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.
New research from Plan shows the shocking truth about adolescent girls in developing countries. In one of the largest studies ever undertaken of its kind, we talked to 7000 adolescent girls and boys in 11 countries about girls' opportunities. The findings are overwhelming. These girls are some of the most disadvantaged people on earth.
The comments section of any online newspaper, group or forum is something that I am drawn to when I read an article or piece that interests me. Because it is the internet people tend to say exactly what think, without recourse or fear that the people they know in real life would find out what they truly believe. This opens up a pass to be completely honest which has both its up and downsides.
Psychological abuse and coercive control are just as damaging as physical abuse and even though our laws don't yet reflect this, they now have a chance to catch up to the common morality. Moreover, our government is now aware of the fact that our laws are leaving victims of a domestic violence vulnerable at the hands of their abusers.