Monday, October 6, 2008

Violence against women in the news

Yamhill woman testifies that her abusive exboyfriend was "a good person"

Vermont man coerced girl to help him kidnap his 12 year old neice who he then assaulted and killed.

"Honor Violence against women surging in UK"


El said...

In that same spirit, O.J. Simpson has been found guilty of the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

It just took 13 years to reach a verdict.

Legally, of course, O.J. was not convicted of those murders. But he has been convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for gathering up five men a year ago and storming into a room at a hotel-casino, where the group seized several game balls, plaques and photos.

In the public's mind, this is justice. Somebody finally got O.J. If the 61-year-old Pro Football Hall of Famer spends the rest of his life in jail — which is very possible — the majority of Americans will likely shed no tears.

I haven't done any polling, but I think it's fair to say that these days, it is commonly believed that O.J. got away with murder.

That was not the case in 1995, when the verdict was announced. People forget this now, but when O.J. got off, the country was divided.

On Oct. 3, 1995, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty. Within a week, one major poll found only 32 percent of whites agreed with the verdict while 85 percent of blacks did.
Police officer Mark Fuhrman, the prosecution's star witness, seemed to be a racist with little credibility. The bloody glove did not fit. The nation was still stunned by the Rodney King verdict three years earlier.

President Bill Clinton said he was surprised by "the apparent differences of perception of the same set of facts based on the race of American citizens." The national conversation mostly centered on the racial divide.

But look at that poll again: a third of white people thought he was innocent.

What would that poll show today? Would even five percent of whites say they agreed with the verdict? His support among blacks has surely dropped, too.

What happened? O.J. happened. He has been bitten by the very source of his support at the beginning, and the reason he could afford those lawyers and sway those jurors: his celebrity.

We kept watching O.J. He revealed himself to be who prosecutors said he was.

A civil jury found him responsible for the murders. Simpson said he would spend the rest of his life searching for the "real killers" and has made no effort to do so.

He told Sports Illustrated he had a favorite O.J. joke: "O.J. and A.C. (Al Cowlings) are in the Bronco. And O.J. is pissed. He goes, 'I said Costa Rica, mother! Not Costa Mesa!'

Recently, Simpson wrote a book called "If I Did It," in which he tells the world how he could have killed his ex-wife and her friend hypothetically, of course. (The book was eventually published by Ronald Goldman's family.)

These are not the actions of an innocent man. If the world thought you had killed two people, including your ex-spouse, and you hadn't done it ... well, come on. In a thousand years, you would never write a book about how you might have done it.

O.J. Simpson is appealing his conviction. He could theoretically find 12 jurors to declare him not guilty. But most of the rest of us found him guilty long ago.

Andy Estrada

sandi said...

Regarding the yamhill woman beaten and strangled by her boyfriend. This article at least did not hide the fact that she was a woman and even holding a child part of the time he was beating her. I thought it was very sad that the judge had to stop the proceeding to tell her it was not her fault. I hope she gets some counseling to help her draw boundaries so that she does not move into another relationship where she will be victimized.

Sophia Mamoyac said...

Yamhill woman testifies that her abusive ex boyfriend was "a good person":

This is a classic case of the female victim blaming herself for what the man did and feeling guilty over it. In the article where it says "Pekarek went on to tell Bray that, as mad as she was over what he'd done to her, she forgave him" it gives the sense that the focus is off the victim and now on the perpetrator, where he's the one you should feel sorry for, for he was just going through a bad period. This is also seen where she says "That's not the real you...the real you is a good person."

This article really illustrates what Jackson Katz is discussing about how excuses are made by loved ones for the perpetrator and how the situation is excused as an attack by the “other” or that what the perpetrator did wasn't really part of him, it was an alien part. This is evident when her mother tells Bray, "You're a good person. Something ugly just came out." Katz explains this on page 28 of The Macho Paradox where he says that "Most men who assault women are not so much disturbed as they are disturbingly normal. They are our sons, brothers, friends, and coworkers. As such they are influenced not only by individual factors, but also by broader cultural attitudes and beliefs about manhood that shape their psyches and identities. And ours." It is clear that Pekarek’s view of what is acceptable was completely distorted.

Bray was viewed and treated as a person who just suddenly had a rough spell and Pekarek made excuses for him because she was in denial and still loved him. The sad reality is that when women do this, the cycle of violence will only continue for them. And in the next relationship she moves into, it could just happen again.

This article is also an excellent example of how the perpetrator is usually a person the victim is close too, and viewed as the "nice guy" or "good person." This once again just goes to show how male perpetrators really are (as Katz says in his book on page 28) "our guys."

Melissa said...

I think this article, regarding the yahmill woman beaten, was written in a more gender-neutral manner, the fact that the perpetrator was male was neither downlplayed nor absent, but pretty straightforward in the summarization of the crime and the sentencing. The fact the perpetrator had never done anything like this before, but “had indications he might become violent” kind of makes me think he was more trying to reaffirm his male status. The victim mentioned he lost his job (has kind of an excuse it seems) as to why he may have acted out, not to mention they had broken up, he had nowhere to live; it seems his “tough guy” appearance may have felt threatened and he needed a way to make it known he was still that tough guy.

Melissa said...

In regards to ‘Honor’ Violence Against Women Surging..., my first reaction to this article was “Go Britain!” As more people become aware nationally and internationally of the growing violence against women, the more the issue is talked about the something can be done about it. May the progress be slow or fast, at this point, progress is what we need. The article does not speak of one specific crime, but rather crimes done against women, especially young girls being forced to marry older men, which I can honestly say is something I knew happened in the world, but I never gave a thought too. So, this piece was definitely an eye opener for me.

Jess Lynch said...

Reading the article about the man who abducted, raped, then killed his niece is one of the more disturbing things that I have heard in a very long time. Being a public health major, the first thing that came to mind was not just being a sexual abuser, but being metally ill. The article made no mention of it though. Becides what our culture has tought this man about what is alright or normal to do, mental illness would be a very likely way to explain his actions. But does it mean that our culture lead him to be mentally ill?

Didi3885 said...

Its soo sad and heart wrenching to read an article that has a child involved in domestic abuse. I am very interested in the services and counseling she received after the incident occurs. I have a sincere interest in the support services offered to support a woman of domestic abuse and the effectiveness of the programs.