Alcohol, cheating wives blamed for spousal abuse


Iqaluit city council’s meeting this past Tuesday evening dragged on for three hours and still ended with unfinished agenda, in part because of a prolonged debate over spousal violence and crime in the city.

Councilors heard that the number of prisoners held at RCMP detachment has risen steadily over the last few years, during Sgt. Dale Macleod’s monthly RCMP presentation. That number increased from 1,642 in 2001 to 2,339 in 2005.

Most arrests involve arguments between spouses, fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

Coun. Simanuk Kilabuk said men become upset after they catch their spouses cheating on them. That prompted a response from Macleod and the mayor.

“If a man’s jealous of his wife, it’s still no excuse to assault and hit her,” Macleod said.

Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik agreed.

“Sorry Simanuk. Whether you’re caught with someone or not, that doesn’t give you the right to abuse anybody,” she said.

“I think we need to learn and teach it’s not acceptable. We have to remind people that physical abuse is wrong.”

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