When a woman or man is a victim of violence in their home and they break the cycle by gaining the courage to leave the very legal system in place to protect seemingly does the most damage. Communication and training appears non-existant in courtrooms leaving tragedies of epidemic proportions as family members are left to discover gruesome crimes scenes followed by making funeral arrangements for innocent loved ones.
Who are the judges presiding in large and small court houses across the county? Are these men and women drapped in their black robes passing time until they retire and can collect a pension? Is any presiding judge on a bench in family or domestic relations court qualified to really make sound legal decsions? In my opinion the answer is no!
Amy Lichtenberg did everything in her power to keep she and her children safe. But the judge presiding over her case turned a deaf ear. Her dangerous and violent husband manipulated the legal system to gain access by wearing down the courthouse with the filing of one motion after another until a judge granted unsupervised visitation. Three weeks after the judge's decision Amy's children Jack and Duncan would be murdered by their father.
Annette Suzan Sowders-Fuller also continued within the legal system after she filed for divorce and obtain orders of protection in an attempt to keep her violent husband away from she and her two small children. Each time she entered a courtroom or called the police for help Annette's husbands violence escalated. It ended in August when he stormed into her home killing Annette and her mother Cheryl in front of her children.
Dawn Axsom and her attorney pleaded with a judge to allow her to leave Arizona with her two-year-old son.The judge denied the request. According to court testimony, Axsom’s estranged boyfriend, who had been arrested twice for DUI, was unemployed, and had made two failed suicide attempts was awarded by the judge who allowed visitation and requirined a drug, alcohol and a mental health evaluation to be completed within 60-days. Just 2 short weeks after that court ordered visiation the boyfriend murdered Dawn, her mother Linda and then committed suicide.
To say the courts do not take domestic violence seriously is an under statement. Without any consideration for prior arrests or current orders of protection judges are awarding individuals whom are a danger to their children visitation and custody. The abusers sole intent is to gain unlimited access to his victim. The abuser could care less about the children. Often an abuser is so enraged over the ending of the relationship the only interest they have is seeking revenge on their victim. Either by killing the person who ended the relationship or murdering the children keeping the victim alive and unharmed as a sick and twisted punishment for breaking up the family.
I have great respect for judges. What I do not respect is ignorance in a courtroom. These judges elected or appointed require more than a two week crash course in a classroom setting on "how to be a judge." Otherwise those court orders that they sign without consideration to human life will amount to nothing more than an a court ordered execution!