On Tuesday – five days before Christmas – a 33-year-old mother of two was allegedly stabbed in the throat by her estranged partner. The stabbing happened in the local court house – about 10 minutes away from where I’m writing this right now – and in front of a court mediator.
My hatred for this man quickens my heart and fills my eyes. I can’t bring myself to think about these two beautiful kids, left without a mother. I can’t let myself feel that sadness. But the hatred and the anger? Yeah, I can do that. I can feel that, and I can shout from the fucking rooftops that THIS NEEDS TO STOP.
In the news reports about the stabbing, the point being made is that the court house should’ve had a metal detector. Yeah, maybe, but that strikes me as shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted. It’s probably necessary, but it’s not really the point. The point is that cunts like this – with a chip on their shoulder and a deep-rooted sense of misguided entitlement – are doing more than just stamping their feet when they don’t get their own way. These men – these childish, narcissistic, heartless humans – are taking matters into their own hands, with tragic, unthinkable consequences.
At which point do we – as a society – put our hands up and say, “Okay, something needs to change”? Clearly, something isn’t working. The system is flawed. This system that allows dangerous, angry, embittered men access to their former partners and children is seriously fucking flawed. I was going to say that these men are unpredictable, but it’s the exact opposite of that. These men are completely fucking predictable. We know the ending to these stories before the first chapter has finished.
We know how these stories end: women with VROs against violent exes, which are consistently and repeatedly contested, so that they never feel safe, not truly. Women with VROs that protect them, but who have to stand by and watch their children get into a car with a man who they know to be violent and vengeful, because a father has a right to see his kids. Women who are endlessly failed by the system.
At which point do we say: THIS IS NOT WORKING? It’s not a case of waiting for the worst to happen. THE WORST HAS HAPPENED – on multiple occasions. Mothers left without children, children left without mothers, men facing court with a wry smile and absolutely no fucking remorse, because “she got what was coming to her”.
I’m so fucking angry right now. I’m angry at the spoilt, petulant boy-men with their hurt pride and twisted sense of justice. I’m angry at the parents who raised them, who taught them that it’s okay to kill if you don’t get your own way. I’m angry at the endlessly flawed system. I have to be angry, because if I let the anger slip – even for a second – then it will be replaced with devastation and despair; for this mother and her beautiful children and her grieving family, and for all the women living every day in fear of the inevitable ending.
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