Judge Holds Victims of Domestic Violence in Contempt of Court

Judge Megan Lake of the Fayette Country District Court in Kentucky is holding two women who had obtained protective orders against their husbands in contempt of court for initiating contact with the men later. The men are also being held in contempt. Judge Lake explained her decision saying that the women violated the protective orders, which were intended to apply equally to the alleged abusers as well as to the alleged victims. “They are orders of the court,” said the judge. “People are ordered to follow them, and I don’t care which side you’re on.”

Mutual protection, however, is not a part of Kentucky state law as it applies to protective orders in domestic violence cases, according to Carol Jordan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. Advocates are planning to appeal Judge Lake’s decision. They claim that some contact between the two parties may be unavoidable and that Judge Lake’s decision could possibly deter women from seeking help through the legal system.


New York Times, 1/8/02

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