Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Laura Ackerson: A Heated Custody Battle and Intimate Partner Homicide

Laura Ackerson, from North Carolina, walked away from a violent and controlling relationship. The father of her two children kept her from friends and family during their time together. As with most victims of intimate partner violence, she was isolated from the world, and she was in a heated custody battle.

The last time she was ever seen was on July 12, 2011; then in a blink of an eye taken away. Her life abruptly ended, and the news confirmed, when law enforcement traveled to Texas on a tip and retrieved parts of her dismembered body that were scattered in a pond.

This beautiful mother of two will never again be able to kiss her children good morning or tuck them into bed at night, ever again. Sadly, we don't have to look very far for answers in these cases of intimate partner violence who "suddenly" goes missing that leads to homicide.

Two people were arrested and charged with her murder, the father of her children along with the person to whom he is currently married. They planned out the murder, how she would be killed, to the rental of a Uhaul trailer driven from North Carolina across state lines to Texas. The names of these 2 people, in my opinion, have no significance. They are simply cold blooded killers.

The solution to these crimes, before they turn deadly, is a prescription that incorporates the support of communities and a nation. We do not view intimate partner violence as a crime, even though laws were passed in every state making domestic violence and stalking a crime. Victims lives were lost in order for the law to get passed in each state. This means the ink used to sign the legislation by Governors across the country had a cartridge filled with the blood of those who died. A lot of victims had to die for proposed bills to be passed into law, including my mother, murdered by her Chicago violent crimes detective husband on January 19, 1989.

Not a lot has changed since I began working with victims and keeping them alive. The exception is more lives have been taken. How is that possible when we have so much in place? Services, shelters and tough laws are not enough for the victims of intimate partner homicide in today's world.

Those who abuse and take the threat further to murder believe they, the abuser, are invincible; often playing a clever game of "catch me if you can." Personally, living for 18 years in a crime scene allows you to witness firsthand the silence of the crimes, the offenders and the dynamics that take place behind closed doors.

Isn't it rather strange that the victim is often the mother of their children estranged wife or former girlfriend? And, more often than not, they are going through a divorce or custody battle. Where are Lisa Stebic, Susan Powell, Gail Palmgren, Kelly Rothwell, Angie Denise Tucker, Kimberly Langwell, Ida Dean Richard, Rachael Conger, Tracie Resiner, Stacy Peterson, Michelle Rust, Sandra Travis, Mary Badaracco, Star Boomer, Venus Stewart, Patty Vaughhan, Hope Meek, Tabitha Franklin, Jeri Duvall, Karen Joe Smith or Jacque Waller to name only a few?

Each of the aforementioned are currently missing, in my opinion, victims of intimate partner homicide.

Approaches to this deadly epidemic must be implemented if lives are to be saved. When a system continues to do the same old thing, the outcome will not change. As it relates to intimate partner violence, the prescription can begin with a training to prosecutors, law enforcement, mental health professionals, judges, hospitals and the community. The methods being taught in conjunction with the information located in the book "Time's Up" is not only saving counties across the country tax payer dollars, it is saving lives.

Know that if you are in a relationship that has a history of violence, simply mustering up the courage to confront the person and say it is over, without the proper tools, can cost you, your life!

The book "Time's Up A Guide on How To Survive and Abusive and Stalking Relationship" is the prescription, if you will, that every person must obtain before they announce they are leaving. Below is an example from Chapter 4, one of many unique tools provided in the book. It is available onAmazon.com, or you can purchase via e-book or on a cd. If you have questions, the email address is: timesupforjustice@gmail.com

Before you decide that you have had enough and are ending the relationship create for yourself the "Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit" and video (shown below).


Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is a specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies and high risk cases and available for personal consultations through the Institute.

Susan is the author of "Time's Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," Moving out, Moving on, and Defending Out Lives. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host on Crime Wire.

1 comment:

Legal nurse consultant certification said...

Neatly written and explained.Thanks for sharing.

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