Saturday, March 24, 2012

Public Ignorance

I have been watching a program on TV about a woman who murdered her abusive lover. Please DO NOT ever think that I condone murder, but this is 2012 and we still are dealing with people who know nothing about what it is like to live with an abusive partener.

In this case the defendant was telling the jury that she had been anally raped by her partner on the night that she killed him. The prosecutor asked her why would she wear a thong if that were true. I missed that part that was mentioned about her wearing a thong. The victims defence attorney asked her why she had never reported any kind of domestic violence before? She had received treatment for a broken arm which she claimed was his doing, but she had told friends that she had slipped and fallen. The defendant was also asked why she stayed with her abusive partner and why she kept going back to him if he was so abusive? She responded that she had been been abused as a child and was used to abuse. The prosecutor asked her, 'well if that were true, then why would you want to stay in an abusive relationship?'

I get so angry when I think that the general public and the legal firms that represent their clients, still don't understand domestic violence. In this case there was no psychologist brought in to explain why women stay, or why a woman would still wear a thong if she had been raped, for goodness sake!

Yes she is guilty of murder. Yes she was guilty of losing control and she should face the consequences of those actions.... but until we recognise the extenuating circumstances we will continue to punish the real victim. Of course there will continue to be those women who use the 'abuse' angle when trying to minimize their guilt in the crime of murder, which is why we have to SPEAK OUT about abuse to our friends, to anyone who will listen.

I put myself in the shoes of the mother of this man who was killed and I too would wonder about all the claims of abuse, especially if I had never seen or heard any claims that my son was abusive to previous partners. I would also wonder about the statements of the accused. There are 3 sides to this story as usual and what is the truth? Until we speak out, during the abuse and not after, thousands of abused women will sit in prisons for defending themselves.

Read the article yourself and form your own conclusions. Please don't think that I cannot see through some of the holes in her story but do I believe she was a victim of emotional abuse, yes I do. Do I think he should have died absolutely not. But the nature of abuse is that both parties need each other for it to continue.

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