How can this happen?

How can it happen in this day and age for police to be called out to a domestic violence incident and then walk away without making an arrest because the man lies and tries to divert attention from his actions?

That’s what happened yesterday to my sister. She was viciously assaulted by her husband (in front of her 3.5 year old and nearly 2 year old), prevented from ringing the police by him unplugging the home phone and throwing her mobile phone on to the roof, prevented from leaving by his throwing her purse and keys onto the roof. When she finally managed to call the police from the home phone, he threw her against a bookcase and she hit her head. He also when they were outside pushed her violnently to the concrete where she hit her head badly. She managed to get up and push him away into the fence and then the police turn up.

My sister was suffering amnesia and confusion from, not suprisingly, concussion – so she couldn’t remember what happened to tell the police. You would think that would ring alarm bells with the police, wouldn’t you? Really, wouldn’t you?

But no. They listen to my fuck-wad of a brother-in-law who tells them only that my sister pushed him into the fence (and not that it was her doing it in self defence). And he told them that she was “off her medication”. Anti-fucking-depressants for Post-Natal Depression. She gave birth nearly 2 years ago. Off her medications, give me a break. Ooh, she’s a dangerous psycho and must just be making trouble for the poor man. Fuck off.

So what do the police do? Not arrest the fucker. Not clue into the fact that my sister could be is brain injured. Oh, no. They believe his obfuscations and leave. Oh, and they gave her a card and said she could call if she wanted to. And left her there with him.

Apparently he eventually got her keys and purse etc down from the roof. So my sister left to go to a friends.

It seems the police turning up calmed him down enough to do that. But my question is: What if he hadn’t? What if, after they had left, the situation had escalated? Where the fuck was their duty of care?

But she was confused and dizzy all night. I wanted her to go to emergency last night to get checked out, but she wouldn’t listen to me. Dad got there this morning and has taken her to the hospital now. She is being treated for concussion and checked for skull and spine injuries.

I will be heading up later. We will be going to the police and charging the motherfucker and getting an AVO.

But really, what the fuck was wrong with the officers who attended last night? Do they have no training in DV? Do they not know how to assess a person’s basic medical condition? Do they have no fucking idea about basic mental health issues that they think a mother who once suffered post-natal depression is unreliable and unstable? Do they have no idea that men who commit DV will lie and obfuscate and divert attention from themselves?

I want to scream at the police officer who left my sister without medical attention and in a potentially dangerous situation with her husband. I want to charge down to the police station and ask what their god damned DV policy is, because last I heard police had a duty of care when called out to DV incidents.

But of course I won’t, because that will not help my sister’s situation at all.

We will support her when she makes her statement. And we will support her when she, as she says she is going to, leaves the cunt who did this to her.ent

18 Responses to “How can this happen?”


  1. 1 peggynature Monday, 26 January 2009 at 10:36 am

    Wow, I am so sorry to hear about this. What a shitty thing to happen in the first place, and what a shitty, lackadaisical response on the part of the cops. Thank God the situation didn’t escalate, and she’s got you and the rest of your family to get her what she needs. Something clearly needs to be done about this — a man can’t just claim the woman he’s just assaulted is “crazy” and have the cops take him at face-value.

  2. 2 bigliberty Monday, 26 January 2009 at 10:50 am

    I’m so sorry to read this. I’m also sorry to say that something very similar happened to me.

    I had walked in on my ex (then bf) with his roommate, after they’d gotten in a fight and my then bf had stormed off leaving the two of us. He accused us of having an affair (we weren’t), and I noticed he’d unplugged the phone.

    He then screamed that he had a gun, and that he was going to shoot the both of us. I ran out of the building, but the brainwashing was severe enough that I went back in. He was standing upstairs with a butcher’s knife. I called the cops, and his roommate pinned him down.

    I told the cops what had happened, and they searched the place and found he didn’t have a gun. They asked me if I was being abused…my then bf was watching me, and I said no. They then let us go, if we agreed to take him to the ER to talk to a psychiatrist. Of course, nothing changed after that (though it was temporarily better for a few weeks).

    My thoughts are with your sister. I was lucky not to have had children with my ex bf. But children should not keep an abusive relationship together. I know she thinks she can’t get out now, but I’ve been out for two and a half years, and getting that restraining order was the best thing I ever did.

  3. 3 bigliberty Monday, 26 January 2009 at 10:54 am

    Sorry, I reread and realized that in fact you all will be taking action against this guy. Thank you. I didn’t have much family support during my experience – I had to do it alone. I’m sure she appreciates your support. :)

  4. 4 bri Monday, 26 January 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Go to the station these cops are from and speak to the Family Violence Liasion officer or if they aren’t there, to the Senior Sergeant. What they did is against regulations (well it is in Victoria and I imagine it would be in other states as well). Put in a complaint against them. Nothing changes unless we complain. Loudly. I have seen this sort of thing happen time and time again as I have worked in the area of FV and it is sickening that the victim is left stranded when taking the courageous move of asking for help. Good luck in getting the AVO and I hope your sister is ok.

  5. 5 Jen Monday, 26 January 2009 at 12:41 pm

    *hugs and love*

  6. 6 nerdalesca Monday, 26 January 2009 at 1:35 pm

    My thoughts are with your sister. I remember being 15, and after my mother’s boyfriend had thrown her about the kitchen, she called the police after he’d left, and the police told *her* to pack her stuff and leave town. They didn’t do anything to him, of course.

  7. 7 Piffle Monday, 26 January 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I hope your sister makes a quick recovery; and that the children are safe with family or friends too.

    Hugs to you too.

  8. 8 Scattered Marbles Monday, 26 January 2009 at 3:01 pm

    That is so messed up, I am truly sorry. It is no wonder people being abused often wait til it is to late to get help because the “help” usually is more hassle than helpful. It is sad when the victim is made to feel like the one who is in the wrong.

    I am glad your sister has family like you to help her, that does make alot of difference.

  9. 9 PurpleGirl Monday, 26 January 2009 at 3:27 pm

    That’s absolutely unbelievable. I would definitely be filing some sort of complaint.

  10. 10 Dolly Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 2:00 am

    Justice is still a man’s word, unfortunately. Police men don’t have any sense when it comes to situations of domestic abuse. Even in cases like this where it’s obvious that a woman has been beaten senseless, men’s voices are still more valued than women’s voices. I’ve heard of cases where policemen only listened to the husband’s story in a domestic dispute because the wife didn’t speak English. Seriously!

    I don’t mean to be insensitive though. I’m so desperately sorry for your sister. Is there anyway she can get out of such an abusive relationship? Sometimes women don’t leave because they know things will get worse if they do, even if that sounds illogical. Have you read Kathleen J. Ferraro’s “Battered Women: Strategies for Survival”? If not, I could send you a PDF file via e-mail. Stories like this tend to trigger me. I completely understand and relate to your anger.

    My deepest hopes that this situation gets resolved peacefully.
    PS First time reader!

  11. 11 puellapiscea Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 2:58 am

    I left my abusive husband a year and a half ago. I never called the police on him even though there were times I was scared for my life. The reason I didn’t was exactly what you described above. He was a smooth talker (abusers usually are-I am no fool and I ended up married to him) and either the police would have left and he would have taken his anger out on me or the police would have arrested him and when he got out he would take his anger out on me. I don’t know how police miss this sort of thing, but women die because of it. All my support and love to you and your family.

  12. 12 Fatadelic Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 11:52 am

    Thanks all for the support. My sister is doing as well as can be expected. She is staying in their home and Dad is staying with her at the moment. She is pretty shaken up but doing ok. There are services she is accessing to help her get out of this situation and we are right there with her.

    I’m actually really concerned about her 3.5 year old daughter who saw the whole thing. The first words she said to me yesterday were “Daddy hurt Mummy” and other things she said indicated she feels scared, unsure and unsafe – and, yeah, like every bit of stability in her world has been ripped to shreds. I feel for her.

    I’ve had people tell me, “Oh, she’ll get over it. She won’t remember”, which is an utter crock of shit. I remember being her age and witnessing my Dad belt Mum up (clarification: my bio-dad, not my step-dad who is staying with my sister at the moment) and even though Mum left Dad shortly after, that had a lasting impact on me.

    So I know what my neice has seen is traumatic on a primal level, and I want to be able to help her heal some of that fear and hurt.

    Has anyone had experience in helping young children through something like this? Are there any counselling services for kids that young? We are in NSW, Australia.

  13. 13 Cecelia Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 11:53 am

    My thoughts are with your sister. I put thoughts of peace and healing out there for your sister!

    I remember when the police came to my house twice when I was a kid after my Dad abused my brother, sister and verbally abused my Mom. The police officer with his hat over his head and I am peaking through the stairs as he talks to my Dad to calm him down. It was my Mom who called the police.

    I look back on that day and wonder why the police did not investigate further. Why don’t suggest the family takes further steps in healing and counseling. But, ahh the police are there to maintain the state of violence not to curb it. If they were to be of assistance to eliminating violence they would not try to eliminate it with violence. As the old saying goes ‘violence begets violence.’ This is why we need to organize as communities and have safe havens for people to go to heal instead of the corner liquor stores for people to deepen their pains and traumas.

    First time reader as well because of Dolly @ Dolly Speaks!

  14. 14 jenni Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 12:10 pm

    How sad. : ( My sister went through that. I made her go underground. Well, I didn’t make her but I yelled at her until she listened.

    What I would do as her sister is keep a record of these incidents, take pictures, and make sure she keeps a phone number to an emergency shelter,a $20 bill, spare key, and a phone card in her shoe. She can tear out the bottom cushion part and store the stuff there. This way he can’t throw it anywhere. I would also get the numbers to all of the area underground shelters just in case she needs to take off quickly. I would also have her store a bag with you full of the essentials in case she has to leave.

    Keep records. Call the police for your sister. Be her advocate because he’s taken her confidence and voice away. She feels helpless so be her strength. Keep your cool. I know you want to ring his neck but you need to be the rational one. Be her calm place. If you are she will come to you. If she feels you will attack she will retreat.

    I hope I don’t sound preachy. I have just been through this with my own sister. Good luck to you. You are in my prayers.

  15. 15 bri Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Yes, there are services for children. I have done that sort of work myself here in Victoria. Try contacting

    http://www.kids.nsw.gov.au/index.cfm

    or

    http://www.womensrefuge.org.au/victim-resources/children-issues

    Generally she will need lots of cuddles, reassurance and validation. Don’t be surprised if she experiences age regression such as bed wetting, wetting during the day, nightmares, attachment anxiety (ie not wanting to be away from people she feels safe with) amongst other possibilities. She also needs to feel she can talk about it and her mum needs to talk to her about it in an age appropriate manner rather than pretending it didn’t happen (not saying she is doing that, just that she shouldn’t). She needs to know that anger is ok, it is how you deal with it that matters and that abuse is not an acceptable way of dealing with it. Not laying blame or making accusations etc but what Daddy did was wrong and that is why we aren’t staying with him anymore. It doesn’t mean Daddy doesn’t love you anymore, it just means Daddy needs some help about how to act when he is upset and angry. Stuff like that. Even if you contact some local community service organisations they should have a decent knowledge of who to refer you to in your area. Don’t ask the receptionist, they often don’t know. Ask to speak to a manager in children or family services. Let me know if I can be of any more assistance.

  16. 16 Moe Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I’m so glad she’s charging him. Too many women let it pass and go on like business as usual. The whole situation sucks and what makes it even worse is that one of the children witnessed it. Honestly, I think she will be alright. It sounds like between you and the stepfather and other support networks that your sister is looking into that she’ll be able to counteract any damage.


  1. 1 Violence Against Women « Dolly Speaks Trackback on Friday, 27 November 2009 at 4:46 am
  2. 2 Leaving « Fatadelic Trackback on Sunday, 29 January 2012 at 2:15 am

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