Sex and Relationships

When Divorces End in Violence

One Women’s Nightmarish End in Her Fight for Child Custody

By: Lucia Elmi

Friends and family mourn the loss of local school teacher, Jeanine Cammarata. Photo credit:

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Per year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Domestic violence is unfortunately an ongoing issue in today’s culture, and has been for as long as anyone can remember. It is very easy to regard domestic violence as a subject that is somewhat irrelevant in our lives.

In today’s culture, where violence has become the norm in music, books, and media entertainment, it is only natural that the reality of domestic violence is something that we have become desensitized to.

However, we can find ourselves completely shaken by the sheer devastation that domestic violence can have in our lives, especially if it is happening to someone right in our neighborhood or workplace.

Unfortunately, that is the case for local West Brighton residents that have had to deal with the recent loss of neighbor, Jeanine Cammarata, a local school teacher who was working at P.S. 29. She also had a second job at a Dollar Tree store in Grant City.

Like many women, Cammarata was in the beginning stages of filing a divorce against her husband, Michael Cammarata. A number of sources say the couple had been known to have marital disputes, which had later been revealed to have went as far as Michael Cammarata committing physical violence and stalking against his then wife.

Those close to Cammarata were also aware that Michael Cammarata was withholding visitation rights with her two children, which ultimately sparked her move to file for a divorce.

However, after just days of serving him with divorce papers, Cammarata’s decomposing body was found locked away in a storage facility in Arden Heights. Michael Cammarata and his girlfriend were charged with her murder.

The devastating news is not one many people in the community can wrap their heads around. Although the signs were there that such a tragedy was about to unfold, it seems as though they went relatively unnoticed to friends and family.

Anonymous sources reported Cammarata seeming under the weather prior to the incident. One co-worker in Dollar Tree said that it was not unheard of for Cammarata to come to work seeking comfort for the issues she was facing with her husband.

It is important that as a community, we recognize the signs of domestic violence and foul play. Often victims of domestic violence do not come forward to seek help, but instead think they can face it off on their own.

When it comes to confronting a spouse or boyfriend with a history of violence, it could be a matter of life and death. In order to prevent such tragedies from happening, we must become more aware of how real domestic violence is in the lives of people around us.

It could be happening to a friend or co-worker right now and you are not even aware of it.

It is scary for domestic violence victims to come forward about their abuse. However, with the help of family, friends, and the legal system, it is possible to escape such a life and recreate one that is in line with what you want, not what your spouse wants.

Knowledge is power, and a situation like this it is no different. Victims of abuse should take every opportunity to equip themselves with vital legal and protective information so that they are prepared when they make their move to secede from their partner.

A number of resource exist, including women’s shelters, non-profit organizations, legal offices, hotlines, and women’s clinics.

With continual support and awareness, we can prevent the deaths of innocent people suffering abuse from their partners, and that can only be done through a collective effort.


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