On Friday, May 9th, 2014 in Halifax someone beat the shit out of a person.
I’m going to say shit because I don’t think crap is a strong enough word for when someone it beaten.
I don’t need to say allegedly because no one will tell us who beat the shit out of a person although what I am about to write will highlight a trail in communications that implies it is someone and results in potential misinformation or disinformation.
This person has been identified, although not officially yet, as a woman.
You don’t need the woman’s name. You don’t need to know who she was unless you wants you to know that, but someone beat the shit out of her.
I am not writing about the woman, although I really do hope that she is okay, that she has an amazing support system that helps her recover in the way that is best for her. I hope she is treated with respect by the media and the attention and the people paying attention to the media. I hope people will think of her, not her personality, not her as potentially a mother sister or daughter, but her as an autonomous being before talking about her and her situation.
I have. I thought a lot about this last night because I am frequently troubled by how people in positions of power use that.
I hope that she’ll tell me if she wants me to change anything about this. I’ll do that. For her.
But someone beat the shit out of a person.
I’m not going to talk about the person who had the shit beaten out of them, or even really the person who beat the shit out of the person.
We’re going to look at what “beat the shit out of” becomes.
Beat the Shit Out Of
Beat the shit out of is not a legal term. I don’t want it used in a paper either. I use it here because I am not a newspaper. I still feel compelled to remind people of that.
The headline of this CBC article says Domestic Assault. That is a legal charge. That is the name of the charge against the person who has physically hurt someone. In ‘Domestic Assault’ you can identify that someone beat the shit out of someone, even if it doesn’t come out and say it.
This is a quote that uses the word assault:
"We can confirm that officers responded to a report of an assault at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 9 at a Halifax address. A 34-year-old Halifax man was subsequently arrested at a separate Halifax address that same evening and was released on a Promise to Appear in Halifax Provincial Court on June 18, 2014, to face a charge of assault," the HRP said.
Sun News Network’s headline also used the term domestic assault. I am not linking to their story because I am not interested in giving them ad money, but here is a picture of that headline.
In the piece you can also see that the press secretary says “after charges for a domestic matter.”
Charges for a Domestic Matter/ Domestic incident
Charges for a Domestic Matter is not an official term although it uses official terms in it. It includes the word domestic from ‘domestic assault’ but not ‘assault.’ Charges for a domestic matter could theoretically be a lot of things, like some combination of fireworks or drugs or land or anything. It could also theoretically be for beating the shit out of someone.
Kyley Harris, the communications director for the Premier, is on paid leave for charges for a domestic matter, as reported by Metro.
Legal problems/ charges
Here are a list of a few potential legal problems:
- A parking ticket
- Driving without a license
- Beating the shit out of someone
In addition to not being a newspaper, I am not a journalist. I have an awful lots of respect for journalists. They work difficult hours and have to process a lot of information very quickly. They are threatened, both physically and and legally. Sometimes I’m not sure if they are aware of their own power.
Someone beat the shit out of a person.
Someone is on paid leave for legal problems.
In all that will come out of this conversation, I would ask you to remember a few things:
- Feelings are valid but outrage solves nothing
- The person who was beaten is a person and can probably read what you publicly say
- It does not matter if the person could have been your mother, wife, sister, or daughter
- Words are powerful and shape our perceptions of very real events that take place
- Someone beat the shit out of another person, and no context, no nuance, no situation, no excuse, no other side of it, no further information, no nothing will ever make that okay
I write from the bias that beating the shit out of someone is bad. Most people write from different biases.
I will consider making updates to this piece as information comes in.
All of the screen grabs were taken between 10 & 11 am on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014.