Sanctifying the Victim

Too many victims of violent crimes have chosen to put themselves in harm’s way. The case of Daphné Boudreault is a classic example. She chose to embark on an intimate relationship with an apparently mentally unstable man with violent and controlling tendencies. Fearful of his behavior, she unsuccessfully sought police protection in order to return to his apartment to recover some of her personal possessions. Notwithstanding that the police did not accompany her, she nonetheless chose to enter the apartment alone, whereupon she was fatally stabbed.  The police were, in this instance, subject to harsh criticism.

The police are not a private protection service. Their resources are limited. Their would be little policing available for the victims of random crimes if those who consciously place themselves in harm’s way could call for police escort every time they felt themselves at risk.

It is sad indeed that Boudreault chose such a man. It is perhaps sadder that she endeavored to recover some personal possessions in circumstances where she feared for her life. One might ask why she was not accompanied by caring friends or family members who, moreover, might have convinced her to abandon, at least for a time, these personal effects. Rather than robotically sanctifying the victim, legitimate questions should be asked. It is far too easy to blame the police.