No Help From Police – by Nancy Seaman

It was a stormy summer night in 2002, much like tonight, when a heated argument between my husband and I turned violent, leaving me battered and bruised. When Bob fell asleep in a drunken stupor, I left the house and drove to the Farmington, Michigan Police Department.

I entered the building and approached a tall, imposing desk where a young officer sat.  With tears streaming down my cheeks, I explained that I had been battered and pleaded with him to send a patrol car to my house to warn, frighten, or at the very least, put my husband on notice that the battering must stop.

Instead of compassionate assistance, my pleas fell on the deaf ears of this emotionally-detached public servant whom I had mistakenly assumed was there to protect and serve.

The desk officer offered me only two choices.  I could either meet with a detective and fill out the necessary paperwork to have my husband arrested or take a pamphlet instructing me how to obtain a Personal Protection Order (PPO).  As I stood there trembling, I considered my options.  If Bob were arrested, he would easily make bail and his resulting anger over such an indignation would put me in even more danger.

Having Bob arrested for domestic violence was a shame I could not inflict upon my sons or career.  My co-workers and the parents of my students would never again have confidence in my professional abilities if they believed I was incapable of managing my personal life.  I pleaded for other options, but none were offered.

No police car would be sent to my house and no paperwork was filed to document that I had even visited the police station.  Instead, I was handed a pamphlet on PPO orders and sent away.

All the tax dollars I had paid over the years and the best the police had to offer when I came to them in fear for my life was a pamphlet.  This is the reality battered women face when they reach out for help.

The irony is that if I had reported being attacked in my home by a stranger instead of by my husband, the police would have immediately responded.

With no one to hold my husband accountable for his actions, there would be many more assaults.  In May 2004, I defended myself against my husband’s final assault on my life and he was unintentionally killed.  After I was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his death, that useless pamphlet was found among my personal possessions.  I have no doubt this tragedy could have been averted if the police response had been different.

Statistics show that in the State of Michigan alone, approximately ten women each month are killed by abusive boyfriends or husbands.  Had I not defended myself, I would have been one of those statistics.

The petition for commutation that can save my life now sits on Governor Snyder’s desk awaiting his decision and needs your support.  The criminal justice system I had entrusted to protect me failed; I pray you will now rescue me.

With sincerest gratitude,

Nancy Seaman 


Email Kelle Lynn at Justice Thru Storytelling to ask how you can show your support at [email protected]

Join the nationwide supporters by sending a postcard to:

Governor Rick Snyder – PO Box 30013 – Lansing, MI  48909 and ask him to give clemency to Nancy Seaman #520695 in 2018.  

Or send Governor Snyder an email at:  [email protected]

Demand Justice

The goal of this campaign is to convince our legislators in the state of Michigan to change People v Christel to model the California law in order to bring #Justice4Women.