Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Police failing to protect rape and abuse victims, says super-complaint

Data from 11 frontline services shows forces failing to use legal powers, says group

Police are “systematically failing” to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence, according to campaigners in the second super-complaint made to a national watchdog.

The Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) has accused police forces of failing to use existing powers to deal with domestic abuse, harassment, stalking and rape.

In a super-complaint to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, the group makes four key claims focusing on bail for rape suspects and failures linked to non-molestation, domestic violence and restraint orders.

“Centre for Women’s Justice has become concerned that the various legal measures intended to provide protection to women are not being applied properly on the ground,” the document says.

“This super-complaint addresses four legal powers available to the police in detail and explores the extent to which, and the reasons why, they are not being used adequately. When all the failures are taken cumulatively, CWJ believes that there is a systemic failure to meet the state’s duty to safeguard a highly vulnerable section of the population.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/20/police-failing-to-protect-and-abuse-victims-says-super-complaint

‘Landmark’ overhaul for domestic abuse laws

Domestic abuse victims will receive a wide range of new measures to protect them in what ministers say will be landmark legislation.

New laws will for the first time create a legal definition of domestic abuse, to include economic abuse and control.

The long-awaited legislation will also ban abusers from cross-examining victims in family courts.

Campaigners say the measures are a “once in a generation” opportunity to combat the impact of abuse.

Government experts estimate domestic abuse cost society £66bn in 2016/17 and it’s hoped the changes will improve the response.

The draft bill going before MPs will also:

  • Create new powers to force perpetrators into behaviour-changing rehabilitation programmes
  • Make victims automatically eligible for special protections when they are giving evidence in criminal trials
  • Set up a national “domestic abuse commissioner” tasked with improving the response and support for victims across public services
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46939735

‘Huge relief’ as loans scrapped for forced marriage victims

Campaigners tell Sky News a “massive burden” has been lifted, after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt intervenes.

Victims of forced marriages brought back to the UK will no longer be asked to take out a loan to repay the cost of their rescue.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the charge would be scrapped immediately after outrage from MPs and charities when it was exposed.

Victims returning home were previously required to pay for their plane tickets, basic food and shelter – or take out a loan with the Foreign Office.

One was billed £814 to be repatriated to the UK from life in a forced marriage in Islamabad, Pakistan, and had to give up her passport until the fee was paid.

The revelation, first reported by The Times, prompted a fierce backlash.

One MP likened it to the Windrush scandal, while another branded it part of a “cruel system of bureaucracy”.

Mr Hunt, writing to the foreign affairs select committee, said forced marriage victims would now be treated as “exceptionally vulnerable people”.

“From now on, none of those who are assisted by the forced marriage unit, and would previously have been offered a loan, will have to cover the costs of their repatriation,” said the foreign secretary.

https://news.sky.com/story/huge-relief-as-loans-scrapped-for-forced-marriage-victims-11603910

Woman on fire ‘doused by neighbours’ in Middlesbrough

A woman who was found on fire in a garden is being treated for life-threatening burns after neighbours came to her aid.

Neighbours said they wrapped the woman in cling film after putting out the flames.

Cleveland Police said they were called to the incident on Acklam Road in Middlesbrough at about 12:40 GMT.

A man is also in hospital with serious burn injuries although they are not life-threatening, a spokeswoman said.

One man, who did not wish to be named, told BBC Tees he heard shouts for help.

“My neighbour was on fire in a garden,” he added.

“Me and my other neighbours helped put her out.”

The man said they also put out a fire in the house and he reported seeing a canister on fire.

Horrible’

He said another neighbour, who is a first-aider, “did the majority of putting her out” before wrapping cling film around the woman.

The neighbour said the pair were “completely covered in burns” and had “very serous injuries”.

“It was horrible to see,” he added.

The woman was taken to James Cook University Hospital before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

The man is being treated at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

A police spokeswoman said officers are working to determine the cause of the injuries.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-46201239

Sadistic Derby murderer must serve at least 32 years

A Derby man who murdered and tortured his partner at their home was today jailed for life and must served at least 32 more years in prison.

Atual Mustafa murdered Sohbia Khan at their home in Pear Tree Crescent in Normanton.

On Tuesday, a jury needed just 45 minutes to convict him.

The court heard that, after Mustafa met “confident, intelligent, bubbly” Ms Khan, originally from Bradford, he “lured” her to live with him in Derby.

But, he became controlling and then subjected her to “domestic violence on a savage scale”, inflicting horrific injuries which eventually killed her.

He was today sentenced by high court judge Mrs Justice Sue Carr at Derby Crown Court to life in prison and must serve 32 more years as a minimum. She sentenced him to a minimum term of 33 years but went on to explain that he had been in jail on remand for 339 days so his final minimum term was 32 years and 26 days.

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/derby-murderer-atual-mustafa-sentenced-1527480

#thisisme campaign

Ms Khan, founder of forced marriage and honour based violence charity, the Halo Project, said: “The world can feel different, depending on your gender – gender can affect how safe we feel, where we go, what job we feel able to apply for and other people’s expectations of us.

“The challenges around gender stereotypes and inequality limit all of us and puts pressure on us to conform to outdated, traditional values which are out of sync with todays Wales.”

Former chief crown prosecutor for North West England, Mr Afzal, added: “This is the first stage in a campaign to raise awareness of the underlying reasons for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, in order to challenge those ideas and behaviours and help build a society which does not tolerate these abhorrent acts.”

For more information or to join the conversation about stereotypes, search for or post under the #thisisme hashtag on social media platforms.

 

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/15903286.Campaign_launched_to_tackle_gender_stereotypes_and_prevent_abuse/

Domestic violence: ‘I was told to sleep in the outhouse’

As Welsh Women’s Aid marks 40 years of campaigning to end violence against women, Sarah from Monmouth reveals how living with an abusive partner made her question her own sanity.

It sounds such a cliche, but when I first met my ex-partner, he was the perfect gentleman.

We were friends for two years, having met through our young children. Both widowed, both lonely. Everyone, including family, thought it a perfect idea that we get together and, in October 2009, we did.

By the January we were engaged, and four months later, we went on our first holiday abroad with the children.

But while we were there, he saw me talking to an elderly man, and afterwards, back in the hotel room, he hit me for the first time, accusing me of spending too much time with him.

I was stunned, of course.

I said: “You will never do that again to me”, and the next morning, caught a taxi to the airport with my daughter to catch a plane home.

But there was a cruel twist of fate.

Due to a technical failure at check-in, all flights had been cancelled that day.

So instead of fleeing, I returned to the resort.

When he realised, he wooed me, apologising so profusely that It was impossible not to forgive him.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-42779339

Freed to kill again – and again: Theodore Johnson and the truth about domestic violence

Theodore Johnson first killed a woman in 1981. He tipped his wife Yvonne over the balcony of their ninth-floor flat in Blakenhall Gardens, Wolverhampton, having already hit her with a vase. Well, they had been arguing – a factor that enabled him to plead guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of provocation. The second woman Johnson killed was Yvonne Bennett, in 1992. He strangled her with a belt while their baby slept. Her “provocation” was that she refused the box of chocolates he had bought to win her back; he was able to plead diminished responsibility and, after a two-year stay in a secure psychiatric unit, was released and again free to form new relationships. Then, in December 2016, Angela Best became the third victim of Johnson, 64, and on Friday he will be sentenced for her murder. Best’s spur to his violence had simply been to end their relationship and start a new one with someone else.

ohnson’s case seems extraordinary. How could it happen? A list of victims, a history of violent and controlling behaviour in relationships … yet twice he was freed to kill again. Somehow, Johnson slipped through the system. Or was the problem that the system failed to take proper account of Johnson, of his capacity to kill, and as a result failed to take care of the women he went on to meet?

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/03/theodore-johnson-freed-to-kill-domestic-violence-failure

‘When David Cameron spoke on FGM our time had come. We can banish it by 2030

Nimco Ali helped launch the Standard’s campaign against female genital mutilation, bravely revealing her own experience of the brutal practice. Four years later, she  tells Anna Davis she is astounded at the progress being made to eradicate it

Attitudes towards the brutal practice have changed dramatically since she first spoke out and there have been global success stories. But nowhere is the change more evident than in her own family.

Revealing the moment she saw how deeply the anti-FGM campaign had permeated, she said: “I was with my mum and I saw a picture of Barack Obama and David Cameron at a summit together.

“I made a little joke and said the thing they have in common is they have both talked about my mutilated vagina.

“My mum just rolled her eyes — which is an improvement on being told that I should be ashamed.” This softening attitude is just one example of how she believes the tide is changing.

When Ms Ali, 34, first went public about her own FGM in 2013 she had death threats and suffered verbal abuse. Now she says that people who used to troll her for talking about FGM want to support her work.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/when-cameron-spoke-on-fgm-our-time-had-come-we-can-banish-it-by-2030-a3656101.html

Pupils taught to help classmates at risk of ‘honour’ violence

Pupils are being taught how to help classmates at risk of honour-based violence under a pioneering programme being rolled out in two Scottish schools.

Edinburgh secondary schools Leith Academy and Drummond Community High School have held sessions highlighting crimes linked to the supposed protection of ­traditional cultural or religious beliefs, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

The classes have been led by Bright Choices, an award-winning support service for victims of honour-based violence, and talks are under way to extend the sessions across the city.

Angela Voulgari, who leads Bright Choices for leading community justice organisation Sacro, said that the sessions with S2 and S3 pupils focus on the children’s human rights.

She said the issues involved are discussed clearly but with sensitivity, with children being told how to seek help if they fear their rights are being breached by cultural or religious traditions.

Ms Voulgari said: “In many communities, FGM happens when girls are babies, in others when they are six or seven.

“We are very aware that we could be coming into a school and talking to a group of children where some of the girls may be survivors of honour-based violence.

“A lot of the practices we are talking about happen at a young age and, if they don’t, there is, and I use the word carefully, a ‘grooming’ that can take place during childhood and adolescence.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/pupils-taught-to-help-classmates-at-risk-of-honour-violence-1-4484058

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