Friday, May 14, 2010

Domestic violence is on the rise in Shawnee County

http://www.ktka.com/news/2009/oct/20/domestic_violence_rise_shawnee_county/

By Jessica Drew

Domestic violence on the rise

Domestic violence on the rise in Shawnee County.

"I remember curling up in a ball to protect her from the kicks," domestic violence survivor, Claudine Dombrowski, described.

Claudine Dombrowski is a survivor to domestic violence, a cycle she went back to many times. "I had a choice I could see my daughter or I could never see her again. The abuser had complete control, so I got my daughter back and went back to him."

Going back to an abusive relationship is a problem District Attorney Chad Taylor said his office sees quite often. "We see it everyday, and it's just a matter of the psychology of the cycle of abuse," Taylor said.

The number of cases coming across Taylor's desk is growing. "Our year to date projections for 2009 total is going to be an increase of about 80 percent for the domestic battery cases that we filed," Taylor said.

Claudine fights to help women like herself who have fallen in the hands of abuse. "This was the crow bar, and then I was beaten and raped," Dombrowski said.

She said she never reported her beatings until after her daughter was born.

Taylor said it happens often, "It goes from bruises to hospitalization, to like we said this is all about homicide prevention."

Claudine said even if you haven't been a victim, you probably know someone who has and you can help them. "Don't think it's you...get rid of the scarlet letter of shame, it's the most important thing."

Taylor wants to show there's help out there for victims. "Making this a priority and letting people know that this will not be tolerated in our community," Taylor said.

Taylor's office gave us statisitics on Domestic Violence in 2008 the DA's office received 1267 cases, out of those 508 were filed. Starting from January 1st until October 16, 2009 there have been 1347 cases received, and out of those 849 cases have been filed.

One Domestic Battery charges, in 2008 there were 723 received and 246 filed for court. The projections for this year are 784 received and 443 filed, meaning an eighty percent increase on Domestic Battery.

Comments

candd66604 (anonymous) says...

When families are struggling with bills and employment or lack of it the stress levels go over the top. The news of the rise in cases doesnt surprise me tho it does sadden me.

October 20, 2009 at 4:44 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

aj92 (anonymous) says... Halleck George Richardson (The batterer who keeps her daughter hostage)

I saw the Domestic Violence Video. An I was just wondering how do you know that Claudine Dombrowski is telling the truth? I've seen countless articles about an "abused" victim who are just making it up to get back at that person for a unknown reason. And these people, like Claudine, don't realize by going on tv how much it hurts and embarrasses the chlidren that are brought up in thr interveiw. I have seen, Claudine, on the internet before with pictures of her daughter (and a different story every time), and I feel for her daughter, because I know how embarrassing and how much it can hurt. I can only imagine how it must feel, having a "mother" on tv and plastered all over the internet, about her "abusive" father. I wish Claudine would understand this and stop hurtting her daughter this way.
Now, I'm not saying that there aren't people out there that are really abused, but I think you need to know if its true or not. Before you go and interveiw them and air it.

October 20, 2009 at 6:56 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

alexisamoore (anonymous) says...

It is great to see DA Chad Taylor and a victim speak out during domestic violence awareness month. Sadly millions of victims continue to lose their lives each year and fall through the cracks of resources. Bravo to Claudine for being brave and for speaking out and kudos to DA Taylor for making domestic violence a priority in his office.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, cyberstalking or identity theft as abuse be sure to visit www.SurvivorsInAction.com "No Victim Left Behind"

October 20, 2009 at 7:50 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

etluv (anonymous) says...

How many "countless" victims have you seen make up an entire video and post them? Evidence please. And what are you, a private investigator? If so, you should do a piece. Besides, Claudine, and a few others are on a Human Rights case presented to the United States...I really doubt all the women went that far based on a fictitious story.

And you're right, you can only IMAGINE what it is like to have a mother "plastered all over the internet." The experience obviously isn't yours to own, nor are you qualified to speak on behalf of HER child. Perhaps mom is a heroe, perhaps mom is the only one who stands behind this child unconditionally--so much, that she's put her life on it. Perhaps you WISH you had someone who loved you that much.

October 20, 2009 at 8:02 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Accountability (anonymous) says...

Great Job DA Chad Taylor! The real shame of Kansas is how Claudine Dombrowski lost custody of her daughter to an abuser after she was brutally attacked and raped. What sort of judicial system does that to a mother who was trying to protect her child? Claudine Dombrowski seems to be a real threat to the abusers in our world because she isn't scared to tell how the system violated her and her child's constitutional rights.
The Kansas Constitution does state that women should have rights to their children and this keeps getting violated as children are taken from their mothers and placed with abusers.

October 20, 2009 at 8:10 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Delilah (anonymous) says...

Stories like Claudine's are being played out in courtrooms across the country every day. Not everyone is brave enough to speak out with the courage that Claudine has found. She not only speaks about her own pain and abuse, but she speaks for the ones who are living in fear of their lives and the lives of their children.

She holds up and supports so many others besides herself and does it out of the goodness of her heart, not trying to bring attention to herself, but to bring attention to the travesty of justice many are facing.

I, personally, applaud her for being an outspoken advocate, not only for just herself and her own child, but for the hope and help she works so hard to bring to others.

October 20, 2009 at 8:16 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Seeking4Justice (anonymous) says...

It is a shame that others are judging Claudine unfairly. Her abuse is real. Losing custody of her daughter to an abuser is real. Unless you have walked in her shoes you do not have the right to say whether or not the abuse has happened. Many women do not report abuse because they are scared. Women think of their children first and do what is best for them and yet they still lose custody to abusers. Where is the justice for our children? Abuse is real and until society realizes the real problem is with the abusers this cycle of abuse will continue. It is time to hold the abusers accountable. There are many forms of abuse and just because with some women you do not see any bruises does not mean that she has not been abused in other ways.

I think it is great that DA Chad Taylor is not going to put up with it and to hold the abusers accountable. We need more people to step up to the plate and not let the abusers get away with abuse or taking children away from good mothers. Abuse is not acceptable in any form. If it would happen to a loved one of yours I am sure that they would have a different outlook on it.

We should praise Claudine for her strength and efforts to help other women that are going through what she has gone through and continues to go through. Way to go Claudine! I am so proud of you! Keep up your great work of getting the truth out there whether people want to hear it or not!

October 20, 2009 at 8:42 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

jdrew (inactive user) says...

Thanks everyone for your comments on my story! I appreciate the feedback. I just wanted to let everyone know about the open records Shawnee County Courts has on the website. You can check all criminal cases, and in the case with Ms. Dombrowski, I ran a search and verified her story. I did not name the abuser, because I don't think it adds anything to the story, and it would not help any situation.

I do appreciate viewers and people in the community checking the facts, and just know I do everything I can as a reporter to make sure details are accurate. Having open records easily accessible from the County, and being able to run a search online on their website does make my job easier! Thanks again everyone for your comments!

If you have any other questions please email me!

October 20, 2009 at 9:01 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

JaneTruth (anonymous) says...

Maybe Claudine's child would rather her mother be alive, and to heck with embarrassment.

Does the photo of Claudine all covered with blood and bruises look like somebody trying "to get back at a person for an unknown reason?"

No matter how much stress is caused by the economy or whatever, that is no excuse for beating one's spouse! We all have stress. We don't all beat our wives or husbands.

With people who do this, the object is control. And it always escalates. The so-and-so is not going to stop by himself. We need more DAs like Mr Taylor.

October 20, 2009 at 9:08 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justina (anonymous) says...

Some may say, "She made it up and she's a fake." THAT alone is the problem with the mainstream of society. Without knowing her intimately, without being in her life to witness what she says happened to her, without any substantial reason other than 'so many other women lie and make it up all the time'...every woman is judged as liars.

I am here to tell you that I was honestly beaten, kicked, bit, maritally raped and beaten down emotionally, mentally, psychologically and spiritually by my batterer...and with every bit of honest evidence that he was a danger to me and my children, the corrupted system handed custody of my children over to him and took away my decision rights without my right to due process...and I face members of this society thinking that I must have been lying and the courts found a good reason why I should have lost custody.

I have felt alone in this horrifying nightmare in almost a decade of this. I thought I was the only one and in this isolation I almost accepted that I was a crazy whacked out liar and didn't even know it. That's just how far down I was. And, it wasn't until over a year ago that I started researching on the internet for abusers who get custody and how I could turn this around for my children, who are being horribly abused by their father.

The cruel awakening finally happened as I found out I wasn't alone, that this really does happen to battered mothers and that it was becoming like the worst case of cancer, eating away the Human Rights that battered mothers do have, to be protected from her abuser and to have the full right to protect her children from him, also. Too many of us mothers are suffering this pain of losing our children to our abuser and it's got to be stopped.

To Be Continued....

October 20, 2009 at 9:24 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justina (anonymous) says...

The only way it will TRULY stop is when everyone stops making the error of automatically thinking and accusing a woman of lying when she alleges domestic violence or child abuse/molestation, without good evidence to prove such. When it comes to the safety of women and children, it is absolutely important to error on the side of protecting women and children and let the investigation prove the truth of what's alleged.

Claudine is who gives us women who have suffered what she has suffered, a voice - courage to speak out ourselves - and a way for us all to find our own empowerment in order to be the change in how the US family courts grossly and dangerously mishandle custody cases that involve abuse at any level. If every citizen did their part to be the change that is expected in our family courts, we would see and experience that change.

Claudine is doing just that. We must all put aside the judgment of rather she's lying or not, as accusing her of lying or defending her of not lying. All that arguing is not what will get a bigger and most important job done. What matters is that there is corruption in the courts and what Claudine is doing is trying to bring change to make order in a disordered family court system happen. We should all be standing next to Claudine, as co-partners to help the other get this crucial change to happen!

Thank you, Claudine for your courage, strength and your never give up and never give in spirit. The winds of change have been long overdue and I just hope and pray that everyone globally will use the power within themselves to strengthen and carry this wind of change, till the change we so desperately need in our family courts, when dealing with a protective parent and children where abuse is alleged, will happen forever!

Here's To The Change,
Justina

October 20, 2009 at 9:25 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Claudine_Dombrowski (Claudine Dombrowski) says...

Petition to Inter American Commission on Human Rights in its Entirety:
http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/fol...

Also See:
http://bit.ly/U997l

Thank you all for supporting DA Chad Taylor- and Jessica Drew!! We need to stop the violence, If my case can in anyway help, then it will not all have been in vain.. to save just one life..
One woman, one child.

October 20, 2009 at 9:36 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Accountability (anonymous) says...

I say Chad Taylor should run for Kansas Attorney General! We know that AG Six could care less about victims rights including children. Go DA Chad Taylor! Be our next Attorney General!!!

October 20, 2009 at 9:42 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

anonymum (anonymous) says...

I really wonder about these sadistic comments against victims accounts. Alot of abusers will go to great lengths to conceal the violence. It is illogical to suggest that by exposing the atrocities against Claudine and her child would be an embarrassment. I imagine that the courts who have taken part of this abuse are embarrassed that now many know of their ills.
Its quite absurd to suggest that Claudines experience is anything but true.

For the court to grant an abuser custody is beyond simply violating the basic human rights of mothers and children, it is an act of torture and this court should be held accountable for its actions. On another note, we commend the media for drawing out this issue and hope that not only is this situation rectified, but both the mother and the child are greatly compensated for the undue suffering that they have caused.

October 20, 2009 at 9:46 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justina (anonymous) says...

It is incredibly absurd to accuse Claudine of lying! It boils my blood when anyone is automatically accused of lying about being violated.

Meanwhile...Claudine's child, the one she carried and gave birth to and protected with her very own safety and life at stake, has been ripped away from her loving mother...and the time together lost that can never be replaced.

Shame does not belong on Claudine's conscious....I say shame on her abuser and shame on Shawnee court system...for placing Claudine and her child in harms way and holding them as prisoners in harms way just for your own dirty agendas that you choose to think is way more important that these two precious lives.

However, praise goes to Claudine and whoever gets on board with her to help stop domestic violence at home and in the family court room!

October 20, 2009 at 10:04 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

SickOfVilence (anonymous) says...

In most states, domestic violence is not coded as such, especially if the people are living apart and the woman has a different last name or has reclaimed her maiden name. These stories are on the increase, but due male dominated police departments, sympathy for men or outright graft, when men do these things to women, it is covered up. 89,000 rapes were reported last year alone. How many were prosecuted? Where I live, NONE. Even child rape is not prosecuted. How can a 4 year old cause a rape?
Time to wake up and smell the atmosphere, the air stinks and it is the cops and the judges and the lawyers who all agree to cover up what is happening, and they do it for economics. Greed Rules.

October 21, 2009 at 1:31 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

SteveT (anonymous) says...

How do I know Claudine is telling the truth? WHY would someone lie about abuse? Plus PICTURES don't lie!
My heart goes out to Claudine and her child...and all women out there who have to deal not only with abuse by the abuser but through the court system. The child should be embarrassed aj92 due to the childs father being a abuser NOT because the mother is fighting the corruption, collusion and cronyism in the family court system.

October 21, 2009 at 2:02 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justina (anonymous) says...

Thank you so much for that validation for us moms and our children.

You're right...pictures don't lie. Neighbors witnessing the verbal or physical abuse don't lie, the bruises and broken bones and trying to figure out how to hide it all from being found out don't lie, the pain and fear on the mothers and children don't lie, the demolished things in the house don't lie, the submissive way a woman walks cowardly next to her significant other and the children behind with that same walk don't lie...most of all the broken hearts of who love abusers don't lie.

I cry writing this because I, like so many other moms. that have suffered horrendous abuse and now have to endure the pain of our children suffering the abuse from our abuser...have been screaming out the truth for so long upon deaf ears and cold hearts...we absolutely need everyone who cares about our pain to make such a noise about it that it will not be ignored any longer!

As far as I am concerned....it's not about me lying to manipulate the court to giving me custody of my children so that I can get money from my ex in the form of child support. It's all about the truth, which is that he's a wife batterer and a child abuser, and I must get my Human Right as a protective mother enforced so I can protect my children from him. He can keep every copper penny he earns, I don't want any of his money...I only want my children back in my safe and unconditional loving care! Is this too much to ask?

October 21, 2009 at 3:34 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

fortenderheart (anonymous) says...

For all of you that are doubting Claudine's "story" . . .do some homework . . . see the line of progression on the attacks . . .if you look you will see that her "story" is substantiated . . .and that you need to step back and really think about who you are trying to defend. . . .

Do you really want to defend an abuser that has a history of abuse? Somehow . . .in your heart . . .you should know better. . . you should be thinking about how you can keep the children safe . . .the wives safe and think about how to put an end to this mess . .
Yes, it was a very important message to come out during the month of October . . .but . . .look at all Claudine has been through . . .and what she continues to go through . . .

NO mother should be kept from their children! It is so important to have the maternal bond that helps the children to grow into a strong adult . . . and not repeat the cycle of abused to abuser . . .as so many do . . .

Before judgments are made . . . you should really explore the information that is available out there . . .Learn to spot the signs . . .and see the progression of the disease of abuse! .

Then . . . thank your lucky stars that you are NOT in the same position as Claudine . . .or any other victim . . .and try to make a difference so that the courts can see that there are specific reasons why a victim reacts the way that they do . . . instead of misinterpreting their actions as being malicious . . .

One last word of caution . . . DO NOT be so quick to blame the victims! NOBODY ASKS TO BE ABUSED!!!!! Look to see what information is available to validate their claims . . . and then make a decision!

October 21, 2009 at 9:03 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Song1212 (anonymous) says...

It takes a heart of gold, and nerves of steal to do what Claudine, DA Chad Taylor, and KTKA have done. No one wants to admit they are abused, and no one wants to be abused. Sadly it is a fact that our society blames the victim. Violence is non-productive, and does not set an example for a better country or world. It carries a stigma that needs to be shed. Thank you Claudine for speaking out, for not sitting down nor shutting up. We are lucky you have survived to share your horrific past to stop a cycle that breeds hate, mistrust, shatters lives and destroys children. If fact, it is the number one cause of death for pregnant women in this fine country. You bring us hope and strength. You daughter and mother must be proud.

October 21, 2009 at 10:35 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

valros (anonymous) says...

I have much to say on this TRUTHFUL story. I agree. Many of you do not know your facts and we need all the support we can get. Think about your own children. What if it was your child. I strongly urge you to believe not only Claudine's story, but many to come. You have no idea how the very "system" put in place to protect victims and THEIR CHILDREN have empowered the abusers for years.... I should know. Been doing it for 4.5 yrs now. It is time to hold them all accountable!!! SRS, EMCU (Exploited Missing Children Unit), the judicial system, need I go on. I pray you all wake up and see the Truth for what it is. God Bless, but The heartland-It has lost it's heart!!!

October 21, 2009 at 1:11 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justina (anonymous) says...

I would love to take this opportunity to absolutely thank DA Taylor and KTKA for giving Claudine this opportunity to are her story and expose the dark corruption of the system...who's grossly failed to uphold Claudine's Human Rights to protect herself and her child from the control and abuse of their abuser.

It is the hope and dream of all of us mothers who suffer this same pain, that those in power in our government will step up to the plate and start protecting all who are victims of violence. For that, DA Taylor...thank you so much. Hopefully you will be a great example that others with your power will follow and do the same.

And, for us moms to raise awareness as fast and sufficiently as possible, we absolutely need people in the media to help get our voices heard. Jessica Drew, there is literally thousands of thank yous from all of us mothers around the world for your willingness to get Claudine's story out there. We have needed this for way too long. Hopefully other members of the media all around the world will follow suit and help us bring the change we need to end violence for families all around the world.

Justina

October 21, 2009 at 1:19 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Public_Pretender (anonymous) says...

My heart and soul goes out to you and the media for finally allowing the vicitims of civil rights violations and crimes speak out for a change. We need a reality TV on this, not like most shows, that allow the violators that are suppose to be helping families come on, when they are such liars pretending to help and behind closed doors they are screwing you over till there is nothing left of you but flesh and bone, for they've burned you heart and soul. You know it's real bad when you know that most individuals fail to report the abuse becaues they say: Quote, if I report this, they will take away my kids and give it to the abuser and/or terminate my rights claiming parental alienation, and mental instability"! It's sad when people feel there is nowhere to turn to for help.

October 21, 2009 at 2:32 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

marlene_jones (anonymous) says...

Claudine Drombroski is one brave lady - braver than most - to speak out and continue her fight against this corrupt CPS system after what has happened to her.
I applaud her and thank her for what she does. I also thank DA Chad Taylor - he should be our next Attorney General of Kansas - we need someone that works for the citizens of Kansas. Better yet - I wish he would move to Wichita and become the Sedgwick County DA.
Thank you Jessica Drew for believing.

October 21, 2009 at 3:12 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Bunny38 (anonymous) says...

Sadly, the law in Shawnee County says that the 1st person to contact law enforcement is the victim. What happens when a man claims to be the victim because he called law enforcement first. I am a petite woman now facing charges after being beaten by a man, and the Sheriff's department's protocol is to not release my statement or photos of my injuries to the D.A.'s office until they are requested, the D.A will not speak to me (the supposed Defendent) and has no idea that a statement and photos exist. I am not the one who has had a previous arrest for domestic violence, I am a victim who is being treated like a criminal, Yeah, way to go Mr. Taylor.

October 21, 2009 at 3:26 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justina (anonymous) says...

Bunny,

Are you serious about there being a law that says the first person to contact law enforcement is the victim?! If so, I would love the state's code for that law. It would make a good topic to blog about. That's so incredibly insane! Totally insane!

Justina

October 21, 2009 at 6:02 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Seeking4Justice (anonymous) says...

I can see several moms have already posted about the truthfulness of Claudine's story and there are many moms that continue to face terrifying situations that nobody will listen to. I want to thank everyone involved for allowing Claudine to tell her story. It is vital that the truth gets out about the abuse that children and mothers have to live with on a daily basis. So many mothers do not know where to turn for help and lose their children because they do not have good, honest, attorneys who will fight for the truth.

There is no justice for our children or mothers who lose custody to our abusers. I thank District Attorney Chad Taylor for stepping forward to help others to learn of the truth. I know that many moms thank you from the bottom of their hearts. We need more people like you, Jessica, and everyone else who wants to share the truth with the rest of the world. Please keep up the great work. I pray that others will step forward in the media and other high positions to put an end to the corruption in the family courts and all professionals that help to take protective mothers who have been abused need to be held accountable.

Children should not have to live and be without their mothers and be forced to live with the abuser and his family. Children are forced to break the bonds with their mothers many times because of what the abuser says and does. Many abusers seek to do anything possible to break the relationship between the child and mother. How would you feel if your child was stripped away from his/her mother and given to the abuser not to mention the fact the child rarely gets to see their mother who only wants to protect her child? How would you really feel? Where would you turn? Many moms are not able to find representation as attorneys and other professionals do not believe that a judge or others would make a mistake. Another reason they are not heard is because of economic abuse from the courts, ex, and other professionals. Abusers end up getting "hired guns" on their side where they charm and lie there way into taking the children away from their mother who is more than fit to care for them.

I pray that we will be able to seek justice for our children and mothers around the world. Thank you again for being such a great example to the rest of the world. Please keep sharing stories such as Claudine's because there are so many mothers out there without their children and who have been abused.

October 21, 2009 at 8:55 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justus (anonymous) says...

Everyday women lose custody to abusers. The justice system is "pay to play" in the US. This story needs to tell the real truth how abusers accuse the victims of the fictitious "Parental Alienation Syndrome" (PAS) in order to get custody of children. It's just one more way to abuse the women by taking her child(ren) away. The total lack of ethics in the US legal system as well as the blatant advertisement of the use of these child custody scams that are avaible for purchase over the internet, as well as purchasing the unethical testimony of the PAS "experts" shows that the US is failing to protect women and children from abusers. Justice is for sale in the US. Just google "father's rights" and see the thousands of hits for these "win custody" scams.

October 22, 2009 at 7:46 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

EileenKing656 (anonymous) says...

Aj92 suggests we should silence and shame victims like Claudine, a piece of advice that no doubt sends batterers and child abusers leaping into the air with whoops of joy.

Claudine describes what so many mothers have documented for us: they tried to protect themselves and their children but ended up in a horrific Catch 22 situation in the family courts. Across the entire United States we see case after case where abusers are getting custody, no matter what the evidence is. It is one of the best kept dirty secrets of a country that believes it has the best judicial system in the world. Speaking out, getting this into the general media, are important steps to ending violence and child abuse! What is watched works.

Eileen King
Justice For Children
Washington, DC Chapter

October 22, 2009 at 8 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Justus (anonymous) says...

Instead of protecting the victims, the US forces women to co-parent with abusers. They may give out a worthless piece of paper, that is difficult to enforce while forcing the victim to "cooperate" (meet every demand) of the abuser. There is at least one (or more) homicide every week in these situations. This is how the US treats domestic violence victims:

http://www.azfamily.com/news/Domestic...
Domestic violence advocate questions Judge's decision in Peoria murder-suicide
by Ryan O'Donnell / 3TV

Posted on October 20, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Updated yesterday at 11:00 PM

PEORIA , AZ -- On October 6, 2009 Dawn Axsom and her attorney pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla to allow her to leave Arizona with her two-year-old son, Xavier, but Judge Padilla denied the request.

According to court testimony, Axsom's estranged husband, 28-year-old Gabriel Schwartz, had been arrested twice for DWI, was unemployed, and had made two failed suicide attempts. This prompted Axsom to also file for an Order of Protection against Schwartz.

Judge Padilla granted Schwartz visitation rights, requiring a drug & alcohol and mental health evaluation to be completed within 60-days.

Two weeks after that court appearance, Dawn Axom and her mother Linda were found shot to death in their Peoria home, reportedly by Schwartz, who then turned the gun on himself.

Elizabeth Ditlevson, who works for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says it's not just Judge Padilla, but other family court judges who don't seem to take domestic violence as seriously as they should.

"Some courts are privileging an abusers access to their children over the safety of the victim parent and the child. We think that that is a huge issue and it needs to change" said Ditlevson.

October 22, 2009 at 8:02 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

cancermoonwolf (anonymous) says...

I first would like to commend the people involved with shinning light to the atrocities that are faced daily by women who are abused. Too many times news outlets do not (or can not, as the case may be) expose what goes on behind closed doors. This only furthers the secrecy that must remain in order for a batterer to continue their reign of terror within their own house.

I also see that many here have already 'verified' Claudine's story. I am appalled that anyone after seeing her photos and court docs could even suggest she is making this up. Too often victims are not believed, even when they do have proof, because no one wants to admit that our society has turned a blind eye to what is a reality for so many.

I don't quote stats, I don't need to. I urge those that wish to see some numbers to do some research. Do not just pull up the first thing you find and take it as the final tally. Do not base your assumptions off what others say they have seen or heard, educate yourself and do your own researching.

So, thank you to Jessica Drew, KTKA, Chad Taylor and Claudine Dombrowski for taking that first step and bringing this into the media. For speaking out, and making people uncomfortable by giving information about a subject that no one wants to acknowledge even though we all know it exists. I sincerely hope that your actions will bring the winds of change that some many victims need!

October 22, 2009 at 8:08 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

silverside (anonymous) says...

I have had the privilege of knowing Claudine for a number of years, and I have come to greatly admire her courage, integrity, and dedication. She is devoted mother who has always put her daughter's welfare first. Of course, there are people here who want to sweep abuse under the rug and deny its existence. And they will always be hostile to those who refused to be silent and speak out about violence and judicial coddling of criminals. The actions of these people usually reflect the abusive situations they grew up in, situations they now reproduce in their current lives with other people. Too bad they are unwilling to confront or even recognize how warped they have become with their lack of compassion and their hostility towards justice.

October 22, 2009 at 9:07 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

WitchyWoman4Luv (anonymous) says...

First off... Can we all say "GOOGLE"??? All you have to do is type her name.. (Go ahead.. I'll wait..) The evidence will jump in your face!! This has been going on, forever! Almost the entirety of her child's life has been wasted on fighting an abusive MONSTER and a morally corrupt Family Court system!! This is absolutely ridiculous!! No one fights THIS HARD, or THIS LONG, for some trumped up reason!!

Secondly, it is about time, that someone with a heart and soul, and the BRAINS to know how to use them, became DA! BRAVO, Mr. Chad Taylor!! Would love to see YOU move forward, in your career!!

Jessica Drew, I applaud your courage in joining in this battle, as WAY TOO MANY so-called journalists have ran hiding. Kudos to you!! May you, too, go far!!

I am saddened that so many women and children are losing so much valuable time together, just because some court official wants to line their pockets. I would love to see a National, or International, Inquiry into Family Courts EVERYWHERE!! This is not a lone case.. This is not even just a handful of courts... This is happening EVERYWHERE, and in a gut-wrenching, terrifyingly rapid progression. It makes you wonder if there is something that Family Court officials take a class for, doesn't it?? These cases are on YouTube, MULTIPLE Blogs, websites... You name it, and they are THERE!! COME ON, WORLD!! We have to stand behind the TRUE victims and stop worrying about the MONSTERS and what THEY might do. I would suggest worrying that it could be your daughter who may be beaten to a bloody pulp, and HER children stolen from her!!

It is bad enough that we were beaten. It is bad enough that we were raped, tortured, brutalized, desecrated, and countless other violations, upon our person. Must we be FORCED to watch our children go through the same thing???? We are told to keep our mouths shut, by order of the "COURTS", or we will serve time in JAIL?? For Protecting our CHILDREN???? Is this logical, moral, or ANYTHING right??

I will end this, only by saying that Claudine Dombrowski is an inspiration to Victimized women and children, all over the WORLD... Yes, it is everywhere, and yes, we are FINALLY FIGHTING BACK... Look out, abusers!! Here we come!!

October 22, 2009 at 10:03 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

protectivemothersalliance (anonymous) says...

Thank you to everyone who is responsible for getting this story out! Claudine's story and many other stories like this, should be flooding the news media. Violence against women and children along with family court corruption and abuse has become an epidemic in this country. It is only by allowing brave mothers like Claudine a platform, that we can even hope to make change with these egregious violations of human rights .

Janice Levinson
Co founder/director
Protective Mothers Alliance

October 22, 2009 at 1:23 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

burl8025 (anonymous) says...

ITS ABOUT TIME! CLAUDINE HAS DONE MORE FOR THIS COMMUNITY THAN MOST PAID FOR ORGANIZATIONS.

MY FAMILY AND I ARE DEEPLY GREATFUL FOR ALL THAT SHE DID IN HELPING TO EXPOSE JUDGE DOWD IN THE ORLANDO PAUL CISNEROS CASE.

THESES JUDGES ARE INSANE.

20 FELONY COUNTS RAPE AND SODOMY TO A MINOR CHILD- YOU GET PROBATION.

BEAT THE HELL OUT OF YOUR WIFE- KEEP THE CHILD FROM THE MOM AND GIVING CHILD TO THE ABUSER.

THAT IS BEYOND INSANE!

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK DA CHAD TAYLOR, KTKA49 AND REPORTER JESSICA DREW!

ONLY WHEN THERE IS OUTRAGE WILL THERE BE CHANGE!

MICHAEL BURLISON
CO-FOUNDER
www.KansansForJudicialAccountability.com

October 22, 2009 at 5:31 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Jo (anonymous) says...

When so many people accuse women of being liars (false accusers) and bringing up "shame", you wonder why these women often live in shame and silence?! It's a disgrace how we treat victims. - These are comments based on a few of the readers' posts.

In regard to her case, she is one of tens of thousands (if not more) of battered women losing custody to an abuser.

Violent men more often than non-violent men seek custody....and get it. The "leave me & you'll never see the kids again" threat can turn into reality in family court. How can that happen?

*abusers often look respectable, even charming

*family courts with "friendly parent policies" view hostile or fearful women as anything but

*stereotypes of women's vengeance supercedes evidence and reality

*claims of neglect or mental illness - men actually make more false allegations than women, according to research, but stereotypes and angry divorced men have more branding power than facts

*disbelief that a person can cause such harm, lack of evidence & witnesses, not reporting prior abuse, etc. can all work against a battered woman

*it's rare that fathers are denied access to kids; parental rights trump women & children's safety

This is a national problem we're dealing with, not just one individual case -- it's time WE BELIEVE WOMEN and start protecting children - and preventing further abuse & homicides.

October 22, 2009 at 7:04 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Sheryl (anonymous) says...

Hopefully, this DA will investigate Claudine's case to conclusion (investigate the judge, guardian ad litem, other players such as the ex and his attorney) or refer it out for investigation, her daughter needs to be returned to her loving & protective care and custody.

Judges switch custody to "shut the mother" up instead of protecting both mom and child. One messed up system, one that operates in virtual secrecy and is in dire need of exposure and reform.

October 22, 2009 at 7:19 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

nojustice (anonymous) says...

Thanks Claudine for speaking out against such violence. Women and children are being denied the right to protection everyday in this country and even right here in Kansas. I personally know of mothers who have lost their child/children to the abuser, the conspiracy and corruption within our child protection system is out of control, children are being forced to live with their abuser because of a case just like Claudines, judges are giving abusers full access to their victims.

I say enough is enough, no more violations against women and children, start holding domestic abusers and child abusers accountable for the violence they inflict on their victims. NO MORE EXCUSES, start using the laws that are in place to better to protect the innocent!

Keep speaking out, hopefully someone will look into Claudines case and see how many laws have been violated.

How about an Attorney General who is willing to make domestic violence and child abuse top priority. Someone who is willing to truly uphold the laws of our state.

Thanks so much Claudine! From A Child's Rights Association

October 22, 2009 at 9:49 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

70sixspeed (anonymous) says...

I live in Placer county in California- and there is a case in the courts right now where the woman I love has been in a bad custody battle with her ex abuser. She has a sweet innocent 3 1/2 year old daughter with the abuser, and the courts and police have failed and actually put her daughter in harms way and put her full time in her fathers home. They are trying to shut her up as explained above by way of restraining orders, trying to arrest her, fining her, switching judges- etc etc. It also does not help that the fathers lawyer is married to one of the few family law judges in the county- and is friends with EVERYONE in the local court system. We have tried getting help everywhere but currently she has not seen her daughter even in supervised visitation in over 5 months which is breaking the court order- but since everyone is trying to keep her quiet, they keep making it harder for her to see her daughter by placing impossible road blocks in her way. She has tons of evidence that the courts and local police have not even viewed, and we dont know where to go now- there is a website trying to help get her daughter help, saveaaliyah.com which shows her evidence and explains ALOT about how abusers work- please take a minute and view it- It will take everyone to put an end to these kinds of people- so please pass this along and fight with the rest of us-

October 22, 2009 at 11:58 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Accountability (anonymous) says...

Children in Kansas are taken from protective parents and given to the abusers through family and juvenile courts. Evidence is altered and tampered with. Little children are threatened, abused and their rights violated by these so called child protectors. The child victims are silenced by the system that was supposed to protect them. EMCU is nothing but a bunch of corrupt parasites.

It is encouraging to hear DA Taylor speak out on behalf of DV victims.

DA Taylor has my support.
Hopefully Mr. Taylor will run for Attorney General!
There's a New Man In Town. Great song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzbRdV...

October 23, 2009 at 12:37 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

mothersfor (anonymous) says...

Cases like Claudines unfortunately are astoundingly common. Our Judicial system views children and wives as the property of men, still today, and finds ways to vindicate that attitude. There is no other way to explain a Judge granting custody of children to the man who molested them, or used violence against their mother.There is something very wrong with a system that equates supplying sperm with parental rights. People need to recognize that just because someone has sired offspring, it doesn't preclude them from being Sociopaths (like Saddam Hussein, for example). There is something profoundly wrong when violent men are not held accountable and sometimes even put in charge of children, and the victims of their abuse are vilified and terrorized again in the courts.
I live in New Jersey and know of several cases where exactly these horrors are being played out by Judges who are as malicious and damaging to these families as the men who originally terrorized these women and children. I didn't think it could be possible for a Judge here in this progressive state to give custody of two little girls to the very man who molested them and who they fear but I know it first hand. The protective mother, a well respected doctor, has had her young daughters taken away from her by a Judge, one person, on the flimsiest of all possible grounds, an allegation by the Judge that she had negative intent vis a vis her ex.(who raped her and molested thier daughters. Her only negative intent was the desire to protect her chldren and herself from a sexual deviant.)
Domestic Violence cases should be heard by specially trained panels. Men who are abusive look "normal" but they are not. They are often Sociopaths if not Psychopaths but they are very adept at projecting a great image. They are often successful professionals which makes it easier for people to believe they couldn't possibly be the criminals that they are. We have many stereotypes to debunk. Especially assumptions that mothers who are trying to protect themselves and their children are lying about abuse.
There needs to be much more coverage about this harrowing issue before the rising statistics make it impossible to ignore. All too often, abusive men turn murderous and much too often, tragedy could have been prevented if the courts had acted correctly. Physical and sexual abuse is criminal, and the person doing it is a criminal, even if they are in the family.

October 23, 2009 at 1:26 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

StillStanding (anonymous) says...

ABUSERS know how to look good in court, but if you look closely, you can identify them by their comments discrediting and/or blaming the victims. How very transparent.

It's not the Psychology of the abuse that keeps MOTHERS from getting out. What keeps them from getting out is that they are NOT allowed to get away, AND take their children with them. This would sound incredible, but stop by the StopFamilyViolence site for numerous examples, and copious research into Domestic Violence and Child Custody.

What's happening is that even the most well-documented cases are still *mandated* into mediation. Victims then have the evidence they submit tossed into as mediator's file box, then mediators make custody recommendations that completely ignore the issue of a father's violence. Laws that are in place often have *no* rulings, meaning they're not being followed-at all. Why?

This nets the court professionals with an average 80K from the Protective Parent over the years of litigation (•Neustein, A., & Goetting, A. (1999).

What kind of father abuses his children? (The Leadership Council - Custody Myths)-Predominately, one who abused their mother:To date, over 30 studies that have examined the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse found a large overlap. Overall, both forms of violence were found in 40% of families studied with the range in the majority of studies varying from 30% to 60% of families (Appel & Holden, 1998, Edleson, 1999).

What kind of "dad" molests his daughters? A violent man is 6.5 times MORE likely to molest his daughters. (Lundy Bancroft; Understanding the Batterer...)

These people are perpetuating the Cycle of Family Violence, for money. Think this is "not your problem? This is the pool of males your daughters will choose from.

US citizens should form a single massive movement to reform the family courts, and stop the abuse-for-money scam. Literally millions of abuse victims have been re-victimized in family courts when they try to leave.

October 23, 2009 at 10:07 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Indianashameteardropsforkatel (anonymous) says...

To the one who said Claudine was making it up "oh whatever you abusers and your helpers always say the same thing it comes back to the victom is lieing or somehow it's their fault" that is just a typical abuser cop out:-! Why are you abusers and your enablers always have the same pathology!?!?!?!
IndianashameTeardropsforkatelynn

October 23, 2009 at 2:25 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

StillStanding (anonymous) says...

ONE MORE THING: I want to go back and shame that PERSON who wants to say our kids should be embarrassed at our speaking out.

For God's sake, the SHAME belongs with the person attached to the hand that delivers the blows, and a comment like that sure casts a shadow of suspicion on anyone who wishes to shame and embarrass victims from reporting.

OUR daughters will know what's is at stake in the mate selection process.

October 24, 2009 at 11:26 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

ladessa316 (anonymous) says...

I just love people who like to imply someone is lying and do it anonymously.
Sounds like an abuser. Hiding. Denying.
I happen to have known Claudine Dombrowski since we were both 12 years old: that's 33 years. I happen to have taken some of those pictures. I lived in Topeka while attending Washburn University School of Law.
I know for a fact her story is true. I know that I personally went to the hospital, so many times I couldn't count, to sit by her side. I was there when her child was born and helped pick out the baby's name. I saw the black eye the night Claudine gave birth. I know she and her child hid at MY house. I know she cried a thousand tears on MY shoulder. I know that I, my children, my family were terrified that someday a call would come that Claudine or her baby were dead. That someday it would be too late. I know one of the hardest things I've had to do is try to explain to MY daughter is why someone would do this and not go to jail. I know Claudine's ex. I know what happened and I'm not afraid to confront you Mr./ Ms. Anonymous.
Maybe you should not imply someone is lying if you were not there. Why don't you crawl back into the slime pit where you reside and stay there being silent when you don't know and were not there.

October 24, 2009 at 5:52 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

sedgwickfamilycourtvictim (anonymous) says...

Claudine, It will be a year next month when I called you crying, you cried with me I had lost custody of my children due to a horrible attorney here in Sedgwick County. I had no where to turn to get support and you guided me. I will never give up on my children, and hopefully someday we won't have to pay an arm and a leg for justice, it should come free its our rights as US citizens. Everything is about money and whoever has the most money and the best connections win. (At least in my case!). I would like to thank Mr. Taylor and Jessica Drew for allowing us to speak out against this injustice especially when most of us left scared, and only protecting our children.

October 25, 2009 at 11:48 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

denise_momsv_org (anonymous) says...

Claudine, I commend your strength and continuous efforts to raise awareness of Domestic Violence and on your credibility to have gained support from this reporter and the District Attorney. As well as from all of us who are in support of this cause and posted positively on your behalf.

October 25, 2009 at 8:48 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

NancyCarroll (anonymous) says...

You would think the abuser should be embarrassed. What kind of man (or even human being) does this to another person, over and over and over again? No, as a typical abuser, he will send his associates here to input doubt of the truth of what he did. Their daughter embarrassed? Puleeeeease. The abuser is trying to have Claudine put in jail to SHUT HER UP, and this with the help of the Shawnee County Family Court System, who seem to be at the abuser's beck and call. DA Chad Taylor needs to investigate these corrupt family law judges that allow abusers and their corrupt lawyers to continue to abuse these victims.

Thanks to the abuser, Claudine is on 100% disability.

Thank you Jessica Drew and KTKA for continuing to seek justice for victims from these corrupt bastards.

Stay strong Claudine, many people all over the world love and support you and your daughter! Too bad you can't get the same respect in Shawnee County Family Court.

October 26, 2009 at 5:23 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

SteveT (anonymous) says...

Such a disgraceful society to blame the victim....shame on all of you that commented with such hatred.

November 3, 2009 at 3:33 a.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Claudine_Dombrowski (Claudine Dombrowski) says...

If you are a battered Mother You WILL lose custody of your children. The Family courts DO NOT allow the criminal convictions into Court.

And they will go to all extremes to continue to torture and batter. As a Survivor as below and the Lead plaintiff at Inter American Commission on Human Rights
(Dombrowski et el v US 2007)
http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/pag...

And as one who has endured 16 years of seeking justice- only to find JUST-US (the perps rights to continue to batter and destroy lives;The best advise I can give-is to run.. Run hard and run far before you ever enter the Insane Asylum Called Justice. Justice is only given to PERPETRATORS!! ONLY!

This is a human rights issue- there are no rights unless you beat, rape or torture women and children. ( but then we all already know that)

There can not be change unless there is outrage- Battered women and their children will never be safe- not never http://AngelFury.org
----------

November 13, 2009 at 10:19 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Claudine_Dombrowski (Claudine Dombrowski) says...

The Leadership Council: Domestic Violence (DV) by Proxy: Why Terrorist Tactics Employed by Batterers Are Not "PAS" September 16, 2009 Part 1: http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pa...

As more and more abused women lose custody to batterers in family courts, they are wrongly embracing the very ideas that enabled their abusers to gain custody in the first place. False accusations of “parental alienation" are often used by batterers to gain custody and to defend against accusations of abuse.

Some unfortunate women after years of enduring domestic violence have lost custody to the batterers who abused them. In these cases, batterers have made good on their threat to attack their ex-partner in the place she is the most vulnerable—by taking her children away from her. After separation, these batterers continue to wage their campaign of manipulation and abuse by attempting to convince involved children that their mothers never loved them. Looking for a way to describe their batterers' behavior, some mothers have called what their batterer is doing "parental alienation syndrome."

In reality, what these women are describing from their ex-partners is better termed Domestic Violence by Proxy (DV by Proxy), a term first used by Alina Patterson, author of Health and Healing. DV by Proxy refers to a pattern of behavior which is a parent with a history of using domestic violence or intimidation, uses a child as a substitute when he no longer has access to his former partner. Calling this behavior “parental alienation” is not strong enough to convey the criminal pattern of terroristic behaviors employed by batterers.

When his victim leaves him, batterers often recognize that the most expedient way to continue to hurt his partner is to assert his legal rights to control her access to their children. By gaining control of the children, an abusive male now has a powerful tool which allows him to continue to stalk, harass and batter an ex-partner even when he has no direct access to her. Moreover, by emotionally torturing the child and severing the bond between children and their mother, he is able to hurt his intended victim -- the mother -- in a way she cannot resist.

November 13, 2009 at 10:29 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Claudine_Dombrowski (Claudine Dombrowski) says...

The Leadership Council: Domestic Violence (DV) by Proxy: Why Terrorist Tactics Employed by Batterers Are Not "PAS" September 16, 2009 Part 2: http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pa...
DV by Proxy may also include coaching the child to make false allegations regarding their mother's behavior and harming or punishing the child for not complying. DV by Proxy perpetrators may also create fraudulent documents to defraud the court in order to prevent the mother from gaining custody. Whether or not the child is biologically related to them is irrelevant to perpetrators of DV by Proxy. The perpetrator's main motivation is to hurt his ex; whether or not his own child is harmed in the process is irrelevant to him.
This is very different from "parental alienation syndrome" as described by the late Richard A. Gardner. Dr. Gardner described PAS as an internal process by which a child aligns themselves with a preferred parent to protect themselves from the divorce conflict. “PAS” is conceptualized as a psychological process of identification with a parent who, according to the theory, encourages this identification at the expense of the other parent.
PAS inducing parents, according to Gardner, are often unconscious of what they are doing to encourage the identification. In contrast, perpetrators of DV by Proxy are very conscious of what they are doing. Controlling, coercive, illegal acts often done by abusive and controlling people, usually men, are not subtle, and do not encourage an identification with a parent. Criminal, fraudulent, coercive acts are visible and obvious. These behaviors encourage compliance by threats and fear. Behaviors involved in DV by Proxy are deliberate and often illegal. These behaviors include: battery, destruction of property, locking children in rooms to prevent them from calling parents, falsifying documents, along with other similar overt behaviors.
The most dangerous aspect of Gardner's PAS theory is that that the alienating parent's behavior is theorized to be so subtle as to be unobservable. In other words, the behaviors that are supposed to cause the alienation are assumed to be happening without any proof that they have actually occured. As many women have discovered this makes a charge of "alienation" almost impossible to defend against.

While Gardner's theories regarding PAS have been shown to be overly general and have not been supported by careful research, behaviors seen in DV by Proxy can be readily observed. Behaviors involved in DV by Proxy are deliberate and planned; many are illegal, and if the child is given the freedom to talk, will be described in great detail by the child.

If the child's formerly favorable view of the victimized parent changes when exposed to tactics like this over time then it is more likely a form of "Stockholm Syndrome" or traumatic attachment to the abuser, rather than the alignment with one parent and negative reaction to the other that Gardner described as "alienation".

November 13, 2009 at 10:33 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

Claudine_Dombrowski (Claudine Dombrowski) says...

The Leadership Council:
Abuse and custody disputes: Scientific and Legal Issues

http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pa...

November 13, 2009 at 10:45 p.m. ( permalink | suggest removal )

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