The first time I sat in Judge W’s courtroom I was frightened. I sat shaking, scared to death that my husband would be sent to prison for the threatened ten years for shoving me into a metal frame and punching my son in the nose. My concern was for my abuser and his fate. I was relieved when he received a fine, probation, work release duty, and mandatory “alternative to violence” classes.

Four years later I once again sat in Judge W’s courtroom. Again, shaking and scared. My oldest son sat to my left and a domestic violence advocate sat to my right. This time, however, my concern was for myself and my own fate. A month after he left, my husband petitioned the court to overturn his earlier conviction so that he could once again own guns, though he’d never owned or even liked guns in the past.  I…

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