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?
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Photo Credit: Money Blog Newz
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