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Stopping the Silence: My Tool to Escape From Domestic Violence and to Find Liberty and Justice

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January 7, 2003

 

Dear judge Golberg:

I am the victim of the domestic violence (DV) case Ind 5968/01 of the people vs. Frankie Arena. Since this case was first brought before you, I gone through a painful struggle to free myself from Mr. Arena's violence. But, it was only when the DA's office and the NYPD became involved and guided me to get support from DV hotlines and emotional counseling that I was able to start to escape from DV. Then as I began to speak to other victims of DV, I started to learn about the dynamics of DV. But, before I could be free from Mr. Arena's violence, I had to face some painful truths about my relationship with the defendant. The most painful truth I had to face was that the violence would not stop. But in this journey, I also learned that it was possible to escape from DV. I learned from other survivors that I too could get out and stay out. For me stopping the silence against DV was how I was able to leave Mr. Arena and keep him out of my life. Surviving DV brought me the responsibility to help others escape from DV and the duty to tell the truth about DV, so that our community can be free from DV. Today, I ask you to join me in my struggle to end DV by making Mr. Arena accountable for violating the terms of his probation. Remand the defendant to jail and make him realize that any form of abuse will not be tolerated.

It is clear that Mr. Arena feels no remorse and no responsibility for his criminal actions. On June 28, 2001 when I presented this court with a victim impact statement, Mr. Arena tried to manipulate the court into believing that I was a "crazy ex-boyfriend" who is out for revenge. He presented the court with false information about me, and portrayed my escape from DV as the actions of a mad man. The truth is that I broke free from the DV cycle by following through with the criminal charges and by keeping no contact with Mr. Arena and his family.

Once the defendant realized I would no longer keep the silence about DV, he began (with the help of his mother and a Pablo Rivera) to abuse me by making false police reports against me. Those lies were futile and I was cleared of all charges in the "interest of justice". Still, this criminal attempted to manipulate the this court with more lies when he testified that the charges of the case people vs. Frankie Arena  (No 2002ny021308) were going to be dismissed. He presented a letter from his rehab counselor (Myrna) saying that I was harassing him. The contents of that letter were all lies. Moreover, when I contacted the certifying board for his rehab counselor, according to Paula Johnson at 518-485-2057, Myrna no longer met the requirements for certification.

Mr. Arena attempted to intimidate me and keep me from following through with the criminal charges. The only way I was able to free myself from his criminal actions and follow through with the criminal charges was to take major steps for my safety.

Mr. Arena showed no concern and no respect for the terms of his probation when he committed the violations. Yet, he feels he should not be accountable for those crimes. Please do NOT allow Mr. Arena's attempts to undermine the truth about his crimes from keeping the court from forcefully making him accountable for his actions. Remand Mr. Arena to jail and show that in our community domestic violence will not be tolerated.

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