Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Good Fight, and brick walls

So it turns out that women under 25 are twice as likely as the rest of the population to be stalked or harrassed. But I guess you knew that already.

Reporting this on Radio 1, Nihal gave a brief precis of the research, before a neat segue into an interview with an expert on the topic. (Sorry, no link, and I'm paraphrasing...) His first question?

"So, will it be the police who decide whether a woman is really being stalked or if she's just being oversensitive?"


It's the kneejerk reaction that makes the difference, isn't it? When you're reporting on a bump in the murder rate, your first question isn't, "So, do we think these people were all asking for it?" Kids under 15 are 19.4% more likely to be mugged for their iPhones: "But what were they wearing?" Man dies of sheer boredom in Tottenham Job Centre: "Well, what was he thinking, going in there on his own? It's clearly the most depressing place in the western world, and I'm sorry, but you've got to admit, if you walk through those broken automatic doors, you're just looking for trouble really."

But you knew that already, too. None of this is new, but it hasn't fucking stopped, has it? Untold numbers of articles, blog posts, books, explaining this very point over and over; this amazingly simple point, that only crimes involving violence against women come with an automatic assumption that the victim is lying, and yet, here we are.

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