Prior virtual reality stress training might well have helped staff in that case. Every day, NHS workers face rapidly-evolving situations requiring split-second decision-making. It is no wonder so many television dramas are set in hospitals; A&E wards and mental health units, as they are by their very nature, sites of drama, tension and urgency.
When my ex-partner tried to murder me by putting a gun to my head, I was at the top of my game. I had reached a point with my PR companies where I was the go-to for giving voice to the voiceless; I was winning awards for making waves in marketing and diversity. Yes, I consider myself to be an intelligent woman. I also had a vast circle of friends and colleagues and a close-knit family. My greatest obstacle to freedom was my own overbearing feeling of shame.
One may wonder why, in the 21st century, adults are required to ask for the court's consideration and approval of their decision to get a divorce (no such approval, after all, is required to get married). But it is even more egregious that where there is ample evidence of the damage that acrimonious divorces can do to both the couple and any children they have that the law ultimately requires them to start that process by attributing blame for the relationship breakdown.
Unless the Government gets prisoner numbers down and devotes the resources necessary to getting staffing levels up, building a renewed prison estate and providing effective education, training and other purposeful activity in every prison, all they will be doing is trying to use small sticking plasters to staunch gaping wounds.
Whether you like the concept of marriage or not, equality should surely allow both same-sex and opposite-sex couples the same choices. You can have a civil ceremony of marriage already without requiring the religious element and be registered by a civil registrar, but it is still marriage; why not simply allow a CP?
Having new legislation on the statute books will do nothing to improve the plight of the 1.4 million women and 750,000 children affected by domestic violence each year, unless it goes hand-in-hand with a government commitment to sufficient and permanent funding, not just for refuges but for police and all the services needed to support and protect those affected. Otherwise, this will just be another time where new legislation is introduced without addressing any of the other difficulties surrounding its enforcement.
Today the minister must set out a concrete plan of action to ensure that no prisoner pays the penalty of their life. It is deeds, not words, which are now needed. We can't turn back the clock for those who have already been let down by our criminal justice system, but the Government has the power to banish this pitiful period to the history books.