What Year is This Again?

NYC: Liberty Island - Statue of Liberty

NYC: Liberty Island – Statue of Liberty (Photo credit: wallyg)

I can’t even gather my words into a coherent rant, it’s more of a splutter.  A few days ago I read about this case in Indiana. In all honesty, at first I couldn’t read the article all the way through.  It’s like opening your front door and seeing something so terrifying, so shocking, your reaction is to slam the door shut, flip all the locks and put the chain on.  But you know it’s there, and know it’s only going to gain traction and strength if you don’t open the door again to confront it.

The bottom line, a man in Indiana was drugging and raping his wife for at least three years. She found video clips of this on his phone and pressed charges.  Good for her!  She did the right thing.  No excuses, no taking the law into her own hands.  Prosecutors did the right thing, asked for forty years in prison.  He was convicted of six felony charges, and sentenced to twenty years.  Here’s the part that makes my heart drop to my bowels:  He won’t be spending any time in prison.  Twelve years were suspended, and he will spend eight years in home confinement.  Why?  Because it was up to the judge.  A judge who told the victim she should forgive her attacker.

On a smaller scale, let me ask why?  Why does she need to forgive him?  What was done to her was immoral, illegal, unconscionable. Still, in my opinion she showed incredible strength of character by leaving him (so many women feel trapped, afraid and embarrassed in abusive situations they don’t have that strength), and by pressing charges.  On a larger scale, how can this sentence be allowed to stand under the guise of justice?

More than why, how?  How can this be?  How can any judge think this is ok, and where are our leaders to say, “Hey! This can NOT happen in a country that is supposed to be about equality and justice for all.”  Anyone who reads Mrs Fringe knows I lean left. But this isn’t about left or right.  It’s about assault, it’s about treating women as property.  Men and women in positions of authority should be speaking out about this, in my opinion.  Especially the women.  So where are you, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Oprah Winfrey, Jill Abramson, Janet Napolitano, Indra Nooyi, Ursula Burns, Diane Sawyer, Arianna Huffington, Melinda Gates, Ann Coulter–how about Lady Gaga?  There are many strong, powerful women in positions of authority in this country.  Apparently not enough.

That this woman was drugged and assaulted repeatedly over a period of years is sad and infuriating, but not shocking.  Again, horrifying for her (and her children!), but it shouldn’t represent anything grand. There are fucked up people in this world who do fucked up things, maybe I’m cynical, but I believe this will always be the case.  But this end result, this judge’s ruling does represent something.  It illustrates all too clearly there is someone in this country in a position of power and authority who believes wives are chattel.   That judge is an elected official–that tells me there is more than one someone who believes this.

According to this article in the NY Daily News, the judge told the woman to move on.  Maybe she could, if attitudes were different.

Sarcophagus of Crying Women

Sarcophagus of Crying Women (Photo credit: voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com)

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14 comments

      1. I’d be ok with debenched/ disbarred. Part of me wonders if we’d be better off without marriage at this point, with the relics of origin coming through in these ways–but then I wonder if, had they been a couple but not married, maybe the husband wouldn’t have been convicted at all. Cause nothing says rape culture like slut shaming.

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  1. That judge should be excused/removed/recused/whateverthefuck from future trials of that sort and the actual sentence of imprisonment or whatever should stand. Regardless of a judge’s personal feelings about raping one’s wife, rape is illegal and drugging people is illegal and both should be punished. It is difficult to imagine how such a thing could seem reasonable to an educated adult.

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    1. I agree completely. It’s the contrast of kids being sent to prison for having a dime bag vs someone with this type of crime being sent to his couch and TV that is making me crazy. I guess a crime that takes a dollar away from the liquor industry is much more serious than a repeated crime(s) against a woman.

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  2. I read that. It boggles the mind. I can’t imagine the betrayal that woman has endured on multiple levels. I know she’s getting a ton of support but that doesn’t put that ex-asshole behind bars for a long, long time, nor does it yank that so-called ‘judge’ off the bench so fast his idiot head spins.

    It’s frustrating to read things like this, so far beyond reason and yet, it happens more than we want to admit. We have a long way to go. We have a duty, each of us, to decry injustice and demand accountability; loudly, and relentlessly. Silence isn’t an option. Thanks for the reminder, Mrs Fringe.

    -kk

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    1. “I know she’s getting a ton of support but”

      Exactly. She is getting support, and seems like an awesome person, but she shouldn’t be needing support for anything more than she already endured through her so-called marriage.

      And yes, these attacks against women–overt as well as subversive–need to be called out and put in the spotlight.

      My stomach keeps turning as I think of this. 😦

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  3. I cannot trust myself not to launch into an emotional rant while weeping over this. Decades ago I was an abused wife in my first marriage. Nothing has changed! Down with the patriarchy! Down with every sycophantic parasite who upholds a religion, culture and legal system that ensures this abuse of women continues.

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    1. ((((((Hugs)))))) timethief

      I’m sorry that this issue is so personal and prevalent for you. It’s heartbreaking and disheartening that so many women find themselves in abusive relationships, even more so to find ourselves trapped in a system that condones these relationships.
      Ugly as it is to look at these situations, I honestly believe the only answer is for those who can to shine the light under these rocks. Some can’t, because it’s too much of a trigger. I can, and believe there’s a moral obligation to do so.

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  4. Impossible for me to click on the Like button. Yet I applaud you for posting on this appaling case. I feel shameful for not doing more about wome. Is telling our sons to see women as their equals enough? Is showing them what is right and what is wrong enough? When I see my teenage son, I am so hopeful for a so much better world. He and his male friends are so much different than the boys I knew when I was a teen. Yet there are still too many men who act as if we were nobodies. And you are absolutely right about the women of power who are as silent on this issue as they are about the situation of girls and women in Nigeria and in so many other places in the world.
    Thank you for this post.

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    1. You bring a very important point, Evelyn. This isn’t a “woman’s” issue, it’s a human issue. As parents, as members of society, we need to all acknowledge what is and isn’t happening. “Is telling our sons to see women as their equals enough?” No, but it’s a start. A start that has to go hand in hand with our sons seeing women being treated and valued as equals.

      I hope we all speak up and do what we can, and yes! That begins in our homes.
      🙂

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