Wednesday, 16 December 2015
It came as no surprise to me to read in the local and national newspapers that my local Police force are one of 27 forces failing to deal adequately with Domestic Abuse cases and victims. Indeed, on the same day it was also reported that
‘A Police officer has been sacked for failing to carry out an “adequate” investigation into a domestic violence case.’ Nottingham Post, 15th December 2015.
During the course of my campaigning, I have met with various senior Police Offices to discuss their approach to Domestic Abuse. While we have had positive exchanges, all have advised me that the local DV policy is directed by the local Police & Crime Commissioner.
Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner is Paddy Tipping. Prior to being elected to this post in 2012, Mr Tipping served as the Sherwood constituency Member of Parliament from 1992 to 2010 when he decided to stand down due to ill health. Paddy Tipping had also been caught up in the MP expenses scandal and in 2009, paid back more than £ 14,000 which had been claimed in mortgage interests payments on his London flat. The original claim was approved by the Fees Office and in accordance with Parliamentary rules.
To approach Mr Tipping, I had to go through his PA Amy Evans. Amy Evans made the headlines herself in May 2015 when she admitted accessing police records for personal use, as suspended and fined £ 2,900.
When I’d established contact with Mr Tipping, he advised me that if I wished to discuss Domestic Violence policy, I would need to speak the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner as she’d been delegated the DV portfolio.
While the Commissioner’s post was an elected one, the position of his deputy was one by appointment. Following Mr Tipping’s election, on his first day in ‘office’ 22nd November 2012 he duly named Chris Cutland, Executive Director of Women’s Aid Integrated Services in Nottingham as his Deputy.
I did meet with Chris Cutland who did advise me of all services on offer to DV victims and went out of her way to highlight to me the meagre services to male victims fully admitting to me that her priority was females. Because of her background I found this as no real surprise.
Domestic Abuse policy in Nottinghamshire is heavily influenced by Women’s Aid and hereby lays the problem. I suspect that this is also the case for the other 26 Police forces found falling short.
Rather than approach Domestic Abuse from a Gender Neuter viewpoint, Women’s Aid maintain a Gender Specific philosophy built around the academically-discredited Duluth model. The Duluth model insists that men are perpetrators because they are exercising societal learnt power and control while women are only violent in self-defence. Any serious student of human nature knows that this is not true within itself. However, this fraudulent model has financed a multi-million industry ( of which Womens Aid has benefitted ) and is the basis for all inadequate services.
In order for any genuine progress the Duluth model needs to be assigned to the dustbin and a new understanding based on the academic studies now appearing that clearly prove that domestic abuse is not about patriarchal power and control. Domestic abuse is about people of all sexualities and gender being violent to other people.
If the person responsible for establishing local policy on Domestic Abuse is an appointment by an elected official, it’s little wonder that services for victims are so poor.
Sunday, 8 March 2015
I’ve often commented on the attitude of some women towards Domestic Violence and have been contemplating this for a while. As a victim, survivor and now as a supporter of those experiencing DV, I’ve spoken to many survivors of both genders and have seen a pattern emerge between the attitudes of genders going through Domestic Abuse. I hope that this piece proves insightful as I share my conclusions. There will always be some exceptions, however the vast majority of people that I’ve encountered have exhibited the attitudes I describe.
This was true for me and for other men I have spoken with. I was a victim of Domestic Violence, but at the time of my abuse, I didn’t consider myself as such. In fact, I didn’t even recognise what was happening to me was abuse. Other men have said similar to me. Is this because the societal messages subconsciously convince us that only men can commit domestic abuse against women? Even now, the lobbyists keep promoting ‘Violence against Women and Girl’ parliamentary bills and campaigns which keep influencing society to believe that only women can be victims of domestic violence with men generally the abusers. THIS IS FAR FROM THE REAL TRUTH. Out of every 5 victims of Domestic Violence, 2 will be male.
It does concern me that many women don’t recognise their violent attacks of their partners as Domestic Violence. They will make excuses. Their actions are justifiable because they are women and prone to mood swings or hormonal imbalances caused by menstruation or pregnancy.
Very few women will claim or accept responsibility for their actions. It always someone else’s fault. If they lash out, it’s not their fault it’s the fault of the person they’ve hit.
The media contributes to this. Read all the news reports from the courts. If a man is in court, there’s no leniency. If a woman is tried for a crime 9 times out of 10 the report will read mother of 2 ( you seldom read father of 2), it will state that the crime was so out of character and she didn’t know why she committed it. If the woman doesn’t state that, the report will usually says she suffers from mental health or substance addiction. The resulting sentence often means that the woman would get a suspended sentence whereas a male offender would go straight to jail.
Do you think I’m over-reacting? Recently , the ITV This Morning show spent a morning on ‘Female Anger Epidemic’. A woman talked about her own anger issues and admitted throwing a rosebowl at her partner. She said that if it had been the other way around and her partner had thrown the bowl at her, it would be domestic violence. I sat there watching, and said It is Domestic Violence – there’s no difference.
But this highlights the difference in my eyes. In my experience, women don’t recognise their violent behaviour towards their partners as Domestic Abuse and consequently fail to accept any responsibility for their actions.
Thursday, 15 January 2015
Part of the feedback I received from my last blog http://thesilenceofdomesticviolence.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/its-good-to-talk.html was ‘ when we (men) have spoken out, we are not believed or listened too.’
Men and boys aren’t encouraged to speak out or talk about their problems or issues. As a man speaking out, I have been described on numerous occasion as ‘being brave.’ To be honest, I don’t see myself as such however I do feel strongly that injustices should be identified and addressed. If we remain silent, how can anything be done?
It is true, though, that some attempts by men/boys are met with ridicule. In the past this would also be true for women, but no one would dare to belittle the female gender.
Men haven’t been good at speaking out about the issues that deeply affect and trouble them. This may be because from an early age, we are conditioned to grin and bear it. Take for example, the way parents generally deal with crying children:
Little Emily cries.” What’s wrong, dear?” Emily then has the opportunity to speak and be heard.
Little John cries. “Stop crying…Big boys don’t cry..” Poor John then learns early in life that no-one really wants to listen to him share his concerns. He then goes through life being unable to speak out.
As a victim of Domestic Victim, I felt I couldn’t speak out about what was happening to me because no body would believe me.
As a man, I also know that I don’t visit my Doctor as often as I do. The few occasions when I have made an appointment, my opening statement has either been, “Sorry to waste your time, but my partner said I should see you about this,” or “It’s probably nothing but…”
It has been long established that men are less likely to visit their Doctors and often by the time they receive a diagnosis, effective treatment may no longer be available. This is one contributory factor to why men on average die at a younger age than women.