This post took about two hours to write. That’s unusually long for me. It was hard to sit and touch each key individually when the deluge of emotions the words evoked rushed hard, pushing at my fingertips. It took a lot of leaning into the discomfort this story stirred in me to get this post out. At times, I had to walk away from the machine, practice my breathing, come back and type some more.
I felt the pressure rush to my head as I listened to the media clip below on the 67 years and 6 months sentencing of Alexander Robert Clack in the murder of his wife, Nixiann Clack. I am very pleased with the sentencing. Scratch that – elated. And I don’t care who is up in arms and thinks it was too much. I support the move of this judge and hope it acts as a deterrent. For an island of our population, too many women are living in abusive situations and too many are dying or being injured at the hands of an intimate partner. So, as I like to say ‘who don’t like it, lump it‘. Wife beaters and killers get no sympathy from me. They deserve all what the law throws at them and then some.
You took her life. Your wife. YOUR WIFE. Not the wife of another man. Yours. She was the mother of your child. And now she is no more. Dead. And by your hands. Hands that were to touch her kindly, snuffed the life from her. Premeditated or not. She is dead. You allege ‘provocation’. Provocation my @$$. Provocation is always the cop out right? The dead can’t defend themselves. She must have really ‘provoked’ you to warrant her sad end.
I suppose one may argue that my experience with domestic abuse colors my view on the sentencing but let’s assess this, okay?
- The injuries inflicted on the victim, which totaled 80 included contusions to the right cheek, jaw bone, skull fractures, damages to her eyes and manual strangulation.
- He placed her body in a suitcase and buried her in a shallow grave.
- He showed no visible sign of remorse.
And yet many people including this man’s lawyer are upset at the “cruel and inhumane treatment to punishment” (like what he did to her?) because he got 70 years. His lawyer even said that the sentence was ‘forceful‘ and ‘unusually harsh‘ (seriously!). Bohoo hoo. Cry me a river. No sympathy here.
I don’t think they will ever understand that to victims, no sentencing is ever too harsh. They won’t understand because they don’t know the fear, pain, shame and daily dread we as victims have had to live with. And they will never know how we die slowly at each instance of abuse. I don’t think Nixiann died that day alone. If reports of previous abuse are true, she was dying long before he put her in the ground because each instance of abuse strips us away and kills us victims slowly. I speak from experience.
I am eternally thankful that even though my ex broke my bones and put me on the operating table, I get to live another day. And that appreciation for escaping death has embolden me on this topic. So I step out of my shell on introversion and privacy and open my mouth and tell my story because domestic violence is bigger than me. I speak up for myself and I speak up for Nixiann, who suffered the indignity of being placed in a suitcase and dumped in a shallow grave. I also speak up in memory of my friend who Marsha who died at the hands of her ex. He spent a few months in prison for previously injuring her, came out, stalked her, brutally murdered her and then killed himself. I speak up for all who are still living with an abusive partner.
So the judge was too harsh you say? But he gets to live and to breathe another day! And she is no more. Still think it was forceful and unusually harsh and inhumane?
GNOW, the Grenada National Organisation of Women chiming in on the sentencing.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.