Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Edinburgh Evening News and the misuse of ‘dumped’

The erasure of perpetrator responsibility in domestic violence and abuse is standard across much of mainstream media. Very rarely do we see a headline that says "man sentenced to 6 years for assault". Instead, we repeatedly see the words "jilted" and "spurned" used as though it were perfectly rational and reasonable to commit assault because a woman chooses to end a relationship.

Brian Alexander (60) walked into a pub carrying a kitchen knife which he used to stab John Watt in the back. The Edinburgh Evening used this title:

Jilted boyfriend gets six years for Gilmerton pub attack

The first sentence starts "A SPURNED boyfriend who tried to kill a love rival ..." as though the woman was an object to be won. Assaulting a man who you think is the new partner of a woman who is no longer your partner is not "revenge". It's an act of violence. Suggesting that men are entitled to enact "revenge" also treats women as property.

Alexander had been drinking in the pub with Watt earlier in the evening. Alexander then made a choice to return to the pub carrying a knife. He did not "snap" because his relationship had ended. Because he was "jilted". He made a choice to return to the pub carrying a knife.

Brian Alexander chose to carry a knife with the intention of killing another man. This is an act of male violence. It is not the fault of a woman for ending their relationship. After all, a man who behaves like this in public towards other men is highly likely to have a history of domestic violence against former partners.

 

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