STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ALL CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN
This is a repost of something I wrote on my Facebook wall the other night. I wanted to make sure it was here on the blog so those who were unable to see it on Facebook could read it here.
I very seldom make posts like this for fear of backlash or drama. However, as I lay awake in bed tonight after having slept a mere two hours and waking to a horrible nightmare, I can’t get these words and thoughts out of my head. Don’t like what I have to say? Move along to another post, unfollow me, unfriend me, or block me, but I WILL NOT accept any hatred on this post … period.
Let me start with this:
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report regarding crimes against women. Their “Female Victims of Violence” report indicated “The rate of intimate partner violence against females declined 53% between 1993 and 2008, from 9.4 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older to 4.3 per 1,000.” Keep in mind this is “nonfatal intimate partner violence.” (Citation at the end of this post.)
This is MY take on the situation. Notice how I say MY? This is my opinion based on incidents I have been told about, personally experienced, and/or witnessed. That number is down because fewer women report the crime. Why do fewer women report the crime? Because the justice system and society are not fair to those women.
Let me elaborate.
Woman is publicly raped in a parking lot at a club while people gawk, point, and laugh at her, thinking she’s drunk and probably having a good ol’ time with her “boyfriend.” Woman gets a call from a “friend” the next day (just as she’s made the decision to file a report with the police) and this “friend” tells her that her behavior is unacceptable and people will take note of it and “talk.” Woman decides she will not be taken seriously and refrains from reporting the rape, afraid it will only make things worse.
Woman is gang-raped on a school campus and the men responsible aren’t formally charged because no one will come forward as witnesses due to the social standing of the offenders in question. Woman can’t go anywhere without people ridiculing her or calling her a liar or a whore.
Woman receives over 300 text messages and phone calls from a man in a matter of a few hours. She files harassment charges. Man hires attorney. Woman provides all evidence requested by the court and man’s charges are reduced to “disturbance of the peace” and he’s let off with unsupervised probation.
Woman files restraining order based on stalking and harassment. Man violates restraining order and woman files report with evidence. Woman is talking with the police when the man begins sending even more threats. Woman tries to tell police it is happening again and they respond with, “Just because you are in a text war with someone does not mean it is a police matter. Grow up.” Woman attempts to show police the restraining order and they dismiss her, telling her to leave or she is going to jail for basically wasting their time.
Woman gets a call from the prosecuting attorney regarding the charges she filed pertaining to Incident #4. Prosecutor asks for evidence and states they are going to fight for the woman. States they will ask for anger management and other programs in lieu of jail time. Woman agrees to terms. Case lasts over a year because the man never goes to court. He’s arrested a few times for failure to appear but always gets out on bond. Judge issues final warrant and man pays bond and gets yet another court date. Man goes to court, changes plea, and gets a plea bargain. Plea bargain is fines that are credited out of bond previously paid. Anything left over from that goes back to the man.
Woman’s car is vandalized with slashed tires and shattered window. Woman calls police but they never investigate it, citing “unusually high vandalism lately.” Keep in mind this is AFTER woman explains history with the ex-partner.
Woman is raped at a party and later told in court had she kept her legs together, it would not have happened. Media then exploits her story for the world to see. While many still support her, woman is still mocked and judged.
Woman is physically assaulted in her own home and the man damages her property. The neighbors call the police and the man is taken away, only to be released the next morning with domestic assault charges. Man hires an attorney. Woman approaches the court and provides evidence and a written statement to the prosecutor. The prosecutor ignores said statement and ends up reducing the charges to “disturbance of the peace” because the perpetrator’s attorney is an old law school buddy.
Man threatens woman’s life and the lives of her loved ones. Woman reports it to the police. Police tell her if she does not have hard evidence, there is nothing they can do. Text messages and emails don’t count. They tell her he has to physically do harm to her or her family in order for them to take steps in filing charges.
Do you see where I am going with this? Society and our justice system FAIL women when it comes to violence against them. They have a “boys will be boys” attitude or blame it on the woman because of how much alcohol she consumed, how she dressed, or in some cases, how much she actually trusted her partner. Or maybe they make her feel like she’s crazy or insignificant. Because this is the case, fewer women will ever even report a crime against them for the sake of not having to go through all of this. Being violated—whether it be physically, verbally, or emotionally—takes enough of a toll on the mind and spirit, but add in the mental anguish of not being taken seriously and feeling safe and supported by our laws and you have a recipe for even more disastrous effects on the human psyche.
Now, I can be any of these women or I can be none of them. That is not the point. The point is, ANY of the women in these scenarios don’t deserve the treatment they received. Why not hold the perpetrator responsible for their actions? Why do we continue to let things like this slip through the cracks? No, I do not believe the numbers are going down. Are the statistics correct? Yes, they are, but they are only REPORTED offenses. I do not believe they are a true reflection of what is really going on.
I stated before and I will say it again: These are MY thoughts and opinions. Any disparaging comments or remarks will result in immediate removal from my thread and my profile. Intelligent conversation is always welcome, but no hate will be tolerated.
#TakeAStand #NoMoreViolence #TreatPeopleLikeHumanBeings #FaultyJusticeSystem #FairTreatmentForEveryone #NoMoreFear #YouCantHaveAllTheFactsIfYouDontReportThem #NoOneDeservesToBeIgnored #AmericanWOMENHorrorStory #EndRapeCulture