Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the article in the Daily Post of 12 May about the woman from Pango jailed over a fatal stabbing.

The woman was sentenced to six years and ten months in jail for stabbing her abusive husband.

The husband hit his wife while they were on the street and again when they were in their house. The wife stabbed him while defending herself from harm. Consequently, she was sentenced to more than six years in jail.

How is that considered justice served when some people get a lesser sentence for murder upon killing innocent people while under the influence of alcohol and drugs?

In 2019, a senior public servant was sentenced to jail for running over an innocent Filipino man, thinking he was a security guard.

His anger while drunk had got the best of him and caused him to act irrationally.

He intentionally waited to attack the guard but mistakenly ran down the wrong man.

For taking the life of an innocent husband and father, he was jailed for only two years, but this wife has been sentenced to more than six years for defending herself from her brutal husband.

This woman survivor, through defending herself, is punished by the system that is supposed to protect her, for ensuring her own safety when finding herself in a risky situation. According to her evidence she was protecting herself from being attacked. She was condemned for self-defense and for failing to control her abusive husband.

Our country is emphasizing the rights of women and encouraging us to stand up and put a stop to violence and yet this woman has been sentenced to more than six years in jail for protecting herself.

But what is the consequence for men who regularly abuse their partners? Where is the logic in that and where are the pleas for justice from those who claim to speak on behalf of women in this country? Change is needed to ensure that justice is served for every citizen of Vanuatu, equally, and not determined by position or by gender.

A.W

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