Sioux Falls, SD Woman Ignites a Social Media Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign (#SilenceHidesViolence) by Posting Pictures of her Injuries
Meet Brooke Beaton, a 27 y/o mother of two (2) who resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. That’s her below (in happier times)…
And this is her after her (ex-)boyfriend recently left her with two (2) black eyes and a bruised shoulder.
Brooke started a domestic violence awareness campaign after her own horrific first-hand experience on August 22nd, 2015. The following day Brooke called her childhood friend Tiffany Thoelke, a freelance photographer (who’s Facebook page you can view by clicking here), and planned a photo shoot. Tiffany took several shots of Brooke and then they posted the pictures on Facebook, along with a message designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and which featured the now viral hashtag “#SilenceHidesViolence“.
Since the photos were posted on Sunday the women have received an overwhelming response from other victims of domestic violence, including both men and women.
Brooke’s case occurred when her boyfriend (who has not been publicly named but who reportedly had been her friend for eight (8) years and her “boyfriend” for four (4) months), and who was a passenger in the car that Brooke was driving, became angry, punched her in the face, struck her again, choked her and tried to take away her cell phone. Per Brooke: “I ended up at a gas station about five miles away from where we were. He was wiping up the crime scene with a paper towel from the gas pump” (because her blood had been spattered on the ground and all over her cell phone). Her attacker eventually let Brooke drive him to his home and then she drove away to her own house where, once she arrived, she called the police. After that Brooke called Tiffany, whom she hadn’t seen in ten (10) years, but whom she had recently reconnected with on Facebook and had planned to get together to do a photo shoot to promote her modeling career. Brooke said that “I didn’t think my modeling career would go this route. This isn’t why I wanted to call my good friend.”, but she also saw the incident as a perfect opportunity.
Since the photos were posted on Facebook thousands of responses have flooded in, and Brooke’s domestic attacker has been arrested for both domestic aggravated assault and interference with emergency communication (for stopping her from calling for help).
On Monday, August 24th, 2015, Brooke went to Applebees to celebrate her daughter’s sixth (6th) birthday. While sitting with her daughter and her eight (8) y/o son she unfolded her receipt and her server had written on it: “‘I bought your beers. I saw you on F.B. I’ve been there.” Brooke reportedly hugged her server before she left the restaurant. “One thing I never did was tell my story like you have,” the server told reportedly Brooke. “You’re very courageous and very brave. You’re putting a face out there that nobody is ever going to forget.”
Memo to the Folks: Domestic Violence (DV) cases present wrinkles for everyone in the system (the Defendant, the State and the Court), as they almost always involve emotional charged folks who’s lives are either interdependent or interconnected, the potential for repeat or escalated violence is almost always high and there is more often then not the likelihood that a victim will, for whatever reasons, wish not to prosecute the perpetrator.
For these reasons, in FL DV cases Defendant’s suffer aggressive prosecution (more aggressive than many other offenses), the State feels obligated to “force” all victim’s to “help themselves” (which serves the dual purpose of covering its own ass in the event of a subsequent violent altercation) and the Court engages in pure self-protection (no Judge wants to read her/his name in the paper as being responsible for “cutting loose” the repeat DV offender who re-injures, more seriously injures or kills a victim when the Court could have acted to prevent the same from occurring).
These are the practical realities of DV cases that we all must live with and it is for these reasons that there is a mandatory 24 hold (a statutorily required cooling-off period) for anyone booked into a FL jail for any DV case and that DV victim’s are afforded special protections, are required to be evaluated (if only by responding officers who have a DV “checklist”) and are required to be provided information about alternatives to returning to “life” with the alleged perpetrator).
If you are a victim of domestic violence then take a stand and call the police. It is only likely to get worse, getting you seriously injured, maimed or dead. If you are a perpetrator of domestic violence then get help before you get arrested, prosecuted and possibly stabbed in the neck in the middle of the night by your self-made-victim who sees no other out except to kill you off while s/he can.
Michael A. Haber, P.A.: Creative, effective and zealous criminal defense advocacy since 1991.
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THIS BLOG POST (AS ARE ALL OF HABERPA BLOG POSTS) IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT WHICH IS PRIMARILY DESIGNED, BY WAY OF REAL WORLD EXAMPLE, TO ASSIST THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN AVOIDING CONDUCT WHICH COULD FORESEEABLY RESULT IN ARREST AND PROSECUTION!
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