women who really have been THAT abused are too afraid to come forward and speak up for themselves. She is helping a lot of other women by doing this, and I'm sorry, but I've looked in that judges eyes.

Since: Aug 07

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#12
Sep 27, 2007
 
And she IS being forced to have direct contact with her formerly abusive spouse. She was ordered to give over her address, phone number, and meet with his, alone. She even said in one of the stories that she could see meeting with him while in the presance of a third party, or court appointed person trained to do such interventions, but she was being asked to do a whole lot more than that. When I read the original story I was quite convinced that she had been abused. She is not just making it up to work the system.

“Change... It's a good thing!”

Since: Sep 07

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#13
Sep 27, 2007
 
Kaelynn wrote:
<quoted text>Must be smokin' somethin'!
yeah and he's definately NOT sharing...lol!

“Change... It's a good thing!”

Since: Sep 07

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#14
Sep 27, 2007
 
Marine Corps Vet wrote:
<quoted text>Okay, you're probably going to think I'm a real jerk for this, but read my post first. Some of the things I'm posting here, I already did before, so I won't go into allot of details unless you ask. "CO Rick" fought a battle on this the last time the topic came up, and it made me stop and think. At first, I felt pretty much the same way as you do, as my sister is in an abusive marriage. Rick's point then was that not all DV "crimes" have to do with physical, or even mental abuse. A friend of mine and his wife were both charged with some sort of DV crime due to an argument they had, in which a neighbor called the police. Apparently one of them threw a clock to the ground, and the other one kicked it. Nobody was injured, there was no pushing or shoving, or anything physical for that matter. Regardless, the police were called, and they were both arrested. They both had to complete a court ordered 36 week domestic violence program. Beings that I know these two very well, I asked them about this particular story I'd been watching the posts on all day. This is what I found out:
The story states that this woman's husband plead guilty to "harassment" charges several years before. When I asked my friend about this, he told me that he had 7 different people in his classes (his wife had 4) that were charged with the same thing. Do you know what they actually did to get charged? 2 were charged for arguments, 3 were charged for repeated phone calls, and 2 were charged for showing up at their exes house for visitation, in which the ex would not let the kids go, and the police were called. Nothing violent in nature with any of these incidents. Now of course I'm not excusing any type of physical or mental abuse, but Domestic Violence is such a broad term (the article you just posted says the same thing), that it would be unfair to automatically assume that this woman isn't just trying to use the system for her benefit. Now I don't know the specifics on this case because they don't give us very much info, but I'm assuming the judge does. My current wife and I both have kids with our exes, and in both our cases the judges took the "best interests" of the kids very seriously. It could be entirely possible that this judge is seeing more of a custody issue here. Now before you hang me Kaelynn, I'll be the first one to stand up and voice my opinion of how screwed up our legal system is. But in all fairness, they aren't always wrong. I think it's individuals within the system that cause me to believe that, and not the system as a whole. I don't know if this judge is part of the problem, or part of the solution, but when you read the whole story, I'm not so quick to believe this woman is being forced to have direct contact with a formerly physically abusive spouse. It appears entirely possible that the relationship went South, and she is trying to use the system for her benefit. The story also reads that they aren't doing this for every DV case, only the ones where it is in the best interests of the kids. Which to me reads, "the non-violent DV cases". The woman in this story is comparing her having to communicate with her ex, to a rape victim having to confront her rapist. Doesn't that seem to be a bit of an exaggeration given the harassment charge she is comparing it to? What do you think?
Maybe harassment is the only thing she could prove? That doesn't mean there's not something more serious going on.... what if he's threatened to kill her or something? We don't truly know what the harassment charge was for.

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#15
Sep 27, 2007
 
The whole point, I think, is that ordering the parents to directly talk and releasing eachother's information to one another is NOT necessary for the children to be taken care of. They can easily set up a third party drop off for when the children have to change houses (I know several people that do this). If an arbitrator is not needed and the parents get along well enough not to need this, that's great, it's a plus... but it's NOT necessary, the children will still be cared for and will still be happy!

“Semper Fi baby!!”

Since: Aug 07

Arvada Colorado

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#16
Sep 27, 2007
 
Kaelynn wrote:
<quoted text>No, you're right. I totally see your point. It is true, not all domestic violence is really abuse. On the other hand, just because you weren't raped, doesn't mean you're not terrified of the guy. She's causing an awful big fuss. There must be a reason. Plus, she isn't speaking just on behalf of herself. She is speaking out for other women too, who were told the same thing by the same judge, and have since come forward. She's doing it on behalf of all of them as well, not just because of her own case. Oftentimes women who really have been THAT abused are too afraid to come forward and speak up for themselves. She is helping a lot of other women by doing this, and I'm sorry, but I've looked in that judges eyes.
I won't go too much deeper into this, but I can tell you this: She is certainly raising a stink, but I'm taking that with a grain of salt. I friend of mine in high school was part of the student counsel. He organized a protest to put doors on the stalls in the boys bathroom. He threw a big stink, and organized a big to do outside the school with signs and everything. The whole thing lasted a couple of days (the local town paper even reported on it. It was a very small town, but still). The big issue was privacy (or so the protest was about). The protesters won. A month later, all the stalls in the restrooms had doors. The real purpose of wanting doors on the stalls? So he (and others, me included) could smoke without getting caught. You see, I went to high school in a very remote area, and we had a closed campus. You couldn't just walk across the street and light up, so we had to sneak them in the bathroom. Well the rule was, that in order to actually get in trouble, the teachers had to physically see you with a smoke, and with no doors on the stalls, allot of people got caught. However, after the school put doors on the stalls, no one got caught anymore. The point I'm trying to make is this: It doesn't matter how big of a stink she's making. The story doesn't mention any other instances but hers. She may very well be hiding behind others' misfortunes for her own personal gain. The story does say the judges (not just in that county, but all over the country) are only looking into this possibility in "certain custody cases". I think assuming she is toting the barge for all victims is not accurate. I think it could more accurately be said that she is merely part of the protest, and could simply be one of the more outspoken people. I don't know, it's just food for thought. Heck for all I know, her husband could have been beating her for years, and that's all they could get him on, I'm just a little skeptical. I've been divorced from my ex for 4 years now, and she's called social services on me 7 times over that time, reporting "abuse" trying to get custody, and the boys (2, ages 17 and 15) don't even want to live there. Luckily, they quit even calling me when she calls now.

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#17
Sep 27, 2007
 
Educated wrote:
The whole point, I think, is that ordering the parents to directly talk and releasing eachother's information to one another is NOT necessary for the children to be taken care of. They can easily set up a third party drop off for when the children have to change houses (I know several people that do this). If an arbitrator is not needed and the parents get along well enough not to need this, that's great, it's a plus... but it's NOT necessary, the children will still be cared for and will still be happy!
There's the word I was looking for. Arbitrator. Yeah, I too know a LOT of people who do this. Making them go about it in such an intimate and personal way is not fair to the person who wants nothing to do with the other. It should depend upon the couple, and the situation. And let me tell you something else! The headline "Wife slay's Ex husband, News at 11" is going to become REAL common if they keep this up!
WHAT

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#18
Sep 27, 2007
 
Marine Corps Vet wrote:
<quoted text>Okay, you're probably going to think I'm a real jerk for this, What do you think?
First of all I don't think you're a jerk for your opinions in your post.(I did cut it down in my reply so my post isn't really long) I agree with your point on those cases that are as minor as you gave an example of - however I too would hope that the judge sees the differences in behaviors in each case & weighs those differences in his opinion. From what I have seen that is part of Sara's (the women in this case) point - at least the Fox 31 news article stated that she is pushing for better education for judges who handle these types of cases. I'll also note that the article stated they do have some education here but I think it is obvious that it is not enough. Additionally don't discredit mental abuse as well. I know it cannot always be assumed this way but mental abuse can be (not always) as terrible as some forms of physical abuse - also mental abuse can be the stepping stone to physical abuse.

Also in this case if you read on the other thread Sara's friend had a few posts - she said the previous assault relating to the harrassment charge involved the ex-husband using a GUN - I don't remember exactly what she said but that stands out to me as something a dangerous and/or very unstable person would do. I feel if he is willing to threaten with something like that next time it could only excalate & he will use it on her. I also remember IGGY posting a comment about an arrticle she found stating he used a gun to hold her hostage. Maybe it was years ago - but maybe it's just been years since he got caught or maybe he is trying to lay low until he explodes & kills her - I don't think for a moment that then men that do this are dumb just unstable.

Having said all of that I think that Kaelynn also hit it correct when saying that Sara is not only fighting for her case she is fighting for all of those women not strong enough or in too much fear for their lives or their childrens lives to stand up & fight for this cause.

I copied this from the Fox 31 new article on the protest -
Karen Steinhauser, a legal expert, says, "When you're putting both people in an environment that says you've got to talk to each other, you've got to go to counseling together, we are totally feeding into the type of control and manipulation that the abuser has been able to use." Steinhauser explain that while a case will involve only one family, the domestic violence, child custody and divorce issues are heard in totally separate courtrooms

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#19
Sep 27, 2007
 
Marine Corps Vet wrote:
<quoted text>I won't go too much deeper into this, but I can tell you this: She is certainly raising a stink, but I'm taking that with a grain of salt. I friend of mine in high school was part of the student counsel. He organized a protest to put doors on the stalls in the boys bathroom. He threw a big stink, and organized a big to do outside the school with signs and everything. The whole thing lasted a couple of days (the local town paper even reported on it. It was a very small town, but still). The big issue was privacy (or so the protest was about). The protesters won. A month later, all the stalls in the restrooms had doors. The real purpose of wanting doors on the stalls? So he (and others, me included) could smoke without getting caught. You see, I went to high school in a very remote area, and we had a closed campus. You couldn't just walk across the street and light up, so we had to sneak them in the bathroom. Well the rule was, that in order to actually get in trouble, the teachers had to physically see you with a smoke, and with no doors on the stalls, allot of people got caught. However, after the school put doors on the stalls, no one got caught anymore. The point I'm trying to make is this: It doesn't matter how big of a stink she's making. The story doesn't mention any other instances but hers. She may very well be hiding behind others' misfortunes for her own personal gain. The story does say the judges (not just in that county, but all over the country) are only looking into this possibility in "certain custody cases". I think assuming she is toting the barge for all victims is not accurate. I think it could more accurately be said that she is merely part of the protest, and could simply be one of the more outspoken people. I don't know, it's just food for thought. Heck for all I know, her husband could have been beating her for years, and that's all they could get him on, I'm just a little skeptical. I've been divorced from my ex for 4 years now, and she's called social services on me 7 times over that time, reporting "abuse" trying to get custody, and the boys (2, ages 17 and 15) don't even want to live there. Luckily, they quit even calling me when she calls now.
The one story has absolutely nothing to do with the other. And it was NOT just harrassment. Did you read the original story? I know, there ARE a lot of women out there who are just out to make the Ex husband's life a living hell out of anger. There are a lot of men who get taken for a ride and $crewwed over who don't deserve it. But there are a LOT MORE women out there are really suffering, who are being raped and then ignored when they try to file charges because they aren't taken seriously, and who are too afraid to stand up for themselves. They needed an advocate and if this woman is willing to do that then more power to her. Again, this isn't something she's doing just for herself because of her own situation. Did you see the original story on the news when they interviewed her in person? Did you read the original article where she spoke of everything he had done to her? She isn't lieing.

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#20
Sep 27, 2007
 
Educated wrote:
The whole point, I think, is that ordering the parents to directly talk and releasing eachother's information to one another is NOT necessary for the children to be taken care of. They can easily set up a third party drop off for when the children have to change houses (I know several people that do this). If an arbitrator is not needed and the parents get along well enough not to need this, that's great, it's a plus... but it's NOT necessary, the children will still be cared for and will still be happy!
That's the word I was looking for, arbitrator. I too know several people who do this, and it works out bast for everybody involved. It isn't at all fair to the person who suffered the abuse to have to face the abuser. I mean, some of these women were REALLY tortured! One of them that I know of (I'm sure there were more) was brutally raped by her Ex, and is now being told she has to hand over her address, phone number, meet with him privately, etc... It's ridiculous. In some instances I could say fine, and actually agree with the judge, but in many others, not so much! This is something that needs to be handled on a case by case basis, not just handed down to every case as a standard judgement.

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