Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Mass murderers have one thing in common – and it’s not a ‘women’s problem’ by @polblonde

Terror, it seems, often starts at home. Whether they are self-proclaimed jihadists or men with a grievance, a pattern is emerging among the mass killers whose murderous rages have claimed so many victims in recent times.

A history of grudges against women and a record of domestic violence have been common factors in a number of such attacks, offering startling insights into the psychology of men who set out to kill complete strangers.

One night last week, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel deliberately drove a lorry into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the seafront in Nice. Eighty-four people died, including 10 children. The terrorist organisation Isil claimed responsibility for the attack but French investigators have not disclosed any direct evidence of a link.

What has emerged in the days since, is Bouhlel’s undisputed history of domestic abuse. "He beat his wife, my cousin, he was a nasty piece of work’" said a relative of his estranged spouse. Similar stories emerged last month after Omar Mateen murdered 49 people at gay club Pulse in Orlando. His ex-wife claimed that he beat her and denied contact with her family and friends during the four months they lived together. She was rescued by relatives, who she says literally dragged her from his arms. ...

 

This article, written by Joan Smith who is the chair of the London Mayor's Violence against women and girls panel, was first published by the Telegraph on 20.7.16. You can find the full text here. 

Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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