The Biggest Cowards are the Abusers

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cowardTHUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – To me the biggest cowards alive are men who abuse women or children. Sadly in our society there are some individuals who seem to believe that they have the right to either physically or mentally abuse others. While there are laws in place, many of those ‘Cowardly Lions’ seem to feel that it is their inherent right to be abusive. Part of that is that these cowards seem to choose victims who they can intimidate, and work on destroying their self esteem to the detrement of the victim.

Now to be blunt, the abuse issue is one that no woman, child, or man should have to tolerate.

The simple true is that it is a crime. The RCMP state, “Spousal and partner abuse is a crime. The victim may think that she or he somehow provoked the abuse but the abuser is responsible for his or her own behaviour. To harm or threaten to harm another person is against the law under the Criminal Code of Canada.

“An effective legal response to spousal violence requires coordination by all parts of the criminal justice system. The Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act provide protection for victims as well as sanctions for offenders. Prosecution policies and guidelines ensure that charges proceed in court. However, the police are usually the first step in the legal process and the major point of contact in spousal assault cases. In incidents of partner abuse, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police follows a pro-arrest policy. Police called to an incident are responsible for restoring order, protecting victims, investigating and gathering evidence — which may involve arresting or taking into custody persons involved. If the investigation finds reasonable and probable grounds that a crime has been committed, appropriate criminal charges can also be laid”.

Often the woman who is the subject of the abuse will feel that somehow it is “her fault”. Likely a result of the constant verbal and physical abuse suffered at the hands of the cowardly man in her life.

In researching this story, one woman “Betty” (name changed to protect her identity) shared, “My ex is American and had to leave the country after I left him. There is a Canada wide warrant for his arrest which helps to keep him away from me and our daughter as long as we remain in Canada and never travel abroad. But most other women have to live with their ex spouses still living nearby and deal with the ex using their right to access to the children to continue harassing and abusing the woman”.

“First of all the abuser seems to target the vulnerable… those with self esteem issues already, then they further work on that to belittle all the more, and brainwash the abused into thinking they can’t leave or the repercussions would be worse than staying.

“Also there can be the delusional thinking that “somehow I can make this better”… “if I did this he would be nicer”… “If I didn’t do that he wouldn’t get mad”… often the abused blame themselves for the abuse… it is a level of confusion that is not possible to fully understand unless you have been through it.

“In the beginning I too knowing full well that what my husband was doing was wrong and I too thought I could make the marriage better somehow. When my husband returned home from a trip back to the US, he brought his guns with him… then I feared for my life and for my child’s safety as his behaviour became all the more volatile and erratic. I had wanted to leave many months before I actually did leave, but was afraid that if I did that he would shoot me in the back as I tried”.

Another woman shared how she spent ten years in an abusive relationship, and stuck through it through thick and thin. It took her being thrown through a plate glass window before she finally made the decision to leave.

It not only takes courage for an abused partner to leave. It takes support.

James Murray
News Director

Here are some resources in Thunder Bay and beyond:

www.committeetoendwomanabuse.ca

www.shelternet.ca

www.safe4all.org

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