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Oregon Should Consider Coral Theill this Mother's DayTim King Salem-News.com
There's one really great mom who doesn't look forward to Mother's Day at all.
(DALLAS, Ore.) - To call Coral Theill's story a tragedy is a vast understatement. It grates at the very essence of what is right and wrong in the world, and proves Americans are guilty of what we accuse other governments of doing, when it comes to the treatment of women.
She was violently physically, emotionally and sexually abused for years, she explains, while her husband, Martin Warner of Independence, Oregon, a "respected member of his church", got off scot free.
It went so far that Coral was threatened with arrest by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, if she continued to bring ongoing marital rape and other spousal abuse complaints to their attention.
I personally saw the worst and most oppressive living conditions for women in the world when I covered the war in Afghanistan. They are helpless against rules that are unimaginable by western standards.
Interestingly, Coral has a lot in common with Afghan women; now more than ever in fact. Afghanistan's parliament recently passed the "Shia Family Law" which legitimates marital rape and child marriage for Shia Muslims who make up ~15% of the population.
When Coral spoke up to authorities and tried to reach out, she was silenced by a community where her husband went to church with the right people and had friends in high places.
300 Afghan women recently protested the new law allowing marital rape and nearly 1,000 Afghan men began stoning these female demonstrators. Police struggled to keep the two groups apart, reports the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.
The government did more for those women that day in Afghanistan by separating them from the attacking males, than Polk County ever did for Coral.
Perhaps Oregon's new Attorney General, John Kroger, will eventually take a hard look at this. Hardy Myers, Oregon's last AG, never did anything to help. The problem is that it will take a representative of Oregon's law enforcement community who has the ability to 'think out of the box'. I will keep writing about it in the meanwhile.
When I spoke to a representative of Kroger's office recently about the former Polk County District Attorney John Fisher's apparent lack of professionalism in this case, which is only one small aspect of Coral's complaints and founded allegations, he told me that the Oregon AG only supports the state's district attorneys.
Here's what happened in the end, in Coral's own words.
"At the time of my divorce, all my 8 children, including my nursing infant, were removed from me by Court Order signed by Judge Norblad, March 10, 1996. My son Aaron Warner, has remained in a relationship with me, since my divorce 13 years ago, and honors me as his mother, to the dismay of his brothers and sisters, who have been told various lies, i.e., that I abandoned them, don't care about them or love them by their father, relatives and church people."
So where does that leave Coral?
Well, among other things it leaves her almost completely out of the lives of her eight children in Oregon, many of whom have been, she believes, totally and completely brainwashed by the same abusive male who tormented her, "Marty" Warner.
Victim Becomes Author
The one thing Mr. Warner probably didn't anticipate as he drove Coral into living in an obscure location, was that she would write a book that told her story in stark detail, revealing secrets of surviving torturous mental, physical and sexual abuse as well as massive betrayal by her own people.
As a popular author whose book has been widely read, she has already given a gift to the world that is totally irreversible. Coral's response to having everything taken from her, was to give some more by writing BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark.
I think my favorite part is that the book is a real hit among Marines serving in Iraq. The Marines know what it is like to lose things also, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the result of too much combat, or spousal abuse, so Coral's writings, based upon the letters she has received from Iraq, has probably saved lives.
I am only offering you a small overview of Coral's relentless spirit and life. I suggest and hope that you follow the links to the previous articles that we have published about Coral. You can also order her book below and you might want to do that after reading the other articles, or even before.
I have taken a personal interest in her case along with noted doctors, professors, psychiatrists and others, and hope to eventually see her be able to rejoin her life in some way.
Polk County doesn't apparently go halfway in matters like this, and Coral has been struggling with child support payments as she tries to survive one day to the next living in basic exile as a refugee of her own community and family.
I have been contacted by people who knew Coral years ago, and each person has told me about what a wonderful mother she always was, and how she loved her children and protected them from harm as long as she could.
On this Mother's Day, as we celebrate and appreciate those who give the gift of life itself, please remember Coral Theill and support her and others like her.
Sadly, she is only one of many women in Oregon and throughout the United States, who were victimized while well within reach, of the fabled long arm of the law.
Another Internet site Coral recommends is: thelizlibrary.org/
BONSHEA is purchased online at: iUniverse.com http://amazon.com and barnesnandnoble.com and has received 12 five star reviews, and a writer's award from iUniverse Publishing. The National Domestic Violence Resource Center in Pennyslvania previewed BONSHEA and is recommending it as a survivor story.
You can also find BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark by Coral Anika Theill at the Salem, Corvallis, Albany, Independence, Monmouth and Linn Benton and Chemeketa Community Colleges. Copies are also available at Borders Bookstore in Corvallis, Oregon.
Here are previous articles on Coral Anika Theill:
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
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