Thursday, October 18, 2007

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

A Sardinian man resident in Germany has received a reduced sentence for rape - because he is Sardinian. The man, who was insanely jealous, tortured his Lithuanian girlfriend for 3 weeks, forced her to take heroin and to sleep with him and another Italian at the same time. The details are here in English.

The German judge made the ruling almost a year ago but the Italian documents have only just been released. Reducing the possible sentence from 15 years to 6, he gave as a reason "a different cultural and ethnic background ". As you may imagine, politicians, feminist groups and most Sardinians are up in arms and even the man's mother, to whom he has declared, "I only hit her" has said that if her son committed this crime, he didn't deserve a reduced sentence.

As for the girlfriend, I am sad to have to tell you that she wrote in her diary that she still loved her abuser: this is not love but obsession and it is a sentiment indicative of a woman who feels powerless.

Now the man, who has been beaten by other prisoners in the German jail, has asked to serve his term in Italy and the German President of the Tribunal has remarked that all circumstances had had to be taken into acount when sentence was passed: the man had a history of drug use, might have been at some risk medically, he had confessed and had no previous criminal record in Germany. Could it be that the original judge erred on the side of a strange interpretation of political correctness, then? The Tribunal President says that, in cases of jealousy, nationality is not an issue because relationships founded upon it exist in all countries.

But what on earth did the sentencing judge think or know of Sardinians? Did he research them or call in experts? It doesn't look that way to me: it looks as if he based his decision on age-old misconceptions. These may have been founded upon racism or ignorance; they certainly were not founded upon any sense of justice.

19 comments:

Lee said...

How ridiculous! These judges worldwide must have all gone to the same school! Their sense of sentencing is way off! I don't know how they sleep at night.

As for the female involved, she certainly needs her head read if she's claiming she loves the animal. Some women are their own worst enemy and cling onto these false emotions because they lack the confidence to stand alone. They, too, make me angry. They need to open up their eyes and realise there is a whole other world out there, one that doesn't revolve around them or their so-called lovers/husbands or whatever!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. Neither do I. Totally agree with you re the female.

Briget said...

My God, the law (as administered by men) constantly amazes me. When it doesn't sicken me. As for the woman's claim of "love", I would call it something different. But that's a long, long rant a-winding and not something I'm going to go into now.

I just found your blog, through circuitous ways, and although I feel like a Yank at a tea party, I must submit in my defense that my real name is Bronwyn. (I use Briget online only). I live in the middle of the Middle of the USA (Ohio, actually) and I am enjoying reading about your adventures!

jmb said...

Perhaps the judge was mixed up about Sardinia and Sicily and thought he might take a contract out on him.

Seriously, it seems that crimes like this are treated too cavalierly by the justice system. That's interesting about asking to serve the sentence in Italy. I wonder how it works under the EU. If they can do that. I should think the Germans would be glad to be rid of him if possible.

As to the woman, so many have had their self esteem so beaten up in these destructive relationships that they don't believe they deserve any better. That is the truly sad part in my opinion.
regards
jmb

tooth fairy said...

I think they should throw the book at him on the drug use as well!

lady macleod said...

What a world! Discrimination in all the wrong ways; makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Winchester whisperer said...

Do you think the sentence would have been longer or shorter had the man been Sicilian rather than Sardinian?

Gledwood said...

I'm sorry after I got to "different cultural and ethnic background" I couldn't read on ... but how pathetic!

I hope you are properly better,? ;->...

Ian said...

Lee, I'm really not sure that blaming a person in the receiving end of an abusive relationship is at all helpful. They already have (at least) one person telling them of their inadequacy and worthlessness, and you have no idea of the circumstances that have led them into their present situation. You won't give a person confidence by also yelling at them...

But I agree the judge in this case doesn't show his colleagues in a good light.

Andrew Allison said...

Getting out of an abusive relationship is not as easy as it appears. Many women will stick with their partner in the vain hope things will get better. Refuges are full of women who have been through abuse for many years.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Bridget [Bronwen]. How nice to meet you and glad you are enjoying my blog. Yes, this sentence is amazing, isn't it? Jmb, you may be right! I don't know if he'd be allowed to serve the term in italy but will try to find out. I agree that the low self-esteem of the woman is very sad. Hi, TF. I think the drug use was in Italy, though. Lady M, me too! Interesting question, WW. I think the judge probably wouldn't have known much about the differences between the 2 islands, as he didn't know much about Sardinia! So I think the result would have been the same. Ciao, Gleds. Still sniffling! Hi, Ian. I agree that we don't know what led this woman to this man but I agree with Lee that some women are very afraid of being alone and will put up with almost anything rather than risk it. Hi, Andrew. Yes, that is true because an abusive relationship can become addictive. The womwn involved need to seek help because if they stay with the abusive partner they not only put themselves in danger but also their children, who often grow up to resent them for not leaving. I agree partly with jmb and partly with LEe; a lot of women stay because of low self esteem but there are women who are afraid to stand alone too.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Abusive relationships can be addictive for a simple reason, you understand why the abuser does wht they do.

I had a partner years ago who was very vilioent, but I feared what would happen to her if I left.

Love can be very twisted.

Ellee Seymour said...

What a horrid story. Was it because the judge had no sympathy for a Lithuanian woman?

That woman certainly needs help, so many women get trapped in obsessive relationships which drag them down and they lose their self respect.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Crushed. Love can , indeed, become twisted, but I would argue that at that point it is no longer love: it might be possession, pity or fear maquerading as love. Hi, Ellee. I don't think it was because the woman was Lithuanian; I think it was misconceptions about Sardinia. I certainly agree that the woman needs help.

Paolo said...

This is racism!!! The sardinian man deserved a full sentence but the judge is a real racist. Like to say: you are animals, we are an higher race, did he know Hitler maybe??

If i was the judge would stay out of sardinia for the holidays.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Paolo. Yes - the judge wouldn't be very popular in Sardinia if he went there, would he?

Sen. Peter Higham Paul said...

...As for the girlfriend, I am sad to have to tell you that she wrote in her diary that she still loved her abuser: this is not love but obsession and it is a sentiment indicative of a woman who feels powerless...

This is something I've seen in girls and really puzzled about. What's your theory, Welshcakes?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, James. Well, I think we all behave , in love, in ways we would not believe of ourselves [only I would argue that was not "love" but something disguising itself as that state]. In cases like these, I think it is to do with very low self-esteem and also with fear of being alone. Having said that, I let someone abuse me emotionally long after I could and should have got out of the situation and my intellect told me that. But, as I've said before, your intellect is no match for your feelings so it makes no difference how "bright" or not you think you are. I think both men and women can find themselves in this position - that of knowing you should leave but still loving - but it is probably more common among women to believe that the person will "change" and also we sometimes, perversely, want to "mother" the abuser too. In this particular case it may have been mixed up with all sorts of other fears - of not feeling "part of" the country in which the girl found herself, etc - but I'm only guessing here. Deep down I think a lot of people fear being alone and if you are not economically confident, that can make you cling to a very unhealthy relationship. Also he might, in a strange way, have made her "feel needed" and that can be a very addictive drug. I am off to consult de Beauvoir before I ramble further!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

James, I was just looking through some CDs and thought of something else: There's a Shumannsong, "Frauenliebe Und Leben" and you've got more German than me, but isn't the sense "I'll love you if you never look at me"? Ok, this type of sentiment occurs in the troubadours' songs, but they were contrived. Speed along to modern times and you have songs like "My Man" - "Whatever my man is, I am his" and "Stand by your Man". There must be others. What I'm getting at is where are the lyrics about standing by your woman whatever she does? Can somebody tell me? OK, these abused womwn may not know these songs, but [Jung] if you can inherit physical characteristics you can inherit psychological ones. In general, women have been taught to out up with whatever men do for a long time and that will be hard to readicate.

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