Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

“Jealousy” is not a mitigating circumstance.

Once again, the media has mitigated the responsibility for fatal violence committed by a controlling and abusive men because he was "jealous". Chris Osuh, of the Manchester Evening News, writes:

A jealous husband who stabbed his wife to death after she returned from a tryst with another man has been jailed for life.

The very first sentence engages with insidious victim blaming by making Farkhanda Younis' 'tryst' as the reason for her death. Younis was not murdered because she was having a relationship with another man. Younis was murdered because her husband Jahangir Nazar chose to kill her.

Not once during the article does Osuh use the term domestic violence or intimate partner violence despite listing clear evidence of Nazar' long-term abuse of Younis:

  • " possessive and controlling behaviour"
  • "the months before the murder Nazar had threatened to kill Ms Younis if he caught her ‘messing around’ with other men"
  • "had installed a tracking device on her phone"
  •  "rigged a mobile phone to record her conversations while he was out of the house"
  • "frequently seen with bruises"

These are all indications that Ms Younis was at high risk of further domestic violence or even death. Yet, Osuh neglects to use the term domestic violence.

Osuh quotes the court which suggests that the marriage was "strained"  equally due to Nazar's "possessive and controlling behaviour and Ms Younis’ ‘Westernised’ ways strained the relationship". This is clearly an example of the court misunderstanding the causes of domestic violence and engaging in victim blaming. The implication is that Younis would not have been murdered had she behaved appropriately.

What Osuh does refer to repeatedly is Nazar's status as an illegal immigrant dependent on Younis to remain in the UK as their marriage was a religious ceremony not recognised as legal.  This is used to mitigate Nazar's crime because he was worried about being deported. As if somehow, the act of a legally recognised marriage would make Nazar less likely to perpetrate domestic violence.

Far more concerning are the comments from the prosecutor:

Opening the case earlier this month, John Jones QC told the jury: “ It’s clear that Jabeen and the defendant had entirely different attitudes to life - it’s clear from others who witnessed the couple that the defendant was very possessive and very controlling of Jabeen.

“She was far more Westernised, outgoing, and one has to say, promiscuous in the conduct of her life, if what other witnesses say about her is correct.

“That is not said in a critical way, Jabeen was entitled to behave in a way she chose, this is not a court of morals or a judgement on her lifestyle.

“But, the fact remains that Jabeen lived in every sense an entirely Westernised lifestyle, she went to nightclubs, she had many boyfriends, she drank alcohol, and she wore Westernised designer clothing. It’s clear she was a very attractive and flirtatious woman - (Nazar) resented it and sought to control it, and on the night in question, it led to uncontrollable rage.

“The end result was was a significant attack by a man fearful of deportation, jealous of of other men, and resentful of the promiscuity of his girlfriend.”

Jones might not think he was making a value judgment but we was: he's very clearly blamed Younis for her death for being a badly-behaved wife. Jones has completely ignored the reality of domestic violence. The above is a deeply inappropriate statement for anyone to make but particularly the prosecutor.

This is yet another example of fatal male violence against women and one in which we are invited to feel sorry for the killer because he was "jealous".

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One thought on ““Jealousy” is not a mitigating circumstance.

  • Hecuba says:

    The Crown Prosecutor made claims concerning Farkhanda Younis’ lifestyle conveniently ignores the fact Ms. Younis is dead and unable to refute these misogynistic claims.

    The Crown Prosecutor is labelling Ms. Younis as ‘a promiscuous woman’ rather than the fact Crown Prosecution’s role is to prosecute the male defendant not support his lies.

    Crown Prosecution by misogynistically portraying Ms. Younis as a ‘promiscuous woman’ is reinforcing mens’ pseudo right to lethally punish women who supposedly do not behave in ways which demonstrate they are the man’s sexual property.

    Men who murder their supposedly ‘female sexual property’ commonly make false claims about the female victim because it minimalises male accountability.

    But on the rare occasions when women enact lethal self defence and kill their violent male partners, the woman is held totally accountable and the male’s long term violence committed against her is always ignored.

    Men continue to claim they are the ones who define ‘female morality’ because males have right of sexual ownership and control over women. Male sexual immorality is irrelevant because males have right to enact ‘so-called sexual promiscuity’ but women have no such right!