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recognize abuse from the bench

courtroom proceedings are opportunities for abusers to regain the upper hand

a cautionary tale, an opportunity for change

At Eos Initiative founder Elizabeth Degi DuBois' initial scheduling conference, the magistrate presiding over the hearing admonished her from the bench for filing for divorce a week after separating from her husband. Leaning over the bench, the magistrate asked, "Don't you know you have a small child?

 

Sitting in that courtroom, Elizabeth was struck by how dangerous this type of comment from the bench would be for someone whose abuser sat just feet from them--- what a perfect opportunity for an abuser to reiterate that the survivor was wrong to leave, that in fact, the survivor was the reason the court had to get involved in the first place. 

Comments like these, although intended to be helpful, feed into the fear and emotional distortion survivors of intimate partner violence experience when trying to leave abusers.

 

Despite their best intentions, no court professional can ever know all of the underlying factors that prompt the myriad, complicated factors that lead plaintiffs into their courtrooms. Eos trainings help court professionals learn common indicators for abuse and manipulation, and give a broad overview of tactics that can be leveraged to ensure victims are not intimidated or re-victimized through court proceedings.