My views on Domestic Violence and our Judicial System

There are so many short falls when it comes to Domestic Violence and our Judicial System in Canada. Here is what I have seen. 

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A man body checks his wife into a wall because she wants to talk to a friend on facebook. He pushes his 18 month old son and bounces his head off the laminate flooring. After 15 years of verbal,physical and emotional abuse the wife has had enough. She reports everything to the RCMP.

He is removed from the house, arrested and everyone is put under a 30 day emergency no contact order. Man is not held in jail during any of this time. Yet statistics say this is the most
dangerous time for victims because the abuser is having his control taken away. They get desperate and have a high tendency to hurt their victim or kill them. In other words “Yes we see the danger but until he commits an even worse crime all we can do is remove him from your home and tell him not to contact you.  If he does, call 911 and hopefully we can show up in time to help you.”

Abuser goes to Court. In Canada it seems for your first assault you are fined $50 and sentenced to counselling. 

You have kids with him? Oh well that changes things. He has rites as their father. We have to honour those first. Despite the fact he bounced your babies head off the floor we still need him to have access to his kids, but this is Criminal Court and we don’t deal with Family Law. Go get a Lawyer and work something out in that Court for visitation. In the meantime you need to have access with your abuser at least by phone to work out some sort of visitation. We know he intimidates you and scares the crap out of you, but please send your children to him because he is their dad. Remember he has rites. Oh and you can’t go on these visits due to the violence between you. We have to protect you, but I’m sure your kids will be fine.

Ummmm what???

So you obtain a Family Law Lawyer for an astronomical amount of money. Family Law Judge says “Well I will allow overnight visits. They must be supervised by his mom (that he has also abused and intimidated). I am sure she will report any abuse and everything should be ok.”

Ha. Seriously??

Your kids come home from said visits. They pee their beds, become aggresive, soil their pants, have nightmares, can’t focus in school etc. According to the Court they are ok. If you the mom really think there is a problem you better prove it to the Court. In the meantime keep sending those kids on those visits because dad has rites.

You seek help. Your kids get referred to Child Psychiatry, medication and counselling is recommended.  Oh and one of the kids now has PTSD. Psychiatrist is spitting nails because a Judge has once again put a fathers rites above that of the child. She writes a letter to the Judge and reports everything to Child and Protective Services. Finally the mom feels like someone is listening.

I should add it has taken over a year from the assault to get to this point. So much unnecessary damage. has been done to these kids. Right the father has rites….ya ya we know.

Finally Supervised Access is granted because he truely is messing up these kids. Sorry for the permanent damage our system may have caused.  Our solution is to make these traumatised children see their abuser in a controlled setting. We’ll send a Social Worker into the room. That person will take notes about what they see in case the Court wants to know. Oh abusive dad whispers alot to the kids and turns his back to the supervisor?? Yes he could be threatening these children, but we’ll just ask him to stop whispering.  Make sure the Social Worker writes this down because that just stops this behaviour doesn’t it???

How are you mom through all of this??  You are having a break down? You have PTSD?? You are being stalked?? Sorry about that. Keep calling 911 when you need us and make sure you get some counselling.

Remember how the Courts just fined the abuser $50 and ordered him to counselling, telling him to behave. He did all of that and was a model citizen. We all know abusers are the most honest people. He must be doing better so the Courts let him go home. What was that? The counsellor said he is likely to reoffend?? Really?? Oh well we the Court are going to ignore that and still let him go home to his family. I am sure that abused woman with no self esteem will be able to keep him in line.

Wow.

So he goes home and ends up continually raping his wife for 9mths and is abusing his kids. 

Oh dear. We the Courts better do something about this. Ok he can’t go into her town or within 150 ft of her. Now the wife should be safe. What the wife is secretly moving because she doesn’t trust the legal system to keep her safe?? Really?? Well actually many women in our system do this. We won’t tell him where you are. Be safe and Good Luck! Oh and by the way he still has rites as a father so we need to do a Custody and Access report to figure out what sort of access he can have.

The wife and kids secretly move. The wife has to resign from her career. Father stops paying child support.Father never calls kids, gets dropped by his family lawyer and stops appearing in Court for the rape charges. No one is able to get a hold of the father. What does the Court do? Well they decide they are going to issue a Bench Warrant and put him in jail. No wait lets give his Criminal Lawyer 30 days to find him. If he can’t find him THEN we’ll look for him and arrest him.Oh and mom/wife yes this is alarming behaviour but you just keep looking over your sholder and call 911 if you see him. Hopefully we’ll get there in time.Ya hopefully.

Could this continual trauma not be avoided by putting the perp in jail from the very beginning? Could we not retraumatise the children and say “We have a duty to protect these children which supercedes a parents rites!” Why do the Courts have to wait until the wife is stabbed umpteen times or shot at before they put the abuser in jail??

Oh ya right. I forgot. He has rites.

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About Janet B

I am a Mentor at Verbal Abuse Journals. I mentor victims of abuse offering free support and guidance – https://www.verbalabusejournals.com or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

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Social Media:

facebook page – Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://facebook.com/fw.dvptsd

twitter – @within_freedom

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7 thoughts on “My views on Domestic Violence and our Judicial System

  1. Im so sick and tired of our system! The whole dads have rights! Ya know what they do, but there comes a point in time when these rights need to be taken from them before so much damage has been done to the children or spouse! Im going thru a similar situation and NOBODY will do anything to help me!!! Our county attorneys office tells me its a family issue and they dont want to get involved!!! THATS BULSHIT

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    1. I understand your pain Angel. Our Court system is very much about protecting the rites of the father/criminal. It frustrates me beyond belief and all it does is hurt the victims. I also believe our Court system enables abusers by giving them so many chances. They need to know right from the beginning that their behaviour is NOT acceptable!

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      1. Its so frustrating to watch them get away with all they do wrong! My ex got 5yrs in prison for hitting our newborn baby in the head, and he still got joint custody! I just dont get it…………hes a convicted felon, an arrest record a mile long, mosty domestic assults, drug charges…burglury charges, he harrasses me to no end, and just recently threaten my physical saftey, I have proof of it all, and the law will not get involved they told me unless he does hurt me first! There r so many police reports of him abusing me in the past…why is that not enough??? Why do I have to be assulted once again for me to be heard and for someone to make him stop!!!

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  2. Excellent post. As I was reading it I kept having to remind myself to relax because I found all my muscles tensing up as I read. I don’t have children with my abuser and thank God for that every day, it is bad enough without having to deal with that. My heart goes out to any mothers who have to deal with this, you are amazingly strong. It must be torture to have to hand your babies over for visitation.
    You are right, the courts in Canada are a joke, a restraining order only works with law abiding people, to an abuser (narcissist, psychopath) it is considered a challenge.
    I stopped calling the police because it was absolutely useless, if they don’t catch him in the process of killing you or find your dead body nothing is done. They haul him off for a few hours but he is back on the streets and stalking and harassing you before the day is done. I would call to report he was stalking me and he would be on the phone at the same time saying I was stalking him. I ended up going into the cop shop and standing right in the middle of the office and saying, “Just so you know, I am not suicidal” The cop just looked at me like I was crazy and said why are you telling me this/ I said, “If I turn up dead this weekend, it was not my doing and you need to arrest James xxxxxxx.” the cops all looked at each other and smirked and I walked out. It was a big joke to them. My teenage son tried to protect me and they threatened to charge him.
    The PTSD that so many victims suffer is not just from the abuse of the abuser but also from the lack of concern of our judicial system and society in general; which is abuse in itself. Hopefully through blogs like this and many others (mine included) we will bring the much needed awareness crucial to ending domestic abuse.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Carrie for sharing and good for you for doing what you did with the Police. Sometimes we have to be that blunt. I remember one time when I called 911 when my ex was prowling around. They didn’t catch him, but one officer said to me, “Just keep calling when you hear him and hopefully we’ll get here in time.” That really shook me. Some seem to get the seriousness of the issue and others just blow it off, but when women are killed every six days, by a partner, in our Country, they All need to take it seriously. Glad you got out and are here.

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