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Judge Orders Man to Apologize to Estranged Wife on Facebook Following Domestic Abuse Verdict

Judge Orders Man to Apologize to Estranged Wife on Facebook Following Domestic Abuse Verdict

 

Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself often writing about domestic violence as evident here, here, here, and here.

Today I came across another story regarding domestic violence with an interesting twist.

In Cincinnati a man named Mark Byron was found guilty of domestic violence against his estranged wife Elizabeth Byron last June. Following the verdict in November, Mark posted the following comment on his Facebook wall about his wife:

“If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do it say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!”

In response, Elizabeth filed a motion against Mark stating that his comment violated the temporary protection order she was given in June which prohibited Mark “from causing plaintiff or the child of the parties to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance or bodily injury.”

In January a judge ruled that Mark had in fact violated the protection order and sentenced him to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine – a sentence that could be avoided if Mark paid back his child support and posted a written apology on his Facebook page for 30 days.

Mark decided to go with the apology. Here are some of the excerpts from the public apology:

“I hereby acknowledge that two judicial officials in the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court have heard evidence and determined that I committed an act of domestic violence against Elizabeth…”

“…I hereby apologize to Elizabeth for casting her in an unfavorable light by suggesting that she withheld [my son] from me or that she in any manner prevented me from seeing [my son] during that period. That decision was mine and mine alone…”

“…I further apologize to all my Facebook Friends for attempting to mislead them into thinking that Elizabeth was in any manner preventing me from spending time with [my son], which caused several of my Facebook Friends to respond with angry, venomous, and inflammatory comments of their own.”

It’s interesting to see how today’s social media driven world had an impact on this case. It’s clear that Mark’s Facebook comment was a complete lie and that it’s very possible that Elizabeth was scared of her husband as he was found guilty of domestic violence.  She was probably also scared for her son but it wasn’t Elizabeth that prevented Mark from seeing his son, but Mark himself.

What is most notable to me about the apology, however, was Mark’s admission that he was convicted of domestic abuse, a fact that many abusers are unwilling to admit. Sure, he was legally obligated to admit doing so publically on Facebook but there it is in black and white – at least for the next 30 days.

What do you think? Was the public apology and child support payments an appropriate sentence in lieu of paying a $500 fee and serving 60 days in jail?

 

Related from Care2:

Hugh Hefner’s Son Arrested for Domestic Abuse

Love is Respect: February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

New Bill Would Require Police to Witness Violence Firsthand Before Making Arrest

 

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Photo Credit: Money Blog Newz

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101 comments

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7:22PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Imho he was just venting on FB too bad his dumb friends opened their big mouths about it. If the situation was reversed the guy would still be the bad guy in most minds. Guys have to accept that right or wrong they will always be the bad guy.

I know that men sonetimes abuse women and those men deserve everything they get. But on the other hand women who abuse their husbands almost never get punished because if the guy actually reports it everyone will just laugh at him. Most physical fights i have seen in couples fighting starts with the woman slapping or punching the man and usually ends with him restraining her. But the guy is almost always the one arrested. I know one friend who was driving and his girlfriend punched him in the face over him talling to his mom earlier that day when she wanted to go to the mall. He pulled over and got out of the car to cool off and she took off in it spinning the tires and swerving like she was going to hit him all with their little boy in the back. He called the cops and reported what happened because she was too angry to drive safely and she had no license because of too many dui's. But when the cops caught up with her she told them she was afraid for her life so they arrested him. She finally admitted that she lied and they let him go but she tried the same thing again in family court but he had enough witnesses to her behavior that the judge didn't believe her.

My point is that you can't always believe something

4:07PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

A short jail sentence and a meager fine wouldn't have hurt as much as having to publicly apologize to his ex-wife and tell his friends the truth. He can never go back and write another lie about his wife without risking being called a liar and aslo having to issue a second apology. That guy is toast!

9:11AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

I tend to take these articles with a pinch of salt. We have no information about the actual domestic violence case; plus, political correctness is often overused in the U.S.

9:52AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

I don't think it was really "justice".. since the child support was something he should have already paid to begin with. Maybe the fine would have set things straight. Also, a forced apology is an insincere apology... fot both the wife and the other facebook users.

8:52AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Yes, how sincere could the apology be since he was told to do it. You and I both know he probably does NOT mean it.

7:22PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

How could anyone abuse, someone that you love? I will never understand that. They say that they love you then they hit you or treat you bad.... specially children... How could anyone do that to their loved one, that's not love at all if you ask me.

10:23AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

THANK YOU! Domestic Violence needs to STOP! Men have to realize that this action is WRONG! All women---who have had this done to them---need to STAND UP---allow others to see the HARM---that it is doing to ALL WOMEN!

4:30AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

We need to be more considerate of each other in our lives not just facebook but really learn to say something nice or just say nothing at all be kinder than necessary folks

1:56AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

I do love the potential for social media for us to all get real - even if there is a way we can hide behind it, there is also a way in which everybody witnesses what you are going through, and perhaps one speaks more truthfully with keyboard courage - therefore letting us all see deeper into one another. Great article.

1:52AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Most abusers share the personality trait of being control freaks. The original comment was to take control over his ex wife's emotions, to scare her into the corner.

Thing is, this public humiliation, which he may have originally thought that would help take control over the court process, may have given him insight to what he does to his victim(s). Now it's on facebook stating that he is indeed an abuser, and it's his crime that took his child away.

With facebook, it doesn't matter if you have it semiprivate. If your friend comments on that thread, that person's friends list can see your private amongst friends post, as well as the comment that person made. Facebook is NOT private.

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