Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Eric Pickles – Humourless or Insensitive?

So Eric Pickles made a domestic violence ‘joke’. And although I am pretty sure that there will be some who will try and minimise these insensitive and poorly chosen words (at best), what strikes me most about this is how indicative it is of the casual disregard power and privilege have for the daily, grinding, mind numbing, life threatening horror that is the reality of domestic violence.

That he equates ‘deep and loving relationships’ with violence is bad enough – one of the reasons that so much weight is put on the behaviour of the victim is the insidious and damaging idea that if you could only love the person in the right way, or love them enough, then you can make that person better.

This, I suspect, does not even occur to Mr Pickles. Perhaps he has given thought to the impact of domestic violence, or doesn't care about how cuts to public services are threatening the support of those trying to escape that horror. These things do not, apparently, cross his radar.

Bashing someone you love is apparently funny, and a good excuse for a flippant joke that betrays just how little this powerful and privileged man cares about it.

There won’t be an apology for this – and honestly, even if there was one, I wouldn’t believe that it was a sincere one.


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