WOMEN’S SUPPORT groups have called on Judge Seán Martin MacBride to apologise after remarks he made at Monaghan District Court this week.He ought to be tired of those cases. Usually people are prosecuted for filing false charges. Somehow women are treated like children, and the law does not hold them accountable for their recklessness.
The judge made the remarks after he heard a number of cases in which women, having alleged that they had been assaulted by their partners, withdrew the charges in court.
The judge told the court he was “getting tired of these cases”.
“I am sick to the teeth of this. I must have heard 50 of these cases this year alone,” he said.
Two women’s support groups in the area yesterday spoke on local radio station Northern Sound criticising the judge’s comments.They want “greater accountability from judges”?!
“I think ‘flabbergasted’ was one word that was used a lot for this,” said Paula McGovern, spokeswoman for Sonas Housing.
“I think that there is a lack of understanding [of] what a woman might be going through, the pressure she could be under, the threats to drop the charges,” she added.
“These women are not saying the assault did not happen, they just dropped the charges. We know there is a lot of victim blaming going on.
“In this case the victim has withdrawn the charges and there is a lot of pressure on the woman to stay in the situation. There is a lot of stigma involved in domestic violence. It is not really talked about in the open and I think it would be nice if he did apologise but we need greater accountability from judges.”
Siobhán McKenna of Tearmann Domestic Violence Services in Monaghan said: “I understand where the judge is coming from, and sometimes it can be frustrating, but he has to understand the reasons why the women do this.
I think that the judge understands all to well why women do this. Many women are emotionally unstable, and have bad motives for filing charges.
Update: Here is a story about a woman who has not quite mastered the art of making a report against her husband:
A Port Orange police officer asked a woman to show him how her husband tried to strangle her and when the woman put two fingers on the policeman's neck, she got arrested, records show.