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A uniformed crime
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-11-25 10:14:39
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Drew Paterson’s case seems that it came to remind us how much and how many women suffer nowadays and furthermore it came to remind us of the special problems people in uniform are dealing with. Please, I don’t want to be misunderstood, first I don’t think that all men and women in uniform are necessarily violent and secondly everybody is innocent including Mr. Peterson before proven guilty.

The facts are pretty scary, one in every three women somewhere around this world has been seriously beaten by her spouse, husband, boyfriend or a member of her family and that’s at least once in her life. 31% of American women have reported physical abuse from a husband or boyfriend while 25% has reported rape from the current or former partner. Women of all races are equally vulnerable to experience violence by an intimate.

For the year 2000, 1, 300 women were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends while the percent of pregnant or recently pregnant women hold a big part of these women and remember these numbers are only coming from the American Commonwealth Fund survey. Do you need more numbers?

Here are some more: 73% of domestic violence victims are wives or girlfriends, 73% of the incidents go unreported, 31% of all the murders in USA are women killed by husbands or boyfriends, 40% of abusive relationships started having problems after the first pregnancy. These are definitely scary numbers and there are a lot more to make you feel really defenceless in the world we live.

Remember now two things, first of all these are figures coming from the USA and it is easy to find similar figures in the UK and the other European countries, but there is a mystery regarding Africa and most of Asia. Primitive figures and surveys show that South America is not far behind. But again these figures cover men and women, not men and women in uniform, there is a bit of fog regarding figures there.

However, we don’t have to go far inside the American society to understand how big the problem is, just try Hollywood and try to remember in which film the cop, bad or good, hasn’t practiced domestic violence one way or another and been forced into a dramatic divorce. Include all the crime sitcoms and leave your imagination to understand.

Police Sergeant Drew Paterson is the prime suspect for murdering his disappeared wife - his fourth wife. There are already suspicions of the death of his first and third wife and the second has already witnessed domestic violence and threats of murder. Of course, being a police officer he is the best at covering his tracks and most likely committing the perfect murder. His excuse that she most likely ran away with a boyfriend sounds so poor that it cannot work even as a Hollywood script – no matter how desperate Hollywood is with the latest writers’ strike.

The excuse that uniformed men and women have to deal with so much violence that they somehow bring it home also sounds poor - doctors, teachers, just about any profession that has to deal with violence, but obviously they don’t bring it home. So what really is the problem?

For a long time many specialists have warned that the way people enter the police or the defence forces is not the best and people who should not be there find themselves with power and most of all with a gun. What tests did Mr. Peterson go through before he was given a gun? What training, if any, did Mr. Peterson undertake before he started serving the law? In an interview trying to say his side, Mr. Peterson said, “Basically, I’m a good person, I do good things!” I don’t know what scared me more, the …’basically’ or the ‘I do good things.’ Later he added that their problems were brought on by her depression and PMS. God, that’s the part I stopped believing him; the man had no idea what he was talking about and he was using the oldest excuse of not understanding his own wife.

A few years ago I participated in a test with policemen where we interviewed them trying to understand why they joined the force. More than 75% admitted it was the sense of power, these people didn’t join the police force to serve the law but to enforce the law and exercise power. Gradually these people moved their force from the station to the streets and then to their own house. The state, any state in this case, all around the world has an obligation to train and follow correctly these men; from serving the law they turn to commit the worst crime!

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Sand2007-11-25 10:39:50
Anybody who has tried to confront a policeman in the most minimum way quickly realizes that it is dangerous and unfruitful. But society sends these people out to tangle with potential injury and death every day and it is not surprising they can be very nervous about anybody who questions their authority. I have no solution.

Thanos2007-11-25 23:54:03
You know the ones that really scare me are these private security, they are really dangerous in the ignorance and the fact that they have some kind of authority. Unfortunately in Finland they have power as well!!!

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