Justice Options for Women who are Victims of Violence
When are women re-victimized by the system?
- When the family law system takes years to come to a resolution and a woman has to go on social assistance because her partner won't pay support until he's ordered to and until that order is enforced
- When an abuser controls the family's money and can afford to file motion after motion to thwart her efforts to get her share and she can't afford to pay a lawyer to respond and so she gives in
- When she finally gets an order from the court and feels like things might start to get on track for her family and he refuses to follow the order and no-one will enforce it until she pays more money to a lawyer
- When the courts make an order for the abuser to have access with his children and he emotionally abuses them and she doesn't have any support to protect them
- When stay away orders aren't enforced and abusers can continue to enter their spouse's home, intimidate them in their hospital rooms and continue to harass her subtly with no repercussions
- When a woman is not eligible for legal aid and she is forced to return to the abuse until she can afford to leave
- When a woman has an order stating that she has sole possession of the family home but the utility company won't let her change the utilities into her own name without her husband's consent
- When the police don't have the power to do anything to help a woman who fears her husband until he actually hurts her
- When she is treated like an "hysterical woman" and told to "calm down" instead of listened to
- When women don't understand that mediation is voluntary and feel forced to participate and intimidated into giving up their rights
- When women aren't believed or told that they are exaggerating
- When a service provider doesn't understand the cycle of violence and blames her for staying so long or going back
- When many of the services being provided, like mediation and parenting courses, are deemed "not appropriate for situations of abuse" but no substitutes are offered
- When service providers don't understand how abusers can manipulate and they say "well, he seems more reasonable than she does"