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.