Updated: Aug 17
A judge in BC recently told a man who plead guilty to two assaults against his partner, that she understood his plight. The woman who reported him said that there is no reason to go to court.
Respect for others as individuals, was absent in the judge.
'Former chiropractor Nima Rahmany pleaded guilty in Vancouver provincial court last month to two counts of assault and received a one-year conditional discharge, telling the court his violence was the result of being "triggered" by his victim, Amanda Kroetsch.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Ellen Gordon said Rahmany was remorseful with a "very deep understanding" of why he committed the assaults.' CBC
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After an inquest into the murders of Nathalie Warmerdam, Anastasia Kuzyk, and Carol Culleton, a jury is urging the provincial government to formally declare intimate partner violence an epidemic. It's one of more than 80 recommendations to come out of the inquest.2
"I hope you'll be back," Kirsten Mercer, a lawyer representing a local coalition called End Violence Against Women Renfrew County, told the jury during the inquest's closing arguments. "You might consider inviting the relevant ministers."
"We're going to be making a lot of noise until we start to see things being implemented," echoed women's advocate Pamela Cross, who testified during the inquest...
To name only a few: a lack of communication between different courts of law, underfunding of services for survivors, inadequate treatment programs for convicted abusers, the need for more training of law enforcement and court workers dealing with
intimate partner violence cases, and problems particular to rural communities such as spotty cellphone and internet service and a dearth of transportation and housing options for both survivors and their abusers.3
'A smaller portion of the 86 recommendations — including a call to consider adding femicide to Canada's Criminal Code — were directed to the federal government. The Canadian Femicide Observatory
for Justice and Accountability at the University of Guelph defines femicide as the killing of women, primarily by men, because they are women.
"The government of Canada is committed to ending all forms of gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence, and
addressing any gaps in the criminal code, to ensure a robust criminal justice system response and will carefully review the inquest recommendations," a spokesperson for the federal Ministry of Justice said via email. 3
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A sister (biological) signing Reporter, Toronto Star, wrote me a letter saying I would be disinherited for protecting my children from a family person who had sexually assaulted young children. This cynical letter was followed by several others from other members of the conjoined group assembled by the legal team and the father.
In the Toronto Star, an article describes family violence in an Ontario judge's ruling, "to condition the mother to her new reality: that the Father was prone to angry outbursts when intoxicated; that he would meet challenges to his authority with physical violence; and that his family would condone the violence.”2b
During our trial the father admitted at trial that he had lied to others, claiming that his violence was mine, his mental illness, mine. The judge allowed him to use his phone and did not comment about the conditions to be met concerning the fraud. (Monahan)
"If we lose the institutions that produce facts that are pertinent to us, then we tend to wallow in attractive abstractions and fictions." Timothy Snyder, NYT. 2c
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In September 2016, I succeeded in overturning Peterborough Judge MacLeod's rulings. He had ordered my son's custody to the father, and jurisdiction to Ontario. We lived in the US for five years, my older son had already returned to the US to high school. I had attempted to return and had a Non-Removal Order for my other child, from that US jurisdiction. I had filed for divorce there.
Judge MacLeod read only the first line of the Protection Order against the father that had been signed by a judge,
claimed that an incidence of violence from the children's infancy 'happened a long time ago' failing to read the full page of incidents.
The lawyer for the father denied service of the Protection Order. She flipped this three years later at the trial, admitting she received the Protection Order three months before this hearing.
I received a threat of deportation from this lawyer, during the time before the Appeal was delivered, saying if I was deported, the 'appeal would be moot,"
Divisional Court of Ontario, (Appeal Court) ruled against Justice MacLeod, citing 'palpable error' on his part.
MacLeod had ignored the Views and Preferences of our child, documented by his own court order and costing us 7,000. He said, "You can afford it."
During the September 2015 hearing, the lawyer for the father denied service of the Protection Order many times, though she admitted she had lied at the trial, saying she received it on May 28 of that year.
In a separate hearing the US state where we lived ruled that the we lived in the state and had for five years: teachers, doctors, friends, all were there and the state was the prudent jurisdiction, citing property as hold for jurisdiction as well.
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I returned to the Ontario in June, 2016 when my older son graduated high school in the US. I wanted to have an Order made so that my younger child would be returned as per the decisions of both the higher court in Ontario and the Circuit court in our state.
His father had moved him, would not disclose the location. I discovered this speaking to his neighbour, trying to locate my son.
In the hearing that July, Justice Paisley's wrote an Endorsement that "The mother has nothing further to do."
Judge Paisley had also written, "I have not seen this in twenty years on the bench." My former partner had hired two child lawyers who interviewed and took affidavits from my son (13). Judge Paisley harshly reprimanded them after asking if I had given permission. I had not and Mr. Gottlieb, the lawyer had written back, "You are denied."
A few days later, I entered the courtroom of Judge Horkins in the same building, to have Judge Paisley's Endorsement made into a legal Order.
Judge Justice Horkins suggested that I had forged Judge Paisley's signature.
"This doesn't look like Judge Paisley's signature," said Justice William Horkins.
I was in court to have the results of my successful Appeal to Divisional Court standardized.
I had also fought the case in the US state where we lived and won. The decision in both Ontario and in the US state where we lived was that the US had jurisdiction for the safety and security of the family, where doctors, teachers, and friends were, as stated above.
Instead Judge Horkins' courtroom became a state of screaming as Lawyer Theresa Marie MacLean began yelling that she wanted 2,000. for forgery, muttering beside her desk, and demanding that the clerk get the judge back into the courtroom, which the clerk did.
Theresa MacLean was sued by a man seventeen years ago. "His lawsuit says that family lawyer Theresa MacLean advised Ms. Lawrence to make up stories of domestic abuse to enhance her divorce claims" https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/man-can-sue-ex-wifes-lawyer-court-rules/article975957/
This was Judge W. Horkins who presided over the Ghomeshi trial. His bias was available to see clearly.
I asked him, 'Do you see what is going on here?" and he said yes, and his face turned red. He wrote that this was not my fault (?).
So, though I had won an Appeal, and Judge Paisley had written that I need do nothing further, and the US state independently ruled its own jurisdiction, I could not keep my children safe in their home.
My former partner was able to continue to hold my son and ignore Judge Paisely's Endorsement for reintegration. Judge Paisley in his reprimand my former partner for hiring false child lawyers, yet the father's lawyer wrote a letter to the false child lawyers asking them to continue. She submitted this to the court.
Judge Paisley had stated in his Endorsement and in his comments, "Children do not normally hire child lawyers," Judge Paisley said.
My former partner, and the father of the children, then wrote to Homeland Security suggesting that I be arrested if I try to cross the border to the US. This did not happen but I was denied entry. The father then overturned the jurisdiction ruling alone using the lower court (must have appealed within time frame), taking this to Ontario and during an emergency hearing I had called to locate my child -- submitted the letter from Homeland Security as fact.
The repercussions went in all directions. My children continued to be surrounded, I continued to hear from new people the former partner had told the stories to, and new stories were made up at each subsequent hearing, including one denying an emergency call made by my son.
Severe consequences need to be made to those who use fraud to litigate with children as shields.
One cannot talk about moving through this system because the Canadian Judicial Council does not reprimand judges. They have no oversight committee and are exempt from the Federal Human Rights Commission's list to investigate.
My older son told me to not appeal again. The trial judge heard my former husband say he had mental illness but the judge was so pedantic that he never thought or said anything that would make sense in a case with a partner who could not control his own rage, admitted in the Views and Preferences of the Child Report.
Simply nothing made sense and damaged everyone.
Each time I brought forward an argument, the lawyer Maclean made them sign something that their father could use in court. This is not just.
Those who use violence to not feel their own pain are a problem for every single one of us.
It means that everything we have done for ourselves, to keep ourselves healthy, can be overturned by someone using manipulation, violence, sexual assault; by someone who don't see individual's rights. And then our system fails by agreeing.
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A case recently in Brampton awarded 150,000. to a woman who experienced such an amount of abuse that it is difficult to understand how she survived. Yet she did, and then acted
as her own lawyer, succeeded, and now her former partner can appeal, and is appealing. Where is the value for a woman and why would any of us agree to continue doing this? 2b
This system has no value. Lawyers and judges are symbiotic -- their survival depends on each other. Their disrespect shows their own bias, certainly not the care that women bring to themselves and their environment. The court is a total shock.
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There needs to be a system in place to make transparent the assault, and just as with Hockey Canada, a reversal of practice. Men who violate need to be the focus of investigation. The persons they assault are not the focus. The invisibility of predators, their ability to be symbiotic when they tell their stories, indicates that courts are unworkable.
Hockey Canada using enrolment fees of new players to settle sexual abuse of their own coaches, and also of players means that the system continues behind the scenes. No one is willing to say, we have unsafe systems for your boys and girls. Don't come here.
'Laurel Walzak says while recent news of sexual violence in Canadian hockey was disturbing, she wasn't surprised at all.
And, Walzak warned, it's just the beginning.
"Now is not even the tip of the iceberg," Walzak told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. "I'm so grateful. But I'm also afraid. It's just so widespread."
'Walzak was one of 28 Canadian experts from 21 universities who signed an open letter to Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge and Hedy Frye, chair of the Heritage Committee, before the start of a parliamentary hearing as part of an investigation into Hockey Canada's handling of sexual assault allegations.'4
'"I wasn't surprised at all [by the news of assaults]," Walzak said. "What I was surprised about was the amount of money Hocke
y Canada has. That sounds really naive to say, but when I was at the Canadian Women's Hockey League [Walzak was the chair of the women's league's board], when we had our financial issues, we went to Hockey Canada asking for money.'4
'Taylor McKee, who studies hockey and sport cult
ure at Brock University. "However, while these types of incidents are surprising and shocking to the public, academics and journalists have repeatedly documented these problems in hockey and we have been calling for action for decades."4
'Over 500 Canadian gymnasts — Gymnasts for Change — have been asking St-Onge for an independent investigation into their sport amid what they say is a toxic culture of physical, mental and sexual abuse.'4
The same economy of Hockey Canada exists in the other sports in Canada.
'Thanks to technological capacity and personal talent, Donald Trump lied at a pace perhaps unmatched by any other leader in history. For the most part these were small lies, and their main effect was cumulative.' 2c
There is an epidemic of violence and we need to stop it. Children view this through a kaleidoscope of rage and rape culture, of themselves, of their parents. We need to change that.