"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." - Wayne Dyer


Saturday, October 11, 2014

When Parents Turn to Murder: Alexis

As many of you know, the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. In order to raise awareness, this week I would like to tell the story of Alexis and her mother, Victoria.

Victoria was a victim of regular, brutal domestic dating violence. Her boyfriend, Freddy Mendez, would repeatedly beat her during arguments and force her to do ridiculous things for him. In one video she speaks about one of the instances of abuse where he punched her repeatedly in the face, threw her in the pool, dragged her out, punched her repeatedly again, shoved her into the closet, and then told her to go make him a sandwich.

One day, he began beating Alexis, Victoria's 3 year old daughter, and he did not stop until she was dead.

Victoria said she stood by holding her 7 month old son, yelling at Freddy, trying to get him to stop. When he finally did, she was left to "take care" of the lifeless little girl. 

Freddy was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole, and Victoria was sentenced to 35 years in prison for "allowing" the abuse, which escalated to murder. But after serving only 2 years, the judge decided to release her. Many people were appalled by his decision.

This country has made a habit of turning battered women into criminals for failing to protect their children in situations such as this one. Many of them face between 20 and 40 years of prison time. 

I believe that there is always something you can do to get your child out of danger. I would even go to the extreme of killing anyone who is physically threatening the life of my son.

But every woman is different. 

I don't think that a woman who lives in constant fear can be expected to make rational decisions, and I don't think that they should be considered in their right state of mind. Who knows how much head trauma they themselves have faced, who knows how much emotional and psychological abuse they have endured.  Many of them have been brainwashed in to thinking that they are worthless and powerless by men who are obviously crazy and manipulative. 

Everyone deserves a second chance. The judge's decision only means that Victoria can grieve her daughter, get her life back on track, seek the help she needs and try to focus on regaining custody of her son and providing him with a better life.

This does not mean that I excuse the child abuse.

Like I mentioned before, there are always ways to keep your baby safe. Leave them in the care of a trusted adult, teach them to call 911, encourage them to tell someone who you know will help, find a hiding place for them in the house that only you know about, physically defend them even if it means getting hurt yourself, or my personal favorite, get out and get help! 

Remember, these women are not alone!

 If you see children with multiple bruises, report it; better safe than sorry. If you hear your neighbors arguing a little too violently, report it. If you see a man (or woman) treating their partner or child harshly in public, report it. If you see a woman with multiple bruises, report it. 

In this world, we have to take care of each other. Together, we CAN...

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