Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News: on child protection policies & sexual harassment

Greening drops plans to allow councils to opt out of child protection laws by Peter Walker

The government has backed down from plans to allow councils to opt out of a series of legal obligations to vulnerable children that critics say threatened protections built up over decades.

The planned changes were criticised by charities, social work experts, the Tory-majority Commons education committee and the Magistrates’ Association, which in a rare intervention said it had grave concerns.

The education secretary, Justine Greening, had now decided to scrap the idea, her department said. In an unusual move she is doing so by offering government backing to a Labour amendment proposed by her shadow, Angela Rayner. ...

Domestic abuse survivors may soon find it easier to vote anonymously by Kevin Rawlinson

Survivors of domestic abuse will find it easier to register to vote without exposing themselves to the risk of being tracked down by their attackers under government proposals announced on Friday.

Ministers plan to lower the bar people must clear in order to be allowed to register anonymously, the proposals said. The plans were welcomed by Women’s Aid, which said it would help survivors to participation in British democracy.

“The proposed new measures send out a clear message to all survivors of domestic abuse: that their voices matter, and their participation in politics matters,” said Polly Neate, the charity’s chief executive.

“Domestic abuse must not deny women their right to take part in democracy. So, we welcome the changes proposed today on anonymous registration.” ...

IPCC publishes Poppi Worthington report

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published a report which criticises Cumbria Constabulary’s “unstructured and disorganised” investigation into the death of 13-month old Poppi Worthington.

Poppi died in Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness on 12 December 2012.  A second inquest into her death will take place in May 2017.

The IPCC examined how Cumbria Constabulary investigated her death, focussing on whether all opportunities to obtain key evidence were identified and acted upon. Two lead detectives with overall responsibility for the inquiry, Detective Inspector (DI) Amanda Sadler and Detective Superintendent (DetSupt) Mike Forrester, and a third detective were subjects of the investigation.

The IPCC found evidence that Poppi’s home was not adequately preserved and searched, resulting in a nappy she had been wearing being lost as potential evidence.   There was also evidence indicating that key investigative decisions and policies were not documented, leaving junior detectives feeling “out of the loop” on how the inquiry was progressing.

University sexual assault policies are often 'inconsistent' and 'confusing' by Nicola Henry via @ConversationEDU

A number of scathing reports have brought much needed attention to the issue of inappropriate polices and practices for responding to student reports of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault at Australian universities.

In a 2017 report to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the advocacy group, End Rape on Campus (EROC) Australia, with co-author, journalist and advocate Nina Funnell, point to the high numbers of sexual assaults occurring against Australian university students – both on and off campus.

Although we do not currently have reliable statistics on the victimisation rates of sexual violence in Australian universities, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) more broadly report that 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, compared to 1 in 22 men.

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