hidden half of domestic violence
to have eternal life
Marina was born in
Belarus, a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union.
"President" Lukashinko, who makes a habit of rewriting their
constitution according to his latest whim, currently heads the government.
Marina only recently immigrated to the Unites States. America, land of the
free and home of the brave, is very different from her country, or so she
Marina remembers back to
a particular police raid that happened in 1999. Marina had just been married
in a small ceremony at her future husband's house. The house was almost barren
of furniture since the police had assisted in confiscating most of the
contents of the house a year earlier after a former girlfriend, who now stalks
her husband, Mr. Bukmop, made a variety of false allegations. The happy couple
couldn't afford much of a wedding since local laws required them to pay for
the confiscated property - even though they would not be getting it back.
After the wedding the
newlyweds planned to go on a honeymoon but Marina's mother-in-law received an
order to appear for interrogation. The honeymoon plans were put on hold so
that Marina's husband could attend the interrogation and make sure nothing
went wrong. Things did go wrong, but at the time no one realized just how
wrong. At the deposition her husband was threatened and the police held him
for a while, but eventually they just told him to leave the interrogation. The
inquiry was short, just a few probing questions about the family and about
Marina's recent marriage, and then everyone was released.
Three weeks had passed
since the wedding and the newlyweds were again ready to go on their honeymoon.
The happy couple discussed their plans late at night before going to bed and
drifting off to sleep.
They awoke to the sound
of police batons pounding on their door. When Marina's husband answered the
door, an armed mob of half dozen or so officers stormed in. The lead officer
undid the strap on his holster and held the handle of his gun as he ordered
the couple around. Another officer controlled a German Shepherd dog while the
remaining officers searched the house. They found what they were looking for:
guns. Marina's husband showed the officers his permits and explained that he
had permission from a judge to have the guns. The officers laughed and said
that the permission was now revoked.
New orders had been
issued without a hearing. The couple didn't even have the right to be heard
before the police raided their house near midnight and took their property.
The state can, and regularly does, take people's possessions - guns, houses,
cars, children. The State takes as they wish with no hearing required or
desired. In Marina's case, police took the guns and the permits and left.
Under California criminal
law a special night time search warrant is required before officers can enter
a citizen's house at night. The court must make a specific finding that a
night time search is required in order to prevent the destruction of evidence
or to prevent a suspect from fleeing. Marina wonders how that requirement is
waived when someone is not accused of a crime?
Marina was terrified. She
cried. She asked "How could this happen? How could this happen? How
could this happen in America?"
But those of you who have
been subjected to the same emotional terrorism as Mr. Bukmop by an
ex-girlfriend or wife will know exactly how this happens in America.
To defend herself and her
husband, Marina has now filed a writ of habeas corpus. Under the Domestic
Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), anyone can request orders against anyone else.
A former girlfriend, for example, can claim a husband is abusing his wife and
get a restraining order against the man with or without the cooperation or
knowledge of the wife, as happened here.
It turned out the woman
stalking them had requested that the court issue orders against him to protect
his wife. Since the commonly perceived use of DVPA orders is to protect a wife
from her abusive husband, the court had no problems issuing an order against
him in favor of his wife without regard to the fact that they were requested
by the woman stalking them.
In her writ Marina [the
citizen's names are changed] states that:
Bukmop, got a restraining order against the woman who stalks us, Mary
Magdelene. During our honeymoon, the court gave Ms. Magdelene an illegal order
and the police came into our house at night and took our guns. Ms. Magdelene
then asked Commissioner Compton to keep our guns. He denied her request. On
August 29, 2000, Commissioner Goldner ordered that my husband was not allowed
to live with me. I did not ask for the orders; I did not want the orders; I
was never served copies of the orders. I want to be with my husband and he
wants to be with me. Commissioner Goldner has no right to keep us
apart. As I understand it, by federal law, if we are not allowed to be
together, I am not allowed to be in the country. The court has illegally
issued orders that place me in constructive custody without giving me a
In this case the wife has
no other remedy and the court is required to hear her as a writ of certiorari
if they determine that she is not in constructive custody.
Because of the
restraining order against Bukmop forbidding him to have contact with his wife
at the end of October, 2001, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) held a hearing as to whether Marina would be allowed to stay in the
They are under
investigation because Commissioner Theresa Goldner issued orders that Bukmop
not be allowed to be with his wife, as noted above. Therefore, Marina is
subject to removal proceedings under INS regulations.
Because of Commissioner
Goldner's gross incompetence, the INS has two good arguments for deporting
1. How can their marriage
be valid if they are not allowed to live together? (To defeat this argument
Bukmop is required to willfully disobey the California court restraining
2. The California court
granted Bukmop a fee waiver because his net earnings (after subtracting legal
fees, etc.) is less than the poverty level. To sponsor an immigrant under INS
rules a person must earn 125% of the poverty level. The INS asks how can
someone be over and under at the same time? (Because his legal costs exceeded
50% of his take home pay when he qualified for the fee waiver.)
They thought they won the
hearing, but the INS magistrate ruled that their "application is
deficient" and the investigation will continue. It appears the couple
did not win and did not lose, but rather the INS is simply bewildered.
We are bewildered too.
When asked if Marina was
ready to move back to Belarus, where the regime is supposedly more draconian,
Bukmop replied: "
"Things appear to
be more severe here. We have a much higher incarceration rate and a much
higher percentage of the population incarcerated. However, jail here isn't too
She would like for us
to move to someplace more civilized, but to leave could easily lead to us
losing our house. Right now, we can't sell it because of documents the stalker
keeps filing. If we were gone, the stalker could simply sue us for it, and we
would have no reasonable way to defend ourselves."
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is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month