INVITATIONS TO RESPONSIBILITY a presentation of the
Download INVITATIONS TO RESPONSIBILITY a presentation of the...
INVITATIONS TO RESPONSIBILITY a presentation of the
MEN’S ACTION NETWORK a member of the
Throughout this presentation we shall be reminded of some of the cases of just 2 provinces: Ontario, Newfoundland & Labrador These cases identify just some of the Victims of the Culture of Violence… September 1997 - Mary O’Reilly, 51, Spruce Brook, Newfoundland. Killed by her husband Gerard O’Reilly who was charged, tried and found not criminally responsible.
WE have a major problem… Pandemic rates for far too long of…
Men’s violence against women, children and other men… leading to the destruction of families, tearing away at the fabric of our communities, and absorbing a tremendous amount of precious resources.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… September 2003 – Anne Lucas, 56. Stephenville, Newfoundland. Killed by Robert Legge in her own home. He was charged with 2nd degree murder. August 2005 – Sarah Obed, 30. Died of stab wounds; boyfriend involved, no charges laid.
The CHALLENGE is… How can we get a critical mass of men to… • To speak out about men’s violence against women? • To make sexist attitudes or behaviors toward women socially unacceptable among men? • To work with women on these issues as partners and allies?
Victims of the Culture of Violence… • July 1997 – Judy Ogden, 25. Port au Port, Newfoundland. Killed by her ex-partner Dale Ogden, charged with first degree murder. • February 1998 – Pauline Lane, 35. Tilton, Newfoundland. Killed by her half brother, David Ryan charged with 2nd degree murder and attempted murder of Pauline’s husband.
FIRST STEPS Awareness of the extent of the problem and outrage about it must be appreciated. Examine the culture that produces such male attitudes and behaviors. Work towards a redefinition of what “normal” means.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… 2005 – Cathy MacDonald, 35. Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Killed by Glen Brophy who then took his own life. December 2005 – Shirley Parsons, 53. Victoria, Newfoundland. Shot by her husband Ben Parsons; convicted of 2nd degree murder.
Becoming aware; Statistics Canada reports… In the year ending March 31, 2004, 52,127 women and 36,840 children were admitted to shelters for abused women across Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador was the only jurisdiction to show a rise in spousal violence over the five-year period from 1999 to 2004.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… September 2005 – Geraldine Payne, 33. Clarenville, Newfoundland. Strangled by an acquaintance, Jamie Hart; charges laid. November 2005 – Genevieve Hull, 52. Bay D’Espoir, Newfoundland. Shot by Ronald Skinner, who then committed suicide.
Becoming Aware… In relation to family violence, more than 1000 calls are made to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary each year in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Labrador West. The Iris Kirby House in St. John’s has had more than 200 admissions and between 600 and 750 calls to its crisis line in each of the last three years. The shelter reports that in 2008 the average length of stay was 17 days.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… January 2006 – Rosalinda Concepcion, 32,mother of three. Welland, Ontario. Rosalinda was found strangled to death in her home after she failed to pick up her children from school. Police arrived at the home and discovered her common-law partner in the house; Leonard James Kelly was later charged with first-degree murder.
Statistics Canada reports… Over the past 30 years, the percentage of persons charged with first-degree murder in the spousal homicide cases has risen and Men were twice as likely as women to receive this charge. Spousal violence makes up the single largest category of convictions involving violent offenses in non-specialized adult courts in Canada over the five year period 1997 to 2002. Over 90% of the offenders were male.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… January 2006 – Rose Boroja, 54, mother of three. Markham, Ontario. Rose was found strangled to death in her home, with obvious signs of trauma to her body, after a relative made an emergency call to the police. Her husband, Pero Boroja, later surrendered to police and was charged with second-degree murder.
Domestic violence is not gender neutral… More than 60 women are killed annually in Canada by their partners; these are not isolated tragedies. While statistics confirm that Canadian men are more than twice as likely to be murdered then are women, statistics can be misleading as these include all homicides, the majority of which are male on male attacks and have little to do with domestic violence.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… January 2006 – Pamela George, 26. Arnold’s Cove, Newfoundland. Shot by Benjamin Craig Hickey and shortly thereafter committed suicide.
The irrefutable facts are… Women intimates are: • Six times more likely to be sexually assaulted; • Five times more likely to be choked; • Three times more likely to be physically injured; and, • Five times more likely to require medical attention.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… February 2006 – Shao-Sang Liang, 38 and her two children, Vivian and Ian, were stabbed to death. Toronto, Ontario. Neighbors listened to their screams and did not intervene. They expressed disbelief and surprise at the murders. Huc Minh Chau, common-law partner of the woman was arrested at the scene and charged with three counts of first-degree murder
More irrefutable facts… Women also die at a much higher rate. In the years 2004 and 2005 there were 157 women killed in Canada by their intimate partners, including boy friends and ex-boy friend’s, compared to 32 men killed by their intimates or ex-intimates. In Canada, while overall homicide rates have been decreasing, the domestic killings of women have not, despite claims to the contrary. The War on Women, 2007. Brian Valee
Victims of the Culture of Violence… March 2006 – Wendy LaFleche, 41, and her two children Victoria and Jessie, were beaten to death. Aurora, Ontario. Her estranged husband, John LaFleche, Was caught in a police chase near Barrie as he fled and was later charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
Numbers don’t lie… 70 Canadian women were killed by their husbands and exintimates in 2000; for the 5 years thereafter the number exceeded 75 each year. In 1998 almost 22,000 incidents of spousal assault were reported to police in which 89% involved female victims and 11% involved males. There is no evidence that the number of Canadian male abuse victims warrants the type of specialized services that are required for female abuse victims.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… March 2006 – Fallon Mason, 23, mother of two children. Brantford, Ontario. Fallon was found dead in the town house she shared with two preschool children, who were present at the time. Later, police engaged in a lengthy standoff with Greg Christopher Marks who finally emerged from the home with injuries and blood soaked clothing. He was arrested and taken to hospital and later charged with first-degree murder. The children were placed in foster care.
Statistics Canada reports… 36% of female victims of spousal violence and less than 10% of victims of sexual assault reported these crimes to the police in 2004. Reasons for not reporting to police are varied and include: fear of reprisals, shame and embarrassment, and reluctance to become involved with the police and courts.
Victims of the Culture of Violence…
March 2006 – Beverly Clahar, 51. Avondale, Newfoundland. Shot by Warwick Canning who then committed suicide.
The reality… On average, women are hit 35 times before they call the police. More than half of all Canadian women over the age of 16 have encountered physical or sexual violence in their lives.
People ask: “Why doesn’t she leave?” When the question should be: “Why doesn’t he stop?”
Victims of the Culture of Violence… March 2006 – Yvonne Marsh, 37. Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Yvonne was found dead in her home after a man turned himself in to police, saying he had killed someone. Reports said she had died as a result of an axe attack. Yvonne had rejected a man who was insisting that they have a relationship after she separated from her husband. Adam Newman was charged with first-degree murder
Violence and children… Studies indicate that children who witness violence between their parents are at risk of behavior and developmental problems and tend to either become victims or perpetrators of violence later in their lives. Almost 40% of women assaulted by their spouse say their children witnessed the attack and in more than half of those cases the women admitted to fear for their life.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… March 2006 - Jared Andrew Osidacz, 8, Bradford, Ontario. Jared was stabbed to death by his father at home with his girlfriend and her eight-year-old daughter. The girlfriend and her daughter were also stabbed but survived. Approximately an hour later, police shot Andrew Osidacz to death in another residence where he was holding his mother-in-law at the knifepoint.
Our society owns this problem… “We have a serious problem of violence against women – a serious historical problem in this province. We have had a number of women murdered, we have had very serious assaults, we have families that have long-standing histories of violence within their household. This is all of our business when anyone is experiencing violence. It’s our business when children are growing up with violence and learning in their lives that it’s normal behavior.” - Leslie McLeod, President, Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Victims of the Culture of Violence… April 2006 – Francine Mailley, 37 and her three children Jessica, Brandon, and Kevin were all shot to death. Ottawa, Ontario. Francine was estranged from her husband, François, who was found dead on the lawn of the house with a gun beside him. A note was left saying if he couldn’t have her, no one would. François had been taking anger management counseling.
Leaving the abusive relationship is the most dangerous time… “In Canada between 1974 and 1992 the rate at which women were killed by husbands from whom they were separated was six times higher then the rate at which women were killed by husbands with whom they were living. And those numbers do not include women killed by boy friends and their exboyfriends.” - Professor Leslie Tutty, Department of Social Work, University of Calgary
Victims of the Culture of Violence… April 2006 – Dale Cheryl Mapstone, 29. Toronto, Ontario. Mother of two, Dale was stabbed to death in front of her 10-year-old son who tried to save his mother’s life by jumping on the assailant’s back before running to a neighbor for help. Dale’s boyfriend Vaughan Maxwell Wilson, was charged with second degree murder.
Domestic violence = FEAR • Fear of the perpetrator’s violence; • The risk [implicit fear] of being killed when leaving; and, • Fear that protection orders and the criminal justice system will not protect them.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… May 2006 – Natalie Novak, 20. Toronto, Ontario. Natalie was stabbed to death in a house where she was living while she attended Ryerson University. Her exboyfriend Arssie Hindessa, was charged with second degree murder. Police reported that he had also been convicted of assaulting Natalie in September of 2005.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… September 2006 – Angela Harkley, 33. Shrewsbury, Ontario. Angela’s body was found in a shallow grave in a marshy area close to a home she shared with her boyfriend. After standing off police for several hours, her boyfriend was taken from a car when he was overcome by a fumes from a propane tank he had with him. Bradley Warwick was charged with first-degree murder.
Domestic violence is not accidental… Abusers do not strike their partners because they are out of control. They do it to maintain control; to humiliate them; to isolate them or punish them for asserting their independence. To end the violence against women we have to go beyond the tactics and address the power involved; particularly the economic power.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… May 2006 – Seema Badhan, 19. Toronto, Ontario. Seema was thrown off the 10th floor balcony of the building where she lived with her estranged husband. Neighbors heard screams and arguing but ignored it. Neighbors described the man as peace loving and the couple was “so in love”. Zohaib Shaukat was charged with first-degree murder.
World Economic Forum Report In 2005, the WEF, which is an independent non-profit foundation based in Geneva, assessed the gender gap by measuring the extent to which women in 58 countries have achieved equality with men in 5 critical areas: economic participation, economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and well-being.
2005 WEF Report Conclusion: no country has yet to manage to eliminate the gender gap. Successful countries were the Nordic countries, especially Sweden. Canada ranked 7th and the United States ranked 17th. The lowest rank of 58 included Korea, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt
Victims of the Culture of Violence… June 2006 – Cindy McDonald, 29. London, Ontario. Cindy was found in her backyard with the knife through her chest. Her boyfriend, Melvin Flores, was charged with second degree murder. Flores was out on bail with a no contact condition that had been ordered in April after a charge of uttering a death threat against Cindy.
It is time to recognize the Elephant in the room…
Gross gender inequality is the root cause of the criminal violence against women
Victims of the Culture of Violence… August 2006 – Goldie Loveless, 34. Hermitage, Newfoundland. Shot by her common law spouse, Shawn Skinner who then committed suicide.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… October 2006 – Brenda Demoor, 39. Brockville, Ontario. Brenda was found dead in her apartment. No cause of death was given, but authorities indicated there was trauma to her body. Neighbors said the apartment had been the site of a few disturbances in recent months. Donald Hutchinson who lived with Brenda was charged with second degree murder.
A common cycle of battering… • Tension building - increasing physical and emotional abuse which the woman attempts to control with coping techniques. • Acute battering – a more intense phase which may result in serious injury. • Love and contrition, the honeymoon phase – the abuser realizes he has gone too far and typically exhibits loving, kind behavior, while apologizing and promising it will never happen.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… November 2006 - Thayalini Subramaniam, 31. Markham, Ontario. Mother of three, Thayalini Was found in her garage by her 17-year-old daughter. Cause of death, according to the police, was homicidal hanging with blunt force trauma injuries to the head. Her husband, Sugirthanraj Kailayapillai was charged with second degree murder.
“Battering isn’t the tabootalking about it is. And it can only continue if we keep silent.” - Jane Hurshman
Victims of the Culture of Violence… December 2006 – Stephanie Stephenson, 33. Brockville, Ontario. Mother of two, the maternity nurse who was separated from her husband, Stephanie was shot to death two days before Christmas as she was walking to her car in the driveway of her home. A relative said Stephanie’s ex-husband had bothered her repeatedly and she couldn’t do anything. Andrew Stephenson was charged with firstdegree murder.
We are not just fighting for women’s rights; “
We are fighting for women’s lives.” - Stephen Lewis
Victims of the Culture of Violence… February 2007 – Julie Crocker, 33, Markham, Ontario and Paula Menendez, 34, Toronto Ontario. Crocker had recently separated from her husband, Chris Little. She was found stabbed to death in the bedroom of her home and Menendez, a physiotherapist, was found strangled on the floor of Crocker’s garage. The two women didn’t know each other, but Crocker was dating Menendez’s estranged husband. Little was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… January 2008 – Sonya Rogers, 24. Summerford, Newfoundland. Died following multiple stab wounds inflicted by Cody Burt who shortly thereafter took his own life.
Victims of the Culture of Violence… • March, 2008 – Dianne Whiteway, 46. Killed by gun shot by her step-son, Jonathan Whiteway who has been charged with first degree murder.
Principles…to be discussed • Domestic violence laws must be gender specific, not gender neutral, because by a wide margin women are the ones who end up in the hospital or in the grave. • Domestic violence is such a breach of trust it should be considered as serious a crime as attacking or murdering a police or corrections officer.
More Basic Principles…to be discussed • The penalty for murder of an intimate partner must be severe – 25 years without parole. Otherwise, what deters a batterer who sees news stories about men killing their spouses being charged with manslaughter, or second-degree murder, and sentenced to 5, 10, or 15 years, of which they would likely serve only a third?
More Basic Principles…to be discussed • Whenever possible the abuser should be removed from the home, instead of forcing women and children to hide out in shelters. • An abuser confined to a halfway house would be required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and undergo counseling until the courts were through with him.
More Basic Principles…to be discussed • A battered spouse should be provided counseling and be supplied with a form of electronic “panic button” that directly contacts police if she suddenly comes under threat. These are being used effectively in Alberta, Ontario, England, Israel, and in several US states. • Any batterer breaking the terms of bail or court orders against him, would be arrested on a new and serious breach of trust charge. Break bail, you go to jail; no second chances that have proved deadly for too many women and their children.
Legislation to consider… • Create a category of crime called femicide with penalties the same as those for first-degree murder (25 years without parole). • Whenever there is a history of abuse and a woman is killed by her male intimate the charge should be femicide and the provocation defense (she left me and I lost it) should not be allowed.
More legislation to consider… • Establish halfway houses for batterers so that women and children are not the ones forced to leave the home. • Implement legislation with adequate funding for universal day care and provide women with opportunities to earn income and escape a battering spouse. • Provide sustained funding for shelters and housing, with counseling services, and income support, so that women who flee are not forced to return to a batterer for economic reasons.
Additional legislation to consider… • Restore full funding for Status of Women Canada and other women’s advocacy groups. • In cases of domestic violence, transfer jurisdiction for restraining and protection orders from civil courts to criminal courts, with mandatory incarceration when orders are breached.
Other considerations for legislation… • When restraining or protection orders are in place, make it an offense for a private investigator or other third-party aware of such orders, to find, or seek to find, on behalf of an abuser an estranged intimate partner who is in hiding or in a shelter. • Implement full registration and licensing of all firearms. • Insure adequate long-term funding of the frontline services needed by aboriginal women to escape violence.
Additional legislation needed? • To undertake comprehensive national research on the magnitude of domestic violence. • To ensure the full participation of aboriginal women in the planning and implementation of policies that correctly affect their welfare. • To ensure adequate funding is available for abusers to obtain effective long term narrative therapy.
Education; to be considered… • Include mandatory courses for those studying to be teachers to train them to recognize students who are from abusive homes, and alert appropriate authorities who can provide counseling and intervention in necessary. • Develop courses to teach students from a young age that physical and emotional abuse in the home is unacceptable, illegal, and a gross breach of trust.
Education; to be considered… • Engage older students in meaningful discussions on the dynamics of abuse and engage willing survivors of severe abuse to provide first-hand accounts of their experience (similar to school presentations on the tragic consequences of drunk driving.)
What the Medical Profession might F:\VPI Slide Show Victims of Violence 2008 (all formats).pptdo? Require private practice and hospital doctors and nurses to keep up to date on the available community resources for domestic violence victims so they can pass on this information to patients requiring help.
Justice – Courts – might this happen? • Require prosecutors, judges, and justices of the peace to have an understanding of domestic abuse and, in particular, the elevated danger women and children face when they attempt to leave, or have left, a batterer. • Eliminate time delays between bail hearings and trials in domestic abuse cases, to reduce the risk to battering victims. • Coordinate criminal in family law systems in domestic violence cases to ensure that no contact protection orders, take precedence over family law orders, until safety measures are in place to protect women and children threatened by violence.
Justice – Courts – could this help? • Use electronic monitoring (ankle bracelets) with global positioning technology for those charged with domestic violence offenses who are on parole, out on bail, or in a halfway house. • Because the risk of harm increases dramatically for a woman seeking a peace bond, deal with such applications immediately, or issue an emergency temporary order until a court date is set.
Justice – Courts – could this help? • Require the “best interests of the child” test to include the impact of domestic violence on children when custody and access are being determined. • Order mandatory risk assessments in all bail hearings relating to domestic violence cases. • Require that those charged with domestic violence offenses who breach their bail conditions be immediately incarcerated.
Justice – Courts – would this work? • Upon conviction for a domestic violence offense, the Crown should seek an order requiring the offender to attend a batterer intervention program as a probation requirement. • When an accused batterer is to be released on bail, police, prosecutors, or correctional officials must, without fail, notify victims ahead of time.
Police – could this happen? • For all domestic violence calls, have a “without delay” response. • Identify, monitor, and manage high-risk cases and vigorously enforce bail conditions arising from a violent offense or threat of violence. • Institute a dedicated police unit that has links to community-based experts to deal specifically with high risk domestic violence cases, to insure an appropriate response.
Police – could this happen too? • Train 911 operators and dispatch personnel in the issues surrounding domestic violence, and provide them with prioritized questions to help them assess the immediate risk to callers and to first responders. • Enter restraining orders into the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) system immediately so that if there is a breach there can be a quick police response.
Police – could this happen? • Establish a protocol between police and prosecutors to ensure that persons proposed as sureties be properly investigated and fully informed about their responsibilities and the potential penalties should they breach their duty.
Business, Industry and Unions – might these suggestions work? • Establish a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment and inappropriate abusive, or degrading behavior, and make sure all employees at all levels are aware of it. • Provide training on the issue of domestic violence to executives, managers, and company or union officers.
Business, Industry and Unions – would these help? • Ensure that effective policies are in place authorizing investigations of sexual harassment allegations. • Provide confidential reporting and counseling services to employees or union members who may be victims of domestic abuse or workplace harassment.
Churches and Clergy – would this be possible? • Meet with police, battered women’s advocates and/or social workers to understand the dynamics and consequences of domestic violence. • Assist victims of domestic violence and do not hesitate to call in police or government social services if there is ongoing abuse within a family.
Churches and Clergy – would this be possible? • Speak out publicly and often against domestic violence, and do not put “survival of the family” or “staying together for the sake of the children” ahead of a spouse’s safety. • Where appropriate, inform new immigrants of your congregations that some of the practices involving treatment of women and girls in their original countries may be inappropriate and/or illegal in Canada.
Civic Organizations and Service Clubs – would these suggestions be acceptable? • Have executives and event planners meet with knowledgeable police officers, prosecutors, social workers, or survivors who work with domestic violence victims to gain a thorough understanding of the issue. • Invite police, prosecutors, front-line social workers and/or survivors of domestic abuse to speak at meetings or conventions. • Plan major fund-raising efforts to raise community awareness of the problem and to provide financial aid to emergency shelters for housing for battered women and their children.
Civic Organizations and Service Clubs – would these be possible? • Engage as volunteers in shelter or house building projects sponsored by their organizations. • Have a core of knowledgeable male spokespersons ready to respond to false or misleading claims in the media from fringe groups who would diminish or discredit those legitimately seeking to redress issues of gender equality and violence against women. • Engage in visible and persistent lobbying efforts with governments at all levels for legislation promoting gender equality and an end to criminal violence in the home.
What can men do? We can do our homework. Listen to women; learn from their experience. Read women’s literature. Read articles and books about masculinity and the root causes of violence. Educate ourselves to see the connection between how men are conditioned in this culture and how that conditioning results in abusive behaviour toward women.
What men can do… • Reflect. How can we change our abusive and controlling behaviour? • For starters…confront sexist, racist, homophobic, and any other bigoted remarks or jokes. • And consider using inclusive, neutral language.
What can men do? Don’t fund sexism. Don’t purchase magazines, rent videos, or buy tapes and CDs that portray women in sexually degrading or violent ways. Write to publishers and editors when we find sexism in newspapers and magazines. Protest the gratuitous use of violence against women in television and film by writing TV and movie executives. .
Men can challenge our politicians… Challenge candidates for political office at every level… From student government to the Prime Minister of Canada; Ask them to be committed to the full social, economic, and political equality of all people; OPPOSE those who are not so committed.
Men can also… •
Support and advocate for increased government funding for battered women’s shelters, rape crisis centres. Safety first.
Support and volunteer to assist programs that counsel men who abuse women. Emphasize the need for males to take responsibility for their actions.
Propose and/or support curriculum changes, at every level of the educational system, that mandate courses and programs to eliminate sexism and sexual violence. Pressure school administrators to require these activities.
And fundamentally, men can… Invite other men to see the advantages for all of us if we support universal equality and elimination of family violence.
Finally…organize a group of men – in school, at work, or among a circle of friends – to met regularly and reflect on changing our behaviour and being positive agents of change. Join the MEN’S ACTION NETWORK