US judge berates, then jails, domestic abuse victim
A judge in the US has drawn scrutiny for berating a domestic violence victim who failed to show up for a court appearance.
The woman had told Judge Jerri Collins, of Seminole County, Florida, that she failed to show up in court because she had been suffering depression and anxiety following an attack by the father of her child.
"You think you're going to have anxiety now? You haven't even seen anxiety," Justice Collins told the woman, video obtained by Orlando, Florida-based station WFTV showed.
The woman had told Florida's victim advocate that she wanted to drop charges against the father of her child and move on with her life.
The video of the July contempt of court hearing, shows, the victim trying to explain her rationale for skipping her court appearance.
Through tears, the domestic violence victim, explained why she had failed to show up. Justice Collins was having none of it.
"You need to tell the court why I should not hold you in contempt of court, I can sentence you to jail," the judge said.
"We had a jury, six people there, ready to try, Mr [the name was withheld], who has a prior history of domestic violence," Justice Collins can be heard saying in the video.
"You were required to be here by court order.
"You disobeyed a court order, knowing that it was not going to turn out well for the state."
The woman was sentenced to three days in jail for contempt of court. The case arose from an incident in April when she called for help after the father of her child choked her and grabbed a kitchen knife, WFTV reported.
- Brisbane Times