Monday, September 15, 2014

Pistorius: A licence to kill

From The Guardian:

Hadley Freeman:  "We know what it takes for people to believe that a woman has been abused by a famous, powerful man [by any man]: they need to witness the actual abuse... And this is an issue that, of course, goes far beyond celebrity. In South Africa, a woman is killed by her partner every eight hours. In the UK, two die a week. [In New Zealand, one every two weeks, approximately] Perhaps Masipa was right after all. Perhaps this was a “normal relationship.” But that doesn't make it right."

Roxane Gay: "Pistorius would have us believe that he thought his girlfriend was safely in bed next to him. He would have us believe this mythical black intruder was locked in his bathroom. He would have us believe this mythical black intruder was whom he was killing when he fired through a closed door four times, as if somehow that would be justifiable. Though early this morning I may not understand this world we live in, Oscar Pistorius understands it and what he can get away with, perfectly."

I've written a PhD on the subject of domestic homicide and despair at the ignorance and excuse-making of the judge and justice system in SA regarding the nature of domestic abuse situations, of which this is almost a text book case of the female victim's fears of the killer prior to the killing not being believed -- indeed, described by the judge as part of a "normal" "dynamic" relationship -- and yet practically every lie told by the male killer to get himself off a murder charge and life in prison is believed. It is also a standard justice system response from courts in NZ, as in SA, as anywhere else in the Western world, never mind the gender or race of the judge. And if the male killer is famous as well as being male, he effectively has a licence to kill. This response systematically perpetuates domestic violence against women, the most widespread violence and killer of women around the world.   

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