Friday, 18 March 2011

Two women killed every week in England and Wales as victims of domestic and sexual violence

Whether or not the crime statistics can be completely trusted is one thing, but there is one matter that society still overlooks and turns away from, and for sure I believe that it is safe to say that ‘domestic violence’ has never left the parameters of personal relationships whether married or otherwise. Now this is a subject that I thought or rather didn’t think we would tackle on this blog, but as they say there is a first time for everything.

I’m writing this post because two friends of mine have been struggling with what I will and can only describe as a real living hell; one a female and the other a male in separate relationships. Without giving too much away there are children involved with one of the above mentioned, this makes it worse in my book, and I feel totally uncomfortable, the very convergent feeling of mental discomfort at that very thought, and as the reality is that as a friend I am totally helpless and can do nothing but give support and urge my friends to leave the abusive partner which is easily said by an outsider but for many hard to do practically as in these case’s, it has gone on for years.

I’m no expert on or in these matters, but I know and believe that any form of violence is totally unacceptable especially the violence that still happens in many relationships and despite what people think today that the victims of domestic violence can simply go to the police and report a crime, as if it was so simple, it’s not.

I read the other day that according to Strathclyde police, offences of domestic violence in the west of Scotland rise by 138.8% when a football match, game is played on a Saturday, with smaller but still significant rises (96.6% and 56.8%) for games played on Sundays and weekday evenings.

Then there’s the criminal case of Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva which ended last Friday when a judge sentenced him to probation for hitting her and prosecutors declined to charge her with blackmail. Gibson, the tough cop (joke) in the box-office smash hit Lethal Weapon movies and Braveheart epic of Scottish struggle against the English, has waged a bitter custody battle for almost a year with Grigorieva over their infant daughter, Lucia.

Gibson, 55, pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic violence against the mother of his baby daughter. He received three years' probation, and was ordered to spend one year in counselling, perform 16 hours of community service, and pay fines and court costs. Mel Gibson demonstrates that domestic violence is not fastened and tightened around the ankles of the working class, and as we approach the royal event of the year and that of the pending wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, so the call to all die hard monarchists has gone out! Where will you be on Royal Wedding Weekend; well I will be protesting against government cuts that will put the lives of thousands at risk of death as a national charity warns that cuts to domestic and sexual violence services will cost lives

National domestic violence charity Women’s Aid this week launched the results of their survey of the effects of the proposed cuts to domestic and sexual violence services. The survey shows that:

60% of refuge services have no funding agreed from 1st April 2011 
72% of outreach services have no funding agreed from 1st April 2011

Two women every week in England and Wales are killed by a former or current partner and proposed cuts will mean a significant reduction in lifesaving services for those affected by violence in the home. Comparisons of this special survey with Annual Survey figures for refuge and outreach use for 2009/10 suggest that nationally over 70,000 women, and their children, might not be able to access a service after April 2011, putting more lives at risk. The Home Office estimates that each domestic homicide costs the government £1million.

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