In 1992, a young man who had been born in Albania returned for a visit. While he was there, he met a young Albanian girl and they began to date. He returned to the United States to work and the following year went back to Albania for an additional visit. During this visit, he asked the girl to marry him and she accepted. They were married in September of 1995. After the marriage, he moved his new wife into his parents’ home and returned to the US. The following year, she gave birth to their first child, a son. The husband did not see his new son until the boy was two months old. In 2001, the husband moved his family to the US and over the next years had four more children. The youngest was born in March of 2006.
During this time, the young mother was hiding a horrible truth. She was the victim of domestic violence. It began in November of 1999 while her husband was in Albania for a visit. He became angry because his young son needed to go to the bathroom which was located in an outhouse. When the mother tried to take the boy to the bathroom, the husband became enraged. He said that the boy was lying and did not need to use the bathroom. He then grabbed the mother by her head and smashed it into a wall. She had a black eye, hearing problems, and bruises to her ear. The recovery from these injuries was several weeks. This attack occurred in front of the couple’s oldest son.
In the summer of 2001, the husband pushed his wife and grabbed her by the hair. She incurred injuries from hitting a wall and table as she fell. She was six months pregnant at the time of this assault. This assault occurred in front of one of their children and the children of his brother.
In 2002, while cooking dinner, the mother dropped a dish cover. The husband kicked her with such force as to cause pain and numbness which lasted for several days in the leg where he kicked her. On January 2 and 3, 2006, while they were in Albania, the husband became angry at his wife and entered the bedroom that she was sharing with their youngest son at the time. He grabbed her by the neck and began to choke her. He also struck her several times on her shoulder. The child was crying and he told her to comfort the child. He put one hand in his pocket in a threatening manner. She believed that he had either a gun or knife in his pocket and that she was in imminent danger. She fled to his parents’ room and he followed her. His parents barred the door and he beat on it all night. He struck the door so hard and so repeatedly that he needed medical treatment the following day. He refused to let her seek medical treatment for her injuries. She found it difficult to swallow with her damaged throat. She was in her last trimester of pregnancy.
Shortly after this confrontation, the husband left Albania leaving the wife behind. She was kept under close supervision by his family. He told them and her that she was not allowed to see her family. This situation continued for some time. He had taken her travel documents and her US citizenship green card prior to leaving the country. He told her that if she sought help from the police or the US Consulate that he would return and kill her and her family.
One day her brother got word to her that her mother was gravely ill. The young wife asked her in-laws for permission to visit her sick mother. They told her that she could. She took her infant son with her to care for her sick mother. Shortly after her arrival at her mother’s home, her in-laws sent her a suitcase of her clothing from their house and one for the infant. They told her that she was not to return to their house. The husband called her and told her that she was never to return. He accused her of having an affair in New York and told her that the infant was not his. He would not allow her to collect the other children or even to see them.
In July of 2007, the young mother tape recorded a conversation between her husband and herself. The conversation was a demonstration of the abuse that she had been suffering while married to this man. On the tape, he is heard to “harass, annoy, and alarm (his wife), threatening to strike her and subject her to physical contact.”
Shortly after making the tape, the mother obtained help from friends and family. She went to the US Consulate and obtained copies of her travel documents. She returned to the US and began an action to regain custody of her children. At this time, the oldest boy was in New York with his father and her other children were still in Albania with her in-laws. She learned through the court system that her husband had lied to the court and was seeking to obtain sole custody of the children and a divorce from her in the New York court system. He was alleging that she had abandoned the family to return to her mother’s home in Albania.
While she was attempting to reunite her children, she was receiving threats and attempts at coercion from her husband. She obtained a temporary order of protection. During this time, she was living with a friend of hers who was also from Albania. This woman had helped her from early on and was witness to much of the abuse that she had suffered at the hands of her husband. She testified at trial that she had observed the father instruct his children to call their mother profane slang terms for prostitute, female dog and other derogatory terms.
On January 4, 2008 the witness was with the mother when she was leaving the children’s school. The husband blocked them from leaving. He called her names and by his physical presence attempted to prevent the two women from leaving. The police were called and the court found that the husband had violated the temporary order of protection.
On January 17, 2008, the witness was also present when the husband followed the wife and the friend into the parking lot of the police station after they collected the children for a visitation with their mother. He began to curse her in front of the children and encouraged the children to call their mother the same names. Even the three year old was using profanity in reference to his mother. It did not stop until a police officer came out and put a stop to it. Again he was found to be in violation of the temporary order of protection. During an additional confrontation witnessed by the friend, in late April of 2008, the husband told his wife in slang terms to eat and drink her own excrement. These statements were made in front of the young children. The youngest was encouraged by his father to repeat the comments to his mother.
In sum, the witness “described an atmosphere of fear, actual threats, physical violence and intimidation of an ongoing nature.” In court, the testimony and evidence provided by the young mother were overwhelming showing the nature of the environment that she and her children were forced to live in. that these actions are affecting her children are clear in the manner that the father is teaching the children to behave towards their mother. In light of these developments and the clear and present threat that this man poses to his wife and children, a final order of protection for a period of five years was granted.
The divorce was also granted. By the time of the divorce, the oldest son was fully under the control of the husband. He stated that he did not want to see or be with his mother. He told her that he believed that she had cheated on his father. He also stated that his father had told him that she had threatened to have her lover or someone else go and kill her husband. The boy has been encouraged to not refer to his mother by her name but instead by use of a vile slang term of profanity.
In light of these circumstances, the court is inclined to consider to some extent the desires of the child. However, since the child has been so indoctrinated into the hate of his father against his mother, the ability of his father to create a positive environment for the children is doubtful. The court decides that the mother shall have full custody of all of the children without exception. The father is ordered to adjust his behavior toward the mother in front of the children. Further, the eldest son will reside a few more months with the father at which point, the father is ordered to assist the child to positively transition to living with and respecting his mother.
All of the children will require therapy to deal with the trauma that they have endured through the actions of their father. Their father is cautioned that if he does not comply with the orders of the court that he will be prohibited from having any future unsupervised contact with the children at all.
Issues of law are constantly changing. A person who is not specifically trained in the law cannot begin to know what all of their rights are without the assistance of a professional. Here at Steven Bilkis and Associates, we provide New York Order of Protection Attorneys, New York Domestic Violence Lawyers, New York Assault Attorneys, and New York Criminal lawyers. New York Family Lawyers will stand by you and ensure that your rights are protected. New York Personal Injury Attorneys can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are considered. We make sure that you are rightfully awarded compensation for your suffering.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its Domestic Violence Lawyers has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, New York. Our Personal Injury Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without a Domestic Violence Lawyer you could lose precious compensation to help with your medical bills and the trauma to you and your loved ones following such a frightening experience. This is true even if the Attorney for the assailant has not adequately made their case. In addition to Personal Injury Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates can recommend Criminal Lawyers who will protect your rights if you are ever arrested.