The ad you see here is an ad published by “Fluid”, a local salon in Edmonton, Alberta. The ad was a part of a series of 6 ads over the last year (none of the others were that much better, and in some cases they were worse). This stuff just makes me shake my head. How disturbing is it that a local salon is sending the message that if you are getting beaten by your partner you should at least look good? Are you kidding me?
What makes this even worse is the owner of Fluid is a women. That’s right a women. Sarah Cameron told the Sun “It might strike a chord, but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive. Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone” Sensitive? Domestic violence already has a huge impact on our communities today and all this ad does is glorify that violence. The owner defends herself by telling CTV that it only looks like it is glorifying violence against women that is how ‘everyone is perceiving it…We want people to talk about it. It’s supposed to gear up some sort of discussion.”
From what I can tell the message here isn’t “domestic violence is an audacity and shouldn’t be put up with” it’s more along the lines of “it’s ok if he beats the $*** out of you as long as he pays for you to look good at the same time”. This ad is simply romanticizing domestic violence and it’s sick. The caption ” look good in all you do” perpetuates the message “getting beat up is OK if he buys you stuff.” Take the above ad for example. The women sitting on the couch in fancy clothes with a clear black eye. The neatly dressed man in the background, holding a neckless (presumably a gift for her- most likely an apology gift but hey maybe I am reading too much into that one). Excuse me well I go vomit.
This ad is just more of the same message that victims of abuse get everyday from society. Hide it anyway that you can. Don’t overreact to something so insignificant. You are just being sensitive and irrational. Society has tolerated this much too long and as a result this violence has been allowed to flourish in such a way that when ads like this turn up we are told we are being ‘too sensitive.” You know whenever we as society let this go: police fail to charge an abuser, we turn a blind eye to the screaming and yelling coming from our neighbours house every night, we pretend not to see the bruises on our friend weekly, we let an ad go like the one above, we are simply allowing abusers to get away with this and frankly sending the message that it is OK. That it is acceptable behaviour.
The other ads weren’t any better two in particular were disturbing in some ways more then this one. A woman implied to be a prostitute sitting on a mattress in an alleyway, and in a later ad a woman pulling a body out of hearse implied to be that prostitute. Think about the subtle message in an ad like that.
I like what another blogger said about it “I’d like to know what a woman with bruises being offered jewelry has do with having your hair styled. Maybe Toys R Us should have an ad of an abused child being offered ice cream as part of it’s Christmas ad campaign.” Sarah Cameron may I reccomend that you sit down and watch all four videos of “Killing Us Softly” hosted by Jean Kilbourne you might learn something about subtle messages in advertising and the gender inequality that exists, even in 2011, and why ads like this don’t help the situation.
Recently, Fluid issued an apology:
“If survivors of abuse interpret this ad to make light of any abusive situation, we sincerely apologize, that was never our intent as there are people that worked on this campaign who are survivors of abuse. To the rest of you who this has so deeply affected, we truly hope you do something to help stop domestic violence. Truly honor the survivors that you are standing up for. Unfortunately boycotting a hair salon will not accomplish this.”
I beg to differ Fluid. Boycotting your hair salon will send the message that this type of advertising will not be accepted. When a corporation does something that is against one’s morals the easiest way to send a message is to go after their sponsors via a letter writing campaign, and boycott their store, show, or product. I can do something for survivors of domestic abuse while at the same time boycotting your salon. It’s quite easy actually. I don’t live in Edmonton, but if I did I certainly would be going out of my way to not go to this place.
This story is all kinds of creepy, weird, and awful. According to the National Post A 46 year old father was arrested July 22 and charged with three counts of sexual assault, 2 counts of sexual interference, 1 count of sexual exploitation,1 count of a parent or guardian procuring sexual activity, and two count of living off the avails of prostitution. In addition police have charged 3 men between the ages of 34-67 with engaging in sexual acts with a minor. “The three men have been arrested in relation to an ongoing investigation involving the procurement of a youth for sexual purpose,” said Cpl. Annie Linteau. “Numerous charges have now been laid against the father who was allegedly making his daughter available to these men for sexual purposes.” One man Benny Wolfe, a mayoral candidate for Penticton, BC, has come forward to say he didn’t know the girl was underage.
“She was reasonable, $100 for an hour of her time,” Wolfe told media. He admits to being a client of the girls for 8 weeks but believing that she was of age. “I have had three threats against my life and I have had to report to the police on three different occasions, I also had a lady at the Farmers’ Market basically challenge me, and I said look at the paper, read the news but don’t judge me unless you have the full facts. Let the courts hear the evidence, then after all the evidence has been heard and the judge has ruled, then you can criticize me, if there is any at all.”
Mr Wolfe had this to say about his ‘public vs personal’ life “what I have alleged to have done may not be acceptable to the majority of law-abiding citizens but I take full responsibility for anything I do in life and what I do in my personal life has nothing to do with my public life.” Whether or not you knew the girl was of age is not the point (and frankly hard to believe). What you do in your private life represents your character and integrity. Of course it has to do with your public life. You are a figure in your community who wants to represent the people of Penticton. To an extent I really don’t care what a politician does in private but there is a line and child rape is definitively across that line.
It’s rape, it’s child abuse, and it’s disgusting. Something tells me that the majority of the people in Penticton would agree with me. Go figure you have been ostracized from you community. Sorry to tell you but your dream of becoming Penticton’s next mayor is probably down the drain as well.
On Sept 1 Alberta will introduce one of the toughest driver distraction laws in the country. This is leaving many confused (including myself) as to what we can do behind the wheel and what we can’t do behind the wheel. The law restricts drivers use of:
- Using a hand held phone
- Texting or emailing
- using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
- entering information on GPS units
- reading printed materials in the vehicle
- writing, printing or sketching, and
- personal grooming
People have been asking if they are allowed to check their phones or do other things at red lights in Alberta. The answer to this is no. A police officer may write you a ticket if you are doing any of the above things at a red light. Another common question people have asked is how does this relate to pets? This is where the grey area of the law comes into play.
On the website for the law it states: “In situations where the driver becomes too involved with their pet, police could reasonably argue that the distraction is comparable to the specifically banned activities of reading, writing and grooming and lay a charge”. Meaning that if you are doing anything behind the wheel that the officer feels is comparable to the above banned things they may write you a ticket. In addition to that there is also an additional law already on the books that allows a police officer to lay a charge if anything occupies the front seat that could inter-fear with the drivers ability to control the vehicle or reach vehicle controls.
What does this mean to you? “It means that if a driver violates a new distracted driving provision and an existing provision in the traffic safety act it would be up to the discretion of the officer as to if one or both or multiple charges would apply”. In addition you could also face a driving carelessly charge with carries a $402.00 fine and 6 points on your license. It is also possible to be hit with a moving violation (any violation that occurs while the vehicle is moving- for example speeding) as opposed to a non moving violation (any violation that occurs while your vehicle is not moving- for example parking in a fire lane).
Meaning: all you people who let your small dogs ride on your lap are already breaking the law and they need to be secured in the back seat of your car for the duration of your trip. I recommend a pet seat belt, you can get these from any pet shop. I use one for my german Shepard and it works great. Plus it will keep them safer in the event of a car accident.
The following are not restricted but again officer discretion exists:
- using a cell phone in hands-free mode – this means the device is not held in the driver’s hand and is activated by voice or a single touch to the device
- using an earphone — if it is used in a hands-free or voice-activated manner
- drinking beverages, such as coffee, water or pop
- eating a snack
- talking with passengers
- listening to a portable audio player – as long as it is set up before you begin driving
- using the following:
- a GPS navigation system – as long as the system is affixed to the vehicle and programmed before you begin driving or the system is voice activated. You cannot hold the unit or manually enter information while driving
- a collision avoidance system
- a gauge, instrument, device or system that provides information about the vehicle’s systems or the vehicle’s location
- a dispatch system for transporting passengers
- a logistical transportation tracking system that tracks vehicle location, driver status or the delivery of goods for commercial purposes
- calling emergency services, such as 911 with a hand-held cell phone
- using 2-way radios or hand-held radios, such as those commonly referred to as CB (Citizen’s Band) radios, when escorting oversized vehicles, to contact one’s employer, or when participating in search, rescue and emergency management situations.
Minister of Transportation Luke Ouellette said the law will help reduce the number of collisions on Alberta’s roads. The law, carries a $172 fine, $150 fine plus a 15% Victim Surchage fee . I pulled up statistics from other cities to see how much change their has been in driver habits and collision reports and most cities report no change in the number of collisions on the road. So we’ll see if this law actually reduces the amount of collisions or people phoning and texting while they are driving or (more likely) if people just try and get creative and hide what they are doing behind the wheel.
I am a strong proponent of this law, but I think it needs a little bit of rewriting. It needs to be more specific. You either can do this activity or you cannot. You can drink coffee or you can’t drink coffee. Period. It is not uncommon for police officers to have some discretion, but I think that this law leaves room for too much discretion, it needs to be firmed up. The argument here that has been presented by officials is that officers already have discretionary privilege Re: traffic violations under Alberta law so if you are being extremely unsafe they can already ticket you. My instinct is then to ask why we need yet another law that is discretionary in addition to the other laws. Ban what needs to be banned and nab people who are violating other traffic laws as you see fit.
Hopefully, once it’s rolled out and problems start emerging the law itself will be amended. Or maybe I am wrong and everything will be just fine. Police have already said they won’t be jumping through hoops to catch you texting or doing other things you shouldn’t behind the wheel. “We’re not going to be jumping out from behind a tree to issue a ticket to someone glancing at a map at a stop sign,” said Sgt. Michael Watterston. “However, if we see someone obviously flouting the law, driving with their knees, reading a map and sending a text, then they can certainly expect a ticket.”
All assurances aside I know I will be picking radio station I like and sticking my bags in the back seat so as to remove any temptation I may have to want to do other things behind the wheel. I’ll admit I am terrible at red lights, glancing at my phone to check that text message, or change the song on my ipod. So I guess the deterrent part of the law is already working. I like my $172 just where it is thanks.
I should add one last thing. According to the Alberta website this new law also applies to cyclists.
Update: Via CBC news. RCMP have said NO GRACE for AB drivers : RCMP will have stations set up to enforce the new law. However, Calgary Police have said that most likely they will be issuing warnings for the first month except for in extreme cases. And in Edmonton Police have been told to use discretion and only hand out tickets when someone is blatantly distracted.
***Just a quick disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer***
The CPS have issued an Alberta wide warrant for the arrest of 44 year old Calvin Korsberg. Korsberg has violated his probation by failing to report two weeks ago. Korsberg was released from prison Aug 7 after serving time for sexual assault.
Korsberg pleaded guilty in 2007 to 8 counts of sexually assaulting 8 different women from Saskatoon in August 2005.
“I think that’s what makes me so angry. I’ve worked so hard to be independent and now I’ve lost my independce” Anne, one of Korsberg’s surviours, tells Global News .She was attacked outside her home and forced inside and sexually assault by Korsberg two years ago. “I’m scared he’s going to come back because he knows my car, where I live, my address, my name. I’m terrified to go home”.
It makes my blood boil to think someone could have so much power over us as individuals. I know exactly how Anne feels as I have been here. It sickens me that this stuff happens in our communities. I understand that he has served his time and is not out on parol but it makes me wonder why he isn’t reporting for parol as he is supposed to. Korsberg is 6’1, 170 lbs, brown eyes, brown hair. If you’ve seen Korsberg please call CPS (911, or 403-266-1234) or Crime stoppers anonymously:
TALK to us at 1-800-222-8477.
TYPE to us by clicking on “Submit a Tip” above.
TEXT us by sending the keyword “tttTIPS” to 274637
If you see him Do not approach him. Call police.
This afternoon the DA’s office in NY filed a motion to have the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn dismissed, the motion is expected to be approved on Tuesday when he appears in court. The dismissal is said to be based on the many inconsistencies in his accuser’s story. According to prosecutors Diallo had lied in a political asylum application that she had been persecuted in her native Guinea and was “untruthful” with prosecutors about her history, background and personal relationships. She maintains that Dominique did sexually assault her and he forced her to have oral sex with him. The medical documents showed that the wounds that she suffered were in fact caused by rape.
Soon after meeting with Ms. Diallo, who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her, and the DA, her attorney-Kenneth Thompson- announced that the charges were to be dropped. “The Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case, If the Manhattan district attorney, who is elected to protect our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our wives, and our loves ones, is not going to stand up for them when they are raped or sexually assaulted, who will?”
“There were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser was not credible,” his attorneys said in a statement.”Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the District Attorney’s office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further,” the statement said.
Strauss-Kahn has proclaimed his innocence since this case came to light. However, the case isn’t over yet. Ms. Daillo filed a civil suit and has requested a special prosecutor for the case. The suit that was filed states that a naked Strauss-Kahn came out of his bathroom and forced Diallo to perform oral sex on him while she was cleaning his hotel room. This is also not his only legal problem. Back in France yet another accusation has emerged by a journalist who claims that in 2003 Strauss-Kahn attacked her in her apartment and forced her to have sex with him. Unfortunately the statutes of limitations on ‘sexual aggression’ in France has expired and authorities say that it will be very hard to prove rape so many years later.
Update, Aug 23, 2011: the judge has rejected the request for a special prosecutor.
Update #2 Aug 23, 2011: New York State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus threw out the criminal sexual assault charges against Strauss-Kahn. DSK’s Lawyer had this to say: “gratitude to the district attorney’s office for taking what I think to be a commendable and courageous step”
I am going to take a break from my usual topic of crime to talk about some sad news this morning. Mr Jack Layton passed away at 4:45am Aug 22, 2011 of cancer. A statement was released this morning on the NDP website that read: “We deeply regret to inform you that the Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones.”
This is indeed a sad loss for Canada. Mr Layton was the reason I got interested in politics and he was the reason why I didn’t stop reading about politics. He gave me hope for Canada, and the future of our government. Whether or not one agreed with his politics doesn’t seem to matter on this sad day. His death has affected people across political lines and everyone is saddened at the loss of such a passionate caring humane being:
“Jack was an enthusiastic and passionate politician who held strongly to his convictions during his long career in public life.” – Ed Stalmach, AB premier
“He was an inspiration to all who believe in a more just, open and equitable society. he embodied hope for meaningful and progressive political change in Canada. He showed us that it was possible.” – Brian Manson, AB NDP leader
“Jack gave his fight against cancer everything he had. Indeed, Jack never backed down from any fight.”- PM Harper
“I learned with great sadness we just lost Jack Layton. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.” – Governor General David Johnston
“Deeply saddened by news about Jack Layton, Arlene and I send deepest condolences to Olivia and family. He is a loss to a grieving Canada.” – Liberal Leader Bob Rae
“Collectively, Canadian hearts are breaking,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May in a statement. “Jack will always be remembered for his unfailing love of Canada and his dedication to this country and its citizens.” – Elizabeth May
“I will never forget the image of Jack campaigning as the happy warrior. His energy, enthusiasm and passion for politics and for the Canadian people were undeniable. Something I will never forget. A standard for all of us.” – American Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson
Mr Layton will always be remembered as the politician that worked towards public good, a man who truly cared about Canada. The man who put the NDP on the map with a historical 103 seats won in parliament in the 2011 elections.
Mr Layton was no stranger to politics growing up he was the son of a progressive conservative, Robert Layton. And would be elected to Toronto city council in 1982. Then on January 25, 2003 Layton would be elected as the new NDP leader and this move would forever change the role of the NDP in Canadian politics. Layton worked relentlessly to gain support for the NDP over the next 8 years and in 2011 it would pay off when for the first time in the party’s history the NDP would take away 103 seats in parliament and become the official opposition to the Canadian government.
Mr Layton wasn’t just a politician though he took on many different causes over the years. Among them
he advocated for the creation of a city-funded education team to help combat the AIDS crisis in Toronto, Canada. He was also an advocate for women and was not only passionate about stopping violence he was also one of the 1991 advocates who started an organization that is close to my heart. The White Ribbon Campaign. The White Ribbon campaign is to date the largest campaign of men working to end violence against women. The focus of this campaign is to educate men and boys and has become an education effort in over 55 countries around the world.
The campaign released a statement on their website whiteribbon.ca “The entire White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) family is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Layton today. He died peacefully with his family by his side. We extend our deepest condolences to Olivia, Mike and Sarah and his entire great, big family. He felt men had to have both a role and responsibility in working to end violence against women, that we needed to step up our efforts in promoting gender equality, and be accountable to challenging the most harmful aspects of masculinity…. I choose to leave with another favourite quote of yours, “Don’t ever let them tell you it can’t be done.” Rest in peace Jack, we will all miss you dearly.”
A politician that gave me hope for Canada. If we all only cared as much about Canada as Mr. Layton we’d be a better country. RIP Mr Layton you will be missed. Canada will be giving Mr. Layton a state funeral on Saturday August 27, 2011. According to the release “Prime Minister Harper has exercised his discretion and has offered Ms. [Olivia] Chow a state funeral for Jack Layton. She has accepted. Canadians will have an opportunity to salute Jack Layton’s contribution to public life as well as offer their heartfelt condolences.” The NDP have set up a section on their website as well where you may express your Condolences to the family. And if you are in the Calgary area Wed Aug 24 there will be a Vigil held at Tompkins park at 730 pm.
Layton had one last thing to say to Canadians before he passed away. On Aug 22, 2011 his family released a letter he had written to Canada ( I personally recommend a box of tissues):
August 20, 2011
Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.
Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.
I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.
I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.
A few additional thoughts:
To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.
To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.
To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.
To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.
To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
All my very best,
And finally I leave you with mourners on Twitter:
“Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – RIP Jack Layton, Great politician, Great man
RIP Jack Layton. You are the example of what politicians need to be, honest
Canadian Politician Jack Layton died on August 22nd, 2011. RIPJack Layton.
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. – RIP Jack Layton
I can’t stop crying after reading his letter. #RIPJack Layton.
RIP Jack Layton it makes me so sad that the only actual good prime minister candidate passed away
Makes me happy to see that RIP Jack Layton is trending worldwide. The man deserved so much more recognition than he received for his work.
Some disturbing news has emerged out of Ontario this week. And no surprise here it once again involves the Ontario Provincial Police. When I heard about this story I had one of those WTF moments that we all have.
Allegedly the OPP left Laurie Massicotte tied up naked and bound after responding to a 911 call that she had been raped. When they got to her home they found her tied up and bound, but instead of releasing her the OPP left here there. “I was left for five hours, still in my harness, still tied up, naked, lying under a comforter, five hours, no medical attention. I was in total shock. I didn’t know what the heck was going on.” Massicotte told the Ottawa Citizen. It would turn out that her rapist was Col Russell Williams, who once commanded the Trenton Canadian Force base and acted as a military pilot for VIPs including: Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Prime Minister, is now serving 2 life sentences for the first degree murder of Jessica Lloyd, 27, and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37. As well as two 10 year sentences for sexual assault, two 10 year sentences for forcible confinement and finally 82 one year sentences for burglary offences all at Kingston Penitentiary. Williams confessed to breaking into Massicotte’s house and raping her during his confession Williams said: “She was scared, she was worried she was going to be seriously hurt”. He blindfolded her, cut her clothes from her body with a knife and took pictures. According to court documents the entire ordeal lasted at least 3 1/2 hours. If this wasn’t bad enough when she was finally able to call 911 and the OPP arrived instead of freeing her they left her tied up telling her that they could not release her until a photographer arrived to take crime scene photos.
Ontario Police are no stranger to questionable behaviour. In November, 2010 Judge Richard Lajoie ruled that Stacy Bond detainment and strip-search was a ‘clear violation’ of her rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All charges were also dropped against Bonds. You can find the disturbing video here in which she is kneed by Constable Melanie Morris, pinned to the ground by Sargent Steve Desjourdy who then gets a pair of scissors and cuts off her shirt and bra. She was then taken to a cell where she was left topless for hours. Bonds is now suing the OPP.
Another disturbing example is the Roxanne Carr case. Carr was originally arrested and charged with obstructing police and damaging property in 2008 but those charged were dropped in April 2011 after the tape was released.
In the video that was released (after media fought for it’s public release but was initially missing) Carr can be seen being dragged down a hallway by 6 police officers who force Carr to lay down. Carr is then dragged to her cell and left there. A second later however, 4 police officers rush into her cell and is seen coming out with her clothing. Her clothing is not returned to her for 1 hour. Carr is suing the OPP for mistreatment. She claims that officers broke her arm and wrist that night and left her laying naked in her cell.
Police brutality, mistreatment of rape victims? Is it any wonder that women don’t like to deal with law enforcement let alone report sexual assault and other crimes?
When are we going to stand up as Canadians and inform police officers (since they apparently have not figured it out yet) that they are in fact not above the law, they can’t do whatever they please because they have a badge, they should be held to a higher standard, and abuse of power can not and will not be tolerated. In the two cases above these officers should be thrown out of the force, particularly if the allegations against officer Morris are true that she has in fact been involved in incidents like this in the past. There needs to be a zero tolerance policy for police abuse.
As for leaving a rape victim bound in her offenders make shift contraption for over 5 hours I again say WTF? I understand that Police have a job to do and they want to make sure that they catch the offender but this never should have happened. You don’t put catching an offender a head of someone’s well being, safety, and mental state. If this is an official policy of the OPP it needs a sever overhaul.
Although this is a relatively old debate I wanted to look at it again because it’s been back in the news recently in Canada, and because it’s been bothering me for over a year now.
Back in September of 2010 a judge in Ontario, Canada found that Canada’s prostitution laws were a violation of the Charter of Rights. Prostitution isn’t and has never been illegal in Canada. What is illegal is everything around it (ie-communication for the purposes and living off of) and the question was, does this violate the Charter of Rights? Justice Susan Himel made the decision that the following laws were a violation of the Charter of Rights: Operating a common bawdy house, living off the avails of prostitution, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution. “ I have found that the law as it stands, is currently contributing to the danger faced by prostitutes…Force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person” she said. In other words, these laws potentially endanger prostitutes.
Last October the Sociology Student Society at my school brought in a detective from our local vice unit to discuss the legalization of prostitution laws. The vice detective focused the conversation around the negative consequences of legalizing prostitution: human trafficking, and the impact it would have on organized crime. As I listened to her speak I also learned some things and started to genuinely rethink my position on the legalization of prostitution. I started to understand her view point and realize that it was not an issue that was as open and shut as I originally thought. No doubt, I had a problem with the state telling women what they could and couldn’t do with their own bodies, and I had a problem with the state forcing people, who are arguable some of the most vulnerable in society, underground and into dangerous situations. I found myself thinking that Justice Himmel’s ruling is too simplistic and possibly dangerous. There are too many people at risk (mostly women and children) to simply dismiss it.
This detective started presenting us with facts and figures about prostitution that I had never thought about before. One thing that that stuck out in my mind was that a person living off prostitution (a pimp) earns somewhere around $900/day/prostitute. When this number is then extrapolated to 20 or 50 prostitutes it gives us an idea as to why prostitution is so important to organized crime. It also explains to us why it is financially viable for gangs to go to the lengths they have to find vulnerable women to participate in the sex trade. This is obviously a real issue, a social problem that isn’t going to go away because we make prostitution illegal or legal. So I started to think about these issues, I’ve been troubled ever since.
Sex trade workers argued last year that the laws, as they stand now, prevent them from working in doors or in their homes, and prevent them from properly screening clients before they leave with them. Possibly putting them in danger. In June of this year a 5 panel committee of judges heard the case as the federal government appealed the September 2010 ruling focusing heavily on the safety concerns sex workers had regarding the laws in place in Canada. The panel grilled the government lawyers on the issue of safety. The judges on the panel challenged the government lawyer, Michael Morris, telling him that they find it “hard to understand why it is not self evident that these provisions harm the ability to carry out prostitution safely.”
On June 17, 2011 the panel ordered a stay on the provinces laws surrounding prostitution stating: “”The stay will remain in effect until we say something different.” A ruling from the supreme court is not expected until this fall.
Does this mean I think the ruling is wrong? On the contrary I think this is the correct ruling and I do not think it should be reversed. The ruling is about whether or not prostitutes have the right to work safely. I don’t see what there is to debate here. Everyone has the right to safety. Michael Morris, the lawyer for Ottawa, argues that prostitution was not illegal and that the laws surrounding it were specifically designed to attack johns and pimps that engage in this activity. The laws are not meant to risk the safety of the prostitutes. Ottawa I think the time has come to acknowledge that your laws have epically failed in this regard and they need to be revised. What we need is to alter the current legislation that does not protect women and girls who are at risk, and often makes decisions for us that as adults we should be able to make for ourselves.
The focus should be on criminal organizations and not on the prostitutes themselves. By altering our laws we allow those who want to operate independently do so more safely and, if done correctly, we can put more resources into doing something about the organized criminal element of this trade. We will be allowing law enforcement to work with agencies to better respond to problem elements, we will hopefully be able to better handle the spread of disease related to prostitution, and we will be in a better position to help those women who are trapped by prostitution. I am no fool; I realize it is not just as easy as that. Something like this will take time and collaboration with many different people and organizations but I think the time has come to start doing this.
Those who oppose legalized prostitution have not yet offered a solution or alternative to the troubled social problems we clearly have. While they are busy yelling and screaming about morality, women and children are being forced to work in terrible conditions and people are dying at the hands of pimps, criminal organizations, and scum like Robert Pickton. Instead of managing the problem or improving the problem we seem to be trapped in this downward spiral where women just keep getting the short end of the stick and no one actually wants to talk about the issues at hand. We can’t help anyone if they are hiding in fear of being prosecuted. It’s time to step up.