Sanctuary for the Abused
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Abusive Stalking Using the Courts
(What you are about to read, was adapted in part from Stalking Through The Courts. Please visit there for more information.)
We learned in depth how many Stalkers think and act on the previous page. This page will go into how some abusers use a different approach to harass their victims. A way that allows them to legally have contact and harass their ex-partner, even with a Restraining Order in force.
Mis-using the judicial system seems to be one of some abusers favorite ways to stalk their ex-partners. If they can’t get you back, they will try to ruin your happiness, by dragging you to Court on countless frivolous filings. Putting the victim in a situation where they are being victimized – again, by their abuser and sometimes by the system also.
This can be on going for years, if gone about it in the “right” way. There are actually web sites devoted to teaching them exactly how and what to do. These sites teach them how to legally stalk, harass, and intimidate victims of Domestic Violence after a Restraining Order has been issued. These sites actually have step by step guides for them to use to learn how to keep the on going harassment, manipulation, intimidation and show how to legally stalk the partner, who has left them. Which in turn keeps the ex-partner their victim causing them immense grief, a financial burden and it wears them out emotionally to the point of total frustration.
It also gives these stalkers/abusers a feeling they still have some control and in a sense, they do. Some of the more advanced, of these abusers, will even represent themselves in Court, rather than hire a Lawyer. This Pro Se Defense gives them the opportunity to question their former partner on the stand and legally badger and intimidate them, all the while the judge and others are right there watching and letting it happen. This in itself must boost the abusers self-esteem, thinking they are even controlling the judge and playing the legal system.
Most all of these “Pro Se” abusers have studied the laws, inside and out. They will put a lot of time and effort into these actions. Many will file in different jurisdictions, to avoid becoming too well known to the judges and to keep their victim running around. They will mask their reasoning and make it look as if they are the victims and their rights have been violated.
There are many large and well-known groups, who use and teach these tactics. Most of which will have a cover that seems real and legitimate. Many of them use children’s rights as their cover. They put a lot of money and energy into minimizing domestic violence and it’s effects on the children who lived in a home where abuse occurred. They will give very little support to issues that will actually help children.
These groups true agenda is abolishing abuse prevention legislation and child support laws. They try regaining some control and punishing their partner for leaving them, and they try to do this by controlling the children, by gaining full custody, with visitation or by not paying child support.
Most States have trained their police to recognize abuse and enforce Restraining Orders, funded child protective services, made abuse prevention statues, opened women’s shelters and educated personnel of the dangers of domestic violence. What has not been corrected by legislature is letting abusers use the judicial system as a weapon against their former victims, especially after a Restraining Order has been issued.
These groups have caused the numbers of Pro Se litigation’s to multiply rapidly. Many of their web sites offer how to books, legal forms and packets of motions to file in court. Many of these motions can be refiled over and over just by changing a word or two, the date or going to another jurisdiction. They encourage them to lengthen proceedings with extensive, irrelevant discovery aimed at stalling out the processes.
With a no contact RO, these abusers can not see their victim, send them a letter, call them or come within 100 feet of them, in most States. But, for about a $19.00 fee, this same person can file numerous claims and have hearings in small claims court. If they go into State and Federal Administrative Agencies and accuse their victim of obscure violations, their victim will be subpoenaed. This gives the abuser several legal contacts with their victim, where they can legally harass and badger them with no fear of violating the Restraining Order. If this same abuser/stalker does Pro Se defense, they may even get away with other stalking of their victim, like watching or following them, photographing them, going through their trash, ect. All with the cover of “investigating” their case.
These victims have left their abusers for a reason. They are in fear of them, yet the abuser has found a way to put them in a position, they can not walk away from. They must sit through court proceedings and on going harassment, where they are made to endure their abusers subtle looks and movements, which they know so well and fear.
They will try to make them lose their composure and they will attack their credibility, making this person victimized for the second time but even worst, the abuser puts them on trial in the eyes of the community and the courtroom. They have used a lot of will, to get away from their abusers and usually don’t have the emotional strength to go for hours or even days being questioned on the stand, by their abusers.
The use of courts is most widely know in custody cases, all to many times not with the child’s best interest at heart, but to try to exploit weakness in their ex-partner, to regain control or at the least to manipulate and hurt them as a punishment for leaving. They may try to prove them an unfit parent, digging up or fabricating any type of evidence they can.
A spouse who abuses their partner and parent of their children are twice as likely to try to gain full custody of the children, whether they truly want custody or not. They will often try to mis-use the legal system, through retaliatory legal actions to continue their abuse and harassment. These actions make the victims have to prove themselves to the court, keeping them in the victim role.
While their rights are violated, for the second time around, the abusers/stalkers rights are protected. Is that justice? At the least, victims of domestic violence should have the same Constitutional protections as their abusers, even while they are being stalked and harassed by them with the judicial system.
If our founding fathers that wrote our Constitution and the Bill of Rights (for all people) were inside these courtrooms, I believe they would be horrified at the way our basic human rights are being violated. The laws of our Country are being twisted and used in ways many can not even comprehend.
Victims of terrible crimes are being belittled and torn apart by defense attorneys and Pro Se cross-examinations, on the witness stands on a daily basis. Litigation of a abuser/stalker is different because they know the victim, knows their family, their past, what sets them off, what will hurt them most and especially what frightens them, this brings the adversarial system to new low. These litigations twist our Constitution till it is almost unrecognizable and at the expense of our entire society, protects the rights of the abuser/stalker.
At this time the sad truth is there is nothing that these victims can do, but fight it out in court. It is slowly being recognized as a major problem and there are programs working on ways to end this, in the future.
From the Biden-Hatch Violence Against Women Act of 2000, Title I Section 106, National Stalker and Domestic Violence Reduction Grants Reauthorization, Authorized at $3 million/year through 2005 (fiscal year 1998 appropriation was $2.75 million). This section extends grant programs that help state and local governments improve databases dealing with stalking and domestic violence.
Title I Section 107, Clarify Enforcement to End Interstate Battery/Stalking. This section clarifies federal jurisdiction to reach persons crossing state lines(including foreign travel), and expands federal jurisdiction to include battery used to facilitate the interstate movement of victims. This section also makes the nature of harm uniform for domestic violence, stalking, and interstate travel offenses, and clarifies the "Interstate Violation of Protection Order" section.
Hopefully soon, with the government putting this kind of money into programs involving domestic violence and stalking, we will see an end to this madness in the near future.
Right now, in the these cases where victims have the finances and the emotional strength, they can fight back by filing a civil suit for malicious abuse of the legal system/process, defamation of character and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Other than that, keeping the faith and hope for future changes, is all that we have. It is said that Lady Justice is blind, but she should not be mocked.