Trigger alert — references to cruel acts of male violence are contained herein.
An Ottawa courtroom recently witnessed the rare intersection of numerous taproots of violence undergirding Canadian society. In 2010, 22-year-old Ashley White was brutally beaten by her then-boyfriend Patrick Halcro, aged 36, an Afghan war veteran with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) whose assault landed her in hospital for facial reconstruction surgery, concussive syndrome and PTSD. In the chaos she experienced that night, White, her face bloodied beyond recognition and fearing for her life, grabbed a knife and stabbed Halcro in the chest, causing a minor wound to his lung. By night’s end, White was in detention, where she would spend the next five days, her injuries untreated, charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. Halcro, despite admitting his assault against White — in which he said her head “bounced” off a doorframe after the first of his many closed-fist punches — mysteriously walked away with no charges being laid.
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