Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Giving Justice A Voice: Intimate Partner Violence Crimes

By Susan Murphy Milano

This past weekend friends, colleagues and the community gathered for a memorial walk honoring Kathryn Jackson age 45, the director of human resources at Hubbard House which provides services for victims of domestic violence. Kathryn was the victim of a murder-suicide at the hands of her boyfriend, George Chaney. On December 22, 2010, she was shot and killed by her violent and abusive former boyfriend who then took his own life.

It is a wonderful tribute to honor a woman who worked within an organization that makes a difference in the lives of so many. But, that is not the direction I am headed with this article.

In 2009, prior to Kathryn's murder, Hubbard House along with law enforcement, implemented a new weapon to use when they respond to domestic violence calls: a questionnaire designed to predict whether a victim could eventually be killed by an abuser. It was an important tool towards identifying the risks for victims of intimate partner homicide and stalking. I have always said when you do what you have always done, expect the result to be the same. Hubbard House got my attention, they implemented a strategy that was outside of the box. The outcome for those who now sought their direction and assistance would have an opportunity to a better plan for a successful outcome.

Today marks another milestone for a successful outcome from outside of the box. 
It was one year ago today, marking my own mother's birthday, that we released and launched "Time's Up. My mother's life, cut short at the age of 47, as the wife of violent and abusive law enforcement officer, would eventually be the key that opened doors for those affected by violence to leave safely. Because of her, and my work over the past 20 years, the book "Times' Up: A Guide in How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships" takes those from the "State of being controlled" to the "State of being in control." This means from the moment a person decides to end their relationship, or file for a divorce from a toxic and perhaps dangerous individual, they will be learning the steps necessary to protect themselves, which is the key. That key to the door opened up to the world when an amazing woman lost her life.

Soon, organizations and law enforcement across the county will be replacing the questionnaire with the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and video or the "EAA." Through two major Universities, to be announced in the coming weeks, will be placing this affidavit and video in the hands of domestic violence agencies and first responders across the county as part of a new feasibility, measures and outcome study as it relates to saving lives.

This groundbreaking book is a landscape of specific steps towards safety and addresses critical issues that a person who is stressed and in fear may not think of. This guide is a life raft providing structure in the midst of chaos and it has kept many victims of intimate partner violence, to date, alive.

Among the tools and forms, is the procedure of an “Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit”, a sworn statement detailing the facts of an individual’s victimization, preserving the specifics so they are not lost even if the victim is reported missing. It is difficult to think about speaking from the grave, but no different than any life insurance policy obtained in consideration for those left behind.

An “Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit" and video has the additional psychological benefit of being forced to face reality and admit that the potential for the ultimate kind of violence exists…and that if it occurs the perpetrator will be held accountable.

The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit: A Victim’s Voice(c)
Domestic violence or intimate partner victims now are able to provide information, in their own words, about the fears, dangers, experiences they have had at the hands of their abuser. The" Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit" or "EAA" records victim's stories, histories, and experiences which are preserved and stored on their behalf. These videos will provide answers to the many questions, allegations, and fears that arise when a person has disappeared, gone missing, or been found dead. 

Recent cases, such as missing mother Susan Powell of Utah, Kelly Rothwell of Florida, and women like Stacy Peterson, where the victim’s police officer husband is the person of interest, is the classic example of the benefits of this type of evidence. If Stacy Peterson, or any woman found murdered or is missing, had done an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit, ON TAPE, from following the information in the “Time’s Up" book on a flash drive, they would be able to describe:

- threats made against her life or wellbeing, including details of how the perpetrator would carry out the threat
- incidents of past abuse that the victim has endured
- admissions or comments made to her about other victims or people abused
- where evidence or weapons would or could be located
- possible alibis that the perpetrator would make up in his defense (including identification of people who could be co-defendant’s or co-suspects)
- portray visible injuries or marks

Next year when Hubbard House holds their annual walk for lives lost in the war on intimate partner homicide, they too, have a new tool for which to celebrate and save lives. "Time's Up!"

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit http://www.saferelationshipsmagazine.com/ She is also in partnership with Pamela Chapman and iAscend Programs. http://pamelachapmanl.biz

Susan is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk http://www.herewomentalk.com/ and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr Laurie Roth. Susan is a survivor- the daughter of a police officer family intimate partner homicide by her father who murdered her mother before committing suicide.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It will be added shortly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


The opinions and information expressed in the individual posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each contributor of "Time's Up!" nor the opinion of the blog owner and administrator. The comments are the opinion and property of the individuals who leave them on the posts and do not express the opinion of the authors, contributors or the blog owner and administrator.