Fired domestic violence victim testifies in Sacramento

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EL CAJON, Calif. – A domestic violence victim, fired from her teaching job after receiving threats from her estranged husband, has taken her story to the State Capitol.

Carie CharlesworthOn Tuesday, Carie Charlesworth testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in support of Senate Bill 400. The bill, backed by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, would prevent employers from firing or discriminating against an employee who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

It would also require employers to make reasonable efforts to protect victims at their workplace from their abuser or stalker.

“What I have gone through – will help other people,” Charlesworth told Fox 5 Tuesday evening after returning to San Diego.

Charlesworth spent the day in Sacramento sharing her domestic violence story with lawmakers.

“I shouldn’t have suffered for the decisions of another person and those decisions have impacted my children,” said Charlesworth. “It’s impacted my future and it’s something that I had no control over.”

Charlesworth explained to the committee how in January she informed her employer, Holy Trinity Catholic School, to be on the lookout for her estranged husband. That day he showed up in the school parking lot, spurring a lock-down.

“I did what I was supposed to do,” said Charlesworth. “I did what they tell victims to do in these situations.”

No one at the school was affected, but after the incident the Diocese sent her a letter saying her contract wouldn’t be renewed.

Senator Jackson said situations like this are why she is pushing for S.B. 400.

“Our current laws encourage and indeed they aid and abet abusers and discourage victims from coming forward,” said Jackson. “When we should be empowering and supporting victims and working together to make our workplaces safer.”

That’s why Jackson invited Charlesworth to Sacramento to give a voice to victims everywhere.

“If other women are suffering the same experience that I went through and they don’t speak up there could be far more drastic tragedies then what we’re seeing in society today,” said Charlesworth.

The bill passed through the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 6-1. Now it moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

4 comments

  • Bobbi Ysmael

    Where is the support for ex domestic violence victims? I can understand the school's point of view. My ex tried to murder me. In my opinion, what the school may want to do instead is to give this woman a few months of paid leave and then give her the option of either leaving her husband or leaving her job. I, for one, who has been there and done that, would highly recommend that. If she chooses to leave her husband, then the school may want to support her and help her get on her own two feet. Because the main problem with men who do commit Domestic Violence is that they think, "Well, she'll put up with it or shut up because she has no other choice. I put a roof over her head, I feed her, I clothe her, she has nowhere else to go, so I have no other choice but to have her here and I hate her for that.

  • Bobbi Ysmael

    That's how it was for me. if she doesn't leave then fire her and tell her that it will go in her work record as risky behavior and that you can't put the public that this business has to cater in that kind of risky situation. She made her choice. I HAD no other choice but to leave mine because he literally tried to kill me. So, it's a good thing she's alive and she needs to stay away from this guy because he may try to kill her so in that context, domestic violence victims need all the support they can get. Madeleine Albright once said that, "There is a special place in HELL for women who don't help other women."

  • Bobbi Ysmael

    I firmly believe that. This is woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, and it could be anyone of you guys. HELP HER. Unless we go back 20 years to the time of the BURNING BED. Do you remember that? Why? Because you can't leave your husband and your husband can get away with it as usual. Who's going to do anything? Absolutely no one. So, who will the next victim be? Will there be help for you?

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