Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

16 February 2010

Judge Resigns Over Bias Against Domestic Violence Survivors

This was originally posted at the AWEARNESS blog. 


It's sometimes hard to tell non-advocates how biased the judicial system can be towards women. And some days all you need to do is watch a video. It takes a lot to get a judge removed from the bench, so I applaud the advocates in Houston, Texas for a job well done.

Advocates were able to gather enough evidence of Judge Reagan Helm being biased during domestic violence cases that he has stepped down. You really need to watch the video of the Houston ABC News network to see for yourself how biased he was (unfortunately I was not able to embed it here). Here are some key quotes from the former judge:
In a case involving a man who was about to be deployed to Iraq and accused of beating his girlfriend, the motion says Judge Helm indicated the country needed men like him to fight for their country and asked the prosecutor if she wanted him here attacking women or fighting the enemy abroad.
In another case, according to the motion, Judge Helm asked a woman seeking a protective order against her husband, "'How are you going to pay for groceries without him around?'"
What gets my goat is that he puts the burden of responsibility back on the survivor. It is essentially victimizing the woman again. "You don't want to be responsible for another woman being beaten? So suck it up." The issue of judges being unable to understand domestic violence issues is critical not just to people, mostly women, seeking orders of protection or convictions, but the issues are brought up in divorce courts and when parents are seeking custody.

Again, bravo to the advocates in Houston, especially one of my twitter friends who can be seen in the video.

I want to add another video of my fabu twitter friend...

 

1 comments:

How awful. He's implying that a woman is a punching bag, has no right to be physically safe. Thank goodness he's off the bench.