Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

criminal justice system

Time to prioritise safety of mothers and children

DISCUSSIONS of child contact and court systems without mentioning domestic abuse are, I believe, akin to climate change policies that ignore human influence: ill-informed and reckless (“Parents deserve a court system that is fair but firm”, The Herald, August 28). The most recent figures suggest that domestic abuse is prevalent in at least half of more »

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False rape allegations are rare – rape is not. Stop using the case of Jemma Beale to discredit all women

False allegations of rape are rare – rape itself is not. It’s understandable, then, that instances of the former are more likely to hit the headlines than the latter. Why report on a phenomenon that is commonplace, affecting an estimated 85,000 women in England and Wales every year? Rape isn’t news. By contrast, criminal convictions more »

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Why ‘upskirting’ needs to be made a sex crime, by Clare McGlynn & Erika Rackley

It started with one woman, Gina Martin, being prepared to put her head above the parapet and say: this is unacceptable and should clearly be a criminal offence. Martin was a victim of the practice known commonly as “upskirting” – the taking of a photo or video up a woman’s skirt without her permission. When more »

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Coercive control: How can you tell whether your partner is emotionally abusive?, by Radhika Sanghani

There is a growing awareness around the signs of coercive control – the emotional and psychological abuse of a partner, through threats and restrictions, as well as physical violence. This raised profile is thanks, in part, to last year’s storyline in The Archers – involving Helen Titchener and her emotionally abusive husband Rob. The BBC Radio 4 soap was following a new law on more »

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Police told to ‘stop pushing responsibility’ for domestic violence prosecutions onto victims

Police forces are allowing perpetrators of domestic violence to escape justice by “pushing responsibility” for prosecutions on to victims, rather than building cases themselves, the police watchdog has warned. Officers need to “get on with their jobs” and track down evidence so they can pursue cases against offenders without relying on vulnerable victims to provide more »

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In the News: domestic violence, rape culture and access to justice

This Missouri City Banishes Domestic Violence Survivors for Calling the Police by Sandra Park via @aclu In 2012, the city of Maplewood, Missouri ordered Rosetta Watson to vacate her home. But the city wasn’t done punishing Watson yet and also barred her from living anywhere in the city for six months. Her offense? She called more »

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The reality of male violence against women and girls. (Or, why the legal system is not fit for purpose)

5 cases from 5 jurisdictions demonstrating how unfit for purpose most legal jurisdictions are in dealing with male violence against women and girls. Mustafa Bashir  received a suspended sentence for domestic violence that included physical assaults with a cricket bat and forcing his wife to drink bleach because his wife was deemed ‘not vulnerable’ by more »

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Mustafa Bashir given no jail time for forcing his wife to drink bleach.

UPDATE: Mustafa Bashir has now been sentenced to 18 months in jail for the crime of lying to the court about his cricket career using a “slip rule” which allows a judge to re-sentence a perpetrator if new information came to light. In this case. forcing a woman to drink bleach is less important than more »

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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 more »

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