Friday, 19 September 2014

Offensive?


I got more reaction from my last blog than any other.  I was told it was offensive.  I was accused of making Domestic Violence gender-specific when it isn’t.  I was called sexist and a narcissist.  All my attackers were female. 

I found the charge of making Domestic Violence gender-specific quite ironic because regular readers will know that I find all violence abhorrent and I often state that there is never any excuse for any form of abuse, irrespective of gender.  What I do campaign about and highlight through this blog (and my own personal story)  is the inequality and the gender-bias way in which Domestic abuse is viewed by society.  The way in which it is reported suggests that men are always the aggressors and women the victims.  The truth, however, is different and that is what I try to show.  Men and Women can be Domestic Violence perpetrators and both genders can also be victims.  It is not a Gender issue, but was made one by the women’s movement (who continue to perpetuate this myth) and too many people are either too miss-informed or afraid to challenge this misperception. 

Blogging is about sharing your story and opinion.  Our opinions are often influenced by our own personal experiences.   If you choose to read my blog, I thank you sincerely.  You may agree with what I write.  You might disagree and have a different opinion.  You also have complete freedom to express whatever opinion you hold. I respect that and dialogue is always good in sharing different viewpoints.  Where I draw the line is when it becomes personal.  No-body has the right to insult another person.  I may not agree, but I can accept another’s opinion.  What is unacceptable is personal attacks because someone has a different view or opinion.  Hang on a minute, isn’t that how all conflicts and wars begin?  
So what caused such controversy?  I happened to post about a local young woman who made AND admitted to making false domestic violence allegations against her male ex-partner.  Such a story couldn’t be refuted as it was there in black and white.  What caused such offence was my comment that the leniency shown by the Judge wouldn’t have been the same had the wrongdoer been male.  How could I suggest such a thing? 

Making like for like comparisons in case is never easy, but several different stories appeared on my news feed today.

·         2 young women launch an unprovoked attack on a 77 year old  blind male bus passenger.
Punishment:  2 months suspender prison sentence

·         Female social worker admits falsely accusing Father of Child Abuse

·         Judges are ‘ordered’ to be more lenient when sentencing female criminals

So I caused offence when suggesting that women are possible of making false accusations and yet another example in reported.  My comments about judgement leniency caused outrage and yet, it is reported, judges have been instructed to make such rulings.

Trying to find  a like for like case, the closest I could find was a 78 year old Asian lady attacked by a 31 year old male.


The 31-year-old was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage, racially aggravated common assault and racially aggravated intentional harassment.  I couldn’t find the outcome of sentencing, but if this man was found guilty I doubt he would have been given a paltry two months suspender prison sentence.  He would have had the book thrown at him and rightly so. And just to re-address the balance, I can’t find any examples of men being arrested after making false domestic violence allegations.

All abuse and violence is wrong.  Those found guilty of such crimes should be punished equally.  Part of the punishment for incarcerated men is separation from family especially their children.  They are told that they should have thought about the impact on their children before they committed whatever the offence may have been.  Surely, the same incentive should be used in trying to deter women from committing crime too?  Instead, because they do have children they hope for leniency and a lighter sentence.  If you do the crime, you should be prepared to do the time.   

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

False Accusations

I’m not usually over enamoured with the effects and understanding shown about Domestic Violence issues by my local Police Force.  However, a report in the Nottingham Post of 9th September 2014 shows that perhaps things are changing.

 In the report entitled “Woman’s lies got her ex-partner arrested, “ the account tells how

“Pregnant Amy Whitham’s ex-partner was arrested after she falsely claimed he was going to arrange to “have her head kicked in,” a court heard.”

Obviously the Police have a duty to investigate such allegations. I do wonder whether they would have treated the accusation with the same enthusiasm though had the complainant been the male ex-partner!  I doubt it.

However, the report continues:


“He was arrested and questioned by detectives, Notting Crown Court heard.  But police soon established that the only person sending the messages was Whitham – through an e-mail account she had set up in his name.  Yesterday Whitham was sentenced for perverting the course of justice – on the strength of her making the false witness statement to police last November.”

So well done Nottingham Police for charging this woman.  What sentence did she receive?  To continue quoting the report:

“Judge James Sampson decided not to send Whitham into custody because she has two young children to care for and is expecting a third.  “As a mark of compassion, I’m prepared to suspend this sentence,” he told her.

Again, I ask ‘Would such compassion have been shown to her ex-partner?’  Probably not.  We all know that should he have been charged with the false allegation, he would have received a custodial sentence.

Further more, why do Judges be far more lenient on women criminals when well-known documentary evidence exists that states that young children are more at risk from harm in the care of mothers than fathers?  

Women such as Amy Whitham who think nothing of making false accusations against partners actually make it far more difficult for real victims to speak out and be heard, irrespective of gender.

Why did she do it?  To quote the report again, “No reasons were given at the hearing about why Whitham made up the claims.”

Now that’s a real surprise isn’t it?   I can tell you exactly why.   Whitham was on a revenge mission and wanting to hurt her former partner.  What easier way than to make up such allegations?   Women like Whitham know the climate is such that once she’d made her statement, her ex-partner would be seen as ‘guilty, until proven innocent.’  Fortunately, in this case, his innocence could be proved.  I have also heard of divorce settlements where Lawyers have encouraged the woman to make an accusation of domestic abuse in order to secure both a bigger alimony and residence of children.  This has been in relationships where there has been no record or evidence of abuse, no investigation of the allegations carried out, and yet the mere mention of being seen to be a victim of domestic violence has resulted in the desired financial reward.

The whole system needs an overhaul so that the practise of making false allegations stops completely.


Friday, 5 September 2014

Woman No Cry, Man Out Cry (Part One)

Forgive the poetic licence used in titling this piece ‘Woman No Cry, Man Out Cry’ but I wish to highlight once more the different attitudes regarding men and women accused of Domestic Violence offences.

When a man, celebrity or otherwise, is reported as being a Domestic Violence perpetrator there is often a huge public outcry and rightly so.  However  when a female is the assailant, a different attitude prevails.  In fact, most approaches seem to project the reports in a jovial fashion.  I find this totally shocking because if you are the victim of abuse, it doesn’t matter who your abuser is, it is not humorous or amusing. 

This week has since a few more examples in the national media.  One is an actress who is serialising her autobiography through media outlets.  This actress is probably better known for the paparazzi  coverage given to her many high-profile romances than her body of work.   Her beau’s include Jason Statham, Billy Zane, Thom Evans, David McIntosh and Danny Capriani. 

Kelly Brook admits to hitting ex-boyfriends Jason Statham and Danny Capriani.  In her account, she justifies her actions by saying that she attacked English Rugby player Danny Capriani after discovering that he was cheating on her.  The general attitude towards this is “good for you girl, the cheat deserved it and had it coming.  Now, imagine for a moment that the roles was reversed.  If Mr. Capriani had struck Ms. Brook and then claimed that he only did it in response to discovering infidelity, would that make it acceptable?   Of course not,  violence is never acceptable and shouldn’t be acceptable under any circumstances.  So why does society seem to think that a woman hitting a man is acceptable when a man striking a woman in similar circumstances is clearly not??

Ms Brook also admits to hitting hard-man movie actor Jason Statham.  She justifies this behaviour by claiming this was because he made flirty comments about another actress while with her.  Again, reverse the genders and would such action be tolerated?  I think not.

Ms Brook actually offers an insight into her behaviour when she writes:

“ My earliest memory is of my mother throwing an iron down the stairwell at my dad after he came back late from the pub.”

So the lesson she learnt from her parents was   If you think your partner steps out of line, you punish them with violence. 

There should never be any excuse for violence towards another person  irrespective of gender, race, religion, sexuality. 


Why is it then when women are the perpetrators, we don’t treat it with the contempt it deserves, but society continues to find the idea of a female attacking a man rather amusing?  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

You Couldn't make it up


Many people look forward to their holidays away to rest by the pool/beach and enter into some light reading while they sunbathe.  Sunbathing isn’t really my thing, but reading most certainly is and I was away on holiday, I had more time to absorb myself in the daily newspapers and books that were in my ‘to read’ pile.  Most people have a ‘to do’ list.  I purchase books and have a ‘to read’ list which is never exhausted.
News stories and articles about Domestic Violence always catch my attention, and in a matter of days the several different papers I read, carried several stories.   Bizarrely, there seemed to be the publication of several studies which made claims of how Domestic Violence could either be caused or prevented all reaching the printed media at the same time. 

The most sensible was The Times 26th August 2014

“Constantly telling a partner that she is fat may be a symptom of domestic abuse, according to a Labour frontbencher.
Seema Malhotra, appointed yesterday to the newly created post of shadow minister for preventing violence against women and girls, said that trying to erode someone’s self-esteem could be part of a broader pattern of behaviour.”

Although this report is written in the gender-specific fashion that I abhor, later in the article an acknowledgement that men are victims too.

“She highlighted figures showing that 12 million woman and 2.5 million men had been the victims of domestic abuse.”


I would question those statistics, but at least the plight of men wasn’t ignored completely.



However, the day before that report appeared the same august publication ran this story:

CANNABIS MAY BE KEY TO GOOD RELATIONSHIP
“Couples who smoke cannabis are less likely to engage in domestic violence, US research suggests.

Married couples who both use cannabis at least twice a month reported the least perpetration of violence. If only the husband used cannabis, this reduced the likelihood of the wife being violent.”




Ah, so that explains why my ex-wife was abusive to me, I didn’t smoke cannabis.  In fact, I’ve never smoke cannabis.  Maybe I should have done if this ‘reduced the likelihood of the wife being violent.’



However my favourite report also appeared on the 28th August , but in one of our tabloid newspapers, The Sun:

KEBABS ‘CAN CUT VIOLENCE’
“A Solicitor was under fire yesterday for claiming kebabs could cut domestic violence.  Janet Hood, 57, spoke at a licensing hearing to get a takeaway’s opening hours extended.  She said in Dundee eating would make drunks too tired to attack.  Ms Hood added: “Medical evidence suggests eating after drinking helps induce sleep, which could help lower alcohol-related domestic violence.”




Now if you know me, you will know that I love and enjoy eating kebabs.  And, unlike the majority of the population, I enjoy these when I’m sober and I certainly don’t fall asleep after consumption.  However, it set me thinking about my past.

Both my ex-wife and myself never drank alcohol as part of our religious observance.  So her violence towards me wasn’t alcohol-induced.  She also seldom ate kebabs preferring to order fish when I visited the local takeaway.  For me, it was kebabs as the healthy option (well, you do get a portion of salad with them).  

I can’t comment on the effects of Cannabis, but Kebabs didn’t cut out the violence I experienced.  In fact, I probably ate more kebabs because I was a victim of Domestic Violence
.  I didn’t drink alcohol or smoke, so comfort eating kebabs was my escape from the suffering I endured.

You can call me fat because I have eaten too many kebabs.  Maybe I should have smoked cannabis instead but that would have had other implications for me I’m sure (It would also have been contravening the religious views I held at that time) .

Smoking Cannabis or eating kebabs will never cut domestic violence.  You couldn’t make it up, but someone obviously did!!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Being Politically Correct

Rotherham, a place now synonymous with yet another child abuse scandal.  Over 1,400 young girls were groomed by a large gang of perpetrators.  The real tragedy of this is that all the authorities were aware of what was happening but choose to turn a blind eye because they were more fearful of upsetting the PC Brigade.  Rather than being branded as Racist ,the powers that be decided to ignore the cries for help from young, Caucasian girls allowing their Asian perpetrators to continue carrying out sickening attacks. 
Similar gangs had been victimising young girls in other parts of the United Kingdom and have only recently been brought to justice such as Oxford and Derby.  The scale of known abuse in Rotherham is horrific and any culture that has allowed such crimes to flourish should be condemned.

Were the roles reversed, and young asian girls were reporting being attacked by Caucasian males, I’m certain that the crimes would have been thoroughly investigated by the authorities and those involved would have quickly been dealt with.

Instead, fearful of being seen as targeting an ethnic group and being labelled as Institutionally Racist, the authorities were apathetic.

This comes after the revelations that Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris and many other well-known personalities exploited their privileged iconic statuses to violate many innocent victims.  Again, accusations were ignored because of the perpetrators appearing above the law.  

People seem willing to exploit their fame, race and gender creating a cesspool of perversion.

Such Political Correctness is not about Equality and Diversity.  If it was , allegations would have been investigated when first made. 

The authorities, apprehensive of upsetting a powerful ethnic group, decided to ignore the many claims being made.    This doesn’t just happen with race, the same ‘political correctness’ applies to gender issues too. 


The same authorities, afraid of being accused as ‘sexist’ by militant feminists will act in similar fashion ignoring the cries for help from men.  As a result, many crimes committed by women against men are ignored. 

When I’ve received ‘Children/Vulnerable persons’ training, an integral part of the session is that any and all accusations of abuse must be accepted and referred to the appropriate agency.  Clearly, that has not been happening in England and gives the abuser even greater power of their victims. The statement  “No-body will believe you because a) of my race b) of my gender  c) I’m famous,”  needs to lose its power over the victim, but this can only happen when all victims of abuse know that there exists a safe system in which they can confidently speak out into. 
False allegations are soon proved to be false, the truth always stands out.  It’s time for the climate to change.  ALL abuse is wrong and the words of a victim must be believed and acted upon.   

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Justification?


A report appeared in my local newspaper that  led to  an online discussion about the nature of Domestic Violence where a 32 year old woman admitted she assaulted her partner by throwing a garden spiked candle-holder at him.  The third throw hit him causing a two inch cut.   It was good to see that a man felt he could press charges, although it was actually the man’s mother who reported the crime.  Good on her I say.
Anyhow, what annoyed me was the punishment dished out to the woman.   She got a community order which included 14 sessions at the local women's centre.    What are they going to teach her there ??? That she was really the victim as men are to blame for everything? Will they help her improve her aim so that next time it only takes her one attempt to hit her target???? Absolutely unbelievable.

Expressing this view led to some comments that seemed to want to justify the woman’s actions.  He must have deserved it, he had it coming, he must have provoked her, it must have been self-defence etc.  When excessive force is used however, it can’t be self-defence, more a case of mutual violence.

And yet, were the gender roles reversed, no-one would try and justify such action.  It would be wrong because he was a nasty man attacking an innocent woman.  He certainly would not have got a community order punishment which included 14 sessions at a local men’s centre.  Dare I say it, his punishment most likely would have been at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. 

I’ve encountered such attitudes before, and I have to say that strangely enough, its women who will try to justify the actions of another violent woman.  It’s as if they can’t accept that women can be as violent as men,  and so there has to be some rationale behind the assault.

There is NEVER any justification for any form of domestic  violence.  There is no excuse for domestic abuse. 

Please don’t try to justify any one else’s violence.  They may be ill, they may need help etc, but that is NO EXCUSE EVER.  Think about it next time, any assault is verbally indefensible. 


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Hope


I’ve been meditating on ‘Hope’ for some months now.  It strikes me that hope is the one thing we all hold on to when everything else comes crashing down.  The appeal is that we can always hope for something better. 
For example, in a relationship blighted by domestic violence, the victim very seldom leaves when the abuse first manifests itself.  We ‘hope’ for change.  We make excuses for the perpetrator telling ourselves that they are not well, they are under stress, they may be drinking too much etc.  We hope that they will ‘get better’ or change and everything will be fine.  The longer the situation carries on, the victim realises that this particular ‘hope’ won’t occur, so the hope changes.  The victim hopes for a day when everything is peaceful, and tries to do nothing that would cause offence or trigger a violent episode in their partner.  However, even this approach is flawed, because the mood swings are so random and unpredictable as the perpetrator will find any reason to attack.   Finally, when the victim is completely worn down, feeling worthless and virtually hopeless, the glimmer of a new future away from the perpetrator presents a new hope.  Just how though, remains a mystery as the victim can’t see any way to escape and by this time, all rational thought processes have been destroyed by the constant abuse suffered.
People need hope to survive.  The oppressed often turn to religion because of the hope faith offers.  Most (if not all) faith offers you the hope of a better life in the next world.  “Today’s life will be tough and hard, but don’t worry” adherents of a religion will tell you, “because if you follow XXXXXX  or this path, you will be fine in the next world/life.”  The promise of something better in the future gives hope.  Pie in the Sky when you die.  Furthermore, if you look to a religion/faith for hope, its followers are most embracing and welcoming of you especially when they think they may have a new recruit.  They will do anything and offer all sorts of assistance to make you want to feel part of that group.   Mind you if you turn your back on that group, your so-called friends may no longer offer you the same hand of friendship you previously experienced.   The future hope you signed up to when you acknowledged believe in that faith system evaporates.  You are no longer one of the chosen ones.
Hope is always there.  Hope is not reliant on external circumstances or beliefs.  There comes a time when you just have to grasp it.  Any abusive relationship will never change and if you are being victimised, your only hope is leaving and starting again.  Staying will only result in further problems and difficulties and could even cost you your life.  That hope you may have of a life free from abuse is available to you, but you have to grasp it with both hands and doing that requires a big, bold step.