Wife abuse: Whose business is it?

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Carla G. (Grade 8)

A raised hand, shortly followed by a blood curdling scream of terror. Should the police be notified? How could anyone say no?

Barbara Amiel, in a recent edition of McLean's magazine stated, "Within a couple, when a man hits a woman, it's nobody's business but theirs unless she complains to the police." But for too many women, once they get the police involved it is too late.

In the past seventeen months in Ontario, twenty-six women have been murdered by their spouses after they complained to the police. Amiel's article made it appear that it was the victim's fault they were being abused. After reading her article, friends of battered women may be under the impression that they do not have the right to interfere in the private lives of their friends. Many battered women may be continuously abused if such an ignorant attitude is maintained.

The article that Ms. Amiel wrote described many different types of relationships, making it appear as though abuse is a necessary requirement in certain relationship. Abuse is not normal! If society were to become as narrow-minded as Ms. Amiel and accepted abuse in relationships, there would be an increase in the number of deaths and injuries resulting from this growing concern.

Barbara Amiel's attitude is reflective of another time and place. Mental and physical cruelty are grounds for divorce as well as a court injunction. Perhaps Ms. Amiel should look at wife abuse through the victim's eyes instead of the abuser's.

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