Ex-wife pillories council hopeful Paul Brown
May 28, 2013
I have read and been stirred by the letters to the editor supporting Paul Brown for a seat on San Luis Obispo City Council.
Because the true facts have been buried or hidden, understandably, none of them hint of the domestic violence that led to our divorce after four years of marriage, nor of the three-year restraining order granted after a thorough court case hearing both our testimonies.
I have remained silent out of a lingering sense of shame created by a painful and very public court case, in which I felt the stigma of being labeled a victim of domestic violence, a feeling I understand is shared by domestic violence victims who often are at a loss for how to respond or whether to speak at all.
Unfortunately, my silence has allowed some untruths to perpetuate. I feel the city of San Luis Obispo voters may benefit from my voice and personal perspective now while they consider who will best serve the people of this community.
Here are some facts our community may want to consider:
— In September of 2007, I sought the help of the San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter and court system to establish a protective domestic violence restraining Order against my then husband, Paul Brown;
— The abuse was documented with photos and hospital/doctor records;
— Although a restraining order was entered, Paul has continued to deny any responsibility for the abuse that has been documented;
— After the divorce finalized, Paul and his attorney requested the restraining order be allowed to expire–claiming the Order made finding employment difficult for Paul. The judge allowed it, warning Paul not to contact me;
— Despite Paul’s claims to the contrary, the expiration of the restraining Order in no way invalidated or overturned the original Judgment;
— Paul’s behavior both during our divorce and what has been publicly reported about him since our divorce, in my mind, has revealed his questionable character, and his careless nature.
I’m breaking my silence now because like schoolyard bullies, domestic violence abusers who seek power and control over others are too often fueled by silence and apathy.
As I am no longer a victim but a survivor of domestic violence, I’m putting an end to my own contribution to Paul Brown’s behavior by speaking out. I’m also speaking to empower other domestic violence victims who don’t deserve to bear the burden of shame. That shame, here, belongs exclusively to the abuser, Paul Brown.
I have seen enough to know we can do a whole lot better.
Also, supporting documents are a matter of public record. The San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter is authorized to confirm I used their services. I remain grateful for their guidance, council, and support.