Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Man kills woman. Media blame woman. Police remain baffled.

Andrew Davies stabbed his wife, Yvonne, to death in Stockport over the weekend. He then killed himself. The Manchester Evening News, who have form for victim blaming and a failure to follow the NUJ guidelines on reporting violence against women and girls, have managed to publish an article which blames the victim for emasculating her husband by forcing him to engage in childcare and demonstrate the complete inability of the police to see the pattern of fatal male violence against women. We've suggested that the police need to make the Counting Dead Women campaign mandatory reading for all officers as part of their professional development AND insisted that all officers receive specialist training from domestic violence organisations rather than the top-down approach which trains a couple of officers to train everyone else. Considering male police officers perpetrate domestic violence at 2-4 times higher than the general population, having police officers train police officers doesn't exactly fill us with confidence.

We've deconstructed the entire MEN article below:

Here the perpetrator is given priority over his wife:

This is postman Andrew Davies, who was found hanging after stabbing to death his magistrate wife, Yvonne, at their Stockport home.

The only reason this could be in anyway relevant is you believe men caring for their children is a sign of emasculation and negates their responsibility for violence:

It is believed he had been a stay-at-home dad for five years, only returning to work with the Royal Mail recently.

The old "interview a neighbour who knows nothing about the reality of domestic violence:

A neighbour of the couple, who lived on Meadway Road, Cheadle Hulme, described Mr Davies, who was in his 40s, as a “placid, doting father” who was regularly seen out and about with the couple’s daughter.

Obviously, men who are "placid, doting father(s)" can't possibly be perpetrators of domestic violence - especially if they engage in childcare.

Still focusing on the father here who is a "really good dad":

The neighbour said: “He used to play with his daughter up and down the road on her scooter. He was a really good dad. He was always very friendly and came across as such a nice man.

A "really good dad" who just killed the mother of his child, who by the way, has only been mentioned ONCE in an article about her murder.

“It is impossible to believe he could have done such a thing. Everyone is totally in shock.”

Yep, no one ever expects men to kill their partners - except the two men a week who murder their current or former partner, the one in three men who perpetrate domestic violence yearly, and we won't mention the family annihilators who murder their children, the sons who murder their mothers or the fact that the vast majority of fatal violence committed in the UK is perpetrated by men.

Paragraph 6 bring the second mention of the victim Yvonne:

Mrs Davies would usually take the little girl to her nearby school in the morning as her husband started early as a postman. He was usually the one who collected her at the end of the day.

Here the inference is subtle but evident that Yvonne Davies isn't as good a mother as Andrew Davies was a father and she worked full time and only dropped her child off at school. Men who only drop their children off at school are considered "great dads" - mothers are shamed for not being good enough.

And, here comes the erasure of fatal male violence:

Mr and Mrs Davies had married in January 2010. Their daughter, now orphaned by the double tragedy, is being cared for by relatives.

This is not a "double tragedy". It is the deliberate murder of a woman by her husband who then killed himself. A double tragedy would be a car slipping off an icy road and killing two passengers.

Detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths and are treating it as a ‘murder-suicide’.

Murder- suicide is an act of extreme violence, which is almost always perpetrated by a male partner who has a history of domestic violence. The implication in these articles is that murder-suicides are an aberration - outwith the normative pattern of male violence, but they are not. The number of women killed through male violence is not insignificant even though it is a statistically small sample of the women who live with domestic violence daily. The threat of fatal violence is a part of the spectrum of coercive control.

The rest of the article is mundane in its failure to name male violence. We learn Yvonne Davies dropped her daughter at school and that the police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the crime. We know that the majority of women experience violence in their life do so at the hands of a partner, family member of acquaintance. The police do not have look far to find the perpetrator - not when men make a choice to kill their current of former partners. The motive will be as mundane as with other murder-suicides: a controlling man making a choice to kill.

It is understood Mrs Davies, who had been a magistrates sitting in Manchester since 1999, had dropped off her daughter at school on Friday morning.

On Sunday night scene of crime officers remained at the house on Meadway Road while police stood guard outside.

Det Supt Emily Higham said: “At this stage, we do not believe there is any third party involvement and we are not currently looking for anyone in connection with their deaths.

“The community will be understandably shocked therefore we do have extra patrols in the area to offer some reassurance. A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding their deaths is now underway.”

Detectives are trying to establish a motive for the killing.



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2 thoughts on “Man kills woman. Media blame woman. Police remain baffled.

  • Lorrie says:

    RIP, Yvonne Davies, and well done, EVB, for naming the problem once more. My thoughts are with Yvonne’s daughter and other relatives.

  • Banana says:

    “Man kills woman. Media blame woman. Police remain baffled.” To be honest I’m seriously baffled from reading your article on how you get the view that the Manchester Evening News is inferring that the victim deserved to be killed because she had emasculated her husband by forcing him to do childcare! I don’t get that view and I’m sure many others don’t. Sorry that is just wrong.