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View Diary: Remembering Alicia: How Sexism Kills Women (246 comments)

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  •  Remembering Rebecca Griego (11+ / 0-)

    Last Monday Rebecca Griego was shot and killed in Gould Hall of the University of Washington. Despite having a protection order against the assailant, the police department did not keep him away from her.

    It's sickening to hear so many people say "Why didn't she just leave?" Well, that's why. A woman in an abusive relationship has to realize that when you try to leave the relationship, you can end up like Rebecca.

    •  I briefly worked in the next building over (13+ / 0-)

      a couple of years ago and live in the next neighborhood over from where they lived, so this kind of hits home. Something like this happened in one of the dorms on campus close to mine when I was in college nearly 25 years ago. An estranged ex-boyfriend drove up and killed both his ex-girlfriend and her roommate.

      When these tragedies happen, while it's tempting to ask why the woman didn't do more to protect herself, aside from the incredible insensitivety of such a question, too often there really wasn't anything that she could have done to better protect herself, other than perhaps change her identity and move overseas. And no one should have to do that, or anything nearly as drastic. No woman should have to significantly alter or diminish her life in order to simply stay alive. The practical and emotional burden of change and discomfort should be ENTIRELY on the abuser, not the abusee.

      Society and the legal system is supposed to not only punish actual criminals but also protect potential victims from would-be criminals who would prey on it. Why does it continue to let these women down so frequently? Why are these men so quickly released from prison, and when they are released, why are they not required to live hundreds of miles away from their former victims, with constant monitoring and a violation of probation causing an immediate APB being issued? Why are women not provided with an abundance of legal, self-defense, emotional and practical assistance to help them better protect themselves legally, emotionally and practically? And most of all, why isn't society working its ass off to turn around its inherently misogynistic nature on multiple levels, e.g. in school, at work, in the media and culture, etc.?

      I just don't get it. This should be stamped into every child's mind: you DO NOT disrespect or abuse others for ANY reason, be it their gender, race, background, beliefs, etc.--and ESPECIALLY not physically. It's one thing for us on the left to lash out VERBALLY and in activist ways against the crap being pulled by the right. But that is not disrespect let alone abuse or violence, but simply standing up for what's right and decent. And changing society's laws, attitudes, practices and behavior towards women should be one of them.

      Until that happens, sadly, we will likely hear about more such tragedies.

      "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

      by kovie on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 01:04:27 AM PDT

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      •  what an excellent comment, kovie (9+ / 0-)

        it amazes me when people ask why the woman didn't protect herself more? what exactly is an average person supposed to do? how many secret service agents surround the presidents, yet some of them still get shot? how many people protected the late pope? he got shot, too. how many movie stars or musicians who have millions of dollars at their disposal have stalkers who eventually break into their houses? if these fabulously wealthy people can't fully protect themselves, what is an average person supposed to do?
        i remember a story about golda meir. forgive me if i don't get it exactly right, but the gist of it will be correct. there was a meeting of the cabinet, and they were discussing the increase in the number of rapes. the male cabinet members thought it was an excellent idea to have an 8 p.m. curfew for all women. golda countered by saying that it was the men who were committing the assaults, why not have the curfew for men, not women? the idea of a curfew was shelved.

        I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

        by nonnie9999 on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 02:17:46 AM PDT

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        •  From what I read about the incident (6+ / 0-)

          there were apparently some things that she could have done to protect herself that she chose not to (e.g. file more serious complaints, get a restraining order on him). And who knows, maybe they would have saved her life, or maybe they just would have kept her alive for a while longer until this monster found some other way to get to her.

          But that's not the point. What she or any woman does to protect herself from such men is their business and their business alone. But it is society's business to protect women so that they don't have to do it themselves. Or help them protect themselves when society can't. Not because they're supposedly "weaker" than men, but because men are statistically more violent than women. VASTLY more violent, and all too often murderously so. Of course, men can be and often are violent towards other men too. Which is why society (and not just the "system") needs to do more to prevent this--and to protect innocent people from such men (but especially women since they are clearly especially vulnerable to violent men for reasons covered in this diary).

          Stuff like this just sickens and saddens me, on so many levels, both because they are so despicable, and because they are probably far more preventable.

          So much for "compassionate" conservatism.

          "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

          by kovie on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 02:31:05 AM PDT

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          •  kovie, (7+ / 0-)

            in this case, alicia would have done more to protect herself, but she was under the impression that he was still in jail. she was never notified that he had been released on his own recognizance. she knew how violent he was. she told the police countless times that she was afraid for her life and the lives of her children. her mother wrote to the judge about the horrific beatings of the past that he had done time for. the prosecutor decided not to give the letter to the judge.
            alicia was not careless with her life or the lives of her precious children. the system failed her.
            you are so correct that it is society's business to protect women. i would expand that to protect every citizen, whether male, female, old, young, gay, straight. maybe it is time to let the pot dealers out of prison to make room for the animals who cannot get their violent instincts under control.
            i could go on and on, but i have not yet been to sleep, and i am utterly wrung out emotionally and exhausted physically. therefore, i will simply thank you for your excellent comments. just as any other disease, the focus on domestic abuse of all kinds should be prevention.

            I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

            by nonnie9999 on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 02:50:29 AM PDT

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        •  I second that (2+ / 0-)

          Kovie had an excellent comment. Rebecca Greigo got a protection order and was still shot.

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