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Irish_Eyes
02-06-2012, 02:46 AM
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would come home to read this tonight. It is beyond unspeakable. My heart breaks for the Cox family, the social worker, and most of all those little boys and the wonderful unique potential within them that was forever lost. God be with this family and community tonight.

I don't want to preach, truly I don't, but in this moment when my heart is aching and angry, I feel compelled to reach out to all of my fellow WSers because I know how much you care about the victims and their families.

There is nothing we can do to change what happened to this family. But we all know that in the next days, weeks, months, more and more cases will be posted here that are variations on this same theme. In memory of Susan and these beautiful boys we CAN do something to help the many many other victims of family violence.

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reauthorize VAWA. It will now go to the full Senate for a vote. Whereas in the past, VAWA has enjoyed bipartisan support, it passed this time on a party line vote, with every Democratic Senator voting for and EVERY Republican Senator voting against. Budgetary concerns and pressure from the father's rights lobby have really changed the landscape.

VAWA is more than just a set of laws. Through the US Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, millions of dollars of funding are dispersed through grants and programs that have made and continue to make a vital difference. One way VAWA makes a difference is funding Supervised Visitation Centers. I don't know why one wasn't used in this case. There may not be one close by in that area of Utah. What if there had been? If anything this only shows that VAWA needs MORE funding, not less.

Another way VAWA funds are working is through grants that provide specialized training in domestic violence to judges, magistrates, law guardians, and other court personnel. You would think this type of training would be required before taking a job working directly with abuse victims, but sadly, that's almost never the case. VAWA funding allows even the most cash strapped county budgets to tap into this vital resource so that judges and magistrates become more adept at recognizing violence and are knowledgeable about available tools for assessing and minimizing risk. My county just received one of these grants. Yours can too. I don't know what, if any, training on family violence and risk assessment the judge on this case received, and we'll never know if such a program could have made him think twice about the way the visitation arrangement for the Powell children was structured.

VAWA funds have also helped establish batterer intervention programs. More than just anger management counseling, batterer intervention programs are specifically designed for perpetrators of family violence, as opposed to say, just some guy who got in a bar fight. Success rates of these programs vary, but they are more successful than the alternative, which is doing nothing. In this case, without a living complainant, Powell probably would not have been referred to this program, but again, many more lives can be saved if these programs can continue to work.

Please let this unspeakable horror move us to stand up for those who have no voice. Please consider calling or e-mailing your senator, you can find their contact information here:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Please remind them how much we need to pass VAWA, undiluted and fully funded.

Josh Powell is the absolute worst abuser I have ever seen. But he is only the tip of a very large iceberg.

For further reading:

The Leadership Council is a great resource to learn more about family violence and child custody.

http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges also has some great information:

http://www.ncjfcj.org/content/view/129/250/

If all of that doesn't convince you that we need to do more for victims of abuse (including children who witness violence), I don't know what will.

I'll get off my soapbox now and continue grieving this senseless, incalculable loss. I'll close by quoting Pastor Martin Niemoller, a German Pastor who stood up to Adolf Hitler's genocide:

"First, they came for the communists
And I did not speak out because I was not a communist,
Then they came for the trade unionists,
And I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist,
Then they came for the Jews,
And I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew,
Then they came for the Catholics,
And I did not speak out, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me.
And there was no one left to speak for me."

Many thanks,
Irish

bessie
02-06-2012, 03:35 AM
Excellent post, Irish Eyes. In the wake of the murders of little Braden and Charlie, many of us are sitting up tonight feeling brokenhearted and utterly frustrated that we couldn't have done something to save the boys when the danger was so clearly evident. You've opened a positive channel for that frustration to flow. Thank you.

Irish_Eyes
02-06-2012, 03:54 AM
Thank you.

I should mention that Utah Senators Orrin Hatch (R), and Michael Lee (R) are BOTH actually on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members.cfm

And although in the past Hatch has voted in support of VAWA, (not sure about Lee), this time he actually voted AGAINST it in committee, along with Lee. Even though the custody case was being handled in Washington, and not Utah, I know there are a whole lot of people in Utah who are going to be rightly outraged by this evil act. I hope Utah residents give them an earful about how this case shows just how desperately VAWA is needed.

Oriah
02-06-2012, 06:53 AM
Irish_Eyes, thank you.

Angelonline
02-06-2012, 06:59 AM
Thanks so much Irish Eyes. After researching VAWA, I emailed both of my Republican Senators and urged them to vote yes to reauthorize this act. One of these senators I know quite well as I organized a large fund raiser for him a couple of years ago in my area. I belong to the state Republican Women's group and I am going to email all of the club members in my state and ask that they email or call our senators, as well.

Irish_Eyes
02-06-2012, 07:28 AM
Thanks Angel!

Oriah
02-06-2012, 01:43 PM
Bumping your post, Irish Eyes. Thank you again.
It seems the only thing to do now is to help make sure this kind of nightmare never happens again.

Hope and prayers to the Cox family, and all of Susan's loved ones.

Btw- I sent a bunch of emails.

mamamia54
02-06-2012, 02:35 PM
What can we do? Pray, pray that this case sinks in to LE and to the social network for children everywhere. DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT THIS EVER HAPPENING AGAIN!

GannyP
02-06-2012, 03:03 PM
I just called my senator's office. Didn't speak to him personally, but they wrote down my little tirade and they said it would get to him.

Jacie Estes
02-06-2012, 03:05 PM
Irish_Eyes, thank you for this thread. As one who walked into a DV shelter with head injuries after an assault and then subsequently began advocating I can attest to the importance of VAWA and ALL of the opportunities it affords to those impacted by DV. I have a personal letter from Joe Biden that is framed and hanging on the wall; that man is my hero.

From the moment I first heard of Susan Cox Powell going missing I knew that jp had a hand in it. When I read that she was keeping a journal and a seperate bank account, I knew she had been working with an advocate. Some thought that jp wouldn't/couldn't make her disappear. I knew that he could. I have seen the aftermath of a police chief shooting his wife in the head while their daughter lie on the bed next to her. I have seen the aftermath of a 'religious' father shoot and kill the mother of their 8 children. I have seen the aftermath of a man who stalked his wife and shot and killed her on her way home from work. This is all in a 50 mile radius in South Dakota. There are many more tales all across this country.

Contacting legislators is essential; the funding for VAWA is critical to the lives of women, children, elders and men who find themselves in dire circumstances. VAWA ensures that there is a life line for those who need it. It is not an 'entitlement'; it is a vital mechanism for saving lives.

As well as contacting these legislators, to honor Susan, stop by the local DV shelter to see how you can help. Disposable diapers are ALWAYS needed. The couch that doesn't work in your living room anymore, the one that you want to replace, it can be the only piece of furniture in a place where a mother has to start all over again, from scratch. The mis-matched glasses, dishes and silverware will be greatly appreciated. The same for towels and bedding. Those coming from a DV shelter need help, support and encouragement. In Susan's honor we can provide that.

thanks for listening

diphi
02-06-2012, 04:28 PM
I apologize right up front, this post is a bit selfish. I've spent hours and hours here on this case, as I know some of you have, too. When no one else was posting because there was nothing to discuss, I would come in here and just say something, anything to get people to think of Susan, again. I've participated in most of the conversations and theories.

In my mind, I thought Susan would be found, Josh would be guilty, and we'd all move on. I also entertained the idea that we would never learn what happened to Susan and, again, we'd all move on, eventually. But, never, never did I seriously think he would do something like this. I don't know why I thought he would take care of his sons, no doubt he was losing it to an extreme degree. Yeah, we talked about it, but I just didn't think this sort of thing would really happen.

Well, I could ramble much more. What am I going to do? I'll probably think about this quite a good deal more, maybe do nothing for now. I know that's not what I'm supposed to say. I just need to let this sink in right now.

IMO

gwenabob
02-06-2012, 04:47 PM
I apologize right up front, this post is a bit selfish. I've spent hours and hours here on this case, as I know some of you have, too. When no one else was posting because there was nothing to discuss, I would come in here and just say something, anything to get people to think of Susan, again. I've participated in most of the conversations and theories.

In my mind, I thought Susan would be found, Josh would be guilty, and we'd all move on. I also entertained the idea that we would never learn what happened to Susan and, again, we'd all move on, eventually. But, never, never did I seriously think he would do something like this. I don't know why I thought he would take care of his sons, no doubt he was losing it to an extreme degree. Yeah, we talked about it, but I just didn't think this sort of thing would really happen.

Well, I could ramble much more. What am I going to do? I'll probably think about this quite a good deal more, maybe do nothing for now. I know that's not what I'm supposed to say. I just need to let this sink in right now.

IMO

Yes, you have always been here, keeping the spot warm. I joined WS because of this case. I have believed JP to be guilty from the very beginning. I checked these pages every day, hoping, praying for some kind of miracle or at least that her body be found so her parents can at least know what happened and put her to rest. I am heartbroken over this.

Mountain_Kat
02-06-2012, 08:34 PM
We grieve, and then we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and fight like hell for the next child.

Whisperer
02-07-2012, 03:11 AM
When a spouse or child disappears under odd circumstances, the remaining children should be removed from their custody till the case is solved.

shana
02-07-2012, 03:27 AM
I apologize right up front, this post is a bit selfish. I've spent hours and hours here on this case, as I know some of you have, too. When no one else was posting because there was nothing to discuss, I would come in here and just say something, anything to get people to think of Susan, again. I've participated in most of the conversations and theories.

In my mind, I thought Susan would be found, Josh would be guilty, and we'd all move on. I also entertained the idea that we would never learn what happened to Susan and, again, we'd all move on, eventually. But, never, never did I seriously think he would do something like this. I don't know why I thought he would take care of his sons, no doubt he was losing it to an extreme degree. Yeah, we talked about it, but I just didn't think this sort of thing would really happen.

Well, I could ramble much more. What am I going to do? I'll probably think about this quite a good deal more, maybe do nothing for now. I know that's not what I'm supposed to say. I just need to let this sink in right now.

IMO

There are no supposed-to-says here, no to-dos. This tragic outcome to a nagging awful case may have been considered by some, but not in any way to the degree in which the horror ultimately unfolded. :-(

Thank you for having been so vigilant as to do your part to keep the case at our attention.

I endorse your thought that for now, you will let it sink-in for a time...and then, I have no doubt you will offer your well-considered comments and more. I, for one, will be looking forward to them.

Until such time, I send peace, love, and support to you.

P.S. I read a lot but rarely post. What you said just touched my heart, so I just had to respond.

Irish_Eyes
02-07-2012, 07:29 AM
You guys are all wonderful. Those of you who have been getting the word out to your elected officials about VAWA, thank you so much! Keep up the good work. These unspeakable crimes don't have to happen. We know that supervised centers for visitation work to protect children.

Jacie, thanks so much for sharing your story. As a fellow survivor, what you said about the mismatched glasses and the used furniture really hit home with me. That feeling of peace that I was able to discover in our first place after I left was priceless. I want that for every abused woman and traumatized child.

Diphi, you're not selfish at all. Thank you for helping to keep Susan at the forefront of our minds over time. I read a lot of cases here on WS, but I can be found most often on the Unidentified threads. Susan is on the radar of people over there, and I do believe eventually she'll be found, and we'll do whatever we can in that forum to help bring her home. It's small comfort after all of this, but it's one thing I refuse to let Powell have the ultimate say on.

wallflower67
02-07-2012, 08:31 AM
I have a question. I don't even know if it's strange or even appropriate in light of what has happened now. Will anyone (the authorities) continue to try to find out what happened to Susan? Or will they close the case now.

Irish_Eyes
02-07-2012, 08:33 AM
Listening to the Cox family now on Today. Mr. Cox saying that he did not think the visitation should have taken place in the home. He understands they have a lot of cases and they have people who exaggerate the threat, but he said given the circumstances of their family they thought it should have been taken more seriously. Mrs. Cox saying the boys didn't want to go that day, that they were having fun playing with a younger cousin. They are playing this over in their minds, asking themselves what if they had just refused to let the boys go. They say their faith gives them strength knowing the boys are now with their mother. Mr. Cox is wearing a purple ribbon. Dateline will have more on this on Friday.

Heartbreaking. I know I and many other survivors can relate to that feeling of being in an impossible situation. On one hand, you don't want to let the child go, because you feel they could be in danger. On the other hand, you risk that if you don't let them go, the court will deem you uncooperative and remove the children from you, and possibly place them in more danger. My heart goes out to them.

Irish_Eyes
02-07-2012, 08:35 AM
I have a question. I don't even know if it's strange or even appropriate in light of what has happened now. Will anyone (the authorities) continue to try to find out what happened to Susan? Or will they close the case now.

I'm sure if they get any solid new information to go on, they will act. It's just hard to know whether that will happen.

BritsKate
02-07-2012, 08:44 AM
I have a question. I don't even know if it's strange or even appropriate in light of what has happened now. Will anyone (the authorities) continue to try to find out what happened to Susan? Or will they close the case now.
If this helps: Doug Stewart was convicted of murdering his wife Venus in 2010 despite her remains not being located. Just days ago a trooper awarded for his work on this case stated: Yes,” said Steensma. “I mean there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about what we could do to find her, you know for the family and her children, just to give them some closure.”

Steensma says MSP will not consider the case closed until Venus Stewart's body is found and Steensma says he will do everything in his power to make sure that happens.
http://www.wwmt.com/articles/msp-1401365-newschannel-case.html

wallflower67
02-07-2012, 08:56 AM
If this helps: Doug Stewart was convicted of murdering his wife Venus in 2010 despite her remains not being located. Just days ago a trooper awarded for his work on this case stated:
http://www.wwmt.com/articles/msp-1401365-newschannel-case.html

Yes, that does help. Thank you.

Jacie Estes
02-07-2012, 11:14 AM
You guys are all wonderful. Those of you who have been getting the word out to your elected officials about VAWA, thank you so much! Keep up the good work. These unspeakable crimes don't have to happen. We know that supervised centers for visitation work to protect children.

Jacie, thanks so much for sharing your story. As a fellow survivor, what you said about the mismatched glasses and the used furniture really hit home with me. That feeling of peace that I was able to discover in our first place after I left was priceless. I want that for every abused woman and traumatized child.

Diphi, you're not selfish at all. Thank you for helping to keep Susan at the forefront of our minds over time. I read a lot of cases here on WS, but I can be found most often on the Unidentified threads. Susan is on the radar of people over there, and I do believe eventually she'll be found, and we'll do whatever we can in that forum to help bring her home. It's small comfort after all of this, but it's one thing I refuse to let Powell have the ultimate say on.

Irish_Eyes...you understand the frustration and utter helplessness that one of our 'sisters', Susan, isn't here to share in our victory over abuse. Those of us who have come through it would move heaven and earth to have her and others like her, here, free and alive. That her babies are now gone makes it that much more sorrowful; they should all be here, not just us. Our counsellors would tell us it is a survivors' guilt but we know better. Susan, Charlie and Braden deserved so much more; we wanted that for them. Now we can only take comfort that they are together again but still it is so damned unfair. What is left now is to fight for those who still need help. There are more people out there who need a hand extended to them; we can extend that hand to them to get them out of a desperate situation.

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224

jmarple
02-07-2012, 12:36 PM
Yes, you have always been here, keeping the spot warm. I joined WS because of this case. I have believed JP to be guilty from the very beginning. I checked these pages every day, hoping, praying for some kind of miracle or at least that her body be found so her parents can at least know what happened and put her to rest. I am heartbroken over this.

I, too, joined WS because of this case. It is heartbreaking! I am a local here in Washington and have friends and family who know Susan and her family. We are all devastated.

Irish_Eyes
02-07-2012, 06:51 PM
Apparently, JP WAS ordered to have his visits at a supervised center originally. He was able to convince the judge at a later point to have the visits moved to his house because of his notoriety. I'm guessing the argument was that he was recieving looks/comments from others who used the center and felt that might harm the children.

I wasn't there, so I don't know the extent of his arguments and of the families opposition to those arguments, if any. Certainly words can hurt, and children are definitely affected by such things. Even if nothing is directly said, children are pretty intuitive.

However, a child who is in a supervised visitation situation under these circumstances had a lot more to be fearful of than mere words. The risk of physical harm should have been weighed against the risk of emotional harm. In a case like this, where the father had been named a person of interest by LE in the probable death of the children's mother, I think the risk of physical harm has to be considered to be significant.

Kimster has opened a discussion thread on how to balance the rights of a parent to have a relationship with their children with the right of a child to be shielded from violence and its effects - worth checking out.

Irish_Eyes
02-10-2012, 08:46 AM
Received an e-mail response from Senator Sherrod Brown's office. The response just said thank you for your opinion, while not really answering the question I asked as to whether Senator Brown would vote for, or even consider sponsoring, VAWA.

Any of you all in Ohio want to help him make up his mind??? :))

rockyriver
02-15-2012, 09:41 PM
Thank you for this post. I have also sent an e-mail to Senator Sherrod Brown to fully support and fund VAWA and am waiting for a reply.