Category Archive: Crime

Mar 24 2014

Girls, boys and gangs: beyond villain and victim

Right wing thinktank the Centre for Social Justice is the latest body to turn a concerned gaze upon the issue of girls’ involvement with gangs. This is one of those stories that seems to surface every few months and is reported every time as a shocking, scandalous new exposé. In truth there is little or …

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Nov 25 2013

So how do we eliminate violence against women?

Today, November 25th, is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I’ve always liked the unequivocal absolutism of this demand – it’s not just a call for awareness, or even a reduction, but the total, final eradication of violence against women. As the Situationists used to say: Be reasonable – demand the impossible. …

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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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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 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 19 2013

Goodbye baby boomers: the most criminal generation of them all

It is hardly surprising that David Cameron was out and about yesterday boasting of another sharp decline in crime levels. I won’t blame him for claiming credit, any prime minister would do the same, but there is little evidence that political policies have had much effect. Similar trends can be seen in most Western countries …

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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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Jun 28 2013

Criminal justice in a man’s world

Yesterday I was honoured to be speaking at a symposium for Safe Ground, an inspirational charity that works with men in prisons across the UK, especially around issues of fatherhood, engaging them through creative arts, drama, roleplay and more. The day was exploring how models of masculinity impact upon offending behaviour and desistance.  I listened …

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