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Advisory Council on the Status of Women

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2004-09-22: Derogatory Cartoon in Local Paper

Letter to the Editor
Submitted by Kirstin Lund, PEIACSW Chairperson
September 22, 2004

I was disappointed to see a cartoon in todayís Guardian depicting a man consoling his buddy with the words, "itís better to have loved and lost and spent 3 months in the slammer for multiple violations of the restraining order than never to have loved at all." This is just wrong - on many levels.

Restraining and other "stay away" orders are not a joke. They are often put in place because one partner fears the other. Unfortunately, we have heard many women who have left abusive relationships describe these orders as "jokes" because their abusive partners do not abide by or respect them as enforceable. Buoying that attitude by pretending itís funny is not helpful.

Furthermore, family violence is not about love or love lost, itís about power and control. There is absolutely nothing romantic about it. Abusers to do not hit or degrade their partners because they "love them so much". They abuse for many other reasons, perhaps theyíve learned from their upbringing that abusing your spouse is appropriate, or perhaps they feel so out of control of their lives that they need to maintain control over some part of it. Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with romantic feelings towards their partner. Love is about respect, not about control, abuse or harassment.

I realize that this cartoon was not created by Guardian staff. I hope that in future, the staff will scan imported materials closely to avoid offensive or potentially damaging messages.

With thanks,

Kirstin Lund is the chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

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