Letters to the editor

2nd April 2009

The Sault Star


Support men who are battered



I read with interest recently two stories about the sentencing of females, one in The Sault Star, the other in a sister paper, the Edmonton Sun.


Kudos to the police in the Sault for charging Janet Laforge with mischief for making false allegations and getting a conviction registered. This seldom occurs when a female makes false allegations against a partner in Canada.


It is very common and in family court under family law it is unhealthily widespread and works against the father in custody disputes.


The woman in this case was troubled with mental health issues, which more often than not go unnoticed or are ignored as the judge will say "no proof."


Not until serious damage is done and becomes a criminal matter will they act, in most cases, in family law.


The woman in this case got a discounted sentence given her overall behaviour, so those of us who have been falsely accused but are victims of domestic violence and abuse hope the rehabilitation approach works for her.


The other story involves a domestic violence case in Edmonton.


Julie Starr got 6 1/2 months already served in pre-trial custody (no doubt in a two-for-one format) for killing her partner, whom she punched several times, knocked down and broke his nose after he accused her of cheating on him.


While he was on the ground, she punch him. He was hospitalized and died five days later.


Conveniently no cause of death was reported.


This won't show up as a domestic violence incident, therefore StatsCan will not include it as such, which happens all too often with female-on-male violence.


Intimate partner violence is pretty much equal between genders, but those reported to the police show female victims as far greater due to men only reporting about 10 per cent of the time.


Domestic violence is a serious issue, but it is almost equal between the sexes and both genders require support.


I may launch a human rights complaint with respect to the treatment of men as no facilities or tax-supported services are available for battered men in this community and indeed in most every city in Canada.


There are more than 550 tax-supported domestic violence shelters for females across the country.


Calgary may have a couple of shelters, privately funded, for battered men but no others exist, to my knowledge.


Michael Murphy

Old Garden River Road

Sault Saint Marie