Today I went to view a case in Judge Bob Schwartz’s courtroom. I have to admit that when you watch the judge in action there is no question that he is very good at his job when it comes to the courtroom. He knows the letter of law and is caring and compassionate to the victims. We are lucky to have quality judges in the Second District Court System. We could use a few more judges to lighten the load on all of our judges since quantity does not product quality in judgments.
It breaks your heart to watch young women stand up before judges like Judge Schwartz and tell them that it is ok for their boyfriends to hit them because they are in love. Judges face this everyday and I don’t even begin to understand how they do not become jaded by it. There is not easy call when it comes to dealing with this behavior in a courtroom.
Counseling clearly needs to be something that both parties go through before they are allowed physical contact with each other. How young do our young women lean that it is somehow ok for a boyfriend to continue hitting them even thought they are no longer children and the attacks become physically harmful? How do we begin to put an end to this behavior which has made our state one of the top states when it comes to violence’s against women?
Judges have their hands tied when it comes to dealing with this issue because the laws are limited and it does not help when a victim refuses to testify against her abuser no matter how many times it happens. Human emotions are part of the problem because these women who have low self esteem fear a loss of love and support from their abusers. Families enable the abusers by giving them money and a place to go when they ask for release.
We have to wonder just how effective counseling is when offenders repeat the behavior over and over again over a period of years. Young women watch on television everyday where superstars face the same difficult emotional problems. While writing this I was listening to commentators talk about abusive text messages sent from Tiger Woods and yet there was no talk of legal action against him. The president made a mistake today by supporting Tiger Woods and should reconsider his words carefully since he has two young daughters of his own. We as a nation must forcefully condemn abusive behavior of men against women otherwise we send the wrong message to our young women.