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How Can I Legally Help

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Billy10mm, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Billy10mm

    Billy10mm

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    Moved into my co-op building here in Westchester-County NY almost 4 years ago. My first son was just born. There was a girl, Sarah, one floor up and one apartment over who's a little older than my kid, but they get along fabulously. He talks about her more than he talks about his cousins.

    About two years ago, Sarah's mom leaves a note with my mother-in-law (my MIL watches my kids during the day while the wife and I are at work) asking if Tyler (my son) and my MIL want to go to the park tomorrow with Sarah and her mom. My MIL is 72 years old, obese, severely diabetic, and is afraid to take my son to the park because she can't keep up with him. Knowing how much this would mean to my son, I take off of work and take him to the park - he and Sarah had a blast. I have a side-business as a photographer and brought my camera with me - took some photos of the kids and a few of Sarah and her mom.

    The next day, I see the mom in the hallways of our apartment building, she sees me, lowers her head, and doesn't even say "Hi". Weird. A few days later I've processed and printed out some of those photos in 5x7s and Tyler and I go up to their apartment and deliver them. The mom opens the door and instantly this weird look comes over her face - I hand her the pictures, she doesn't say a word - nothing, doesn't even acknowledge my son who's standing next to me. I went back downstairs and told my wife how weird that was and that I think Sarah's mom had a black-eye when she came to the door but it might have just been a shadow.

    Again, that was two years ago. The mom has barely spoken 4 words to me in total since then. She'll occasionally speak to my wife in extremely shorts bursts, but never me and won't speak to either of us if I'm around. Her husband is really nice to us, always quite talkative, works a lot so we don't see him often, but generally speaking he appears to be an okay guy.

    Fast forward ...

    This weekend our power was out. Put my kids to bed Friday night, and the wife and I knocked on our neighbor's door (the ones directly below Sarah) to check on their kids for them (the kids are teenagers and were home alone). We get to talking because there's nothing else to do and they fill us in on all the times they've had to call the cops for the guy upstairs beating the **** out of his wife. Now everything makes sense and my wife and I feel like utter crap. We've been pissed at her because we think she's being snooty or something, not letting her daughter play with my son, but the reality is that she got a beat-down because she went to the park for 3 hours with another guy who's younger and in much better shape than her husband.

    I know, I know, if she doesn't press charges (which we all know she'll never do) - there's nothing anyone can do. But is that really true, is there nothing we can do? I've never seen Sarah with a bruise, but if I do can I press charges or does it have to be a parent/guardian? Short of putting both mother and daughter up in a home and financing them ourselves (which if we had the cash we'd do in a heartbeat) ... is there anything we can do to help?

    I actually asked a friend this weekend who's an NYPD sergeant and his advice was to put on a ski mask and issue the guy a solid beating in the hallways - not exactly very "useful" advice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  2. packsaddle

    packsaddle

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    You need to talk to her.

    She needs to get a protective order, ASAP.

    If she won't do it for her, she needs to do it for the kids.

    Guys like that will never change and the violence will continue to escalate.

    If the kids are witnessing the assaults, they are more prone to continue the cycle of violence when they are grown.

    If she does nothing, nobody wins.

    Not sure about NY, but here in Texas, a police officer can request an emergency protective order be issued following a call of family violence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010

  3. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    The behavior and mindset of a DV victim is hard to comprehend (at least by people who have never been a victim). Legally I don't think there is anything you can do at this point unless you actually witnessed a beat down. If you are really interested in helping, the best approach is probably the soft approach, in that your wife (or better, someone the victim fully trusts) educate the vicitm on DV victimization, and what help are available out there should the day come when the victim decides she will no longer take it. The decision by the victim to walk away is not an easy one for her to make. The victim/abuser relationship is a very complicated and interesting subject, psychologically. Good luck.

    I think your county has a fairly good reputation for its DV support system. Call the County DA's office to find out what resources are available.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  4. Street Fighter

    Street Fighter Texas A&M '07

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    I agree, however if she will talk to your wife I would suggest that as there will be no "fear" for talking to you as compared to another woman. You may get the door slammed a few times for bringing it up because "they will stand by their man because he loves them" way too often because they are weak from the abuse, however bringing up the safety of the kids and their future may work may not. Sensitive area just be cautious not to overstep your boundries too much because it could upset "him" which would be counter productive. Very Sad.
     
  5. RocPO

    RocPO

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    Stacked up on your door
  6. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

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    Yeah that's a tough situation for sure. In MI, if a PO shows up to a scene and one of the people involved in the DV is visibly injured, the other one goes to jail. If both show visible injuries, both go, and CPS is called for the kids. Of course, DPD pulls the "mutual combatants" card and walks away, which is real helpful. I'd be surprised if NY didn't have an identical law. The tricky part if you don't have a similiar law, is getting her to admit he hit her in the first place. I've been pretty lucky lately in that every DV arrest I've made occurred in my presence, and therefore I can press charges. Gotta love that "People vs. Harry Hairball" thing.
     
  7. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Definitely do something. If nothing else, go talk to your local legal aid and women's shelter info hotline to get some advice on what to do. They have resources and experiences of how to do it legit in your area. After you get it all set and done and get her some help, the ski mask idea is not out of the question.

    I can't stand child molesters and wife beaters. Those two groups get no leeway whatsoever.
     
  8. glock192327

    glock192327 Where is eye

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    What happened to standards for having the pride in being a man?
    Fifty years ago, you hit a woman, or a child, and relatives took the guy on a hunting trip. After a weekend of beatdowns, the guy had his attitude adjustment, and usually didn't do it again. Family generally took care of it. Damn, I miss the old South.
     
  9. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

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    While I'm not an LEO, I believe that if you don't do something, the majority of the time, they won't either. That said, my advice would be in intervene ASAP. Talk to her about it! It's probably going to be extremely difficult to get anything out of her though.

    I would also venture to say that you might want to have your wife talk to her first. She obviously knows you as a nice guy, but in my limited experience, it seems that once a bond is broken like that, she probably has a hatred towards males now. She might see you as a threat as well, which is not good.

    Best of luck, I'll be watching this thread...I also cannot stand these people.

    -Cody