Friday, 14 March 2008

Disturbing news for victims and survivors of domestic violence

I found today’s news article in the Metro Domestic violence ‘triples in a year’ (page 2) very disturbing indeed. It reports that figures announced by the Home Office yesterday reveal almost 659,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported to police compared with 241,000 the previous year.

The Home Office believe that this is a reflection of the improvements in the criminal justice system and that women are becoming more confident that they will be listened to and their reports investigated.

This may be so but the article goes on to say that the conviction rate is still roughly the same at 18.8%. What message is the criminal justice system sending to women in violent relationships if they report violence, it is investigated and then nothing is done about it?

The other disturbing matter about the article is the accompanying photo makes the woman look like she’s smiling while her partner hits her. The media need to beware of what message this light-hearted image is sending as it takes the reader’s attention away from thoughts of violence and diminishes the gravity of the issue.

Noelle Virtue

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