Heather’s abusive had been stalking and harassing her. He called her one evening when he had their 14 year-old daughter Ava with him and told her:
This is how it ends for us.
Can you imagine the terror Heather must have felt after hearing that? She must have suspected Ava was in danger and felt powerless to do anything about it.
After that call, her ex shot Ava in her bed and then killed himself.
Ava was a 9th grader at a New York junior high school. She was a high-achieving student-athlete on the honor roll, and a member of the Girl’s JV Soccer team and the Track and Field team. She was beloved by her friends and school community, whose lives were shaken by her murder.
Heather apparently had a Restraining Order protecting herself from her ex, but it did not include Ava. She said her ex was not supposed to know where she lived, but he had found, stalked, harassed and threatened her anyway.
The status of the Family Court case is uncertain, but Heather had told deputies she wanted a record of the violent incidents to file in court. Regardless, if a mother has a criminal order of protection, it is common sense her child(ren) should be included.
But Family Court judges often minimize the risk to children if the father has “only” been abusive or violent to the mother. However, if the father has been violent to the mother (or anyone), it should automatically exclude him from having unsupervised visitation.
Instead, this violent father not only had custody, but had primary parenting time. MSM is focusing on the police response and the fact that the father was never arrested, but none question why this violent father had custody of Ava.
Heather is just one of millions of mothers around the world who did not have the power to protect her child. But the truth is, no woman has the power to maintain custody or protect their children if the father decides he wants to take or abuse them.
Source: “This Is How It Ends for Us.”