Governments Must Invest in Violence Prevention

SacBee Logo2In October 2012, a man opened fire in a Wisconsin beauty salon killing three people and wounding four before fatally shooting himself. On April21 of this year, a 27-year-old in Seattle shot and killed four residents of an apartment complex before dying in a firefight with police. On June7 in Santa Monica, a gunman killed five people, three of them on a college campus, then was fatally shot by police. [Read more...]

Court Closures Pose Safety Risk for Domestic Violence Victims

 

C.Hayes photo 2012While the rest of the country celebrates the arrival of spring with baseball season openers, picnics and cherry blossom festivals, for Sacramento political types the warmer days and budding foliage herald a different annual rite: budget season in California. All this month and into May, legislative budget subcommittees are meeting to determine what the state can afford to fund, and which services will need to be scaled back or eliminated. [Read more...]

Sovereign

Maze of Injustice_CoverLet me set the scene: it was 2005, and I’d been working in the domestic violence field about six months. It was my first real job as an activist, the realization of a hazy, amorphous dream I’d left a Ph.D. program to chase (albeit in a roundabout way). I was in that exciting phase when you first start something new, and everything’s novel and fascinating just for its own sake. I was constantly amazed by what I was learning. I’m telling you this because the key thing to understand about me back then is that I was still capable of being shocked:  [Read more...]

What Keeps Me in My Seat

puzzlepiecesI have to tell you guys, today was a BUMMER. Slow news day, dull paperwork, depressing winter weather and, oh yeah,  I spent most of the day thinking about America’s epidemic of intimate partner violence, so there was that. This particular occupational hazard, the fact that it’s just plain depressing sometimes to spend so much of your life thinking about the horrors human beings visit on each other, isn’t one I complain about much. For the most part I’ve acclimated (read: “compartmentalized”), but it’s definitely the case that my kind of job weeds out the lightweights fast. [Read more...]

Blind Spot (Part 2)

So now we have this: NFL player Jovan Belcher murders his girlfriend, then drives to the Kansas City Chiefs’ football stadium and shoots himself in the head. All I had to read was the headline to know that this was the awful but predictable outcome of an abusive relationship. There may not be a paper trail of arrests or restraining orders to prove it, but it’s rare for incidents like this to be the first violent encounter. [Read more...]

Blind Spot

(Part 1 of 2)

My Google alerts at work read like the clips file of an unfocused true crime writer, they’re all “husband and wife arrested,” “parent kidnaps child,” “lawyer threatened,” “pet killed.” What I’m looking for, of course, is domestic violence, which is something that’s both very visible and strangely obscured, so it can be hard to track. [Read more...]

Missing the Point on Chris Brown (Again)

God, Chris Brown is such an asshole, it really is exhausting to watch. I’ve sworn off talking about him at least twice now, but then he goes and does something so terrible, again, that I simply CANNOT refrain from saying one thing more. Because Chris Brown isn’t just a plain old bad guy, he’s a guy who is bad in ways that are very illustrative of what’s complicated about batterers, and what’s wrong with the way we respond to them. So let’s discuss Brown’s new neck tattoo, and how a lot of people who’ve been talking about it seem to be missing the point.
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Hi! It’s Me.

I used to use a pseudonym, but that’s all over now.

I love a good fake name as much as the next gal, and they definitely have their place. That’s especially true now, with everyone trying to juggle their work personae with their more bitchin’ online selves, in a way that strikes that elusive balance between “pursuing their awesome extra-curriculars” and “getting their asses fired.” When I started Lady Troubles, I knew that what I’d be blogging about—politics, women’s issues—would overlap with my work in the domestic violence field. So rather than having to censor myself, as in I wonder what my boss would think of me calling that Supreme Court Justice an asshat? I opted to hide behind the fake name,  assuming that anonymity would free me. [Read more...]

Beat Cops

Do you remember that recent case out of NYC in which a patrol officer was accused of raping an intoxicated woman while his partner stood guard outside her apartment? And then they were both acquitted despite a mountain of convincing evidence, and people were horrified and everything was gross, the end? Well, as it turns out that wasn’t the end, because another woman has emerged to say that she was mistreated by the same pair of cops several months earlier—not raped, but physically abused and personally degraded in a circumstance in which the two were charged to assist her. There are records of the complaints she filed at the time, so taken together with the alleged rape it’s all a little fishy, no? One might deduce—if one were an extremely jaded feminist blogger, for example—that Officer Kenneth Moreno has a problem with the ladies. [Read more...]

Low-Hanging Fruit: Charlie Freaking Sheen

Low-Hanging Fruit is an occasional feature in which I ridicule people who have already been so thoroughly castigated that they really don’t need me piling on to make the point. But then I go ahead and pile on anyway, because I’m just trivial enough to enjoy that sort of thing.

I had sincerely hoped never to have to mention Mr. Sheen again. As far as I was concerned, the Warlock and I had achieved a sort of detente. While his crazy misogynist shenanigans continued unabated, I had already covered the only aspect of them I thought was genuinely interesting—the fact that we know so little about what motivates serial batterers that we’re generally unable to rehabilitate them. That was the extent of anything useful I had to say on the subject, so I decided to leave the balance of the commentary to the prurient chattering class, who can’t seem to get enough of his coke-headed whore-mongering ways. Me, I’d had enough. [Read more...]