Boris Johnson’s suggestion that the Government are “fully committed” to targeting domestic abuse would be laughable if it weren’t something the nation has been crying out for for years. It has been reported that deaths due to domestic abuse have reached a five year high, as the stats from last year have been released. These are not domestic abuse related deaths; they are murders, largely gendered violent crimes, with 75% of these killings being partners or ex-partners murdering women.
And where are their faces? These individual women who have been killed as silent sacrifices to the cause that states that men are allowed to have violent power over women – most disgustingly of all, over women who have put their trust in them. Eight months ago, I wrote about the implementation of Clare’s Law, enabling people to find out whether their partner carried any domestic abuse convictions. At the time, I questioned how much good this would actually be able to do, as I felt that it put too much responsibility on the potential victim to go searching for crimes committed by a partner.
It was not then, nor is it now, the responsibility of potential victims to see themselves in that way and be proactive about looking into someone they have romantic feelings for. Of course, Clare’s Law is excellent when it comes to people having difficulty accepting that a partner has previously been violent, or that they may be becoming abusive towards them. However, the Government must do more than this.
Women are being murdered in the hundreds, and abused in the hundreds of thousands, across the world as well as the UK. Domestic abuse has been happening since the dawn of time – when you posit one group above the other, telling them that one group are inherently stronger, more prone to anger and violence, and that the other are weak and live only to serve the former (straight from the rib), what do you expect? Toxic masculinity, combined with fear, disbelief in the words of women, and lack of education on how to properly treat other human beings, on what is and is not love, is the problem.
So Boris, what are you going to do? Put more funding into the police? Into education? Fight about it with your girlfriend so loudly that your neighbours call the police? We can all say that we are prioritising things, but it is our actions that speak volumes, and our new Prime Minister’s must be focussed on ensuring that these women are not followed to the grave by hundreds more.