What's a woman's life worth?

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What's a woman's life worth?



[url=http://makeashorterlink.com/?S35C4255]story here[/url]


"What's a woman's life worth?" lawyer Geri Sanson asked Friday at the conclusion of a three-month inquest into the June 2000 death of Gillian Hadley, 35, at the hands of her 34-year-old estranged husband Ralph.

Sanson, speaking on behalf of an association representing Ontario's emergency shelters, said the province must reverse cuts to welfare, social housing and other services that assist abused women.


According to Marrin Brothers, not as much as their profit margin.



After being arrested and charged with assaulting his wife, Ralph Hadley was released from custody on condition that he stay away from her house in suburban Pickering.

When he showed up at her house again, he was ordered to live with his parents in east-end Toronto and to stay out of Pickering. He was also banned from possessing firearms.

Five months later, on June 20, 2000, Hadley broke into his wife's home and shot her in the head before killing himself.

I'm curious about something: does anyone have any statistics, that is, some kind of official or scholarly report on how many women are killed annually by their abusive partners, and what percentage of the total number of abusive relationships this is?

Okayokayokay, I realize there are *huge* problems with asking for this, since so many of such situations go unreported, etc. etc.

The reason I ask is that there are tons of stories out and around in the media and in the popular consciousness about abusive boyfriends and husbands who kill their partners despite court orders. What there doesn't seem to be is a sense of perspective, an idea of whether these tragic stories are the exception or the rule. In the posted case, would mandatory incarceration have kept the woman alive? Possibly? Probably? Probably...not?

My initial reaction was a sad reflection that if someone really desperately wants you dead, there's precious little that you can do to protect yourself. Not that I'm trying to switch blame in the linked-to story. I'm just wondering whether anything could have kept this man from murdering his ex-wife, including affordable housing, shelters, etc, since in retrospect he seems to have been so desperate to do so.


I know there are statistics on proven cases of these kinds of murders but I don't know where to find them. Of course, the cases that are not recognized as "proven" will not be covered by them.

I know of many cases where men consider a court order to stay away from those they've abused as a challenge and they keep on stalking their victim over and over again. The only way I can see of ending some of these cases is incarceration on arrest and forcing these offenders into anger management programs before release. It won't help everyone but if it saves even one life, it will be worth it. The violation of the offender's human rights should not outweigh the human rights of his victim. I also believe that violation of a court order should carry a mandatory jail sentence with treatment for anger and hatred issues.

Police need to be more educated in handling what they consider domestic situations, the improvements so far are not enough. The 911 people also need better training in this regard. In many cases, reports of offenders are sloughed off or not considered a priority and further violence, including murder, is the result.

The system as it is set up fails the victims, not only with the shortage of safe havens but the time limits for a person being allowed to be in a protected situation. Finding another place to live does not stop a stalker. They search for the victim and continue to harrass and endanger. A whole new legal attempt at stopping this then has to take place. In one case a while ago, the woman was murdered in the courthouse parking lot on her way to get an order signed but I don't remember where it took place. There have been assaults in our local courthouse grounds by men trying to stop women from getting court orders against them. In one case, the woman was still in a coma a year after the guy was freed from his jail sentence. He started to stalk her again shortly after she was released from the hospital, almost four years after the original assault. She was forced to move out of town for her own safety and I haven't been able to follow up on her since.


Here are some stats;
One out of four women is sexually assaulted, 50% before the age of 19.

One in ten women is physically and/or sexually assaulted by her spouse or live-in partner.

A woman who calls the police is likely to have been assaulted 30 times before doing so.

In 1989, 119 women were murdered in Canada by current or former husbands or partners. Of all murdered women, 62% were killed by their partners.

Every 17 minutes in Canada, a sexual assault takes place; 90% of the victims are female. Sixty per cent of women with disabilities are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

No female infant, girl or woman is immune from violence. Not surprisingly, 50% of women in Canada are afraid to walk on their own streets by themselves at night.

It is estimated that 50 % to 90% of women have at some point been harassed in the workplace. Occupational violence against women on the job is on the increase. Segregated into job ghettoes, provided with insufficient protection by the employer, and subject to the sexist attitudes of managers, co-workers and clients and the public, women are rendered particularly vulnerable to such violence


Maybe the responsibility rests with all of us as a society -- a society that has yet to take violence against women seriously and that does not acknowledge the extent to which poverty, cuts to social services, education and health care spending continue to make women and children vulnerable to violence

from this site[/url]

[url=http://www.metrac.org/new/stat_vio.htm]more stats[/url]

That should be a start.


Shelters - really good ones, with adaquate cover and protection - are essential. Relocation assistance, too. Even so, they are only a bandaid on a huge, gaping wound in society's flesh.

Legislation, police intervention, incarceration, restraining orders are all useful steps. But toward what? These are baby steps on a long, long road, and if we don't have a collective notion of where that road is supposed to lead, we're baby-stepping around in circles.

It's damn near impossible to stop someone desparate enough to end his own life along with his revenge. So, this kind of situation needs to be separate in our minds from at least two other kinds of assault.

In some of the bad old days, the wife's brothers, or some of the decent men of the village would take a wife-beater out behind a barn and make him an offer he couldn't refuse. In even more primitive days, the tribe would have strict rules of behaviour and train the boys - from age 7 - to respect these rules.

The problem can't be solved case by case. It needs to be addressed systemmatically, society-wide, with a coherent long-range plan. We can't even begin to formulate such a plan until we envision and articulate a version of society as we want it. Then we must find the causes (not the symptoms) of the elemnets of human interaction which prevent our society from funtioning as we wish it to. Then we must tackle each of the causes, from the root upward. It's a big job, and it may never get done.... for sure won't get done, unless we make a start.

In the meantime, bandaids will have to do.

[ January 27, 2002: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


Thanks earthmother for the links. They didn't contain exactly what I was asking about, but taken as a whole they got me closer to what I was trying to evaluate.

It would seem that, while it's impossible to quantify, abusive partners breaking restraining orders and hunting down their exes is definitely [b]not[/b] the exception, although (thankfully?) it doesn't appear to be the rule, either.

But now I'm just telling you all what you already knew. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

writer writer's picture

violence against women

remind remind's picture


It's damn near impossible to stop someone desparate enough to end his own life along with his revenge. So, this kind of situation needs to be separate in our minds from at least two other kinds of assault.