I have created an initiative for change. My abuser has a lengthy history of violence and abuse. Like many violent offenders, he has gotten away with his crimes with little to no accountability. Studies have shown in domestic violence probation alone with repeat violent offenders is not enough to prevent recidivism.
BACKGROUND FOR CHANGE
Imposing a light sentence will not prevent abuse or future victimization. Judges and prosecutors are quick to give diversion programs and less intrusive programs to repeat abusers and individuals with prior criminal histories who have a higher propensity and risk for future victimization of others.
Each state has different mandatory sentencing for domestic violence if found guilty or a guilty plea is taken. The commonality among each state is that the domestic violence defendants are prosecuted for misdemeanors. The United States Civil Rights Commission and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges greatly oppose this practice. Moreover, many jurisdictions routinely divert abuse cases to get a high rate of conditional discharge, a low rate of incarceration and a low rate of fines and probation/court supervision.
The conditional discharge typically includes specialized programs that include a batterer treatment program, drug and alcohol abstinence and testing, mental health evaluation, restriction from weapons and no contact with the victim. Studies have shown less than half of those ordered into these programs are ordered into anger management.
In the state of California, under Cal. Penal Code §1203.097 batterers are mandated to be sentenced to three-years’ probation, plus a three-year order of protection must be set in place, the defendant must complete a batterer program of no less than a year, complete community service, complete substance abuse treatment, pay restitution, pay $5,000 to a battered woman’s shelter and pay a minimum fine of $200. However, studies completed in 2005 there is a widespread variance where prosecutors are allowing defendants to take a plea to a lesser crime to a non-domestic violence crime such as assault or trespass to avoid these penalties.
Research shows Judges during the sentencing phase and during the plea bargain offering stage, often the defendant’s “prior criminal histories, suggesting that prosecutors and judges disregard prior records that are not related to domestic violence.” As well, “prior criminal histories and severity”. Felony convictions are less likely to be sought and the defendant is more likely to reoffend.
You can read more HERE
MY INIATIATIVE FOR CHANGE
When I met my husband, not one person told me about his history. Not one person told me he had a lengthy history of abuse. He was the highly charming, prince charming. No one told me he had been kicked out of the military for violence and drugs. No one told me he had been arrested multiple times for violence and drugs. No one told me that multiple women had multiple restraining orders on him. No one told me he had committed heinous acts on women in another country.
I ran a background check on him and the two things that came up, he had valid reason for each one. He had been charged with drunk and disorderly in Kentucky and said it was because he had been on medication and with four beers, he fell walking back to his hotel. He was arrested. Sat in the drunk tank with a $500 fine. Very believable. The other was a speeding ticket which I later found out was actually started out as possession of narcotics in a tractor trailer, driving erratically and with a good attorney, he got put on probation and a fine.
When he got his DUI in Manatee county, I was with him and even helped him avoid getting hit even harder than he could have. Hell, I paid for his attorney. (We weren’t even married and I never got paid back and I was told I was going to get paid back… $9,500 later).
None of the other stuff came up. Background checks don’t work!
His ex-wife didn’t tell me he was a monster. His mother didn’t tell me he had a propensity for violence towards women. Not one of his past victims reached out; this included the one that he was going through prosecution at the time when we met. None of his friends reached out to warn me. No one!
My initiative for change is a national registry for violent offenders that include domestic violence and child abusers modeled after the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act of 1994. In particular, the subsection commonly known as “Megan’s law” which requires law enforcement to make information available to the public regarding registered offenders.
I have created a proposal and have submitted it to more members of legislation than I can count to help change laws. I would like to create a law requiring all violent offenders, no matter if they take a divergence program, plead guilty or are found guilty to register on a national registry.
If background checks don’t work, violent offenders can slip through the cracks much easier and reoffend. A national registry would make it much easier for a person to do a check to see if their new employee, new mate, new church leader or new friend may be a convicted violent offender.
The registry would be modeled with the same registration type of legislation as the Jacob Wetterling Act. On the federal level, they would be required to notify local law enforcement of any change of address and employment. This could be for a fixed period time as determined by the court or forever if the court feels the offender is a danger to society. If the offender does not update within a certain time period, it would be an automatic felony. It would be on the offender’s public record what their offense of conviction, picture, name, conviction date(s) and address. The information would be on free public websites. However, it could also be published on newspapers, social media, pamphlets and on any other means where the public may be able to see it.
It would be left up to the state if they wish to do a community notification system when a new violent offender moves into the area.
ASK YOURSELF THIS
Do you know who is driving your kid’s school bus? Did you know most states don’t do a state-to-state background check? Did you know most state’s only go back no more than five to seven years? Now think about the first question again.
In the case of my husband, he shares the same name as his father. He uses his father’s social security number a lot committing identity theft to get past the background check. How many people do you know that many do that?
Did you know that the man who killed Megan Kanka, the namesake for Megan’s law, had two previous convictions for sexually assaulting little girls and had been given a suspended sentence in the one right before he killed Megan? Did you know he completed a treatment program similar to what they give to people convicted in the domestic violence programs?
HOW I AM DOING IT
I am starting back to door knocking on the doors of Congress men and women, Legislators and everyone I can April 24. I am going to make another petition soon and a crowd source donation site so others can get involved. We are going to start documenting it and make into a set of short documentaries.
Change starts somewhere. I am his karma and I will be the change for others. No one stood up for me. I have tried to warn the new one about him. I was told to go fuck myself even after I presented her with all his convictions and his past with evidence to back it. If I can’t save her, I will save others from him and help save others from becoming victimized from other monsters. This includes child abusers, work place violence, violent offenders aren’t just domestic violence.