(AVFM News Canada) Elizabeth Sheehy, a University of Ottawa law professor and an award winner from the Canadian Bar Association for her scholarship on women and the law, proposes a possible solution for women in abusive relationships.
Just kill your husband. Don’t even let the fact that he is in bed asleep stop you.
Sheehy’s new book, Defending Battered Women on Trial, due to be released in four days, is apparently an exhaustive call for radical revisions in Canadian law, aimed at making it legal for women to commit acts on men that would otherwise be defined as murder.
Sheehy also asserts that there should be a “statutory escape hatch” that allows only women who murder to circumvent mandatory minimum sentences.
“[P]rosecutors should charge battered women who kill their abusers with manslaughter rather than murder,” she said, “to give them a chance to argue self-defense without bearing the onerous consequences of failure.”
Sheehy compared women in violent or abusive relationships to prisoners of war, citing that as justification to kill. “We would never say of a prisoner of war that it’s not just that she or he kill their captor to escape. It is just to kill to escape that kind of enslavement.”
This line of thinking may cause concern for Canadian men, particularly in light of sweeping expansion of the meaning of domestic violence in Canada.
The Legal Profession Assistance Conference (LPAC), which works with the Canadian Bar Association, defines intimate partner violence (IPV) as, “threatened, attempted, or completed physical or sexual violence or emotional abuse by a current or former intimate partner.*”
While LPAC at least superficially appears to acknowledge that both men and women can be violent, a fact which is substantiated by volumes of research**, Sheehy offers rigidly gendered analysis and recommendations.
Her perspective inarguably puts the gun in a woman’s hand, and with it possibly permission to kill at her own discretion.