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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Column: It’s illegal to be abused in US

We live in a country where most people can be thankful for having authorities who work to ensure their safety, but, unfortunately, that isn’t the case for every person. Several mothers across the nation with abusive partners cannot seek protection for their children, because they run the risk of being considered criminals as well.

Take Tondalo Hall, a domestic violence victim who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for failing to protect her children. As reported by Alex Campbell in a BuzzFeed News article titled, “This Battered Woman Wants To Get Out Of Prison,” Hall’s boyfriend, Robert Braxton Jr., abused Hall, her son and her 3-month-old daughter — who was left with a broken femur and several broken ribs.

Braxton was only sentenced to two years in prison.

In what way was Hall supposed to help her children when Braxton’s abuse kept her too vulnerable to even raise her voice? It is atrocious enough that one case like this exists, but to make matters worse, an investigation made by Campbell indicates that, in 11 different states, there are 28 women with cases like Hall’s.

One of these other women, Arlena Lindley, tried to save her son by running away from her abusive boyfriend, but she was too slow to actually manage to get out of the house. After the child was beaten to death that same day, the abuser received a life sentence, and the mother who intervened to try to save her son received a 45-year sentence.

In order to find a solution to these cases, it is essential for there to be a big change in laws concerning domestic violence. What happened to letting battered women know that there is hope in getting out of such situations and living normal lives after? It is nonsensical to expect that a woman who has suffered from physical, emotional and verbal abuse can not only stand up to defend herself but her children as well.

There are illogical laws in states such as Oklahoma and Texas, where a vulnerable, beaten victim who does not intervene in abuse is just as guilty as the abuser. These laws address these issues as “enabling child abuse” or doing so “by omission.” However, by setting these laws, authorities are failing to protect many domestic violence victims.

After hearing about these cases, it is easy to assume there are many other parents suffering from domestic violence cases, who are now not only afraid of their abusers, but of the authorities, too. Laws were made to ensure the safety of the general public, and until there is a change in these aspects, authorities will not be fulfilling their duties.

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Genesis Lara is a freshman studying journalism, Spanish and French. Follow her on Twitter.

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