Friday, April 9, 2010
I have collected lots of letters like this one over the years that I've received in response to my requests for help for myself and my children. I can to some extent understand getting the brush-off from private individuals and smaller organizations, since it's clear we're up against very powerful people with unlimited legal and financial resources.
This letter, however, is from a national organization whose specificly stated purpose, as they freely admit here, is to help victims like my children and me. Although this letter is a bit more curt (and rude?) than most, I have received similar correspondence from numerous government agencies (both state and federal) that are also supposed to be helping victims of crime and/or domestic violence and abuse.
Now I'm learning from national victims' advocates that the problem of victims desperately turning to various agencies that are supposed to be helping them but instead give them the run-around or turn them away altogether is not only widespread but actually more common than not. Government agencies are in fact some of the worst offenders in this regard. (One of my own examples of a response from a government agency is posted below under "Response From DOJ".) Worse, I'm also learning that major corporations, private organizations, and individuals (including celebrities) are donating large amounts of money to these same agencies that are turning away desperate victims. I've been shocked to learn of countless victims wanting to leave critically dangerous situations being turned away from the very shelters that are supposed to protect them.
While it's an important and necessary resource in crisis situations, fleeing from an abuser these days often doesn't even result in significant relief for victims, given the prevalence of identify theft, stalking, harassment, computer hacking, illegal surveillance, cyberbullying and slander, private documents and information for sale openly, etc. Here in Central Texas, we victims also have to contend with the appalling corruption in law enforcement--see "Illegal Surveillance Summary", "What's The Buzz?", and "What's The Buzz Revisited" below for more information about this.
If you examine the comments my ex-husband has made all over this blog, you will quickly see that he is completely unafraid of being prosecuted or sued for any of his actions, slander/defamation, or abuse. I'm in contact with other ex-wives who are in similar situations and are also unable to get the help and support they desperately need from the same agencies that are accepting government funds and large private donations but continue to turn needy victims away. How many innocent lives have been wrecked or lost because victims couldn't get help from agencies that were supposed to protect them? (Do you even care?--when entire communities are actively involved together in stalking, harassment, slander, libel, and other criminal acts against innocent victims as is happening here, this question has to be asked.)
National victims' advocates are now using our case and others that are similar to try to educate donors about how to make better use of their money for assisting victims. Savvy, well-connected abusers who, in this age of easy information sharing and great wealth made from criminal enterprises (who therefore cross all socio-economic lines) are aware of the lack of help for victims, and they exploit this situation by deliberately and systematically overwhelming their victims. The violence and other abuse then escalate because abusers aren't facing any negative consequences of their actions. The experts say, and I concur, that there's already plenty of information and resources available for identifying abusive behaviors and convincing victims to leave. What's needed far more is individual, one-on-one advocacy for victims that will actively assist them in dealing with these overwhelming situations and enable them to obtain real, lasting relief from the abuse.
I'm requesting that those who do seriously care about helping victims prove it by going to http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/201?m=a3ecbdfa and signing the online Domestic Violence (DV) Reform petition there. Doing this won't take more than just a few seconds, and you'll be taking part in a critical effort to effect much-needed change. Texans in particular should welcome the provisions in this petition for insisting on detailed public audits of government agencies that are turning victims away in order to find out what their funds are being used for and holding them accountable. You can also contact National White House Advisor on Violence Against Women (aka Domestic Violence Czar) Lynn Rosenthal at email@example.com and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden through the contact form on his website and insist that they support one-on-one advocacy for victims.
Finally, I'm also asking you to carefully examine your own behaviours and those of your family members, close friends, and associates in an effort to make sure you're part of the solution to domestic abuse, violence, and crime and not part of the problem. To paraphrase Mother Theresa, before you go to India to work for good, try looking for opportunities within a 2-mile radius of your own front door. Let's all work together to make the U.S. in general and Texas in particular a leader in real advocacy, assistance, and support for innocent victims instead of the national embarrassment the entire DV program currently is.