Category Archive: abuse

Nov 05 2013

Enthusiastic consent in a muddy puddle of context

My last couple of blogs led to extensive discussion below the line about issues of consent and the value of various models of enthusiastic consent* over a more simplistic ‘no means no’ model. With impeccable timing, the Scottish government has released preliminary findings of a survey of over 1000 school students, aged approximately 15-18 (Years …

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Oct 28 2013

Policy on ending sexual violence – a thought experiment

The UK government has a policy page on ending sexual violence.  Here is what it doesn’t say: ————- Issue Too many young lives are blighted by sexual crime. Rapists and sexual abusers carry out a quarter of all violent crimes committed in the UK. We want to reduce crimes of sexual violence and stop young …

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Oct 26 2013

College rape and the importance of measuring success


To my eyes, one of feminism’s more frustrating traits is a widespread refusal to acknowledge social progress or its own successes. It’s rather odd when you think about it. It is at least 40 years since feminists began to turn serious attention to topics of sexual and domestic violence, with the publication of works like …

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Oct 06 2013

Magic Trick: Chris Brown and the disappearing child sex abuse

Less than a week after Victoria Coren-Mitchell was calling for nuance in how we discuss and describe difficult issues like the sexual abuse and rape of children, Decca Aitkenhead in the Guardian has adopted a novel approach – simply ignore it. Aitkenhead was interviewing R&B star and convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown. She began the …

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Sep 30 2013

Victoria Coren-Mitchell and the sin of ambivalence

Charlie was born in 1934, the accidental child of a 15-year-old runaway. She was already drinking heavily and being used as the sexual plaything of a succession of older men. Charlie’s birth certificate listed him as “no name Maddox.” Nobody was ever quite sure who the father was.  As a toddler, his mother once ran …

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Sep 24 2013

Domestic abuse, disability and a great man’s courage

Back in the late seventies, to my prepubescent eyes, Eddie Kidd was quite simply the coolest guy on the planet. The motorcycle stuntman seemed to be a perennial presence on John Craven’s Newsround and Blue Peter, highlighting his latest daredevil leaps over gullies, gorges or strings of double decker buses. While the USA had Evel …

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Sep 20 2013

Nagging: No laughing matter

NORMAN: THE MOST NAGGED MAN IN BRITAIN So runs the headline on The Sun’s front page this morning. It refers to a court judgement in which Julie Griffiths of Staffordshire has been spared jail for breaking the terms of her anti-social behaviour order imposed last December for shouting and screaming at her husband at such …

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Sep 11 2013

Anonymity for the accused: reaching for a compromise

In the hours since the acquittal of Michael Le Vell on all counts of child rape and abuse charges, I have, like many others, found myself wrestling with severely unpleasant emotional reactions. Like all but a handful of observers, I was not in court for the trial. I do not know who the central witness …

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Sep 04 2013

The startling facts on female sexual aggression

For the past year or so, any time I’ve written about men’s sexual aggression towards women, I could almost guarantee that someone would comment beneath about women’s sexual aggression towards men, usually referencing the US Centre for Disease Control’s Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010. This huge victim survey made a surprising finding. It …

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Jul 15 2013

Recession, austerity and domestic violence: a case unproven

SERIES: FROM THE HETPAT ARCHIVES Note 15/07/13.  In Saturday’s Guardian, Deborah Orr mused on two important questions around domestic violence. The first was the familiar worry as to whether the current economic crisis has sparked an upturn in intimate partner abuse. She hangs her argument around figures from Citizens’ Advice Bureaux showing a large increase …

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