by Lee Lakeman - £18.99 Black Rose Books Ltd (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781551642628 | ISBN 10: 155164262x
Obsession, With Intent is an investigative report into one hundred cases of violence against women; in all cases the women tried to get help from the system. It is a harrowing account of individual women's stories, their understanding of the danger they faced, their attempts to get help, the incompetence and/or indifference they met, and, in those cases where someone was willing to prosecute, their vulnerability under / within the law. It reviews 911 procedure, from how the emergency operator evaluates the call, to the police (how, or if, they collect evidence), to prosecuting attorney, to court, to sentencing.
Among the many narratives are "domestic dispute" cases, sexual assault cases, and cases of murder. The landmark decision, in the case of Jane Doe who fought for and won the right to sue the Toronto police force for the way in which they routinely dealt with rape victims is examined, as are a number of sexual assault cases - some high profile, some occuring more than forty years ago. Accounts of the serial killers Bernardo and Picton are chilling, as are the other numerous accounts of impending murder. (As early as 1997 Picton had been charged with confining, and repeatedly stabbing, Wendy Lynn Eisteler, but charges were dropped and Picton released; the prosecutor judged that there was no likelihood of a conviction - the victim was "a drug addicted prostitute." Thirty more women would die.)
Recognizing that violence against women is one of the strongest indicators of prevailing societal attitudes towards women, Obsession, With Intent screams out for social change regarding violence against women at the the individual, the institutional, and the political level.
(Price & availability last checked: July 2018)