02-06-2012, 03:46 AM #1
What Do We Do NOW???
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:
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.
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges also has some great information:
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."
02-06-2012, 04:35 AM #2
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.__________________________________
Muddy water in the street; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"
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02-06-2012, 04:54 AM #3
I should mention that Utah Senators Orrin Hatch (R), and Michael Lee (R) are BOTH actually on the Senate Judiciary Committee:
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.
02-06-2012, 07:53 AM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
Irish_Eyes, thank you.
02-06-2012, 07:59 AM #5
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."Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone."
02-06-2012, 08:28 AM #6
02-06-2012, 02:43 PM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
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.
02-06-2012, 03:35 PM #8Inactive
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
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!
02-06-2012, 04:03 PM #9
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.See, I still have most of my marbles!
02-06-2012, 04:05 PM #10
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
My Facebook page; I am grateful for the fact that two people who joined had colonoscopies, discovered cancer and are on the way to healing through treatment. Colonoscopies save lives! [A 3rd person has just been added. 8/7]
02-06-2012, 05:28 PM #11
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.
02-06-2012, 05:47 PM #12Justice is the constant and perpetual will to allot to every man his due. Domitus Ulpian
02-06-2012, 09:34 PM #13
We grieve, and then we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and fight like hell for the next child.People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent. ~ Bob Dylan
02-07-2012, 04:11 AM #14
When a spouse or child disappears under odd circumstances, the remaining children should be removed from their custody till the case is solved.
02-07-2012, 04:27 AM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
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.