Thursday, September 24, 2009

LaDonna Glenn - Aware DV Program Coordinator - Jackson



LaDonna Glenn, AWARE domestic violence agency program director charged and convicted for felonious assault against her husband with a hammer.







September 24, 2009: LaDonna Glenn, Domestic violence program coordinator for AWARE Inc. [Jackson, MI]  was arrested and charged with  felonious assault after she assaulted her husband with a hammer. Glenn retained her position working with domestic violence victims at AWARE until her court trial in May 2010.


May 18, 2010: A jury found Glenn guilty of felonious assault for her September 2009 attack on her husband.



June 21, 2010:  Glenn was sentenced to one year probation; ordered to participate in domestic violence and anger programs; ordered to abstain from assaultive or threatening behavior and not use or possess any deadly weapon.













AWARE Inc. employee and a former employee file discrimination charges against shelter
Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 1:47 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 8:58 AM
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/10/aware_inc_employee_and_a_forme.html

One AWARE Inc. employee and a former employee have filed discrimination charges against the domestic violence shelter with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Detroit.

Former family advocate, Danielle Johnson, who was fired in March, and Frances Keane, who worked as shelter manager until she went on stress leave in June, allege the past domestic violence program coordinator made sexual or derogatory remarks to them. Keane, who is Irish, additionally claims she was mocked for her accent.

Because they complained about these issues, they were demoted, disciplined or fired in retaliation, the women say.

AWARE denies the charges and is fully participating in the EEOC investigation, said Executive Director Rebecca Filip, who could not talk about the specific employee and former employee involved. “There was no discrimination.”

She said she is confident the process will exonerate AWARE, which provides services to victims of domestic or sexual violence.

Both women, hired by AWARE in 2006, filed their complaints on Sept. 15.

It takes months for the EEOC to investigate a charge, which any worker can file, according to information posted on the agency Web site.

If the agency finds a violation of the law, the office will try to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer. If a settlement is not possible, the office legal staff will decide whether the agency should file a lawsuit. The EEOC also may dismiss a charge without investigation if it appears to have little chance of success, according to the agency.

Keane, 47, said the coordinator, LaDonna Glenn, who no longer works for AWARE, would make fun of the way Keane speaks and talk about her physical appearance.

Johnson, who was fired in March for insubordination, said Glenn made comments about her breasts and butt. “I have asked her to stop to no avail,” Johnson wrote.

Keane said the stress of her job and the hostility of the environment forced her to stop working. Her hair fell out and she lost weight, she said. She is seeing a doctor and has filed for workers compensation, she said.

In a typed notice signed by Filip, Keane was accused of taking a confidential document or documents wrongfully away from the AWARE premise. She also did not ensure her staff got the training they needed, according to another document, provided to the Citizen Patriot by Keane. Keane said she did not start getting such letters until she made complaints.

Glenn lost her job as domestic violence program coordinator in May after she was convicted of felonious assault in Oakland County. She was accused of threatening her husband with a hammer.

                         












Oakland County judge sentences former domestic violence program coordinator at AWARE to probation for assaulting husband
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
June 21, 2010 at 9:23 PM
Updated June 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/06/oakland_county_judge_sentences.html

An Oakland County judge sentenced the former domestic violence program coordinator at AWARE Inc. in Jackson on Monday to a year probation for assaulting her husband.

As part of the court order, LaDonna Glenn has to participate in domestic violence and anger management programs, abstain from assaultive or threatening behavior and not use or possess any deadly weapon, according to online Oakland County court records.

A jury convicted Glenn, 47, in May of felonious assault, resulting in her losing her job at AWARE, a shelter and service provider to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Circuit Judge Martha Anderson sentenced her Monday afternoon.

She was accused of going to her and her husband’s condominium in Southfield in September, beating on the door with a hammer and twice raising the tool at her husband, George Glenn, whom she alleged was unfaithful.

Court records indicate she also had or has an address in Blackman Township.

In Jackson, she spoke publicly about domestic violence issues and participated in efforts to prevent it or educate others about its effects.

                       










Boyfriend of AWARE Inc. employee arrested with girlfriend on drug charges sentenced to three to 40 years in prison
By Aaron Aupperlee
aaupperl@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
on May 24, 2010 at 8:13 PM
Updated July 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/05/boyfriend_of_aware_inc_employe.html

The boyfriend of an AWARE Inc. employee arrested with his girlfriend on drug charges was sentenced last week.

Circuit Judge John McBain gave Rama Tyson, 34, three to 40 years in prison Thursday, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty April 2 to possession with the intent to deliver less than 50 grams of heroin.

Blackman Township Public Safety officers arrested Rama and his girlfriend, Sade Gant, 24, after searching their home Oct. 8 and finding marijuana and a quarter of an ounce of heroin.

Gant, originally charged with a felony, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a drug house. She is scheduled for sentencing June 17.

AWARE board President Bree Thurlby said the board or agency will wait until Gant’s case concludes to take possible action. Gant is a client advocate at the shelter.

Last week, AWARE fired its domestic violence program coordinator, LaDonna Glenn, 46, after an Oakland County jury found her guilty of assaulting her husband.

Gant’s lawyer, Vincent Green, has said he expects she will be sentenced under a law that allows a person with no prior criminal record who successfully completes a term of probation to be spared a conviction.












LaDonna Glenn fired from her position as a domestic violence program coordinator at AWARE after being convicted of felonious assault
By Aaron Aupperlee
aaupperl@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
May 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM
Updated May 21, 2010 at 9:27 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/05/ladonna_glenn_fired_from_her_p.html

LaDonna Glenn, who was convicted Tuesday of felonious assault, was fired from her job as the domestic violence coordinator at AWARE Inc., said Rebecca Filip, executive director of AWARE.

Glenn had been told she needed to resign by 5 p.m. Wednesday or she would be fired. Filip did not make any further comments about Glenn or the organization.

On Tuesday, a jury in Oakland County Circuit Court found Glenn, 46, guilty of assaulting her husband, George Glenn, 69, with a hammer.

She was accused of going to their condominium in Southfield on Sept. 24, beating on the door with the hammer and twice raising the tool at her husband, whom she alleged was unfaithful.


                         












Conviction of felonious assault will cost domestic violence program coordinator her job at AWARE Inc.
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
May 20, 2010 at 12:09 AM
Updated May 20, 2010 at 1:58 PM

UPDATE: LaDonna Glenn fired from her position as a domestic violence program coordinator at AWARE after being convicted of felonious assault.

Convicted Tuesday of felonious assault, the AWARE Inc. domestic violence program coordinator was to resign by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

If LaDonna Glenn did not give up her position at the Jackson agency, she was to be terminated today, AWARE board President Bree Thurlby said.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Glenn had not resigned, said Rebecca Filip, executive director of AWARE, which provides services such as counseling and emergency shelter to victims of domestic or sexual violence.


Filip said she would not be able to say until today whether Glenn quit her job.

On Tuesday, a jury in Oakland County Circuit Court found Glenn, 46, guilty of assaulting her husband, George Glenn, 69, with a hammer.

She was accused of going to their condominium in Southfield on Sept. 24, beating on the door with the hammer and twice raising the tool at her husband, whom she alleged was unfaithful.

LaDonna Glenn was not previously terminated because she had not been convicted of a crime.

Filip said people have come to the AWARE shelter charged as perpetrators in domestic violence situations, but they are not refused help until they are convicted. The agency has to afford employees the same rights as clients, she said.

Filip said Glenn was not suspended while her case was pending because AWARE cannot afford to pay an employee who is not working. She determined Glenn's continued work would not pose a threat.

Erin Harty of Adrian, who worked until Monday as a client advocate at the shelter, said residents were affected.

"They don't like being told what to do by someone who has domestic violence charges against them, and they all know. Everyone knows," Harty said.

Harty said she resigned, in part, because she did not think Glenn should have been allowed to work while her case was pending.

Efforts to reach Glenn have been unsuccessful. No one answered the door at her Blackman Township address. She was not at AWARE on Wednesday, Filip and Thurlby said.

Harty also is critical of Filip and the handling of criminally charged employees. AWARE staff were told not to speak of allegations, Harty said and Filip confirmed. People should maintain employees' confidentiality, Filip said.

Another employee, Sade Gant, pleaded no contest in April to a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a drug house. Gant initially was charged with a felony after police found heroin in her home.

Gant remains a client advocate at the shelter, assisting residents. She is to be sentenced June 17. Thurlby said the board or agency is waiting until Gant's case concludes to take possible action.

Gant's lawyer, Vincent Green, earlier said he expects she will be sentenced under a law that allows a person with no prior criminal record who successfully completes a term of probation to be spared a conviction.

Harty said someone with a possible drug connection should not work in the shelter, where some might struggle with drug use.

Filip said she could not discuss employee matters. She said policies and procedures are followed.

The agency is supervised and audited by other agencies or departments providing its funding, which largely comes from the state. Any wrongdoing and AWARE could or would lose funding, Filip said.

Thurlby said the board supports Filip. "I can tell you Becky does a very good job of keeping the board informed."

Other local leaders outside the agency, including the Jackson Police Chief Matt Heins and the United Way of Jackson County executive director Ken Toll, have said they support AWARE.








             
               













AWARE board president: If domestic violence program coordinator convicted of assault does not resign today, she will be terminated
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
May 19, 2010 at 1:29 PM
Updated May 19, 2010 at 4:16 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/05/award_board_president_if_domes.html

RELATED STORY: AWARE Inc. domestic violence program coordinator found guilty of assault


If the AWARE Inc. domestic violence program coordinator does not resign by 5 p.m. today, she will be terminated, board President Bree Thurlby said today.

A jury convicted LaDonna Glenn on Tuesday of the assault charge for threatening her husband with a hammer.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Martha Anderson is to sentence Glenn, 46, on June 21. Glenn, who has a leadership position at the largely state-funded Jackson agency, faces a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

She was accused of going to her and her husband’s condominium in Southfield on Sept. 24, beating on the door with a hammer and twice raising the tool at her husband, George Glenn, 69, whom she alleged was unfaithful.

AWARE provides services, such as counseling and emergency shelter, to sexual assault and domestic violence victims.

                         













Update: Domestic violence program coordinator at AWARE Inc. found guilty of felonious assault for threatening husband with hammer
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
May 18, 2010 at 8:36 PM
Updated May 19, 2010 at 4:17 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/05/domestic_violence_coordinator.html

A jury Tuesday found the AWARE Inc. domestic violence program coordinator guilty of felonious assault for threatening her husband with a hammer.

Jurors deliberated about two hours and came to a conclusion shortly before 5 p.m., Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Martha Anderson is to sentence LaDonna Glenn, 46, on June 21. Glenn, who has a leadership position at the largely state-funded Jackson agency, faces a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $2,000 fine

She was accused of going Sept. 24 to her and her husband’s condominium in Southfield, beating on the door with a hammer and twice raising the tool at her husband, George Glenn, 69, whom she alleged was unfaithful.


Efforts Tuesday to reach Glenn or her husband were unsuccessful. Her lawyer, Andrea Fanning, said little when reached by phone. “The jury has spoken,” Fanning said. She did not return a call seeking further comment.

Rebecca Filip, executive director of AWARE, which provides services and support to sexual assault and domestic violence victims, and board President Bree Thurlby did not respond to messages left at their offices about 5 p.m. Tuesday. When asked about Glenn, her employment or the charge against her, both women previously have declined comment.

“AWARE cannot comment on the exact circumstances surrounding an employee matter due to employee confidentiality and the law,” according to a letter submitted by the board last week to the Citizen Patriot.

“When the legal process is complete, the board determines what action it must take as an employer on a case-by-case basis. Issues involving AWARE’s employees are addressed pursuant to the agency’s policies and procedures. The board fully supports its executive director and all employees.”

Another AWARE employee, Sade Gant, 24, recently pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a drug house. She is to be sentenced June 17 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

LaDonna Glenn was arrested after George Glenn told police he had to grab his wife’s hands and wrestle her to the floor to remove the hammer from her grip, according to a Southfield Police Department report. She had been hitting a glass table with it and calling her husband a cheater.

When officers, who were summoned by a neighbor, arrived at the home, George Glenn was sitting on LaDonna Glenn as she lay on her stomach, pinning down her hands at the wrist, according to the report.

LaDonna Glenn told officers her husband forced her into the living room and threw her to the ground, hurting her right knee. She went to a hospital before going to jail.

She is out of jail on bond.

She has a Blackman Township address, according to court records, but Southfield police referred to the address in Oakland County as her and her husband’s home.

In the Jackson area, Glenn has spoken publicly about domestic violence issues and participated in efforts to prevent it or educate others about its effects.


               
               












Trial starts today for AWARE Inc. domestic violence program coordinator accused of threatening husband with a hammer
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
May 17, 2010 at 4:02 PM
Updated May 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM

A jury began hearing testimony Monday in the case against LaDonna Glenn, the AWARE Inc. domestic violence program coordinator accused of threatening her husband with a hammer.

Glenn’s trial is to continue Tuesday morning in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac.

Southfield police arrested Glenn, 46, in September after officers allege she became angry at her husband, and threatened, but did not strike, George Glenn with a hammer inside their home.

She raised the weapon and attempted to hit him, according to a police report. The two struggled and he wrestled his wife to the living room floor, the report said.

LaDonna Glenn told police her husband threw her to the ground.

She believed her husband was being unfaithful, according to the report.

Glenn has talked about the issue of domestic violence at community events as an employee for AWARE in Jackson, which provides services such as counseling and emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Court records show she has a Blackman Township address, but police referred to the residence in Southfield as her and her husband’s home.

                   
           












 AWARE Inc. dealing with employees in legal trouble
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
on May 02, 2010 at 12:29 AM
Updated May 03, 2010 at 11:47 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/05/aware_inc_dealing_with_employe.html

Since September, an AWARE Inc. employee has been charged with a felony, another pleaded no contest to a drug crime, and both employees continue to work at the largely state-funded agency.

LaDonna Glenn, domestic violence program coordinator, is facing a felonious assault charge in Oakland County for allegedly attacking her husband with a hammer.

Another employee, Sade Gant, 24, pleaded no contest in April to maintaining a drug house, a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Jackson County Circuit Judge John McBain will sentence her June 17.

"It doesn't sound good," said Marla Gilpin, former president of the board at AWARE, which provides services such as emergency shelter and counseling to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse or assault.

Others also expressed some concern about criminal allegations against staff members at an agency tasked with helping victims.

"It just struck a wrong chord with me," said Deb Natschke of Michigan Center, who has donated items to the AWARE shelter and was bothered when she learned of Glenn's alleged act of violence. "It just took me as … you are not practicing what you are preaching."

Others expressed support for the agency, whose services Jackson leaders called invaluable.

"You are going to have employees who have problems in their personal lives," said Sheriff Dan Heyns.

It would be a mistake to allow the accusations to undermine AWARE's work, he said.

"You have to separate the two, the personal problems and the organization and their mission," Heyns said, "and their mission is a sound one."

Efforts this week to reach AWARE Executive Director Rebecca Filip were unsuccessful. Both she and current board president Bree Thurlby earlier said they could not comment on personnel matters.

Glenn, 46, and her lawyer also have declined comment.

Messages left for Gant were not returned.

Gant's lawyer, Vincent Green, said he did not believe the criminal proceedings will affect Gant's ability to do her job. He did not know her duties or title at AWARE.

The crime was "relatively minor," she has no alcohol or drug problems and the charge, in the end, likely will stay off her record, he said.

He expects Gant will be sentenced under a law that allows a person with no prior convictions to serve a term of probation. If the person complies with all court orders and conditions, he or she is spared a conviction.

Blackman Township Public Safety Detective Chris Boulter said Gant's live-in boyfriend delivered drugs to someone who was working with the police and officers searched their home Oct. 8.

They found a "couple ounces of marijuana" and a quarter ounce of heroin in the kitchen silverware drawer, he said. He called the amount of heroin "significant."

Both Gant and her boyfriend, Rama Tyson, 34, were arrested. Tyson pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge. McBain is to sentence him May 20.

Gant also was charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin, a felony, but it was dismissed in exchange for her plea.

Part of both the Jackson County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and the Sexual Assault Task Force, Boulter said he believed the AWARE staff was surprised by Gant's criminal case.

"My interpretation of it was that they were shocked, that she was a good employee," Boulter said.

Boulter said he knew "peripherally" of Glenn's case.

She is accused of becoming angry about her husband's alleged infidelity and threatening, but not striking, George Glenn, 68, with a hammer Sept. 24 inside their home in Southfield.

According to court records, both Glenn and Gant have Blackman Township addresses — they share the same street — but police referred to the Southfield apartment as Glenn and her husband's home.

Boulter said Glenn has been "very supportive" of domestic violence victims and programs.

"I have never even seen the lady raise her voice, let alone become physically violent towards anybody," Boulter said.

Glenn told Southfield police she banged on the door with a hammer. After her husband let her inside, he threw her to the ground, hurting her, she said.

In the past, Glenn has said she was a victim of domestic violence.

Her former husband attacked her in 1999, she wrote when she sought a personal protection order In August.

She had a run-in at the AWARE shelter with Nakia Smith, Glenn's former husband's niece. She said Smith lunged at her and the shelter manager.

"I really fear for my life," she wrote in the order request, which a judge granted in September. "I don't want to relive another generation of stalking and physical harm with this dangerous family."

Smith's aunt, Rhonda Smith, said Glenn requested the order and had Smith ousted from the shelter "out of malice."

"She is a threat to the safety of all the women that are in there trying to do the right thing," Rhonda Smith said.

Until Glenn is proven guilty, she should enjoy a presumption of innocence, said District Judge R. Darryl Mazur, head of the county domestic violence court. "She may have very legitimate defenses."

Some area leaders, including United Way Executive Director Ken Toll and Jackson Police Chief Matt Heins, said they are confident AWARE will properly deal with Glenn and Gant's situations.

It might be different if an employee had been convicted of a felony, Toll said.

"There is due process, and that is being followed," he said.

He said United Way will continue its support of AWARE's mission. The agency's overall performance is impressive and its progress reports to United Way show it is accomplishing its self-set goals, said Irene Ellison LeCrone, United Way community solutions team manager.

LeCrone said United Way provided AWARE with $60,000 in community contributions for its 2008-2009 operating budget, This was used for domestic-violence and sexual-assault programs.

United Way's allocations amounted to about 7 percent of AWARE's total annual budget last year of $857,000.

Michigan provides 65 percent of the agency's money, according to AWARE's 2008-2009 annual report.

The Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board administers funds to AWARE and 43 other similar service providers, but its executive director, Debi Cain, would not address specific questions about employees.

"Any personnel maters are handled directly by the agency. We trust that the agency handles those issues in an appropriate matter," Christina Fecher, Michigan Department of Human Services spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail. The board works within DHS.

Any agency contracting with DHS must have a criminal background check done on any new employee or employee who works directly with clients or has access to client information, Fecher wrote.

Employees implicated in misdemeanor or felony crimes must notify their employer in writing within 10 days of the event, Fecher wrote.

Gilpin, who was board president at the time both women were charged with crimes, did not know of the allegations against either woman until informed by the Citizen Patriot.

She said only Filip reports to the board. It is Filip's responsibility to manage the staff. Still, she said she thinks the board should have been told of the cases so its members were not caught off guard.

She was surprised to learn of Glenn, she said. "It is just one of those things you can't believe, you can't fathom."

                       














Voice of the People letter: AWARE shelter official handled situation badly
Published: Monday, April 26, 2010, 9:45 AM
Updated: Monday, April 26, 2010, 10:45 AM
By Jackson Citizen Patriot staff
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/opinion/jackson/index.ssf/2010/04/aware_shelter_official_handled.html


BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP —As a survivor of sexual abuse and physical abuse, I am absolutely appalled that LaDonna Glenn is still in her position at the AWARE shelter. At the very least, she should have been removed from her position and put on leave last fall until the courts decided this problem.

She admitted to police that she went to her husband's residence, took a hammer with her and beat on the door, and when she gained entrance to the apartment she took the hammer inside with her. What really happened is up to the courts.

But looking at this in a logical way, what adult would take a hammer to a residence unless there was intent to use it as a weapon? With such a weapon, there was the danger of violence occurring. She was angry, and her way of resolving infidelity is with a hammer? What message does this send to those she is counseling?

I am a survivor of my abuse, and I can see that this woman has no place at the AWARE shelter if she can't control herself or react in a way that is acceptable to the community and those she is counseling. All this because she alleged her husband was having an affair.

My advice is to get the facts before you react so strongly. As I would tell anyone, no man is worth what she will have to answer for because she reacted very inappropriately.

At this time I am withdrawing any support for this agency until this woman is out of her position.

— Mary Lounsbery

               
                   












Domestic violence program coordinator for AWARE Inc. faces felony charge after allegedly threatening husband with hammer
By Danielle Salisbury
Danielle_Salisbury@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
April 19, 2010 at 6:05 AM
Updated April 19, 2010 at 11:11 AM

The domestic violence program coordinator for AWARE Inc., in Jackson is facing a felony charge after police reported she assaulted her husband with a hammer.

LaDonna Glenn, 46, is awaiting trial in Oakland County, where she was charged last fall with felonious assault. The felony carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $2,000 fine. A trial is scheduled for May 17 before Circuit Judge Martha Anderson.

Glenn is accused of becoming angry about her husband’s alleged infidelity and threatening, but not striking, George Glenn, 68, with a hammer Sept. 24 inside their home in Southfield.

When contacted recently at AWARE — which offers counseling, emergency shelter and other services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault — Glenn deferred comment to her attorney, Andrea Fanning.

Fanning said she would not comment because Glenn did not authorize her to do so.

AWARE’s board president, Bree Thurlby, and Executive Director Rebecca Filip also would not comment. As her employer, Thurlby said she could not say anything.

Glenn’s husband told police she came to their apartment in Southfield and started beating on the front door with a hammer, yelling “… You cheater,” according to a police report.

He opened the door and she raised the hammer and attempted to hit him with it, but he was able to move out of the way, according to the report. She forced her way into the kitchen, where she began hitting a glass table with the tool. Her husband tried to stop her and she again raised the hammer, the report states.

“It doesn’t appear there was injury or contact,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, who was scanning the court file.

The two struggled with the hammer. Eventually, George Glenn wrestled his wife to the living room floor. He straddled her to keep her restrained as she laid on her stomach, according to the report.

LaDonna Glenn told police she hit the door, which was locked, with a hammer to open it. When her husband let her inside, she placed the hammer forcefully on the table. Her husband threw her to the ground, hurting her right knee. He pinned her and would not let her free, she said.

A neighbor called the police. Before officers announced their presence, they heard a woman they later discovered to be LaDonna Glenn, saying, “… Get off me, you cheater,” according to the report.

When the officers knocked, the woman began yelling, “Help me. He is trying to hurt me,” according to the report.

LaDonna Glenn had a knee injury and a cut to her lower lip and went to a hospital before heading to jail. She has since been released.

Glenn believed her husband was being unfaithful, which brought about the confrontation, both she and George Glenn told police.

At the time of the alleged assault, they had been married about 1 1/2 years, police reported.

According to the court record, LaDonna Glenn has a Blackman Township address, but police referred to the Southfield apartment as her and her husband’s home. The voicemail machine at the home states both her and her husband’s names. Efforts to reach her husband were not successful.

She appeared as recently as April 7 at a community event about domestic violence. She spoke at Jackson Community College’s second annual Understanding Domestic Violence forum, at which a woman spoke of physical and emotional abuse she endured years ago.







         



  Although LaDonna Glenn was arrested and charged with felonious assault in September 2009, she still maintained her position as program coordinator for the AWARE domestic violence shelter....          











Forum on domestic violence features abuse victim's emotional story
By Jackson Citizen Patriot staff
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
April 08, 2010 at 4:37 PM
Updated April 08, 2010 at 4:47 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/04/forum_on_domestic_violence_fea.html

Nikki Thomsen couldn't hold back the tears as she recalled physical and emotional abuse from more than a decade ago.

"I need to apologize, because I didn't have time to emotionally prepare for this," she told about 75 people at Jackson Community College's second annual Understanding Domestic Violence forum today.

"The scars from the physical abuse have healed," said Thomsen, of Hillsdale, an employee in JCC's human resources department. "I still deal with the emotional abuse every day."

Organizers of the forum hope attendees could learn from Thomsen's experiences.

"When I listen to her, it grieves me because she still blames herself," said LaDonna Glenn, domestic violence program coordinator at the AWARE shelter in Jackson.

"That would have happened to anyone he was with," she told Thomsen. "Not just you."

Thomsen didn't go into detail about the abuse she suffered as a teenager.

"I had met this guy," she said. "I thought he was wonderful. He walked me to all my classes. You know, he took me out, introduced me to all his friends."

Eventually her boyfriend turned her against her parents and she moved in with him, Thomsen said. "That's really when it started," she said. "He was just awful. He would do so many cruel things to humiliate me."

Years later, she said, she learned her ex-boyfriend ended up in prison.

"I'm married now to a wonderful man," she said, drawing applause from the audience. "And I have two beautiful children."

At the end of her talk, she urged audience members to refer any domestic abuse victims they know to AWARE, 783-2861.

After the forum, Lee Hampton, director of multicultural relations, at JCC, echoed her comments, saying too few are willing to report violence — whether it's domestic abuse or information about the recent rash of gun violence in the city.

"We're hoping to bring greater awareness to this plaguing problem in our community and encourage people who are victims or if they know someone is a perpetrator to speak up," he said.

             





        











Domestic Violence Court helps re-offender rate decline; 370 have "graduated" from court-ordered counseling
By Fredricka Paul
Jackson Citizen Patriot
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
January 03, 2010 at 8:48 PM
Updated January 04, 2010 at 10:38 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/01/domestic_violence_court_helps.html

A Jackson man accused of battering his girlfriend stood in front of District Judge R. Darryl Mazur on a recent Monday afternoon, shaking as he prepared to read a letter he wrote.

The victim, who is now the man's fiancée, wiped away her tears as she listened to him apologize and speak about how counseling he received as a result of Mazur's Domestic Violence Court has changed his life and improved his attitude.

Since the Domestic Violence Court in Jackson County began in 2005, almost 370 men and women have "graduated" after completing court-ordered counseling. The court was created through a partnership between the Jackson County District Court and AWARE Inc., an agency that works with victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

The goal, Mazur said, is to hold abusers accountable for their actions and offer support and guidance so they don't re-offend. He calls his caseload "homicide-prevention cases."

Mazur said the message to the community is simple: "Domestic violence is not going to be tolerated in Jackson County."

Jackson's Domestic Violence Court is one of about 30 such courts in Michigan, Mazur said. Since its creation, the percentage of domestic violence re-offenders here has decreased from almost 25 percent to less than 10 percent, Mazur said.

Police have responded to about 9,000 domestic-violence calls in Jackson County each year for the past several years.

In 2008, there were 9,967 domestic-violence calls, and about 500 to 600 of them resulted in charges that put them before a judge, Mazur said.

Those selected for the specialty court have been identified as being in a relationship where abuse is present, Mazur said. This includes dating, living together, having a child together or being married or divorced. The idea, he said, is to use criminal law to get an abuser into treatment.

The cases in the specialty courts are expedited to reduce the number of victims who may change their minds about pressing charges, Mazur said.

If a suspect wants a trial, it is scheduled within five weeks, instead of the couple of months it takes in traditional district and circuit courts. Nevertheless, victims not willing to step forward, or choosing to back out of their decision to testify, is still a downfall of the program, he said.

After being arrested and charged, offenders are ordered not to have contact with the victim. Once a person accepts responsibility and enters a guilty plea, Mazur said he or she is sentenced to 15 to 24 months of probation and assigned a probation officer.

Probation officers choose from three local programs they believe will best help the offender, Mazur said. Programs range from 26, 30 or 52 weeks and participants must pay their own fees, which average about $25 per week, Mazur said.

The programs are Catholic Charities' Aggression Intervention, which uses group facilitators to help people recognize that domestic violence is a choice, and acknowledge the use of power and control in their relationships in the hope of changing beliefs and behavior toward nonviolence; LifeWays' Recovery Technology Batterers Intervention Program, which uses workbooks and group sessions to teach anger and impulse control and appropriate coping skills; and STRIDE's Batterers Intervention Program, which uses group and one-on-one sessions and peer feedback.

"It gives us some individualism as far as treatment is concerned," Mazur said.

Those sentenced to 15 months' probation meet with Mazur about six times while going through counseling, he said.

"The idea of the specialty court is to have the court more involved in the rehabilitation process," Mazur said. "We make examples of their successes and failures and discuss areas of particular need. The idea is to be more of a father figure than a judge figure."

If offenders complete the program and don't re-offend, they receive no further jail time. First-time offenders can have the charge expunged. On average, offenders pay about $1,000 in fines, Mazur said.

LaDonna Glenn, domestic-violence program coordinator at AWARE, said she thinks Mazur's court has made a tremendous difference.

"It has helped with accountability," she said. "I think Judge Mazur is not trying to break up families, he is trying to improve their actions and make them more accountable. It has put a dent in changing that type of behavior with batterers."

But 9,000 domestic-violence calls to police a year is still a lot, she said. And that number does not reflect all incidents of domestic violence, Glenn said.

She believes more people are bypassing the police and using AWARE's services.

"There is still a whole population of people who don't want to report, they don't want to get police reports," Glenn said.

And, of course, there is the embarrassment factor. Women too often think they caused the abuse, she said.

Batterers come from all walks of life, all ages and all races, Glenn said.

They can be uneducated or jobless, or college graduates or CEOs.

That's why "Curbing domestic violence is not a one-sided solution," Glenn said.

In 2003, the Real Men Project was created to stop domestic violence before it starts, said Dani Meier, founder of the group.

The program aims to encourage fathers to model healthy relationships to their children and teach them that violence in relationships is never acceptable, he said.

Next year AWARE will introduce a new movement, related to the Real Men Project, in which men in the community will mentor men and boys to help change their mindset on domestic violence, said Becky Filip, AWARE's executive director.

"It's a call to action to men to help stop domestic violence," Filip said. "A lot of people look at it as a relationship problem and not as a crime against women."

The program will focus on awareness and education and encourage men to get involved in preventing domestic violence, Filip said.

"The public still has the mindset that what goes on behind closed doors is not the government's business," Mazur said. "I don't believe that."

— Staff Writer Leanne Smith contributed to this report.











             



                 














In wake of high-profile domestic violence case, topic discussed at Jackson forum
By Tarryl Jackson
tjackso1@mlive.com
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
March 26, 2009 at 6:26 PM
Updated March 27, 2009 at 10:24 AM

There is nothing atypical about Chris Brown's alleged domestic assault on fellow R&B star Rihanna other than their fame, local experts said today.

"Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior to gain power and control over your partner," said Ladonna Glenn, domestic violence program coordinator at AWARE, Inc a shelter in Jackson. "It's not more common; it's just being reported more."

Brown appeared in court March 5, charged with two counts of felony assault. The case has brought more attention to domestic violence.

About 20 people came out to openly discuss domestic violence at a forum at Jackson Community College today.

Domestic violence is not just a women's issue, said Dani Meier, founder of the Real MEN (Men Embracing Non-violence) Project in Jackson. "It's our responsibility as men to step up," he said. "We have to be a part of preventing it."

The three main forms of domestic violence are physical, sexual, and emotional, Glenn said. "The only one that is not illegal is emotional, which is very prevalent," she said.

Although women are traditionally the victims of domestic violence, they can be abusers as well, Meier said.

Abusers often blame the victims or others for their behavior, said Adrienne Rowland, clinical director of Catholic Charities of Jackson County.

They can also be very manipulative and charismatic, she said. "There's no way of telling just by looking at them," Rowland said. "They only attack their intimate partner."

The average victim leaves and returns to the abuser seven times before leaving for good, Glenn said.

The most dangerous situation for a victim is when he or she is about to leave, Meier said. "That's when the violence escalates," he said. "It's a tricky situation to get out of safely."

Mekeisha Alcock, a sophomore at JCC from Blissfield, said any information about domestic violence is spreading awareness.

"It's an important issue in our society today," she said.

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