Seminole County, Florida Judge Jerri Collins sentenced a domestic violence victim to three days in jail because she failed to appear in court and testify against her abuser.
According to court documents, the woman was choked by the father of her 1-year-old son, while he was holding a kitchen knife. The woman claims that the reason she did not make it to court is because she was dealing with her depression and overwhelming anxiety.
“Why didn’t you show up to court?” asks Judge Collins.
“I’m just, my anxiety, and I’m just…” says the woman.
“You think you’re going to have anxiety now?” asks the judge. “You haven’t even seen anxiety. We had a jury – six people there – ready to try [the abuser], who has a prior criminal history of domestic violence.”
Judge Collins would later press the woman on her statement to police, questioning if it was true. The woman answered that her statements were true, adding, “I’m trying to move on with my life,” and that she has sold all of her things to make ends meet, she is living with her parents, she is not receiving child support – her abuser lost his job following charges for simple battery.
“I’m just not in a good place right now,” she said.
“And violating your court order did not do anything for you,” said Judge Collins. “I find you in contempt of court. I hereby sentence you to three days in the country jail.”
The judge’s decision will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the victim when she considers the possibility of contacting law enforcement if she should ever find herself in such a situation.
For more on this, read the article from RawStory titled: “Florida judge harasses domestic violence victim before jailing her: ‘You haven’t even seen anxiety.’“