There are four characters involved in the case whose specific features are to be provided. First, it is David; he is a father and married to Mary, and he is 26 years old. Second, it is Mary, she has been married to David for four years, and she is 24 years old. Third, there is Bobby, their son who is 3 years old. Finally, Jean is the newborn daughter of Mary and David.
Despite the fact that there are four individuals in the case, the latter’s facts allow assuming that Mary and David have the main roles within the scope of the issue. This case rather focuses on relationships between the spouses, and the children can be considered indirect victims to an exact extent. Jean was born prematurely and has a number of related health issues. The doctors from the case did not specify the reason for this premature birth, but Mary had troubles with alcohol, and it is implied that alcohol intake could be the primary prerequisite in this regard. Then, Bobby is only 3 years old, and he is not likely to critically reflect upon the situation his family is facing. However, at the subliminal level, he can inherit the behavior models given and become rather an abuser or victim in the future. Hence, Bobby seems to be affected by the intergenerational impact of violence. Both Bobby and Jean can be perceived as victims, but still, they are not the main characters in the case.
At first approximation, Mary is a victim in the given situation as David was the one to choke her after the argument. Nevertheless, it is said that she was taking alcohol on a regular basis, and she even was subject to alcohol abuse. Her actions and behavior were likely to provoke Jean’s premature birth and psychologically exhaust David for a considerable period. No doubts that it was she who suffered from domestic violence in the physical abuse framework. However, domestic violence is not just this kind of abuse – it also involves many other forms – starting from emotional abuse and ending with micro aggressions. From this perspective, Mary is an abuser whose actions were the main reasons to cause the physical abuse.
In this case, David’s characteristics are also ambiguous and non-obvious – so as Mary’s ones. Indeed, he is an abuser who has no right to use physical force against his wife. Whatever extent of escalation took place during their argument with Mary, he had to pull himself together and use the power of rational grounds instead of primitive choking. The latter – as a type of physical abuse – is prohibited by fundamental human rights and cannot be considered appropriate (Dawson & Piscitelli, 2021). There simply was no other way but to put David in captivity and impose particular sanctions. On the other hand, there are some mitigating factors that allow considering David as a victim.
As mentioned above, domestic violence involves many kinds of abuse, including psychological ones. Mary – with her regular alcohol intake – was a family member who was corroding the relations between the members through her actions. David felt this pressure for a long, and there were many micro-cases that broke his mental health so that he could not control himself during the argument for a moment. He could not take the fact that children were forced to suffer from unhealthy relations in the family. Moreover, when the police came, he immediately admitted what he had done with no rejection or resistance. It seems that he realized the severity of the crime he had committed.
To summarize this section, Jean and Bobby are not the main characters in the case but they are the only inarguable victims. Mary was affected by the physical abuse, but it was she who took alcohol regularly and was disrupting the family’s relationships, continuously provoking and exhausting David. The latter is a physical abuser in the situation but suffered from psychological violence that came from his wife. The provided rationale shows that Mary caused a great degree of instability in the family, which resulted in such a drastic issue.
It is a commonly accepted practice to call 911 in any case of domestic violence, especially if physical abuse is involved. There is a set of recommendations to which one can adhere while calling the police, depending on the severity of the issue and the threat coming from an abuser (CACP, 2016). However, Mary did not have any problems in terms of calling 911. David did not interrupt her during the process and even admitted what he had done when the police came.
The provided facts and arguments show that children are at risk due to the situation. Given that alcohol abuse is inherent to their mother, it can cause many problems for them within the psychological scope. Then, Mary’s capacity to care for and provide for Bobby and Jean financially is questionable. It is visible from the fact that she had to ask her parents for assistance in this regard. However, generally, other adults except for Mary and David are not likely to be at risk. David does not seem to be a completely unstable person. There are no sufficient reasons to imprison him for a considerable period.
Above, multiple times, it was stressed that Mary has problems with alcohol. This addiction has led to many troubles within her family and does not even seem that she recognizes the threat she imposes upon the children (Postmus et al., 2020). Hence, addiction services are required to deal with the situation in which Mary is putting herself and the family. Moreover, Mary or her closest relatives may appeal to the community health centre to figure out a way to overcome the issue.
Then, in case of the approval of Mary’s restraining order, David will inevitably face a housing problem. Regardless of the character of this order – general or specific – the authorities will prohibit the father to be close to Mary or their home (Moore & Singh, 2018). The case does not specify the financial state of David and his capabilities to earn, but he will be forced to seek a new accommodation for an uncertain period.
It was emphasized that the main characters in the scenario are David and Mary. Thus, it is reasonable to describe what each of them can do to change the current situation. The first and primary thing to do for Mary is to deal with her alcohol addiction. This disease is likely to adversely impact a person’s mind, and their thoughts and actions become entangled. Pieces of evidence show that after people overcome the mentioned addiction, their consciousness becomes clear (Lapierre et al., 2018). Hence, Mary will view the situation from a different angle. Maybe, she will cancel her restraining order on David and start their relationship from starch. As for David, he is to do his best to facilitate the investigation that the police will undertake. He should ask Mary and the whole family for forgiveness and not allow their case to go to a public hearing. David can also appeal to community services specialized in anger control. An important point here is that they have to implement the suggested activities together – this is a way how David and Mary can help solve issues for each other.
Proposal for a Plan
The first stage of the plan will be to develop a collaborative response strategy to deal with domestic violence inherent to the family. This development will be entrusted to the Fredericton Police Force which will coordinate its efforts with the Department of Social Development (CACP, 2016). Then, it will be necessary to educate Mary and David on how to avert such cases of abuse in the future. This will involve the meetings with the assigned professional from the local Domestic Violence Treatment Centre. Another essential aspect to address is protection and support for Bobby and Jean. The police are to assign a supervisor who will monitor and report on how the children are treated.
Then, it will also be important to ensure that sanctions and conditions will be met by David. He should realize the severity of his actions, but imprisonment seems to be a very strict measure for the case. He may be forced to do social work, as well as to visit a psychologist on the regular basis. The restraining order also is not likely to facilitate the resolution of the issue. David was one to care for the children during Mary’s addiction, and Bobby and Jean will be upset without the father.
CACP Crime Prevention and Community Safety and Well-Being Committee. (2016). National Framework for Collaborative Police Action on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Web.
Dawson, M., & Piscitelli, A. (2021). Risk factors in domestic homicides: Identifying common clusters in the Canadian context. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(1–2), 781–792.
Lapierre, S., Côté, I., Lambert, A., Buetti, D., Lavergne, C., Damant, D., & Couturier, V. (2018). Difficult but close relationships: Children’s perspectives on relationships with their mothers in the context of domestic violence. Violence Against Women, 24(9), 1023–1038.
Moore, D., & Singh, R. (2018). Seeing crime, feeling crime: Visual evidence, emotions, and the prosecution of domestic violence. Theoretical Criminology, 22(1), 116–132.
Postmus, J. L., Hoge, G. L., Breckenridge, J., Sharp-Jeffs, N., & Chung, D. (2020). Economic abuse as an invisible form of domestic violence: A multicountry review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(2), 261–283.