Saturday, 18 April 2009

violence against women II

Natalie Novak, a 20-year-old Ryerson student, was killed early May 15 in her Chinatown apartment.In some hopeful news for a Bracebridge, Muskoka, family, it was reported by Brock News that Opposition Leader, Bob Runciman, is calling for an inquest into Natalia Novak's 2006 death. Editorials (e.g., Let her killer rot!) have been strong in light sentences of these killers who continue to abuse women while out on bail.

The Novak family, it is reported in the press, were horrified with the sentence: the possibility of parole after 10 years, having violated previous bail conditions. In a terribly difficult trial, with reports of the victim being beaten, bruised, cut, stalked, and terrorized, with the perpetrator telling various stories, it is fodder for a Jodi Picoult novel. These perps will continue to commit these offenses until something changes.

One apparent difficulty with domestic assaults is keeping the perpetrator away from the victim, and convincing the victim she is at risk well before it escalates. This article states that it was an "on again-off again" relationship. Despite restraining orders women are assaulted and murdered by those who would seek to harm them. Perpetrators of domestic assault, primarily scorned former partners, repeatedly violate court orders to keep away from those they seek to harm. For a young lady, 20 years old, moving from cottage country to the inner city, life must have changed starkly. She was attending Ryerson, my alma mater, in the heart of the city. I grew up in downtown Toronto, and I can attest to the difficulties in changing cultures so profoundly having done the reverse: moved from a city to cottage country.

In a May 15, 2006, article, from The Star, more of Novak's story is explained. How difficult it is for parents to try to protect their daughter living in Toronto. How difficult it is for women who had a relationship with someone to understand the seriousness of this issue before it gets out of control. I know that when my daughter attended Waterloo University, concerns about date rape and assaults translated into wonderful policies and practices whereby women having to walk home late at night had the choice of an official escort. It was comforting.

The May/Iles Inquest 1998, paved the way for official police protocols, but more needs to be done. (This is a must read for family and friends of victims.) Young women who are the victims of stalking or with court orders against men, have the option of having the police, or sexual assault experts, help them create safety plans that can protect them.

It seems to me that with the high rate of women going back to the men who have assaulted them, we must convince them that they are at a huge risk. We have to stop the grooming that occurs. Grooming is done by clever perps who prey on vulnerable victims: women or children directly or on-line. It is more common than we think. Lisa Marie Presley was groomed by Michael Jackson - as reported in an Oprah show, as well as by AP.

It was this 32-year old man who can convince a young woman that she is special and precious, until she begins to depend upon him. Those who groom younger women, children and boys, convince the victim that they are the only ones that understand them and that the victim cannot live without them. Once his real character comes through, it is too late. One valuable Oprah show talks about a 13-year old who is groomed in this way, sucked into being kidnapped by an older man who seduces her. It is up to family and friends to take these threats seriously, protect them, and be their small voice to help them understand the seriousness of this potentially violent relationships. These real-life horror stories but there are places to go for help.

Domestic Violence and Abuse: Help, Treatment, Intervention

Phenomenal Women Of The Web Against Domestic Violence Webring – An online support group for women who are victims of domestic abuse. ...

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Home of the Duluth Model

Probation Practices that Enhance Victim Safety in Domestic Assault Cases can partner with domestic violence agencies and support services for women

Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA)

Escalation: assaults more violent; recent assault increases perceived risk? Sexual/Domestic Assault Centre Study.

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