Canadian Wife Assaults Husband Who Later DiesWritten by: Rob Print This Article
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On March 20, 2009, Ellie Cunningham viciously attacked her husband Adam with a broken wine glass, repeatedly slashing him and leaving him with multiple severe cuts on his arms and legs and a broken ankle. When police arrived and found him on the steps outside of their home in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, it was clear Ellie had badly assaulted him.
Ellie was arrested by police and a domestic violence (DV) investigation ensued. A restraining order was issued on the wife, and Adam moved in with his mother to recover from the assault. He had extensive stitches to hold together his slashed skin and surgery to repair his broken ankle. Unfortunately, he was found dead on his mother’s sofa three weeks later. An autopsy indicated the cause of death to be complications from the surgery to fix the damage from the DV assault.
During the time between the assault and his death, Adam was interviewed by police and wrote about his experiences during the nearly four years of marriage to Ellie. He recounted how Ellie would have outbursts and become verbally abusive.
Video news coverage of Adam’s death, including photos of his injuries and an interview with his sister Nikki, can be found at:
Oddly, his wife published this obituary claiming that she’ll miss him:
(excerpted from newspaper obituary)
CUNNINGHAM Adam It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Adam. He was the sweetest soul and a loving husband. He was born on January 15, 1971 in Surrey, BC and was picked as God’s favourite flower on April 8th, 2009 in White Rock. A celebration of life honoring him will take place at No. 97, 19551 66th Ave. Surrey, BC on Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 5:30pm. He will be missed terribly by his wife Ellie Cunningham.
Published in the Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on 4/19/2009
Apparently even violent abusers like Ellie Cunningham miss their victims. Should we feel sorry for her? Apparently so, given the possible dropping of all charges against her now that her husband is dead. Ellie Cunningham is due to appear in court next on May 15, 2009. The government is considering dropping the charges against her because the only witness, her husband, is now dead.
What messages are sent by failing to prosecute a violent woman for domestic assault that lead to death?
- Women are immune to prosecution for crimes against men.
- If you are a woman who assaults a man, be sure to kill him if there aren’t any other witnesses.
- Canada’s government, like that of many other Western nations, is sexist.
Severe domestic violence shouldn’t be excused like this, no matter the genders of the perpetrators and victims. Men and children are at risk from violent abusive women, just as women and children are at risk from violent abusive men. Numerous well-designed and well-funded studies have confirmed that women are involved as violent perpetrators in the vast majority of romantic partner relationships suffering from domestic violence. Although in about half of violent relationships both partners are committing violence on each other, more than 70% of one-sided violence against a partner is committed by women. Yet Western societies excuse and thereby encourage violent women assaulting and even killing men.
Canada should prosecute Ellie Cunningham for DV assault. If she’s mentally ill and this caused her violent behavior, then at least institutionalize her until she is no longer a danger to others. But don’t just excuse her and let her walk free.