Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shattered Silence in Law Enforcement Families

Barbara Sheehan, is currently in a New York Court, in the trial for her life. Back in November of 2008 I wrote about the case, and again in February of 2008, after her appearance on the Oprah show. In so many ways, her life reminds me of my own mother, silenced after years of abuse by my police detective father.

Ammunition and knives found in the nightstand of retired NYPD crime scene sergeant Raymond Sheehan. He told his wife his forensics expertise would let him get away with anything.

In February of 2008, Barbara Sheehan(pictured above) wife of New York retired Sgt. Raymond Sheehan was charged with second degree murder.

If it sounds simple it is not. If you think Barbara Sheehan could have easily planned an escape away from the violence, I can attest to the fact, her only exist strategy would have been in a body bag, hers.

This morning the 47 -year old Barbara was interviewed on Good Morning America with her daughter sitting beside her. As I heard the woman speak, it was no different from my own mother's words. And, Barbara Sheehan is the same age as my own mother, Roberta Murphy, who was also married to a homicide detective out of Chicago.

My mother was not so lucky. She was carried out in a body bag.

Growing up in an abusive police officer home does not stop when the officer goes on medical or retires. Often the abuse and violence can increase. My mother use to say "once he's off the job, things will be better." Instead, while he was on medical leave, my mothers life was pure hell.

My father stalked my mother. He constantly kept track of her every move. When she did not do as she was told, he found a way to make her "behave". This included my father informing my mother exactly how she would be killed.

So am I saying it is alright to take a life? No, I am not. But, in the blue world, it is not as easy as you may think to have an exist strategy or a safety plan. And in my experience with other officers wives in violent relationships, it comes down to a him or me survival. And to survive Barbara Sheehan lived in psychological terror and a constant battle zone behind the blue doors. No she made a police report or ever had him arrested, it would only fuel him further. And Barbara, knew it.

A police officers wife has a difficult time seeking orders of protection. Often, they cannot access the same avenue for assistance. And women in or married to those in law enforcement who are abused understand because they have been told by the abuser "they will kill them" and get away with it. Or "no one is going to believe them."

I could see and hear from Barbara Sheehans words and body language that facing prison is not going to be as bad as the hell of an existance she was forced to endure for so many years. She has hired attorney Michael Dowd who will be representing her in her trial scheduled for sometime in the spring.

Yes, he was shot 11 times while in the bathroom. It is likely that was the only time Raymond Sheehan did not have immediate access to the heavy artilary he owned. The bathroom was the only place you would not find bullets, handguns or knives.

I am on the stump on this tragedy. My father use to say what appears obvious to the world in the aftermath of a crime scene, may not always be how it really happened. Hands are a funny thing, when tested on a crime scene you have your answers one way or another.

Trial Stories and Coverage:

I cannot stress enough, 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!

One of the major reasons women stay in abusive relationships is fear. They are afraid of what will happen to them and their children if they leave. Sadly, their fears are often justified; statistics show that a woman is at the greatest risk for injury when sheannounces her plans or leaves an abusive relationship.
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).

If you do nothing else, please take one important step that if something does happen to you, if you do vanish like Stacy Peterson, Vensus Stewart, Rachel Anderson, Susan Powell, Lisa Stebic, or arefoundmurdered like Monica Beresford-Redmond, Franki Jacobson, Renee Pagel, Summer Inman, Kelly Rothwell and others where the person responsible has gotten away with murder that your voice and record of the abuse will be captured and recorded. Do it for you friends, family and loved ones. Do it for your children. Do it for you!

If you have questions, the email address is: timesupforjustice@gmail.com

This book doesn't merely discuss when you should leave or why you should leave, it tells you HOW you should leave. The book has step-by-step instructions how to covertly make a plan, set-up a safe escape, deal with financial issues, and the paperwork. Susan even takes you line-by-line through the process, the forms, the legal issues...she takes you by the hand, and, believe me, when you are being terrorized and you are an basket case, you don't need vague ideas, you need specific instructions. TIME'S UPcan save your life and your sanity. If you need to get out, get this book before you make a mistake that could be fatal. It is money well spent.


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. She is also part of the team at Management Resources Limited of New York.

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.

If you would like to schedule Susan Murphy Milano for training and interviews, please contact:ImaginePublicity PO BOX 14946 Surfside Beach, SC 29587 Phone: 843.808.0859 email- contact@imaginepublicity.com


Donna R. Gore said...

Very sad indeed! Let's hope that Barbara gets the lightest sentence allowed under the law!

Could the organizations supporting police family members put political pressure, hold very public rallies to create an awareness of this issue at the State Capitol? We are constantly preaching to the choir when it's "those who don't attend church" we must educate.

You are in my prayers!


Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

I know that to flee the abuser can sometimes be a scary thing and sometimes people feel a helpless need to eliminate the person that tortures them the most, but when do we draw the line at people taking the law into their own hands.

Anonymous said...
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Susan Murphy Milano's Journal said...

The question of where do we draw the line is one I cannot answer. Perhaps it is because this case runs parallel to my own life and ultimate outcome.

During the trial when the son took the stand, the prosecutor wanted to know why he never told anyone about the abuse in the home. It is because we cannot, no one will believe us, especially when the offender is a law enforcement officer.

Your question will be discussed on a future post. Thank you for taking the time to comment-Susan

Tyler said...

were do we draw the line? this is just wrong. she had time too flee the marriage but it was her decision too stay and kill no that's wrong!

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