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May-12-2010 04:04printcomments

Domestic Violence: Some Things Have to be Said

A member of our team struggles against Domestic Violence, and a system that sometimes caters to it.

Domestic Violence

(SALEM, Ore.) - Recently it seems the media has taken a great interest in Domestic Violence. Although violence and abuse between family members has been a reality since the beginning of mankind, it is still wrong.

Many members of the public often question why an abused person would allow themselves to be abused. Naively asking the question, “Why don’t they just leave?”. I have lived through the shame of being abused, and have found my way out into the world of self respect.

I would like to share my story.

I have two children, and if it weren’t for them, I would have never left my abusive relationship. It began as young “love”. Two crazy, passionate people running around town causing mischief and having the time of our lives! There were many warning signs in the beginning that friends and family alerted me to, but I was blind to any unhealthy patterns.

It wasn’t long before behaviors that I had previously seen as protective and sweet evolved into intimidation, control and abuse.

By the time I accepted that things were not right I was pregnant with my first child. I retreated to the safety and comfort of my parents' home, but never gave up hope that our “family” could work out. When my daughter was born, everything went back to being bliss. We were a happy little family. He worked, I stayed home and took care of our tiny pink infant. Then, slowly but surely, the abuse began to re-appear.

I coped with being humiliated, intimidated, threatened, hit and basically made a prisoner in my own home. Somehow I had convinced myself that it was important for me to just try and avoid any conflict, so long as my family could stay together. I secluded myself from friends and family and had little memory of the person I'd been, who was now hidden deep inside of me.

Two years down the road, and there is another baby on the way. Again I returned to my parents' home. Most people would think after twice leaving, there would be no going back. For me, the guilt of “breaking up” my family was overwhelming. A month before my second child was born, we got an apartment together. “Finally!”, I thought, “Things are going to be different this time.” But they weren’t. They were much, much worse.

We couldn’t pay the bills. We fought all the time. Our children were suffering in the middle of our unhealthy relationship. I decided enough was enough. Thanks to my ever-supportive family, I had a safe place to return to. We filed custody and parenting orders with the courts and I thought that I could move on with my life. My children were dealing with the separation well, and my ex and I were communicating as mutually respectful parents.

I had no idea that the abuse had not been broken. I began getting stalked. Receiving text messages and phone calls about where I was going, and with whom. The group of new-found friends who honestly cared for me dearly began to be harassed, even to the point of one person being beat up for hanging out with me.

I was scared.

I filed a restraining order with the courts. I was under the impression that I was safe now. Not nearly. My ex appealed the parenting time order in the restraining order (which prohibited him from seeing or contacting the children).

We went to court. The judge concluded that he was a threat to me, but not to his children. He lifted the hold on the parenting time, essentially putting our parenting plan back in order. He kept the restraining order so that my ex could have no contact with me. This makes no sense at all, because in our parenting plan it states that we are to drop the children off with the other parent at their home. There was no way to do that without contacting each other, and he cannot contact me through a third party.

All through the trial the judge treated the case as if it were a joke. He hadn’t read the restraining order before he entered the courtroom. His attitude was casual and unconcerned. When I expressed concern as to how we were going to work this out, he smuggly replied, “Well, he is going to have to follow the restraining order, which means he can’t contact you himself or through a third party. As to exchanging the children, he is going to have to figure that out.” And that was that. This has caused serious problems for me!

Of course he has contacted me several times since the trial, but the police are so confused about the ruling that they haven’t done anything. He even sent a person over to my house and they (the police) did not do anything. The officers I have dealt with have been rude and impatient. They have treated me as if I’m some white trash person off of the Jerry Springer show. Like I am wasting their time. They do not seem to take the situation as a threat to me at all!

On top of all of this, DHS put a hold on the child support case. This means they are stopping any action to collect child support, as they believe this will cause me greater threat. So now I am out here on my own, two little children to care for, no income and no way to care for us. There have been organizations that have helped, but in my experience, they make you jump through rings of fire in order to get it! This has not been a pleasant experience for me, and if it weren’t for knowing that my children are in a better position now, I would probably never have taken the steps to get out of the relationship.

So I know it is hard for a lot of people to understand why somebody would stay in an abusive situation, but please understand: it is not something that is easy to walk away from. You have to deal with the shame of admitting to friends, family and complete strangers that you have let yourself be treated that way, and be humble enough to ask for help. You have to deal with dirty looks and rude attitudes. You have to believe in yourself so much that you don’t care what other people think of you. I don’t know many people who can do that.

When all of your wishes come true, many of your dreams will be lost.


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Dexter April 28, 2016 4:57 pm (Pacific time)

I agree. The most amazing person.

Intuitive June 6, 2010 11:27 am (Pacific time)

I would like to contact Earl Richards to share my story. Earl, if you have contact information please email me at sunshinesnme(at)yahoo Thank you! Please put Domestic Violence contact me in the subject, thank you.

Amanda May 13, 2010 3:36 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you Coral I will look into those resources...

Coral Anika Theill May 13, 2010 4:15 am (Pacific time)

Amanda, The last few years, I have found some comfort connecting with support groups i.e, Mothers of Lost Children ," Dr. Maureen Hannah, Chair for the Battered Mother's Custody Conference,, Claudine Dombrowski,, Stop Family Violence,, and Liz Argate, Esq., Look up They have excellent resources and advice for situations involving mothers seeking safety from their abusers and preparation for court. There are numerous excellent sites that promote healing, enlightenment and awareness of abuse and exploitation. One of my favorites sites is Sanctuary for the Abused The internet is connecting many mothers who have been battered and abused in America's family court system. Their voices are strong and loud. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Amanda May 12, 2010 6:52 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you Earl but I have already done one can help :(

Earl Richards May 12, 2010 6:10 pm (Pacific time)

Amanda seek the assistance of the nearest battered women shelter. They have helpers, lawyers, volunters, counselors and so on.

Dexter May 12, 2010 4:43 pm (Pacific time)

Earl Richards: Well said. Shame you are not practicing law ;)

Amanda Leduc May 12, 2010 4:42 pm (Pacific time)

Earl, I have written another story updating the is only getting more horrible. stay tuned and please read it when it goes up! Thank you for your support!

Earl Richards May 12, 2010 4:08 pm (Pacific time)

The DHS is a powerful, secret socity and has to be accountable to the public for its poor decisions and its records have to be opened-up for public inspection and for inspection by the state's elected representative. The DHS has no authority to starve Amanda and her children. Where is the Child Protective Services in this matter. Why are they not checking into this situation where a young mother and her children are cut off from receiving welfare and have no income? Amanda cannot leave her children to find employment. It is against the law for her to leave her children alone. There should be court-ordered support and this order has to enforced, immediately.

Amanda Leduc May 12, 2010 2:51 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you all for your support! I hope that we can get this system changed so that people can get the help that they need!

Dexter May 12, 2010 2:28 pm (Pacific time)

QUOTE: "On top of all of this, DHS put a hold on the child support case. This means they are stopping any action to collect child support, as they believe this will cause me greater threat. So now I am out here on my own, two little children to care for, no income and no way to care for us". I think DHS should come under investigation in putting the mother and the two kids to border line poverty, where every little dollar helps in keeping her and her kids safe and secure!. I know for a fact any good attorney who has just read this quote would have a field day in court suing the ass off of the person who told her this, as well as DHS itself. It's almost like she is being punished by DHS just because she has a violent ex boyfriend!. What the hell are those people suppose to do when you get DHS say sorry, you are too much of a liability, we cant give you the money that you deserve ( back log of child support) because you are endangered by a violent boyfriend or husband!?. Correct me if I am wrong but most cases like this are due to violent or aggressive behavior, and now those people are getting penalized for it?!. The DHS should get sued for putting those peoples lives at risk buy NOT letting those people be able to obtain the money they need to GET OUT of the life they are so fearfully stuck in. I think Tim should find out who this woman was that basically gave the bird to Amanda in DHS, put her in a corner and interrogate her on her reasons for ruining this girls life AND expunging (shredding all the back log of child support that she rightly deserved from her ex). This is a disgrace, and I hate to think how many other people they have cold shouldered in the past because of similar situations.

Coral Anika Theill May 12, 2010 2:15 pm (Pacific time)

Amanda, I am on the staff. You are welcome to contact me anytime. I am also a domestic violence and rape victim/survivor. I have 14 years of experience in Oregon's courts, i.e, 42 court related hearings, seven judges. I have written everyone from Domestic violence groups, on a local, state and National level and local churches who were involved in my case. I have also contacted the Oregon State Senators, and Representatives, Oregon State Bar, Oregon Governor and Oregon Attorney General and Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force. There has been NO HELP and often I have received rude, dismissive or inappropriate letters from these groups. You can read my articles here at, just google Coral Anika Theill. Let me know how I can support you. When you hurt, I hurt too. My heart goes out to you. See my website:

Vic May 12, 2010 7:30 am (Pacific time)

Wow...incredible story..thank you for sharing, and maybe helping others in the same situation realize that rarely do abusers change. I for one, have never seen a wife/girlfriend beater "get better"...Good luck Amanda, and thank you !

Earl Richards May 12, 2010 5:23 am (Pacific time)

The family courts are powerful, secret societies. This family court judge should be fired and charged with child endangerment and child abuse. If the wife-beater is a danger to his (ex)wife, then he is a danger to her children. One does not need a law degree to know this. If judicial immunity is not ended, then the family court judges will keep-on breaking the law. Wife-beating cases belong under the jurisdiction of a criminal court, and not the farce and fraud of a family court. Amada could be killed or beaten very severely by this much larger man, and this judge has a casual, unconcerned attitude. This secret court has to be opened to the public, to the press/media and to court watchdog organizations to protect the public interest and to protect the child's interest. If this court is not opened to the public, then it has to be placed under martial law, immediately, because Amanda is not getting any support from the police, the DHS, the Child Protective Services(CPS) and the court. The CPS's are powerful, secret societies.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.