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Emotional Maltreatment Statutes Summary

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Poems Written by
My Son, age 9

E-Mail Jodi Walsh


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Read to Judge Sweet by Jodi Walsh prior to Sentencing

I have been battling a legal system that should protect women and their children from domestic violence.  In 1996 pregnant with our son Edward Munao hit me and pushed me into the wall, he called the cops and was arrested.  I did not pursue the charges, I did not want any problems: concerned for my baby.  Munao was irate calling me telling me it was my fault and calling me every curse name he could use.  I prayed for him to get help and hoped he would change.

Our son born in February 1997.  A beautiful healthy boy brought joy to our lives.  We were both excited despite past problems.  Munao even wrote  me stated “I admire your strength.  I want to let you know that I will always be there for you and our son.  I can’t say I won’t make mistakes but I can promise I will try my best.  Thank you for believing in me and not giving up on me you’re the only one in my life that hasn’t including my parents.  I will always be in your debt for that and I thank you.  I have a lot of learning to do and I am trying.  Regardless of what happens between us I will never shut you and Nikko out everything I do I will do for you two.” I always remember these words.  I believe that is why I always tried to rescue Edward Munao. That is why I took the abuse always hoping for a change.   He is the father of my two children, I put aside he only pays $22 per child and I have to work two jobs to support my family and in doing so, I am belittled to my children.  Munao lives off his inheritance but does not give his children any extra.  He is selfish to the needs of his own children.  He uses my work ethics as a negative focus with the children to make himself look good, I am a mother who provides for my children and I maintain their needs I don’t believe anyone can raise two children on forty dollars a week.  It is a joke but there again the system does not allow a father to produce for his children.  He does not even pay his child support on time.  I as the mother work two jobs to make up the difference of Edward Munao’s lack of interest .  

In May 1997 Edward Munao came to me he was suicidal and needed help.  This was not the first time, he almost overdosed on GHB a month prior in the parents home.  I offered help.  I brought him to a psychiatrist who gave medication to him the Doctor told him he must stop all recreational drugs and steroids for the treatment to be effective.  I was happy we found help, but it only lasted six months.  Pregnant again in 1998 Munao took off to California so he could have access to Tiawana, Mexico and the steroids he needed so he could get bigger for his body building show.  Two days after he came home he was in a car accident, broke his neck , under the influence of drugs. I was thankful he was alive I was also thankful our son was not with him in that car.  Our relationship ended four weeks before our daughter was born due to his drug use, emotional and physical abuse.  Once again pregnant he hit me but this time he broke my wrist, threatened to kick my stomach as he threw me to the ground.  Munao also threatened to take our son.  I was afraid .  I was sickened emotionally, and physically injured.  I called the doctor immediately due to the contractions and pain I was feeling.  I told her I fell. This was no fall but the normal stuff that would happen when he was screwed up.  I started to blame myself for letting this go on and I knew I could never continue this relationship from that day forward I never did.  I knew I must stop this insanity.

Our son who was three in 2002, told me “Mommy has to die”, after he came home from a visit with his dad.  I knew my son did not come up with this on his own, he was only three.  The emotional mind games started and the manipulation with our son. What child wants their parent to die? I  had no idea what the years ahead would bring each year the emotional abuse would worsen. 

I have been fighting a system that I thought would help women like myself, but in turn I have been ridiculed and put down.  I know Munao knew I was not going to harm his son nor did he feel I was abusing the  kids. It is always everyone else’s fault but their own when reality it is their fault Munao does not want to take responsibility for his own actions against others.  He will lie his way out of a situation as he did in this courtroom.   He told me he would make my life miserable and he would torture me.  He laughed at me and would tell me no judge, no cop , not even your boyfriend will keep you safe.  Well, that is not enough, he then in turn emotionally confused our son giving him cues to be abusive.  He was teaching our healthy boy to be aggressive.  A child does not know this.  Munao is aggressive and abusive.  I know he needs help.

I was denied victim compensation under  F.S.960.03(a) and 960.13(1)(a) which defines the term "crime” as the commission of a felony or misdemeanor which results in physical injury or death.  The incident in question did not result in physical injury or death, and thus , a compensable “crime “ did not occur.  My son was also denied victim compensation.  How shocking.  Here is a boy who is emotionally disturbed who is diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder who suffers from a psychological injury due to this crime, but the State and the media wanted to use my son’s emotional state as a preexisting condition.  No one mentioned that this boy has unconditional love for his father and looks up to him so when his Dad says something he does it.  There is no need to work on the weakness of a child.  Munao knew what he was doing to our son.  My son has suffered severe emotional and mental anguish.  He is experiencing night mares of his mom getting killed, he has sleepless nights afraid to go back to sleep.  I have to wake up with him and assure him I’m ok nothing will happen to me.  I don’t know what will happen down the road but I do know that my son is a victim in this case.  As a minor, his trauma, was lightened so jurors would believe here is this emotional troubled kid acting out....when in turn, no one mentioned how he was prior to this and how he is doing after this happened.  I am a mother, a victim who has been violated by Munao and the legal system. I was in dismay that my witness I wanted to use to show the court that my son talks about his trauma was not used due to hearsay.  Yet there is law for hearsay exceptions: statement of child victim(a) an out of court statement made by a child victim with a physical, mental, emotional, or developmental age of 11 or less describing any act of child abuse or neglect or on the declarant child, not otherwise admissible is admissible in evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding. This was not the case so the jurors were lead to believe I changed the tapes admitted info but here is a child telling his teacher on his own will about his trauma telling his teacher his dad told him to get a knife and kill his mother, and if he did not do it his dad would.  The teacher was horrified.  Yet those facts are hearsay and irrelevant!  I don’t believe so, my son knows what his dad said is breaking the law , he knows now that daddy was wrong and if daddy ever hurts his mommy he wants him to be put in jail for life.  Yet it doesn’t matter what this child wants or he feels because he is a monster and emotionally distresses.  Are victims on the stand?  Are victims made out to be the bad guys?  It is the victims fault, they spoke out in fear and tried to get help.  

However, this is what always happens here in court it is nothing more than a three ring circus.  We have laws in black and white, we have judges, and attorneys who all put on a show.  It is appalling to know that this show was at the expense of an eight year old child and a mother who knows it will be a matter of time before something severe happens.  Maybe then the Attorney General’s office will give my son the compensation he deserves maybe then the laws will look to the emotional injury my family has encountered.  This is not a show  nor a game it is my life, my son, my daughter's too.  Does the state of Florida have to see the physical abuse or hear of my death to realize the severity of my case?

I have petitioned the courts for help since 2002, realizing I had a problem each year it has worsened, each year my life has changed I have been living in fear with sleepless nights, anxious, worried and afraid.  I will not let these emotions take over my life. I have been left to deal with the trauma which has impacted my family.  I have been trying my hardest to put my children’s life together and give them peace, love and comfort knowing that I am and always will be there for them.    I have requested help through the Attorney General’s office and got denied as I mentioned, I have also been encouraged that Munao will have rights to his children when he completes his case history from DCF, even though, he has a felony charge of child abuse.  I also want to mention if the abuse had been physical DCF might have been a bit harsher on their case plan and also I would have received victim compensation for my son and myself.      

I will request that the State look at the bigger picture, you have a man who uses drugs with past psychiatric problems, abusive both emotionally and physically to women and children and has past record of abuse and drugs . He has a past record of violating probation, he has violated his injunctions, he has violated his bond conditions and he has violated our children as well as myself over and over again. If that is not enough he is not true to himself he will not admit his faults he feels like he is the victim.  He clearly stated on the jail tapes played in court she will have to get hurt for this one.....Hurt a lesser word now ...but I assure you I am here today and I will not allow my life to be victimized by anyone.  There is no justice when justice uses blindfolds to protect the criminals.  There is no justice when a innocent child gets scarred for life.  Those thoughts will linger with him always and no money can take that away.

One must take in to consideration that Munao needs help.  Munao needs to be evaluated himself .  How does someone find justice in a system that is unjust?  If Munao goes to jail how will that help him with the children?  How will that get him the proper psychological treatment he needs to better himself?  There are no guarantees in life, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

I know my family will get through this there is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; it makes no difference how deeply seated maybe the trouble a sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all....If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful person in the world.  The piece to this puzzle is how do you help Munao ?  I believe in my heart he needs to be in a program for substance abuse, I believe he needs counseling regularly.  I know the state will consider options for him even if jail time is granted, it will be imperative to allow Munao to work on his emotional well-being because if he does jail time and does not due this you will have an angry man.  He is already filled with anger and hate due to his drugs.  I can state If this If that, the bottom line is I need help!  I need someone to hear my plea.  I need to find peace, I need to feel safe. No one can imagine what this feels like ; I have always looked out for Munao.

Jodi R. Walsh


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