Month: November 2015

Agoraphobics & Burning Buildings & Family Violence

Agoraphobics are afraid of public places.  Some can’t leave their homes and remain locked behind closed doors, ordering out, having the pizza man leave food at the door.  This condition is real.  Now imagine what happens when their building catches fire.  Imagine the smoke penetrating their eyes as their brain struggles to calculate what to do.  Imagine the horrific fear they must feel as some other force beyond their control decides whether they live or die.  Imagine that and apply that same feeling to people stuck in abusive relationships.

Family violence in Cherokee County is just as real as the agoraphobic in a burning building.  Some of us (and I am guilty from time to time) wonder out loud how in the hell someone can stay in such an abusive relationship.  “How can you let him order you around like that?” “How can you let her flip out and push you like that?” “How can you both sit there and exchange blows one night and act like nothing happened the next?”  Oh, yes, family violence is alive and well in Cherokee.

The Courts here treat some family violence cases like a dog bite – one free bite, meaning probation and a chance to get the case dismissed if you behave.  After that, you’re on the shit list.  And rightfully so.  As far as the victim is concerned, you want so badly to say, “the dog who bit once will likely bite again.”  You want to say, “Get out now.  It’s not doing either of you any good.”  But then you think of the agoraphobic, the fear.  And you realize it’s easier said than done.


Another successful day on the battlefield!

Days like this just make me smile and relish what I do.  When you tell someone his case is dismissed, you can almost watch a ghost fly out of his body.  You can see the shoulders drop that great weight and hear him exhale. It all happens in a brief second and, in that second, you can see a combination of shock and relief set in at once. It’s over, man.  It really is over.

Today was one of those days. Not only an outright dismissal, but I also got a super speeder tossed.  There’s an extra $200 in someone’s pocket and, most importantly, a drawing down of a red flag insurance companies send scouts to find. Who knows how much will be saved in the long run?

Days like today keep me in check and remind me of what’s important – serving the citizens of Cherokee County, fighting for justice, and, most importantly, living to see that ghost again.