News about us
This page will give you more information about the campaign, the media interest that we are generating and our blog posts about the day-to-day running of our organisation.
Our first post explains the rationale behind the campaign.
Why did we set up this campaign?
Reviewing media coverage of violence against women and children, we’ve found an overt victim blaming tone in many of the news reports. Men are described as being unable to ‘help it’. They are ‘driven to it’. They kill their children (and sometimes themselves) and it is a ‘tragic isolated incident’. They murder their children and it is because of a ‘difficult divorce’. They rape children because she was ‘drunk’ or ‘out at 4am’ and so ‘asking for it’. They rape girls who are so drunk that they cannot stand up, yet these men claim sex is consensual. There are so many excuses that we’ve read recently – none of them considering that the abuser has choices. All the choices are around women (and children) behaving differently in order to avoid being abused.
The media reports cases of violence against women and children with an almost wilful avoidance of the actual reasons for these acts. Power, control, women and children being considered ‘possessions’ of men, and avoidance of personal responsibility all contribute to a societal structure that colludes with abusers and facilitates a safe space in which they can operate.
A clear example of this has been the Oxford Gang case. The victims were cross-examined by a number of barristers (which is to be expected in a fair trial, of course) with repeated accusations of lying or consenting to the rape, sexual assaults and violence. As we have seen, some of the girls were too young to consent under law and were effectively purchased by their abusers. Dr Aisha Gill writes an excellent critical analysis of this situation.
Almost immediately after the completion of this trial, we heard of the tragic murder of two children in France by their father, a man who should have protected them from violence. Julian Stevenson, a British man who has lived in France for approximately 10 years, killed his children on his first unsupervised access visit following a divorce. His access to the children previously had been in the presence of either his ex-wife, or a social worker due to his violent behaviour. The prosecutor’s office has released a statement confirming that Stevenson has admitted killing the children, but would ‘not discuss his motive’. Media reports about this case have been littered with excuses and apparent explanations, including using the issue of child contact being ‘insufficient for his needs’.
In the UK at least, child contact orders under the Children Act 1989 should consider the welfare needs of the child as paramount. This should mean that the courts consider the emotional and physical safety of the child(ren) when making a decision for a contact order. If we assume that the law is adhered to and that contact with a non-resident parent is set up in order to meet the needs of the child, being at risk of violence or in this case, murder, is certainly not about the needs of the child(ren).
The combination of these cases, in addition to the almost constant victim blaming in the media, prompted us to set up this campaign. We regularly discuss issues around child protection, violence against women and children and domestic abuse with other women. This campaign is about changing the culture and language around violence against women and children. We aim to challenge the view that men cannot help being violence and abusive towards women and children. We want to challenge the view that women should attempt to ‘avoid’ abuse in order to not become a victim of it.
We are utterly frustrated. We know other women and men who feel powerless and voiceless against mainstream media and we are aiming to change that. We believe that the only people responsible for violence and abuse are violent abusers. We do not believe that victims are in any way responsible for the choices that are made by those who abuse them. Societal change is not easy, but it happens. With persistence and dogged determination, we can succeed.
You can help by submitting your experiences, thoughts or views about victim blaming via our website www.everydayvictimblaming.com. We will accept submissions that are personal, if you’ve written a critical analysis on gendered violence, written about media coverage of rape, abuse, sexual exploitation or if you just want to have your voice heard. Submissions can be anonymous and we will soon be able to signpost to organisations offering support around these issues via our website.
Wish us luck!
Follow us on twitter @EVB_Now
- Theo and the distinctly sexual flavour of French racism by @KGuilaine (2/23/2017)
- No, wives ‘withholding sex’ are not to blame for male violence by Laura Bates (2/22/2017)
- It’s always high drama. It’s somebody’s life at stake’: inside British rape trials (2/13/2017)
- A man who didn’t talk to his wife would not be funny. He would be an abuser by Lola Okolosie (1/9/2017)
- ‘All day, everyday’: where is the protection against violence in schools and universities? (12/6/2016)
- When a Man Kills a Woman by @K_IngalaSmith at openDemocracy (12/3/2016)
- Men’s intrusion: rethinking street harassment by Fiona Vera-Gray (12/2/2016)
- What will it take to end honour based violence in the UK? by Hannana Siddiqui (11/29/2016)
- In the news: coercive control and rape culture (11/7/2016)
- Challenging rape culture: boycott Poldark (10/25/2016)
- Anonymity for accused in rape trials serves only to protect rapists (10/24/2016)
- The Ched Evans case shows why we must start talking about consent by @sianushka (10/20/2016)
- The Ched Evans case puts rape reform back 30 years by @rapecrisisscot (10/20/2016)
- The Trump revelations show how much women are expected to ignore by @EvaWiseman (10/19/2016)
- We cannot allow the courts to judge rape by sexual history by @VeraBaird (10/19/2016)
- Louis Theroux’s new Jimmy Savile documentary is a horrible misstep by @ProfKarenBoyle (10/4/2016)
- The scale of historical sexual abuse in the UK is a catastrophe. We need catharsis. by Beatrix Campbell (10/3/2016)
- Councils to be allowed to opt out of child protection laws, by Sara Ogilvie (10/2/2016)
- MPs call for end to abusive men using courts against families, by Sandra Laville (9/21/2016)
- Whatever she says, Theresa May has failed victims of domestic violence – Sarah Champion (9/14/2016)
- I’m sick of living in a culture that tolerates violence against women by Joan Smith (9/9/2016)
- Intimate Partner and Domestic Violence Homicides*: Sex Differences April 2012 – March 2015 (3 years) (9/7/2016)
- Rape Culture Is Surveillance Culture by @Scaachi (9/6/2016)
- REST IN PEACE, INVISIBLE WOMAN by LINNEA DUNNE (9/5/2016)
- Housing benefit cap may force 67% of women’s refuges to close by Damien Gayle (9/5/2016)
- It’s not victim blaming, it’s woman blaming by Sonia Orchard (8/31/2016)
- Housing associations should fight harder to end the abuse of women by Aisha Sharif (8/30/2016)
- The myths our legal system buys into about perpetrators of domestic violence by Kasey Edwards (8/22/2016)
- No, women aren’t as likely to commit violence as men by Jane Gilmore (8/16/2016)
- Unsafe, damp and dirty: How unscrupulous landlords take advantage of domestic abuse victims (8/10/2016)
- The reporting of India Chipchase’s murder shows the true extent of Britain’s rape culture by @sarahditum (8/6/2016)
- When it comes to sexual violence and alcohol, we need to focus on the perpetrator by Dr Bianca Fileborn (8/4/2016)
- Why violence against women in film is not the same as violence against men by Noah Berlatsky (8/1/2016)
- A cycle of violence: when a woman’s murder is called ‘understandable’ by Laura Bates (7/27/2016)
- Mass murderers have one thing in common – and it’s not a ‘women’s problem’ by @polblonde (7/21/2016)
- Donald Trump’s Rape Metaphor Says More About Him Than About Rape by @schemaly (6/30/2016)
- Rape Culture and “Twenty Minutes of Action” by Julian Vigo (6/21/2016)
- .@Key103 : What accurate reporting of male violence looks like (6/16/2016)
- Two violent men, two symptoms of the same sickness (6/15/2016)
- In Orlando, as Usual, Domestic Violence Was Ignored Red Flag by @schemaly (6/14/2016)
- Amber Heard, and the grotesque disparity in how men and women are treated in cases of domestic violence (6/1/2016)
- As the Johnny Depp domestic abuse claims reveal, we are too quick to make excuses for men we admire by @sarahditum (6/1/2016)
- We need to tackle the victim blaming culture that perpetuates child sex abuse by Siobhan Fention (5/24/2016)
- A WOMAN’S STORY – a personal experience of the criminal justice system (5/24/2016)
- What makes revenge porn such a sinister crime? by @EvaWiseman (5/16/2016)
- Football doesn’t cause domestic abuse, men do by @SWACEO (4/18/2016)
- The Legacy Of The Kobe Bryant Rape Case (4/16/2016)
- We are blind to an epidemic of domestic abuse by @polblonde (4/15/2016)
- The UN’s Good vs. Bad Narrative Clears the Way for Sexual Violence and Impunity (4/14/2016)
- There is an epidemic of missing women and girls of colour in the UK (4/1/2016)
- What I wish I’d known before testifying in the Ghomeshi trial (3/31/2016)
- THE CONDUCIVE CONTEXT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS by @ProfLizKelly (3/23/2016)
- The Theft of Innocence: Voluntourism and Child Sexual Abuse (3/10/2016)
- Not ‘revenge porn’, but abuse: let’s call it image-based sexual abuse by @McGlynnClare & @erikarackley (3/9/2016)
- An Unbelievable Story of Rape by @MarshallProj (3/8/2016)
- Poppi Worthington: back to the future of child protection politics by (3/7/2016)
- These 14 Women Were Brutally Attacked for Rejecting Men — Why Aren’t We Talking About It? by @jennykutner (2/24/2016)
- It may be legal, but men chasing teenage girls is more than just ‘icky’ by Fiona Sturges (2/23/2016)
- Housing benefit is the lifeblood of women’s refuges – and it’s under threat by Sandra Horley (2/22/2016)
- Rape victims have a right to be believed by the police by @polblonde (2/16/2016)
- Bernard Hogan-Howe Is Wrong on Police ‘Believing’ Rape Victims (2/13/2016)
- Levi Bellfield, Milly Dowler and the story of men’s violence against women and girls by @sarahditum (2/13/2016)
- Violence against women is not just a matter of drink (1/21/2016)
- ‘It has gone on too long’: Rebecca Poulson on family violence that destroyed her family (1/18/2016)
- It’s not sexist to suggest domestic violence perpetrators are usually men by Natalie Bloomer (1/13/2016)
- Daniel Holtzclaw: former Oklahoma City police officer guilty of rape by Molly Redden (12/19/2015)
- “Fifty Shades of Grey” Saviour of Relationships or Abuser’s Handbook by Isabelle Kerr (12/18/2015)
- Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school by Alex Renton (12/15/2015)
- Scottish women taking on the sexist curse of street harassment by Judith Duffy (12/14/2015)
- Media matters when it comes to tackling violence against women (12/14/2015)
- Tabloid leering at violent crime is leading to a race to bottom (12/13/2015)
- High time a female politician’s opinions were more important than her ovaries and hairstyle (12/12/2015)
- Fear of violence should not be an accepted part of being female by Kirsty Strickland (12/12/2015)
- The #WritetoendVAW awards at Scottish Parliament (12/12/2015)
- Why is Dane Bowers’ bank balance more important than his crime? (12/8/2015)
- Domestic violence: Women must not be considered ‘at risk’. Here’s why (12/7/2015)
- Domestic abuse could not be further from gender neutral. Wake up Britain (12/6/2015)
- Men who kill partners likely to serve less time than those who kill strangers: study (11/24/2015)
- Volunteer ‘Media Watchers’ Wanted! (1/6/2014)
Download this post as PDF? Click here