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Thursday: For Louisa

Both clinging to life

Denise and Louisa, Betty Jean's daughters: Both clinging to life

The trials of Job are not limited to biblical sheepherders.  Many PUMAs know Betty Jean Kling, a tireless Hillary Clinton supporter who had a passion for healthcare reform.  Betty Jean’s son died of cancer and her daughter Denise is living with advanced ovarian cancer.  Betty Jean’s heart’s desire was to see that her daughter, and all those affected by serious disease, get the treatment they need.

But an evil genius works against Betty Jean.  Last June, Denise was attacked in her sleep by her estranged lover, George Hartwig.  He hit her in the head with a hammer.  He was sentenced to 3 months in prison for the attack and released.  Monday night, as Betty Jean attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in New York City to help her pay off her remaining debt, Hartwig struck again.  He shot Denise’s sister, Louisa, in the face when she got in the way.  Louisa is now in critical condition in a New Jersey hospital.  (One of our commenters reports that Louisa has lost an eye and may suffer brain damage if she survives.) You can read about the attack here, here and here.   This has been devastating to Betty Jean who is now dealing with two daughters who are fighting for their lives.

Domestic violence is a sensitive subject for many people.  I don’t know why it should be.  You shouldn’t be allowed to commit violent acts against another human being no matter what degree of relationship exists but violence is often tolerated in marital situations. Still, it is imcomprehensible that an attacker would be allowed to roam free after he heartlessly attacked a cancer patient with a hammer.  That this man had the ability to shoot her sister with a shotgun is simply unbelievable.  Where were the local police?  The New Jersey justice system?  How can targets of domestic violence sleep easily if their predators are not actually restrained?  The attackers in instances such as these seem to be operating with a single minded obsession, as if they are determined to remove a weed from their garden.  It’s irrational anger projected onto a hapless target.  If the crazy worldview of the attacker can’t be changed, the attacker himself needs to be locked up.

We need a Louisa’s Law that will prevent the release of these attackers who, like pedophiles, have a habit of being repeat offenders.  They need an attitude adjustment that only a lot of time with a prison psychologist can accomplish, along with restraining orders, ankle bracelet monitoring systems and no legal access to firearms.  Of course, that doesn’t prevent the abuser from using hammers so maybe locking them up and strapping a GPS device to them when they’re released until they get the point is the only way.  Worldviews are very difficult to change unless the person sees there is really no alternative and that society will simply not allow them to act on their murderous rage.

If you want to help Betty Jean advocate for a new Louisa’s Law, please contact her at Free Us Now.   NJ Senator Menendez sponsored legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  You might want to drop him a line if you agree with him or contact your own senators.  NJ Senator Lautenberg  wrote the Domestic Violence Gun Ban and Brady Law.  Both of these Democrats know how serious this issue is but they have faced a tough fight from the NRA in recent years.  It is time we focus our attention on the risk that Domestic Violence poses to their victims and others who get in the way.

The New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women has many services for women who are facing domestic abuse but surprisingly little on their legislation page.  If you are a lawyer or advocate in this area, or have experience lobbying for legislation, let them know you want to help.

Finally, there will be a hearing  on the arraignment of George Hartwig.  The Honorable Judge Harry Carroll will preside.  His contact numbers are voice: 201-527-2460, fax: 201-752-4109 if you would like to politely urge him to keep Hatwig behind bars until his trial.

We send our positivc thoughts to Betty Jean.  The Trial of Job didn’t last forever.  It ended well.

167 Responses

  1. I saw this yesterday when I got Betty Jean’s Free Us Now email. I had been reading her updates on Denise’s ovarian cancer. I absolutely could not believe that this happened to her other daughter. Perspective, perspective, perspective. If Denise makes it through, she will be disfigured, partially blind (she has lost her eye) and possibly suffer brain damage. Its heartbreaking, and so incredibly senseless.

    Betty Jean and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. SOrry, I meant if Louisa makes it through.

  3. RD, that breaks my heart. I’m afraid I take the old fashioned approach. Find the perpetrator, try him, convict him and hang him. For some people just can’t be dealt with any other way.

  4. This puts our own lives into perspective when reading of Betty Jean’s horrible plight. I cannot begin to imagine for a moment what she must be going through. This is so heart wrenching that words fail.

    So, so sorry that she has to endure these tragedies. Unimaginable.

  5. johninca: Lynching is probably not an option but we might want to take a lesson from the Gulabi Gang in India, don our pink jackets, round up a posse and make a LOT of noise in Lodi.

  6. I worked as an advocate in domestic violence for about 12 years. Restraining orders specifically prohibit an abuser from having a firearm, but how do you stop them from acquiring one illegally? Do you lock the abusers up and throw away the key?

    This is a difficult subject and one that has no easy answers.

  7. TheRealKim: I think that repeat abusers like Hartwig need to be treated like pedophiles. They will likely never change. They are a danger to women. They need to be locked up and treated as if they have a mental disorder, a personality disorder. Then, if they ever are released, the ankle bracelet and tracking need to be implemented so the cops know exactly where the bastard is at all times.

  8. Do you lock the abusers up and throw away the key?

    You do– although I still think it’s not as nice as the state hanging them.

  9. RD: Exactly. Abusers should be deemed sociopathic and treated accordingly., There is no known treatment for sociopathy.

  10. Simple assault carries a small sentence. When it is committed during the marriage it is Criminal Domestic Violence. The laws have been changed to make the sentencing a little stiffer, but you are asking legislators to make the law stronger for a domestic assault than for an assault commited against a stranger. So, you have judges, attorneys, legislators, etc. asking can we make the law stiffer just because these people are in a domestic situation?

    With this being my career and my passion for so many years, I have to say education and empowerment of women is the solution. Abusers do not usually seek out strong women, they want to control women. Education is the only way, but the funds aren’t there. We tried to have workshops and seminars at the jr. high level, but there was just not enough funding.

    This is a cycle and it is to be broken at a very early age or it will follow these children into adulthood. Teachers, guidance counselors, social workers need specialized training. Where does the money come from?

  11. How can anyone be against a domestic violence gun ban? How is this possible?

    I’m not a gun nut, but I thought they were for the gun rights of law abiding people. To oppose a gun ban for domestic violence– this were no longer the position of a gun nut, just a nut.

  12. I can’t imagine the pain Betty Jean must be going through right now. Unfortunately, similar events take place frequently in this country. Domestic violence doesn’t get taken seriously and consequently millions of women are murdered.

    This is not unconnected to the misogyny we have seen from Obama and his supporters for the past year. I have no doubt that domestic violence will increase under his presidency, because his attitude will continue to filter down through the courts and law enforcement to the men who commit these crimes. Obama’s total nonresponse to the Favraeu incident has sent a message: it’s open season on women.

    Even if leaders don’t show leadership, their behavior will be followed. We saw this with Reagan. His irresponsible attitudes toward the poor and the mentally ill created the homeless problem that is still with us today.

  13. That is not necessarily true. Yes the recidivism rate is high, but I have seen some cases of men who have been abusers, remarry women who do not allow it that type of behavior and they do not abuse the new spouse because of this.

    In one case, I treated the same woman in three different relationships and in all three they were abused. They are perpetual victims. They were brought up in homes where this is the norm. These women believe that indicates love.

    You also have a system that doesn’t provide the women with a safe haven. Sure there are shelters, but you can’t take male children over 12 years into the shelters, because of the cycle. Most abused women have been controlled to the point of no money, no job and no friends. How are they going to pay for an attorney for custody? For divorce? For a vehicle or even food?

    There has to be options and ladies, they are not out there. We were even beginning to lose funding for transitional housing.

  14. There are no words.
    My prayers are with the family.
    How do we get people to understand that domestic violence is not acceptable?
    the real kim
    thank you for trying to make a difference.




  16. Thanks for posting this, RD. This is a sickening story. How can a person be sentenced to 3 months in prison for beating someone with a hammer?

    The solution is that prison sentences for assault must be uniform. Whether it’s domestic violence or assault of any kind.

    Also, the status of women must be elevated through economic empowerment. History teaches us that the status of women is elevated in societies where women are money-earners and business owners.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to these courageous women.

  17. Sending good thoughts to Betty Jean and her daughters.

    I agree with the ideas of education for women, and tougher assault and gun laws.

    Janicen – I read a statistic somewhere that 70% of all poor people are women. We definitely need to do something about that.

    So much work to do…

  18. This is precisely where women’s rights are in America. Where black men’s were before the 1950’s.

    The law and the police will prevent women from fighting back. The law and the police will use force and the threat of incarceration to keep women from defending themselves. The law and the police will do nothing at all to keep men from hurting and murdering their own property.

    Two Supreme Court decisions that made hardly a ripple among women when they were handed down made that clear. “U.S, v. Morrison” gutted the Violence Against Women Act in 2000. “Gonzalez v. Castle Rock” made it clear in 2005 that women could not even use the equal protection statutes enacted for black males in the post-civil war era. Those statues were made law because southern states refused to protect black people from vigilante mobs and bigoted courts and juries.

    Men are the lynch mobs that are now allowed to run riot. If anything effective is to be done to prevent their commonplace violence against women, women have to start with the law. Women have to stop turning their heads away from laws and a justice system that allow police to use or to withhold their protection from unarmed citizens, depending on how that police force feels about those citizens.

    But whenever I’ve brought this up talking to women over the years, there’s silence, then some woman will make a point, if a man is present, of picking up one of his previous comments and adding to that in an exaggerated tone of friendliness, or turn to another woman and in the same tone of exaggerated optimism, start an entirely unrelated conversation. All the women I’ve known who have experienced male violence are convinced that a different man will solve the problem for them.

    I applaud your efforts to get the spineless mass that is American women to rescue themselves, RD, but like Echidne said long ago, most women regard feminists as a cleanup crew they can call in when needed and, I would add, as messengers to use for target practice the rest of the time.


  20. That is not necessarily true. Yes the recidivism rate is high, but I have seen some cases of men who have been abusers, remarry women who do not allow it that type of behavior and they do not abuse the new spouse because of this.

    In one case, I treated the same woman in three different relationships and in all three they were abused. They are perpetual victims. They were brought up in homes where this is the norm. These women believe that indicates love.

    You also have a system that doesn’t provide the women with a safe haven. Sure there are shelters, but you can’t take male children over 12 years into the shelters, because of the cycle. Most abused women have been controlled to the point of no money, no job and no friends. How are they going to pay for an attorney for custody? For divorce? For a vehicle or even food?

    There has to be options and ladies, they are not out there. We were even beginning to lose funding for transitional housing.

  21. Until the justice system starts treating crimes against women the same as crimes against men and property (note the juxtasposition), this will not end.
    This was not “DOMESTIC” violence. It was attempted murder, plain and simple.
    Why is it that many crimes against women carry a different descriptor – “DOMESTIC:”
    Ah, heck, I’m tired of this….I’ve been too long in the trenches. Until everyone recognizes that human rights include women, GLBT folks and everyone else, and write laws that address that fact – genderless, sexless laws, we will never see the end of this sheite.
    back to lurkerdom

  22. My heart goes out to Betty Jean, we’re here for you and Louisa and Denise.

    And, TheRealKim,

    I respectfully disagree with your premise that “abusers do not usually seek out strong women.”

    Strong women can definitely find themselves pulled into a relationship with an abuser during the “honeymoon” phase.

    Suggesting that only so called weak women are susceptible to being the focus of an abuser gives the impression that DV is somehow the woman’s fault for not being “strong” enough. If you’ve done so much work in the field, surely you’ve seen that it occurs at every socioeconomic level, all education levels and to women in all professions.

    And, it takes a great deal of STRENGTH to break out of an abusive relationship. In fact, as you know, when a woman is clearly demonstrating her strength and determination is when she is most vulnerable, because removing the abuser from her life takes away his sense of control.

    And, once he feels he’s lost control, he will often resort to extreme violence, again something we all know.

    I agree that there should be educational intervention with kids at an early age, how about focusing on the young men and making it clear that perpetrating DV is criminal and immoral, along with “strengthening” the young women?

  23. HT, Lexia – Word!

    We need to get the ERA ratified. The fact that we are not viewed as equal by our Constitution gives some cover for all the laws that abridge womens’ rights and liberties. If that were in place, a lot of the fights that take place in the legislature, as rightwing Republicans try to deny women access to birth control and reproductive freedom over and over again, would never get out of committee, because they would be unConstitutional.

    I am going to make getting the ERA ratified one of my missions as a PUMA going forward. That, and the 30% Solution, will be my focus.

  24. Sorry Deja vu, but the women in most cases are victims. Statistics show they marry time after time to abusers. That is not saying that they are at fault it is the cycle and it has nothing to do with socioeconomic groupings. Yes, educated women and wealthy women, it would sound like you think if you have money or an education it doesn’t happen, but it does. If you saw your mother being slapped or pushed or even psychologically abused, then you are more apt to think that this is how it is.

    Traditionally, you have two types that emerge from seeing abuse as a child. The ones who grow up to be abused and the, I call them “touch me nots”. They are so in control of their lives, they won’t let anyone in or get close enough to hurt them.

  25. And there is no “honeymoon phase”. The indicators are always there, always. He is a little bit jealous and that means he “really” loves her. He is a “little” controlling, but women see that as protection. He wants to take care of her. There are always “red flags”, we just don’t see them.

  26. Every post is in moderation. WTF IS GOING ON?

  27. There is no “honeymoon phase”. The indicators are there, we just aren’t trained or knowledgeable enough to see them.

  28. I’ve worked for years as a volunteer with the battered women’s shelters in NJ – the level of recitivism is the same as pedophilia – these guys – and some gals – just don’t get over it. Many grew up with violence and it’s the only thing they know.
    Sad to say that stories like these are all too common.
    My prayers are with Betty Jean and her family

  29. B0bloggers feel they were not loved as they should have been after all their efforts

  30. Suggesting that only so called weak women are susceptible to being the focus of an abuser gives the impression that DV is somehow the woman’s fault for not being “strong” enough. If you’ve done so much work in the field, surely you’ve seen that it occurs at every socioeconomic level, all education levels and to women in all professions.

    That is like saying if you are wealthy or educated, you are strong and that is a huge fallacy. Of course it happens at all levels. But if as a child, you are taught that women should be taken care of, or see abuse, then you are unconsciously trained to think it is okay.

  31. Just the fact that we have battered women’s shelters is wrong – we shouldn’t need them and those in law and public safety should be ashamed for not having looked at means of preventing such abuse. But Kim is right these gals get into the same kind of relationships over and over again.

    It’s hard to believe that they incarcerated that scum for only 3 months. When they let him out he was still angry and went right out to “finish the job”

  32. That is devastating. How much can one mother take? It is unbelievable that they let him go after 3 months when he attacked her in her bed with a hammer. What did they think he was going to do? Isn’t that attempted murder? We need myiq & angie’s legal feedback on this, though I’m sure it’s different for each state.

    As far as his “worldview,” Bostonboomer can tell us that this is more that just perspective. This man is clearly deranged. If he can’t control his impulses, he needs to be controlled. This is so tragic. Has someone gotten word to HRC’s office? Maybe she can do something to help.

  33. Yes, Kim, we often find women from very wealthy families at the shelter – there are women and kids from all levels of society who come for help.
    Unfortunately there is no differentiation.

  34. If you give the abused women the empowerment and the knowledge that this is not okay, they will leave. Statistics show that abusers seek out the same type of woman time and time again. WHY? Because they know it will be okay. Most women in abusive relationships blame themselves, if the house had been clean enough, if I lost some weight, if dinner had been on the table on time. I did this a long time and I have seen it all.

  35. Joanelle – He only hit a woman. Nothing to see here, move along.


  36. Joanelle, then you have to know that if he had slapped a man, it would have been simple assault and he probably would have only gotten a fine, with no sentence. The DV laws have helped some, but there is not enough protection for the women who do leave.

  37. Women who leave face a much higher chance of being killed, because once the abuser loses his control, he has to get it back and that usually means he will try to kill her.

  38. It’s hard to believe that they incarcerated that scum for only 3 months.

    You have to lock ’em up and throw away the key. Therapy won’t change these bastards. I’d see society hang them with no more compunction than it takes to swat a fly.

  39. Speaking of socioeconomic backgrounds: a good friend of mine from high school was from a respected DC political family. Her father was comptroller of Florida years ago. She was very intelligent, well-educated, and sophisticated. I lost touch with her over the years, and then saw her name in the school bulletin obituary section 2 years ago. I went online and searched until I found out what happened. The story was in a local paper re: domestic violence–she was choked to death by her estranged husband in Alexandria, VA. She was very active in public service, and left behind a 3 year old boy.

  40. So, I think the gals in India have the right idea -show up, show ’em how and show you’ll not back down! 👿

  41. Joanelle, in our shelters, women could not bring their sons over twelve years of age, because statistically speaking, they will become abusers. Now what is a woman supposed to do if she has older sons?

  42. Speaking of empowering women – I saw this on Lehrer’s show last night.


    It’s a project that takes poor women and employs them, teaches them job and life skills, and when they’re ready, helps integrate them into the work force.

    Both my husband and I were in tears after watching this special. The organization is small, but it’s very successful, and its ideas and principles can and should be done on a national level.

  43. I respectfully disagree with your premise that “abusers do not usually seek out strong women.”

    Strong women can definitely find themselves pulled into a relationship with an abuser during the “honeymoon” phase.

    My friend, Susan, was very strong, and independent…I have no idea what happened there.

  44. When I referenced all socioeconomic/educationa;/professional levels, I meant across the spectrum of all women.

    We all know DV is not isolated to a single female demographic. Yet, you characterize those at the receiving end as victims who aren’t “strong” enough to keep themselves from becoming involved with an abuser.

    I am smart and tough and came from a home where my mother was treated with respect by my father. Unfortunately, I was also very naive about the ways of the world and was charmed into a relationship with an abuser.

    I got out of the relationship, but was stalked so relentlessy by him that I had to move thousands of miles away.

    During that time, I saw the situation occur with other women I knew, and not a one of us would I describe as weak, or a victim.

    Of course at that time no one talked about DV. Now we that we do talk about it, we are told those of us who have experienced it are victims or not strong enough.

    I am forthright and candid in discussing this, I refuse to be ashamed of myself for trusting someone naively.

    Those who have had the good fortune to never experience the receiving end of DV can pat themselves on the back for being so smart or strong or whatever it was that intervened to keep them from that fate.

    However, statistics indicate that almost half of us experience it at some point in our lives, and if we don’t open up and discuss it, without being embarrassed or ashamed, it will continue to happen behind closed doors, with the recipients of the DV feeling that they’ve done something wrong.

  45. You are misinterpreting “strong women”. You can be strong in every facet of your life, but when it comes to love, marriage and relationships, every one is different.

    And there is no honeymoon phase. I promise, ask her now, and she will tell you there were signs. There always are, we just read them wrong.

  46. Sorry, but I have experienced it. I am a touch me not and a don’t get too close type, my sister is the punching bag. Growing up in it has made it my passion.

  47. However, statistics indicate that almost half of us experience it at some point in our lives, and if we don’t open up and discuss it, without being embarrassed or ashamed, it will continue to happen behind closed doors, with the recipients of the DV feeling that they’ve done something wrong.

    DV: I agree. It’s too general a characterization. That’s like saying rape is somehow the woman’s fault. We are all susceptible to less than healthy relationships due to insecurities etc. There are many elements at work here, but the accepted “inferiority” of women and their subjugation is part of the culture. That’s why something as small as the Favreau incident is NOT small, and those who dismiss it do not understand that it only adds to the perception that it is o.k. to assault women.

  48. There is a huge difference in experiencing it, seeing it for what it is and getting the hell outta there. I am speaking of women who stay, they make the excuses and stay. Big major difference.

  49. …”abusers do not usually seek out strong women…”

    Also, depends on the abuse. I always thought of myself as a strong woman and would never tolerate even a hint of physical abuse in any relationship. Having said that, I found myself in an emtionally and mentally abusive relationship. Those are incidious. They creep up on you and wear down your self esteem until, in my case, I looked at myself and said, “Who is this woman? I have no tolerence for women like this, and I’ve become one myself.” Needless to say, I wasn’t in that relationship very long, but I wanted to chime in on the fact that even “strong” women can get suckered into unhealthy relationships.

    Who knows? Had I stayed with him, it may have become physically abusive.

  50. It’s such a complicated issue, and needs to be addressed from all angles–psychological, social, educational, legal, legislative. There are no simple solutions.

  51. RealKim: thankfully, women like you are out there working hard on the issue. Thank you for spending your time and effort.

  52. TRK –

    Joanelle, then you have to know that if he had slapped a man, it would have been simple assault and he probably would have only gotten a fine, with no sentence.

    This guy hit her over the head with a hammer. That’s attempted murder, right?

    Why was he let out after three months after attempting to kill her?

    I would like to send a throw pillow to all legislators and judges with the following saying on it:

    “What if it were a man?”

    Restricting birth control – “What if it were a man?”

    Letting a murderer out after three months – “What if he had tried to kill a man?”

    Etc. etc. etc.

    Maybe this is a type of protest we can do as PUMAs instead of marching in the streets, which seems to be too easily ignored by our politicians these days.

  53. First, a note of sympathy for Betty Jean and her daughters. I do not know any of them personally, but what this family is enduring is awful.

    Second, I’ve been reading the thread, and may I respectfully suggest that there’s not a major clash between what TheRealKim and others are saying. Domestic violence against women is a particularly extreme and horrid variety of misogynistic conduct. It is also a pervasive systemic problem in our society and that relates to the ways in which men and women are indoctrinated (consciously or not) into a culture of hatred of women. That culture attacks the self-esteem and strength of women from the time they are girls – hence the need for education of the sort TheRealKim talks about. At the same time, it warps men’s sense of how it is legitimate to treat women – and in the worst cases of warping leads to a sense of entitlement to physically attack them.

  54. I’m backing up Real Kim on this — I know tons of dynamic women who are “strong women” in every aspect of their lives EXCEPT personal relationships — not all are victims of domestic abuse, of course, but you must know some women who are super-smart, great at their jobs, etc but always pick “losers” for lovers. Heck, I used to be one of those myself!

    Personally, I prefer to think about it like this: there are Wolves in this world & there are sheep — the wolves leave other wolves alone & prey on the sheep until the sheep wises up & starts to recognize the wolves. I’ve learned to recognize the wolves.

  55. I am probably going to bet nailed big time for this one, but in a way, it is our fault. We are sitting here talking about it and not out on the streets or sitting on the steps of our legislators screaming. We have the power to stop this. Legislation, education, we can stop it.

    If a woman is raped, it is still okay for an attorney to find a little window and bring out her previous indiscretions. Its okay to grope a carboard cutout, its okay to wear a t-shirt calling a woman a c&*t. If a man beats a woman and she has no where to turn, for help, that is not okay.

  56. Gentle Heidi Li – the voice of reason, as always.


  57. Madam, you are so right – if any of these things happened to a man the perpetrator would be put away for a very long time.

  58. about Betty Jean & her daughters — what the hell kind of world are we living in? This is just a heartbreaking story.

  59. Thank you, madamab.

  60. We stick women in shelters, but they can’t afford lawyers to gain custody of their children. They can usually only stay a few months, some areas have transitional housing, but they are few and far between.

  61. TRK – I think that’s what we’re all learning this election cycle.

    We are complicit in our own disenfranchisement. Womens’ organizations endorsed Obama over Hillary. Famed feminists attacked Sarah Palin based on easily debunked fairy tales. A majority of women denied the reality that Obama is a sexist, misogynistic pig who is likely to further restrict their freedom instead of expand it, and voted for him instead of the ticket that dared to put a qualified, capable and intelligent woman on it.

    Blame is not helpful, but action is. We need to wake up our sisters and organize around simple, easy goals, like Heidi Li’s 51%, or getting the ERA ratified, or the 30% Solution. Our “feelings” aren’t important to our cause. Achieving concrete goals is the only thing we should be focusing on.


  62. I have to say that IMHO respect is a key factor. Boys who grow up seeing their mother and women treated with respect continue that respect in their manhood. That is why the Favreau incident upsets me so, he was clearly not respectful of HRC.

  63. Until an abuser hurts or kills others too….like at the work place, society isn’t much interested. Because it sees it as a property issue. Abusing his own” property” is tolerated ….but not others so much.

    The Press is horrified by “honor ” killings, but that’s what domestic violence here is. It’s amazing we have the laws we do. They came from alot of hard work and women dying .Years ago it was called “life” , not domestic abuse . In KY they now have a law that the victim of DV is notified when her abuser is released. Great. But a woman had to die because she wasn’t told to get that law .

    A big part of stopping it however is calling the guy out when it’s still “little” things. But we are raised to “understand” ugh. I’m thinking of that Favreau photo here. That boys will be boys stuff is such poison….it so often leads to more .

    Thank you for this post RD, I’m so sorry for Betty Jean, Denise and Louisa. A Louisa Law is a great idea

  64. I really loved Betty Jean on the radio, particularly when she was on with Pagan Power. She had so many flashes of natural-born poetry in her.

    I am deeply sorry that this should have happened to her family.

  65. TheRealKim,

    Thanks for clarifying. When you described the two categories of women who are recipients of DV, I saw I didn’t fit into either one.

    Since my experience, I have balked at any sort of pigeon holing of DV recipients. We come from all walks, and unique backgrounds. Talking about it together is an essential first step.

    Thanks for your work on this, I do my part working with those who live with DV in my day to day clinical work.

    It’s frustrating and maddening how commonplace it is.

  66. Part of the problem is women are taught never to hurt a man’s pride. Never embarrass him always empower him. For some men this is a sign that the woman is not strong and it is ok to belittle her, use violence against her as she is second to him.
    Some men undermine women in ways that are not seen until it is too late. Mom is just there to make life better and deserves no respect. Mom is just a maid and has no rights.
    Not all men are like this.



  67. During the Jim Crow Era, blacks of all sorts were physically abused by whites of all sorts. Remember not only the lynchings but the photos of people spitting on little black girls going to integrated schools for the first time or Bull Connor turning firehoses on peaceful protesters. It took a long time, but civil rights laws on the books were ultimately enforced against the perpetrators of the violence and those on the receiving end marched, protested, and sat in until they were.

    There were blacks who thought MLK, Jr was “too radical” – they were afraid of backlash or they had come to internalize a status quo that left them vulnerable to every form of insult and injury.

    Women need their own movement: we need a constitutional amendment that protects our civil rights (passage of the ERA). We need to join together in marches as where we walk with one another as women, where those with strength and resilience lend some of that to those who do not have it at the moment and those who do not have it at that moment gain it by exercising liberty even in the face of danger. Acting with courage is often the first step to becoming courageous.

    Perhaps 51 Percent will convene a teach-in on the subject of empowering women to fight misogyny.

  68. Thanks Angie for backing me up and I bet, when you look back on the experience their were subtle signs that you passed off as “love”. And I would bet the farm, when those signs exhibit themselves now, you back off, because you know what they mean. That is how we educate women, give them the knowledge that “Honey, that ain’t love”.

  69. Crap sorry wrong there and their.

  70. The Favreau affair – which I’m not done fighting about, by the way – illustrates the way in which our culture tolerates the pervasive misogyny that makes it hard to get people to understand that domestic violence against women is a hate crime and should be penalized as such.

  71. Kim — you would win that bet — the signs were totally there — but I was young at the time (a mere babe at 22) and didn’t see them for what they were. I will NEVER makes those same mistakes again.

  72. helenk, on December 18th, 2008 at 10:52 am Said:

    Right on.

  73. Heidi, you are my hero. We have to move on this and stop allowing it to happen. Action speaks louder than words.

  74. TRK: I agree with you about not seeing the signs. It is charming when your boyfriend calls all the time when you aren’t together. He is monitoring and checking up on the girl, but it seems like he is thinking about her all the time… Or he just wants to be with her all the time.

    Fast forward a couple years, and it is clearly controlling. The signs were there, it just didn’t *seem* like a sustainable level of attention.

    He now wants to know why it took so long to go to the store or why are you home late from work? She has to show receipts to “prove” she went to the store. If she visits friends, he calls every few minutes to ‘check in’ and challenges where she was… Eventually, she is isolated and now he can do more.

    I suppose, most women won’t admit they are being abused because they know deep down to get the hell out and aren’t ready to admit it isn’t a fixable situation.

  75. TRK, and Heidi, WORD.
    I was 5 years old when I was abused. Didn’t remember until recently. When I asked my sisters, they remembered, but didn’t think it was a huge problem. I was 9 when I was next abused, 14 next, and 20 when rape entered my live. I am not unque, more’s the pity.Being blonde and cute was perhaps a sign. I was royally screwed up – one husband cost me several hundrend thousands of dollars, one lover (father of my children) cost me over 100K, I went to lawyers….they were less than comforting. I raised my children by myself. I learned a valuable lesson, however, I’m one of the lucky ones. I cut off all relationships.
    Today, my son wants me to date. I know he has no idea about what he is asking, however, it’s comforting to know that maybe I done good.? I raised a Y chromosome to care about the X’es.

  76. Heidi, the tolerance of misogyny means women second guess when they are being mis-treated. We are told we just didn’t understand the joke if we didn’t think it was funny.

  77. Angie, most all of us have experienced it some way, it is how we handle Round Two, that separates us from victims and empowerment.

  78. I did not pay much attention to the women’s movement during the 60s as I was working and raising kids. Other than abortion, what have they done to help women? Did they work for the ERA? If so , how much? Over the years just how much have they done for women in issues other than abortion?
    In many places we still do not have equal pay or support for child care.
    When the court awards child support to a woman what are the chances of really getting it? this makes a difference of whether a woman stays or goes in a bad situtation. Can I support my children.
    I am just trying to understand why if we have these groups why are things not better?



  79. HT – I am sooooo with you. I haven’t had a relationship in years. I just can’t trust anyone except me. I get so tired of hearing, “You are such a pretty little lady, you should get out more.” This pretty little lady will bite your ass off if you get to damn close.

  80. {{{{HT}}}}

    The terrible thing is that this type of abuse is so d*mn common. And yet, women are not supposed to admit that it’s happening.

    Bringing this ugly and violent behavior into the light is something that must be done and is part of educating women that they are not alone and that, as TRK said, abuse isn’t love.

    Maybe Louisa’s Law could also establish federally-funded safe houses for women to meet and discuss their abuse, whether emotional, physical or both. The safe houses could also have information about shelters, child care, job placement services, and other important resources.

  81. Helenk: ITS THE SYSTEM. If you put him in jail, she gets no child support. Then we are looking at food stamps, section 8 housing, etc.

    In North Carolina, the Statute was 50B. That was what we called the order, a 50B. The statute provided for the woman to receive the home, child support, custody, the vehicle, etc. Complete care of the woman who was abused. The court system refused to use the statute to its full value. So you wound up with women with no home, no money, no car to get to work and looking at losing custody.

  82. I believe that women’s groups to dates have refused to stand up and say misogyny is the problem. Not sexism, which by the way the can be directed at men – sexism is chauvinistically thinking one group better than another, whereas misogyny is a action-provoking hatred. Sometimes self-hatred, when it is internalized by women, sometimes hatred by men of women.

    But people find it more pleasant to talk about sexism – they shy away from talking or thinking about the blunt sheer problem of hatred. Thinking about hatred hurts. But it is hatred of women that is the at the base of all the social ills that afflict them as women- including when they are treated in sexist ways. Sexist bias against women is “polite company’s” variation on misogyny.

  83. “to date” not “to dates”

  84. I think economic empowerment plays an enormous role in the way women are treated and respected in a society. If you look at the spread of Islam many centuries ago, you see that Islamic women in SE Asia were treated with far more respect and less restrictively than Middle Eastern Islamic women. The reason this is so is because centuries ago, there was an economic necessity for women to run small businesses and assist in supporting the family in SE Asia. No such necessity existed in the Middle East, and the culture there developed in such a way that women were considered property.

    I think HRC realized this a long time ago and that’s why she champions economic empowerment and opportunity for women.

  85. Helenk – these groups became about “feelings.” They claimed that “the personal is political.” For the most part, they stopped focusing on legislative solutions and became focused on personal empowerment, which means different things to different women and is too diffuse to inspire action.

    They decided to let Roe v. Wade take all their legislative attention, which divided them instantaneously from tens of millions of other women who could have supported them in the fight to ratify the ERA or get equal pay for equal work laws passed.

    I am sure they meant well, but they are over after their shameful behavior in this election cycle. We cannot rely on them any more. We must rely on ourselves.

  86. janicen, on December 18th, 2008 at 11:11 am Said:
    I am in agreement with you, totally.

  87. I conducted three CLE’s for magistrates, judges, and law enforcement. Most all were men, most all were of the midset, “Well, why doesn’t she just leave?” None of them knew the cycle of violence and that she had been so indoctrinated into this treatment, that she felt she had no options. Most abused women feel worthless, because they have been told for years they are worthless by their abuser. When the one person who took a vow to love you and cherish you, the one person who is expected to respect you doesn’t, it hurts you in a way, you cannot imagine. Your entire self value and esteem shoots right out the window.

  88. HT, I was right there with you, once. After my first, short lived, emotionally abusive marriage, I decided I would rather be alone. If I hadn’t met the enlightened, wonderful, gentleman I am currently married to, I would still be alone.

    There are good ones out there. Very few, but they are worth waiting for.

  89. I have been lurking, I feel inadequate to say anything meaningful to Betty Jean. I just went to check my email and aol is still pushing the ‘he’s lucky to be alive’ story that has been up for days. Some stupid person, who jumped out of a plane for no good reason (Only good reason would be the plane was crashing.) and had his parachute get caught up or something. I have never actually read the story. Why isn’t Louise’s story being highlighted. Lucky to be alive. We are all daredevils, living in America as women. “Living as Women” is the new “Driving While Black”. Read Murphy’s post from yesterday (Buy a gun), it will have an impact on you.

  90. Love yourself and only then can you be loved.

  91. Heidi Li – and yet, some men get misogyny totally and completely. I heart them and give them extra points for being willing to let go of the patriarchy that gives them so many advantages just for having a p*n*s.

    The only good thing about this election was that it absolutely tore the mask off the misogyny in our society. Those who ignored it or apologized for it are usually profiting from it in some way.

  92. Okay, I’m off to fight the crowds and do some Christmas shopping. I love the women who comment and post here. Thank you for continuing to inspire and motivate me.

  93. I do not want to hijack this thread, but before I return to lurking, I wanted you to know, if you do not already that 51 percent is now officially incorporated (as of two days ago!); it can accept tax-deductible contributions (best way to do that for now is mail); a website is in the works (SM feels well enough to help with a logo by the way – she has been occasionally writing to me since you all asked after her, and she’s doing better). You can see the corporate docs here: http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2008/12/good-thing-51-percent-never-expected-fighting-misogyny-to-top-moveons-potential-goals-for-the-coming.html and a more general update here: http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2008/12/introducing-51-per-cent.html

    And, there is another small surprise that I hope will become evident over the course of the day.

    Let me close with a thought for Betty Jean and her family.

  94. dear women– you don’t know how we men can be. If you did, you’d sound more like me with the ‘lock ’em up, hang ’em’ talk.

    I’m not saying you have to agree with every word in these lyrics, but she’s on the right track in dealing with a bad guy…


  95. Honora: I never believed in owning a gun, but being an advocate for abused women, I received many threats. It was suggested that all advocates could take the basic law enforcement training to keep ourselves safe. I took the class and wow! I felt so much better just knowing how to defend myself. I can shoot a pistol, a shotgun and a rifle. I also learned self defense without a weapon.

    But going back to victimization, I was threatened so many times and not one of those cowardly a$$holes ever carried through.

  96. TRK and Angie-What are the signs?

  97. madamab, on December 18th, 2008 at 11:19 am Said:

    Agreed, 100 per cent, many people including a significant number of men are not misogynistic. Just as there were, during the Jim Crow years here and the apartheid years in South Africa, whites who appreciated the horrors of hatred of blacks. To object to misogyny is not to accuse all men of being misogynists (although it is amazing to me how often one must explain that, especially to men (smile)).

  98. Who is the judge who gave this guy a 3 month sentence for hitting someone in the head with a hammer?

  99. DYB – I want to send him/her one of my throw pillows!

    “What if it were a man?”

    If that judge had seen a man hit over the head with a hammer, wanna bet the sentence would have been a lot harsher?

  100. I’m very sorry to read this this morning.

    I did a search for “new jersey domestic violence shelters” and came up with about 55,000 results. This is an area the Democratic Women have been involved with for a long time. This is also an area where funding has been cut, drastically.

    I worked as a therapist in this area.

    I want to say this PUMA-to -PUMA. If you are in a situation like the story here, and afraid, don’t be. You must explore what your options are by meeting with the counselors and therapists available to you. I suggest that you get help for yourself first. Abusers go through “Anger Management” — Victims learn “Self-Esteem building”

    If the situation is bad for you — you need a “safety plan” you can look that up in the web. The shelters are like safe-houses — like an “Underground” and women and children move into that system.

    The holidays are trigger points because of stress. You can learn about “The Cycle of Violence” in the web. Poverty and economic distress undermine the “social fabric” that would prevent this.

    Generally, the abuser has seen a parent act in these same ways — so it is a learned behavior —

    I do not believe in doing Family Therapy when it comes to DV. It doesn’t work because the victim needs so much work. Each partner needs to do their own work to get at the roots of “why” —

    Any substance abuse over the top increases DV.

    Think about your kids. That will give you the courage you might need to make that phone call to a Shelter and leave.

    The “victim” goes through a process where their self-esteem is worn down until there is almost nothing left. This is why they feel they cannot leave, and often it is economic too.

    Also, it isn’t just males who abuse. This can go both ways, and across gender lines, and homosexuality lines as well. It transcends wealthy and poor families.

    It is a dynamic that becomes a reality for the couple, over time.

    The abuser often feels they are gaining “control” of things by acting out against another — the partner or the children.

    If you want to give a present this Christmas — a donation to a Shelter in your area — either a toy, or cash would be a way of helping from a distance?

    Thank you Riverdaughter, for writing about this issue. My heart goes out to Betty Jean as well.

    Perhaps this might be an issue Caroline Kennedy would consider taking up — now that she feels she can be a Senator?

    This cause has been sacred to most Second Wave Feminists in her age group. It’s a Democratic Women’s issue. It has been for years.

  101. Meanwhile, as of December 16, according to one of RD’s links to a NJ newspaper:
    “Hartwig is being held at the Bergen County jail. Bail is set at $1 million, with no 10 percent option.”

  102. Laurie: 1. Jealousy. 2. Wanting to be with you ALL the time and I mean monopolizing your time. This takes you away from friends and family. 3. Moving way too fast. 4. Obsessiveness about their commitment to you. 5. Taking complete control. “Don’t worry yourself about bills, I will take care of that,” behavior. 6. Calling all the time and allowing no time to socialize. 7. Inquiring as to where you were and who you were with, wanting to know in minutiae, your every moment of the day.

    Many women mistake these signs as devotion, beware.

  103. So many thoughts, so little time. It’s hard to believe that the women’s movement has been dealt such a thundering blow before women ever achieved true equality. The fight against domestic violence for awhile was gaining strength, then suddenly diminished. I agree both with TRK, RD, Heidi Li, and Madamab, and others. We have to develop much more clout, much more education, and we have to fight the entire system (as Violet Socks often describes) with concrete, organized, and planned efforts. The Obama campaign has done great harm to a system that was already backtracking but this is our window of opportunity to take the bull by the horns and move forward in the system ways that have been cited here and elsewhere. We must press hard for the ERA, full representation demographically, education at young levels, and we must recognize that coddling people who commit small acts of violence or silly “boys will be boys’ ” behavior on cardboard cutouts are all part of the system we must fight against. Once again, women have been sacrificed in our society and at a time when we also have many people moving into our country bringing ancient views about women as chattel.

    The deafening silence from public men and older women’s organizations remains shocking.

  104. What has happened to Betty Jean is just so heartbreaking and we see these scenes played over and over again on a regular basis in our communities. It is so utterly, tyrannically wrong.

  105. While domestic violence runs rampant, our President-elect jokes about his cabinet being strongest in terms of basketball talent. And has Rick Warren, homophobic-clergyman-will-travel, giving the blessing at the inauguration.

  106. Yes Heidi, our leader is thinking of much more important things.

    And we can’t forget, that most of these statutes do not even cover DV in gay/lesbian relationships.

  107. Over at PUMA pac, Murphy has some good action steps and instructions on how to take them, specifically with regard to the Hartwig arraignment today.

  108. Heidi Li, what a travesty that the Democratic party selected and the country elected such a man. Already he has set a horrible tone for us. It’s hard to believe that the man’s words will really be a “blessing.” Where are the blessings for American women and the young children?

  109. DYB, you asked who the judge was in the original episode? The judge the Hon. Lois Lipton.

  110. Alwaysthinking – Why honey they are gonna take care of us, no sense worrying our pretty little heads over that. Now go knit some booties.

  111. Heidi Li – Don’t forget that he has a detailed plan to fix the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) for college football. (I’ll believe it when I see it. Since he didn’t steal it from Hillary or McCain, it’s probably all about hoping and changing.)

    Yup, President-elect Treebeard has certainly gotten his priorities in order.

  112. ALERT:



    Bergen County Justice Center
    10 Main Street
    Hackensack. NJ 07601
    (201) 527-2700

  113. OT, but I cannot believe it: I just got an email over James Carville’s name asking me to complain about the press’s rightwing attacks on the incoming administration.

    Meanwhile I also received a link you all may find of interest: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/the-51-percent-organization-formed-to-eliminate-modern-day-misogyny,660710.shtml

  114. so women are supposed to be a punching bag because some man is unhappy with himself? for years law enforcement sorta viewed things that way. the response of the media says to me that on some level there is still a feeling that a good kick is ok. witness the mauling of the hillary cutout and the hehehe no big deal by so called journalists. i had to travel the road where i said to myself “you have no right to mistreat me because i am woman.”

  115. What a terrible, evil crime.

    Kim & vbonnaire, you are my heroes for working in DV.

    Laurie, also beware of men who are critical of how you dress, act, behave. Or draw you into revealing something about your self as a confidence then use that later against you to win an argument. Or starts feeding you suspicions about your friends and family (to make you draw away from them). These are things a controlling person does.

  116. One more thing, vbonnairre, we were able in a few extreme instances, to get a new SS number and identity. Also, most statutes allow for no contact divorces and if DV is in your record, you do not have to meet for mediation or with social workers for family planning.

    The most important thing in this situation is a safety plan. These women should start trying to hide money, have a place to go, and have a bag packed and hidden for necessities and important documents.

  117. I am in moderation and my head hurts.

  118. Where can someone like me who is retired and only works two days a week go to volunteer and help.
    In my life experience I had to learn to stand on my own and have taught my daughters to do the same.
    maybe i could do a little bit of good.

    did you get to see backtrack’s theme song?
    Did yoy laugh?



  119. should read
    did you laugh?

  120. I think it was Mountain Sage or Helenk that reminded us the term “Rule of Thumb” comes from an old law on the books allowing a man to hit his wife with nothing larger than the circumference of his thumb. Nice little bit of trivia there (blech).

  121. Awesome, Heidi Li!

  122. Helenk – didn’t have time last night, but I will.


  123. Shelters need help, and volunteers are needed. You have to go through a pretty rigorous background check and they will train you. Most of our shelters used volunteers as drivers to and from work, and in fund raising. You can usually find the shelters number ( a dummy number ) in the phone book.

  124. taggles, Betty and her daughters will be in my prayers; in fact, I’ll be thinking of them at a latin mass tonight.

    P.S. Carville– what a hack. Complaining about right wing attacks. Well, I’m complaining about not seeing any right wing attacks.

  125. TRK-thanks.

  126. One warning though, it is traumatic and it is not pretty at all. The last few years I did this, (I only quit because it just didn’t pay enough when I became single), they were starting to learn that many of us were suffering from PTSD, through vicarious contact.

    The stories are horrendous and I was limited to taking six new cases a day, for some reason, seven was my breaking point. Every time I took in seven, I found myself outside smoking and crying.

  127. Kim, I hear you loud and clear.
    Janicen, I’m glad you found one of the keepers.
    Vbonnaire, it it’s been a cuse, why hasn’t it be uppermost in terms os publicity and legislation.

    What do I know? I’m an alcholic senior lady who envies her best friends because they found the decent men….even though those decent men have some very peculiar ideas about women.

    Until women are considered on the same level as MEN, there won’t be any improvement.
    Women are important, they are the font of life, they are intelligent and have so much to give. My nephew is a lawyer. His significant other is a researcher in neuro-biology. She is investigating spinal injuries from the neural perspective.
    Tell me now that she isn’t one helluva human being because she happens to be female.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but if you are female, and you create/discover something that helps males, then you are a-okay.
    if you are female and just exist, you are fair game for any male who feels inadequate.

    That does not mean that I ignore the wonderful efforts by males who are……wonderful but darn iot all, if there were majority of men, then we would not be having this discussion

  128. What do you know HT? Obviously, a lot more than you give yourself credit for, because you hit it on the head. The men who abuse feel inadequate. Abusing gives them a feeling of importance.

  129. I had another thought as I was getting ready for work…how about the love of a sister? Louisa stepped in front of Denise to protect her.

    That’s true, unconditional love.

  130. Well ya know, Carville knows better. But the ordinary people who believed that the “attacks” on Obama all came from rightwing sources…I can’t blame them.

    The rightwing should not have been making stuff up out of whole cloth every day of every year for the past 30 years, if they wanted attacks on Democrats to be credible. The wingnuts and their leaders had a false sense of their own power and importance because it suited the media to repeat their lies and slander 24-7. Look at John Kerry and the Swiftboaters.

    This year, we tried to bring up real facts and issues that should be troubling to any Democrat, and we were tarred with the rightwing brush because we were “attacking” him. Even worse, we were not believed because the media suddenly decided that Obama was going to be President, and stopped repeating even the most dispassionate and fact-based criticisms of Obama.

    So, rightwingers, you broke it, we own it. Thanks a f*ckload for destroying America.

  131. Fantastic, Heidi Li. May your news release impact spread like wildfire!
    And I just sent two of the three requests requested by Murphy at Puma Pac.

    Isn’t it sad, TRK, that we remain honeys in these regards? So much of this honeying reminds me of the honeying of the 50s and 60s when the good old boys in charge told us it was best if we didn’t have the right to our own credit cards, etc., etc., etc. It was for our “protection.”

    Funny thing that this kind of attitude is still so totally ingrained in our society in thousands of little ways. Yesterday, I was shopping with my son in an upscale store where he had to buy something. We overheard a man responding to a clerk’s offer to help. He said (and it didn’t even sound like he was joking) that he was looking around because he wouldn’t dare let her loose in the store! (I guess she can’t go to a store on her own without his knowledge?!!)

    It reminded me so often of hearing men brag about “their” women spending “their” money! Most women are long past those days but one has to wonder if the men have changed at all.

  132. madamab and I are on the same page once again with her comments! The Right Wing can take responsibility for their never ending “investigation” of the Clinton’s which made this poisoned atmosphere acceptable. Them and the ever compliant press.

  133. “her” meaning “his wife.”

  134. If “doing unto others” are words to live by then I would like to slam my hammer into this monster’s head a few times just to be able to make sure he is listening.

  135. I think Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Hillary would work on a Louisa Law. Congresswoman Maloney has been working on many women issues including Human Trafficking. Her website.


  136. OT — Pat, stumbled on this site on hwo to wrap stuff up fancy, japanese style, and thought of you. 🙂


  137. I hope it’s understood I was being facetious on that last line, although I still think complaining about too many right wing attacks on Obama is like saying there was too much rain in the dust bowl.

  138. How the hell does New Jersey make hitting someone in the head with a hammer into a misdemeanor? How was the asshole actually charged?

    In Texas, it would be at least assault with a deadly weapon, which is felony wity state prison time attached. Depending on the circumstances–did he break into the house to attack the victim–it might also warrant a charge of attempted captial murder. Something went terribly, terribly wrong in the judicial system in this case.

  139. votermom: I iinished at last! Love, love, love gift bags! After reviewing that Japanese style wrapping, I came to the conclusion that even this is just too much work.

    Toward the end I was slapping on bows, throwing into the gift bags, and drowning it in tissue.

    I am always searching for the easy way out. I found it!!

  140. This is a huge, complex subject for a thread. I imagine almost everyone on this thread has had their life touched on in some way by violence against women. I imagine there are an incredible number of stories. It all raises a lot of feelings in me.

    I do think that it starts in ways that seem small – like the abusing of Hillary’s picture (which I did not react to immediately). When women, or any person, is diminished and it is acceptable behavior, it sets the stage for further diminishing. When we experience it all the time in small ways, our sense of worth is diminished and we are weakened in our ability to stop it.

    I have never married; have always relied only on myself. But it feels like a brittle kind of strength.

    Last year my girlfriend encouraged me to ‘date’ her brother. He moved too fast and I stopped it rather quickly. Then he stalked me. Six months later he shot himself in the head.

    Now I have a neighbor who is a bully. It consists of verbal abuse and vandalism. He has not attacked my physically, but he stomps on my gardens. My other neighbors choose to look the other way. They were mad at ME after the police were sent out. It has gone on a long time. What does one do?

    Amazingly, due to my persistence, our town is going to have a meeting with him that includes a town official, an elected official and chief of police – and me. This is something new and different. It can be hard to be believed and you cannot count on people understanding how truly wrong and serious it is. Apparently somebody gets it – I hope; I think.

  141. until recently if a woman worked before she died and had children under 18years old her children did not get ss benifits like they would have if the father died.
    Thank God this changed. Most working women have two jobs the paid one and the job of raising children and keeping house.
    There are so many things that have to be changed in this country for women. Where do we start.
    Yes the ERA is a very big thing that needs to be done.
    But what small steps can we start with while working for the ERA.
    Under the administration federal laws will not change to help women,
    but what and where do we start to do to change state laws regarding DV, child support and other necessary things for women and children to have a safe and secure life..
    If it is not safe for children in shelters to go to school can we make the state provide tudors?



  142. Pat, hurray for you!
    I am jealous — I’m not finished wrapping yet. O rcleaning. Or baking.


  143. I still have to say, women need an education in these areas. I heard on the radio this morning that suspected wife killer Drew Peterson is getting married again. This 53 yr old man who is suspected of killing not one, but two wives, is marrying a 23 year old. Now, I am sorry, but somebody in this situation is just plain dumb.

  144. TheRealKim, on December 18th, 2008 at 11:31 am Said:

    Laurie: 1. Jealousy. 2. Wanting to be with you ALL the time and I mean monopolizing your time. This takes you away from friends and family. 3. Moving way too fast. 4. Obsessiveness about their commitment to you. 5. Taking complete control. “Don’t worry yourself about bills, I will take care of that,” behavior. 6. Calling all the time and allowing no time to socialize. 7. Inquiring as to where you were and who you were with, wanting to know in minutiae, your every moment of the day.
    That seem to be the generic script for these relationships…I have a friend who is married to one of these jerks and she has finally filed for divorce…hopefully she won’t chicken out. The really sad thing is that she is now showing interest in another man who is exactly the same as the POS she is married to.

  145. Like I said upthread, many of these women gravitate to abusers, because they are lacking in esteem. They seem to think all the elaborate attention and jealousy equals love.

  146. The Real Kim has given an idea of what the work is about. It is difficult to change ingrained patterns in people. It can take years and years — I know this.

    So many funds that were available have been cut for so many things, especially this — but — anyone in this situation CAN CHANGE. It may take moving in the underground to a different state. I think my point is that for the most part — it is about “control.”

    Needing to feel in control.

    Right now we are in a time of non-support for social programs — when it is these very programs (plus education) that solve things like DV.

    To give you an idea of what it’s like — the film “The Burning Bed” illustrates it — also the film “Sleeping with the Enemy” these are two that show the dynamic. These sorts of films need to be made, over for present day.

    One of the reasons I want to write now is to do that — in a way that works more “largely” across the field…by example.

    On the victim’s part — generally it is “shame” that prevents someone from seeking help. Once the victim learns how many others have also experienced or survived similar things — it opens up a place for changing — via other’s stories/support. Often at Shelters we did both group and individual therapy for that reason.

    Same thing over at Anger Management. The abusive partner needs to learn that they cannot control everything — and– they need to explore the roots of their need to feel like they have to and why they are triggered in the ways they are — to become violent.

    Only by exploring back to childhood can a person “learn” the whys. But, in this population SAFETY is the first thing.

    Also, the first step to changing the behavior is to CHANGE. The only way to stop?

    The victim must stand up against the abuse by physically leaving.

    The abuser must “take a walk” before acting out physically– by leaving.

    Most shelters offer free programs with therapist interns in all the states. You just make the decision that you will not live like that any more, and that you don’t want to bring up your children in that way.

    It is very hard on the volunteers, and hard on the therapists as well.

    It can also be dangerous work. But, anyone who can role model for these women or these men — same in gay/lesbian resource centers can help end it. The cycle of violence.

    The things we have seen in this election cycle that have caused this whole PUMA movement to coalesce are the same things going on in our society. You could say RD was “abused” and formed the Conf. after being bullied off. This is a really fantastic group of people, all stripes in here.

    Anyway — the safety plan looks like this:


    People who are in abusive situations are very afraid — this is why they don’t leave. Review this plan above out of Kansas. I posted about DV and I get lots of searches for that right now. The holidays are the hardest, and the worst time — because of the financial and emotional stressors.

    Also, some people have never seen “love” modeled towards them.
    They have never felt that — from family or partner — so they have no idea what that even looks like. Until they meet others who are like this. Many men cannot understand other men who act like this — just as women would say, “why does she put up with that?”

    Just know the roots go very deep. Back to childhood. The 30 per cent solution is a huge start all over again. Thankfully, this group of women is very empowered given our educations and training — in terms of the Second Wave.

  147. Betty Jean,Denise ,and Louisa, You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I pray for strength for all of you. Thank you Betty Jean for keeping us posted on so many important things relating to our life..inspite of all the heartbreaking times in your life.

  148. many of these women gravitate to abusers, because they are lacking in esteem. They seem to think all the elaborate attention and jealousy equals love.

    I think it’s not (just) that the women gravitate to them but that abusive men will intrude and take advantage of women with weak barriers (like just getting over a bad relationship) while non-abusive men will respect a barrier and move away.
    It’s like a thief trying all the doors in the building to see which apartment is unlocked.
    (Hope that makes sense)

  149. **DYB, you asked who the judge was in the original episode? The judge the Hon. Lois Lipton.**

    I still can’t get past this part. What judge gives someone 3 months for attacking someone with a hammer?

    This story stands out because it is so horrific. Unfortunately, it is one of many that could be told. Thanks to PUMAs for starting a new movement for women’s rights.

  150. What judge gives someone 3 months for attacking someone with a hammer?

    That is the hardest to believe. He attacked her with a hammer. He didn’t hit her by accident. His intention was to kill her. How would you let someone like that go free after 3 months?

  151. TheRealKim: Your assumptions about the backgrounds of abused women is too general. There are abused women who never witnessed abuse in their homes who end up in these situations. As for a solution? Well, the technology is available. An abuser such as Hartwig should be required to wear a monitoring device with GPS capabilities. His whereabouts should be strictly monitored. He should be required to get counseling and attend anger management training. He should be required to check in with a probation officer throughout the day. He should lose his license to drive and his car booted so he has to rely on other people for transportation. And his target should have access to tracking his movements so she can take defensive measures.
    It’s not as cut and dried as you seem to think. Some men don’t reveal themselves to be violent until after the wedding. And when a woman decides she’s had enough, she should be able to leave knowing that her personal
    safety is as important to society as the safety of any child in the crosshairs of a pedophile.

  152. bluelyon you are right. It’s not DV. It’s the War Against Women.

  153. Betty Jean has one of the most heart-rending, memorable moments in our film, which is near completion. I was humbled and speechless after her on-camera appearance.

  154. My heart goes out to Betty Jean and her daughters. I have to echo Janicen. “He hit her in the head with a hammer. He was sentenced to 3 months in prison for the attack and released.”

    How can a person committing a murder attempt — and I don’t see how hitting someone in the head with a hammer can be anything else– get just 3 months in prison? Did he get an early parole? I would like to know the names of the judge and prosecutors. Was there a jury? Do you have any links re the first attack?

    Betty Jean might want to inform the papers of the first murder attempt. People should understand that when a person makes a first murder attempt, it should be seen as such and taken seriously. The person should be put away for a very long time. Even threats should be taken seriously. That way, when they are on a jury, the perp gets sentenced to more than just three months.

    Spousal and family abuse is a civil rights issue. It needs to be seen and reported that way.

    I have been lucky enough never to have known abuse but I have known many victims of domestic abuse. Some had abusive parents. Others did not. Many of these victims were strong women, some with doctorate degrees. Sometimes the abuse did not start until the woman was pregnant, years after marriage. One case seemed an ideal marriage and abuse did not start until the man’s very unpleasant and abusive father died. I have known of women who were abusive — some beat their husbands (with various objects) as well as their children. I have known of at least case where the woman was abusive and accused the man of abuse — where he was innocent. (Not only were the children terrified of their mom and not him but there were other witnesses and he had two ex-wives willing to testify for him that he would never have lifted a finger to them or his children. She got a restraining order anyway and followed him around, claiming he was violating the order.) I have known victims of abusive childhoods who have never — thank goodness– had an abusive partner.

    It is a complicated world.


  155. Brad Mays, on December 18th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I remember the youtube video she made during the PA primary. I can never forget her plea to help Hillary and fight for Health care because of what had happened to her family.

    Thanks for making that film. I am hoping by the time you are done, it might be what is needed to wake some of the messiah’s followers up to the reality of what happened.

  156. Thanks Downticket.

    I’ll try to post Betty Jean’s scene on YouTube sometime this evening. I’ll leave a link in here for anyone who’s interested.

  157. RD: Yes, there are women out there who have experienced abuse, who did not experience it in their homes. However, statistics support that most of the women who “stay” have experienced something traumatic that would allow them to remain in the relationship. The statistics are even higher for women who remain in the relationship after a second incident. I am not blaming the women, but education and empowerment are key to stopping the cycle. All the things you mentioned are available, but you can only do so much. I know this because I worked in this for 12 years, I am certified in my state and have testified in many cases. These are not assumptions, they are based on statistics. Even if we were able to use the ways you mentioned, how do we stop the women who allow the men to come back. Time and time again, I have seen law enforcement come to the home, remove the man from the premises, because the woman will not press charges, only to return an hour or so later to find the woman beaten even worse, because she wanted him to come home. Victimless prosecution is almost impossible, we tried it over and over again. If she choses to tell the judge, he didn’t do it, you are sunk. We even tried to get social services to take the children, that didn’t succeed because then the woman refused to report the crime for fear she would lose her kids to the system.

    Children who witness violence in the home are much more likely to continue the cycle. I have even dealt with women whose children picked up where dad left off, after she left her abuser.

    Yes, I spoke in generalities, but you have different circumstances in many cases.

    You refer to anger managment, that is usually a bunch of hooey. Every man we ever got a conviction on, was forced to attend abuser treatment programs, they did not work. Abusers are more like pedophiles than you know, they just move on to other victims, but we can’t even get abuser registries because of the frequency of the one-time incident. If we can’t get a registry, how are we going to get ankle monitors?

    And as to violence after the wedding, I have spoken to hundreds of women and I have never spoken to one woman, who after reading the signs of an abuser, did not recognize the traits. The flags were there, she just didn’t know it.

  158. […] am I in a bad mood today?  Well, I’ve had it with hearing about attacks on women like this one: The trials of Job are not limited to biblical sheepherders. Many PUMAs know Betty […]

  159. This post makes me so sad, mad, frustrated and reactionary. this woman has been through so much she and her family are in my thoughts. I will light a candle and think good thoughts for them today.

    This subject is very very personal to me. I grew up in an extremely violent household with respect to my parents. Just to put my parent’s backround in context,my father was an Army Colonel (now retired from the Pentagon) with a masters in education and my mother was/is a teacher with 5 masters degrees and a P.H.D. Both have very high I.Q.s and Very low E.Q.s. this truly is an epidemic that reaches across all socioeconomic sexual orientation strata. We learn to “love” or more to the point, our strongest relationship models are our parents and although they may provide an education, a home, clothing, horseback riding lessons, dance lessons, (okay that’s just me but you get the point) and give you a giant head start in life the damage done to a child who witnesses violence in the home especially mom and dad is staggering. Just in my own family my lesbian sister was in several abusive relationships (very very abusive relationships) and has now
    I think just decided to remain single and celibate. My own first marriage was very violent, broken arm, broken ear drum etc. My second serious relationship was the same, he was fond of strangling. So although know this is anecdotal I think it is probably just common sense that children who learn to conflate violence and love are doomed to repeat the same behavior. So here’s the deal, I was single for about 5 years did a lot of soul searching and therapy and really had to some to grips with the role that I played in the drama. By no means am I trying to take responsibility for being hit and demeaned, but if I didn’t figure out how I fit in to the cycle it was never to end. This is a very touchy subject I know, but women need to look at what role they play in continuing to stay with someone who gets off on seeing them duck and cover. Anyone who enjoys seeing you feel bad about yourself or who is unreasonably jealous should be avoided at all costs. And if you find yourself drawn to them over and over it’s time for a break and some introspection. I am now happily married to a big goof who loves me and my cats! Especially our new kitten Hillary:)

  160. […] And simplicity.  It is hopeful.  In a time when people are forced to abandon pets because of the economy.  I’ve been over at the Confluence where we were talking about Domestic Violence. […]

  161. Great thread- women need to unite around this battle against DV, and support for its victims.

  162. […] two daughters are clinging to life today. One daughter is critically ill with cancer, and another was shot in the face by her abusive husband. It’s a shocking and tragic thing that has happened to Betty Jean and her family, and we all […]

  163. ((((((((Betty Jean and Louisa))))))

  164. TheRealKim: I’m sorry, I simply disagree with you on many aspects of what you say. Males need to be educated, from childhood, to not allow their greater upper body strength to be the trump card in any disagreement they have with women. They need to be taught that sexism and racism is not tolerated and they will be held accountable. Don’t blame innocent women who go into marriages not knowing they were going to be attacked. If they didn’t recognize the signs, it may be that there were none to detect or that they had no idea what the hell they were supposed to look for. Many abusers are sociopathic manipulators who are very good at masking themselves.
    Don’t project. The problem is not with women. They shouldn’t be made to feel guilty.
    The problem is that society doesn’t hold abusers accountable and at the same time, gives women too few options in getting away. We ask women to stick it out, to make adjustments, to not leave or divorce. Think about that. In some religions, divorce is forbidden or carries a severe stigma. This is pervasive and systemic. It is primitive and cultural. It is not some woman’s fault for putting up with it.

  165. delurking because I’m sick to death about the designation “domestic violence”. That is the ultimate denial. It’s assault and attempted murder, and murder. Why, when it involves a women, does it suddently get put on the back burner?
    And TRK, while I ordinarily agree with you (silently of course, cause I lurk), in this case I’m with RD. I have been abused, as I know you have been. Education is paramount, because frankly, young girls are not givent enough information to deal with the abuse – in fact, because of family dynamics, they are exspecting abuse. How many school texts contain information about women and their struggles? How many school programs deal with female issues? How many school texts deal with female accomplishments?
    And frankly, if LGBT folks want to advance, then they had best deal with the misogynist issues, cause quite frankly, they are tied inextricably with misogynism. If people feel that females are less than human, or rather that women are less than servants, then how do you think they look at LGBTs. It’s quid pro quom and the saddest thing – women are the biggest supporters of LGBT rights.

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