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Another day, another stupid judgement - when will it end?

(41 Posts)
sarahconnorsbiceps Wed 10-May-17 09:45:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

venusinscorpio Wed 10-May-17 10:39:52

WTF? Why are judges so reluctant to punish violent bullying abusive men? Why all this "well we can't have him out of a job" bollocks?

BigDeskBob Wed 10-May-17 10:55:56

"What can I do, in practical terms, to campaign for change for abused women?"

This is the question I often ask myself. What these men are doing is illegal, they are found guilty, yet the punishment seems to be optional. If they were given therapy, without a prison sentence, at least something might change. It adds to the feeling that there doesn't seem to be any real consequence for male violence against women.

HmmOkay Wed 10-May-17 11:02:36

In the first case, the man's solicitor said "This lady had her night ruined, but I don’t think there has been any lasting damage if I can put it that way".

Meanwhile much whinging in the papers about the effect it might have on the perpetrator's career. Naff all about the effect it might have on the victim, apart from the her night might have been ruined stuff.

And of course the only reason that he pled guilty in the first place is that the assaults were captured on CCTV. Otherwise he'd flatly deny it if the police even got as far as interviewing him. And then in the unlikely event of him being charged, he'd be squealing about how he's been wrongly accused by a psycho woman.

Alcohol is invariably used by the defendant as a mitigating factor in these situations. Their behaviour is always blamed on alcohol and therefore they are less guilty of the crime. The victim (although not charged with any crime) must accept a share of the blame.

It is infuriating bullshit.

BigDeskBob Wed 10-May-17 11:26:29

Yes, there is always a reason for the violence. Alcohol, depression, stressful job... The men are victims too, in many cases more so. hmm

Collidascope Wed 10-May-17 11:27:13

Vestal, I think you’ve got a really interesting point there.
Look at the Brock Turner case. “We don’t want his wonderful swimming career ruined.”
The cricket player who forced his wife to drink bleach. “Oh, but he’s got a contract with a cricket club so we won’t jail him.”
And now this guy who the judge won’t jail because “he’d lose his job.”

It seems like the judges, predominantly white, privileged males, really believe that these other men are absolutely entitled to jobs too, no matter what they’ve done. We can’t have these men not realising their full potential just because of a bit of violence to women. And after all, part of what makes someone a man is their ability to bring in money (thus holding the upper hand economically); we can’t take THAT away from them.

I watched something recently about mass murderers in the US generally being white, middle class men, and a feminist was arguing that the combination of men being taught that aggression gets results and these particular men being taught that they are entitled to good jobs, women, money, etc., means that when they don’t get what they think is their due, all hell breaks loose.
The comments that the judge made in that second article reminded me of it -it was almost a desire to appease the abuser because if he goes to prison and loses his job as well, he’ll probably get even worse, so we just won’t do anything and we’ll hope he doesn’t get any worse.

Collidascope Wed 10-May-17 11:30:39

Sorry, not vestal. Venus.

Xenophile Wed 10-May-17 11:34:35

For the case to have been brought to court, there is no way he simply "placed his hand between her legs" as was reported, the hideous sex pest.

How can you practically use your time to facilitate change for abused women? Give time or funds to WomensAid, Refuge or similar might be a good place to start.

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 11:51:04

In the first case, the man's solicitor said "This lady had her night ruined, but I don’t think there has been any lasting damage if I can put it that way".

As you said, abhorrent. Firstly, I highly doubt that's the first time the woman has had unwanted attention/harassment from men, possibly even assault, it's the latest in a long line of incidents which will continue. Secondly, how hideous a solicitor can state such a thing and claim it's the attacker who warrants sympathy - and the media concur. The writer of the article also puts this very well, the woman only counts (a little) for that one night, the man is the fully developed human with a life, prospects, hopes, he is the priority. Anything she experienced is minor, even though it was his choice to act in this way.

The second judgement says a lot about how little women are valued. A man launches a horrific assault on a woman and the concern is for him, ensuring he doesn't lose his job; worse still is that his violent misogyny has actually counted in his favour - the apparent greater risk of him harming women if he was sent to prison has kept him out and enabled him to keep his job. Almost rewarded for being a dangerous, violent misogynist.

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 11:52:36

For the case to have been brought to court, there is no way he simply "placed his hand between her legs" as was reported, the hideous sex pest.

Absolutely. Abhorrent though that behaviour is, it would be so unlikely as to being near impossible it would get to court if it was "only" that (even though I believe it should).

Agree with donating or volunteering for Women's Aid, Refuge, Rape Crisis too is incredibly starved of funds. I try to when I can though hope to be able to donate far more in the future.

sarahconnorsbiceps Wed 10-May-17 11:53:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 11:54:10

There was also the case recently of the supposed cricket player who was spared a custodial sentence when the judge was under the false impression he had a contract offer at a cricket club which would be withdrawn if he went to prison. He was only sent to prison when it transpired he'd invented this - so the horrendous assault on the woman wasn't worthy of prison until it was shown it wouldn't actually impact on a job offer.

sarahconnorsbiceps Wed 10-May-17 11:59:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 12:01:43

Indeed sarah. I hadn't seen that about the cricket club, though, that's nice to hear (and I believe their president/chair was horrified at the idea of being associated with such a man).

FirstShinyRobe Wed 10-May-17 12:19:48

There's a really easy way not to put your job at risk. We need to more Judge Judy types in our courts - I can imagine her facial expression if you someone tried the "but my job!" mitigation.

cadnowyllt Wed 10-May-17 12:26:18

sarahconnorsbiceps - Any ideas?

In general, you might consider writing to the sentencing council.

In particular though, Judges don't pluck a sentence out of thin air. They have guidelines that they are expected to follow. If the Judge considers that the 'custody threshold' has been passed then normally the person will receive an immediate custodial sentence - however, its the job of defence counsel to put forward mitigating circumstances and proposes other kinds of sentences that might be appropriate.

If the CPS or members of the public feel that any particular sentence is too lenient, then they can write to the Attorney General asking for the sentence to be reviewed.

MuffinMaiden Wed 10-May-17 12:30:55

Just to add another miserable story to the heap, I saw this one today. www.shropshirestar.com/news/2017/05/10/whitchurch-farmer-punched-partner-while-she-was-in-a-hospital-giving-birth/

Although I'm glad in a way that they're doing something to try to fix the issues causing the violence, it doesn't really make up for the fact that these men essentially escape the consequences of their actions.

cadnowyllt Wed 10-May-17 12:44:24

In fact the sentencing council are currently seeking responses in relation to proposed new sentence guidelines for domestic abuse, here

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 10-May-17 12:51:53

No one thinks judges pick a sentence out of thin air, the fact that there are sentencing guidelines is well known. I have an issue with what is accepted as valid mitigation, and with the attitudes expressed in the judges comments in all these cases, where the perpetrator is talked about as if they are the victim. And perhaps sentencing guidelines could also be changed.

The man who punched his partner repeatedly when she was on the delivery suite giving birth... and then again at home the day after... I mean, who gives a shit about a woman actually in the process of giving birth. I despair. That should have been treated as a massive aggravating factor, that she was incredibly vulnerable and in a place where she should have been safe. But no, he should be looked after because he loses his temper when stressed, poor man. I mean that's totally understandable, right? After all, watching someone else give birth is way more stressful than actually giving birth yourself.

cadnowyllt Wed 10-May-17 13:09:22

If you don't think that the perp's mental health should be considered an area of 'valid mitigation', write to the sentencing council about it. I'm sure they'll be most interested to hear from you.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 10-May-17 13:12:56

Thank you for posting that link to the review of sentencing guidelines, it wasn't something I was previously aware of. Fortunately there still seems to be plenty of time left to reply.

sarahconnorsbiceps Wed 10-May-17 13:22:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BBCNewsRave Wed 10-May-17 16:17:34

If you don't think that the perp's mental health should be considered an area of 'valid mitigation'...

Actually mental health is only taken into account in specific circumstances. Being liable to lose you temper isn't really one of those; and it certainly wouldn't be if a woman tried to give that as a defence. Also, there is clearly an element of conscious intention if a man only chooses to behave like that to women (or a woman). And mental health regarding how crap they feel for getting caught certainly shouldn't be considered.

venusinscorpio Wed 10-May-17 17:26:58

Another day at the misogyny coalface for you, Cadders?

cadnowyllt Wed 10-May-17 20:11:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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