Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Expert says victim was an abuser

I continue to be baffled at how the Jodi Arias domestic violence expert LaViolette is taken seriously.

If the man she killed, Travis Alexander, were an abuser, then that might be a motive for Jodi to kill him. But it would still be murder. They were not married or living together, and she was not particularly dependent on him. She could have easily walked away.

But the purpose of the testimony seems to be that the abuse from Travis was so subtle that only an expert would recognize it. Jodi did not know that she was being abused.

Here is the abuse. Travis is accused of flirting with women. Travis once called Jodi a "skank" in a text message. Travis had anal sex with Jodi, including once after Jodi had a Mormon baptism.

Jodi did not like being called a skank, but Travis apologized so Jodi did not take it as abuse. Jodi thought that the anal sex was less sinful than the vaginal sex, and she enjoyed it with two other boyfriends also. This showed that she did not realize that the anal sex was abusive.

The expert testified that anal sex is inappropriate after a Mormon baptism.

Jodi once emailed one boyfriend saying that she was loyal to Travis, and then forwarded the email to Travis. This supposedly shows that while Travis said that their relationship was not exclusive, he somehow preferred Jodi to not have other boyfriends.

This all is supposed to explain why Jodi never told anyone about the abuse. The abuse was so subtle that no one would have belleve that it was abusive. Her friends might tell her, for example, that Travis was not being abusive when he told her that she could date other men.

Her biggest argument was that an email showed that Jodi was more in love with Travis than Travis was in love in Jodi. This created a power inbalance in the relationship, and such relationships are inherently abusive.

I thought that LaViolette is making a fool out of herself, but I afraid that I am wrong. My guess is that her client list and rates will go way up after this trial.

Here are some of her buzz phrases: "learned hopefulness", for Jodi sometimes hoping for marriage with Travis and sometimes not, and "variable interval reinforcement", for Travis sometimes being nicer than at other times, "loving respite" and "honeymoon phase", for making up after an argument.

LaViolette somehow finds Travis to be deceptive, manipulative, and jealous. As far as I can see, there is no actual evidence on the record of any of those things. Those terms apply much more to Jodi. It seems to me that LaViolette is just a man-hater, and that she could call Travis abusive no matter what he did. The only psychological diagnosis here to be made is that Jodi is a psychopath, and these experts would say so if they were honest and competent.

Correction: HLN TV just broadcast the police interviews of Jodi's parents, and they told the police that Jodi was bipolar. So yes, there is another possible diagnosis.


Anonymous said...

Part of this expert witness criteria should be that she personally had a loving relationship with a man at some point . Pretty sure she knows nothing about that. Listening to her is disgusting. She never met Travis, never interviewed him, never validated any of Jodi's allegations. But for no other reason except Jodi is female and crying abuse, she buys it? This woman is a joke. I wish that meant her career is now over...but sadly as you suggest, she is probably gaining momentum. And I am female, by the way.

Anonymous said...

This "variable interval reinforcement" can be highly effective with old flames, especially with a "power imbalance". It's cheaper than a motel when you need a weekend out of town.

George said...

Yes, there were a few morsels of wisdom about human nature buried in the expert testimony. That one is not well known.