Little Wife Goes to Court
“Ma’am, could you please speak up?” asked the judge.
Little Wife looked over her shoulder to the court advocate who had helped prepare her statement and other court documents. The court advocate nodded to Little Wife to continue.
“Your Honor, yes, I am afraid of my husband. I’m sorry. I’ll try to speak up. I am here in your court today to request an Emergency Order of Protection against him because I am afraid that he is trying to hurt me ever since I escaped from him with my children last week. We don’t have a home yet, just living in our car. He has been following me, watching me, calling me non-stop and texting me and the children. I am trying to be very brave, but as you can see, I’m very small and vulnerable. He is very big and loud.”
The judge nodded. “Do you have evidence of him threatening you and following you?”
“Yes, your Honor, here is my documentation for the ways that he has been harassing me and threatening me. He has called my phone seventy-two times in the past week. But I didn’t answer his calls. He stalked me even on the day that I had a car accident. He followed me to my office and even came into my office looking for me, but my co-worker covered for me. Here are the text messages. I printed them out with the help of the court advocate.” Little Wife handed over the papers.
The judge took her time reading through the print outs. “He says over and over in these text messages that he loves you so much. Do you believe that is true, ma’am?”
“Oh no, he doesn’t love me at all. He’s just trying to control me and be all charming and try to get me to come back home again. But I just can’t go back to him, your Honor. I am so afraid of what he will do next. He might have bought a gun. He has a plan to hurt me. Maybe he will push me down the stairs. Maybe he will smother me with a pillow. I don’t know. Maybe there will be some terrible accident, but he definitely wants me to know he’s watching and waiting for me. He said he’s not done with me yet. Please, your Honor, please help me.” A small tear rolled down Little Wife’s cheek as she remembered the terrible sound of his voice.
“Your Emergency Order of Protection is granted. The sheriff’s department will serve your husband with an Emergency Order of Protection within 24 hours which will stand for two weeks. During that time, your husband may not contact you by phone or in person. He may not come within 500 yards of you whether you are at work, at your place of residence or in your car. If he breaks this order of protection, please contact your local police department. After two weeks, if you wish to extend the Order of Protection, you may come back to court with additional documentation. Your husband will also be ordered to appear in court and to offer a defense. Do you have any questions, Miss Little Wife?”
“What if he is outside the court building right now waiting for me?”
“We will have a deputy walk with you to your car today. Please be safe and I hope you are able to find a safe place to live soon. It’s not good for you and your daughter to be living in your car.”
“Yes. Thank you, your Honor, we are trying to find a place to live. Thank you, your Honor.” As Little Wife gathered her thoughts and her belongings, she remembered to say a little prayer of thanksgiving. She looked up at the ceiling of the courtroom and believed with all of her heart that God was with her, helping her, watching over her and making a way where there seemed to be no way.
Chaplain’s Note: If you are a victim of domestic abuse, please consider taking legal action to protect yourself from hurt, harm and danger. Courts will approve emergency orders of protection if you can prove either physical or emotional abuse. Keep records of the abuse episodes, including dates and times and as much detail as possible. Record threatening conversations and take pictures of injuries if possible. Bring police reports and even documentation of times when you called the police but they didn’t file reports. Having a detailed paper trail is valuable. Contact your local domestic abuse social service agency to connect to court advocates who can help you prepare a personal statement and complete the legal forms for obtaining an order. You are not alone in this.
God has a better plan for you. It is never God’s will for a woman to be abused by her husband, boyfriend or intimate partner. He is a God of justice and mercy.
“For the Lord loves justice; He will not forsake His saints.” Psalm 37:28
“When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” Proverbs 21:15
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7