Feb 29, 2008

Dangerous Relationships - How To Spot an abusive Man

As my regular readers know I do not promote products on this site, but today I am making a rare exception; clicking on the title header above will bring you to a very important e-book collection about the nature of abusive men. The books were written by Sandra Brown, therapist and counselor who has worked in the field with abusive men, and studied the machinations of their minds as well as their tactical behaviors with women; the choosing, ensnaring and subsequent "breaking down" of the women that they have determined to be " good victims."

Shocking yes, but as you will read these men actually have self admitted modes of operandi; They look for women that have "markers"; low self esteem issues and other characteristics that betray her as good prey for the abuser's wants and needs of the moment.
It should be noted that the term abuse need not always apply to physical abuse, there is a good deal of emotional and psychic abuse within the framework of these relationships.

This three e-book collection is 47.00 dollars, which is steep for most of us and utterly
prohibitive for many others that need it the most; I for one would like the author to condense the 3 part series into one less expensive book, and thus make it more available to all women
But for now it is what it is, and it still may be the smartest 50 dollars that any woman can spend. I feel that This series should be a staple for every woman in this country. It needn't be read on just an "as needed" basis --. It should become a young woman's guide to the types of
man that they need to avoid at all costs. This kind of information and education is best amassed before we-or someone we love, runs into this type of predator, but can also be a lifesaving tool if already entangles with just such a man.

You will hear from some of these men's own mouths how they have developed a built in radar for women that simply put, make good "victims". This includes women with excessively kind and forgiving natures, Rescuers, care-takers, the type of woman that believes that there is good in everyone and that if a person does terrible things, then they must have been mistreated themselves somehow, to become that way. Unfortunately this kind of thinking
And just as importantly, become the type of woman that is a terrible candidate for the predator's wish list. This means; learn to love yourself, whatever it takes, continuously avail yourself of new learning.. you will become a force to reckon with.

. And for the healthy, good-intentioned men out there ; This series is an important gift for any woman in your life that you care about. We need your involvement as healthy and aware men in dealing with this type of predator that happens to be the same gender as you; remember he doesn't always appear to be a controlling bully or an abusive lummox, and this is the difficulty with psychopaths- they are often charming and enigmatic-at first-even with men, in the sense that they will try to befriend via flattery or feigned common interests, any man that they perceive as in their way, within the periphery of any woman that they are "after" at the moment; for example, the father or brother of the young woman that he wishes to "date" Watch that charm turn into ugly fury if the predator is blocked in some way from his target, by that same person; this is when one will typically see the true nature of this dangerous predator.
The only way to combat this type of man is to be very aware of who and what he is from the earliest possible moment that he makes contact with you or your loved ones, life.

For Once he gets his talons into a woman , a psychological and emotional syndrome is consciously set into motion, whereupon the woman comes to develop a sick symbiotic attachment to her abuser/user, in much the same way surviving kidnap victims sometimes do for their captors; Most of this based upon a ill placed gratitude that the captor has magnanimously "allowed" the captive to live, in effect purchasing that victims loyalty as well as sometimes, their desire and will to leave. This seemingly bizarre attachment is what's at the heart of the battered woman's syndrome, and experts have come to understand well the powerful forces that drive otherwise sane, intelligent women into staying with abusive men.

For many many years until quite recently many people, even policemen and justice professionals, mistakenly believed that due to the fact that the abused woman didn't leave
their abusive partner, indeed often behaved in bizarre behavior, such as refusing to testify against him or even bailing their attacker out of jail after an arrest, she must either
a) like the abuse or
b) provoke/ instigate the abuse, and .
c) in effect... deserve the abuse
Believe it or not This core belief system is still alive and well today within the construct and daily machinations of many court systems, This, as those systems are comprised of individuals-people, who are bound by their own personal prejudice and-ignorance or just plain apathy.
At the very heart of this is this grievous habit of others to place blame upon the victim of what are often physically brutal assault crimes, simply because the victim had been in some kind of relationship with her assailant at some point in time ie she knew him.

In no other area of violent crime would we ever think to blame the victim for crimes against them! And this blame, vocalized or not, is even more destructive to a victim of violence then the violence itself. If you consider that the type of woman who generally finds herself in an abusive relationship is typically suffering from low self esteem, she will often all too willingly enter that self blaming space that has been valiantly cleared for her by a helpful criminal judicial process. This is where her soul finally breaks upon itself and she is forever lost.
That is why understanding the patterns and cycles of abusive relationships, is so crucial and it must begin on an individual basis one by one until it becomes a social understanding.
Abusive Relationships - Dangerous Relationships - Domestic Violence - How To Spot A Dangerous Man

Feb 25, 2008

Why won't our Ct Lawmakers get tough-enough on crime?

Hallelujah. Somebody finally zeros in on the crux of the problem with many of our Connecticut legislators as it relates to crime in this state. Click on this title header, its all there.

I can't help but wonder if the only way that anything substantial will ever change in this state regarding the way that they "process" crime, is via a costly lawsuit, as was illustrated by the case against the Torrington Police some years back- when they failed to protect a woman in imminent danger during a domestic dispute; as a result she was very nearly stabbed to death right in front of them.

The ensuing lawsuit brought against the very culpable Torrington Police Dept in effect rewrote the entire State's Police procedure regarding domestic violent crime, and subsequently law enforcements collective attitudes towards D.V. The Police certainly would seem to have learned a valuable and necessary lesson, yet only after being on the losing end of a highly publicized and costly lawsuit brought upon them by the victim and her family-Once again proving that in the end, the almighty dollar is a superior motivational force for change within a change resistant system, such as our Connecticut Justice system...

Feb 22, 2008

Victim Empowerment Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

There is some very helpful information at this site regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as it affects victims of violent crime. There is a lot of academia to sift through and translate, but it is well worth the effort especially if you, or someone you care, about might be suffering from PTSD.

Take it from me, violent crime and PTSD can have debilitating effects on what is left of a victims life, and The way that it is treated, (or not treated) can have a profound effect on the outcome of that persons well being and restoration. Really important stuff.
I've copied an excerpt below outlining the basic steps that are now known to be essential in the process of recovery from Post trauma caused by a violent and traumatic event- or events, such as repeated assaults that can occur over time, as with partner/'domestic violence.

The steps outlined below are in essence the basic tenets of recovery from post trauma. And I must admit, I wish that someone had made me aware of their existence and guided me through them when I was struggling so in the aftermath of my own experience with violent crime. As it turned out I was one of the fortunate few that managed, in time, to make the transition from victim to survivor, despite a profound lack of viable support from my local judiciary, and the community in general--The latter was largely due to a prevailing ignorance and decided unease among many people in dealing with the sensitive issue of violent crime , and the emotional and spiritual toll that it takes on its victims.
Please bear in mind that victims of PTSD can include close family members and/or friends, that via their connection with the victim, have become privy to details of the crime, and thus the terror and pain experienced. In this, they unwittingly re-live the trauma and can experience not only the psychic pain, but even the symptoms of any injuries accrued within the incident. As such, they are often also in need of treatment and counseling

The truth is that I very nearly did not make it through the gates of hell back to wholeness: PTSD sufferers are terribly vulnerable to alcohol and substance abuse, incapacitatiNG depression,
anxiety conditions and often even suicide. The good news is that these fates needn't be inevitable for victims of violence, yet, as often is the case with any true change, that change needs to begin with awareness; starting with the individual, then the community and eventually, society as a whole.
I believe that we owe it to ourselves and to each other, to become more enlightened beings, that do better than putting our collective heads in the sand when something violent and horrible befalls one of us. "The least of our bretheran..."

I suggest following the link below and bookmarking the site to read in segments as it is next to impossible to digest in just one sitting.

Traumatic syndromes as well as the recovery processes have basic features. The primary stages of recovery are:

establishing safety

reconstructing the trauma story

restoring the connection between survivors and their communities

The challenge is to help survivors reconnect the pieces, rebuild history and make meaning of their current symptoms in the light of prior events.

Victim Empowerment Student Material Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Stress Signs Often Missed in Victims of Violent Crime

Stress Signs Often Missed in Victims of Violent Crime

Feb 10, 2008

"Forever Michaela" goes National !

This Channel Eight News clip  is about  eleven year old Elizabeth Ollero of Cheshire Connecticut and a website tribute she created for her best friend Michaela Rose Petit, who was tragically killed in a home invasion that occurred on July 23rd of this year.

Michaela's father,  Dr.William Petit was severely injured in the attack, but managed to break partially free of his binds and escaped through a basement door rolling to a neighbors house calling for help. Noone including the police imagined the intruders had set the home afire mere seconds after his escape.  He sustained serious head and brain injuries and lost dangerous amount of blood.

When I read the "Forever Michaela" website  in December, I was so moved by this little girl's efforts, I was immediately compelled to write about it ( See December 07 archives )

 Earlier today, I saw that a story about the website had made it's way to the national news media:  I was thrilled to see what started as a humble little website written with such innocence goodness and love,  now getting national media attention

.Not only will the Forever Michaela Website carry a  message about violent crime and predators and the huge ripple effect that the trauma creates...  that  message is incidental to the websites existence, The websites main purpose, as it's young creator tells us, is to carry on the positive memories of who Michaela Petit was in life her kindness her compassion her altruism, these she wants to be Michaela's legacy, rather than focusing upon the nature of her violent death.

Michaela Petit was an unusually thoughtful eleven year old child, as was evidenced on her Face book page, where a quote by Mahatma Gandhi she cited as her favorite quote.

"You must be the change that you wish to see in this world"

This quote and it's message has become the mission statement for the Petit family foundation http://www.petitfamilyfoundation.org/   the non profit charity formed by Mr Petit in the wake of the crimes.

Eleven year old Elizabeth Bolero manged no small feat: she helped restore her friend Michaela Rose Petit back to who she was in life, and she thus will always be. Now, she circles arcs around us, inspiring us, aloft on angel's wings...

Note : If you haven't already done so, please visit the Forever Michaela website.
If you have, please remember to check back in from time to time as the website and the events and charities are fluid and ever changing.

There is a guest memorial, where people from literally all over the world, leave messages of sorrow and hope, comfort and love.

Please lend your support to at least one of the causes carried on in Michaela's name. There is no finer way to honor the life of this child and her family, than to help people in need, in her name.

Feb 7, 2008

Lawmaker's Wife Walks In On Burglary - Connecticut News Story - WFSB Hartford

Well I find this story very ironic indeed, when you consider that the largely democratic Connecticut General Assembly just voted down a proposed amendment that would have made any burglary of a home automatically classified as a class b felony, with an accompanying stiff minimum sentence.
The G.A decided instead to vote in an amendment with decidedly less teeth, whereby breaking into ones home at night-time only would be classified as that "home invasion" carrying with it the more serious felony charge with a minimum 10 yr sentence .

You will note that the man whose home was burglarized in the above article, was in fact broken into during the day, and the one thing that everyone fears in this situation, happened; his wife stopped off at her home between appointments and wound up walking straight into two men robbing her home. This scenario is precisely one of the reasons that many citizens in the general public were not satisfied with the burglary/home invasion amendment that was passed.
Reasons for the dissent varied, but a central theme was that any time a person enters a home surreptitiously and illegally, there is a huge risk for potential violence-- if anyone is home or comes home during the commission of that crime.

An important consideration in any decision regarding the crime of home break-ins, needs to include the well documented intell that shows a direct correlation between home burglaries/break ins and more serious crime, such as sexual assault, abductions and murder. There are many instances where a criminal is arrested for burglary or trespassing, when in reality his motivation was more sinister, and either something scared him off or)he got caught before anything happened or his desired target was not at home.

Thanks to the study of criminal psychology, we now know that there are stages in the evolution of sexual predators. They rarely simply leap straight to rape and murder, And one of the classic
earliest criminal behaviors of a sex offender/murderer is what used to be called peeping tom's but is now more aptly called stalking. With the advent of readily available tools to aid such criminals like night vision glasses (such as komisarjevsky used for many of his break ins while scoping out his targeted victims)and long range listening devices-(can be bought in children's science toy stores) as well as thousands of internet sources for obtaining surveillance equipment and methods, not to mention the same easy internet acquisition of personal information regarding home addresses with corresponding layouts of houses, its fair to say that we have entered a new arena for the predators of the world. We need to be armed with counter measures beginning with educating ourselves and making intelligent laws and strict well aimed sentencing provisions and seeing to it that they are actually used within our courts.

Within this same discussion regarding burglary reclassification, some inisghtful members of the senate and General assembly brought up the issue of the now vulnerable folks who work third shift and or stay at home moms and the elderly, in the institiution of the new proposed amendments limiting home invasion to evening only break ins. Despite these and other practical issues with the night only version of the law it was passed none the less.

And of course what this means is that we can expect a huge surge of break ins into our homes during the day, as word of the minimum 10 yr sentence for night break ins gets out. Not the best of reasoning regarding this amendment folks. The new law should have simply read that any illegal break in into a home-any-is now a serious felony carrying a minimum sentence, period. And if a compromise was absolutely neccesary, than at the very least it should have read that any break in where a person is home, will result in the same class b felony and minimum prison sentence.

The idea is supposed to be to deter crimes that can result in violence, we did the same for DUI, and DUI is a much more passive crime, usually lacking intent to harm, but putting people at risk for harm thru stupidity.and recklessness, While breaking into a home is much more purposeful, predatorial and consciously criminal .

I also couldn't help but notice the very high bail that these two burglars got on a "simple (ie daytime)burglary, albeit on a member of the Connecticut legislature-... 250,000 dollars each!!
The average bail for this type of crime historically run from 5,000 to 50 000 at the very highest end. NowThis bothers me for the following reasons; if the legislators as a body are choosing to take more lenient and less decisive action than thier citizen constituants clearly want for themselves, than by god, they should have to live with the choices they've made, and the same broken system (which they happen to be perpetuating with lack of decisive and intelligent action) that any victim of crime in Connecticut must contend with!

This means; no special conditions or punishment for the "alleged" criminals that broke into the legislators house. While of course as a compassionate human being I am sorry for this man and his wife, I am still very troubled by the double judicial standard that clearly exists for this man in the form of the obscenely high bail set for the two men that attempted to rob his home.

To give you an example of what the average bail for a residential burglary looks like; Mr komisarjevsky's( co murderer of the Petit woman and children) bail amount when he was caught for his last string of burglaries in 2003 -was 30,000. And remember he was a repeat offender at this point, having already served time for another string of break ins and before that a juvie record for arson

To put it into yet another perspective, a man who was charged with assault in the 2nd degree-felony-unlawful restraint in first degree-felony- terroristic threatening and stalking class a misdemeanors (all committed against me) was given a 50 000 bail at GA2 Bridgeport
in the year 2000. This was for brutally violent crimes folks, thus one can easily see
the disparity here.
Our assemblymen is already receiving special treatment as a victim of crime from the court-
and we haven't yet approached the actual judicial proceedings yet.

Needless to say, neither "defendant" in the legislator's break in made their 250 000 whopping bail ( which was the intention of such a high bail amount in the first place.) And I don't want to be misunderstood here-I am all for being tough on crime- and criminals- However I don't like it when people that work for the state, indeed help to make our laws, receive special treatment when they become the unfortunate victim of a crime here.
Its now more important than ever that they are treated as any other victim, as otherwise they will then never experience the frustrating, and at times heartbreaking reality of an indifferent, lackluster, and often inept judicial system. The very same that any victim of crime in this state must endure.

Bottomline is that it is up to our legislators and Governor Rell to break down the walls of Connecticut's broken Judicial system. In order for our courts to work properly, we must
clean house.

We will then need a clear presence in the form of a watchdog/oversight agency implemented for each courthouse in the state. This must include a valid system for victims of crime to file complaints against prosecutors that are handling thier cases in what they perceive as i
nadequate or irresponsible fashion. This includes proposed plea bargains for crimes against these victims. This is crucial as plea bargains are the standard way of resolving crime in our courts and this all takes place outside of the courtroom prior to the official resloution hearing. The victim of said crimes and criminal-often do not find out until it is too late, and even when they do know prior to the official resolution of the case they have no say whatsoever over a plea that the prosecuctor has offered to the defendent (ie criminal)

I amnjot talking about the current victim advocate offices that are operating in some Domestic violence dockets in the state. This agency clearly must reside outside of the states attorneys office in that court and AS timing in judicial procedure is so often essential, these compliants must be met with prompt attention. This court watchdog must be an independent agency that has no vested interest with the judicial system or the state politically. It must be accessible Its members must possess impartiality, criminal/ legal experience, and an established social conscience.

It would be unrealistic to assume that something that has clearly been broken for so long,
such as our court system, could simply right itself with a few amendments- and nary a look
over its collective shoulder henceforth. I liken it to a buch of teenagers run amock with power. Unfortunately its been the bodies and souls of victims of crime that have been the sacrificial lambs for this group of "teens" to act out, and to refuse to do their homework.

Governor Rell has promised that these few reforms are just the beginning and that an overhaul of our entire judicial system is forthcoming. All citizens, partcularly Victims of crime in this state, will be watching, counting on the fact that Governor Rell is a woman of her word.

Lawmaker's Wife Walks In On Burglary - Connecticut News Story - WFSB Hartford