Instead of putting our energy into complaining about the reticence to act against gender-based violence, lets act against gender violence and put offenders in jail.
The RCMP has too many sexual assault and harassment cases against its own members. The same is true of the Canadian Forces. These aren’t being prosecuted. They need to be heard by a criminal court, not a whitewash hearing.
The RCMP has failed both victims and survivors among aboriginal peoples and over the last 30 years it admits there are 1200 missing young women where foul play is suspected. These are important cases that should have been solved the day after.
Maybe only in Canada could there be the persistent internet display of recorded rapings of young girls resulting in their eventual suicide or years of grief and faltering recovery, all with no remedy in law.
Judges are handing out lenient sentences that put rapists back on the street to re-offend and they do and leave Crown Attorneys frustrated and semi-reluctant to try more cases of the type and instead deal them off or drop carriage of the file.
In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important not to lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime. Too many of them are walking the streets in Canada, re-offending, after serving short sentences.
Putting these criminals in jail in Canada seems to be difficult. Some focus on getting that particular job done might now be in order.
Immediate action is needed to investigate the 1200 missing aboriginal women (Missing Young Aboriginal Women) along with the epic failure of Canadian law enforcement in these cases.
Canada’s systems need to make sure cases like Pitt Meadows 09/2010 and the Rehtaeh Parsons tragedy never happen again owing to a failure of the Justice system in Canada.
Speaking of Ottawa and judicial failures, there’s the example of, Victor Fuentes, then 54, who was sentenced Tuesday August 14, 2012 to four years in prison by Ontario Court Justice Ann Alder for the crimes of rape and sodomy while on the same day in the USA an offender was given hundreds of years for the same crime. Victor Fuentes was a person of trust, in authority over others as a ParaTranspo driver and he raped a physically and developmentally disabled passenger on his bus in Ottawa.
Crime and Punishment Issue
The RINJ Foundation urges the Court to follow these sentencing guidelines on conviction of such a rapist:
* Make all rapists and most attempted rapists subject to long indeterminate sentences (min. 5 years for ‘attempt rape’);
* Use prison terms ranging from 10 years to 25 years to life;
* Use life without parole for forcible rapes of victims under 14;
* Use a range of 7, 10, or 15-to-25 years for rapes of adult victims, while using a 30 to life term when a sexually violent repeat predator specification is proved;
* For 15-year + sentences, impose a mandatory release-review by the sentencing court, available after the minimum term is served, parallel to the Parole Board’s reviews. If either entity rejects release the term is extended by another year. On failing a review at that time, an application can be made each three years;
* For repeat violent offender penalties, increase the definite term to 20 years.