Monday, April 21, 2008

An all too common scenario?

I posted last week about the concerns that the judiciary have about the 'criminalisation' of the new domestic violence laws. Yesterday, the Magistrate's Blog had a thought-provoking post about the realities of domestic violence cases in the criminal courts. This particular case was listed for trial last week at 11am, and was expected to last for the rest of the day. However the victim, the wife, had withdrawn her complaint against her husband, and had been issued with a Witness Summons by the CPS. Needless to say, she refused to give evidence, despite the encouragement of the Victim Support people and the pleas of the prosecutor and the Officer In The Case. The case was therefore dismissed, and the taxpayer footed the bill, including the husband's costs. An all too common scenario?

3 comments:

  1. I thought the article was worrying with its clear gender bias and similarly pre-judged view that the alleged perpetrator husband had got away with it.

    Why shouldnt the alleged, I stress alleged victim be penalised for wasting the systems time and money?

    The worst possible outcome has already come about with the alleged victim wasting valuable public time and costs and likely to fall back into the relationship of some kind with the alleged perpetrator.

    The alleged perpetrator has not been able to clear his name and been hounded over many months by this case with question marks against his name still clearly expressed by the author of this article.

    There is an overriding mantra promoted by the govt and special interest groups funded in the tens of multi-millions each year by this govt that many men are brutal wife beaters and many women are shy, scared victims.

    When the facts and research show that men and women are just as likely as each other to be the victims of Domestic Violence. That in fact most DV is mutual.

    www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs04/hors276.pdf
    Title: Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey
    The BCS estimates that 13% of women and 9% of men had been subject to domestic violence (abuse, threats or force), sexual victimisation or stalking in the twelve months prior to interview.

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article587546.ece
    'Of 24,000 partners who suffered serious wounding with a weapon, 11,000 were men.'
    In other words, 45.8% were men, and 54.2% were women.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5092100.stm
    60% (women) said it was acceptable for women to hit their husbands while 35% admitted assaulting their partner.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/6169001.stm
    Many male victims fear they will not be taken seriously
    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hors170.pdf
    Home Office research: Understanding the sentencing of women
    "A superficial examination of the criminal statistics suggests that, for virtually every type of offence, women are treated more leniently than men. "

    " Conclusion. This study reveals major differences in the use of noncustodial penalties for men and women. Women were consistently more likely than men to be discharged even when their circumstances appeared, on the basis of the available data, entirely comparable. "

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  2. You are of course quite right that men are also victims of domestic violence, and that the alleged perpetrator is innocent until proven guilty. I was going to suggest that you direct your comment at the original author, but I see you already have.

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  3. Thanks John, as your blog mentioned it I felt it deserved a response. Best wishes.

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