Louisa served with DIVORCE papers

BettyJean Downing Kling

To add insult to injury, Louisa’s husband has just had us served with divorce papers. This will set him free and allow him to remove her health care leaving her with nothing more than medicaide and second rate care for the rest of her life! The abuse never fails to amaze me!

The 60 year old retired laborer is entitled to full medical, eye and dental coverage at no cost for himself and his wife for life unless and until they divorce! This will leave Louisa without the benefits she needs to sustain her health and well being. Dumping her on the state medicaid roles is unfair to her and the NJ taxpayers and it renders her unable to get full and proper care!

Plantif demands judgment as follows:

Dissolving of the marriage on the grounds “The parties have lived separate and apart for a period of 18 months and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.”

As Louisa’s new Guardian, I am hoping to find a divorce attorney who will take her case here in Bergen County NJ and fight to  have her husband  keep her insured. Louisa cannot possibly get her own insurance under these conditions and she is entitled to keep her private health care rather than  having to resort to State benefits  because  he choses to  abandon her and take her care away!

Victim Impact Statement: Let me be the Face of DV Reform

Louisa Richardson Rodas by BettyJean Downing

I cannot speak, I can cry out for help or tell anyone what is happening to me, to add insult to injury I can’t report my abusers or the neglect I suffer. All I can do is take it and cry until Momma comes and finds me in deplorable condition. She has filed report after report to no avail. This is my existence now and the one I will endure for the rest of my life. Given that my heart and organs are in great shape that will be a normal life span of about 40 more years in solitary confinement and at the mercy of strangers. Where is the mercy for me? I was protecting my sister from an abuser the courts would not incarcerate and I am confined for life with no one to protect me? Where is the justice for the innocent survivors of crimes?

 I am trying to help and/or protect others from crimes against women through the efforts of my mother. We have proposed a law in my name in an effort to strengthen violence against women laws and see that they are enforced.

George was never sentenced for nearly killing my dying sister with a hammer over 3 years ago – he was angry and loose when he returned. Then while I tried to call for help finding him holding a shotgun over her- he blew my brains out. The first step is in getting him sentenced appropriately then we will move to get Louisa’s law passed.

Will you help us? http://louisaslaw.wordpress.com/louisas-law/

Louisa’s Law seeks to require significant, effective sentences and strictly enforce VAW laws to reduce violence against women, using a three pronged approach of Prevention, Services and Accountability.

My mom comes to the Long Term Care Facility every night, we want you to see the impact George’s actions have made and why if he had been in jail for the first crime – I would not be in this position today. We want you to see why DV needs to be reformed. I am the face of DV reform. I want you to see what the effects of DV really look like and why you need to help NOW. This could your daughter, sister, mother, neighbor next. 

Look how she finds me?
I can’t wound myself this way, yet they say I did this to myself.  My body is banged and bruised, my faced is bashed against the bed rails and once mom saw them bash me in the head with a lift machine and two against one they denied it.

I am not given mouth care, my Mom comes each night to clean my mouth and suction my throat out so I don’t choke to death. She then scrubs my face and neck , picks my nose and clears the  stuff from my one eye and the empty socket to keep the reoccurring eye infections away – because that is not done for me by the facility.

Mom puts me to bed ever night! Friday night is shower night- Mom comes – she is the one who showers me- I like shower night because that is when the stench of urine and feces is really removed from my body best and my hair is made to smell so clean and look so shiny! Mom put baby powder on me like when I was a baby and I like being babied every night when she puts me to bed.

I have had numerous  horrible rashes, my rashes are so bad they bleed from the  blisters. Mom has had terrible fights with the heads of this place because she has taken pictures of the rashes — they say she is not allowed but she takes them anyway. She has documentation of all the neglect and abuse but can’t show the rashes here. You would cry if you had my rashes between your legs on your vagina and between the cheeks of your butt. You would not be able to sit and urinating/or moving your bowels  into a diaper then sitting in it for hours would be torture!

My finger was smashed and they refused to attend to it – I nearly lost the finger but my mother lanced it and saved it just as it was about to turn gangrene.

This is not about revenge- I will never be made whole, my mom nor my sons will ever be made whole,  but we ask that the price we all pay stands for something and that something is the future of DV no longer be a revolving door of injustice for the innocent survivor.  I am the face of one such survivor. Let’s stop this before it happens to you or someone you love! Help us help you – Please don’t sit by until it happens to you or someone you love – then it’s too late!

Louisa’s Law seeks to require significant, effective sentences and strictly enforce VAW laws to reduce violence against women, using a three pronged approach of Prevention, Services and Accountability. http://louisaslaw.wordpress.com/louisas-law/

Sentencing for George Hartwig will be handed down on 2/24/12 before:

The Honorable Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
Bergen County Justice Court
10 Main Street Hackensack,
New Jersey 07601

Please write the Judge and ask for consequtive sentences so that George serves for at least both attempted murders! He has thrown himself on the mercy of the court asking for the minimum and to serve as little as 10 years – we are asking for at least 40. Please help us send the message – DV is a serious crime and should be ajudicated as such!

Steven Seale: Join one man’s plea for “Justice for Louisa”

BettyJean Downing-Kling

The following letter speaks for itself- I had to share this with you. Please find it in your heart to join Steven and ask justice be applied to this as we hope it will stand a precedent for all DV cases. It is time to stand up for Justice! Steven has eloquently made the case, but even a simple letter will suffice. Please join this effort. Sample letters can be found: http://louisaslaw.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/help-get-justice-for-louisa/

January 12, 2012

Judge Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
Bergen County Justice Court
10 Main Street Hackensack,
New Jersey 07601

Your Honor,

I am writing you in regards to the case of New Jersey vs. Hartwig. It has come to my attention that you are scheduled to sentence Mr. Hartwig. I am also writing to you not only on behalf of my long time friend BettyJean Kling, the mother of the victim (Louisa) and her family, but also on my own behalf. I am a parent as well as a natural born US citizen.

I, have been privileged and blessed to have born a single and magnificent Son, Jonathan, now of age 27. He has far surpassed his Father in life and value to his communities through his own efforts of scholastics, and personal responsibility for himself and his actions. I can honestly say that I have never once heard him say anything at all that was unkind to another. He has more good, kind, law abiding and faithful friends then I might have ever imagined. He is a beacon of light and faith to them and to me and his Mother. In my words…”He is the best thing that I ever did.” He is a wonderful human asset, a productive member of society, and I am VERY proud that it is he alone that will carry my family name forward. At least if he is not stopped short in life as was Louisa.

In brief your honor, I don’t want to labor you with rhetoric, or the facts that I am confident can be found in your case files. I simply want to say that the perpetrator in this matter does indeed have a problem that needs to be addressed appropriately and in a manner that will provide our communities with the assurance that such crimes will always result in the maximum allowable penalty when the case facts are clear and indisputable. Single handedly, the perpetrator has taken away a human resource, that like my Son, was a beacon of light to so many people. She was kind and loving, productive, honest, law abiding, and believed in the close ties of friends and family. Success seemed to follow her everywhere, and a room would light up when she walked into it. She couldn’t help it.

Perhaps you also are a parent; maybe even own a pet that you dearly love. And if so, you have guided, protected, nourished and also prayed for them to enjoy a better life. Free from harm but not challenge.

Everything has changed for Louisa’s family. Nothing will ever be the same.

I have always had a lot of faith in our justice system to do the right thing. I recognize that it’s not a perfect system and it doesn’t always work how everybody would want it to. That is part of life in the ‘civilized’ world. I have that same faith in you as you preside over this case and make your ruling. I want to look back on this case after your ruling and sentence is carried out and be able to say this:

“Within the allowed law, he was taken off the street for as long as was possible to further insure that he won’t have the slightest chance to regain the privilege of living in the public sector, as a free man, and that he will be asked to accept the appropriate just consequences (not punishment) and take responsibility for his own actions, even if by force of incarceration.”

I know that every case decision and sentence that you hand down is based on serving justice to the best of your ability and according to the letter of the law and all other factors. I would be remiss in my duties as a Father to not ask you to put the perpetrator where he truly belongs for as long as possible. Further, if there is some matter or point of law allowing you to extend his consequences, please consider and take that action as well. My entire family will breathe easier that justice, all that was available under the law way served.

Thank you for your consideration,

Steven Seale
Marietta, GA 30062

He came to kill me: Don’t think for one moment he didn’t succeed.

BettyJean Downing Kling: The Majority United

Update: George Hartwig gets 30 years for shooting sister-in-law in the face: DV Justice at last

Let’s thank the Judge who cited DV statistics when she handed down the sentence!

Judge Liliana S. DeAvila-Silebi
Bergen County Justice Court
10 Main Street Hackensack,
New Jersey 07601

On December 15th. 2008 at approximately 8:50 pm Eastern, George Hartwig entered 540 North Main Street, Lodi, NJ with the intent to kill me.

That morning George came to that address looking for trouble of one kind or another. He said he was there for a receipt to an air mattress his estranged wife bought him a few months earlier when she arranged to rent him an apartment across town.  Denise , my daughter had spend 23 miserable years with this explosive man but she finally had enough the previous June evening when she awakened to sharp blows to her head and body and found George trying to kill her.

She begged for her life and finally convinced George she would hand over what he wanted, her pain meds. Denise was in the final stages of Ovarian Cancer weighing 80 Lbs.; she couldn’t bear for her son to find her bludgeoned to death when he came home.

Fearing his return, she had him arrested but also fearing his ire she failed to file a restraining order opting instead to pacify him with promises to help him get medical attention and institutional addiction placement. Denise had been through the revolving door of DV and knew he would be out in a short period of time. Sure enough, George waltzed in one day saying  “Hi honey, I’m home- I had ‘Let em go Lipton’ for a Judge”.

Convincing George she was too frightened to have him in the house and that her family would toss them both out if she allowed him back – he agreed to move into an apartment – and so Denise paid the rent and furnished it. Hence George was here for a receipt to the air mattress he burn through with a lit cigarette – or for drugs- we will never know.

Upon his arrival, Denise told George, he had the receipt but George continued to berate her and drag her around the living room demanding she locate it. Barely able to stand I intervened and George turned his anger on me and we began to argue. He wanted to know where I expected him to sleep that night and I told him I didn’t care if he slept on broken glass in the gutter.

I demanded he leave as I caught my daughter before she hit the ground and he informed me that

Dee just before he blugeoned her head open. Her late brother Mikie always framed in her pictures with her. She was asleep on that chair and it was that pillow covered with the blood that George used to taunt us that morning!

there was no restraining order and if I called the PD- it would be my ass getting hauled out of his and his wife’s house. Adding what would happen to Denise then if no one where there to protect her.

He immediately ran to the other side of the room and produced from behind a big chair a pillow covered with blood. Holding it up like a trophy- he reminded me that this was the blood from my daughters head!

Losing all composure, I told him I thought he was a low life punk who was so proud of his trophy full of blood that he was so low he could crawl under a caterpillar with a high hat on. How can a 250 Lb bruiser be so proud to hammer in the head of a dying woman? I then became hysterical and uncontrollable through falling tears and hysteria I heard him threaten to blow my brains out. I responded that he was not man enough to do that- he had been threatening to do it for years but all he was man enough to do was hack a sick girls head in while she was sleeping.  By this time others got between us as he attempted to attack me. He left. He called several hours later apologizing and telling Denise he found the receipt!

At almost 9 pm, he returned with a shotgun. Denise was sleeping, Louisa was at the very end of the couch working on her computer, nearly deaf, and she never heard him enter. When she spotted him hovering over Denis with a gun she immediately texted her son Marc 911 and then dialed her brother both who were within 3 blocks from the house.

Denise awoke to hear George demanding the phone and holding a gun. Groggy, she began looking for a phone to give him then heard a shot fire. When she turned to look all she saw was George peering down at her – the gun pointed at the ceiling. She had no idea what direction the gun shot landed nor where her sister was at the time. George now began pointing the gun at her and demanding pills.

By that time Louisa’s bother Tom had answered the phone, he did not hear the gunshot which apparently went off before he answered and after George realized Louisa was not going to give him that phone.  George shot her to prevent her from completing a phone call. A phone call which would have prevented him from getting the drugs he was after.

I have always thought – if he really thought Louisa was me- he would have not asked for the phone – she would not have gotten off a text and a phone call- and he would have gone right over to her and either recognized her or shot her anyway instead of nudged Denise awake.

What Tom did hear when he answered the phone was George screaming at Denise to get up and get him the drugs. He jumped in his car and Marc having received the 911Text had jumped in his car. They   each arrived and each entering from a different entrance, approached George while he was getting pills from Denise.

George turned the gun on Tom and pulled the trigger but the gun jammed. Before he could fire again, Marc jumped him from behind and subdued him until the police could arrive. Denise immediately dialed 911 and then they all noticed that Louisa was at the end of the couch in the dark not moving.

Louisa had suffered a shot to the face and head leaving her nearly dead. She currently resides in a State run hospital. I am in the process of looking into home care for Louisa as the long term care has proven to be totally inadequate for her care let alone rehabilitation LTC is more of an impersonal bed and medication ward for bodies attended to by overworked and understaffed floaters than a suitable care facility. Louisa is a young woman who deserves to be in a happy and caring atmosphere an attended to by care takers, and by doctors who actually examine her and prescribe with expectations of quality of life.

George was lucid enough to tell the officers exactly what happened that day and night – he says that he though Louisa was me and that he was very intoxicated and I had made him very angry and he decided to come over and kill me.

Denise Died from her cancer on March 7th. she went  to her death feeling  responsible for marrying the guy who shot her sister.

George has pleaded guilty throwing himself on the mercy of the court. He expects to get the minimum sentencing when all 10 counts including 2 attempted murders are to be served concurrently which looks like a sentence of 10-20. Serving 85% and time served … you figure it out!

Louisa remains incapacitated for life which should be another 40 years.  Make no mistake- the best part of me died that night! George Hartwig came to kill me and in many ways– he succeeded!

Below the pictures of what he did to both my daughters. First Denise helpless and dying of cancer:

The next is of Louisa- the result of George not wanting her to complete a phone call to her brother Tommy for help.     

In the summer of 2007 my daughters and our husbands had a vacation together- we ere the only family George hd for the last 23 years before he destroyed our world. He didn’t deserve us and we didn’t deserve him.

Our family holidays always inc. 4 generations: My parents Roy & Louise Downing; Bj & Dick Kling; Denise and her son Christopher; Louisa & Frank and her sons Marc & Joshua. Photo taken the Easter 2007 before Denise lost her hair. George took the picture.

Help Louisa: Does this have to happen to your daughter for you to take action?

Another Rant by BettyJean Kling

I sent out thousands of requests- thousands of requests from my personal address book!

I then sent our 5000+ via TMU newsletter.

I then put it out on FaceBook to nearly 4000 who friended me and then to my TMU group and to several Domestic violence groups.

But out of 10,000 requests- I am embarrassed to say the response was pitiful. Is it any wonder our women are being slaughtered daily and the prosecutors and judges take it so lightly? Does it have to happen to your daughter for you to take action?

Do you perhaps have to see the gruesome details of my once beautiful daughter to be moved to action? So be it! Here she is!

This is Louisa, my daughter who at 40- not a gray hair, not a wrinkle – no need for make-up which she never wore. Louisa had a smile that lit up the room and a giggle that made the saddest depressed person have to laugh out loud. She was a business owner, a graphic artist and one heck of a gal.

She is my baby, a mother, a wife, a grandchild, a sister, a friend, a neighbor, a woman!

She was caring for her dying sister Denise when she was shot in the face by her brother-in law George Hartwig. She was there protecting her dying sister from this brute who was out of jail without bail after bludgeoning his wife’s bald head with a hammer a few months earlier. When Louisa tried to phone for help he told her to “put down that phone” and when she refused he aimed at her head and blew her brains out of the right side of her head! She lost half of her skull and brains her eye, her memory – she is paralyzed for the rest of her life. She does not know her family including her children; she cannot speak, stand, or even express her needs. We have no idea what she thinks as she lays there. But she is otherwise strong and young so she has a long life sentence of this ahead of her.

George has a great attorney who wants a plea deal. Remember, had he not been loose after crushing my other daughter Denise- bald head in a few months earlier – he would not have been roaming the streets and could not have done this to Louisa. Are we going to give him yet another deal?

I need your help- I will even write a simple letter for you. Do you want me to pay for the stamp? I will even do that but please in the name in good conscience stand up for the victims right and stand up for human rights. Stand up for Louisa – she can’t speak for herself.

To: John L. Molinelli
Bergen County Prosecutor
10 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

State vs. George Hartwig Re: Louisa Rodas

Dear Prosecutor Molinelli,

I am writing this letter to you because I am profoundly saddened that there is some discussion of a plea agreement in the case of George Hartwig who savagely shot and disabled Louisa Rodas. I am asking you to proceed to trial and prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law. It is important that justice be served.

It’s time to stop slapping the hands of perpetrators of violence against women and children. Let’s hold them fully accountable for their actions. It’s time to take violence against women more seriously – seriously enough to say – no more plea deals when violence does happen. It’s time to expect Judges to take this more seriously and provide stiff sentences to the fullest extent of the law. It’s time to Stand up to Violence against Women.

The overcrowding of your courts and prisons are not our problem justice is our problem. A victim’s first scream is for help; a victim’s second scream is for justice.

The primary reason women fail to report violence or fail to follow through is the failure of the courts to provide protection and to prosecute domestic violence to the full extent of the law. Many victims feel safer negotiating with their perpetrator than relying on the system to protect them or to bring them justice.


Concerned citizen

If this plea doesn’t get a response- I am going to have to wonder if any of you care a fig about women at all? I am going to have to wonder what you think you can expect if this happens to your child. We need to stand up now- we need Louisa’s Law!

Louisa’s Law which will require those with the power to do so to “Stand up to Violence against Women”

It’s time to stop slapping the hands of perpetrators of violence against women and children. Let’s hold them fully accountable for their actions. Let’s hold prosecutors feet to the fire – no more plea deals when violence does happen. Let’s hold Judges accountable for sentencing these violators to the fullest extent of the law by handing down stiff sentences.

On the meantime I urge you to join us in calling an end to a proposed plea deal in the case of George Hartwig.

  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.


John L. Molinelli
Bergen County Prosecutor
10 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone (201) 646-2300
Fax: (201) 646-3794

Do ya think we can send George to Arizona?

By: BettyJean Kling

geoGeorge Hartwig shot my baby girl Louisa in the face with a shotgun while she was phoning for help. He was forcing her 80 Lb. dying sister Denise for her cancer pain meds. Denise is gone now, Louisa is not far behind. George comes up for arraignment for aggravated assault in August 17th in Bergen County N.J.  We can’t send him to Arizona but we can send letters to Bergen County NJ insisting NO BARGANS–  prosecute George to the full extent of the law! He assaulted Denise for 23 years; he was out on his own recognizance taking a claw hammer to her head resulting in 85 stitches the previous June. I need your help to ensure we get some Justice- please help!      Louisa’s Law 2009

PS- aside from the obvious PINK= sexist- Joe is doing a great job on these guys  and the ACU can kiss my pituddy if thy expect me to feel sorry for George Hartwig or any other abuser!

You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well…………..



Oh, there ‘ s MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe! Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay. The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who ‘ d like
to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows. The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in
great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78.

The prisoners get the benefit of about $0..28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 – $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later… We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.

Yup, he was re-elected last year with 83% of the vote. Now he’s in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn’t doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He ‘ s kind of a ‘ Git-R Dun ‘ kind of Sheriff.


He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights Cut off all but ‘ G ‘ movies. He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county
and city projects. Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn’t Get Sued

For Discrimination.He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court
Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel. When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It’s Gonna Be While They Are Working On My Chain Gangs.

He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value. When the inmates complained, he told them, ” This Isn’t The Ritz/Carlton……If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Come Back.”

More On The Arizona Sheriff: With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:

About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts. On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached138 Degrees Inside

The Week Before. Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On
Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS. ‘ It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace, ‘ Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. ‘ It’s Inhumane. ‘

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: ‘ It’s 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear, But They didn’t Commit Any Crimes,So Shut Your Mouths! ‘ Way To Go, Sheriff!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes – not live in luxury until it’s time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can’t afford to have for themselves.

HELP! Got a minute and 42 cents?

All you’ve got to do is copy this letter sign your name to it and send it- that’s all- maybe a few million of them will help move along the legislation proposed that will help us get new laws that will better protect women by applying new standards violence against women is a hate crime – a new law I hope we will call Louisa’s Law!

Write your own or copy the letter below sent by my friend Barbara. Be sure to tune in to hear Patricia Eddington and Marcia Pappas Monday 3/23 Live 10 PM or download the show later http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FreeMeNow


I wrote to Governor Paterson, NY state Representatives, and NY Newsday.

Will also send to all MSM media.  Anyone else?

Good Luck tonight,


On Saturday Mar 21, 2009 NYers awoke to yet another murder of a woman by her Intimate Partner.

Yet another woman, Joanna Bird, murdered in her home. Yet another woman with a worthless piece of paper called “a stay away order of protection” Yet another would be murderer Leonardo Valdez -Cruz defying the worthless piece of paper stay away order three times.

Yet another investigation into how did this happen? The Nassau County Police Dept. is looking into “If there was a time we could have locked him (Leonardo) up but didn’t, but at this point I don’t know that thats true”

This question after a break in, a lie in wait, a kidnapping involving a gun, a strangling and a promise to kill Joanna on Jan 25, 2009.

A missed opportunity to lock him up and save her life because the laws that pertain to Domestic Violence in NY required Joanna to testify against Leonardo. The woman who is terrorized and threatened, the woman who is the victim of a felony is required to give testimony against her perpetrator in order to prosecute him. The laws in NY protect the abuser not the abused victim of the felony crime. Leonardo and thousand like him are free to do as promised, murder her.

Yet again the laws of a civil society that promise to protect and serve ALL its citizens failed this woman and fail to protect thousands of women everyday.

So Joanna Bird becomes yet another statistic a woman murdered by her intimate partner.

  • 55 percent of all women murdered in NY are murdered by their partners.
  • 75 percent of all women who are murdered in NY are murdered in their homes.
  • 20 percent have the worthless piece of paper stay away protection.
  • 100 percent of these women murdered/ massacred/ assassinated were sacrificed because of laws that did not protect them. Laws that require them to testify against their terrorist. Laws that view them as collateral damage in a dispute.

In 1962 the state of NY transferred domestic violence out of its criminal courts and into its family courts. Making a felony assault a dispute, or a “simple assault”. But 50 percent of these “simple assaults” result in physical injuries that are as, or more serious than 90 percent of rapes,, robberies and aggravated assaults.

“Simple assaults” are no accidents they are deliberate, premeditated acts of violence and frequently they occur over and over until the women is murdered.

Please join NY Assembly member Patricia Eddington who is introducing a bill that will require authorities to first apply the standards of a “hate crime” to offenses of domestic violence before seeking a lesser charge under the penal code.

Statistics and the current laws clearly state, A women in NY is safer with strangers and more protected on the street than she is in her own home with her “loved one”.

Change the laws that allow yet another woman to be murdered because yet another murderer was given the chance to follow through on yet another promise to kill her.

Barbara Budd

Wantagh, NY


Violence against Women is a Hate crime

Please join us Monday Night 3/23/09 10 pm EST
Call-in Number: (347) 838-8011

Join US : NYS Assemblywoman  Patricia Eddington , Marcia Pappas and I will discuss proposed legislation making violence against women a hate crime.

Cross Posted – http://www.campaignforgenderequality.org/breaking_the_silence

Submitted by pat on Sun, 03/01/2009 – 18:55

“Turning a person into a thing is almost always the first step in justifying violence against that person.”

– Jean Kilbourne, lecturer and keynote speaker focusing on violence, women, and the media.

Chris Brown’s brutal beating of Rihanna reignited talk about domestic violence in this country. That is a good thing! We need to have more honest conversations about this epidemic. The statistics shed some light on the severity of this problem:

Battering is the single most common cause of injury to women in the United States, more common than car accidents, mugging and rape combined. Much to the misconception of many, victims of domestic violence come from all races, classes and ethnic backgrounds. Of all women murdered in the U.S.—an average of three a day—about one-third were killed by an intimate partner. According to the National Organization for Women, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.

I found this recent article by Megan Twohey and Bonnie Miller Rubin disturbing. According to them, 1 in 10 teens suffer from dating violence, yet their reaction to Rihanna’s beating is that she deserved it. What is the answer to this gross misconception? Education. According to Twohey and Rubin:

“In recent years, some schools and youth organizations have started educating teens about the dangers of dating violence. Rhode Island and Virginia have adopted laws requiring such instruction in the public schools. But most states, including Illinois, don’t have such a mandate and education on the topic remains in short supply, experts say. Two of three new programs created by the federal Violence Against Women Act in 2005 to address teen dating violence were never funded.”

Not only are we not doing enough to educate youth about domestic violence, but the media (a prime source of information for today’s youth) doesn’t give domestic violence its due coverage. We barely heard anything about the woman in New York who was recently beheaded by her husband after she had filed for a divorce. Where is the outrage? I know it’s not a pretty story, but if we don’t talk about domestic violence, and, more importantly, learn about its roots and causes, we will never eliminate it.

What makes domestic violence and other forms of violence against women so prevalent? What makes men feel they can have power and control over women? The answers to these questions are abundant and complicated, but recently I came across two videos that shed some light:

This one speaks to advertising and the effects it has on women and the value of women.

This one talks about the media and how men learn to treat women.

Campaign for Gender Equality is a non-profit 501c3 organization focused on raising public awareness of the benefits of gender equality, regardless of age, race, class or sexual orientation, through education and advocacy.

We have partnered with Professor Bettina Aptheker, head of Women’s Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to promote her “Introduction to Feminisms” course now available in a 17 set DVD. In her DVD titled “Domestic Violence: Strategies for Prevention and Resistance” Aptheker says, “Violence against Women is the magnification of the historical unequal power relations which have lead the domination over and discrimination of women by men to the prevention of women’s full advancement.” Order “Introduction to Feminisms” on DVD.

Battery, whether emotional or physical, is about power and control. From Aptheker’s DVD, here are just some examples of the different types of domestic violence.

  • Emotional – putting her down, making her feel bad about herself, calling her names, making her think that she is crazy.
  • Economic – trying to keep her from getting or keeping a job, making her ask for money, giving her an allowance, or taking her money.
  • Sexual – making her do things against her will, physically attacking the sexual parts of her body, and treating her like a sex object.
  • Using children – using the children to give messages and using visitation as a way to harass.
  • Threats – making and/or carrying out threats to do something physically or emotionally, threatening to take the children, and threats to commit suicide.
  • Using male privilege – treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the master of the house
  • Intimidation – putting her in fear by using looks, actions, gestures, loud voices, smashing things, destroying her property.
  • Isolation – controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, and where she goes.

Perhaps many readers do not experience these confinements, but a great many women in our own country still live this way. These patterns of domestic abuse and domestic violence are all about power and control. To stop the epidemic of violence against women that exists in this country we must break the silence. We must put adequate funding into educating the next generation of girls and boys about violence against women and its root causes. We must have honest conversations about domestic violence and pressure the media to change its portrayal of women as objects.


Where’s Al Sharpten et al

Another Rant by: BettyJean Kling

Betcha if Chris Brown was white Sharpten and the rest of these black activists would be out in the streets and flooding the airwaves with plenty to say about how this man beat up this beautiful black girl – but since he’s a brother – it’s quite all right to beat Rihanna’s head in. When are our sisters of color going to wake up and realize they are being used when they are only protected from white abuse but ignored from abuse like this?

If this guy was white and Rihanna dropped the charges what outrage in the streets but again not a sound is heard for the black sister whose face was nearly unrecognizable—whose life was threatened! And had she been a white girl and had I wrote this same piece I’d be a racist! Al – you are a racist pig and all your double standard civil rights friends are racists pigs too and your men are brutal beasts and your women are worse victims than white women – because they don’t even know they are twice as victimized and then used as bait too boot!

Maybe this will wake them up!

Decision Expands Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence

Legal Momentum Applauds Supreme Court Decision in U.S. v. Hayes

February 24, 2009 – http://www.legalmomentum.org/news-room/decision-usvhayes.html

NEW YORK (Feb. 24, 2009) – Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls, applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in United States v. Hayes, a decision that will positively impact victims of domestic violence throughout the country. The Court expanded the reach of a 1996 amendment—the Lautenberg Amendment—to the federal Gun Control Act barring possession of guns by a person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime. The Supreme Court’s decision guarantees that the Lautenberg Amendment is applied across the nation in fulfillment of its original purpose: to prevent known perpetrators of domestic violence from possessing firearms and to help keep victims safe.   

Irasema Garza, President of Legal Momentum, praised the decision: “The Supreme Court’s ruling will undoubtedly improve the safety of victims of domestic violence by keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of convicted perpetrators. We have seen time and again that guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination. By restricting offenders’ access to firearms, this decision helps to protect victims from attacks that could cost them their lives.”  

For a variety of reasons, most domestic violence perpetrators are charged and plead to or are convicted of misdemeanor offenses such as assault and battery.  Some states have generic misdemeanor assault and battery statutes, but other states have misdemeanor offenses specific to domestic violence.  

At issue in United States v. Hayes was whether the Lautenberg Amendment, which prohibits gun ownership by persons convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” applies only to individuals who violate laws that specifically prohibit violence against family members, or if it also applies to anyone convicted of a violent misdemeanor that was, in fact, committed against a family member.  

In 1994, Randy Hayes plead guilty to a misdemeanor battery against his then-wife and mother of his child; ten years later, police responded to a call regarding domestic violence at his home, where they found a rifle and arrested and indicted him for violating the Lautenberg Amendment.  Hayes requested the federal district court to dismiss his indictment on the grounds that his prior conviction was not “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” in that the law that he violated did not require a domestic relationship between the victim and the offender. The district court denied his motion to dismiss the indictment, and Hayes appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

In their 2007decision on United States v. Hayes, the Fourth Circuit agreed with Hayes’ argument, and ruled that the domestic relationship must indeed be a specific element of the prior offense in order to trigger the federal gun ban — effectively rendering the gun ban moot in the states that do not have misdemeanor laws specific to domestic violence.  

Reversing the Fourth Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court’s decision holds that the gun ban applies whenever the battered victim is in fact the spouse or other family relative of the offender. In the majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “It suffices for the government to charge and prove a prior conviction that was, in fact, an offense committed… against a spouse or other domestic victim.” 

Legal Momentum joined the amicus (friend of the court) brief filed by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, arguing in favor of a natural reading of the Lautenberg Amendment that does not require a domestic relationship to be a specific element of the prior offense. The Supreme Court’s decision supports that interpretation and ensures that the 1996 amendment banning gun ownership for perpetrators of domestic violence applies in all 50 states, thereby improving safety for victims of domestic violence nationwide.

For more information or comment, please contact Erin Smith at 212.413.7516 or esmith@legalmomentum.org.

About Legal Momentum: Founded in 1970 as NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Legal Momentum is the nation’s oldest legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls. Legal Momentum’s ambitious and wide-ranging legal program is known for its cutting-edge legal theories and as a source of expert assistance to other women’s rights attorneys and organizations. www.legalmomentum.org