Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ruth Kelly’s bright idea

‘A new scheme aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence is set to be unveiled by ministers. The "sanctuary scheme" will provide money to create a room in which women can be secure within their own homes and be able to call the police. Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly is to announce £74m will fund the provision of rooms equipped with alarms and CCTV.’

Oh, dear dear dear. Well done Ruth, once again!

Am I the only person who thinks that the onus or responsibility for protecting women against male violence ought not to be placed entirely in the hands of...erm... Women?

Male neanderthal judges might well have started to get their heads around the idea that wearing a short skirt does not mean that a woman is responsible for getting raped, and well done for that, but don’t be fooled into thinking that anything much has changed since the “she asked for it” days. We are still facing the same kind of misogynistic presumptions every single day, and this story does a fine job of proving the point.

Two women a week are killed by violent partners or ex-partners, you say? One in four women in the UK has suffered from violence at the hands of a partner?

Alright then.

Let’s not bother trying to change the culture of violence against women. Nah. Let’s give battered women a room in their house with CCTV in it. Their partners will barely notice it’s there, I’m sure, and as long as the next time they’re attacked (as – let’s be clear here - we are accepting that they will be), it happens within, what, 2 feet of the ‘safe’ room, they’ll be perfectly alright. (Until the police arrive, arrest the violent partner and let him go two days later, that is).
Hurrah! Problem solved.

Crazed killers are out there attacking drug-addicted prostitutes?
Well, now, this is an easy one.
If these women weren’t heroin addicts, they wouldn’t be prostitutes. Which means they wouldn’t be on the streets. Which means they wouldn’t be ‘putting themselves in danger’.
So it’s the DRUGS that killed them! Yes. It must be Kate Moss and Pete Doherty’s fault for ‘glamourising’ drug use. Course it is. Problem solved again.

Never mind that, like Jack the Ripper and Peter Sutcliffe and thousands of other men before them (let’s not forget that prostitutes get murdered by men an average of once a month in this country without anyone batting an eyelid), the Ipswich murders are attacks against women who, due to their selling sex, are effectively an overt representation of female sexuality. To a certain kind of man (and I mean those that beat up their partners as much as those that strangle prostitutes) there’s nothing scarier.
Make no mistake: if you’re female, whether you’re selling it or not, you can be pretty sure that you could become a victim of male violence as easily as the next woman.
£74m and a f**king ‘safe’ room isn’t ever going to change that fact.

No comments: