Monday, March 21, 2005

Domestic Violence in the UK

Anyone who has ever thought that domestic violence is a small problem, something that happens to a small minority, or is more of an issue overseas than in the UK might benefit from reading this article in the Guardian. The fact is its a huge issue in the UK and the government needs to focus on it. Personally I would advocate compulsory lessons on the issues surrounding domestic violence in schools as part of social education. But at very least, lets make it an election issue... I might write some letters...


Cruella said...

I'm certainly not suggesting that its a quick fix solution but I don't think education can be ignored in the battle against domestic violence. We need our kids to understand that its wrong and that if it happens to you its not your fault and you should leave or seek help.

If you think its the wrong approach then fine, please add your comments on what the best approach may be. Cos the current approach (doing nothing) is failing badly and putting hundreds of thousands of women at risk.

Andrew said...

So, beating my wife is wrong, but killing her unborn child is okay, as long as she agrees, and we have religious reasons to do it? What if we had religious reasons to beat her up, like some extreme adherents to Islam claim? Would that be okay?

Cruella said...

How can you kill an unborn child? It's not alive yet. It hasn't been born. Thats like feeling guilty about wanking into a tissue isn't it?

And my point is that we SHOULDN'T make country-wide laws based on religious doctrine. Religion should be a private matter but which is bound by the same laws as the everything else. Make sense?

Andrew said...

Life doesn't start at birth. Even the most fervent pro-choicer wouldn't make that argument. It is an accident of geography for premature babies that they can't be murdered at 23 weeks, whereas those still inside the womb can be aborted.

Anyway, how can you 'beat' a woman? It's just property. That's like feeling guilty about hitting a piece of furniture, isn't it?'

You seem to view the law as something static, and it isn't so. Ken Livingstone recently invited Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to London, a man who supports wife-beating when they're asking for it. As you admire Ken so much, perhaps you'd care to comment?

Note (given the difficulties in communicating nuances in textual form) - I obviously don't support domestic violence, but your moral compass is waaaaaaay out of whack.

Cruella said...

Well if you read the bible you'll see that it clearly describes life as beginning at 5 months for boys and 8 for girls. Personally, yes I do believe life begins at birth. I am not even "the most fervent pro-choicer", but I don't consider that a foetus has "human" rights. Until birth the foetus is a part of their mothers body and I believe it is up to the mother to decide what is best for her own body.

People are entitled to their opinions. But they have to respect the law. A man who beats his wife should go to prison. A man who advocates law change is entitled to his opinion. Now in the case of someone who genuinely advocates wife-beating I believe that it would be an excellent gesture to keep him away from mainstream politics.

However, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is not such a man and does not hold such unpleasant views. In fact he has written several articles explaining how he believes Islam has got it wrong and that proper Qur'anic study suggests women and men should be treated as equals and offered equal rights across the board. Here is one such article:

Andrew said...

I'm not sure what the Bible has to do with anything - I'm an atheist. I consider life to begin when kids are 5 years old. Can I kill my nephew - he's a right little b**tard sometimes?

Cruella said...

No you have to follow the law of the country (didn't we just have this one). You are welcome to your opinion however.

Cruella said...

Well if we're going to assume that no-one really follows the law but instead does what they want (and at many levels this is often true) then we will find that making abortion illegal or less available is a terrible idea. Thousands of illegal abortions take place at enormous risk to women's lives when it is not possible to have legal abortions. Try this link, although not if you're sqeamish:

Difficulties in implementing a law however don't mean you shouldn't pass it if you really believe its the right law to have. You have to pass the law, then figure out how to most effectively impose it. Otherwise we'd just live in a state of anarchy and mob rule.

Cruella said...

Interesting, I think the pro-choice (not pro-abortion, thanks) majority are really fed up with the weirdo extreme right minority kicking up a fuss every five minutes. If there is a genuine groundswell of opinion change then of course the law should be reviewed. The vibe I have from my own anecdotal evidence is that most people are not interested in changing the law and want to concentrate on more important issues and are fed up with a noisy minority, most of whom know very little about the issue kicking up a fuss. Certainly seems that the "pro-life"* groups are a lot more militant, vocal and attention-seeking than the rest.

* How you can call a movement that advocates a policy which would lead to thousands of deaths in illegal back-street abortion clinics "pro-life" is beyond me. They should be called "anti-choice" or just "anti-women" really.

Cruella said...

OK firstly if you believe the government does what it likes irrespective of the public then why bother following politics yourself? if you cannot change anything, you may as well give up. I don't believe the system is perfect but i do believe its worth trying.

Where did you get your "facts" about capital punishment? Personally I don't believe that the majority in the UK support it. I await convincing proof.

But most importantly: the UK government only has time to debate a certain number of issues. I believe that it should focus therefore on those issues which affect the largest number of people and which the largest number of people care about. So for example I think they should ignore the "pro-life"* movement and "fathers 4 justice"**, both of which are, in my opinion, a small group of extremists trying to move their own personal issues up the political agenda.

I think the more important issues which should be addressed are:

1) Foreign policy - millions came out to protest against the war.

2) Domestic violence - affects one in four women in the UK.

3) Conviction rates for rape. See my earlier post

And then issues in healthcare and education. And I'm sick of seeing a small band of nutters trying to hijack our democratic system.

*read "pro-death", "anti-women", "anti-choice", etc.

**"fathers 4 dictatorial control of the lives of their ex partners"...

Cruella said...

I can hardly be expected to accept data from a survey conducted for the Mail on Sunday. Next you will be telling me Esso reckons the no-one wants the Kyoto treaty.

No-one I know wants abortion to become an election issue. Whereas more or less everyone I know wants commitments on pulling out of Iraq. If everyone screams at once, no-one gets heard so the majority of people stick to peaceful, calm protest on the issues they care about. However a dangerous minority refuse to play by the rules and kick up a fuss to get their issues up the agenda. This cheapens the value of the democracy we have and offers the politicians a chance to hide from the real questions the public want answers to behind posturing on issues that pander to a tiny minority.