Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

What will it take to end honour based violence in the UK? by Hannana Siddiqui

... Contrary to its due diligence obligations under CEDAW  and the Istanbul Convention  (when ratified), the government’s violence against women strategy advocates a ‘whole family’ or ‘troubled families’ approach which loses its primary focus of protecting victims and holding perpetrators to account. It is also woefully inadequate in meeting the challenges of the collective nature of domestic violence/HBV where codes of ‘honour’ are used to justify, collude or inflict abuse by multiple perpetrators in extended BME families and communities. It is also worrying that the government is considering using the ‘restorative justice’ approach to change and penalise offending behaviour in domestic violence cases. This approach, although it does not aim to save relationships and is conducted in formal settings, nevertheless ignores the imbalance of power, and the nature of emotional and coercive control in abusive relationships. It also places black and minority ethnic women under even greater pressure by the state to accept ‘mediation,’ ‘arbitration’ and ‘reconciliation’ with perpetrators as a solution-  in a context where there are already cultural expectations to use these informally to ‘save’ marriages and keep the family together to prevent ‘shame’ and ‘dishonour’.  ...

 

The full text of this article is available at open Democracy. It is part of the articles curated by Liz Kelly for the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and girls. You can find the rest of the articles in the series 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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