Victim of domestic abuse frustrated with justice system
By Liz Zamora
Warning: The images in this story are graphic.
A Valley Falls woman said she was beaten and choked by her former boyfriend.
Tara Balch remembers the night she thought she was going to die at the hands of her boyfriend of six months.
"He hit me in the face. I was scared for my life. I didn't know if I was going to get out alive," she said.
She said it started as a war of words but then he began punching her, choking her and even ripped out a chunk of hair. She said he shoved her so hard that he left hand prints on her back. However, Balch said she also fought back.
"While he was choking me, I bit him and he was bleeding," she said.
Balch said there was so much blood on his hands he stopped to wash it off. That's when she ran and called for help. Valley Falls Police Chief Tammy Gross answered the call.
"He was arrested for battery and disorderly conduct," Gross said.
Balch took out an order of protection. She met with the county attorney who told her the man accused of beating her could avoid jail time if he agreed to counseling. She was shocked.
"I felt like a victim all over again," Balch said. "And that's not how you are supposed to feel."
County Attorney Mike Hayes did not want to go on camera or comment about the pending case.
Chief Gross said in her past law enforcement experience, giving someone the option for counseling is fairly common.
"I've seen success stories. I can say that. But that is a person with an open mind," she said.
Chief Gross hopes Balch can serve as an example to other victims of domestic abuse.
"You don't have to stay in that situation. There is help out there," Gross said.
But Balch believes that punishment doesn't fit the crime and would like this first time offender to serve jail time. Balch hopes she can make things better for other victims of domestic abuse.
"If we work with our officials we can change things," she said.
Balch said she has not had any further contact with her ex-boyfriend. His next court appearance is June 5.Technorati Tags: Victim,Domestic,Abuse,Justice,System,Zamora,news,images,Valley,Falls,woman,Tara,Balch,life,words,hair,Police,Chief,Tammy,Gross,battery,protection,attorney,Mike,Hayes,option,person,example,victims,situation,punishment,crime,offender,appearance,June,boyfriendNote: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.