The Power and Control Wheel, a tool devised by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), presents a framework for understanding the patterns of abusive behavior in relationships. The shocking and tragic case of Kiva Herrera and Sheldon Magee offers a stark illustration of these patterns, demonstrating the grave consequences of domestic violence.
Kiva Herrera, a brave woman, found the strength to leave an abusive relationship. Her abuser, Sheldon Magee, retaliated in the most heinous way imaginable—by ending her life. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of the case, examining how Magee's actions align with the tactics outlined in the Power and Control Wheel.
Coercion and Threats
The evidence showed that after the end of their relationship, Magee stalked Herrera for days, displaying threatening behavior. This aligns with the coercion and threats section of the Power and Control Wheel, which involves making and/or carrying out threats to do something harmful.
In a poignant text message sent by Herrera to Magee, she speaks of his choice to stalk her, highlighting her fear and awareness of the imminent danger. This fear-inducing behavior is a form of intimidation, another sector of the Power and Control Wheel.
Herrera's text message also reveals the emotional trauma inflicted by Magee. Emotional abuse is a central aspect of the Power and Control Wheel, characterized by actions like undermining an individual’s self-esteem or self-worth.
Magee sought to isolate Herrera, finding her at a hotel after she left their shared apartment. This action is in line with the “using isolation” tactic, where abusers attempt to control what the victim does and who they see or talk to.
The outcome of this tragic case has brought some form of justice for Herrera, with Magee facing severe penalties under the law. However, this case serves as a poignant reminder that we must be vigilant in identifying signs of domestic abuse and take all necessary measures to protect potential victims.
In Fort Bend County and across the nation, numerous resources are available to aid victims of domestic violence. These include crisis hotlines and other services aimed at providing immediate assistance and ongoing support.
As a domestic violence attorney dedicated to supporting victims, I believe it is crucial that we understand the indicators of abuse as outlined in the Power and Control Wheel. By doing so, we can better identify instances of abuse and ensure that victims, like Kiva Herrera, receive the support, protection, and justice they deserve.
Remember, if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, reach out for help. You are not alone, and you do not need to suffer in silence. Contact the Fort Bend County Women’s Center Crisis Hotline at (281) 342-HELP (4357), or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Our collective fight against domestic violence continues, and every step we take brings us closer to a world where abuse is not tolerated.
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