Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Family Annihilators: Demonstrating the “complexities of relationships”

Oliver Ruse brutally murdered his ex-wife Deborah with an axe. He chose to use an axe in an attempt to decapitate her. He then committed suicide by jumping off a multi-storey car park.

The Coroner Kevin McCarthy stated:

 "Tragedies like this bring home to us all the complexities of relationships and the frailties of life."

We are completely appalled by this statement. Evidence submitted by Detective Inspector Eamonn Bridger demonstrated that Oliver had threatened to kill his ex-wife following their separation. The murder of Deborah is a domestic violence homicide. This type of murder-suicide, perpetrated by men, is so common that it is a recognised form of fatal male violence and is commonly referred to as "family annihiltion". McCarthy's statement makes it absolutely clear that he has no understanding of domestic violence or fatal male violence against women and girls.

Oliver made a choice to kill his former partner. It has nothing to do with the "complexities of relationships". That statement insinuates that Deborah was partly responsible for her own murder. These types of murders are about male entitlement and ownership of women's bodies. Oliver killed Deborah because he believed he had the right to do so, not because of the "frailties of life". It is absolutely appalling that a legal proceeding now lists the victim as partially responsible for her own murder.

Kevin McCarthy needs to apologise for this statement and attend specialist training on domestic violence.




Thank you to @jsoosty for bringing this to our attention

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3 thoughts on “Family Annihilators: Demonstrating the “complexities of relationships”

  • Redskies says:

    This murder has been appallingly reported and reacted to from the get-go.

    I give you the BBC’s original take on events where the whole article is about the murderer described as “a wonderful son, brother and father”. Still puzzling how the murderer of his children’s mother can be a wonderful father.

    All we know about his victim Deborah Ruse is confined to one sentence in the whole article – that “Mrs Ruse, who was born in Zambia, had recently returned to the village after a period of living abroad.”

    Apparently, her life and murder have no importance other than as the precursor to the suicide of this “wonderful” man. Yet again, East Anglia proves how unimportant they regard women and that only men are of any worth and interest. I could weep.

  • Stephne Jane Halden says:

    He is only the coroner, he is not a Judge and he is not a CPS lawyer. This is a murder enquiry, and what i have learnt of the law and lawyers, this will run its course. If The perpetrator of this murder had not taken hi own life, he would now, today be facing 20 years, possibly serving 10 years. If he had been given an indeterminate sentence, he may never have been released, he may have been detained for life in a psychiatric hospital…

  • Ray says:

    I was saddened to learn of the tragic loss of two individuals I knew through fellowship at church. The brutal and senseless murder of Deborah was not warranted. Furthermore, Oliver did not have the right nor the authority to take her life. Your actions do not reflect in any way the characteristic of a wonderful son, brother and father. Your actions leave your three children orphaned and somehow you are this great man? I strongly disagree.