Posted by: Chasy | 25/11/2009

Well, fuck it.

Greg Bird had his assault conviction overturned.

While I’m not surprised, I am disappointed. And angry. Not at Kate Milligan for not speaking out, but at the society that encourages the victim to keep quiet.

The case first came to light amonst a glut of ‘bad rugby league player’ scandals, so public opinion was on her side. If she had pushed ahead with charges and got a conviction quickly, she might have escaped public humiliation.

What has probably happened is that she was told by the police that he could be charged. Kate, being in the grips of a manipulative relationship, believed that it was all her fault anyway, and was frightened by the idea of the man she loved going to gaol. Then she was most likely discouraged from pressing charges by promises of love and change by Bird, and threats from his management and other advisors that her ‘drug use’ (pttthhh) would be made public, she would be a laughing stock, and she wouldn’t win anyway, as domestic violence cases are hard to prove.

The charges went ahead without her because there was enough evidence anyway, and she found herself in the spotlight, with her abuse played over and over again for everyone to see, and she just wanted to make it go away.

Poor love.

We love to blame the victim in these situations. The majority of the population do so because they fear that sort of situation entering their lives, either as the perpetrator or the victim, because they easily empathise with people they see regularly in the media. Their empathy turns to guilt, guilt turns to fear, then fear turns to anger. They hate the victim for speaking out and bringing this situation into their homes. We’d like to pretend it just doesn’t happen.

Well, so does the victim.

Buy a white ribbon. Make sure our society changes and women feel strong enough to speak out about intimate partner violence.

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