The cycle of domestic violence for women and those who abuse them

Violence against women stems from the notion that woman should be subject to less social power and is a tact used to deploy power over them.
Violence against women stems from the notion that woman should be subject to less social power and is a tact used to deploy power over them.

Basil Borutski is the man police believe murdered three women within three hours of each other outside of Ottawa on September 22, 2015, just months after receiving an early release from prison. Two of the victims were women the accused had violent relationships with in the past. In 2013 Borustki was convicted of choking one of the murdered victims Anastasia Kuzyk, a 36-year-old real-estate agent. He was also serving a sentence for seven other charges including possession of a cross-bow.

The Canadian legal system does not consistently mandate that domestic abusers receive some form of rehabilitation or psychological assessment after an indictment, a potential factor that leads to a cycle of re-offenses that are putting the lives of woman at grave risk.

Every six days, one woman is killed by the hands of her intimate partner, according to a report conducted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. It is difficult to gauge the statistics on the number of incidences and victims of criminal violence since only twenty-two per cent of violent crimes get reported. Each year there are over forty thousand arrests made related to domestic violence.

While there hasn’t been an incline in the number of domesticated reports since 2009, there is a new trend emerging amongst victims that shows women are becoming subject to violence after they have ended a relationship and left their spouses. In 2010, homicides against woman by their intimate rose by 19 per cent. One study demonstrated that half of those women were murdered within two months of leaving their partner. While incarcerated for choking Kuzyk, Bortuski was presented with a probation order to stay away from her. He refused to sign it and was issued a prison release after serving his sentence.

Lynn Moore a former lawyer and prosecutor for Newfoundland’s Department of Justice told vice news that there is no counseling and no prosecution for the offenders, and said the risk level for women and children continues to rise. First time offenders often face little to no jail time for a domestic crime according to Moore. Bortuski was previously married; he was put on trial for three different assault incidences against his ex wife Mary Ann Mask. On two occasions Bortuski was dismissed without charges, the third incident charges were dropped when Bortuski agreed to sign a peace bond ordering him to stay away from her after he threatened to kill her.

In Ontario, men convicted of a domestic offence are not always required to participate in a rehabilitation program as a condition of their release. According to victim witness assistance the judge will make the decision depending on the severity of the case. If the abuser is ordered to participate in a program, it is the responsibility of the abuser to find a program and in some cases pay a fee for it.

Violence against women stems from the notion that woman should be subject to less social power and is a tact used to deploy power over them. While abuse comes in all forms, men that are violent towards their intimate partner rarely exert the use of violence in other relationships like with their neighbor, or a coworker. Thus,
substantiating that abuse is often gender motivated.

Domestic abuse in the Canadian legal system is like a catch and release sport. It offers no sustenance to our society; while the justice system holds the rod, the men get off the hook, and leave women to dangle like bait.

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Marina Tyszkiewicz is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, she enjoys covering women’s issues, animal welfare issues and writing profile pieces. She likes to spend her spare time reading, writing, and researching. Marina hopes to freelance and have her own opinion column following graduation.