A statement from the former wife of Ricardo Ochoa, who she says put her through, "physical, emotional, sexual, financial and legal abuse.”
Dovie Yoana King is a San Diego native and an award-winning lawyer who has put a lot of time and sweat into her career by supporting candidates who advocate for equal rights LGBTQ equality, the working poor, immigrants, people of color and survivors of sexual and domestic violence.
But recently she has become even more inveighed with her message as the June 5 election approaches. You see, King says she was a victim of domestic violence by attorney Ricardo Ochoa, who Board of Supervisors nominee Nathan Fletcher and Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher have aligned themselves with.
In a statement titled Fletcher, Gonzalez and Ochoa— the Political Love Triangle between Labor Democrats & My Abuser which she sent to San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, King in her own words, explains her concerns.
“I am dismayed by the political love triangle between Labor Democrats, such as Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher and Nathan Fletcher, with my abuser, Ricardo Ochoa," King writes. "For those unfamiliar with Ochoa, he is a labor lawyer and Democrat affiliated with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, American Federation of Teachers Guild Local 1931, San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council and San Diego Democratic Central Council, among other groups. He is also my former spouse who subjected me to years of physical, emotional, sexual, financial and legal abuse.”
Her documentation of the abuse went beyond heated exchanges which resulted in holes in doors and walls, in fact she says there were, “verbal attacks on my intelligence and child-like temper tantrums in our vehicle putting my safety and the safety of our child at risk. As a result, I filed for divorce, obtained a domestic violence temporary restraining order and was awarded sole legal and physical custody of our child after undergoing psychological tests, videotaped depositions, an in-depth custody evaluation and other court proceedings necessary to gain our freedom.”
But that is her personal story and she watches the game of politics play out in this current election she wonders why, “Assemblywoman Gonzalez-Fletcher and Nathan Fletcher, and other key Labor Democrats have turned a blind eye to Ochoa’s domestic violence and embraced him as part of their elite clan.”
Even more damaging she says was a letter written by Ochoa in which he admits to being abusive, but King says it also contained damaging rhetoric about the veracity of her claims which ultimately caused some separation from her professional network.
“This was self-serving and intended to sugar-coat his violence so that it was more palatable to his Labor Democrat allies,” said King of that letter.
She adds that this tactic worked to a certain degree.
“Specifically, there is a group of people within Ochoa’s close social circles who attempt to discredit me, and other progressive women who have stood by me, as I have shared my story about domestic violence. Included in this group is Gonzalez-Fletcher, who recently victim-blamed me on social media and came to the defense of my abuser because in her view, she “never saw an accusation” that Ochoa ‘beat’ me or our child.”
King is particularly disheartened by Labor Democrats who she once admired because they have now embraced Ochoa knowing his past while, “villainizing Mickey Kasparian, the leader of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 who is accused of sexual misconduct.”
Through all of the pain, King has emboldened herself to become a leader, an advocate to those who have or are still stuck in abusive relationships.
She is the founder of Survivors of Abuse Rising for Justice, an organization for domestic violence survivors. “This mission goes beyond my individual circumstances and encompasses a broad-based social justice movement by and for survivors.”
This includes helping them to file restraining orders, leading support groups and advocating for legislative change among many other things.
Still it’s watching the current election and the politicians such as Nathan Fletcher who are seeming to silently endorse organizations “which have enabled, subsidized and ratified Ochoa’s abusive conduct towards me after I revealed his domestic violence.”
“This is a double standard. He has no genuine concern for survivors beyond those who have come out against Kasparian. Unless it is politically expedient, Fletcher leaves survivors, like me and my child, on the sidelines, to fight an uphill battle for justice.”
In the final words of her statement to us, King implores voters to see the hypocrisy of Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, Nathan Fletcher and Labor Democrats who, as she says, “support victims depending on where they stand on the political pendulum.”
She adds: “Further, abusers like Ochoa should not be credited as “reformed,” deemed ‘safe’ or given a free pass based solely on self-assertions or ‘good’ public demeanor.”
In the end, King would like to see the Gonzalez-Fletcher-Ochoa trifecta come to an end, “Our community deserves better leadership on the issue of women’s empowerment.”
If you would like to read Dovie King's statement in its entirety click HERE.
Dovie Yoana King is a San Diego native and award-winning victim’s rights pro bono attorney. She is an elected Belmont Town Meeting Member (Precinct 7), delegate to the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Convention and Executive Board Member-Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor for the Belmont Democratic Town Committee. This Comment is solely the author’s personal opinion and does not reflect any official position by the aforementioned entities.