It’s been a bad week for women and justice.
First of all yesterday Stuart Hall got sentenced to 15 months for offences against young girls, some as young as 9. Thirteen women in fact. Women that he initally said were part of a “vendetta against people in the public eye”. Two months ago he admitted to his crimes. He didn’t hold his hands up and admit to them immediately, he claimed the women were lying.
And so he got the maximum allowed “when the crimes were committed”.
Absurd. He is being tried now. It isn’t 1986. Sentencing guidelines have changed and he should be sentenced according to today’s.
What signal is this sending to other women? To other girls that have lived with that ordeal for all of their adult lives? To other girls and women that are suffering at the moment?
We also saw horrific images of Charles Saatchi with his hands around Nigella Lawson’s throat. I initially thought “well maybe he was demonstrating something”, after all it is only a snapshot in time. We don’t see what led up to that. However the pictures of her leaving the restaurant in tears seem to indicate this was no demonstration.
The police investigated and what does he get? A caution. To have been given a caution he needs to have admitted to the offence. Now it would seem that is the end of the matter.
Is it? Is that the end to it?
Again, what does that say to women everywhere? And to abusive husbands? Or indeed, abusive wives. I am sorry, I have been to Scott’s and it is not the sort of place you throttle your wife and that she leaves from in tears. Unless that somehow feels acceptable to you. There has been no comment from either of their spokespeople. I am not saying for one moment that Nigella should take to Twitter but silence from the two of them is sending wholly the wrong signal to everybody. Least of all her children.
It normalises this behaviour.
Behaviour that is wrong.
Behaviour that should be challenged
Behaviour that should be punished.
It’s a sad day for victims everywhere and my heart goes out to any woman, or man, suffering such abuses. And the sooner we stop calling it “Domestic Abuse” and just “Abuse” the better.