domestic violence

NRA defends abusers and stalkers in fight against VAWA

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Talk about misplaced priorities:

House Republicans broadly object to at least four new policies added to the bill to reauthorize VAWA — which expired back in February when Democrats objected to GOP efforts to include a short-term extension of the law in a spending deal. But the most controversial are new provisions to lower the criminal threshold to bar someone from buying a gun to include misdemeanor convictions of domestic abuse or stalking charges. Current law applies to felony convictions.

In order to understand why these changes need to be made, you need to understand how our legal system (usually) works. An extremely high percentage of those Domestic Violence "misdemeanors" started out as felonies, only to be plea bargained down. More than any other crime, Domestic Violence is a nightmare for prosecutors, and getting any conviction at all is considered a "win." So when you see that word (misdemeanor), don't assume it was just a casual push during an argument. The abuser most likely took a plea deal to avoid a jury hearing what really happened. I'm not just making that up, by the way:

No means No: Criminal summons issued for Cody Henson

NC Republicans need to clean their House:

Court records show a misdemeanor criminal summons has been issued for two-term Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania. The document names estranged wife Kelsey Henson as the victim. Last week, a judge issued a long-term protective order against the legislator after determining text messages his wife received amounted to "mental harassment."

State Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin and Democratic Women of North Carolina President Julia Buckner says Henson must resign. Buckner says "any form of domestic violence or abuse is categorically unacceptable."

Since neither GOP leadership or Henson himself seem ready to do the right thing, maybe a (NC) House resolution condemning domestic violence and cyber-stalking is in order? If Tim Moore refuses to bring that to the floor, both he and Henson should be plastered all over the front pages of NC's newspapers, so women in North Carolina would know just how (un)important they are. p.s. I didn't want to see his face today, so I put Gollum there instead. He has at least a few redeeming qualities...

Republican NC House member Cody Henson needs to resign

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He just got slapped with a 12 month domestic violence restraining order:

A North Carolina legislator committed domestic violence against his estranged wife, a judge found Tuesday during a civil proceeding, awarding her a yearlong domestic violence protection order. After a Tuesday court hearing lasting several hours at the Transylvania County courthouse in Brevard, Judge Fritz Mercer ruled in favor of Kelsey Henson, wife of state Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania.

“After multiple, multiple, multiple times, I asked him to stop,” she told Carolina Public Press after the hearing. “He continued and refused to have any regard for my boundaries or well-being.”

A few things to contemplate: If Henson had misappropriated government funds, or bought a bunch of fancy ties with campaign donor money, he would probably have already been shamed out of office. Even by his own party. But domestic violence, cyber-stalking his ex-wife? Crickets. When abusing money is more unforgivable than abusing women, there is something desperately wrong with our system of values. And while I applaud this judge for having the guts to issue this order, stopping short of confiscating Henson's firearms could be a deadly mistake:

GOP Legislator served with domestic violence restraining order

The face of an abuser:

State Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, was served with a domestic violence protection order late last month, records from the Transylvania County Courthouse show. His wife, Kelsey Henson, told Carolina Public Press on Thursday that she sought help for nearly a year from law enforcement and others from behavior she describes in court filings as harassment and emotional abuse.

She filed the paperwork on Jan. 30. Cody Henson was served with the protection order the next day, court records show. “Every time I tried to report it and called 911 or went to a magistrate to try to get help, I was denied,” Kelsey Henson said. “I truly feel that was because of his position.”

This is nothing short of infuriating. Every time these supposed "public service" people shied away from taking steps, they put her life at risk. It shouldn't matter "who" he was, only that he was out of control and a danger to this woman and her children:

Birds of a feather: Rob Porter's domestic abuse was no secret in Trump's White House

By all rights he should be rotting in jail:

Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, and Jennifer Willoughby, Porter’s second wife, both told the FBI their marriages had ended because of a pattern of physical and emotional abuse. According to their accounts, supported by photos, contemporaneous reporting to others, and a blog post written by Willoughby last April, Porter kicked these women, he punched and choked one of these women, he blackened one of these women’s eyes. He berated and insulted these women. Police were called.

But Rob Porter is also white, and the son of a prominent academic and thinker. He went to Harvard and Oxford, and he had a high-ranking job in the Oval Office, and was reportedly pressing for a higher one. He was dating Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest confidantes. So nobody did a thing about the allegations.

This literally makes me furious. The Trump connection is an important aspect, but the failures by law enforcement from the local to the national level are indicative of a sickness in the very heart of our society. They like to talk about how much terrorism they've prevented, but terrorist attacks happen every few minutes in America. Not by strangers from some exotic country, but by "loved ones," which makes it even more heinous. And we as progressives need to stop paying so much attention and lip-service to the "preponderance of evidence" approach when these things happen:

Thanksgiving open thread: Celebrate, but also contemplate

Sometimes my mind works in strange ways. On holidays like today, I often wonder what other people are doing, if families are coming together in joy or reaffirming why they have avoided each other for so long. And then I start to think about those family members who are suffering in secrecy, who probably view holidays as a cruel reminder of the normal life they have been denied. Domestic abuse victims are sometimes completely shielded from view, but much more often, they have to put on a show of happiness to conceal their situation, or face the consequences after everybody leaves. We kid ourselves that these situations are rare, but it's likely happening only a few doors down in our neighborhood. And maybe even right in front of us. The CDC just published a new report this year, and the numbers are staggering:

Are 'Women's Issues' Necessary?

What is it that sets women and their 'issues' aside?

Civitas writer, Becki Gray thinks that “Women’s ‘Advocates’ are holding women back.” She has written about this in NC SPIN, October 4, 2014. Ms. Gray seems to think misogyny is over just as the Supreme Court thinks racism is over. Both are mistaken.

Making women’s rights an article of law is not ‘nanny care,’ it is a fitting and proper act of government, whose duty it is to protect all citizens. Women’s rights are just like everyone else’s rights, but not every person wants to admit that, let alone support it and live by it. If even she admits she had to ‘work hard to be seen and treated as an equal,’ than something is wrong with our society’s outlook on women. It wasn’t ‘women’s advocates’ she needed to persuade of her equality.

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