Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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October 28, 2013

Raising domestic violence awareness

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

LEFFLER: Are you saying you wish it were harsher? 

LAROSE: I wish it were harsher. It would give people a little bit more of a safety net. A little time to think. Because they come back out and they’ve got that guilty feeling that you’ve just spent that night in jail. No matter what, they still think it’s their fault that they did this. … But bail is just to ensure they come to the next court date. It’s not punishment. 

LEFFLER: You said that they think it’s their fault. Are you saying that victim feels guilty for their abuser going to jail? 

LAROSE: Yes. No matter how many times that you tell them that it’s not your fault … 

BAEHRE: The real problem is, we’re sending a signal off to these victims not the call the police. Because they call the police and there’s low bail, that perpetrator gets out immediately or soon thereafter, what do you think is the first thing he does? He blames her for being in jail. So it really creates a problem with the victim’s trust because she knows every time she calls the police to save her life or her children's life or both, he may be bailed out immediately and he comes back and most of the time takes it out on her. And she knows the next time she calls, that’s what’s going to happen. 

MILES: Are you saying retaliation is the norm in these cases? 

BAEHRE: I would think so, yes. 

VOUTOUR: It’s all part of the cycle. 

BAEHRE: Because he doesn’t blame himself. That’s the whole point of a domestic violence abuser. He blames her. It’s her fault that he beats her. He doesn’t have a problem. She has the problem. So she puts him in jail. And she did this to him. And he goes right back to her and the children. When the real issue is, I think, when there is no bail or low bail, it just creates a horrible cycle of these victims, ‘why should I call the police? Why should I call for help? Because he’s going to be immediately released and retaliation is much worse. 

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