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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/3/12

16,800 Dead Bodies, 5.8 Billion Lost Revenues Annually: Why America Should Care about Domestic Violence

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Been to any emergency rooms lately?   How long did you wait 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours?   Anyone who has tried to be seen by an emergency room doctor quickly discovers an epidemic of people lined up in waiting rooms seeking care they cannot get from going to family doctors.     Who are these people?   A racist would blame undocumented workers for the health care crisis.    Nice try at deflecting the real culprit.   The truth is closer to home and lives in homes of the upper white class communities. The villain is a broken system of injustice that leaves dead and dying victims of domestic violence under a train ready to derail the economy of the United States .    In a future article I plan to provide maps of trash dumps where the former upper class women can feast after they have put an end to being punching bags and chokehold recipients.   This is the option society leaves them:   from riches to rags or or closed-fist head surgery and broken necks.   Don't like it?   Do something to help these women and their children.   Don't blame them if you don't help them.   They don't have much of a choice.   You do.


Don't show ignorance by assuming those in the hospital emergency rooms   or wearing rags   and eating out of dumpsters are lazy or mentally ill or from the lower class.   A female one-percenter who gets a restraining order against her husband is likely to wind up at the bottom tier of the ninety-nine percenters and joining the lines at the local hospital begging for free services.   The fall is tougher for upper middle women who have never had to deal with poverty and have no unconfiscated funds to save the lives of loved ones they watch deteriorate from a system of economic conscious health care providers.


The National Coalition against Domestic Violence has put together a fact sheet that details the costs of intimate partner violence as exceeding $5.8 billion annually.   4.1 billion of this is for direct medical and mental health services.   Check out the numbers yourself. http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet%28National%29.pdf


This is a public health care crises since the first thing batterers do after the restraining order is to terminate the health insurance of their victims, this. Think of all the education or jobs that could be created with $5.8 billion dollars.   All society needs to be do is to require batterers to clean up their own mess.   Since judges are now refusing to do that and are allowing batterers to cut insurance funds, even in violation of statutory law during divorces, the public needs to figure out how to fund this problem.    The wife may have had access to funds while she was married but she wasn't counting on the judge giving full control of the family funds to her husband pending the end of the two to five year divorce case.   Don't pretend you aren't responsible for the problem if you haven't demanded your legislator force batterers to pick up their tab for their families.   What about a "Deadbeat Batterers Act?"    The public remains on the hook until we get one.


The public has failed to step up to the plate.   Domestic violence shelters that are good at collecting public funds are lousy at using them to help victims, instead funneling much of the money to some sort of administrative costs. Places like Orange County 's Human Options and Laura's House provide almost no help to the women who need it the most.   Calling 2-1-1 only provides frustration at the lack of assistance.   The same goes for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.    Don't waste the phone tab seeking the assistance they won't provide.    It's a referral to nowhere line.   Demand these money sucking vultures help victims or give back their funding.   We're picking up the bill for these jokes that are supposed to assist victims.


Attorneys refuse to represent domestic violence victims in divorces since batterers generally confiscate the family funds.    Most judges won't give the time of day to unrepresented victims.   This puts the victims who may have suffered long term life threatening consequences on the backs of a public that doesn't want to know they exist.    Did you listen to that recording I provided in my last article?   If you cared you would have.    To get an attorney a woman needs attorney's fees.    Judges will not grant attorneys fees unless a woman has an attorney to represent her in an attorney fee proceeding.   There are 174,211 attorneys in California .   A friend did a survey to find out how many of those 174,211 attorneys would represent a woman in an attorney fee request hearing in family court without thousands up front.   The answer was one.   The other 174,210 apparently think law is about getting rich instead of helping serving justice.   Next time you see a California lawyer, bring rotten tomatoes or practice your spitting.   


Domestic violence victims can also forget about Legal Aid.   Wealthy batterers wised up long ago and started filling out intake forms guaranteeing victims are declared permanent conflicts of interest.   Another way of putting it is to say Legal Aid has allowed batterers to make the organization unavailable to the victims.


The federal government has played into this crises as well.   Most single-family incomes are headed by working men who have paid into Social Security.   The Government allows those men to collect Medicare for minor disabilities.   Wives who are beaten to paralysis are ineligible for Medicare unless they were working long enough to qualify on their own.   Women who are dying of cancer or heart disease must go to hospital waiting rooms and hope a doctor treats them.   They cannot afford a regular doctor.   The odds are that a patient from a single-income family with a life-threatening pre-existing condition will die of that condition if she dares to get a restraining order against her husband.   It's a matter of how she will die and whether she will have hot water as she prior to her final moments. Her children will also die if they have life-threatening conditions when their mother leaves.   It's a high price to pay for freedom.   What have you don't to demand help for these women?   Has your Congressman or Congresswoman introduced legislation to change this?   In November you could fire the SOB if he or she hasn't introduced anything.   Why should we pay salaries for free-loading leaders?   Do you have guts to check and follow through with firing deadbeat leaders?

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University professor turned activist who is organizing movements to protect the rights of the common man from the power elite. Spends free time counseling boys about respect for women.
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