As I received treatment on the street from an off-duty paramedic, who believed my shameful lies, my housemate returned home to find my girlfriend crying and blood all over the floor. He assumed I had hit her and left. She insisted he didn't phone the police, which he agreed to when he realised she had perpetrated the violence. Apparently, that didn't warrant the notification of our law enforcers.
Domestic violence has long been a hidden issue, not central to political debate, muddled by misplaced shame and a response by the media and even frontline services which far too often disbelieves and blames the victim. The public are now realising we can't go on tolerating a situation in which an average of two women a week are killed by their current or former partner.
The jewellery consists of gold and silver plated pendants and earrings in the shape of a woman in a foetal position, with her head in her hands. Azagury-Partridge, in an interview with the Independent, has suggested that this image is meant to represent "female empowerment". The image of a woman in a foetal position is anything but empowerment.
This isn't just about asking Sheffield United to take a stand on violence against women and girls. This is about demanding that every single football club stand up for victims of sexual violence and refuse to work with players who commit rape and condemn those who harass, abuse and stalk a victim of sexual violence.
What is the point of creating new laws when the ones we already have are not being used effectively? A law is only as good as its implementation. It is already possible to prosecute non-physical forms of abuse - including psychiatric injury, threats, stalking and harassment. We need to get the basics right first... I agree that the law needs to be strengthened - but not by criminalising coercive control. Instead, the government needs to abandon its gender-neutral approach to tackling domestic violence and start addressing violence against women for what it truly is - a deeply gendered crime.
Intimate partner violence is terrifyingly common among young people, and in society as a whole, with an average of two women a week killed by a partner or former partner in England and Wales. Yet it is denied, and victims are blamed and suffer an average of 35 violent incidents before seeking help. We are facing a tide of denial, ignorance and acceptance of behaviour which is simply unacceptable... Let's help today's young people to be the first generation to say "enough's enough". We must have compulsory sex and relationships education in all schools, now.
His jail sentence, his crime, his life, his guilt. The language of the perpetrator is everywhere, yet the language of the victim is nowhere to be found. 439 words and Reeva isn't named once, referred to singularly at the beginning with poetic abandon: 'He killed his girlfriend.'What we have here is an insensitively-timed rumination on prison reform at the expense of a 'girlfriend' Simon Jenkins didn't even have the consideration to name. Spectacular timing in a year when it was revealed around 90% of all reports of domestic violence to police forces in England and Wales are taken no further.
The law needs to be modernised and if we are to challenge the behaviour of perpetrators appropriately, we need an offence that reflects the reality of domestic abuse in all its guises. By criminalising this form of abuse and having specialist legislation, similar to the stalking law introduced in 2012, it would send a message that abusive and coercively controlling behaviour within a relationship is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
We need to talk about why the woman raped isn't considered an important part of this news story. We need to talk about why a woman who was raped, forced to leave her home and change her name isn't considered worthy of the same consideration as her rapist... Why are we more concerned with Evans' career but not that of the woman who was raped?
When a woman has experienced terror, control and violence at the hands of her intimate partner, her immediate need may be a safe physical location, a legal remedy to prevent contact, or security measures on her property. These things can save her life, but further responses are needed if the woman is to recover, rather than just be removed from immediate risk.
A quick look at the comments under Adam Levine's 'Animals' video will leave you in no doubt about how 'sexy' the stalker look is perceived to be. In it, Levine is playing a butcher who doubles as a stalker, secretly following an unsuspecting customer's every move (Behati Prinsloo, played by his wife).
Changing the law cannot be a substitute for improving the police response. However, legislative change signals training and awareness and can drive culture change to better protect women and children, hold perpetrators to account and effectively lead to a reduction in murder. And police, prosecutors and courts must have the best possible tools to do their job and keep victims and their children safe.
Victims will often protect their abusers in public for fear of any repercussions at home. They will act the loving couple so that nobody suspects and even to convince themselves that things are not as bad as they are. It is often only when the abuse has gone too far and there is no way back that the victim will confide in a close friend or family member.