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Canada Acquittal of man accused of shooting pregnant ex a ‘failure’ for domestic abuse survivors: advocate

16:45  06 december  2019
16:45  06 december  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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The mum-of-five, who was eight months pregnant , suffered an abdominal injury and was rushed to hospital where she died. A 50-year-old man has appeared in court today accused of shooting dead his heavily pregnant ex -wife with a crossbow.

False domestic violence accusations are extremely common. The last thing a victim wants is to be jailed for domestic violence . That said, there are several things for which someone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence can do to help ensure their rights are protected and freedoms

a person posing for the camera: Carleton Stevens was charged with attempted murder in a 2018 shooting that caused his ex-girlfriend to lose her unborn child.© Facebook Carleton Stevens was charged with attempted murder in a 2018 shooting that caused his ex-girlfriend to lose her unborn child.

The acquittal of a B.C. man accused of shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the stomach, causing her to lose her baby, represents the latest failure of the legal system to protect victims of domestic abuse, a women's rights advocate argues.

Carleton Stevens was found not guilty of attempted murder on Wednesday, after the judge ruled there was reasonable doubt he had intent to harm the woman or the baby, which was also his.

READ MORE: B.C. man acquitted of attempted murder in shooting that caused pregnant ex to lose child

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Domestic violence and abuse can happen against women and against men , and anyone can be an abuser . The Survivor 's Handbook from the charity Women's Aid is free, and provides information for women on a wide range of issues, such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.

Domestic violence brings many challenges, including financial problems. After seeking help from a trained domestic violence advocate , there are numerous tactics for victims of financial abuse . Nonprofit Programs for Domestic Abuse Survivors .

Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director of Battered Women's Support Services in Vancouver, says the verdict was "devastating and painful" to hear.

"I think many of us are feeling outraged," she said Thursday. "This is, again, a painful and devastating reminder of the limitations of the Canadian legal system when it comes to violence against women."

MacDougall applauded Crown for pursuing the attempted murder charge, saying it recognized "all the factors" and "architecture" of a domestic homicide.

But defence lawyer Chandra Corriveau argued outside the court Wednesday that the judge was right to conclude the shot was fired in the course of a struggle, rather than with intent.

Corriveau called the circumstances "incredibly tragic" and admitted Stevens had been proven to be threatening towards the victim, who was only identified as J.Y. due to a publication ban.

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The data – patchy though it is – suggests that domestic violence is a serious problem, with Most of the women who come to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) She is seen to be a failure , she is seen to be promiscuous and most times those are the grounds on

Domestic Abuse Shelter helps survivors of Domestic Abuse begin again and provides In addition, women generally accept the responsibility for the state of their relationships; to leave is to admit failure . TRUE FALSE. 8. Abuse does not stop and may even intensify when the woman is pregnant .

"The difficulty is that threatening and attempted murder are simply very different charges," she said.

"I think even in my submissions I acknowledged that if Mr. Stevens was charged with threatening he was absolutely — the elements of that offence were certainly made out. But that's not what the offence that was charged was, and it's unfortunate for victims of domestic violence."

READ MORE: Every 2.5 days, a woman or girl is killed in Canada, new report shows

Prosecutors alleged that Stevens was consumed with jealousy and rage at perceived infidelity on J.Y.’s part.

The court heard that Stevens had made repeated threats to kill J.Y., her child, and her friend Taj Lovett, who Stevens suspected was having an affair with J.Y.

MacDougall says women are more likely to be killed by a partner after an abusive relationship, noting the vast majority of domestic homicides are committed by ex-partners.

Man who shot pregnant ex-girlfriend not guilty of attempted murder: B.C. judge

  Man who shot pregnant ex-girlfriend not guilty of attempted murder: B.C. judge In a strange twist to a tragic case, a man a judge concluded had shot two people, including his pregnant former girlfriend, has been found not guilty of attempted murder. After Carleton Stevens shot his ex-girlfriend, who can only be identified by the initials J.Y. due to a publication ban, the victim, who was 6-1/2-months’ pregnant, was taken to hospital and, despite emergency surgery, lost her unborn child that was also his child. After Carleton Stevens shot his ex-girlfriend, who can only be identified by the initials J.Y. due to a publication ban, the victim, who was 6-1/2-months’ pregnant, was taken to hospital and, despite emergency surgery, lost her unborn child that was also his child.

For abuse survivors who are immigrants, disbelief about abuse can be magnified by xenophobia Abusive ex -partners frequently continue their harassment and abuse through family court and child When challenged about their history of violence and abuse , some may accuse their ex -victims of

Accused Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz had abused his ex -girlfriend, just as 54% of the mass shooters before him had committed domestic or family abuse , according to an analysis of mass shootings by the group Everytown for Gun Safety. The risk of death for abused partners is five times greater if guns

She added those threats were a risk factor that pointed towards the potential for violence, along with the fact that J.Y. was pregnant and that Stevens had access to weapons despite a court-ordered ban.

In Canada, a woman or girl is killed nearly every other day on average, according to a January report from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.

Federal statistics also show one woman is murdered by her partner every week on average, while one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence over the course of their lives.

READ MORE: Limiting information about violence against women is dangerous — here’s why

MacDougall said B.C. has a strong network of support services like her's, along with transition houses and victims' services organizations, that help women escape domestic violence. She also called for more funding for those services.

But she said the legal system needs to recognize the extremely specific factors that allow violence against women to become widespread, and find ways to combat those factors and deter violence.

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Unfortunately, accusations like child abuse happen quite often. Particularly in high-conflict custody battles, tempers can escalate quickly and both parties are bound to feel the strain. When that investigation fails to uncover evidence of abuse , the accused parent’s rights will be reinstated.

The signs of domestic abuse may not be as clear as you’d think. Here’s a checklist on how to recognize the warning symptoms of psychological and physical abuse . That’s because domestic abuse is about controlling someone’s mind and emotions as much as hurting their body.

So far, she hasn't seen any progress towards that goal.

"The legal system has been failing women for a really long time," she said. "In this case, we see what we would consider another glaring failure.

"If judges had appropriate training, if Crown counsel understood this particular architecture, we might have seen a different result had there been this understanding of this kind of violence and how lethal it is."

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth wouldn't offer an opinion on the verdict and what message it sends to domestic abuse survivors.

READ MORE: Broken: A Global News series on Canada’s ongoing failure to end violence against women

"The judicial system has rendered its verdict, and any further steps, whether there is an appeal or not, will be made by the Attorney General's ministry," he said.

Stevens remained in custody as he awaits to face his outstanding charge of possession of a prohibited firearm contrary to a court order, which also stems from the shooting.

A trial date for that charge has not yet been set. Stevens has pleaded not guilty.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a 'public health crisis,' says B.C. researcher .
VANCOUVER — A British Columbia mother in her late 30s says there was "no support in sight" after she suffered two serious blows to the head at the hands of different partners more than a decade ago. "I was exhausted. I had to quit my job because I couldn't get up," said the woman, whose name is not being used because she is separated from her child's father and fears for her family's safety. "My head hurt so badly. I wasn't able to focus. I felt"I was exhausted. I had to quit my job because I couldn't get up," said the woman, whose name is not being used because she is separated from her child's father and fears for her family's safety.

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