Tired Is An Understatement

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”- Bob Marley

During a court ordered visit my son’s father Jhavier tricked our four-year-old son into showing him where I lived. For four years I tried my hardest never to let my son’s father know where I lived. I ended our relationship when I was three months pregnant and never looked back because of domestic violence reasons. I needed to be safe, and I never I could never truly be safe with Jhavier knowing where I lived. Jhavier made is clear that he could not control himself and he did not care if our son was present for his violent outburst last year when he punched me in the face and tried to hit myself and my son with a car in 2017.

The first call I made after I learned my location was compromised was to the House of Ruth Domestic Violence Center. I spoke with the representative who advised me to contact Jhavier’s probation officer and let her know that Jhavier violated his probation. I called LaSondra Michaels Jhavier’s probation officer April 19th 2019. She advised me to email her all the threatening correspondence between Jhavier and I, and she would forward that information to his judge. As soon as I hung up the phone with Jhavier’s probation officer I forwarded her all the correspondence between Jhaiver and I. I also explained to her how in November 2018 Jhavier called me and advised me that he was suicidal homeless and living in his car. I also explained to her that Jhavier advised me that he had a gun and would kill me before he went back to jail. His probation officer advised me she would follow up with me after she heard from the judge.

April 22th 2019 I followed back up with Jhavier’s probation officer because I did not hear anything from her.  She advised me that she submitted all the evidence to the judge and was waiting to hear back from the judge.  April 24th, April 29th, and May 6th I followed up with his probation officer and received the same response. She advised me each time she was just waiting for the judge to respond. This whole time I could barely sleep and was a nervous wreck. 

Finally, May 6th 2019 Lashondra emailed me to advise me that a VOP warrant was issued for Jhavier’s arrest. She told me would let me know when he was taken into custody. May 13th 2019 I received several calls from Jhavier’s phone. I screenshotted the calls and sent them to his probation officer. She advised me that Jhavier was taken into custody and she would follow up with me to let me know when trial was scheduled. 

June 12th 2019 my birthday I received an email from Jhavier’s probation officer advising me that Jhavier was being held no bail and his trail was set for 06/27/19. I cried when I read the email. I did not and still don’t understand how things got so bad between us. It was obvious that as much as I wanted things to change for the better, they would never. Jhavier’s birthday is at the end of May I’m not sure what the exact day is anymore, but I was sad thinking that he spent his 25th birthday behind bars. I was sad thinking about him being locked up around so many dangerous people.

June 26th 2019 4:48pm the state’s attorney Megan Bell emailed me and advised me she would be the prosecutor for my case. She advised me that she just found out about the case minutes before emailing me. She advised me it was important for me to call her back before 5:15pm that day in order to discuss the case. I didn’t check my emails until 6pm and by that time it was too late to speak with her. 

June 27th 2019 I showed up to court without being prepped for trail. I was so sure Jhavier would be released, because I had very little faith in the system. Jhavier was facing 10 years in prison for his probation violation, and had a court appointed public defender John Jameson. John was a middle age black mail who was so soft spoken and lost many of his previous cases. I could barely hear him when he spoke, and I figured my lawyer the state’s attorney would handle him well.

However, when it came time for my case to be heard John came alive. My lawyer asked for have the case postponed for until the end of the month because she needed more time to learn about the case. She asked to have Jhavier remain in jail no bail until the new court case. Jhavier’s lawyer flew into action.

“Your honor this is not a criminal case this is a custody case, and my client should be set free and at the very least granted bail. The plaintiff in this case is anger that my client has visitation and is doing anything in her power to stop my client from seeing his son. This is not a criminal case this is a case of a bitter baby momma” stated John.

I looked over at Jhavier to see him nodding and smiling with pleasure as his public defender spoke. I sat flabbergasted that Jhavier thought it was okay to ruin my character like that and attack me in open court. I would never ever lie to have anyone arrested. Instead of admitting guilt Jhavier smiled while his lawyer dragged my name through the mud. Even in handcuffs Jhavier found away to harass and belittle me.

However, the judge granted the state’s attorney request for a postponement and held Jhavier without bail. The new trail was set for July 29, 2019.

July 26th 2019 I spoke with the states attorney Megan again she advised me she would do everything in her power to help me. She advised me that she could not guarantee Jhavier would remain in jail. She told me that I would have to move as soon as possible. She referred my case to the House of Ruth relocation department. After the conversation with the state’s attorney I knew Jhavier would be released.

July 29, 2019 the state’s attorney advised me that Jhavier had already been in jail for 90 days, and she couldn’t guarantee that the judge would give Jhavier 10 years in prison. The state attorney advised me that she would offer Jhavier one additional year supervised probation. In December 2017 Jhavier was sentenced to 2 years supervised probation that would have ended December 2019, but now his probation won’t end until December 2020. Jhavier took the plea and like that he was free.

July 30th, 2019 my son and I where moved to a safe house in the middle of nowhere. I was alone in a strange town and advised to stay hidden until I was able to find new housing. I stayed in the safe house for 2 weeks, and then I was able to find new housing through the House of Ruth. I am thankful to the House of Ruth for helping me find housing and helping to keep me safe through this whole ordeal.

But Did You Die? Part I

“This seems to be the most pro-criminal group of legislators I’ve ever seen” – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

 Shortly after my son turned 2 years old his father Jhavier was granted unsupervised visitation. He was ordered to see our son every other weekend starting Friday at 5pm until Sunday at 8 pm.  I was granted full physical, and legal custody. I contested Jhavier receiving unsupervised visits. I wanted the visits to be supervised. The first reason I wanted the visits to be supervised was because Jhavier did not spend any time with our son the first two years of our son’s life. Jhavier literally saw our son at the hospital when our son was born, and at our son’s dedication six months later. The second and most important reason I contested unsupervised visits was because Jhavier proved himself to be a loose cannon. He was arrested and jailed for punching me while I was pregnant. I was granted a restraining order while I was pregnant because of the abuse. Jhavier could not control himself and he proved that time and time again, but the Baltimore City Circuit Court disagreed with me. The Baltimore City Court system advised me that Jhavier is the father and as the father he has rights to our child regardless of his past with domestic violence. I was advised that he hit me and not the child, and because he never hit the child he was eligible for unsupervised visitation. The law befuddled me, and I was extremely perplexed. I couldn’t understand why the law would allow someone with a violent past to be around a child unsupervised. Not to mention that yes he is the father, but he was also the same “father” that attacked the mother of his unborn child while she was pregnant. So because his punches to my gut didn’t kill our unborn child he was granted unsupervised visits. 

The unsupervised visits started January 2017. Every other weekend Jhaiver would pick Josh up, and drop him off. However the visits never went smoothly ever. Sometimes Jhaiver would drop our son off late, and other times he just didn’t show up. This would go on until May 2017. 

 One Sunday in May Jhavier was supposed to drop our son off at 8pm. However Jhaiver texted me around 7:59pm and advised that he was in DC running late because of traffic. 

“Really why would he wait until 7:59pm to leave DC if he knew he was supposed to drop Josh off at 8pm” I thought to myself annoyed. 

However once again 8pm turned into 9:45 when Jhaiver finally pulled into my apartment parking lot. I always met Jhaiver at the end of the parking lot so that he did not know exactly where I lived. 

Jhavier hopped out the car but he didn’t unbuckle our son right away. 

“Please stop dropping him off so late he’s 2” I said to Jhavier frustrated. 

“That’s my son he is with his father it shouldn’t matter what time I drop him off. I took him to the zoo” Jhavier said. 

“That’s nice, but why would you wait until the zoo closed” I said. I just thought to myself “is the zoo even open until 8pm at night”? Who would keep a 2 year old at the zoo until 8pm?  His story just didn’t make sense. 

Finally Jhavier unbuckled our son, and I bent down to hug our son. Then I took our son and we started to talk away, but before I could walk away Jhaiver grabbed me by my hair. Then he punched me in my head, and my glasses instantly broke and feel to the ground. Stupid Bitch” I heard him say. 

“NO Daddy your bad” I heard my son yell as he reached down to grab my glasses. 

Jhavier didn’t respond to our child instead he ran to the car. I thought he was going to leave the scene, but he didn’t. Instead he drove the car right at my son and I as fast as he could. Instinctively I grabbed our son and jumped out the way. We just missed being hit by the car. I mean we literally just missed being hit by the car if I waited a second longer I wouldn’t even be typing this. After Jhavier missed hitting us with the car he sped away from the scene leaving me to carter to our crying toddler. I called the police and reported the incident. I was advised that an officer would be on the way. 

I decided to wait outside for the police and to send my son inside of the apartment with my little cousin. I just didn’t want the kids to see me bruised because I was scared and embarrassed. Even after everything Jhaiver put me through while pregnant I couldn’t believe he tried to hit my son and I with a car. I couldn’t believe he would stoop so low to punch me in front of our two year old child.  

15 minutes after I called 911 and reported almost being killed by my son’s father a car pulled into my apartment complex. I thought it was the police, but it was actually just my brother getting out of a Lyft. I started to explain to him what happened, but before I could do so Jhavier pulled back into my apartment complex. He jumped out of the car and knocked me to the ground. My brother jumped in to defend me, and then he and Jhavier started to fight. While they were fighting I noticed the police driving slowly into the parking lot with their sirens off. Jhaiver noticed them too, and ran back to his car and pulled off. Unbelievably he got away the police weren’t able to stop him. 

Although the police weren’t able to stop him a warrant was issued for his arrest on the scene. The officer took my statement and took photos of my injuries. 

As the police were questioning me all I could think about was my son. I requested supervised visits to avoid horrible situations like this one. I still can’t imagine how damaging it is for a two year old child to see their father strike their mother. It’s heartbreaking. The court system needs to do a better job at protecting the victim, and the children. This experience showed me that the law at least in Baltimore MD is in favor of the abuser. There should have been no way with his past that Jhaiver was ever given unsupervised visits with a child. 

The law now basically says that a person has to kill you or your child in order for you to receive justice. If you survive domestic violence in Baltimore you go from being victimized by your abuser to being victimized again by laws made to protect the abuser.