When a Man Kills a Woman by @K_IngalaSmith

Cross-posted from: Karen Ingala Smith
Originally published: 27.11.16

Across everything that divides societies, we share in common that men’s violence against women is normalised, tolerated, justified – and hidden in plain sight.

Credit: Counting Dead Women project

… Responses to men’s violence against women which focus almost exclusively on  ‘healthy relationships’, supporting victim-survivors  and reforming the criminal justice system simply do not go far enough. Men’s violence against women is a cause and consequence of sex inequality between women and men.  The objectification of women, the sex trade, socially constructed gender, unequal pay, unequal distribution of caring responsibility are all  simultaneously symptomatic of structural inequality whilst maintaining a conducive context for men’s violence against women. Feminists know this and have been telling us for decades.

One of feminism’s important achievements is getting men’s violence against women into the mainstream and onto policy agendas.  One of the threats to these achievements is that those with power take the concepts, and under the auspices of dealing with the problem shake some of the most basic elements of feminist understanding right out of them.  State initiatives which are not nested within policies on equality between women and men will fail to reduce men’s violence against women.  Failing to even name the agent – men’s use of violence – is failure at the first hurdle. …

Read more When a Man Kills a Woman by @K_IngalaSmith

The Scottish Write to End Violence Against Women and Girls Award!

The Write to End Violence Against Women Awards Nominations close on Sept. 30!

Violence against women is often in the news. Its prevalence in society makes it a ‘hot topic’ for reporters and its complex nature makes it an interesting issue for feature writers. However, the fact that violence against women is so complex can mean that even journalists with the best of intentions can misrepresent some of the issues and perpetuate myths that are harmful to women.

On the other hand, good reporting can play a vital role in increasing understanding of violence against women and challenging its place in our society. And many journalists and bloggers produce high quality work which confronts violence and gender inequality.

We believe that their hard work deserves to be recognised, which is why Zero Tolerance with the support of NUJ ScotlandWhite Ribbon ScotlandScottish Women’s AidEngenderEveryday Victim Blaming, Women 50:50Rape Crisis ScotlandWomen for Independence and the Scottish Refugee Council are pleased to present the fourth annual Write to End Violence award for excellence in journalism. We are also pleased to announce the Sunday Herald will be working with us as our media partner.

This award seeks to drive up standards in journalism by rewarding those committed to furthering the cause of gender equality through their work.  It is open to all those writing in Scotland, and there are categories open to both paid and unpaid writing. Articles and blogs must be published between 01/09/15 and 01/09/16.
Read more The Scottish Write to End Violence Against Women and Girls Award!

Femicide – Men’s Fatal Violence Against Women Goes Beyond Domestic Violence by @K_IngalaSmith

Cross-posted from: Karen Ingala Smith
Originally published: 18.05.15

I wrote this piece for Women’s Aid’s magazine Safe:

The Office for National Statistics released findings from the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales on 12 February. Men continue to be more likely to be killed than women, there were 343 male victims compared to 183 female victims (of all ages including children and babies). Court proceedings had concluded for 355 (55%) of 649 suspects relating to 536 homicides.  For those suspects where proceedings had concluded, 90% (338 suspects) were male and 10% were female (38 suspects). Men are more likely to be killed, but their killers are overwhelmingly men. Women are less likely to be killed, when they are, they are overwhelmingly killed by a man.  When we’re talking about fatal violence, we are almost always talking about men’s violence.
Read more Femicide – Men’s Fatal Violence Against Women Goes Beyond Domestic Violence by @K_IngalaSmith

Reports on ‘Leaked Nude Photos‘ — Just Another Form of Victim-Blaming by @CratesNRibbons

Cross-posted from: Crates N Ribbons
Originally published: 01.09.14

As most of you will have heard by now, an anonymous hacker has stolen the private images of a large number of female celebrities, and posted them on 4chan, an imageboard website notorious for being a cesspit of misogyny.

Here are a selection of headlines I’ve seen today:

The Great Naked Celebrity Photo Leak of 2014 is Just the Beginning –  Guardian

Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photos Leaked ‘After iCloud Hack’ – BBC

Leaked Nude Celeb Photos Spark Hacking Fears – Sky News

Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Photos Leak Online, Other Celebs Targeted – Huffington Post

Leaked: Photos of Naked Celebrities, Including Jennifer Lawrence – The Sydney Morning Herald

Nude Photos of Many A-List Celebrities Leaked Online After Apparent Hacking – CTV News


Leaked. Over and over, the same phrase is being employed. The photographs were leaked.

What a strange word to use. A leak is what happens when I fail to turn my tap all the way off. If my water bottle is not properly sealed, it leaks. If I had a baby, and then forgot to change its diaper often enough, that would leak too.

But is that what has happened here? Did the photos of these women suddenly find themselves on the internet in an unfortunate accident, brought about through the laws of physics and a defective containment system? Or was there something else at work here?
Read more Reports on ‘Leaked Nude Photos‘ — Just Another Form of Victim-Blaming by @CratesNRibbons

This is male entitlement: why domestic & sexual violence are gendered issues (content note for extreme violence) BY @EVB_Now

Cross-posted from: Everyday Victim Blaming
Originally published: 30.09.15

Every time we tweet about male entitlement and male violence, we hear two things a) not all men and b) women are violent too. We need to be clear here: the vast majority of violence is committed by men. Street violence is usually committed by men against other men. Domestic and sexual violence and abuse are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women and children. Male victims of domestic and sexual violence and abuse are mostly likely to be abused by male partners. This is the reality of gendered violence in the UK.

Not all men may perpetrate domestic and sexual violence and abuse, but all men profit from a system where women are routinely shamed and punished for acting outside of prescribed gender roles. This is why housework and caring for children or family members with disabilities is overwhelmingly done by women and why men consistently over-estimate the amount of caring they do. Without women’s unpaid labour, our economy would collapse. Despite this, women are more likely to live in poverty than men and children who live in poverty tend to live in a single parent household with their mother with a father who pays little or no maintenance.
Read more This is male entitlement: why domestic & sexual violence are gendered issues (content note for extreme violence) BY @EVB_Now

Is this what you think victims of domestic violence look like? by @monk_laura

Cross-posted from: Mothers Apart Project
Originally published: 01.02.15

In the Mothers Apart Project one of the themes emerging from talking to both mothers apart and professionals is the problem of stereotyping, and judging people by those stereotypes according to myths about ‘bad mothers’. Another theme is that professionals who are not in the field of domestic violence avoid asking questions about violence and abuse in order to have to deal with it – and this is for a variety of reasons. Professionals are telling me that this is what they observe on a regular basis in other professionals who avoid at all costs opening ‘Pandora’s Box’ that is domestic violence (you have to bear in mind that the professionals I am interviewing are going to be sympathetic to survivors/mothers apart as they have granted me an interview to support the Mothers Apart Project).


Read more Is this what you think victims of domestic violence look like? by @monk_laura

Loving to Survive by @smashesthep

Cross-posted from: Smashes the P
Originally published: 14.09.11

**Thanks go to hecuba and KatieS for inspiring me to read and think about these issues.***

I was too old to play with barbies, but we hadn’t yet sold the white plastic bin they were housed in. They lay stacked lengthwise on top of each other like disheveled Lincoln logs. Plastic barbie hair poked through the thatched bin.

I was ashamed. At eleven, I knew that I was too old to play with barbies. Still, I snuck into the spare room one day and closed the door. The room had an old broken player piano in it that was missing the roll.
Read more Loving to Survive by @smashesthep

‘Go die in a fire” is not just an idle threat – as I know only too well by @sianushka

Cross-posted from: Sian and Crooked Rib
Originally published: 17.06.14
This blog is about two things. First, it’s about my experience of an incident of male violence, the difficulty I had in recognising it as male violence, and what their act of violence meant. Second, it will discuss a recent spate of nasty online behaviour directed at women, and why this behaviour needs to stop.
So. Twelve years ago, two boys a year younger than me set me on fire. They stuck a lit lighter in my hair, and my dry hair, as dry hair is wont to do when matched with flames, caught alight and burned bright for a moment or two before my friend extinguished it by repeatedly hitting me on the head. The boys smirked, and exited scene left. Like all good teenagers, I tried to laugh it off. It was only later when I got home that I cried. Alone, in the garden.
I didn’t report it. I didn’t report if for all the reasons women and girls don’t report male violence. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to ‘make a big thing of it’. My mum, when I said I wouldn’t report it, told me to go to the deputy head of my school. After the deputy head ‘resolved’ the issue by asking the boys to write me a badly-spelled lie of an apology note (“dear sharn, Im sorry I set your hair on fire, it was an accident and wont happen again” – those words are engraved in my brain with an angry, angry pen) I wished fervently I had gone to the police. I wished I had shown them I wasn’t afraid. I wished I could watch them get what they deserved. I wished they had got to feel ashamed and embarrassed and humiliated – got to feel like I did. But I didn’t report.
That was the end of that. I turned it into a funny story, like we often do with things that are horrible that happen to us. You smile a little more stiffly at each retelling. And you don’t think about what it meant. You don’t think about what it meant to have someone decide to attack you by setting your hair on fire.
It took me a long time to realise this was an act of male violence. I know that sounds silly – it’s so obvious isn’t it? Two men attacked me by setting my hair on fire, and I didn’t see that as male violence. I now realise that one of the barriers I faced to naming what happened to me was that I didn’t report. Not reporting meant I never recognised what had happened, or why it ‘counted’ as violence. I’ve written about this in terms of naming experiences of sexual assault and how long it took me to realise that what happened to me was assault.
These two boys set my hair on fire as an act of intimidation against my brother. They knew that attacking me was a way of attacking him. They treated my body as a cipher – my body was a proxy – to send him a message. It’s all tied up in the idea of women’s bodies as property of male relatives, and of course it’s all sub-consciously tied up in ideas of the importance of women’s hair. Understanding this, seeing the historical, social and cultural patterns, all of this helped me recognise this was an act of male violence against me, a girl at the time. It helped me name what happened to me. It helped me to understand that what happened to me was deliberately meant as violence, and that it was cruel, and that it was vicious. It helped me understand why I felt scared, and upset, and hurt. It helped me understand why I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and humiliated. And it helped me understand why I felt so angry when nothing happened to show them what they had done to me.
Twelve years ago, two boys a year younger than me set me on fire.
Last week, I saw a return of the online ‘trend’ of attacking women who some people don’t like online by saying they hope they ‘burn in a fire’. These people tweet that they want women to ‘burn’. One tweeted that once one woman had ‘her hair set on fire’ she would ‘eat her words’.
As someone who has survived being set on fire by violent men, I not only find these words repulsive, I find them actively frightening.
How dare anyone write that they want to silence women by setting them on fire? How dare they use that language and those threats to intimidate and frighten women into silence? How dare anyone go online and threaten a woman with violence? It’s disgusting. And knowing what we know about male violence against women, and how common it is, and how likely it is that the woman being attacked will have experienced at least one incident of male violence, it’s purely wicked.
Throughout history, millions of women have died by being set on fire. Outspoken women were burned at the stake. Powerful women and women who refused to conform were burnt as witches. Widows were thrown on the funeral pyres of their dead husbands. Victims of domestic abuse are still burnt to death in their homes by violent partners.
When you pose online with matches and a grin, when you tell women you hope they die in a fire because you think they are ‘scum’, you are aligning yourself with the thousands of men throughout history who have murdered women by pushing them into the flames. You are no better than those men.
Telling women to die in a fire is no idle threat. It is the reality of millions of women throughout history. It is the reality of women alive today. It is my reality, as a survivor of having men set my hair on fire. It is not ok to despise women’s real life experience of male violence. It is not ok to use women’s experience of male violence in your desperate efforts to make women shut up.
If you read this, and you are one of those people who has told women to die in a fire, who has threatened to silence women by setting them on fire, then for fuck’s sake, think about what you are saying and who you are saying it to. Because the woman you are threatening might know all too well what it means to be set on fire. I do, after all.

Karen Ingala Smith has written a blog in response to this, detailing the number of women who have been murdered in the UK since the start of 2012. I urge you to read it and remember the names of these women.
Sian and Crooked Rib I‘m a Bristol based blogger who writes stories, talks about feminism and politics and generally muses on happenings.  Twitter @sianushka

I know how I feel about catcalls, thanks: a response to Paris Lees by @marstrina

Cross-posted from: It's not a zero sum game
Originally published: 06.03.14

Dear Paris,

Let me tell you a little bit about what street harassment – or “catcalling” as you term it – has meant in my life. Perhaps it will help you understand why some women have found your VICE piece so disquieting, and if it doesn’t, well, all I’ve done is laid bare my vulnerable past and upset my mother, so NBD (sorry mom).

When I was about 11, a boy in my neighbourhood was in love with me and wanted to “go steady”. He was a very attractive boy and I was very flattered, until one afternoon he insisted on exposing himself to me. He just wanted me to “look at it”. I said no – I was scared and embarrassed and I didn’t want to look. I ran away. This boy and his best friend then turned sharply from admirers to haters: they started yelling abuse at me if they saw me on the street, sometimes chucking stones, and once they actually grabbed me, but that’s a story about sexual assault and not catcalls so never mind it for the moment 
Read more I know how I feel about catcalls, thanks: a response to Paris Lees by @marstrina

The Reality Behind Bill Cosby’s Allegations by @rupandemehta

Cross-posted from: Liberating Realisations
Originally published: 21.07.15

So the truth finally comes out. In a 2005 deposition, Bill Cosby admittedto giving Quaaludes to young women with whom he wanted to have sex. Quaaludes was a massively popular sleep aid, sedative formally known as methaqualone. It was started off to be used as an antimalarial but was soon discovered to have sedative-hypnotic effects.

Despite this newly uncovered information, Whoopi Goldberg on the talk show, The View continued to defend Cosby, proclaiming, “I say this because this is my opinion, and in America still, I know it’s a shock, but you actually were innocent until proven guilty. He has not been proven a rapist.”

So far, 40 women have come forward and accused the comedian of drugging and subsequently raping them and Whoopi thinks he has to be proven a rapist? Does she know a thing called ‘statute of limitations’? In most of these cases, the statute has expired and the accusations cannot be used to indict Cosby…but a far bigger question is why do we need a rapist to be proven guilty by law before admitting he did something wrong? 
Read more The Reality Behind Bill Cosby’s Allegations by @rupandemehta

The silence that underpins sexual abuse

Cross-posted from: Herbs and Hags
Originally published: 12.10.12

That bell-weather of misogynist reaction, Brendan O’Neill, can always be relied upon to clearly articulate the woman-hating point of view on any current issue, so he is useful for something. Most woman-hating is slightly disguised and woolly and difficult to spot unless you’re concentrating hard and/ or have managed to clear yourself of many (I won’t say all) of the misogynist assumptions our culture imbued you with from the day you were born; but O’Neill’s pronouncements cut through the obfuscation and help anyone not there yet, to identify clearly the techniques men have used throughout history, to maintain their control over women. Here’s his article on the Jimmy Savile row, just for those who haven’t yet seen it.  This should come with a bit of a trigger/ apoplexy warning, so I won’t say happy reading. 
Read more The silence that underpins sexual abuse

Lets talk about rape (again) and being one of ‘only 9%’.

Cross-posted from: Helen Blogs
Originally published: 14.03.14

Last year when I blogged/wrote as ‘fragmentz’ I wrote several blogs titled ‘lets talk about rape …’ – not something I planned on writing much about again really, but here I am and I am able to talk more openly offline and more confident to write online as me, Helen.

7 years ago my life which I was already battling changed for the worse. It was a sunny day, where one moment made time freeze. One afternoon on the corner of a street where a building site was boarded up (with broken down boards). One second I was walking down a street I’d walked down many times and a few minutes later I ran into the high street, collapsing while some passers by called the emergency services. You always think – well I did – that you know what you would do in that situation. But I didn’t do what I thought I would. And that was it, in those brief moments life changed. Forever. Never ever to be the same again. How can it be?
Read more Lets talk about rape (again) and being one of ‘only 9%’.

#16Days: Why Supporting Women In Leaving #DomesticAbuse Is Vital by @FrothyDragon

Cross-posted from: Frothy Dragon & the Patriarchal Stone
Originally published: 06.12.12

I noticed an irony the other day. I don’t remember the exact date I returned to D, following his court case. But, given that it was a matter of days before my birthday (very early December), it would have been during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The irony of this only struck me recently; As my family were convincing me to give my relationship with D another go – to put things right-, feminists would have been campaigning to help raise awareness of domestic abuse.

My family, when I phoned to tell them that D had headbutted me whilst I was holding our ten month old son, were a little less sympathetic than they should have been. A few weeks after the attack, I found myself being subjected to an hour long lecture from my mother, about how I’d “isolated” D, by choosing to breastfeed and co-sleep. I’d denied him intimacy. D’s right to sex was, in my parent’s eyes, more important than parenting in a way which worked for myself and my son. I was told that, by pressing charges I was over-reacting. At this point, I’d yet to tell anyone of the extent of abuse D had put me through.
Read more #16Days: Why Supporting Women In Leaving #DomesticAbuse Is Vital by @FrothyDragon

Why talking about male violence matters by @SarahDitum

(Cross-posted from Sarah Ditum’s Paperhous)

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is also the international day of tediously explaining why violence against women needs to be discussed as a category. November 25 is the day when you will be reminded that two thirds of homicide victims in England and Wales are male, and that (according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales) men are twice as likely as women to have been victims of violence. November 25 is the day of being reminded that women commit violence too. Last year, I was at an End Violence Against Women event in Bristol where a man had bought a ticket solely so he could stand up in the middle of the discussion and shout, “What about Joanna Dennehy?” (Dennehy became the first woman subject to a whole life tariff in February this year, when she was convicted of the murders of three men). What about Joanna Dennehy, then? After all, it’s true that women are also implicated in violence:

Yes, women are violent too. But the traffic of violence is overwhelmingly from men, and disproportionately to women. As a class, men are the bearers of violence. As a class, women are its victims. And this is why feminists talk about male violence: not for lack of concern about the violence perpetrated by women, but because as a demographic phenomenon, violence is masculine. For this reason, we can draw connections between the patterns of violence and other areas of male domination. What about the fact that women are more likely to live in poverty than men? The fact that the UK has a pay gap of 19.7% in favour of men? The fact that women make up just 23% of MPs? What about the fact that purchasers of sex are exclusively men – is that relevant here? All of these inequalities exist in an environment shaped by that traffic of violence: from men, to women. All of them must be addressed in the acknowledgement of that context, if they are to be addressed at all.
Read more Why talking about male violence matters by @SarahDitum

Who Counts? by @K_IngalaSmith

(Cross-posted from Karen Ingala Smith)

Just women killed by men: shifting definitions and learning though Counting Dead Women

It’s over two and a half years since I unintentionally started counting dead women back in January 2012 when the year began with report after report of women killed through domestic violence. I know now, but I didn’t then, that in the first three days of 2012, eight women in the UK were killed through male violence. Three days, eight dead women: three shot, two stabbed, one strangled,  one smothered and one beaten to death through 15 blunt force trauma injuries

Eight women aged between 20 and 87, their killers aged between 19 and 48 were husbands, partners, boyfriends or ex’s; , sister’s partner, aunt’s partner, robber and grandson.  I remember the feeling of incredulity that connections weren’t being made, that dots weren’t being joined, that no-one was talking about a pattern, or at least a series of related events.

At first, I counted women killed through domestic violence, then, on March 9th 2012, Ahmad Otak stabbed and killed Samantha Sykes, 18 and Kimberley Frank, 17. Otak wasn’t the boyfriend of either of them, but of Elisa Frank, Kimberley’s sister.  After killing Kimberly and Samantha in front of Eliza, he abducted Eliza and drove to Dover in an attempt to escape to France. The murders of Samantha and Kimberley didn’t strictly fit the definition of domestic violence, but they’re absolutely about a man trying to exert power, control and coercion in his relationship. The murders of Kimberley and Samantha were no less about male violence against women that they would have been if he had been the boyfriend of one of them.

I’d never planned to start counting and I think I’d imagined that I’d stop at the end of 2012.  At the end of the year, I tried to define who I was counting and who I wasn’t using the term ‘gender related murder’.  With the start of 2013, I started a new list and kept on counting.  Slowly finding a voice through social media, particularly twitter, I started blogging early in 2013. I wrote my first piece about how I started counting and some of the things I’d learned and called it Counting Dead Women. With the term ‘gender related murder’ I was trying to express that fatal male violence against women went beyond ‘domestic violence’; that there was more to men’s sexist misogynistic murders of women than the widely used ‘Two women a week killed by partners or ex-partners’, that socially constructed gender has an influence beyond domestic violence .  I had a notion, that I now reject, that I wasn’t talking about all instances where men had killed women; and I didn’t want to be accused of exaggerating and adding women just to make the numbers higher.

So, there were some women who had been killed by men that I didn’t add to the list, for example where she’d been killed but so had a man  – my thinking ‘So, this wasn’t just sexism/misogyny’ – or one case  where the killer was an employee of the woman he murdered, ‘maybe he’d have killed his employer even if he had been a man?’  I had more questions:  Who counts as a ‘UK woman’? What about women from the UK murdered on holiday? If I counted UK women murdered overseas, should I therefore not count women who were not from the UK if they were murdered here?  What about so-called mercy killings? In a country where assisted dying is not legal, surely some people might make the choice through lack of choice.  What about girls?  When does the killing of a child become sexist?

I started thinking about and using the term Femicide ‘the killing of women because they are women’ andwrote about it here in October 2013.  But it still didn’t feel right, the term  ‘femicide’ itself doesn’t name the agent, neither does the short definition above, purportedly because women can kill women as a result of patriarchal values. Of course that’s true, yet the 123-word definition of femicide agreed at the Vienna Symposium on Femicide whilst giving some useful examples of forms that fatal violence against women can take, still didn’t name ‘male violence’ and it excluded a group of women that I’d begun to identify through my counting: older women killed by younger men in what were sometimes described as ’botched robberies’ or muggings. The level of brutality that some men used against these women, the way some targeted women and the use of sexual violence, meant to me that their murders could not be excluded. I posed that question, that in a world where sexism and misogyny are so pervasive, are all but inescapable, can a man killing a woman ever not be a sexist act?  A fatal enactment of patriarchy?

It’s September 2014 now.  Last week, on Thursday, 82-year-old Palmira Silva became at least the 100th woman in the UK to be killed through male violence this year. I say at least the 100th because I have a list of more than 10 women’s names where the circumstances of their deaths has not been made publicly available.  In the same way that the list of 107 women’s names that I’d gathered by the end of 2012 is now a list of 126 women, I expect that time will reveal women who have been killed this year, women I haven’t heard about or who I haven’t yet been able to include because information about their deaths has not been released .

Because I’m counting dead women, keeping this list, I was able to make connections that others simply wouldn’t know about.  On Thursday evening, a tweet I wrote, identifying Palmira Silva as the third women to have been beheaded in London in less than six months was trending in London. My blog had more hits in one day than it usually has in a month.  Some people heard about my list for the first time and asked questions, making me realise it was perhaps time to revisit and update my explanation of what I’m doing and why.

Why am I counting women killed through male violence? Because if we don’t name the agent, we can’t hope to identify the causes.  If we don’t reveal the extent of men’s fatal violence against women and the various forms it can take, we will never be capable of a thorough enough analysis to reduce or end it.  If the bigger picture is revealed, people can begin to see the connections.  That’s why I know that I need to keep counting dead women and campaigning for this to be done officially.

My thinking has developed and changed since January 2012.  There’s no reason that it won’t continue to do so. Not everyone likes what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. Not everyone agrees with my analysis.  Not everyone thinks women killed by men are worth of counting.

So, who counts?  Women.  Women, aged 14 years and over, women killed by men in the UK and UK women killed overseas.  Regardless of the relationship between the woman and the man who killed her; regardless of how he killed her and who else he killed at the same time; regardless of the verdict reached when the case gets to court in our patriarchally constructed justice system created by men and continually delivering anything but justice to women; regardless of what is known and not known of his motive.  Just women killed by men.

Karen Ingala Smith: As I See It: Blogs (mainly) about men’s violence against women, feminism, inequality, infertility [@K_IngalaSmith]

Counting Dead Women 2014


Jan-Oct Mongage with text

122 women in the UK have been killed through suspected male violence from January to October 2014.

122 women in 303 days is one woman dead every 2.49 days.

  1. 8 Jan 2014: Elsie Mowbray, 87, died though head injuries in hospital following a burglary at her home on New Year’s Day. Peter Harris, 33, has been found guilty of manslaughter.
  2. 8 Jan 2014: Sameena Zaman, 34, was found dead. Mohammed Zaman, 44 has been charged.
  3. 8 Jan 2014: Sarah O’Neill, 22, died from head injuries sustained in an attack from Sergio Saavedra-Navarrete, her ex- boyfriend, 27.
  4. 14 Jan 2014: Jacqueline Oakes,51, died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries inflicted by Marcus Musgrove, 39.
  5. 16 Jan 2014: Caroline Finnegan, 30 died from bleeding of the brain, she also suffered a broken nose and eye socket. The thump from her fiancé, Richard Ingram, 26, swivelled her head so violently that it tore blood vessels in her neck.  He has been found guilty of her murder.
  6. 24 Jan 2014: Elizabeth Thomas was stabbed to death and dismembered by her boyfriend, Steven Miles, 16. He has been found guilty of her murder.
  7. 28 Jan 2014: Milena Yuliyanov, 27, was stabbed. Her husband Jamshaid Khan, 28 has been charged with her murder.
  8. 30 Jan 2014: Karen Wild, was found dead through stabbing. A 22-year-old man, said to be her son, Lian Wild, has been charged with her murder.
  9. 31 Jan 2014: Maria Duque-Tunjano, 48, was found dead. She had been killed some days earlier by blunt trauma to the head. Robert Fraser, 39 has been charged
  10. 11 Feb 2014: Clara Patterson, 82, and her son Ray, 61, were found dead. Their grandson/son was found guilty of manslaughter and detained indefinitely.
  11. 12 Feb 2014: A woman who cannot be named for legal reasons was found dead in London. A 15 year old boy, thought to be her son, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
  12. 17 Feb 2014: Karolina Nowikiewicz, 25, was found dead as a result of a neck injury. Michael Wenham, 35, has been charged with murder.
  13. 18 Feb 2014: Hollie Gazzard, 20, was stabbed to death. Her ex-boyfriend Asher Maslin was found guilty of her murder.
  14. 20 Feb 2014: Leanne Meecham, 26, died of a brain injury a week after being stabbed. Her ex-partner Simon Meecham, who was also her step-father has been found guilty of her murder.
  15. 23 Feb 2014: Christine Lee, 66, was shot dead by her ex-partner Michael Lowe. He also murdered her daughter.
  16. 23 Feb 2104: Lucy Lee, 40, was shot dead along with her mother by her mother’s ex-partner , John Lowe.
  17. 23 Feb 2014: Donna Graham, 51, was smothered by her husband Keith Graham who also killed himself.
  18. 23 Feb 2014: Georgina Drinkwater, 30, died from head injuries after falling from a block of flats. A man was arrested and has been bailed. Police continue to seek information.
  19. 24 Feb 2014: Mairead McCallion, 24, died after sustaining head injuries the day before.
  20. 26 Feb 2014: Sheila Wild, 49, was strangled by her husband Raymond Wild.
  21. 26 Feb 2014: Angela Humphrey, 48, died of head and neck injuries after being punched, kicked, throttled and stamped on by her husband Alan Humphrey.
  22. 3 Mar 2014: Patricia Anne Durrant, 65, was found dead at home. James Blair Hamilton who also lived there has been charged with her murder.
  23. 4 Mar 2014: Sara Al Shourefi, 28, was found dead. Thahi Harroba Manaa has been charged with her murder.
  24. 6 March: Becky Ayres, 24 was killed by multiple stab wounds inflicted by her boyfriend Liam King, 25.
  25. 6 Mar 2014: 29-year-old Amandeep Kaur Hothi’s throat was slit by her boyfriend Gurminder Singh, 29.
  26. 15 March 2014: Kirsty Wright, 21, was stabbed 60 times by her boyfriend Akeel Hussain.
  27. 16 March 2014: Rivka Holden, 55, was so badly mutilated that the cause of her death could not be definitively ascertained. She had been strangled, her throat had been slit and she had been dismembered and sexually assaulted by Nicolae Patraucean, 20.
  28. 17 March 2014: Cherylee Shennan, 40, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend Paul O’Hara, 43. O’Hara had previously been released early from prison for killed a former partner.
  29. 19 March 2014: Naudel Turner, 42, was stabbed to death. Dariusz Miakienko, 46, has been charged with her murder.
  30. 21 March 2014: Shereka Marsh, 15, was shot in the neck by her 15-year-old boyfriend who cannot be named.
  31. 22 March 2014: Hazel North,19, was found dead after having been missing for several weeks. She died of severe blunt force trauma to head, neck and body. Her injuries included multiple fractures to the jaw and eye socket, massive bruising, and 14 fractures to her ribs. Pathologists estimated that it would have taken her 16-18 hours to die. She was killed by her boyfriend John Davis.
  32. 23 March 2014: Tracy Walters, 48, died in hospital two days after a crash on the M1 near Leicester. Her husband Ian Walters, has been charged with murder through crashing deliberately.
  33. 28 March 2014, Shirley Mercer, 43, was killed by multiple stab wounds inflicted by her partner Brian Hull, 52..
  34. 29 March 2014: Kanwal Azam, 35, was stabbed to death by her estranged husband Suhail Azam.
  35. 30 March 2014: Mashael Albasman, 25, was stabbed in the neck 13 times by her father Faleh Ghazi Albasman, 59.
  36. 31 March 2014: Val Forde, 45, and her 23-month old daughter Jazra were found dead. Her partner Roland McKoy has been arrested.
  37. 2 April 2014: Doreen Walker, 75, was stabbed multiple times by Liam Naylor, 23.
  38. 5 April 2014: Senga Closs, 47, was found dead at home. Steven McCall, 43, has been charged with her murder.
  39. 5 April 2014: Kayleigh-Anne Palmer, 16, died in hospital after being strangled by her boyfriend, Aston Robinson, 18, who had faced a prior charge for her attempted murder.
  40. 5 April 2014: Sandra Boakes, 70, was found with head injuries and died two days later in hospital. Her husband Dudley Boakes, initially charged with attempted murder, was charged with her murder.
  41. 6 April 2014: Yvette Hallsworth, 36 was raped and stabbed to death by Mateusz Kosecki,18.
  42. 9 April 2014: Isabelle Sanders, 51, was stabbed to death. Paul McManus has been charged with her murder and attempted murder of her partner.
  43. 11 April 2014: Judith Nibbs, 60, was decapitated. Her estranged husband, Dempsey Nibbs has been charged with her murder.
  44. 11 April 2014: Edna Fisher, 74, was smothered by her husband Kenneth Fisher, who then killed himself by taking an overdose of her medication.
  45. 14 April 2014: Pauline Butler, 61, was stabbed was stabbed and slashed to death by her ex-partner John Butler.
  46. 15 April 2014: Angela Smeaton, 50, was stabbed and beaten to death by her husband Paul Smart, 49.
  47. 18 April 2014: Doreen Webb, 64, was stabbed. Her husband Leonard Webb, 68 was charged with her murder.
  48. 18 April 2014: Elaine Duncan, 46, was found dead. James Morley, has been charged with her murder.
  49. 21 April 2014: Malgorzata Dantes, 54, and her husband Leszek were stabbed to death. Their son Kamil Dantes has been charged with their murders.
  50. 28 April 2014: Ann Maguire, 61, was killed through multiple stab wounds. A 15-year old boy has been charged with her murder.
  51. 29 April 2014: Carol Dyson, 53, was asphyxiated. Her husband Mark Dyson has been charged with her murder.
  52. 29 April 2014: Susan Ashworth, 47, was found dead after a fire in her home which is believed to have been started deliberately by her husband Martin Ashworth.
  53. 3 May 2014: Natsnet Tekle Nahisi, 20, died from injuries sustained in an assault. Dawit Khasay, 19, was charged but later died in prison.
  54. 3 May 2014: Angela Ward, 27, was stabbed to death by her partner Ian Meakin, 49.
  55. 5 May 2014: Jessica Watkins, 21, was stabbed 27 times by her boyfriend Kristofer Mitchell, 28, as she was in the bath.
  56. 9 May 2014: Tamara Holboll, 67, was found dead with multiple stab wounds following a fire at her home. Her son, Peter Holboll, 44, has been charged with her murder.
  57. 10 May 2014: Hayley Stringer, 29, was stabbed to death by her ex-husband David Stringer, who then killed himself.
  58. 18 May 2014: Emma Siswick, 37, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend Jonathon Sutton 39. He stabbed her 81 times
  59. 19 May 2014: Eileen Glassford, 60, was pushed in to a river by Paul Connolly,49.
  60. 24 May 2014: Wendy Ambrose, 77, was shot dead by her husband Harold Ambrose,82, who then shot himself.
  61. 26 May 2014: Mary Craig, 43, died after being struck with a knife or similar. Her partner, Christopher Shone, has been charged with her murder.
  62. 26 May 2014: Dorothy Beattie, 51 was strangled by Christopher Kelly, 40.
  63. 27 May 2014: Tahira Ahmed, 38, was stabbed and decapitated. Both her arms were broken. Her husband Naveed Ahmed, 41, has been charged with her murder.
  64. 30 May 2014: Helen Dillon, 42, was stabbed to death in Neasdon, London. Justice Cruickshank, 54 has been charged with her murder.
  65. 31 May 2014: The body of Rui Li, 44, was found in the boot of a car, Her husband, Pierre Legris, 60, has been charged with her murder. She died of blunt force trauma to the head.
  66. 31 May 2014: Barbara Hobbis, 79, was strangled by her 58-year-old son, Geoffrey Hobbis.
  67. 3 June 2014: Yvonne Fox, 87, was killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Her son, Paul Fox, has been charged with her murder.
  68. 4 June 2014: Margaret Evans, 69, was beaten to death. Her son, Alun Evan, 32, has been detained under the mental health act.
  69. 8 June 2014: Rebecca Bamber, 42, died after being taken to hospital with serious injuries after being assaulted. David Hoyle, 38, has been charged with her murder.
  70. 10 June 2014: Madina Landsberg, 31, was found dead. She had been beaten and strangled. Her ex-husband Dexter Landsberg has been charged with her murder.
  71. 11 June 2014: Francine Clark, 70, was found dead. Her husband, 86-year-old Neil Clark has been charged with her murder.
  72. 13 June 2014: Belinda Dalby, 26, was found dead. Jamie Nicolson, 30, has been charged with her murder.
  73. 14 June 2014: Jane Bartholomew, 39, was found dead at home after police responded to calls raising concerns for her welfare. She had been killed by significant head injuries. Scott Ellis, 42, was found with injuries to his wrists and subsequently charged with Jane’s murder.
  74. 15 June 2014: Denise Dunlop, 32, was stabbed to death. Her partner Richard McAuley, 42, has been charged with her murder.
  75. 17 June 2014: Nahid Al Manea, 31, was stabbed 16 times and had injuries consistent with being struck in the face or head. Her killer has not been found.
  76. 17 June 2014: Mingzi Yang, 29, was found dead at home. 33-year-old Wai Hong Tsang has been charged with her murder.
  77. 18 June 2014: Una Dorney, 87, was found dead in the care home in which she lived. Her grandson, Ryan Guest, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  78. 25 June 2014: Sheila Crout, 65, was found dead. Her husband John Crout, 63, has been charged with her murder.
  79. 29 June 2014: Luan Leigh, 42, was strangled to death. Her daughter, 9, was treated for strangulation injuries and her son, 15, survived being stabbed in the chest. Her husband, their father, Andrew Leigh, 42, was charged with murder and attempted murder.
  80. 29 June 2014: Cynthia Beamond, 80, was found dead with head injuries. Leo Barnes, 32, has been charged with her murder.
  81. 2 July 2014: Sally Campion, 45, was found with serious head injuries and later died in hospital. Matthew Keough, 44, has been charged with her murder.
  82. 7 July 2014: Quoi Chang, 50, and her husband Pin Chang, 58, were both stabbed to death in their home. Their 23-year-old son, Carl Chang, has been charged with their murders.
  83. 9 July 2014: Sharon Wall, 53, was stabbed at the mental health unit in which she worked. Ryan Mathews, 61, has been charged with her murder.
  84. 9 July 2014: Teresa Ryan, 50, was killed in a house fire just hours after celebrating her 50th birthday with her family. David McCabe, 32, was remanded in custody to in court on July 28.
  85. 12 July 2014: Sharon Winters, 39, was stabbed to death through multiple upper body injuries. Kevin Hawkes, 33, has been charged with her murder.
  86. 13 July 2014: Helen Dawson, 48, and Ivor Spratek, 40, were found dead. Austin Brayford, 37, has been charged with their murders.
  87. 17 July 2014: Susan Lancaster, 67, was found dead at home after a call to the police from her husband Roy Lancaster, 54, saying that her had killed her. He was later found dead.
  88. 17 July 2014: Michaela Heaton, 38, was found with head injuries. She was taken to hospital but pronounced dead shortly afterwards. Kevin Whyment, 53, has been charged with her murder.
  89. 18 July 2014: Bei Carter, 49,was stabbed and died from being stabbed in the chest. John Heald, 53, hs been charged with with her murder.
  90. 20 July 2014: Nonita Karajavait, 24, was seen being pushed into on-coming traffic by her partner Tadas Zalwskas, 26. They both died. Police are treating her death as suspicious.
  91. 22 July 2014: Tia Kounota was found in a burnt out car. Damien Dionbewei, 34, has been charged with her murder.
  92. 29 July 2014: Eleanor Whitelaw, 85, died two weeks after being attacked in her home. Robert Buczek, 24, who had been charged with attempted murder and assault to severe injury and danger of life was charged with her murder.
  93. 2 August 2014: Carol Bland, 62, was found dead with multiple stab wounds after a friend called the police to raise concerns. Her 62-year-old husband was found with serious knife wounds to his neck and was later charged with her murder.
  94. 10 August 2014, Anayat Bibi, 39 was found dead with multiple stab wounds. A 42-year-old man of the same address, Mazhar Nawab, has been charged with her murder.
  95. 11 August 2014: Elizabeth Knott, 70, was shot dead by her husband John Knott, 71, who also shot himself.
  96. 17 August 2014: Sandra Talman, 62, was found dead. A post mortem discovered she had been killed through compression to the neck. Her husband, Nigel Talman, 60, has been charged with her murder.
  97. 19 August 2014: Elaine Flanagan, 57, was found dead. Her 57-year-old husband,  Thomas Flanagan, has been charged with her murder.
  98. 21 August 2014: Shana Cover, 34, was found dead. Her estranged husband, Owen Williams, 50,has been charged with her murder.
  99. 23 August 2014: Rukshana Miah, 35, died in hospital six days after being attacked by her husband Abdul Miah, 36, He had initially been charged with attempted murder.
  100. 26 August 2014: The body of Lynn Howarth, 43, was found, she had been dead several weeks. Steven Dunks, 45, has been charged her murder
  101. 28 August 2014: Alice Gross,14, went missing. Her body was found on 31st  Convicted murderer Arnis Zalkalns was later found dead, police are not looking for anyone else in relation to her murder.
  102. 3 September 2014: Leighann Duffy, 26, died in hospital 3 days after being stabbed in her home. Lloyd Byfield, 48, has been charged with her murder.
  103. 3 September 2014: Pennie Davis, 47, was found dead by her husband,  in the field where she tended her horses.  She had been stabbed. Justin Robertson, 36, has been charged with her murder.
  104. 3 September 2014: Glynis Bensley, 48, died of head injuries after allegedly being pursued by two masked men on bikes. Zoheb Majib, 20, & a 13 year old male have been charged with her murder.
  105. 4 September 2014: Palmira Silva, 82, was beheaded in north London. Nicolas Salvador ,25, was charged with her murder.
  106. 13 September 2014: Serena Hickey was murdered by her partner Darren Ellis, 35. He later killed himself.
  107. 14 September 2014: Karen Catherall, 45, was found dead. Darren Jeffreys, 47, has been charged with her murder.
  108. 15 September 2014: Hannah Witheridge,23, was raped and killed alongside her friend David Miller whilst traveling in Thailand.
  109. 19 September 2014: Dorothy Brown, 66, and her husband Paul Brown, 73 were stabbed to death. Their son Timothy Brown, 46, has been charged with their murders.
  110. 19 September 2014: Nicola McKenzie, 37, was killed by a head injury. Oral David Bryan, 43, has been charged with her murder.
  111. 22 September 2014: Davinia Loynton, 59, was found dead. Kevin Hyden, 34, has been charged with her murder but additional charges may be brought against others.
  112. 28 September 2014: Lorna McCarthy, 50, was killed by stab wounds to the heart. Barry McCarthy, 50, has been charged with her murder.
  113. 30 September 2014: Catherine McDonald, 57, was found dead. She had been stabbed and asphyxiated.  Her 27-year-old son, Alex McDonald, has been charged with her murder.
  114. 6 Oct 2014: Mariama Njie-Jallow, 37and her husband Mbye Jallow, 56, were found dead after a house fire. Mariama had been stabbed and was dead before the fire started. Police are not looking for anyone else.
  115. 11 Oct 2014: Maria Mayes, 67, was stabbed to death.  Her son, Stuart Mayes, has been charged with her murder.
  116. 16 Oct 2014: Melissa Mathieson, 18, died in hospital of injuries she had sustained four days earlier.  James Conroy, 18, has been charged with her murder.
  117. 18 October 2014: Donna Eastwood, 26, was found dead inside a burning car.  Joshua Cairns, 26, has been charged with her murder.
  118. 20 October 2014: Raheela Imran, 45, was killed through a “wound to the neck”. Her husband Imran Sharif, 44, has been charged with her murder.
  119. 27 October 2014: Daksha Lad, 44, was found stabbed to death along with her two daughters. Her husband, their killer, Jitendra Lad, 49, hanged himself.
  120. 27 October 2014: Trisha Lad, 19,was found stabbed to death along with her mother and sister. Her father, their killer, Jitendra Lad, 49, hanged himself.
  121. 27 October 2014: Nisha Lad, 16,was found stabbed to death along with her mother and sister. Her father, their killer, Jitendra Lad, 49, hanged himself.
  122. 31 October 2014: An as-yet-unnamed woman was stabbed to death in Ilford, London.


Karen Ingala Smith: As I See It: Blogs (mainly) about men’s violence against women, feminism, inequality, infertility [@K_IngalaSmith]

The Power of Derailing Political Discussions about Male Violence by @EVB_Now

(cross-posted from Ending Victimisation and Blame)

This morning we received a link to a Jezebel article entitled “Woman Shot and Killed After Refusing to Give Man Her Phone Number” from . 27-year old Mary “Unique” Spears was shot to death for refusing to give out her phone number to a man. The unnamed (as of yet) suspect shot Spears three times and then injured 4 other people as they left an American Legion following the funeral of a family member.

The comments below the article are full of women sharing their stories of a man refusing to respect their boundaries, continuing to harass them and then the subsequent victim-blaming when the incident changed from a man refusing to accept the word no to violence. We recommend that all our male supporters read through the comments to understand the reality of male violence that women live with everyday.

One comment, in particular, stuck out:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 07.44.41Following an article where a woman was brutally murdered by an entitled man who did not believe she had the right to personal & bodily autonomy, one man felt the need to include the caveat “certain men”. This is a derailing tactic. Women understand that only certain men perpetrate misogynistic violence – whether this be domestic & sexual violence and abuse, street harassment, or fatal violence. Women cannot tell, just be looking, which men  will perpetrate violence so women take precautions. We tell men, as Mary Spears did, that we “belong” to another man (in this case she was out with her fiancé); we give false phone numbers, and sometimes we acquiesce to the unwanted social interaction because of fear of being killed. These fears aren’t unreasonable or paranoid.

When men derail women’s conversations about their experiences of male violence to say “not all men” or “certain men”, they are telling women their individual experiences aren’t important. It is a silencing tactic which suggests that men’s feelings are more important than women’s safety. This leads to blaming women for experiencing male violence: if only she was nicer to him, made it clearer she wasn’t interested, said no “properly”.

This derailment is part of victim blaming culture and it needs to stop. Women are allowed to say no – without fear of consequence and men need to understand that women sharing their personal stories about male violence do not need the conversation derailed. This isn’t about one man who doesn’t perpetrate male violence having his feelings hurt – it’s about women being killed for saying no. It is about male entitlement – and – trying to derail a conversation about male violence is male entitlement.

Mary Spears was brutally murdered by a man who refused to take the word no as an answer. The conversation should be about Spears – and all the other women who have experienced violence in similar situations.

Male Violence effects us all by @terristrange

(Cross-posted from the Arctic Feminist)

There’s been a lot of interesting news on twitter today.  Its started my wheels spinning.  Ian Watkins (lostprophets) has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of attempted rape of an infant girl.  Nigella Lawson’s attacker Charles Saatchi has been given license in the British media to slander her character despite the fact that he was photographically documented brutally assaulting her.  Oh and of course Karen Ingala Smith’s project “Counting Dead Women” has been taking off and been at the forefront of my mind.

Whats become even more clear to me is if a woman like Nigella Lawson, who is famous and successful, consistently in the public eye and many women in similar positions are subject to not only the threat of male violence, but to male violence itself, where does that leave women like you and me?  We become numbers added to body counts that only exist because some crazy feminist out there thinks our lives matter enough to count.

Its also amazing that we still have people under the impression that being a child rapist is a “sexuality” and that we should all feel sympathy for men who brutalize children.  Erasing yet again the damage inflicted upon those who are raped in childhood.

Why do we hesitate to see male violence and the male sex caste for what they are?  Why do we not see that there is a war being waged against the female sex that has been going steady for thousands of years and that we are losing, badly?  Why do we not see that all women, no matter what they achieve are always under the threat of some man getting to define them (as victim) forever?  We desperately need to build communities that function away from men.  Refuges for our refugees.  We need to stop acting as if all of this is just a misunderstanding and get serious about putting an end to male violence, for good.


The Arctic Feminist: I lazily blog about whatever I want. Always from a radical feminist perspective

When Women and Girls Are Attacked by Men, We Blame Everything Except Male Violence by @CratesNRibbons

(Cross-posted from Crates & Ribbons)

Last Tuesday night, two teenage girls from India went out into the fields, looking for a place to relieve themselves, due to the lack of toilets in their village. On their way, they were brutally attacked by a group of men, gang-raped, and murdered. Their bodies were found the next day hanging from a tree, in a sickening display of complacence that speaks volumes not only about the men’s arrogance and lack of shame, but also their sense of entitlement to female bodies. Activists in India have rallied in protest against the problem of sexual violence in the country, and villagers have condemned police inaction relating to the incident.

Yesterday, an article appeared in The Guardian, citing the lack of basic sanitation as the main reason for the death of the girls. It was the lack of toilets in their village, the article suggests, that resulted in the attack, never mind the perpetrators themselves, never mind the global ideal of masculinity that accepts, even encourages, violence in men, never mind the global culture of misogyny that normalises violence against women.

Don’t get me wrong — I do believe that basic sanitation is crucial. It is of the utmost importance for reasons of hygiene, leading to cleaner surroundings, safer food and water, lower rates of diarrhoea and illnesslower risk of snake bites, and lower mortality rates. Access to toilets provides privacy and dignity, and having a toilet in schools can encourage girls to continue with their schooling after hitting puberty. And with around 2.7 billion people around the world without access to basic sanitation, the problem is a pressing one.

Neither do I deny the fact that many men choose to attack women when they are seeking a secluded spot in the fields to relieve themselves. Yet, to focus exclusively on the circumstances surrounding the attack, while ignoring the main source of the attack (the perpetrators), fits into a pattern that feminists have been decrying for decades — society’s propensity to treat male violence as an accepted fact of life, to make allowances for it, to try to avoid it, and to attempt to redirect it. None of these can keep women safe.

Around the world, men have been raping and murdering women in every conceivable situation. They have carried out violence against women in their own homes, on the street, in clubs, atpartiesin hostels on a school trip, on public buses, in school toilets, in high school hallways, atconcerts, while camping, during piano lessons, in taxis, during a football game, the list goes on. Women can avoid going to dark and secluded areas, we can stay at home, we can take all the precautions we have been told to take. No wearing short skirts, no going out alone at night, no getting drunk in public, no trusting a strange man. But as long as men continue their violent behaviour, as long as they continue to rape and murder women, then — naturally — women will continue to be raped and murdered. They will be raped and murdered no matter where they are, no matter what they happen to be doing at the time.

The global epidemic of male violence against women must end, but we will never end it by refusing to place our finger on the key issue at hand, the link between socialised masculinity and violence. If we continue to ignore this, then the only world where men no longer attack women will be a world where women and girls do not exist at all.


Crates&Ribbons:  A feminist analysis of society [@CratesNRibbons]

Let’s talk about rape pt 2 by @helen_a15

content note

(cross-posted from Helen Blogs)

Both this blog, and the ‘lets talk about rape … Part 1′ were written some time ago, but were both popular blogs at the time. However when ‘Fragmentz’ ceased to exist, so did the blogs. I had been asked a few times recently to repost them and declined, however having read tonight about Judy Finnegans comments today on a chat show regarding the rape footballer Ched Evans is convicted of, and serving time in prison for it felt relevant to put them online again. 


I’d like to challenge her, and anyone else who thinks its OK to categorise rape to come and live the life of a survivor, even for just a day or two. 

Also to the people who tell me rape culture does not exist -YES IT DOES. 


‘i woke up this morning … and little did i know, that by the end of the day i would be blogging about a topic i have already written about once. I always intended on writing a Part 2, and in fact had a draft already typed, but thats deleted now. I’m starting over, because this week, the word ‘rape’ has been front page of most media types due to some french bloke i’d never heard of until his arrest for allegedly raping a hotel maid, and now comments made today by the justice minister.

two things i’d like to start off by saying :

first one is: this blog is about RAPE. As i start writing, I have dont have any idea of where my writing will go, but i feel it fair to warn you of the topic nature, if you hadnt picked it up by the title, so if your sensitive to it, or it potentially could trigger you, consider yourself warned.

second thing is: i am not a profressional. I dont write for a living, i dont have any academic qualifications that give me a right to have an opinion, i’m not a ‘well known’ person who’s opinion matters to people. i’m just me. a little dot in this huge world who takes some space, and attempts to write about issues that mean the most to me. i write about my life, and the life that goes on around me. I am perhaps not going to be writing anything any different to the many blogs always written, lots today by people. i definitely not able to express words and thoughts as eloquently as the things I have read today.

if you want some background and an idea as to why i am writing about this topic, now, then please feel free to check out ‘lets talk about … rape’ – link is below.

lets talk about rape

in my previous blog i gave some definitions of the word rape. essentially it is imposing sexual intercourse on someone who does not consent. that could be a man against a man, a woman against a man, woman against a woman, and the most widely talked about variation of a man against a woman. it is really really important to acknowledge that all variations exist, and do happen, and that rape as a whole is so very under reported anyway, and so by default some of the variations, for example males being raped are even less reported, but still happen.

Last week I got embroiled into an argument on facebook. as some of you will know, getting into debates/disagreements with people on social networking sites such as FB or twitter is not a rare occurance for Fragz, although lately the occasions have become much less. Anyhow, last week, someone who is on my facebook, and an odd exception to the ‘i only have people i’ve met on my FB account’ rule, posted the most offensive thing i have ever read my friends post. I am used to people updating status’s with stuff i dont agree with, lame jokes, filthy stories about whatever, however i have never been so offended by anything as the status that said ‘i’m sorry, but woman should take responsibility for being raped, after all men are men arent they’. WHAT? When I dared to totally disagree with this line of thought, i was told i was mis hearing what was being said. I disputed that too. I was not mishearing what was being said, i was simply disagreeing. I heard what was being said. I just didnt like. I still dont. This person’s argument was that if a skantily dressed woman is raped then they should accept some esponsibility, especially if they walk around looking like prostitutes (their response, not mine!!). Their trying to condone their thoughts just seemed to make it worse, because in my view, it is not acceptable for a non sex worker to be raped, and it isnt acceptable for a sex worker to be either. end of.

I was blown away and stunned by the response this status got, and the fact i was the only person arguing a womans right to say NO, and that ‘men being men’ is NOT an acceptable reason for raping someone.

Rape is rape. Whether you are out having a drink, whether you have gone to a dance, whether your walking home at night, or in the day. Whether you spend your time on the streets, or whether you meet someone for the first time while out and get chatting. Whatever the situation, whatever happens, if you DO NOT WANT SEX and someone forces you too, in my mind that is rape.

There is no ‘serious’, ‘more serious’ or ‘less serious’ rape, as has been suggested by Ken Clarke, the justice minister no less today.

I am aware some people will be saying that his comments were taken out of context, some will be saying, including himself that this current media storm is ‘spin’, however, my own view is, that if he didnt feel/think what he said, then why say it? he knows the position he holds, he knows he is talking to the media, he knows what he says is going to be reported. he says he knows that rape is rape, but to be honest, does he really? someone who says rape is rape, AFTER suggesting there are more serious ‘rapes’ than others, and who is also suggesting sentences for convicted rapists are cut, doesnt seem to have a clue, does he?

I am not sure that he really understands the effects on a person, a woman, a man, a child, who is raped. the life changing, heart breaking, never going to be the same effect is has.

I’d like to invite Ken Clarke to live the life of a survivor of rape. Maybe to live the first 5 years of their life or longer after the event. To live through the pain, hurt, anger, desprair, self loathing, blame, nothingness, dirtiness, the depression, the flashbacks, the nightmares, the tears, the sleepless nights, the fear of going outside, reliving time and time again what happened. Maybe he would like to live a life with feelings, that for some never go away. For some, maybe the moving on can happen, but where the memories never leave. memories that are always there, even if not in forefront of a mind, memories that are never far away, ready to come flooding back at the click of a finger. maybe a smell, a sense, something that triggers the mind to flood back the memories.

Maybe he would then understand that rape is rape, whether it was violent or not.

I am unable to do this topic justice, really. I just get sidetracked. So I’d like to recommend, if your interested, two beautifully written articles, one by Johann Hari, and one by Laurie Pennie.

johann hari – the prejudices that allow rapists to go free

laurie penny – ken clarke comments rape

both blogs express eloquently what i wish and want to, but am unable to’


Helen Blogs: christian, feminist, rape survivor & survivors advocate, Jaffa cake lover. writer about #faith, #mentalhealth, #chroniclife & #violenceagainstwomen.  @helen_a15