September 30, 2008

What are YOU going to do for Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

So... I get asked: "Great, you tell me to help DV victims during awareness month, but how am I supposed to do that when I have never even met a DV victim?"

There are many people that would be more than willing to do something during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, however they just aren't sure what to do, or where or when or how...

This list is copied from this ARTICLE.  
In your place of worship
1. Encourage information about domestic abuse in the congregation's programs, youth groups, marriage preparation, study groups, etc.
2. Establish a committee to promote awareness of the problem and how the congregation can help.
3. Organize a drive to collect food, toiletries, household goods and other needed items for a local domestic violence service.

In your workplace
4. Display posters or brochures (in break rooms, restrooms, or meeting rooms) to promote awareness of domestic abuse and how to get help.
5. Organize a Brown Bag lunch or other event for co-workers and invite a speaker to talk about solutions to the problem.
6. Ask what policies your employer has developed to keep employees safe from a domestic abuser who threatens the workplace.
In schools and daycare
7. Encourage the editor of the school newspaper to have a special issue about teen dating violence and partner abuse.
8. Write a paper about domestic violence to share with students.
9. Educate teachers and other staff about the connection between child abuse and partner abuse.
In civic organizations, clubs or neighborhoods
10. Invite a speaker to educate organization members about domestic violence.
11. Organize a fundraising event or food/toiletries drive to benefit a domestic violence service agency.
12. Publish information about domestic violence and available resources in the newsletter.
13. "Adopt" a family seeking independence from an abuser, to assist with practical needs.

As a Citizen
14. Ask your local library to stock books on domestic violence and to set up displays to educate the public about the issue.
15. Speak out against domestic abuse: Expressing your view that domestic violence is unacceptable has a powerful effect on changing the norms that support abuse.
16. Write letters to newspaper editors or send commentaries to TV and radio to help raise awareness about domestic violence.
17. Vote for public leaders who take a strong stand against domestic abuse.
18. Call 911 if you see or hear a crime of domestic abuse in progress. Write down license plate numbers, locations, and any other information that may be helpful to law enforcement.
19. Volunteer with a domestic violence service. Organizations need help with office activities, fund raising events, technical and professional services and assistance to clients.
20. Donate used clothing and household goods to a program that gives these vital items to families seeking independence from an abuser.
21. Participate in neighborhood crime watch programs.
Hang information flyers and/or awareness flyers in public restrooms, or anywhere else you think would they would be noticed. Now keep in mind that you don't have to stop doing some of this stuff after October!  By all means...continue your efforts throughout the year.

The more the merrier!

So in stating this, I implore all of you out there to stand up and do something for domestic violence victims not only in October, but throughout the year. Turn these victims into proud SURVIVORS!!! Give them some hope and some help. To borrow a phrase used quite often, give them a hand-up not a hand-out.

All of these are really general and will take some research, time and effort on your part.  But, the way I look at it is this...the time I take to do even one of these activities just may save someone's are a few minutes of your life worth the life of another?

September 29, 2008

Newsflash: National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Events

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and across the country, advocates are joining health care providers, business leaders, policy makers, faith-based groups, college students and others at events and activities designed to educate the public about domestic and sexual violence. Events include national campaigns, statewide activities and community events.

The following list includes just some of the DVAM activities planned for this fall. Domestic violence experts and service providers are encouraged to contact the sponsoring organizations to learn more about each and explore how to get involved. Often, advocates can link their local activities to national campaigns. Please note that this list is not comprehensive; it is a sample of national events. 

To see the listing of the events scheduled go to the original article:  Newsflash: National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Events

September 26, 2008

Vietnam women break silence on domestic violence


HANOI (AFP) — Gripping her skull to ease a constant pounding headache, Lieu explains how she came to a decision that would have been unthinkable in Vietnam just a few years ago — to divorce her husband.

Speaking in a measured voice, her eyes steady, the 29-year-old from Hanoi recounted two years of living hell, of the abuse, humiliation and physical violence she suffered at the hands of her husband and his family.

Things turned bad soon after they married in 2006, she said, when he would come home, having spent his meager postman’s salary on alcohol, shout at her and then beat her — sometimes so badly she passed out.

“His punches tore the skin around my eyes,” she told AFP, sitting in...

Read the rest of this article here:  Vietnam women break silence on domestic violence « Tin Quê H°¡ng

NV still ranked 1st, second year in a row

In conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month being right around the corner the Violence Policy Center  in Washington D.C. released stats showing that NV, for the second year in a row, is ranked number one in the nation for the most women killed by men.

This is not a contest that any state wishes to win! 

The stats were published in the report:  When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2006 Homicide Data

This is an annual report that details the female homicides where there is one female victim and one male offender per case.  The information is taken from an unpublished FBI report.

For more information about the report click HERE

September 25, 2008

Child Abuse Professionals rally around Holly Ann Collins

The Leadership Council published a great article by Dr. Joyanna Silberg.  This article gives the history of the case, for those of you that have not been following it.  Tells what happened when Holly Ann Collins returned to the US this week for court, and discusses the evidence that shows domestic violence and child abuse were a factor in this all along.

In a Hennepin County, Minnesota court house Tuesday, Holly Ann Collins pled guilty to contempt of court and accepted 40 hours of community service. The more serious charges of kidnapping and custody interference that could have resulted in a long prison sentence were dismissed. Holly Ann Collins acknowledged in an interview that she indeed had contempt for the court that ordered her children into a life of abuse.

As the story of those 14 years has unfolded, Holly Ann Collins who left in secret as an outlaw is being welcomed back by domestic violence professionals and child abuse experts as a heroic woman who valued her children's safety above all else.

To read the full article:  The Leadership Council - Press Release

We are all very pleased with the outcome of this particular case.  However, there is no reason that a mother should have to leave this country to protect her children from abuse.  The justice system failed these children and their mother and are still doing so to others. 

Tell a Gal P.A.L.

The Allstate Foundation just launched the Tell a Gal P.A.L. program and contest on

The program encourages people to donate nearly new purses or professional bags to Dress for Success to help domestic violence survivors, or other women in need, get back on their feet with confidence. Purse donations will be accepted at select Allstate agency locations across the nation.

To help kick start this, ABCs Ugly Betty actress, Ana Ortiz, will donate her Onna Ehrlich purse to one lucky winner for telling others about domestic violence. To enter the contest, visit  - the contest ends on October 31.

Please visit HERE to find out what P.A.L. stands for!

September 24, 2008

Domestic Violence Shelters Nationwide to Receive $3 Million Cash Infusion


DALLAS, Sept 23, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Domestic violence shelters nationwide are receiving an influx of badly-needed cash, thanks to the foundation started by the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Inc. The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation (MKACF) is awarding grants totaling $3 million to domestic violence shelters across the U.S. The grants -- 150 in all, covering all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico -- will be used for...  Domestic Violence Shelters Nationwide to Receive $3 Million Cash Infusion During Economic Downturn - MarketWatch

Show Me the Women: the Presidential Debates

Bob Schieffer, of CBS, is moderating the Presidential Debate of October 15th which will focus on domestic issues.  Mr. Schieffer invited the Women's Media Center and its supporters to suggest questions that he should ask of the candidates at the debate.

This is our chance to have some of our questions not only heard but possible answered.

The Women's Media Center invites you to submit your questions to be asked at the Presidential Debate! We want to hear from you on issues that matter to, and affect, women. Click here to submit your questions, and continue reading below for information about the WMCs initiative to add women's voices to these historic and deeply significant debates....Show Me the Women: the Presidential Debates

Please visit the WMC web site at the link above to read the full review of what is being done and how this came about. 

You can also visit the WMC Blog Majority Post to see the questions that have already been submitted prior to submitting your own questions.

September 22, 2008

Good Faith Allegation of Abuse Cannot Be Held Against Accuser in Custody Proceeding

Hopefully this new law will help relieve some of the worries that come along with coming forth with evidence of abuse and domestic violence when in custody disputes.  This may not totally work to the child's best interest, but it is a step in the right direction.  This is something to keep an eye on, to see what ramifications this new law is having on cases.  If the outcome is desirable, this possibly something that other states should adopt.

Recently, in divorce and custody cases, the so-called parental alienation factor has become particularly prominent among the statutory criteria dealing with custody. The court decisions have described parental alienation in terms of failure to support the childs relationship with the non-custodial parent. This particular issue has carried a tremendous force in custody cases, and often was used to override the primary caregiver criterion. The significance of parental alienation can be explained as follows. If parental alienation is proven, it often has resulted in a change in custody despite the long-standing parenting arrangements that have been successful otherwise. The problem with claim of parental alienation is that in some cases judges have treated allegations of abuse and neglect that could not be proven as tantamount to false allegations maliciously brought to advance an agenda of alienation. This has placed concerned parents between the proverbial rock and the hard place. If they act in good faith to protect their child, they do so at risk of losing custody. If they dont act, they are abdicating their parental obligation to protect their child. The Legislature has acted in response to this problem and the Governor has signed into law an amendment to DRL § 240 to provide protection for litigating parents who report abuse or neglect in good faith and based on a reasonable belief that the allegation is legitimate. Domestic Relations Law § 240, subdivision 1 (a) was amended to provide that a good faith allegation of abuse cannot be held against the accuser in child custody proceedings. The amendment to the statute is intended to ensure that the accuser engaging in a good faith effort to protect or seek treatment for the child due to the child abuse or neglect cannot have these actions used against them when determining custody or visitation. If a parent makes a good faith allegation based on a reasonable belief which is supported by facts that the child is the victim of child abuse, child neglect, or the effects of domestic violence, and if that parent acts lawfully and in good faith in response to that reasonable belief to protect the child or seek treatment for the child, then that parent may not be deprived of custody, visitation or contact with the child, or restricted in custody, visitation or contact, based solely on that belief or the reasonable actions taken based on that belief. If an allegation that a child is abused is supported by a preponderance of the evidence, then the court must consider such evidence of abuse in determining the visitation arrangement that is in the best interest of the child, and the court may not place a child in the custody of a parent who presents a substantial risk of harm to that child. Laws of 2008, Ch 538, effective September 4, 2008.

Original Article:  Rochester Family Lawyer » Blog Archive » Good Faith Allegation of Abuse Cannot Be Held Against Accuser in Custody Proceeding

Hidden Secrets: Same Sex Domestic Violence

On October 5th, 2008 at 5:30PM (Eastern Time Zone) B.L.L.A.S. will be hosting a show on BlogTalkRadio titled "Hidden Secrets: Same Sex Domestic Violence".  This show is scheduled to be an hour long and the call in number is: (347) 826-7674.

Show Description:  Domestic violence in the Same Gender community is a serious issue. The rates of domestic violence in same-gender relationships is roughly the same as domestic violence against heterosexual women. As in opposite-gendered couples, the problem is likely underreported. Facing a system which is often oppressive and hostile towards those who identify as anything other than "straight", those involved in same-gender battering frequently report being afraid of revealing their sexual orientation or the nature of their relationship.

For More Information or to set a reminder of the show time:  same gender loving and Domestic Violence talk radio show | Hidden Secrets: Same Sex Domestic Violence

Why Purple??

Each year for October I dye my hair purple.  I am always asked why purple, and my answer always is:  because it is the awareness color for domestic violence and this is domestic violence awareness month.

Last year I had one person ask me, "Why is purple the awareness color for domestic violence".  I had no complete or even half way answer for that, other than it just is.

So this year I decided to find out so that if someone asks me again, I can tell them.

I could not find a definite answer to this.  However, there were bits and pieces of the same story that I did keep running into so that is what I decided to piece together.  This may not be the absolute real reason the color purple was chosen, but it is the most accepted story. 

Lisa Bianco was a woman from the Midwest in the 1980s who left her abusive relationship. She then began working in battered women’s program in her community. Although her batterer had been sent to jail, he obtained a temporary furlough.

During this release, he crossed state lines, went to her home and killed her in the street in front of her neighbors.

After her murder, her friends and family wanted to remember the life and work of this woman and chose to wear her favorite color in her honor - the color purple.

copied from:

Many states have recognized the purple ribbons in proclamations which memorialize National DV Awareness Month as October.

Many think that the purple ribbons are to show support for the survivors and advocates and that is partly correct.  The purple ribbons also are meant to bring the message that there is no place for domestic violence in schools, homes, communities or workplaces.

The color purple represents courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending domestic violence.

So where are you going to put your purple?

September 20, 2008

Grants and Funding for Domestic Violence Projects

I forgot to put the link up back at the beginning of the month for the current grants and funding page on

So here is the main page: Index

Look through that, it is the link to everything, you should be able to find what you are looking for.  Not all of the grants and funding are from the government, some are private also.  You do not need to be 501c3 for some of them.  Some of this money is for individuals also.  You never know what you are eligible for until you look!!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it's history

With Domestic Violence Awareness Month just around the corner I thought maybe some would like to know how this month came about.  Many often say that everything has a month and well DV gets October....there is a little more to it than that. 

Yes, we should all be thinking of Awareness and Advocacy throughout the year; however this is the one month of the year that everyone can also come together to remember those that have been touched by domestic violence in one way or another.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) held the first ever Day of Unity in October 1981.  I do not know, nor can I find why they picked one day in the month of October, but this day is what started it all.  The Day of Unity was intended to represent the unity of advocates working for victims of domestic violence across the United States. 

The Day of Unity eventually became a week-long recognition of:

bd14942_ advocates who were committed to the prevention of domestic violence,

bd14942_remembrance of the women and children killed because of domestic violence, and

bd14942_ the recognition and celebration of those who survived domestic violence.

The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was October 1987.  The goal was to coordinate efforts nationwide to educate communities about domestic violence, the effects on community and the resources available to help survivors. That first national toll-free hotline began that same year.

In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the United States Congress.  Since Domestic Violence Awareness Month’s enactment, State Legislatures across the nation have done the same as well.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also a time to encourage the public to take active steps to address domestic violence. The hope is that a month of intensified awareness efforts combined with the broad spectrum of anti-domestic violence work throughout the year will bring us closer to ending domestic violence.

So what are you going to do this year?

Don't lie to the children

Atum Azzahir, and her son Taylor, were keynote speakers and workshop presenters at the Georgia Commission on Family Violence's 15th annual statewide Family Violence Conference in Savannah.

While his mother preached the value of education, his father practiced domestic violence. So at a young age Anthony Taylor set two goals for himself: Graduate from high school and kill his father. In that order. 

As is often the case in domestic violence situations, Atum Azzahir, says that she did leave from time to time; but she always went back.

...morning after she and the children had spent the night at a friend's home. She was preparing to return home when her son asked her a question.

"Why are we going home?" Taylor asked his mother.

"To make breakfast," she answered.

"The way he looked at me made me decide to never tell that kind of lie again," Azzahir said. "I didn't say I'm going home because I'm...

She said that if she had it to do over again that she wouldn't lie to the kids.  She advises others to talk to the children honestly and in age appropriate ways.

...Azzahir left her husband when she learned her sons were plotting to kill him. She left because she did not want her sons -- especially Taylor, the oldest -- to carry lifelong burdens for having killed their father.

In the end, however, Azzahir's sons watched as he dragged her from her car, shot her five times at close range and...

Read entire original article: | 09/20/2008 | Don't lie to the children

September 19, 2008

Today is the DAY!!

Today is National Respect Day to raise awareness about sexual assault and take a stand against child abuse.

You can lend your support by texting the keyword “RESPECT” to 41010 – for a goal of 10 million acts of respect for the 10 million children who witness violence in their homes each year. Your mobile effort will be mapped out on, which will be populated by the minute with respect acts across the country.

You can also go to the web site and sign the declaration which will also be mapped.  Look around the site once you get there, there is information and many different ways to become involved. 

This is a virtual rally, so no matter where you are you can join in the rally!  If you are concerned for your private information, then use a different name and zip code when signing the declaration, it is the numbers that count!

You can also choose to donate $5 from your mobile phone to support the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), one of the nation’s leading organizations working to prevent and end violence against women and children, and you can invite a friend to join the movement. (The $5 donation will be added to your phone bill after you opt in.)

Big decision after rape might get easier

New law seeks to preserve evidence, give victims time to decide whether to report

This is an awesome new program that Nevada will be implementing!  I more then applaud their efforts in helping make it easier for the victim to come forward and be able to take action.  As a rape survivor, I would have loved having something like this offered.  I, like so many others, didn't want to press charges, at first.  After the shock wore off and the anger took it's place, it was too late, all evidence was gone. 

I believe fully that this will increase the rate of victims that get rape kits done, and believe it or not, the victim doesn't have to pay for the kit!  "Each exam costs about $750, and the county picks up the tab, as required by law."

"This is why, starting Jan. 5, Nevada will be federally mandated to give victims who don’t want to cooperate with police the option to have a forensic sexual assault exam. Nurses currently decide whether to give the exam in these circumstances; next year every victim will be offered the test and protected from having to name names."

"The state will also be required to store any evidence collected during these exams, even though the files may sit unused on a shelf in some eternal evidence locker. The new laws are a product of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, and the logic behind them is simple: Give victims time to decide whether they want to pursue their cases. Don’t force a decision in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event."

THIS is something about this program that I truly am impressed with!  Not only will they use the information for the victim, but also potential other victims.  Through this, they will know who is out there raping women, and can stop them before they rape more! 

"It might be difficult for a traumatized person to memorize a number, or save a scrap of paper that holds the key to her case, said Andrea Sundburg, executive director of the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Assault. If victims don’t have to give information about their attackers, they could reasonably provide their names to police, who would keep them in confidence. If a DNA sample linked one assault to a series, cops could call protected victims and tell them their testimony might help take down a serial rapist, Sundburg said."

September 18, 2008

Give Respect!

Dear Readers,

There's a worldwide rally for respect going on. And it's all about preventing violence against women and children by building safer, healthier, and stronger homes and communities throughout the world.
Join me at the rally for respect at


September 16, 2008

Domestic Violence addressed in comic strip

I stumbled across a small mention of this comic strip and the fact that she will be running intermittent strips through November which discuss domestic violence.  I ran across this in a article that actually is putting Sandra Bell-Lundy down for doing this.  So I went searching to find out what is going on with this and how she is portraying it.

Below is one of the articles that I found.  Looks to me like she is doing this as a good way to get the info out there!  This is great as far as I am concerned, get awareness out to those that may not be able to get it any other way.  Brilliant!!

Between Friends' Strip Addresses Spousal Abuse By E&P Staff Published: September 15, 2008 12:45 PM ET NEW YORK Sandra Bell-Lundy's "Between Friends" comic is addressing spousal abuse in a storyline that will run intermittently through November. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence at some point. "A friend of mine was involved in this type of situation when she was in her early 20s," said Bell-Lundy. "She confided in me years later...." To gain more insight into domestic abuse, the Canadian cartoonist met with staff at women's shelters. Early response to the storyline has been very positive, according to King Features Syndicate, which distributes "Between Friends" to nearly 140 newspapers. It's primarily a humor strip. An example of a "Between Friends" spousal-abuse episode can be seen here.

Original Article:  Between Friends' Strip Addresses Spousal Abuse

By clicking the word "here" above you are taken to just one example, however you can click on the calendar dates below that to see more.  The strips referring to DV start in August and as far as I could tell the last one is Sept. 6th, but keep an eye on this; she is going to be writing the DV strips into the story line all the way through November.

I feel that we should follow this and we should support her and show her that this does matter and thank her for doing this!  To view her blog go here.  In one of her blog posts she says that she is in the process of making an archive with all the DV related strips to put up on her web site and will blog the link to it when she is finished.

September 11, 2008

When dad is just bad

I have decided to just post the entire article here in case it is not available later.  I am glad that this conference was held...sorry I wasn't there!  There is contact info at the bottom to write to this reporter to show her some support in writing this article.

She apparently is going to be receiving emails from the FR's that disagree so I feel that those of us who agree with what she wrote should let her know also!



What's a conference on domestic violence without fireworks? An American speaker shot off a doozy here yesterday, charging that the leaders of some fathers' rights groups are abusers who use the organizations as tools to harass women.

"It's really important that we recognize that they're gaining traction," Rita Smith, executive director of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told an international women's shelters conference.

In a later interview, Smith said her experience of men working on fathers' rights is that many of the leaders are abusers or were accused of abuse.

"The agenda, often by the leadership, is to completely undermine women's rights," she said. "The ones that are the most dangerous are, in fact, creating safety problems for women and children."

Many who join such groups aren't abusive - they just lost a custody battle, Smith said, and are being used.

"Our responsibility is to try to figure out which of those groups are legitimate and which of those groups are simply a way for abusers to continue using the legal system to abuse women."

Want more fireworks? Here goes. Smith also said domestic abusers who fight for custody in U.S. courts win full custody, joint custody or unsupervised access 70% of the time, regardless of the evidence of the mother.

She attributes it to a court gender bias. "For whatever reason, women are not believed," she told me. "There's this myth in the family court system in the U.S. that women lie about abuse to gain custody. There's been no ... evidence to indicate that's true."

Advocates and experts are trying to reform the U.S. family court system, she added. "It's pretty broken."

Her comments were echoed by speaker Sandra Ramos, who runs a shelter for homeless battered women and children in New Jersey and teaches college students about domestic violence.

Said Ramos: "When I tell my students batterers and child molesters get custody, they go, 'No, that's ridiculous.'

"If you have money for a good lawyer, you can win anything."

Abusers fight for custody as a backlash, to try to regain control and hurt the victims for leaving them, said Ramos.

"Batterers are insecure cowards and bullies," she added. "The way to hurt (their ex-wives) and not have to pay child support is to get the children."

Abusive men win custody of their kids in Canada as well, said Jan Reimer, provincial co-ordinator of the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters. "There's a feeling that even if a perpetrator is abusing the mom, he doesn't hurt the child," she said. "The child is used as a pawn to get at the mother."

Let's count our blessings, folks, that the vast majority of custody cases are settled amicably outside court.

So enough about custody battles. There are 800 delegates -- mostly women but a few good men -- at this week's conference of shelter workers and they all have incredible stories.

Ece Tuncay, who gave a presentation yesterday, is a clinical psychologist with a shelter in Ankara, Turkey, for female victims of human trafficking. There is another in Istanbul and they are desperately needed because Turkey is a destination country for trafficked women from countries like Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Moldova.

The women are tricked into thinking they'll work as cooks or cleaners and then forced into prostitution, said Tuncay.

"They are not generally able to escape because a pimp always accompanies them."

But there are hotlines the women can call and, in a strange twist of fate, Turkish johns sometimes feel sorry for them and call the police to rescue them, added Tuncay.

Her group gets the trafficked women safe housing and counselling. Then, with the help of the International Organization for Migration, the women travel safely home.

Every woman saved is a success story. As Reimer, the prime organizer behind this incredible gathering, commented to the delegates Monday night, shelter workers toil in the middle of a "hurricane of suffering" to keep women alive.

No other profession, she added, sees such a constant reminder of men's inhumanity to women.

I give the last word to Smith who quipped to the hundreds of shelter workers: "I look forward to the day when we all have something else to do in our lives."

Original Article Here: - Mindelle Jacobs - When dad is just bad

E-mail Mindy Jacobs at
Letters to the editor should be sent to

Update: Ruggiero Bail now denied

Ok, well first off here is the video from court on Monday:

(sorry can't get the embedded vid to work...not sure what is going on with it...just go to the link and watch it)

And, on a good note Mrs. Ruggiero said yesterday:
I just spoke with the County Attorney Superior Courts Office. As of today the judge placed a no bail hold on Jeffrey until his arraignment on his bench warrant hearing that is scheduled on Sept 16. At this time the judge could give him a bail or keep the current no bail decision until Jeffrey's appeal hearing in Nov

But the good news is, from today until Sept 16th, Jeffrey will be held in the states prison.

September 10, 2008


I am very glad to see a school stepping up and educating students in domestic violence, abuse and dating violence and abuse. These are things that our children need to know!!

Let's just hope this catches on and other states pick this up soon and run with it!!

Original Article here: :: News:
Phaedra Laird ( ) - 9/9/08 03:51 pm
Last Updated - 9/9/08 06:34 pm
"MILLVILLE--After three apparent domestic related shootings in Cumberland County just within the past month, local schools are getting involved to try and combat the staggering statistic. It's a real life education that teachers hope their students are quick to learn.

School's back in session and this year there's a new subject for kids at Millville's Lakeside Middle School. The program is called Safe Dating, and during health classes students will learn what it means to be in a healthy relationship. 'The goals of safe dates are to cover positive relationships,' said Family Life Teacher, Stacey Trimble, 'what constitutes a healthy relationship, what constitutes a negative relationship. We're also going to talk about abuse.'

'These issues are skyrocketing,' said Principal Tom Denning. In the past month, a domestic murder suicide type incident has taken place in Millville, Vineland, and just yesterday in Bridgeton. With the rising level of domestic violence, school officials say they need to do everything they can to try and combat the problem. 'It needs to be addressed and where else could it be addressed than the education system?'

The program was made possible through a $300,000 grant awarded to the city by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Jersey Health Initiatives program. 'It was a blessing,' said Denning, 'it's just another resource to help kids."

September 9, 2008

UPDATE: Ruggiero Case more from court yesterday

As more info comes to light, it looks like we are still following this BM1 Ruggiero could still make bail. I would like to point out that I had a typo in my update yesterday. I stated that bail was set at $2,500 which was incorrect...I left off a '0'. The actual bail (which is reported below also) was set at $25,000. I apologize for that little slip!

Link to original
Former USCG member arraigned

September 08, 2008 11:57 AM

BRENTWOOD — A former New Hampshire based member of the U.S. Coast Guard, who jumped bail before being sentenced on domestic violence related charges, was arraigned in Rockingham Superior Court on Monday, Sept. 8.

Petty Officer First Class Jeffrey Ruggiero, 38, assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston S.C., was taken into custody last week and was returned to New Hampshire on Friday, Sept. 5. He was convicted on April 30 of three misdemeanor charges, sending obscene matter, criminal threatening and violation of a restraining order.

After being released on bail pending a sentencing hearing, Ruggiero failed to show up for a sentencing hearing on June 28. He was sentenced in Exeter District Court to three years in prison, with one year deferred for two years of good behavior.

"He was arraigned this morning on a bail jumping charge and Judge Tina Nadeau set bail at $25,000 cash or surety bond," said Rockingham County Attornaey Jim Reams. "He was brought back to the state by U.S. Marshals on Friday. If he makes bail he is out and will have to come back in November for a trial on the original charges. As of now he is still in Rockingham County Jail."

Reams said a warrant for Ruggiero's arrest was issued through his office after Ruggiero failed to appear. The original charges came out of East Kingston and Reams said Ruggiero had filed an appeal.

Officers from the Sheriff’s office of Georgetown County, with the cooperation of the U.S. Coast Guard, made the arrest last week based on the New Hampshire warrant.

It will be up to the court to decide if Ruggiero’s appeal is still valid, based on his fleeing the state.

"If the appeal is not accepted or if it is deemed waived because of his fleeing the state, he will have to serve the sentence imposed," said Deputy County Attorney Tom Reid in an earlier interview.

Lt. Matt Moorlag, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard said they have been and will remain in full cooperation with New Hampshire authorities. He also said the Coast Guard is looking at several administrative complaints against Ruggiero that could result in his being dismissed from the Coast Guard.

Link to original

There was also more information posted over at An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog; which will clear up a little of what BM1 Ruggiero's lawyer stated in court yesterday as to what the CG was promising and what they had done. Apparently the Coast Guard was not present in the courtroom, they were not requested to present anything to the court, nor did they make any promises to the court or the lawyer representing BM1 Ruggiero. So the lawyer pretty much just said what he thought sounded good....well that is what is sounds like to me.

Also, to clear up the remarks about the service member being reported AWOL....yep I thought that sounded a little more on the side of falsehood than truth.

Seems that there should be someway for someone to bring these things into the view of the court, so that they can see that by being convinced into setting bail (AGAIN) that they just had the wool pulled over their eyes and that any appeals should not be entertained.

He did what he did, was convicted, now serve the time; plain, straightforward and to the point.

This is a case of Domestic Violence and Abuse. Yes, it appears that the waters were muddied there for a bit about what was going on with the Coast Guard and all that. But, from the get go this has been about one person harming and threatening to harm another, plain and simple. Now rather than facing what he has done BM1 Ruggiero gets his lawyer to throw it even further than what the real issue is, by going into court and making excuses.

September 8, 2008

When protective parents go to jail...

This post is going to look a little sloppy because I have decided to leave the full URL's rather than to just give a title and link it to the URL....I have done this to assist in others doing some of their own research into this matter to make it completely clear where this info is coming from.

What has this woman done to have to have supervised visits with her children and to have to pay for those visits? Why was she recently sent to jail? Read the articles and watch the videos to see.....

Please read this blog and the comments left to this post:

Now watch this video that goes along with that first write-up of this story:

And, here is the link to the newest video concerning this case:

Just for general interest here is the docket for the divorce:

UPDATE: Ruggiero Case - Court Today

I was correct on one thing...there was court this morning it seems.  Where I was wrong was in thinking that he was still in custody.  It appears that he was let go on $2,500 bail.  What?!?  Did he not already jump bail once?  Wasn't that one of the charges added?

On Sept. 2nd, 08 Karen Dandurant reported:

...Petty Officer First Class Jeffrey Ruggiero, assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston, S.C., was taken into custody without incident and is being held pending an extradition hearing. He was convicted on April 30 of three misdemeanor charges, sending obscene matter, criminal threatening and violation of a restraining order.

Ruggiero was released on bail by New Hampshire pending a sentencing hearing. On June 28, he did not show up but was sentenced in Exeter District Court to three years in prison, with one year deferred for two years of good behavior.

The charge came out of East Kingston, but police there said the warrant was issued by the Rockingham County Attorney's office.

"Mr. Ruggiero's bail has been revoked, and we have now charged him with bail jumping, a misdemeanor charge," said Tom Reid, deputy county attorney. "Now it will be handled by our office in Rockingham Superior Court."

Because Ruggiero, through his lawyer, had filed an appeal, Reid said he can not discuss details of the case.

"If the appeal is not accepted or if it is deemed waived because of his fleeing the state, he will have to serve the sentence imposed."...

Read the full article here:  Coast Guard petty officer faces N.H. charges

So, in court today his lawyer says that the reason he failed to return for sentencing was because he would be deemed AWOL.  And, furthermore, stated that if he was not granted bail AGAIN, the Coast Guard would consider him AWOL.  Thus the court granted his bail....a second time!

The USCG is guaranteeing that he will remain in their care and will be monitored.  This is an excerpt from Mrs. Ruggiero's email:

...The judge based her decision to grant Jeffrey Ruggiero bail on the ground of the USCG and his active duty status and how the USCG would guarantee he would not harm my daughter and I because they will and have been monitoring 24/7 and the USCG will guarantee he is on base and under their control because he is an active duty member...

Based on this...well, hhhmmm...they did a great job of monitoring 24/7 in the haven't they, since it was apparently under this monitoring that he was able to violate the restraining order with threats made as recently as August 2008.

This family is supposed to feel safe with this?  I can only hope that the USCG is going to do the right thing and that they will monitor this time all actions and movement of their service member.

Apparently there was news/media coverage in the courtroom from NECN, so waiting for that to be published as well.

Thoughts and Prayers are with the family!

UPDATE: Ruggiero Case

I admit, I am WAY behind sending this update out!  For that I apologize.  However, do want to get this out, and I am currently looking for the info on what is happening with this as it goes into court.

Below are the articles (well the main ones) with the update. 

In a nutshell:  BM1 Ruggiero is finally in custody and awaiting punishment.  I do believe that today (Monday, Sept. 8th, 08) is the day he will appear in court....however I could wrong about this.

Please take the time to actually read the above articles and the comments that have been made to them to get the full scope of what is going on here!  I did not feel that it would help anything to repeat what has already been said....

Look for another update in a few days as soon as I find out what has happened in court!

Our Thoughts and Prayers remain with this family as they go through this difficult time.