30th November 2022
“Intimate Terrorism” is the phrase Nigella Lawson used to describe her experience of Domestic Abuse.
Why do we have 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women when men are more likely to be victims of violent crime? The answer is that there is a tangible difference between the violence most often experienced by men and the violence most often experienced by women.
Most violence perpetrated against men is either stranger or acquaintance violence: gang violence, street fights, robberies etc. The violence most often perpetrated against women is more intimate; being perpetrated by a family member or intimate partner and often motivated by the victim’s gender. There’s a huge difference between being attacked by a stranger in the street and being attacked in your own home by the person who promised to love, protect and cherish you.
Now of course, we know women are also attacked in the street and men are also victims of domestic abuse, but those cases are out of the ordinary, they are not okay but they are also not the majority. What is worrying is that violence against women in the home, by the person who is supposed to be their loving partner is so commonplace, so ordinary that it is estimated that in the UK a woman is attacked in her own home every 9 seconds.
I don’t know about you but my home is my sanctuary, my safe place. There is nowhere I am happier than curled up in my bed with a nice cup of tea. There’s also probably fewer places I’m more vulnerable. Our homes should never, ever, ever be a place of violence or danger. Every human being should feel safe in their own homes with their nearest and dearest, nobody should ever be at risk of being murdered by the person who is supposed to love them the most.
It’s that intimate nature that makes Domestic Abuse such a horrific crime, and it’s that day in, day out “intimate terrorism” that means that most international human rights agencies now recognise Domestic Abuse as a form of torture. The pain caused by Domestic Abuse runs so much deeper than the physical and if 16 days of activism each year provides an opportunity for us to begin to understand that then it’s something we should all be on board with.
16days #16daysofactivism #orangetheworld