Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Should domestic abuse have its own law? by @sianushka

In the UK, there is no specific offence for 'domestic violence'. Is the law failing women seeking justice?

“When the police told me they wouldn’t charge my ex, I felt like there was no justice for women,” Naomi* explains.

Like most survivors of domestic abuse, 31-year-old Naomi didn’t go to the police the first time her boyfriend kicked her. She didn”t go to the police the first time he broke her finger, the first time he punched her, the first time he tried to strangle her. Only after she found the courage to leave him, and had begun to process the trauma of enduring 18 months of emotional and physical abuse, did she turn to the police and ask for justice.

“I spent over five hours giving a statement,” Naomi tells me. “They didn’t offer me a glass of water or a cup of tea. They asked me why I hadn’t gone to the police before. Weeks later I learnt that because the ‘common assaults’ were committed more than six months before I reported, my ex wouldn’t be charged with them. That there’s a statute of limitations on common assault, and it had run out.

 

This article was first published by Open Democracy on 28.2.17. 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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