Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
Amy (Amy now goes by Amy Jones) and Chris Rezos of West Chester (a suburb north of Cincinnati near where I live), Ohio were going through a divorce in 2004. They were High School sweethearts, dating through college, and were married in 1995. Chris never showed any signs of abuse while they were married. The marriage became rocky and after trying counseling, Amy wanted a divorce; Chris didn’t. After separating, Amy was in a hotel room and Chris busted in. He strangled her and nearly killed her. Less than a month after being released on bond for the first attempt, Chris beat Amy with a flashlight, tried to suffocate her with a pillow and tried drown her in a bathtub. He tried to hire a hitman while he was in jail to finish the job but was miraculously stopped. On his second release from jail, Amy nearly died by his hands again. He hid in her van waiting like a coward. Amy started to drive down the road and he jumped out from behind her seat and shot her in the head. She barely survived this ordeal. How did she survive? Why did she survive? Her children. She said in a press conference after she was released from the hospital: "I have two kids who need me. I'm just trying to get (better) so I can be there for my kids."
Amy’s ordeal prompted a campaign to make it tougher for people accused of domestic violence to get out of jail and to add more protection for survivors. One main thing this bill proposed was a requirement of the offender to go before a judge before posting bail so the judge can determine if this person will still be a threat to anyone if they are let back out on the streets. This will give judges more information about the offender on a case by case basis. The judge will have to fill out a risk assessment checklist before the offender is allowed out or put back in jail to protect society.
To read the full text of this law click here.
Amy shared her story with Oprah Winfrey October 21, 2005. See a clip from that episode here