Domestic Virulence

Today, it was confirmed that the government plans to amend the law to make “coercive control” and “psychological abuse” in domestic situations explicitly against the law.

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This article, in spite of its inflammatory headline does qualify beneath that it applies to both men and women.

It acknowledges that:

Home Office research has previously shown that 16 per cent of men admit to being victims of domestic abuse during their lifetimes compared with 30 per cent of women.

Indeed this ONS document (pp.1-2) concedes that:

Some 7% of women and 5% of men were estimated to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year, equivalent to an estimated 1.2 million female and 800,000 male victims.

So it’s annoying that neither this article nor this one mention anywhere in them the fact that men are a significant minority of those abused, or that where women are abused, it is sometimes by another woman (i,e, their lesbian partners.

Indeed as this Guardian article from 2010 states,

Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.

This is a problem that is all too often ignored. Women routinely fail to acknowledge the truth of this, and it’s hardly surprising when articles like the ones in the Telegraph Women section (linked above) routinely fail to even acknowledge that DV is not simply a problem of male on female violence.

And as far as psychological abuse and manipulation are concerned, there is evidence that this is where women, making use of the tools available to them, come into their own.

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So that’s the background. Now onto the main event.

To attempt to legislate for what goes on in the minds of those in a fractious relationship is fraught with dangers and it has summary injustice written all over it. Every relationship has its nuances, and many relationships that are successful on their own terms are viewed from the outside with horror.

One of my best mates is in a relationship that I just could not bear, and I wonder how he does it, and sometimes, too, I wonder why.

One of my female friends recently got back together with her husband, who from the outside, seems to have been terrible towards her. But how do we know.

We all have different tolerances for different behaviours, and different weaknesses too.

How can any of this possibly be weighed objectively from outside? How can “12 good men and true” – a jury that is in actually likely to be loaded with women in a DV case – honestly remain objective in the face of claims and counterclaims?

And how long before limits are placed on how, and to what degree, an accuser may be cross-examined by the defence? I don’t think this has yet been introduced for rape cases in the UK, but the idea has been floated here in the past, and it has been introduced elsewhere. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before any issue that is considers a women’s issue has similar limitations placed upon defendants ability to get justice. Especially if the likes of Harriet Harman get their hands on the levers of power again next year.

Frankly the whole thing is a disgrace, and Theresa May is a disgrace. Between her and Grayling, more damage will have been done to the cause of blind justice in one term of parliament than anyone could have imagined.

AJ

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About Al Jahom
Anti-social malcontent, misanthrope and miserable git.

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