Wendy Maldonado: A Courageous Woman Whose Actions (+ Pure Luck) Saved Her From Becoming A Domestic Violence Corpse

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Wendy Maldonado is a brave American hero for killing her husband Aaron Maldonado, which is the only reason she’s alive today after enduring 20 years of violent physical, sexual and mental torture at his sadistic, serial killer glorifying hands.  On May 1, 2005, Wendy finally ‘snapped’ (i.e. she came to the realization that she would soon be killed at the rate things were going at home) and with the help of her then 16 year old son Randy, together they smashed a sleeping Aaron Maldonado’s skull in with a hatchet and a hammer.

Undoubtedly tragic, unfortunate and traumatic, but absolutely necessary fucking riddance.

Wendy’s story is a heart-breaking and FAR too common reality for so many women enduring domestic violence, which is a terrifying, isolating existence for 1 in every 4 women in so-called “civilized” western society.  Approximately 3 women EACH DAY are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.  33% of reported female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners, which means the number is higher taking into account unreported cases (source).  The stats of this femicide pale in comparison to other parts of the world with slightly different cultural scripts (such as China and India’s female gendercide), but misogyny is (one of) the common, contagious diseass that grows, spreads and flourishes from the infected body of kyriarchies.

In thinking about how the hell we can collectively combat domestic violence that so many women are trapped, suffered, and die from, there is no space for the moral stance of “violence is wrong”; it just doesn’t apply because quite simply, The Law largely fails abused women.  So in these kind of circumstances, we have no choice BUT to kill or be killed.  As Wendy described in the 2007 HBO documentary, One Minute to Nine, when you’re stuck in a bear trap, you have to gnaw your leg off to escape or else wait to die.  The riveting, deeply-disturbing film was originally more aptly titled Every Fucking Day of My Life, because when Wendy called 911 to report the murder, the operator asked if her husband had tried to hurt her, to which she replied “Every fucking day of my life.”  I’ve posted the film in its entirety below.

There was no question in anyone’s mind that Wendy suffered from Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) and killed her husband in self-defense.  That BWS is even up for DEBATE as a valid reason for women to kill their abusers and not be punished is hard evidence that misogyny is socially acceptable.  The message is clear:  men have free reign to torture and kill their wives and girlfriends.  This is no surprise given that most laws are made by men so blinded by privilege and entitlement that they cannot fathom seeing life from any other perspective but their own.

Wendy’s documented injuries over the years were staggering – knocked out teeth, broken bones, concussions, police visits to the home, numerous punch holes throughout the walls of the family home, and much more.  During the trial, even the judge sympathized with Wendy, but “his hands were tied” and he had to give her the required 10-year prison sentence.  Her earliest release date is March 7, 2016.  Her son Randy got 6 years and is now free (woooohooo!!!).

Why are judges’ “hands tied”?  We’re talking about MAN-MADE laws, surely they only take a moment’s verbalization by “the right person(s)” to override.  Fuck red tape and mind-numbing, time & energy wasting “bureaucratic processes”, it doesn’t have to be so god damn complicated!  The grim reality is that the colonist culture is a far cry from a free or democratic state.  If you’re the “right person” with enough money, anything is possible.  It maddens me to no end how rigid and forever short-sighted laws are, how they ruin so many lives, cause so much needless suffering, and how farcical the whole side show is when zooming out and looking at it from a cultural perspective and the colonist hell we’re all trapped in — “post-colonial” my ass.  Decolonization is not a metaphor and there is MUCH work to be done.

Cultural atrocity aside, this story has a happy ending – Wendy is ALIVE, is visited regularly in prison by loved ones, and will be reunited with her family in 4 years.  Her courageous actions have paved the way for her and her four sons to live out the rest of their lives in peace and safety.  So long as Wendy’s brother-in-law doesn’t go after her, which I worry about because (as evident in the film), he was enraged in court and wanted to see her severely punished.  When it comes to violence, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and I have little doubt that her brother-in-law is as much an abusive asshole as Aaron was.  I also have no doubt that these brothers probably grew up in a very dysfunctional and abusive and/or neglected family home.  This is how this shit plays out, violence is a generational sickness, and here in the west, it’s embedded in the profoundly sick colonist culture whose whole existence is dependent on violence.

But for now, Wendy and her kids are safe, and she’s an inspiration to all women to take matters into our own hands when our backs are to the wall, boots are on our throats, and no other options exist.  Hats off to you Wendy, you are the wind beneath my feminist wings!  May other women trapped in violent relationships find the strength to follow in your foot steps and take back their lives by whatever means necessary, until we as a society can put an end to this epidemic once and for all!

Please take a moment to sign this petition to grant Wendy clemency and pass it on.  You can join her facebook group to see updates and comments by her friends, family and other allies.

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The HBO documentary Every Fucking Day of My Life:

PART 1:

PART 2:

PART 3:

PART 4:

PART 5:

PART 6:

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22 thoughts on “Wendy Maldonado: A Courageous Woman Whose Actions (+ Pure Luck) Saved Her From Becoming A Domestic Violence Corpse

  1. inpotentia says:

    I watched all of this last night and signed the petition, and I will do my best to circulate it among my networks. I am still unable to form any constructive thoughts about what I just saw, but know that it deeply affected me.

    • Tamara says:

      Tonight I watched this documentary and it led me back to my own childhood. I’ve also gone through very extreme physical, mentally and sexual abuse but from my steph father since I was 2.5 years until 10 years of age. He was a paranoid schyzofreniac drug abuser and my mother was a alcoholic. At the age of 10, I was really thinking through how I could kill him, thinking about the hammer as well! Knowing it was either him or us who would die in this horror story I still don’t know how we managed to escape (my mother and me) but 1 day we did. When I was 16 I left my mother as well (she assulted me as well). I’m sorry what you have gone through Wendy and whatever stupid law may say, you were right to do what you did!!!! Police and justice had to protect you and they failed big time! (my situation was same!)! I really hope you will be able to start a peacefull life with your family once you get out. There is still beauty to find in this world, I promise you! So go after it! My other words are for the children. The only way I survived everything is because I was determed to be a good person and knew I had to make something out of my life. That was the only way I wouldn’t stay a victim of them It was a rough, hard and bumpy road but I managed! I left all the bad things behind, went to college, raised my daughter and became a business woman. We will carry this within us for the rest of our lives, we are somehow damaged but damaged people are strong, they know how to survive! Love the ones in a pure way who deserves it, don’t hate the bad ones just push them out of your lives (they don’t matter), know that you can achieve anything in live that you want, don’t hold back! Be a good person and despites everything, evil won’t win!! You know in your hearts what I mean! Take care all of you and find happiness, it’s there!
      Many love from a woman from Belgium

  2. Feminist Rag says:

    Thanks so much for signing & passing the petition along. Yes the film is deeply upsetting & disturbing, it’s the reality people must know to understand why her actions were not only justifiable but absolutely necessary. It also hopefully shows people just how terrifying and isolating DV is, and how it’s not as simple as just leaving the asshole, which is often the most dangerous time for a woman. I don’t see how anyone seeing that film could argue against Wendy’s actions. I imagine this film is especially upsetting and triggering for DV survivors; it’s a sad story with a GOOD ending, she’s not dead. That is celebratory.

  3. […] my article about domestic violence survivor Wendy Maldonado and how I speculated that her brother-in-law is as […]

  4. Sadi says:

    i still want to kill my ex husband and it’s been 10 years since i left him.

  5. donna says:

    we are still waiting to see if the governor is going to grant clemency for WENDY http://www.oregon.gov

  6. Jess says:

    This documentary got me so emotional! You can truly see the love and passion that woman has for her kids! She is clearly NOT a threat to society and does not need to be rehabilitated, it makes no sense to me to keep her in jail. The police and society should be thanking her for killing her husband before he killed someone else and took up thousands of dollars in taxes on death row! It’s so easy for ignorant people to say “she should have left”, but there are SO many assumptions and biases there it is not even worth arguing with such people.
    I hope her sons will come out strong despite not having their mother there , I really think those boys have a good head on their shoulders and will be okay

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Thanks for your comment Jess, I completely agree. Thank god she’s getting closer to her release date. Her and her boys are really an amazingly strong and GOOD bunch. And yeah, it’s never as easy as “why didn’t she just leave” when it comes to domestic violence. So much info out there about why that is and why it’s not that easy, and how risk of murder is highest when women do try to leave, etc., yet most people still think this way. 😦

  7. luvstruck5@msn.com says:

    That was truly horrific. I felt her pain and the boys pain. Do we know what is going on with her possible clemency? Is there a way to spread the word to sign the petition on change.org? Thank you for posting this ❤

  8. Sarah says:

    I saw this documentary on HBO yesterday while the little one was sleeping and my heart are bleeding and my mind is angry. Beating children, having children in an environment of hate, violence, stress and torture is disgusting and sad beyond belief.

    Its hard to understand why Wendy is put to prison for saving her and her children’s lives.

    I am happy Randy is out. I want to know how he is doing. Do any of you know of a place to get that information?

  9. Sally Archer says:

    Thanks so much for covering the gross inequity between how women are treated (badly and prejudicially) compared to men in the criminal [in]justice system. This past week saw yet another cop get away (acquittal) with murdering his wife in a scenario that sounded like stockhold syndrome sex-swapping (his idea for sure, it’s big among cops) that the press called him and her having “affairs” within the police force. I didn’t even log the dood’s name or where because it is so fucking everywhere, just usually because it’s cops nobody catches them.

    And yet, when women with battered wife syndrome (oh p.c. = we have to call it battered spouse in that ludicrous lie of language don’t we, as if women batter men as often as vice versa) finally snap and kill their battering husbands, have we ever seen an acquittal?

    Put men on a jury against a man who has killed or hurt a woman and it will acquit or hang as a jury and not convict him. Look at O.J. Simpson killing Nicole. O.J. acquitted when he practically admitted guilt by driving his Range Rover all over the west side of LA seeking to flee, but couldn’t with helicopters overhead filming him, after doing the dastardly deed.

    Put women on a jury against a woman, and they due to their own societal stockholm syndrome conditioning will generally side with the men on the jury and screw the woman over to convict her, even if she was maritally raped and beaten repeatedly by the man she finally killed in self-defense.

    It is never going to be fair until we evolve out of patriarchy, or men die off by natural causes, or women develop parthenogenesis (possible again after millenia of not) or some other evolutionary way other than sexually dimorphic reproduction to make their babies who could then all be girls. Then no more rapists. Then no more batterers of women. Then, perhaps peace at last and creative love on this earth.

    You may say that I’m a dreamer …

  10. Randi Maldonado says:

    My name is Randi Maldonado I’m the wife of Randall and Wendy’s daughter in law. I can’t even put in words how awesome this is and how truly amazing your words are about my mother in law. On behalf of our family, thank you! Hopefully wendy will be home with us all soon!

  11. Lawana says:

    Free her!!! What if the rotten SOB would of KILLED HER or ONE OF THE CHILDREN, he would most likely get 10 years. She did what any other mother would of done and she DIDN’T LIE, she faced up to what she did.And now her children have to be away from their mother 2 more years. SET HER FREE

    • sherika Williams says:

      I saw this documentary for the first time about 5 mins ago and it has touched me in a way unimaginable. I am a single mother of five sons. I too have experienced domestic violence but God knows not to this level. I cried watching this documentary especially when the younger brother was reading his speech in court oh my sweet Jesus I just wanted to reach through the TV screen and give him so much love my my my I pray doe restoration for this family I don’t know you guys but I have love and hope in my heart that you overcome and have blessed lives I am a young African American mother and where I’m from I’ve also seen family members and non family members experience domestic violence. You guys are a courageous family please keep ya head up and remain strong!!!

  12. Shaenon Simonaro says:

    I have watched the documentary about 15 times…each time I become a little more pissed this woman is still behind bars. What a miscarriage of justice!!! FREE WENDY!

  13. Jenny Hoagland says:

    As I watched this horrifying nightmare this mother and her sons went through, I have to say she did what she had to do.
    A person can endure only so much.
    She only wanted the torture to stop. She needed her sons safe.
    I had hoped the judge would’ve given her probation and counseling.
    And this brother…. he’s just as crazy and evil.
    I pray for Wendy and her sons. They will be together again soon.

  14. marie says:

    just seen last night, and its been so long already- let her go….. How could any human being not see it was justifiable and necessary to kill this horrible man- They all looked so relieved and happy that he was gone. After living with that man for 20 years prison is going to be a cake walk for her. I can understand her reason for not going to jury trial but honestly the judge sucked and he will have to answer for his weeny judgement. The world is a better place. And his brother……..OMG someone needs to wipe him off the face of the earth also.

  15. chantel1971 says:

    My heart goes out to Wendy & her boys, I’m sure a feeling of piece swept over all of them when he died, it’s a shame he never realized what a great family he had and how badly he hurt them..there was something very mentally wrong with him..I wish only the best for Wendy & her boys and know they will be together again soon..

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