Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

MP says he “regrets” assault while implying it wasn’t DV

With the headline Tory MP David Ruffley speaks of assault 'regret' , the BBC produces an article that buys into multiple myths about domestic abuse, in particular by giving full voice to the abuser but no voice to the victim.

Conservative MP David Ruffley has said he "deeply regrets" actions that led to a police caution for common assault on his ex-partner earlier this year.
Speaking about the incident in London for the first time through his lawyers, the MP for Bury St Edmunds admitted "inappropriate action".

Notice the minimising of what he did, talking of vaguely “inappropriate actions”.

Now, 18 weeks later, and for the first time, he has told me, through a statement from his lawyers, about the incident.
"In March this year, an incident occurred between me and my former partner, resulting in inappropriate action on my part, which I deeply regret, in respect of which I accepted a police caution for common assault."

Note the victim blaming implicit in his statement. - an “incident occurred between me and my partner” implying that his partner shares the blame for his “inappropriate action”.

He adds: "Some time later, I telephoned my former partner to apologise.
"I am pleased to be able to say that she has accepted my apology. I have refrained from making any public statement on this matter as it is a deeply personal matter. 
"It is my understanding that my former partner wishes the incident to remain private." 

So, according to him, his former partner has accepted his apology and this should be an end to it. He has generously refrained from telling the public that he committed common assault against his former partner to save her feelings. Because she is his former partner, it is a personal matter and not one of public interest? Really? An MP commits common assault and, because he has been intimate with his victim, no one should care and we should all mind our own business?

His statement concludes: "I wish to stress that I would never condone domestic violence under any circumstances."

Ah, I see. He would never condone domestic violence. So, according to Mr Ruffley, when he commits common assault against a former partner, it’s not domestic violence. What, exactly, is it, then, Mr Ruffley? What exactly, in your mind, Mr Ruffley, makes your common assault, which the Dean of Saint Edmundsbury Cathedral has said resulted in your ex-partner wincing in “obvious pain” shortly after the incident, not the domestic violence which you would never condone? Could it , by any chance, be because you did it?

Admin: We have started a petition asking for David Ruffley to resign from parliament here.


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5 thoughts on “MP says he “regrets” assault while implying it wasn’t DV

  • Hecuba says:

    David Ruffley believes he can fool us women into accepting his lies because Ruffley claims he doesn’t condone ‘domestic violence.’ Well neither do I Ruffley because I know the perpetrator isn’t ‘domestic’ rather the perpetrator is overwhelmingly a male who subjects his female partner to physical/psychological/sexual violence.

    But the who am I to question Ruffley’s claims given he is an MP and he has publicly stated what happened between him and his ex female partner is a private affair. Ruffley this is what many men claim – whatever violence they subject women to within the privacy of the man’s ‘castle’ it must be kept private because laws exist only within mens’ public spheres not their little private fiefdomes – namely their homes!

  • Simon Molloy says:

    The petition on change.org states “If Ruffley truly understands the impact of domestic violence, then he must resign from Parliament.”

    Surely you want MPs to understand the issues?
    Is this man, having been through the DV system, not uniquely qualified to represent the victims interests?
    Indeed, would you not want the perpetrator to perform such a service to victims as part of his restitution?

    • Redskies says:

      Is this man, having been through the DV system, not uniquely qualified to represent the victims interests?

      Clearly not. He cannot even issue a statement about the matter without implying that his victim is equally to blame for his assault of her. How could such a person represent any victims’ interests when he is clearly unable to empathise with his own victim?

      Indeed, would you not want the perpetrator to perform such a service to victims as part of his restitution?

      I care more about victims than this man’s restitution. He does not get to use victims’ sufferings to justify retaining his position of power.

  • I would say that being an MP has afforded him certain privileges where this case is concerned, but the sad reality is that even if he weren’t an MP, he could probably still get away with this. The fact he’s an MP just makes it worse. He is in a position of trust and to me his actions suggest great manipulation of the situation.

    Also, don’t know about you but if someone who had inflicted that much pain on me called up “to apologise” my response would be “yes, fine, I accept your apology just please never contact me again” – especially if she had any fear he might do it again. If there’s one thing an abused woman learns, it’s how to say and do whatever it takes to avoid another fight.

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