SAN JOSE – On December 12, 0f 2012, a domestic violence case was filed as a misdemeanor complaint against 22-year-old Suzie Jules Riley, who had recently been scheduled for an updated appearance in compliance with her probationary requirements on April 30, 2013.
Like so many Americans who have been influenced by domestic abuse, the question of validation surrounds the issue of how a restraining order is issued through the DA’s office , and how it can help a victim in a severe domestic abuse case when very few cases have been viewed as a possible escalation to a homicide.
Steven Dick with the Santa Clara Family Violence Unit at the DA’s office said, “In a criminal case, the restraining order is classified as a “criminal protective order.”
During an arraignment hearing, a sitting judge will ask the victim whether or not her or she wants to remain in contact with the suspect. “The criminal protective order can be for no contact or for peaceful contact,” Dick said. “A protective order is issued in every intimate partner violence case in Santa Clara County.”
Amy Elizabeth working in the IT industry in the Bay Area said, “I was living in an abusive relationship for 5-years. I had called the police so many times they didn’t believe it.”
The rights of the victim are often obscure when dealing with two adults that have found themselves in an unhappy relationship, which may develop into a retaliatory relationship due to violence in the home by one partner, or both.
Druilias James was in a romantic relationship for about a year with Suzie Riley, when he finally decided to try and stop his girlfriend from repeatedly hitting him in the back of the head during an argument at home. Officers responding to the domestic situation separated the couple and hand handcuffed the victim during a field investigation and interview of the couple.
James had slapped Riley in the face causing her bottom lip to swell. This is when she told James she was calling the police and was going to have him arrested for domestic abuse. However, during the field interview it was found that during the fight, the bedroom door had been damaged resulting in a 5-inch crack adjoining the door to the hinges on the wall from when James had tried to escape from Riley.
SJPD subsequently decided to arrest Riley on the charge of Misdemeanor Battery charges under PC 273.5 for Domestic Violence. James said, “I really felt the last hit.” In the field report, officers determined that after the suspect had become angry, he hit her to make her stop hitting him in the back of the head, Riley then called the police in order to retaliate against him for making her stop through the use of force.
“There is a stigma with reporting against their female partner,” Elizabeth said. “Largely in society today especially men, fear calling the police to report they are being abused by their partner.”