at the time i write, i see that no-one here has taken up the issue of tony vietch and his involvement in a domestic violence incident (update: since then, i see julie has put up a post! great minds and all that...). indeed, i find it difficult to think of what to say myself, other than the bleeding obvious, which is that it was a terrible thing to do.
i am interested in the legal issues. can you contract out of a criminal charge, by include a confidentiality clause in the contract? does not that breach some kind of laws around bribery and extortion? i'd be really interested to hear from some lawyers about the legality of said contract, because it just doesn't sound right to me.
the police say it will be difficult to press charges without a complaint. if it's evidence they need, surely they can access the medical records from the hospital that ms dunne-powell went to for treatment? if her back was broken in four places as was alleged by the dominion post, then one would think there would be sufficient medical evidence available. mr vietch has already admitted to "lashing out", so on the face of it, there appears to be a case. i really can't see why there's a problem.
another factor of interest will be how much tvnz and radio sports knew about this, and when they found out. i was listening to radio live on tuesday afternoon (i don't do it much, i promise) when some fellow called in to say that his cousin had also been on the receiving end of similar treatment from mr vietch, but that tvnz had hushed it up. that's pretty damning. on the other hand, the caller did not reveal his name and i haven't seen any other media pick this up, so it may not be true. but the issue is: if mr vietch's bosses knew of the crime against ms dunne-powell and they didn't report it, then that would also appear to me to be a criminal act. i would hope that prosecutions would be forthcoming. because "it's not ok" also includes the fact that it's not ok to cover up someone else's criminal actions.
the final and most important factor is ms dunne-powell herself. i can fully understand her reasons for not going through a court case and reliving an extremely painful incident. especially at time when she was trying to recover from the physical injury and apparently going through some pretty severe mental strain as well.
i can understand her wanting to keep this whole thing out of public scrutiny. given the way a recent alleged victim of rape has been treated and given some of the comments already being made about this case, it's not surprising. even if her identity was kept a secret, the nastiness would still be forthcoming, and add to the pressure she was already facing.
i understand, but on the other hand, i firmly believe that cases of domestic violence need to be prosecuted. it's not enough for mr vietch to front up to the cameras and say sorry. it's not even enough to be genuinely sorry. a crime has been committed, a conviction needs to happen. i'm not much concerned about the sentence, in that i'm not much into punitive revenge. i'm more interested that we as a society, through the justice system, send out a clear signal that domestice violence will not be tolerated.
i would hope that the conviction could be obtained without ms dunne-powell having to give evidence. more than that, we need to consider how we can create a justice system that women are able to use without fear and without being re-victimised. a system where it isn't much simpler to take the money and keep quiet.