This is the second part of Crazy Making: When Your Abuser Plays Victim.
December 26, 2018
So there we are, my boyfriend and I sitting in the lobby of the courtroom. I am panicking, which is normal whenever I get anxious. He tells me that everything is going to be fine in an hour and not to worry. I trust him.
We go inside; The clerk calls me last since my charge is more serious than the speeding tickets everyone else had, but still a Class C Misdemeanor, so still equal in the eyes of the legal system.
My Boyfriend and I walk up to the prosecutor,he tells her it all was a misunderstanding and he didn’t want to pursue charges. That he had contacted the ticketing officer by phone twice with no return and then emailed me explaining that it was an accident. She says she has no record of this happening in her file. We think nothing of it. Maybe the police hadn’t put it in file yet.
The prosecutor then asks my boyfriend to step into a side room where they talk for a good 15 minutes. She comes back and says that he will go next door to the police, write up an official supplemental report. She will review it and decide how to proceed.
I am relieved. I go sit with my boyfriend till they call him back to take the supplemental report, then I go home thinking everything is taken care of.
Hearing After Hearing
I get to court and there is a different prosecutor. Of course it’s her first day. Of course my boyfriend didn’t come because he had a work meeting and we thought it would be dropped. She says there is no proof of this supplemental report nor any note about the previous court date. She resets.
My boyfriend comes with me to court. The first prosecutor is back and claims to have no recollection of talking to my boyfriend and states that records of the calls, emails, and supplemental report are not in my file. Resets date.
Well, it is one thing if I accuse my boyfriend of lying about the supplemental report, it’s another when the prosecutor does. It infuriates my boyfriend so as soon as we walk out of the courtroom he walks over to the police and asks to speak to the officer that took it.
Again, the police say there is no note in the computer so they aren’t sure what officer. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is in sales and he knows ALWAYS GET A BUSINESS CARD. He pulls it out of his wallet and asks for the officer by name.
The officer comes down and pulls both of us in the room. He tells us stories about how he had a drinking problem and that he can see that my boyfriend does too. He looks at me and tells me; I told him this too,
“He has to decide if alcohol is more important than you in his life, because if he keeps on drinking like this, things like this are going to escalate.”
I agree with the officer, though he had no idea how bad my situation was or I’m sure he would have told me to leave him.
My boyfriend then tells him how there is no record of the supplemental report and the officer is mad. “I spent 2 hours writing that up!” He tells us to follow him.
We go into the back; he checks the computer and confirms there is no supplemental report. He makes a few phone calls, he finds out because he had just switched from patrol to desk; the system was set up only for his patrol reports so the system did not save the desk report.
Sounds like a lie and had my boyfriend told me I wouldn’t believe him but the officer confirms that he did write it and IT confirms why it wasn’t in the file.
My boyfriend asks if he will speak to the prosecutor, he says of course. We walk over to the courtroom where the prosecutor says she is too busy to talk to the Officer and to email him. We all agree and leave.
I show up without my boyfriend since I’m sure everything has been taken care of.
Prosecutor claims that she has no memory of any of this happening, though it has been only 3 weeks. She claims that there are no notes or emails about my case. She resets it.
At this point I kicked out my boyfriend. So now he is my ex-boyfriend. I am terrified he will fuck me over, but he shows up to help.
I still to this day question his motives, whether he did it so I wouldn’t seek revenge by showing his friends pictures and videos of abuse or if he really felt bad. Probably the first one.
We walk in together and sit next to one another but don’t touch. She calls me up and want to take a guess of what happens?
She has no memory of anything that had occurred; no emails or notes from herself or the police about my case.
She pushes for a plea deal. I say no, absolutely not. I ask to speak to her privately; she says no at first. I say may I ask the judge to speak privately then. This of course gets the prosecutor to agree to speak with me.
I take her into the back hall. I tell her how my ex has been abusing me and I kicked him out. She asks if I have any proof of abuse. I tell her yes, that I had filed a report against him in the neighboring city.
Then I show her pictures. She says, “how do I know these are from him?”
I am disgusted. Why would anyone, much less a woman, accuse someone of faking physical abuse?
She claimed that these pictures and more could have been from something or someone else. So I start playing a video of him berating me verbally.
Her eyes widen and her face went from “I don’t believe you,” to “Oh shit, I don’t have a case.”
She tells me to call when I get home and give the police report number from the neighboring city. I ask for her email so I can send it to her since “she never gets anything.” She says no, the phone call will do. Which I do. I am feeling good.
Show up for court thinking this will be the last time for sure. I feel like I don’t even need to tell you what happens next, it’s like the movie Groundhog Day.
She not only says she has no documentation of the police report, she says that I am lying about even calling in and giving it. I tell her to pull the phone records for the previous court date then. Then I give her the police report number. Which infuriates her, and she resets my date.
The Day I Lose It
I think to myself as I walk into the courthouse, this has to be the last time I walk into this place about this case.
My boyfriend and I were broken up for good. However, I still had stuff at my house of his so we were in contact via email. I ask before I go whether he had followed up, and he says he had signed an affidavit of non-prosecution.
I walk in the courtroom. ONCE AGAIN. She has no recollection of this happening. She refuses to drop the case.
I am in shock and start to panic.
I had printed out a ton of the pictures of my body covered in bruises and scratches. “Here you go if you need pictures,” I say as I hand them to her.
She asks, “How do I know this is your body?”
I yell, “Well I’m naked and didn’t want to print one with my face but here is the original on my phone,” and show her, but she refuses to look.
Domestic Violence Report
Then I tell her to go get the Domestic Violence report. She tells me that it was never sent to her office. I fucking lose it.
What she didn’t know is that my ex-husband, a criminal defense attorney, had given the police a copy when he was on one of his vengeance tirades.
She claims this is not true.
So I sit there and demand that she go look for under the other file. She refuses. Finally the judge, who is just there to sign stuff not a trial, tells her to go look for it. So they sent a cop. He finds it. I’m like thinking, thank god they are going to drop it.
The Moment I Lose it
She tells me, “After reviewing all the information. We have decided to continue with prosecution of your case.”
I am in shock.
I start screaming and crying.
“How could she prosecute a repeat victim of domestic violence?”
“My ex-boyfriend admitted multiple times it didn’t happen.”
“I finally have the courage to kick him out and I am the one being accused of lying.”
Then she says it.
She gives away the actual reason she won’t drop my case.
“This isn’t about that; I know your ex husband and I don’t like him.”
RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE JUDGE
I scream, “Are you kidding me? You’re prosecuting me because you don’t like my ex-husband because he has beat you in trials?”
I lose it.
I scream, in a courtroom. “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.”
My memory gets blurry at this point because I am in a full-blown panic attack, but I know I screamed for a good 3 minutes. They just stare at me in disbelief.
So then I say, “Well if you’re going to charge me why aren’t you going to charge him??” They tell me to go make a report.
So I go to make a report to when the cop starts victim blaming me. That I’m a terrible mom because I allowed this to happen. Pretty much implying that I deserved it for not leaving him the first time.
Remind you, I’m in a total panic attack, like world is swirling and I’m freaking the fuck out and I tell the cop I’m going to just kill myself.
He ignores me. I yell at him “Are you kidding???? You’re just going to ignore that I said I would kill myself?” I mean, I said it just to get him to pay attention, as in “I’m screaming for help against my abuser and getting none.”
I ask for another cop. Another one comes in and he is just as bad saying if all this happened why am I unable to come up with exact dates.
“Because it happened so god damn much that’s why! Never mind, I’m leaving, this is pointless.” And the officers point me to the exit.
“OMFG are you kidding me???? I’m showing you all these pictures of me covered in bruises and you don’t care one bit. This is exactly why Domestic Violence victims are scared to go to the cops.”
The officers still didn’t care, which just infuriates me even more.
Granted, I realize I’m screaming at them so they are thinking this woman is bat shit crazy, but they handled it all wrong, but that’s a whole other issue.
So then they tell me “Why don’t you go home, get your story right, and come back.”
Then I said it. What would make my already spiraling out-of-control life, get even worse.
“I’m just going to kill myself.”
They still didn’t give a fuck. I’ll be super honest, I said it hoping it would get my charges dropped. Totally didn’t work, obviously.
They ignore me. “oh my god, can you get me an ambulance I’m having a mental breakdown?”—I 100% was.
“Yes, I am having a mental breakdown get me someone.”
Crisis Intervention Team
They call the Crisis Intervention Team. It’s a Sheriff and a social worker. They interview me and finally I get what I needed. Empathy.
This whole time, I just wanted someone to understand where I was coming from. Why I allowed this to happen, why I was in the mental state I was in. They were in disbelief, wondering what is wrong with the prosecutor and cops.
The social worker was getting the ok to release me. I did not understand why she said she needed to get permission to release me. Oohhhh the foreshadowing, less than 24 hours later I would understand.
A different officer comes in to sit with me since there needs to be two people with me. He looks at the pictures in disgust. He tells me he can’t believe that any prosecutor would go forward with a case after seeing the pictures and videos.
I thank him and joke about how I wouldn’t be in this mess if he had been the officer to do the report against my ex.
The social worker comes back in and says she agrees that I just flipped out because I am going through a lot and that I felt like no one cared or was listening. I agree and that I am not going to hurt myself and I am free to go.
So I have calmed down. Then a cop walks over and says here is your Jury Court Date for February 12, 2020.
But what was about to happen to me after I left that court house would be the most traumatic, life changing even that has occurred in the 35 years of my life.
To Be Continued…
If you or someone you know is a Victim of Domestic Violence, please contact National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or via chat at https://www.thehotline.org/