Radio 4 Today programme blames women’s lifestyles for domestic abuse
The Radio 4 Today programme isn't a stranger to accusations of sexism.
Last year they did a feature on the menopause - with 2 male experts.
Following a barrage of complaints from women, the programme seemed to make efforts to appease its female audience. We rejoiced when they had a programme with only female presenters and this has since become a regular occurrence.
However, the appeasement was short lived and I felt a familiar sense of anger yesterday morning when my radio alarm woke me up.
On the 8am news bulletin one of the items was about a survey of women in Europe about their experiences of sexual violence:
One third of women across Europe have experienced sexual or physical violence.
One in twenty women across Europe have been raped.
Britain is above the European Union average for sexual and physical violence with 44% of women affected.
To be honest I wasn't surprised by the figures. What wound me up was the analysis of them.
Joanna Goody, one of the authors of the report told the programme that "WOMEN COULD BE AT GREATER RISK BECAUSE OF THEIR LIFESTYLES".
Hang on a minute. What about the perpetrators of domestic violence? What about the way that men respond to women's lifestyles? It shouldn't matter what lifestyle you choose. It's not an excuse to rape or hit or mentally abuse someone.
The victims of abuse are not to blamed for the actions of their abusers.
This is an important message that needs to be repeated. Even more so during International Women's Week. Asides from getting wound up at victim blaming on the radio, I'm doing my bit to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. On Saturday at Sheffield City Council there is an event to celebrate International Women's Day and I'll be delivering a workshop on the One Billion Rising campaign.
The beauty of the One Billion Rising campaign is that it includes women with all different lifestyles. They are united in their effort to rise up against violence. There is no one lifestyle that is more or less likely to be affected by domestic violence. Anyone one of us can be affected, but whatever your lifestyle, a victim is never to blame.
To find out more about what Sheffield City Council is doing to celebrate International Women's Day 2014 please follow this link .