Sometimes love doesn’t work right

One of the most complex, confusing parts about domestic violence is the fact that women go back. Even after extreme abuse, sometimes even after their children are sexually abused or murdered they may go back. That is so hard for friends and family to understand. Sometimes they stay because they fear even worse violence, sometimes because they truly do feel that the abuse was their own fault, sometimes they feel that it just wasn’t the fault of the abuser (it was the stress he is under, they abuses he grew up with, the alcohol, the drugs….any number of reasons) sometimes it is because of financial reasons. And sometimes it is because this is what they grew up with, and what they feel is normal, or at least what they deserve. And sometimes it is because they feel they are the only one who can help the abuser to get over their problems.

Susan Moore, 39 lived with Felix Medina 28. They had a “troubled” relationship as shown by their history. Moore admits that she was a drug user, but says she quit in ’93 after an arrest.

Medina, however began using drugs in 2003. And that Aug. he was arrested for striking Moore’s 16 year old son and a teen friend of the son’s when they tried to intervene during a domestic dispute. A protection order was issued to bar Medina from coming into contact with the children.

In 2004, Medina was shot several times and the domestic violence seemed to get worse and police were called to the address several times. In Jan. 2005, Medina was arrested for harrassment of the family (Medina had been in jail for an unrelated crime, but Moore had bailed him out). A month later, Medina was charged with threatening Moore in front of the children. Hours after being released, sheriff’s deputies found him hiding Moore’s chimney and they arrested him again. Mar. of 2005 Medina was arrested for possessing and using drugs in front of the teenage boy and his friend.

Moore has stated she kept up with the relationship because she wanted to help him get off drugs.

Though court orders barred Medina from being around the children, Moore and Medina were still allowed to attend church and counseling together.

On Mar. 31, Medina was determined to drive Moore’s car. Moore tried to stop him. While he got into the car, Moore jumped onto it and held on while he was driving in circles in front of the home. Medina stopped suddenly and Moore fell off. The car rolled back, pinning her underneath the undercarriage and so Medina pulled forward, which further injured Moore.

What did Moore get for being faithful, and trying to help?

She is currently back in a hospital. The injuries she recieved resulted her being paralyzed from the waist down. Related infections have put her back in the hospital. Her home is in foreclosure. She is in debt due to medical bills. When she gets better, she must face charges that she also violated the restraining order which barred Medina from being around her children. One of her children is staying with friends, and two of her children are in foster care. And she may lose custody of all three.

Love is a powerful emotion, there’s no doubt. But when love goes wrong, it destroys lives.

By allowing Medina back in the home she exposed the kids to violence, she just told her kids that domestic violence is ok. It is what happens in families. She endangered the children, as evidenced when the 16 year old and his friend were struck when they tried to come to her aid. She allowed them to be exposed to drug use. They have gone through being separated from their mother, worrying about their mother and about what will happen to them. And that still hasn’t ended.

She is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, lost her children, perhaps permanently, and is losing her home.

Medina is in jail, perhaps headed for prison. He has told her he will take care of her, but he will probably be unavailable for a while.

But one other thing stood out in this article. I don’t see where Medina was ever charged with domestic violence. Had he been charged, there would have possibly been longer stays in jail. Drug and alcohol treatment might her been ordered for him. He might have been required to obtain anger management or domestic violence counseling. Maybe it would have helped, and maybe it wouldn’t have. We can’t know that now.

There is a federal law which requires police departments to file domestic violence charges, if they see evidence of domestic violence. They can file the charges whether the victim wishes to cooperate or not. I don’t know why they didn’t. Maybe they didn’t see anything. Mom was also never charged with violating the protection order, until after Medina ran over her. That means the children were exposed to the drugs and violence for another year and a half.

The article doesn’t say if Moore was ever referred to a domestic violence program.  

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060225/1052138.asp

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