Judge jails domestic violence victim

by Samantha Woodhill12 Oct 2015
A Florida judge has sentenced a domestic violence victim to three days in jail after she failed to testify against her attacker.

Judge Jerri Collins has since come under fire from domestic violence advocates, after a video showing her berating the woman surfaced.

The victim arrested after she ignored a subpoena to testify against the father of her child who allegedly chocked her and threatened her with a knife, appeared distressed and told the court that she was riddled with anxiety, Huffington Post reported.

“You think you're going to have anxiety now?  You haven't even seen anxiety,” Collins said before sentencing the woman to jail for contempt of court.

Advocates said the judge’s decision may scare victims into thinking they have no legal recourse.

“She's never going to call 911 again,” said Cindy Southworth, executive vice president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. 

“I understand how frustrating it is for prosecutors without certain evidence and testimony, but the solution is never to threaten or bully the victim.  She's scared to testify.  And that judge sealed the deal -- she's never calling 911 again.”

Kim Gandy, the president and CEO of National Network to End Domestic Violence has publically condemned the decision.

“The system -- not the survivor -- needs to hold perpetrators accountable. Evidence-based prosecution is a viable option when survivors choose not to be a witness due to the trauma they’ve already suffered,” Gandy said.