On April 11, Carie Charlesworth was fired from Holy Trinity School in San Diego as a second grade teacher because her husband was reported for domestic abuse. They terminated her 14-year tenure because of cited concerns due to her husband’s behavior. During that January, her husband was reported to the police three times on account for domestic abuse and Carie went on leave; the next day, her husband showed up in the school’s parking lot and forced the entire school into lockdown. At that point in time, her and her four children were put on indefinite leave, but three months later, she was told by Holy Trinity School that “they cannot allow” her to go back to work there and her children were not allowed to attend school there. Not only is Carie not allowed to teach at that school anymore, but she is not permitted to teach at any other Diocesan schools either. The saddest thing about this is the fact that this is not the only case where this happens. A study was commissioned by Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center in 2011 and it exposed that 40% of California’s domestic violence survivors report being fired or fear being terminated.
The problem in this particular situation, and all the other situations that the 40% went through, is the fact that it makes women not want to come forward about their domestic violence. As a woman, people are constantly judging you: how they see you, view you, perceive you, and treat you. Knowing that someone is a victim of domestic violence may as well be the same as putting a big red dot on their forehead. It is true that you do all of that to someone, especially a woman, when she speaks up about anything, let alone domestic violence. In the case of Carie Charlesworth, had she not spoken up about her husband’s domestic abuse, she would still be at Holy Trinity School working happily and her children would be able to attend school there.
One of the strengths to this particular case is the fact that it shows that women’s voices are often silenced. Females are always seen as the passive, belittled ones when it comes to a heterosexual relationship. Even in this case, where Carie was the victim of the violence, the punishment went on her shoulders when it should have gone on the husband’s. This also in a way demonstrates victim blaming.
One of the weaknesses is the fact that there might be more to it than what is being said, both from Carie and from the school. This entry just describes more so the situation’s outline than it does go into detail about the domestic abuse troubles.
What this blog entry suggests as a solution is giving her and other victims the ability to have a voice when it is needed. Victims need to be able to come out to the public and speak up about what happened. If someone is unable to speak up, they could get stuck in that horrific relationship and continue to be abused. In Carie’s situation, she spoke up about it, thinking it would be the best for her and her children, but it came right back at her. Going to authorities about domestic violence should put peace to victim’s world, not make them lose their jobs and schooling for their children. She should never have to be in the situation that everyone just sees her as someone that was domestically abused, has a crazy husband, was too stupid to leave at the beginning, etc. What victims of domestic violence need is a arms to fall back into, without judgement. Victims deserve to have a voice and the right to keep their jobs.