Is it possible to get away with murder once you're dead?
Or are you too mad, bad, sad, once you're also spent?
I could lie and say that I have been following the case of Luke Batty with interest, but I haven't. Not out of a lack of interest but more that it hits too close to home.
I've written before that in another time, in another place I could have been Luke Batty. In circumstances that aren't so much fortunate as they are different, my father did try to kill me- he just didn't succeed. (The first time, he actively tried twice).
I can't even write this now without feeling a little anxious and unsure. Being open about this is not the easiest thing in the world, but it's nothing like what Luke's mother must be feeling. Particularly with the disgusting scrutiny she is enduring because our legal and justice system is sinply unable to deal with these situations in a way that preserved the dignities of the victims.
For example: she was cross examined in court about her ex-partner's killing of her son. Let me emphasise the point. She faced questioning about the reasons her ex killed her son.
Why? She was a victim!
How can we be happy with the system that allows this to happen? How much more anguish do we need to heap on her just because our inflexible system won't bend?
Yes- we need to find out what happened so that protective orders can be a lot more protective but not at her expense.
I really don't have any solutions here at all.
Just a lot of heartbreak. Heartbreak for my own childhood that feels at best disjointed and at worst hostage.
Heartbreak for those people who suffer at the hands of those that love them, or at least should.
Heartbreak for our collective lack of imagination and willingness to genuinely help victims and also perpetrators.
Heartbreak at our lack of willingness to engage in tackling domestic violence.
The words themselves "domestic violence" glazing over the barbarity of the act and making it sound as if it's routine.
Which it is.
For something so routine we're terrified of naming it out aloud lest we allow this monster into our homes.
For a lot of us, this monster is already there.
I learnt to tame mine, then slay it. Others aren't so lucky.
Rest in peace Luke.