Judge tells woman not to call police again

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rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture
Judge tells woman not to call police again

 

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

quote:


Told by a judge she should have "walked out" of an abusive relationship and never to call police if she goes back to her former partner, a London woman has complained to Ontario's judicial watchdog.

[snip]

The judge dismissed the charges of assault, uttering threats and mischief against White's former partner but told her modern women are "not weak and disadvantaged" and she should have been gone "in a flash."

"Thirty years ago . . . there were all sorts of women in houses where men had beaten them, husbands had beaten them regularly, and they could not get out," the court transcript shows Pockele said.

"They did not have jobs to go to and they had kids, and they were trapped. There was no way to stand up and get out, and we were trying to help the weak and the disadvantaged, but modern women are not weak and disadvantaged . . ."


[url=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2008/10/08/7014346-sun.html]Article here[/url]

remind remind's picture

Unfuckingbelievable! I mean words cannot express how upsetting this is. As women die across Canada, at the hands of men, we get a judge saying this shit! So the charges did not stick because she stayed after other attacks, but yet we have abusive men telling women if they leave they will be dead, and enough of us end up dead that proves there is a mighty good chance of it happening if we do.

DrConway

Can we fire this guy? Please?

Michelle

What an asshole. That guy needs to be fired, stat!

Stargazer

I agree, but I am nowhere near surprised by the remarks from the judge. This is a common way of thinking for a huge majority of people. It's upsetting and it sucks and one day I want to wake up in a world dominated by women. Let the madness end. Haven't we had enough of their "superior leadership and rational thinking abilities"? Bloody hell, I sure have.

Tommy_Paine

It makes me wonder if his "take care of your own stuff" philosophy would extend to a dissagreement between he and I.

Somehow I doubt it.

But it's not just the judge. The crown obviously dropped the ball here, and why the crown's abject abandonment of his or her duty escaped a mention by name is unfortunate.

London is still a very small town in all but population.

But it's a bigger problem than London. This is yet another in the very long and growing list of travesties that have been pooring forth from Ontario courts, that has negatively effected aboriginal people, women, and everyone who cannot afford a deffense in court.

Which is most people.

I think everyone's interest would be best served if we broadened our outrage.

[ 11 October 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

quote:


I am telling you right now you have to take care of your own stuff. Do not bring it into a criminal court. Do not be calling the police to mop it up.

[img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

G. Muffin

I think this is an outrage, too, but I do find it frustrating as hell when an abused woman won't/can't leave the relationship. Perhaps the Judge was wrongly expressing the same frustation. Instructing her not to call the police is beyond the pale, however.

Maysie Maysie's picture

More on Justice Pockele.

Remember the nurse who groped a woman's breast while she was in a coma? Justice Pockele gave him 6 months house arrest.

quote:

(Nathaniel) Wagner touched the left breast of a 54-year-old woman for two to three seconds while she was in a coma in the intensive-care unit of London Health Sciences Centre in April 2006.

(snip)

Yesterday, Ontario Court Justice Gregory Pockele said "it was difficult to imagine a less serious sex assault."


This tells me, although he gets that this particular incident was assault, he doesn't "get" the seriousness of other kinds of sexual assault.

quote:

But because the woman was touched by a caregiver while defenceless, the crime was "an abuse of trust" and called out for a custodial sentence, he said.

"If I was the husband or family member, I would be incensed by the behaviour," Pockele said.


And this tells us the rest. It's not the harm to the woman, it's the harm to her as property of someone else. This woman, as dumbasses who don't get it, is "innocent". This makes her "deserving". Being in a relationship with an abuser, makes a woman not innocent, not deserving, as evidenced by the story from the OP. [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]

The judge put Wagner on a sex offender registry, telling me that he's more a "law and order" type than someone who's serious about violence against women.

[url=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2007/02/21/3651358-sun.html]Story from canoe.com in 2007.[/url]

Oh, and he's racist too.

quote:

In his judgement today, Judge Greg Pockele strongly implied that the Stoney Point people who were defending the burial ground (located in "Ipperwash Provincial Park") were responsible for the confrontation with the OPP and even "perhaps" the death of Dudley. Pockele stated the police were justified in their level of violence as it is their job to "dominate" such a situtation by using all means at their disposal.

[url=http://sisis.nativeweb.org/ipperwash/tfeb1298.html]nativeweb.org; Ipperwash, story from 1998[/url]

martin dufresne

It *is* very frustrating that patriarchy is much more resilient than the pseudo-solutions trotted out by liberalism and law-and-orderism. Part of its strength is that women are almost always blamed for the situation.
But I am [b]very [/b]glad that Ms. White had the chutzpah to blow the whistle on Judge Pockele and that the Freep made *him* the issue!

[ 11 October 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]It *is* very frustrating that patriarchy is much more resilient than the pseudo-solutions trotted out by liberalism and law-and-orderism. Part of its strength is that women are almost always blamed for the situation.[/b]

I think I've been misunderstood. It is never my intention to blame the victim. I'm just saying that to know abuse is going on and be powerless to [b][i]help[/b][/i] somebody is incredibly frustrating. Even though the right and proper thing would be for the abuser to be arrested, the immediate and most urgent thing is to get the victim out of there. Except for those victims who are physically threatened if they try to leave, I'm at a loss to understand why they stay. I've been in such a situation myself and my inability to leave still baffles me.

Maysie Maysie's picture

G. Pie, there have been a number of threads in the feminist forum, which of course I can't find, about this issue: women who are in abusive situations, and why they return, or stay, or don't get help. Also, what makes women get help, get out, etc.

Just as there is a larger societal explanation for why men abuse, there is a larger societal explanation(s) to answer your question. I'm not in that mindspace right now, but if I get there I'll post in more detail.

Tommy_Paine

From the "Windspeaker" Judge Pockele crops up in this miscarriage of justice:

[url=http://www.ammsa.com/windspeaker/WINDNEWSMAY98.html]The sentencing of Warren George[/url]

[url=http://www.lfpress.ca/article1/58999.html]But, don't you dare mess with religious icons![/url]

A couple of interesting sentences. Judge Pockele can be tough when it tickles his bias, it seems.

What I was actually googling for was some illustration of how judges are appointed-- this being one of the underlying problems in the system.

One would think brilliance in law might be the criteria, but I think brilliance in campaign work for the party that is making judicial appointments is the rule of thumb.

That's why you get wackos on the bench.

G. Muffin

I'd be interested to read more about that, if you can find them. I'm sure having your self-esteem in the toilet is a factor. I was raised in a quasi-abusive (non-physical) family. I think the right thing would have been for my mother to leave with us kids. Her priority was keeping the family together. I think that would be less of an issue today. I'm thinking finances might play a role, too, especially for stay-at-home moms. Yet another reason to gather work experience before having children.

Tommy_Paine

My reading of the original article didn't indicate that White was repeatedly going back to her abusive partner.

Pockele seemed to weave that scenario from whole cloth.

I spent some time reading old news reports involving reported decisions by Pockele. It's difficult to find a pattern, because each case is different, but it seems to me there are certain types of people that Pockele is prepared to give the benifit of the doubt to-- namely, partners and former partners accused of abuse or abusive behavoir-- and some people who don't get his benifit of the doubt-- namely, women, aboriginals, and people who mess with religious statues.

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]and some people who don't get his benifit of the doubt-- namely, women, aboriginals, and people who mess with religious statues.[/b]

So that tells us that he's a Christian (probably), white man.

Tommy_Paine

Empirically, we know little. A few [i]reported[/i] cases in the paper can be a very biased sample, and certainly nothing to jump to those conclusions on.

A much more concerted effort would have to be made in going through actual court documents. Something I wish some orgainization that represented the interests of women, aboriginals, people of colour, the impoverished and working class would do.

Courts of law decide who gets protected, and who doesn't. They decide who gets deprived of liberty, and who, increasingly and absurdly, gets the privelege of the "extra" liberty of being above the law.

So it seems to me of uppermost importance that courts opperate in the most unbiased and consistant manner humanly possible, consistant with democracy, and things like our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This is the feminist forum, where we discuss these things from a feminist point of view. And, accordingly I am affronted by Pockele on that account. As I was affronted by the fact that aboriginal people were left off the rolls for jury duty, in the aboriginal forum.

At some point though, to serve the interests of women, and native people we have to broaden our outrage.

These cases and others should be of concern to us, but the solution cannot be got at piece meal.

Megan6

There are many reasons why women stay with abusive partners. Of course, when one asks the question, "why women stay?" it does shift the responsibility for the abuse from the abuse where it belongs to the victim. However, given it is so often asked, it is an important question to answer.
Women stay for the following reasons:
1. Women are most at risk of being seriously injured or killed when they leave. Abusers will threaten to kill women and children when they announce they are leaving. This is when abusers feel they are losing all power over women. Their philosophy is, "if I can't have you, no one can." Abusers also will tell women, "I'll kill us both and we'll spend eternity in heaven together." If you look in your own communities at the women killed by abusive partners, you will see that most women are killed as they are leaving the partner. It is not only women who are killed. Their children, family members, friends and new partners may also be killed as part of the abusers last effort to completely control the woman's life.
2. Women may have limited financial resources thereby preventing her from accessing a lawyer that fully understands the complexities of family law. Women may be limited to legal aid certificates. Given the fee paid to lawyers through legal aid, which is significantly less than those received through private billings, many lawyers will not accept legal aid certificates. As such, many women are forced to retain lawyers whose specialites are wills and estates or real estate. Family law, especially where it relates to woman abuse, requires a lawyer that understands the complex issues involved. As such, many women will not leave because they fear losing custody of their children or being forced into mediation where they have to negotiate with their abusive partner.
3. Many women who want to leave have no where to go. There is just not enough affordable housing. Women are forced to continue to live with abusers because the amount of money they would receive from social assistance would not allow them to find shelter.
4. Women remember a time when their partners were not abusive. This is the partner they fell in love with. They remain ever hopeful that this non-abusive partner will return. They love their partners but want the abuse to stop.
5. Women are told through their support systems, whether it be the church, their families, etc., that "it is best for their children to have their parents stay together." Women report being told to "try harder at home and your partner won't have to be angry all the time." Once again, the responsiblity is shifted to the woman who is made to feel that the abuse is her fault.
6. Women are fearful the abuser will abduct her children. Abusers threaten to take children out of the country threatening that the woman will never see them again. Women know from experience that their abusers follow through on threats. Losing children is a risk many women are not willing to take.
7. Women do not trust the judicial system. There are too many judges like Justice Pockele who blame women for the abuse and are not willing to open the justice system to support women's safety. These women feel trapped in a home where they are constantly belittled, abused and threatened because they feel the systems that are supposed to protect her often collude with the abusers.

Feminists need to come together and hold abusers accountable. We need to take on the systems that give further power to abusive men. We need to support women by holding abusive men and those who collude with them responsible and accountable for their actions.

It is important to ask questions in our efforts to gain information needed to hold abusers accountable. However, we need to be careful how we ask questions to ensure that we are not asking questions in a way that blames the victim for her actions.

martin dufresne

Excellent points.
I would add that women *do* leave. They are enticed by all the factors you have just listed, but they leave again when they confirm that it is to no avail. And that is the most dangerous time.
I don't have the exact statistics at hand, but most wife-killers do so in the weeks or months after their spouse has left, when he realizes she has left for good.
Then, the abuser often stalks her, entices her into meeting him "one last time" or to "discuss issues" or uses the court & mediation system to exercise their "Father Rights", demanding that his violence not be taken into account.
Most abusers are relentless in "not letting go": they have told this to the woman they victimize, and they do everything - with the help of a non-accountable system - to make good on their promise.
So, yes, let's address blame where it is due, not only at abusers but at a system that fails to really provide battered and threatened women with essential protection against these men, that use every resource of a patriarchal system.

[ 13 October 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

G. Muffin

quote:


[b]Of course, when one asks the question, "why women stay?" it does shift the responsibility for the abuse from the abuse where it belongs to the victim.[/b]

I disagree and I've argued about this before. The responsibility for the abuse clearly is always the abuser's. The victim's responsibility is to look after herself and her children. If a car is coming towards me in my own lane, it's my responsiblity to evade it, even though it's the other driver's fault that he's in the wrong lane. Lame analogy, sorry, but I don't blame the victim and resent the familiar charge quoted above.

Added later: I remember years ago working with a woman who just didn't show up one day, she simply disappeared. Later, we found out that her partner had just been released from jail and the police scooped her up and flew her away somewhere. She didn't even have time to go home and pack. She had to just vanish.

[ 13 October 2008: Message edited by: G. Pie ]

Megan6

The analogy between the car coming towards the victim and the victim's responsiblity to move out of the way is "lame!" This example fails to understand the control the abuser has over the abused woman and doesn't recognize the tremedous efforts abused women utilize to "take care of themselves" which sometimes include staying.

As I stated, it's how the question is asked. Often times we hear from individuals, "if I was being abused, I'd leave." Or, like Justice Pockele stating Ms White shoudl have left in a "flash." These types of statements are blaming the woman for staying without acknowledging the potential danger or other factors associated with leaving.

I have no issue with answering questions about why women stay if individuals are looking for answers in their quest to help. It is when they are passing judgement with their line of questioning that I find revictimizes women.

Leaving an abuser, like staying, is very difficult.

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by Megan6:
[b]The analogy between the car coming towards the victim and the victim's responsiblity to move out of the way is "lame!"[/b]

As I said.

quote:

[b]This example fails to understand the control the abuser has over the abused woman and doesn't recognize the tremedous efforts abused women utilize to "take care of themselves" which sometimes include staying.[/b]

It's just an analogy. The gist that I meant was that even though it's not fair, the immediate and urgent step that needs to be taken is for the victim to get out of there.

quote:

[b]As I stated, it's how the question is asked. Often times we hear from individuals, "if I was being abused, I'd leave." Or, like Justice Pockele stating Ms White shoudl have left in a "flash." These types of statements are blaming the woman for staying without acknowledging the potential danger or other factors associated with leaving.[/b]

It's a question: Why does she stay? The danger and other factors are part of the answer.

quote:

[b]I have no issue with answering questions about why women stay if individuals are looking for answers in their quest to help. It is when they are passing judgement with their line of questioning that I find revictimizes women.[/b]

And how do you determine which is happening here? Because I think you've got it dead wrong.

quote:

[b]Leaving an abuser, like staying, is very difficult.[/b]

Yes, it is.

Megan6

G Pie,

You asked...
"And how do you determine which is happening here? Because I think you've got it dead wrong."

I am sorry you feel I have it dead wrong. In fact, I wasn't trying to determine anything. I had read previous posts where questions were being asked about why women stayed. I posted some of the reasons women stay in my attempt to answer the question.

In addition to answering the question, I was trying to point out that there are two reasons this question is often asked; because there is genuine support for abused women and a sincere interest in know why women stay, and because there is a tendency by some to blame victims for the trauma in their lives.

I was not putting you, or any other poster, in either category. I was just stating a fact.

G. Muffin

Fair enough, Megan6, and I'm sorry I took umbrage. I'd support any woman I knew in that dreadful circumstance.

BOM

Edited to remove the really tasteless and offensive parts. (note there's nothing left)

[ 24 October 2008: Message edited by: oldgoat ]

Caissa

Countdown begins....

oldgoat

...countdown ends.

ETA: certainly no record, but not bad.

[ 24 October 2008: Message edited by: oldgoat ]

Caissa

5 minutes and 32 seconds, Oldgoat. You must have behaved yourself at the Re-launch. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

oldgoat

Well [i]SOMEBODY[/i] had to.

It's Me D

In this particular case is there any way the post in question could also be deleted???

oldgoat

The removal of posts is something we're generally pretty reluctant to do around here unless there's some sort of libel issue or copyright infringement. There is precedent for removing posts for reasons of a fairly stunning level of tastelessnes, and maybe some combination of those reasons applies here.

Yeah, I don't mind taking it down.

It's Me D

Thanks oldgoat; I like your edit BTW [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

You mean I missed it? (Expletive Deleted)

[ 24 October 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Caissa

I guess you weren't on the ball or missed your cue, or something... [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

oldgoat
Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by oldgoat:
[b]Well [i]SOMEBODY[/i] had to.[/b]

Yeah. Because [i]SOMEBODY[/i] had to drive back to Oshawa. But some of us took public transit. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]

Yeah. Because [i]SOMEBODY[/i] had to drive back to Oshawa. But some of us took public transit. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]


I love "pissing matches."
[img]http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:4m5S9ZqCp3CMaM:http://www.liberalstr...

TVParkdale

Okay, now I am letting out my whoopingist women's lib scream...

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRACK!

Now, onto the subject.

The question is NOT:
"Why do women stay"--that is in itself blaming the victim.

THE BIG QUESTION IS...
[img]http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/funny-pictures-cat...

...

[b]"Why did this man hit?"[/b]

We are looking at the wrong end of the donkey people!

Years ago we blamed women for being bad wives so men hit them. Now we blame women for staying with men who hit them.

Get a move on, people.

The same judge would have locked this woman up for years if she had roundhouse kicked this b-tard into a hospital stay.

But no, this nice woman did the "right" thing. She made the "morally correct" decision.

She went to court. She trusted the system rather than take the law into her own hands and plunge her world into vengeance and chaos. She trusted that the cops, the prosecutor and the judge would do right by her.

They kicked her in the teeth harder than he did. Because now she doesn't believe ANYONE will ever be on her side.

So she doesn't go home. Then what?

He stalks her to wherever she is. He's getting his jollies right now as we speak because he knows the whole system will back him up and she's now completely defenseless by legal means and will never trust the police to help her again.

We're all aware of the possible outcomes of this.

We just don't want to admit it.

[ 26 October 2008: Message edited by: TVParkdale ]

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by TVParkdale:
[b]The question is NOT:
"Why do women stay"--that is in itself blaming the victim.[/b]

Actually, that [i]is[/i] a question that was asked here and it does not blame the victim. I know this because I asked the question and [i]I[/i] don't blame the victim. Physical abuse is a crime and the person who does it is guilty.

Someone listed some very good reasons why women may choose to stay but I have known several cases where those kinds of issues (threats to the victim's life, etc.) didn't apply. I just don't understand how somebody could accept that as the status quo and not walk away. One woman told me that she couldn't leave because she "had so much invested" in the relationship. Even though her partner was an abusive piece of shit. I just don't understand that.

TVParkdale

quote:


Originally posted by G. Pie:
[b]

Actually, that [i]is[/i] a question that was asked here and it does not blame the victim. I know this because I asked the question and [i]I[/i] don't blame the victim. Physical abuse is a crime and the person who does it is guilty.

Someone listed some very good reasons why women may choose to stay but I have known several cases where those kinds of issues (threats to the victim's life, etc.) didn't apply. I just don't understand how somebody could accept that as the status quo and not walk away. One woman told me that she couldn't leave because she "had so much invested" in the relationship. Even though her partner was an abusive piece of shit. I just don't understand that.[/b]


The reason you're struggling to understand it is because, as I tried to point out--the question is targeted at the victim, not the person committing the act of violence.

She told you *why* she stayed. That reason may not make sense to you because what is a value to one person, is not necessarily the same value to another.

Try the following questions:
"Why is HE abusive?"
"Where has HE learned that bullying will get him what he wants?"
"What needs does HE have that are being met by this behaviour?"
"What responses would be most likely to lessen the possibilities of HIS future bullying behaviour?"
"Who, in HIS community/family are supporting this behaviour to continue?"

Most men who act in abusive ways learned early, long before they marry, that such behaviour will get them what they want.

If you really want to understand it, I suggest looking up Lonnie Athen's "Theory of Violentization". I find it far more accurate than any other social work theorizing, feministic [although gender does play a part as does the fact that such behaviour has been historically tolerated] or psychological reasons for how people, generally men, become violent.

[url=http://www.csudh.edu/dearhabermas/tchessay64.htm]Lonnie Athens Theory of Violentization[/url]

This man has been *trained* to be violent. His violence has been supported, encouraged and the positive results for him have been greater than the negative results.

There's also the possibility of an underlying mental health struggle exacerbating his propensity for violence.

I don't buy for a heartbeat that chronic [not situational] violence is because someone has "poor self esteem". My experience with violent people has been quite the opposite. It's about top-dogging. It's about learning that bullying *works*.

Obviously, it *is* working for him. Your friend is staying in the relationship--for now.

Look through the other end of the telescope. He's had years before he met her to polish his technique. He's been supported in his bad behaviour. He has no reason to change, yet.

She's not the one who started, encouraged, supported nor is getting something positive out of violent behaviour.

She may be tolerating his violence. That's not necessarily condoning it.
*********

I would say one thing to her, if she was here:

"What you are experiencing today is what you will be experiencing five years from now. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. He is what he is.

If that's alright with you--I will respect your decision to stay."

Maysie Maysie's picture

G. Pie and TVParkdale, I further suggest that anyone interested in the question "why do women stay?" should ask shelter workers and women who work in the anti-VAW (violence against women) field in general.

It's not so black and white: "He's abusive, you leave".

The abuser is often many other things besides abusive. Such things include perhaps: loving, funny, caring, etc. I say this not to excuse any abuser's behaviour, but to put such behaviour in the context of the woman's life with him.

He also may be the holder of the immigration status for the family, the English speaker in the household, he may have promised to bring some of her family members to Canada.

For those of us who are Canadian citizens and currently not living in abusive situations, it's fine and dandy to say "never put up with that" or "if he ever hits you, leave" or "if he hits you once, leave".

Such words are beyond meaningless to women living in abusive situations.

As for past behaviour being an accurate prediction of future behaviour, absolutely. But with abusive relationships it goes further: she will likely not survive the next 5 years, he will very likely escalate and kill her, as power and control need greater and greater realms, and "only" hitting her and injuring her may not be enough as time goes on.

It boils down to 2 ways to end violence against women:
1. Men need to stop being violent towards women
2. Women need to leave abusive relationships

Both of these projects and complex and huge and need to work in tandem. And yes, there is more of a focus on #2, even after 30+ years of education about domestic violence and abuse.

P.S. So, women finally get the nerve and the courage to leave, and go to a shelter. What's the number one reason why women return to their abusers? ..... Wait for it..... lack of housing. This is a disgrace, in Canada, for this to happen.

G. Muffin

TVP, I am allowed to ask a question. It doesn't need to be "corrected." It doesn't target the victim. I don't care [i]why[/i] the partner is abusive. Abuse is wrong and intolerable.

And, just so you know:

quote:

Originally posted by TVParkdale:
[b]There's also the possibility of an underlying mental health struggle exacerbating his propensity for violence.[/b]

That's a pretty offensive stereotype you're perpetrating here.

quote:

[b]Obviously, it *is* working for him. Your friend is staying in the relationship--for now.[/b]

But I don't [i]care[/i] what works for him. He's an abusive asshole. I want her out of there and it's frustrating as hell.

quote:

[b]I would say one thing to her, if she was here:

"What you are experiencing today is what you will be experiencing five years from now. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. He is what he is.

If that's alright with you--I will respect your decision to stay."[/b]


But I don't respect her decision! It's a terrible decision. She's wasting her life with this creep. It would be the height of hypocrisy to say I respect that.

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[b]G. Pie and TVParkdale, I further suggest that anyone interested in the question "why do women stay?" ....[/b]

Actually, BCG, I'm more interested in knowing at this point why it's so politically incorrect to even ask the question, not what the various answers may be.

TVParkdale

quote:


Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[b]

It boils down to 2 ways to end violence against women:
1. Men need to stop being violent towards women
2. Women need to leave abusive relationships

Both of these projects and complex and huge and need to work in tandem. And yes, there is more of a focus on #2, even after 30+ years of education about domestic violence and abuse.

P.S. So, women finally get the nerve and the courage to leave, and go to a shelter. What's the number one reason why women return to their abusers? ..... Wait for it..... lack of housing. This is a disgrace, in Canada, for this to happen.[/b]


I already was aware of all this.

Secondly, I am a realist.

Violence has been with us since the dawn of humans. It isn't going to stop. Over the course of human history, in certain societies, it has been lessened.

What I am *trying* to get at in this discussion is the meat of the problem.

The crux of the problem is not "why she stays".

We are still placing the emphasis on the wrong side of the equation. It's where the most money and energy gets funneled. Politically, it's easier to get money for "victim services" than it is to fight to have the responsibility put where it belongs.

On the men who commit violence.

The real question is how to stop the batterer from re-offending or to find a way to decrease the level of violence.

And to stop this kind of behaviour before it's entrenched.

I just can't make it any simpler.

"Why she stays" been done to death and it won't stop the violence. I go back to the Women's Lib days and I don't see any less of it now, then was going on, then.

The abuser just picks a new target and the story begins again.

Then the shelters, workers and social agencies go through the same dance with woman after woman. Or, due to the amount of abusive men in the pile with charm skills--she's back in the same merry-go-'round again.

It's expensive and inefficient.

And the worst of it is--programs for male batterers DON'T work because they're stuck in the "he was abused as a kid and he has low self esteem and gee whillikers, poor baby" dichotomy.

Anger management is another joke. It rarely works.

The violent partner is getting a big payoff. It takes more than a few sobfests or homework exercises to change that kind of ingrained behavior.

What *doesn't* get looked at it some method of re-socializing these relationships to cut down the level of violence and increase the family's quality of life. If she wants to leave at some point, fine--but why assume she is under some obligation to do so?

QUOTE: "Women need to leave" Do they? Who pronounced this from on high? Since when did 'feminism' consist of telling women how to live their lives? Did I miss something?

What *needs* to happen is that the violence in the relationship needs to STOP.

Those two goals are not necessarily mutual.

As it stands, the woman is taking the public pressure to leave and suffer the economic [and other] repercussions but he is under NO communal pressure to *change* his violence.

Compared to the amount of charges laid in my ancient-of-days 25+ years ago when this fight began [and I used to encourage women to lay charges themselves] the cops are more likely now to charge BOTH parties.

The standard training in "women's rights" is to encourage the woman to leave for a shelter.

It's the way the whole society has now been sidelined, as if that is the ultimate solution.

Again, the woman is blamed--just a different angle to the misogyny. As Susan Faludi pointed out so well, it's the backlash.

There is little housing stock for *anyone* at this point.

As you rightly pointed out, this attitude does not take into account immigration struggles, CAS involvement, cultural struggles etc. etc.

When do we start supporting women in what THEY want, instead of shoving an agenda down their throats? If a woman prefers to stay for whatever reason, it's not up to anyone else. She's an adult.

Otherwise, we are just contributing to her feelings of inadequacy and oxymoronically--she's more likely to stay.

Nor should any judge say that she does not have the right to police protection when her spouse is breaking the law.

THAT I take seriously as an ardent Women's Libber.

We've replaced "consciousness raising" and "the personal is the political" with paid counselling services, shelters and "empowerment programs" where someone else is still telling them how to live their lives.

We're back to pathologizing women for surviving patriarchal oppression.

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by TVParkdale:
[b]The crux of the problem is not "why she stays".[/b]

Nobody said it was the "crux of the problem." My friend's problem is that her partner is physically abusive. The fastest, most effective way to fix this from her perspective is for her to leave. She chooses not to because she has "too much invested." I think that's ridiculous and my sympathy and patience are starting to wear thin.

The issue (in this sideline, anyway) is why is the question not even allowed? As nobody seems capable of coherently answering that question, I've come to my own conclusion (it is allowed, just not in front of the self-righteous). I hereby retire from this very dreary dialogue.

TVParkdale

quote:


Originally posted by G. Pie:
[b]

Actually, BCG, I'm more interested in knowing at this point why it's so politically incorrect to even ask the question, not what the various answers may be.[/b]


Pie, I don't consider it "politically incorrect" [thank you for the chuckle there]

I think it's not the question that needs asking.

That question comes from an assumption that's been perpetrated for a long time--that there is something wrong with women who *don't* leave, as opposed to something wrong with her partner, or family, or community, or legal system that is actively, or passively supporting the male spouse's violence.

There's an underlying assumption that she "should" leave to solve the violence. And it's not necessarily an accurate assumption.

He's not going to stop being violent if she leaves--he's just going to perpetrate it on someone else. So, her leaving doesn't solve the actual problem.

If she's lucky, it will stop the violence against her. There's no guarantee of it, though.

Ask yourself this:

Okay, she leaves. Gone. Poof.

What is economic violence? Is the occasional violence by a partner more, or less abusive than poverty?

If he hits her twice a year, but the children will go hungry the last week of every month--what is MORE damaging?

If she lives in a nice, relatively safe neighbourhood and is forced, by economic circumstance to move to a substandard neighbourhood, is her fear level higher, knowing her spouse, or being chronically frightened in dangerous area?

What if he stalks her? He's more likely to kill or maim her if she leaves than if she doesn't.

It's just not simple. She's the only one who can look at all the possible ramifications of packing it in. And she's the only one who knows what positives she's getting out of the relationship.

It's not just about a couple either. What is the impact on family? Grandparents? The community where she and the kids are comfortable? What will happen with their mutual friends? How will the in-laws take it?

What if it was possible to stop the abuse? Or lessen it? Would that make a difference?

I probably put my opening sentence too harshly.

My main concern in these discussions is that we don't get stuck on that same old horse about pressuring women to leave when it may not always be the best decision for her particular situation.

And I am goal-centered.

The GOAL as I see it--is to stop or lessen the violence. [What needs to happen?]

"Leaving" is not the goal.

The plan may, or may not include, a woman leaving. [How can we/I/you MAKE that happen?]

Does that help?

G. Muffin

quote:


Originally posted by TVParkdale:
[b]Does that help?[/b]

I really appreciate this latest response, TVP.
Some of your others seemed condescending and patronizing.

It saddens me to think of all the people who believe they are helpless and in a dead end. I walked away from my marriage with the clothes on my back. Even though I get no spousal support, nor was I compensated for my contributions (financial and other) to the matrimonial home, I do not consider myself a victim of "economic violence" and the term strikes me as ludicrous.

If there were zero tolerance for physical abuse (e.g. my friend leaves and so does his next partner and the one after that), I think we could go a long to way to eradicating it. You will no doubt say this puts the burden on the victim. We all have responsibility to take care of ourselves.

I'll ask one more time: Why does she stay? Having "too much invested" is a non-answer. And how much support and sympathy is she entitled to from me? I wish her well but, honestly, it's like having a friend who's a heroin junkie (which I had at one point, actually). I like her very much but this lifestyle is just sick and I don't want to hear about it. Now if she wants to leave the bum, however, I'll help with shelter, food and money in any way that I can.

Stargazer

You've gotten your answers G. Pie, and you simply (and clearly) refuse to look at them, understand them and in your case, seem to be saying "if I left so can anyone else" which is utter BS.

If anyone is missing the points here, it is you and as a past victim of an abusive "partner" I don't owe you, or anyone else, the answer you are looking for. You have formed your opinions. You have stated that you don't want to address why men abuse.

You have chosen to gloss over the other side, aptly pointed out by both BCG and TV. Ignore it if you will but I am beginning to sense you are just not interested in stopping your blaming of the victim. And that is sad.

TVParkdale

quote:


Originally posted by G. Pie:
[b]

I really appreciate this latest response, TVP.
Some of your others seemed condescending and patronizing.

I'm going to go through this piece by piece so we have more understanding, yeah?

It saddens me to think of all the people who believe they are helpless and in a dead end.

"Helpless" and "dead end" are at far end of the spectrums. No one wants to feel as if they have no control over their lives.

I walked away from my marriage with the clothes on my back. Even though I get no spousal support, nor was I compensated for my contributions (financial and other) to the matrimonial home, I do not consider myself a victim of "economic violence" and the term strikes me as ludicrous.

It may strike you as "ludicrous". Is there a term you would prefer?

That doesn't answer my question though. Logically, if a woman is in a situation where he is not continuously violent but she is facing literal hunger for her children--she may make very different choices.

There are *many* ramifications to leaving. Some you faced, some you did not.

If there were zero tolerance for physical abuse (e.g. my friend leaves and so does his next partner and the one after that), I think we could go a long to way to eradicating it.

That might be a start. However, that's assuming that every woman wants or needs to respond exactly the same and that their circumstances are similar. It's also assuming the man will "get it" which is an unsupportable theory.

You will no doubt say this puts the burden on the victim. We all have responsibility to take care of ourselves.

"Taking care of oneself" is a matter of perspective.

I'll ask one more time: Why does she stay? Having "too much invested" is a non-answer. And how much support and sympathy is she entitled to from me? I wish her well but, honestly, it's like having a friend who's a heroin junkie (which I had at one point, actually). I like her very much but this lifestyle is just sick and I don't want to hear about it. Now if she wants to leave the bum, however, I'll help with shelter, food and money in any way that I can.[/b]


You have several different struggles going on here.

One is that you do not accept her answer. Why can you not accept that as *her* reality? Does it affect your life in some way?

You call her lifestyle "sick"--by what definition?

You will help her if she leaves but not support her if she stays.

It is painful to watch people we care about make decisions that we believe are damaging. However, our experience, attitude, genetics, upbringing, etc is not theirs.

It comes down to this.

You want her to do what YOU want. Not what she's telling you SHE wants.

You have two options left because this isn't about her.

It's about you.

You can either exit the relationship because it is too painful for you or you can look at this in a completely different light because you value her friendship.

Either way, this isn't about *her* at all.

It's about your decision to stay in, or not, in a relationship with this friend.

Blaming her for staying with her mate isn't going to make that decision any easier.

Stargazer

Astute observation TVParkdale.

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