Because in the case of domestic violence, The System doesn’t give a damn about you. Kill or be killed shouldn’t be only option for battered women: Andrea Simakis.
He broke into the house where she was staying. He was armed with a .380 ACP pistol. He was charged with various things. The judge gave him a $1000 fine, but suspended it and gave him probation. As if that was going to stop him from doing anything.
“Tell me who walks into a bank and holds a gun on people and walks out with probation?” asks Nancy Grigsby, director of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s Legal Assistance Program. “Nobody does! What we’re saying is, when you do this to women and when you do this your family, it’s a different crime for some reason.
“Courts set community norms,” she continues. “And they tell everybody – the kids in that house, the survivor and the perpetrator – what is normal and acceptable in Cleveland.”
Light sentences tell abusers that nothing they’ve done is so terrible to merit imprisonment – or even a fine.
Now complaining about the state of reality is fine. (I do it all the time.) But wishing won’t make things change, and actually changing The System will take time, if it ever happens. (I have been writing about stories like this one since I started blogging in 2004.) Sure, work for change, but in the meantime recognize the state of reality and make your plans accordingly.
In the case of this story, unlike so many others, the bad guy is dead, and his intended victim alive. Not a happy ending, but not the tragedy I read about all too often. More often than I put in this blog, because even when women protect themselves, they often end up charged. Because the other thing The System doesn’t care about is Justice.
Of 91 domestic violence fatalities in Ohio from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 42 were women killed by abusive men. Three more female victims were also tracked – two girls, aged 4 and 1 — and the adult step-daughter of a batterer who got in the way.
Three cops lost their lives in the same year, trying to help.
Twenty-two batterers killed themselves. A handful of others were killed by those coming to a woman’s aid
Five of the dead men were killed by women the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s Family Systems Advocacy Director Jo Simonsen believes were likely acting in self-defense. One woman was not charged. The rest are awaiting trial or have been sentenced to long prison terms, including a teen in Lima who claimed she’d killed her sex trafficker. She’s doing 10 years. A Cleveland woman got 18 years to life.
Still, would you rather be dead?