Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

DVA Myths, Stereotypes and the Shame of the Sun

I followed the #timetointervene hashtag on Twitter yesterday with great interest; delegates live tweeted talks and discussions from the Women’s Aid conference: child abuse and domestic violence- time for early intervention? Many tweets reported on the issue of male coercive control of women in relationships, such as this one:

Coercive control is one of a pattern of many abusive behaviours that violent men choose to use to intimidate and control their female partners.

Er, not according to the Sun:

Kick out the wife beaters

This headline and sub-headline are not only sensationalist but utterly irresponsible, misleading and damaging. Firstly, they perpetuate the myth that physical violence is the only form of domestic violence ('wife beaters' is a term consigned to history which also assumes that all couples are married but then with its Page 3, this 'paper' is stuck in a 70s time warp).

Secondly, they then cunningly minimise domestic violence perpetrators by juxtaposing the term 'bullies' alongside 'wife beaters'. 'Bullies’? The word bully, for many, conjures up a school kid, not a violent, manipulative and controlling man who terrorises his partner and in many circumstances, children in the family. Men who 'annihilate' their families. Men who murder their partners as a final act of power and control.

In the UK, on average, two women every week are murdered by their current/former male partner. This year alone, 22 women have been murdered:

I can’t actually read the rest of the print in the blurred screenshot, which is a blessing, however, the opening paragraph refers to 'SHAMELESS squads'. I assume this to be a reference to the TV programme 'Shameless'? So the Sun serves up more myths and stereotypes about domestic violence and abuse being the sole preserve of council estate families. It is the Sun who has no shame. Shameful.

If you are affected by this, you can contact 0808 2000 247 a free phone 24 hr National Domestic Violence Helpline

[This piece was written by one of our Special Contributors]

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