Glady’s Heavenfire Case Battered Woman Syndrome has provided women who have been abused at the hands of their partners recognition in the criminal justice system and is allowing women to tell their stories. Although there are controversies surrounding battered woman syndrome, it should not be viewed as an excuse for killing their partners. It is a real disorder that has affected thousands of women 's lives all over the world. Discussing the Gladys Heavenfire case will bring awareness to the life of a woman who has been abused by her partner for several years. Furthermore, it provides information on Indigenous women who are more likely to suffer abuse than white women. Indigenous people have been discriminated and have been extremely mistreated …show more content…
On August 26, 1990 in Shepard, Alberta, Heavenfire killed her husband, Derrick John Falardeau, after being in an intoxicated altercation that evening. Before the death of Falardeau, both were seen at a bar, where they were asked to leave because of their fighting (Sheehy, 2014, p.129). A witness, Kathy Kennedy, saw Falardeau punch Heavenfire in the face repeatedly before driving away. A short time later, Heavenfire called 9-1-1 to report that she had shot Falardeau in the head (Sheehy, 2014, p.129). Heavenfire was charged with second-degree murder and went to trial to try and plea her case with a battered woman’s defense. Battered woman syndrome is described as “a physical and psychological condition of a woman who has undergone emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from a counterpart” (Khana and Sachdeva, (2015, p.8). Heavenfire and Falardeau’s relationship was plagued with violence. Several witnesses for the prosecution and defence noted seeing bruising on Heavenfire on multiple occasions. A particular witness, Linda Newton, a counselor at a vocational college “saw bruising on her face on at least five occastions” (Sheehy, 2014, p.134). In the end, the jury was able to see the effects of the physical and mental abuse suffered by Heavenfire as they acquitted her of all charges. Making Heavenfire “the first Aboriginal woman to be acquitted after the Lavallee ruling …show more content…
Some women are afraid for their lives, that if they leave their partner, they or their family will be harmed. In Heavenfire’s case, she truly loved and cared for Falardeau and did not want to see him go to jail for his crimes. Falardeau financially supported Heavenfire and she did not want to involve her family for support if she were to leave Falardeau. Heavenfire’s was an exceptional case as she was the first aboriginal to be cleared of all charges in her husband’s killings. Inequality in the criminal justice system is evident. Indigenous people are incarcerated at much higher rates than non-Indigenous in Canada and are incarcerated for longer periods of time (Cook & Roesh, 2012, p.222). Canadians have put Indigenous communities through much heartache and pain. With the colonization of Indigenous people to residential schools, Canadians continue to stigmatize and treat Indigenous people poorly. Indigenous people are more likely to suffer from drug abuse using needles because of the intergenerational trauma suffered through their parents attending residential schools in Canada (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2014, p. 327). This puts them at a higher criminal risk than others because of what they have been subjected to. Reasons et al., (2016) found that, “offending and victimization are a consequence of multiple risk factors,
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Introduction Marleen bird was a 50-year-old aboriginal woman from a northern reserve in Saskatchewan. Bird suffered from substance abuse issues and homelessness. In 2014 Bird was viciously attacked and set on fire in a parking lot in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. As a result of the attack Bird lost both of her legs and much of her eyesight (Canadian Press, 2017). Bird suffered from years of victimization due to the injuries she suffered from the attack, the constant news articles reporting on the attack and the subsequent trails.
In the 20 years following the release of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody (RCIADIC) report, little change has happened to address Indigenous social disadvantage in the criminal justice system. One of the main conclusion reached by the RCIADIC was that the over-representation of Indigenous Australians was the direct result of the underlying social, economic and culture disadvantage (Human Rights Commission, 2001). Indigenous Australians are still more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to live in low income households, be unemployed and to have poor health and education outcomes (ABS, 2008). These issues are largely intergeneration, with these many of these social disadvantages compounding over time. The most frightening
Institutional racism is unfair practice based on race, discrimination done by Government bodies, corporation, media outlets and schools. This type of racism Favor one ethnicity over another, example of that kind of prejudice can be found all over the Americas, here in Canada there’s been many instances of institutionalize racism, different government services has been set to fail aboriginal and other people of color in Canada since the founding of this nation. There’s various types of racism, we can experience by an institution such as: Face to face encounter, internalized and institutionalized when it widely spread among the personnel. When an ethnicity is stigmatized, they are subject to be alienated.
Later in the article, it states that “men who commit these horrible crimes can do so because they don't see their victims as real persons.” (Hunter) These stereotypes come from colonization. This shows that they are viewed as women and girls who are not important and not worth being protected. Because of these negative stereotypes, the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls has continued.
I think this is also responsible for the perpetuation of violence against Aboriginal women. I will suggest that law enforcement agencies should adopt new theoretical frameworks when dealing with cases involving Aboriginal women. This will increase the effectiveness of investigation of reported missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. ONWA (2007) in their report suggested the creation of an ample policy to effectively address violence against Aboriginal women. They said “Such a policy would require proactive inter-ministerial policy integration and coordination that would include such interrelated areas as justice, health and healing, education, employment, training, housing and social services.”
Canada’s Aboriginal people have to deal with racism in their everyday lives and activities. Even today, residential school survivors see high rates of racism in their communities. These people are called “indians” and “redskins” some are even called “niggers” directly
Battered Woman's Syndrome (BWS) is described as, " a condition characterized by a history of repetitive spousal abuse and learned helplessness" (Schmalleger & Hall, 2014 P.172). BWS, also refers to common characteristics that appear on women who are physically and psychologically abused over an extended period of time. When it comes to this case Gwen was a domestic violence victim. Her husband Jerry, would beat her to the point where medical help was needed. Gwen had many hospitals records from injuries she received from being abuse.
Battered women syndrome theory is now widely seen as open to misuse. In the simplest form it does not account for many rational social, economic and cultural choices which may lead to decision to remain in relationship – fear of retaliation, stalking, escalated violence, need for financial support, concern for wellbeing of children, desire to stay in own home, lack of social, family, community support networks, various aspects of risk assessment and management of survival. Walker (1979) work was pioneering feminist research on the psychological effects of
When hearing the word indigenous people, we tend to think of them as a whole and not as being a part of different individual groups. Each indigenous culture is distinct and unique. However, society still tends to connect some, if not all of the indigenous cultural stories. While many peoples may express similar worldviews and a common indigenous identity, their cultures are nonetheless based on different histories and environments. We might never be able to fully comprehend the amount of struggle that indigenous people faced, but it is important for us to learn about the unseen truth that society hides from the public.
Behind Closed Door: A comparative Analysis of Global Domestic Violence Introduction I. Background Information Domestic violence is a universal phenomenon, with millions of people as victims and perpetrators (. It destroys homes and families. Victimization occurs regardless of race, gender, religion, class, and sexual orientation. The term is often used to refer to violence that occurs between two people in an intimate relationship, but extends to violence against children and the elderly (Valiulis, 2014, p.124).
Domestic violence is no new issue, and often not considered a serious matter. Occurring in many forms (verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc.) this issue should not be handled lightly. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “[g]lobally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.” Of the four million women abused in the United States each year, nearly all of them show symptoms of Battered Women’s Syndrome, a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
When the word “domestic abuse” is put forward, people may think it is far from their lives. However, it happens around each individual and it is closer than they think. Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. (Smith and Segal 2)
There are many movements to try to bring awareness of the many missing and murdered Indigenous women. Since the Indian Act does discriminate against women because Indigenous women are inferior due to the western ideologies “as dictated by the Act, they are branded deviants and considered fair game for mistreatment,” furthermore proving that the Indian Act is subjecting the Native women to criticism because they do no tact like the white women. Violence among indigenous women is also on the rise, “the Native Women’s Association of Canada found that between the 1960’s and 2010, 582 Igneous women and girls went missing or were murdered,” which has Indigenous women fearing for their lives because they do not know if their loved ones will ever be found. Indigenous women are stereotyped to living in a high-risk way since they are not living a “normal” lifestyle, the police do not do much; however, if the person was white the police would do more to help locate the white woman. The families of the missing women do not get the attention that they need to help find the missing person because “police may [be] aware of [the] practices of endangering Indigenous women but do nothing about them,” which proves that Indigenous people are often put to the side since they are not as important.
What the George case reveals is the connection between colonization, prostitution, and control over Indigenous female bodies. Razack (2000) acknowledges this history where white men (colonizers) were the historical perpetrators of violence against Indigenous women. During the French and British colonial era, “the combined effects of poverty, race discrimination and cultural losses profoundly affect First Nations and are likely contributing factors to high rates of interpersonal violence, depression, suicide and substance abuse” (Farley, 245). Razack (2000) contextualizes this within a form of domination and control, which subjugated the female bodies of Indigenous victims and served as the backdrop for the encounter between George and her two attackers. She argues that this history is precisely what was missing from the trial, which became a case study for how George’s Indigeneity was put through a stigma around sex work that ignored her humanity as a result.
This story told by David, a victim of domestic abuse, is only one of many others that we may be reluctant to hear. We refuse to believe the stories of a man being a victim of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) because it is understood that women are more likely to be victims, and seemingly the world’s main priority when it comes to domestic violence. However, let us not forget the men who encounter abuse from their female partners but are discouraged to speak out and get help like David.