|Posted on April 2, 2010 at 3:39 PM|
We need more women judges to balance the male perspective that pervades our justice system. My provincial paper reports about a young man who beat his ex-girlfriend "so badly he caused her face to almost double in size." Although placed under court order not to contact her as he awaited trial, he phoned several times. This time he got a 6-month conditional sentence and was to serve that time at home. He phoned her three more times, the last time when the police were at her home listening to him say, "I just wanted to say I'm sorry and I'll always love you." He was put in jail for violating the no-contact order but called her 40 more times from jail in six days. This time he was charged with criminal harassment.
The (male) defense lawyer opposed a lengthy jail sentence, saying that to assume his client will continue to harass his ex-girlfriend is "highly speculative, wildly speculative". He said, "Young people are far too intense for their own good," and explained the 40 phone calls as being an obsession based on the belief that she was with another man. (And your point is...?)
While the (male) judge seemed to take the case seriously, saying that the unpredictable man "Has all kinds of problems," he referred to this problem as a serious "infatuation" that is "seriously upsetting to the camplainant and her mother."
The man received another three months in jail for the 40 harassing phone calls, to be followed by the maximum probation of 3 years of no-contact with the victim or her family.
He has proved that being told not to contact her won't work. How many more times do we have to read in the paper about a man murdering his partner or ex- under similar circumstances?
When will we have more lawyers and judges who understand that family violence often continues and escalates; harassment based on jealousy is not excusable; and continued harassing phone calls are not a sign of infatuation but of a destructive obsession that requires mental health intervention.