poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Few laws help gays in cases of domestic violence
Kathleen Kingsbury
Columbia News Service

NEW YORK - After coming home for work, Marianne makes dinner for her family. She watches TV with her children and tucks them into bed. She surfs the Internet for cheap plane tickets to take the kids to DisneyWorld for Easter.

For Marianne, who asked that her last name not be used, such everyday tasks were impossible less than a year ago. Her husband, Jordan, who abused her regularly throughout their 12-year marriage, controlled her life with violence.

Finally, a police officer suggested to Marianne that she go to family court for help. She filed a restraining order against her husband, keeping him away from her home, work and children's school. It isn't perfect, but Marianne can at least live without fear.

However, a majority of states don't guarantee this protection to Lorena Adams. Razor cuts crisscross Adams' arms, scars of the nearly daily abuse she suffered at the hands of her partner, Miranda, for almost five years. Only Hawaii's domestic-violence law explicitly gives gays and lesbians the right to restraining orders against abusive partners, and courts in only three other states - Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky - have consistently interpreted their states' laws to include same-sex relationships


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