22 September 2010

New technology helps convict domestic abuse suspect

Nice!  Glad to see that it was allowed.  This could give hope to other domestic violence victims who have no outward bruising or ‘not enough’.  Just about anyone that has ever been hit knows it sometimes takes days for bruises to appear and by then the cops have already left and decided there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest or press charges.

Source:  Baltimore Crime Beat: New technology helps convict domestic abuse suspect - Baltimore crime news: Police, courts and police stories in the city and central Maryland - baltimoresun.com

New technology designed to detect hard-to-see injuries has been successfully used to prosecute a domestic violence suspect in the city. Called an Alternative Light Source, staffers at Mercy Medical Center used it to detect bruises hidden under a victim's skin.

As a result, the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office says a 31-year-old man was found guilty of assault and sentenced to eight years in prison. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge allowed the Mercy nurse to testify about the technology.

Baltimore Sun reporter Kate Smith described the new technology in a story published earlier this month.

A statement from city prosecutors:

While at Mercy Medical Center, the victim was examined by Barbara Boal, R.N., F.N.E. – A, a forensic nurse with the hospital’s SAFE program. She observed and photographed bruising to the victim’s chest, back, and neck.
She then examined the victim using an Alternative Light Source (ALS), a technology that will allow its user to observe bruises underneath the skin and not yet visible to the naked eye.
Using the ALS, Nurse Boal was able to see additional bruising to the victim’s neck consistent with her report of being strangled with one hand. She also observed substantial bruising to the victim’s chest, caused by blood vessels bursting while the victim was deprived of oxygen during the strangulation.
For more details:

At the June trial, Nurse Boal was called as a witness. She was qualified as an expert in forensic nursing.  Just before she was to start the substantive portion of her testimony, the defense raised a Frye-Reed challenge to the introduction of any testimony based on the use of the Alternative Light Source technology because this type of expert testimony had not been litigated in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

A Frye-Reed hearing was conducted where the forensic nurse was the sole witness. She testified that the use of the ALS was standard at Mercy Medical Center, that it was used in other hospitals around the state and the nation, and that it was considered the best practice for visualizing bruising under the skin.

The judge found that the use of the Alternative Light Source was a generally accepted practice in the forensic nursing community and denied the defense motion to exclude testimony based on the use of the ALS. The assault trial lasted June 1, 2010 – June 7, 2010 and Johnson was found guilty of second-degree assault and sentenced June 15, 2010 to eight years incarceration.

21 September 2010

Shared Parenting: Number One Cause of Children Being Murdered

Hat tip credit to Annie for saying “Shared Parenting is the Number One Cause of Children Being Murdered By A Parent” which gave me the topic and thought to write this post.

In 2009 every time you turned on the news or read the news you learned of another murder-suicide where one parent would kill them self, their spouse and children.  All the experts blamed this on the economy, no one really looked into the reasoning past that.  Domestic Violence is the reason, abusers are the reason.  When an abuser can not control something, someone or a situation they lash out; many times with lethal measures.

I want to highlight here what we are seeing this year in 2010.  We are still seeing many familicides, but either there are less this year or they are old news and not sensational enough to warrant top headlines.  This year we are seeing more and more reports of one parent killing them self and their children in situations where there is a shared parenting agreement.  Generally shared parenting agreements are forced by abusers to continue their reign of terror and control over their victims.

When an abuser feels they are losing that control for whatever reason they are capable of lashing out violently and lethally.  Some may even see this as a way to control their victim from beyond the grave.  They have taken their victims, children’s lives forever... leaving the victim mourning the loss of the children and blaming them self for not doing more to protect them.

Family courts play a huge role in this and in my opinion are just as at fault as the abuser is in these murders.  By granting and/or forcing shared parenting when there has been domestic violence in the relationship, family courts are basically signing the death warrants of these children.

Father, girls found dead near Junction City in apparent murder-suicide: Richard Rauscher and his two daughters die of gunshots in an apparent murder-suicide near Junction City

Rauscher and his estranged wife, Jennifer, shared custody of their two daughters, police said. Richard Rauscher had weekend custody and was with the girls on Sunday, when they attended a birthday party


3 children killed in suspected murder-suicide attempt (chron.com)

Goher had threatened to kill or hurt himself if he lost visitation

While there was a history of violence against the mother — including a 2006 conviction against Goher for beating her

I’m including many articles, just the two most recent; that is enough to get my point across.

Think about it... shared parenting kills kids when domestic violence is involved.  Judges and GAL’s need to start paying attention to the family dynamics and know that if an abuser has been abusive to his spouse in the past then when she is not there the abuse will be transferred to the kids. 

People who are abusive HAVE to have someone to control.  When the main victim removes them self from the relationship and there are kids involved, it has been proven time and time again that the abuse continues... just then it is child abuse.

Don’t just take my word for it... do some Google searches on the effects of domestic violence on children and what happens when the adult victim leaves the abusive relationship.

Enhanced by Zemanta

20 September 2010

Press release: Protective Mothers march on Oct 1 in Washington DC



                     Contact Connie Valentine 916-233-8381

A press conference will be held on Friday, October 1, 2010 from 11:00 am to noon in front of the  U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.   
On the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness month, advocates and protective mothers whose children have been ordered into the custody of batterers and molesters are gathering to call for an investigation by the DOJ into family court corruption. 

These mothers are deeply concerned about their children. Mildred Mohammad, former wife of Beltway Sniper John Mohammad, took part in the Mothers' Day vigil at the White House on May 9, 2010. "I was without my children for two years when they were kidnapped by John and the courts didn't listen to me," she told reporters.  

As in the Mohammad case, family courts across the nation ignore or minimize child safety.

Research shows that 70% of batterers who request custody receive it, leading to 58,000 children per year who are forced to live with their identified abusers.[1] Many are killed. Batterers are over 6 times more likely to sexually abuse their children.[2]

The social ramifications of this trend are frightening. Children who are abused are at a high risk in adulthood for problems such as addictions, obesity, suicide attempts, heart disease and cancer. [3]

After the press conference, the mothers and their supporters will march to the Senate to request Congressional hearings to investigate these violations of law and human rights.

The march will end at the Sewall Belmont House at 144 Constitution Ave NE, the suffragists' headquarters when, in 1910, they insisted that women receive the civil right to vote.

In 2010, mothers are insisting that children have the human right to physical and sexual safety.  Please visit www.mothers-of-lost-children.com for more information.

[1] www.leadershipcouncil.org

[2] Bancroft, Lundy and Silverman, Jay, The Batterer as Parent, Sage Publications, 2002

[3] www.acestudy.org