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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Awareness is usless without action

Yesterday I heard a report about a native women, aged 38, who had been killed by her partner. An event that happened after a restraining order had been placed on said partner.

It was not the murder, unfortunately, that shocked me, but the response to it by one woman who was somehow connected to the murdered woman. She said, “Hopefully this will raise awareness about spousal abuse.” 

Awareness is not something we need more of; we need action. We need real protection not pieces of paper. We need the deaths of women at the hands of their partners to be taken far more seriously by society and by the police. 

I would even go so far as saying we need the death penalty for such crimes as nothing else seems to act as a deterrent. But I actually doubt that the death penalty would help either. 

There is a sickness in our society that creates men that think women are their property and that when they are done with such property, or if that property should be done with them; it's their right to terminate the existence of said property. Is this not the mindset of men who stalk, men who harass, men who murder their former girlfriends and wives? 

Society has to stop making women objects. With the spread of internet porn and the hyper-sexualizaton of young girls- I have my doubts that we are creating an environment that will make this objectification of women less prevalent. 

If there is no cure for society at least the police can step up to protect us. In many cases that fails to happen. In many cases women don't feel that their fears and complaints are taken seriously. They come to this conclusion due to the uncountable number of times the police have failed to act to protect them; from the serial killer Robert Pickton, to the man down on the street who thinks it's his right to smack his woman when she gets out of line. 

Several months ago I decided that I needed to inform the police about a potential situation that might develop with my former partner as I had filed for sole custody of our children. 

My children have always lived with me. The oldest child had lived with her father for less than a year of her life and the younger child had never lived with him. When I filed for custody I received no word from him that he knew of the case and was only informed by the court that he had contacted them and stated he wished to dispute my case.

I did some research and found that most men facing a custody case tend to abduct the children before a decision is made. My ex works for an international company, travels on business all over the world and is frequently incommunicado. At the time I knew he was aware of the upcoming custody case but he had not answered e-mail or communicated with the children for several weeks. He could be anywhere- and thinking about doing anything. 

Following the advice on a Government of Canada website regarding parental child abduction:


Your child is most vulnerable to abduction when your relationship with the other parent is broken or troubled. The vulnerability is magnified if the other parent has close family in, or other ties, with another country.

If at any time you believe your child may be in danger of being abducted, you should discuss the matter with your local police, your lawyer, Consular Services and other organizations that may be able to provide you with assistance and advice. Remember that it is easier to prevent an abduction than it is to recover a child after an abduction has taken place. Do not ignore your fears. Act upon them and seek assistance.

There is often a revenge motive involved in child abductions...

I visited my local police station to state my concerns and give them my ex's picture and passport details. The commanding officer told me I could not prevent him (my ex) from visiting the children, which was not my objective, and took the information I had on hand. He did not ask me why I was concerned other than the obvious impending custody case. 

I had reason to be concerned- so much reason that I moved half a world away from this man. The officer didn't seem to want to know about these reasons. 

The next week as I was preparing the paper-that is my job- I was proofing the Police cruiser report which list the activities of the Police service in our town over the period of the past week, no names are given but complaints and calls are listed. Under the date and time that I went to the police with my concern was the following: 

RCMP received a
complaint of a child custody
issue in the Guysborough
area. Investigation
revealed the complaint to
be unfounded / unsubstantiated.

It is true that nothing occurred- my children and I have been safe; but the 'complaint' was not unfounded / unsubstantiated. As for investigation, they never talked to me about this matter again. If they talked to the Family Law Court I don't know and I certainly don't know if they contacted my ex.

Several weeks after this appeared in the paper a young officer, not the one I had talked to about the potential of abduction, came to my house with a survey on policing in the community. I outlined my aggravation with how this matter had been handled and signed my name. I have heard nothing in response.

So as to awareness raising, I'm past that.  I want action and respect,. How can we make the police take us seriously? Why do we have to fight to be taken seriously when the evidence is overwhelming that when not taken seriously our complaints may end in our deaths. 

I'm tired of hearing yet another news report on the murder of a woman by her partner. There are too many of them. When I tried to find the specific case that I had fleetingly heard on the radio I googled: native woman, 38, murdered, March, partner. There were so many results I could not find the one I was looking for; a very sad state of affairs to be sure.  

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