They call this justice?

Story link here, linked to This Is Bristol because I refuse to link to The Sun.

A frightened Bristol mum who refused to give evidence against her partner was locked up while he was released.

Tina Connors is so scared of her partner that she was prepared to go to jail instead of giving evidence against him – and spent three hours in the cells for failing to testify.

Her partner Jerry faced trial for ramming her car as she fled to Bristol from him with their three children, threatening her, and later smashing up the car before torching it.

Yes friends, you read that correctly. This woman has already had to deal with the father of her children attempting to force her off the road while the children were in the car before he smashed up and set fire to the car and because she was too scared of him to testify in court, SHE was locked up while HE got to walk free from court. Because of course, it’s much better for the children to see Daddy let off with trying to kill them and Mummy locked up for being a victim. There’s a beautiful victim-blaming quote from the Judge (Judge Mark Horton)

You were more frightened of your husband than this court, which could send you to prison for two years. That tells me how frightened you were.

“If something now happens there’s only one person you can blame. The legal system of this country has tried to help you and you have spurned it.

FYI, the conviction rate for domestic violence last year was 6.4%. Not exactly inspiring for any woman who wants to live a life free from fear. This woman fought to protect her children, made a complaint to the police about her abusive, violent partner and followed it through only for her to be jailed because she should just get over being scared.

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Girl’s Mother Caused Polanski to Rape

With Roman Polanski having been arrested in Switzerland on an outstanding US arrest warrant, the rape apologists have been coming out in droves.  However, we here at I Blame The Mother care about mother-blaming.  Luckily for us, the rape apologists have got that covered, too.  They figured out that Roman Polanski would not have raped a 13-year-old girl except for the girl’s mother!  Here’s Joan Z Shore, Co-founder of  Women Overseas for Equality (Belgium), over at the Huffington Post laying it out for us:

The 13-year old model “seduced” by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies.

As Amanda Hess, in her column over at the Washington City Paper, comments about Shore’s description:

So, Polanski is just a really special guy who was practically forced to have sex with that 13-year-old girl by her mother.

Brynn Caffey puts a slightly different spin on the mother-blaming in his comments on an article he wrote at the Bilerico Project.  He starts with this comnment:

Finally, her mother. What mother would let her 13-year-old daughter go on a photo shoot alone with a Hollywood director? And twice?! As a mother, I can tell you I would not, without a shadow of a doubt. This does lead one to question if her mother was knowingly looking to eventually profit from the encounter.

and follows it up later with this comment in case we missed that he was accusing the mother of deliberately sending her underaged daughter to get raped:

What is open to question is whether [the girl’s] primary victimizer was Polanski, or her mother. If the latter, it would certainly not be the first time a parent deliberately coached their child on how to behave and what to say afterwards, then callously pushed her into an exploitative situation with a Hollywood celebrity hoping it would result in a sexual encounter from which she could profit—financially or in other ways.

(Note: For those confused by my referring to Caffey, a mother, as “he”, this is because he is a transgender man.  I’ve also edited out his use of the girl’s name in his second comment.  I see no reason to continue victimising her more than has been and continues to be done.)

I prefer Caffey’s mother-blaming rape apologism to Shore’s not only because it’s more direct in the blaming, but because it always gives me an extra warm feeling when it’s a mother invoking motherhood to blame another mother.

It’s only equality if the government can’t exploit it

When I was linked to this story on the Daily Fail yesterday, I assumed that it had been exaggerated because after all it was in the Daily Fail. Right..? Sadly not, as the same story was also published by the BBC:

…the case of two police officers told they had broken the law by caring for each other’s children.

Ofsted said the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving “a reward”.

It said the women would have to be registered as childminders.

Now let’s just clarify this here. Two women working in LAW ENFORCEMENT – where I’m fairly sure you have to be CRB-checked and be generally sensible people – have been told that babysitting for one another in their own homes so that they can go to work without being crippled by childcare costs is a REWARD and therefore contravenes the Childcare act.

Let’s just run that one again. A mutual agreement – which sees two young children cared for by someone who they are close to, who is both a parent of a similarly-aged child AND who is CRB-checked & trained to respond to emergency situations – is a reward and they have now been told to cease this arrangement unless they register as childminders and succumb to inspection by Ofsted.

I… I don’t even know where to start on this one so we’ll go for ye olde favourite, responsibility.

What has encouraged me over the last 24 hours has been the anger displayed by other mothers, fathers and grandparents responding to this. I have personally been long concerned that this Government does not trust parents to make decisions for their own children, that laws are enacted with scant consideration to those it covers. Ludicrous rules enforced in the name of “Health & Safety” have left our children incapable of assessing risk for themselves or – for the most part – able to play naturally without inhibition or worry about breaking the rules. But – and it is a big but – what gives Ofsted the right to intervene in a situation that is common practice the length and breadth of the nation? Ironically, it turns out that if Mother A had taken Child A to Mother B’s house to care for the children there (and vice versa) it would have been a non sequitur because the role of the carer changes from childminder to childcarer

Of course, if those women had accepted their subservient roles and stayed at home with their children instead of working then there would be no issue. I mean, how very dare they desire to leave their children to go out to the workplace? The government provides tax credits to contribute towards the costs of childcare, isn’t that good enough for these Mothers? So I throw it open to you – do you think this action is fair and equitable? Or absolutely ridiculous?

I think I’ve made my feelings quite clear on the matter but just in case – Mr Brown, stop blaming the Mothers.

Get raped in front of your kids in a parking garage? Your fault.

This one is a few weeks old by now, but a very unfortunate and current example of the classic blame the rape victim.

A woman was raped at gunpoint in the hotel parking garage in front of her two children at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford Connecticut.  The woman’s attacker is serving a 20-year prison term for the 2006 attack, but in the woman’s lawsuit against Marriot the company claimed that she:

failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities.

Not only is this blaming the rape victim and blaming the mother, but in my opinion it is also Marriott admitting that its hotels are no safer than the worst neighbourhoods out there. Why would anyone stay at a hotel like that? You might as well just grab a mattress and throw it on the ground in an alley in a violent area.

To make matters worse, Marriott also wanted to be sure that everyone knew exactly which mother to blame, when it indirectly disclosed her and her children’s identities by seeking subpeonas for people like her pilates instructor, friends and tennis partners, house cleaner and baby sitter.

The company later retracted its “blame the victim” defense after it realized the extent of the backlash. Too little, too late.

Read more:

Marriott hotel in US withdraws blame-the-victim defense in gunpoint parking ramp rape (Associated Press)

Marriott is a Disgrace: A Loyal Marriotteer No More (blog post on Dirt & Noise)

Where was the mother?

Let’s just do this one really quickly, shall we? So, many of you will have read about the case in which a man repeatedly slapped a toddler in a Walmart store in the US because her behaviour did not please him. Yes, repeated criminal physical assault on a child. Do you know whose fault it was? Well, check out a comment here .

Did you guess? Yes, the mother’s fault.

While I do not advocate what the man did – I’m glad it has sparked debate. What everyone is forgetting is WHERE WAS THE MOTHER?
He said: “If you don’t shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you.” Mom did nothing! Didn’t report the man, making me think this happens to her all the time and she ignores it.

Do you know what? Yes, people do threaten, “jokingly” or otherwise, to physically assault a child for crying, quite often. Any parent of a toddler or former toddler here who’s never had that happen, raise your hand. No, thought there wouldn’t be many of you. And while, yes, it would be nice to think that if you reported it to the authorities every time, it would be taken as seriously as a similar threat to an adult, we all know it wouldn’t, don’t we? “Officer, he threatened to slap my child.” “Well, madam, perhaps if you slapped her more often she wouldn’t behave so badly.”

That aside, making someone other than a violent criminal responsible for his violent crime is… well, we’re all feminists here, right? I think we know when else that happens. Perhaps mothers, as women, shouldn’t be at all surprised that the burden of preventing violent crime is all on our behaviour.