There are many domestic violence incidents that occur in Gloversville-too many. I have experienced domestic violence first hand in Gloversville. Sadly, my children witnessed some of it and have memories of it to this day.
When I was finally able to escape that situation, I was attacked within the legal system by the perpetrator. This was largely because I couldn't afford an attorney, and the judges I went before were unaware of what was really going on in the situation.
It is extremely difficult to talk about an emotional issue in front of a judge, especially when you don't have help from a lawyer or domestic violence advocate. I am in a very good place now, but I am worried about other victims of domestic violence. I am worried about those that might not make it out.
Right now, we have a City Court judge who is very knowledgeable about domestic violence issues. Judge John Clo was a member of the Domestic Violence Task Force, received the Domestic Violence Coalition Award and served as a domestic violence advocate. This is an area of expertise that Gloversville desperately needs in a City Court judge.
This summer, I went in to watch City Court a couple of times. Judge Clo was very patient with everyone who came into court. He explained their rights and what they could do. Judge Clo answered questions. I was really happy to see that he paid attention to details that gave clues about domestic violence. When people came in for orders of protection against their significant others, Judge Clo talked to them and listened so that he could understand and make sure they get the right type of protection. He didn't criticize them and made sure they understood what was happening. I wish I had been able to go in front of a judge like Clo when I needed help.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, don't be afraid to come to City Court if you need an order of protection or to file a complaint. I wish I could guarantee a safe home to all of the victims of domestic violence, but at least your voice will be heard in front of Judge Clo.
Please vote for Judge Clo on Thursday. Our city needs a judge that victims of domestic violence can count on.