Shutting down women’s refuges because they don’t take men is callous & absurd

21924131_sThe Tories’ ideological zeal to do away with all forms of public service and to provide replacements via competitive tendering processes and other market devices has now hit women’s refuges. It’s hard to think of a more inappropriate and contrarian idea when this gratuitously puts women’s lives at risk. To do so when the excuse is that refuges do not take men when 99% of cases of domestic violence are perpetrated by men against women only rubs salt into the wound. Specialist safe houses for women and children have been in existence now for over 40 years and there have been 3 parliamentary inquiries in 1975, 1992 and 2008 all of which argued that the provision of national refuges must a priority for any government. Continue reading

How not to cover abusive relationships

If you’re yet to see it, the piece is very uncomfortable. Readers who’ve experienced and survived domestic violence might want to give it a miss, so keep that in mind before you click this link. But it’s fair to say the photographs of Charles Saatchi gripping the throat of Nigella Lawson, pushing at her nose and reducing her to tears leave little to interpretation. No amount of context can spin this as anything other than an assault.

While some might be tempted to see the splash as a good thing, I don’t think theSunday People have done Nigella nor anyone else a service. While anyone with a progressive bone in their body would welcome the raising of the profile of domestic violence, in this case and for whatever reason, Ms Lawson has hitherto kept it a private matter.

Until she and her husband were papped, that is.  Continue reading