Clare’s Law to go nationwide

Clares law image

Introduction

On 25th November 2013 it was announced that ‘Clare’s Law’ would be implemented throughout England and Wales (Scotland, of course, having different laws). This follows a pilot scheme in Manchester, Wiltshire and West Mercia.

 

What is it?

It was introduced following the murder of Clare Wood in February 2009. The main suspect was George Appleton, her then boyfriend, who killed himself shortly afterwards.

It later transpired that Mr Appleton had a history of domestic violence and had been harassing and threatening violence towards Ms Wood prior to her murder.

This lead to calls for women to be warned about potentially abuse and violent partners. As stated in the pilot :

Under the scheme women will have the right to ask the police whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. If police checks show that a person may be at risk of domestic violence from their partner, the police will consider disclosing the information.

The pilot will also look at how the police can proactively release information to protect a person from domestic violence where it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so

The scheme will now be implemented in all police forces shortly.

 

How does it work?

The legal basis is in s24 Crime and Security Act 2010. This creates a ‘Domestic Violence Protection Order’ that can be issued by a high ranking police officer if the officer has ‘reasonable grounds for believing that a perpetrator has used or threatened violence towards the victim and the victim is at risk of future violent behaviour‘.

There is then a hearing in the Magistrates’ Court within 48 hours to determine whether it was properly issued.

The usual conditions would be to kick the suspended offender out of his (perpetrators of domestic violence are mostly men) home and preventing him from contacting the other person for a period of time between 14 and 28 days.

It is a civil (not criminal) matter if the order is breached.

Will it work?

The Government have published the results of the pilot. This is stated as being a success, although there is an element of caution about the findings.

There are legitimate concerns. Firstly, there is a concern about the privacy implications of disclosures of this sort. Secondly, there are doubts as to whether and how people will act upon disclosures (see here for one article giving a good critique). Thirdly, it may lull people into a false sense of security that a negative check is a clean bill of health.

 

Comment

I don’t know where the figure came from, but I have often heard it said that 20% of PNC (Police National Computer) checks are wrong in one way or another. I can certainly believe it. I remember one case that I dealt with where the defendant was up for a low level financial crime. His PNC showed ‘no trace’ – in other words, no indication that there was any criminal history.

This overlooked the fact that he had been convicted of beheading a former romantic partner. That’s one (albeit an extreme) example of how the police information is not always accurate.

My own personal concern about this is that it is a gimmick that is a cheap way of looking like you’re tackling the problem, rather than actually doing anything about it.

Measures such as greater funding for refuges, social workers to provide support, better benefits (particularly for victims with children), proper legal aid so victims have proper access to family and welfare law advice, more funding for counselling/anger management for perpetrators, etc etc would, in my view, be far more effective in putting an end to domestic abuse.

This however costs money – far easier to have some kind of new ‘order’ (Governments love having more powers) than actually trying to tackle the problem. Clare’s Law is not, to my mind, a measure that shows that the government is serious about ending domestic violence, but one that shows that they are keen to be looking like they’re doing something.

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About Dan Bunting

I'm a lawyer who works for myself. Legal geek, maths freak, general dullard and jack of all trades. Here’s a few views on law and occasional musings on life. Usual caveats about not relying on anything I say etc applies.

79 thoughts on “Clare’s Law to go nationwide

  1. duncanheenan

    For the sake of truth and balance it has to be mentioned that Domestic Violence Protection notices can be issued to members of either sex, so long as they are an “Associated Person”. Though I accept that the majority of violence is perpetrated by males, violence by females is by no means unknown.
    On the whole I favour knowing all the facts within a relationship, but a lot of the practical outcome will depend on how it is done. Heavy handed policing can actually cause more trouble that it prevents.

    Reply
  2. Andrew

    Will the information be limited to convictions or will it include acquittals and allegations never brought to trial? What the police all intelligence and the rest of us call gossip and tittle-tattle?

    How will the police verify that the inquirer is indeed a person contemplating a relationship with the object of the inquiry (let us call him”the man”) and not a spiteful ex, a nosy parker, or a rival for promotion at work?

    Will the man be told that the inquiry has been made so that he can say that she is one of those? Or if they were contemplating a relationship so that he can say “If that’s how much you trust me, we are through”?

    In fact: what happened to trust and love and which clown thought it wise to allow people to outsource their personal responsibilities?

    Reply
  3. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

    Absolutely and wholly against this “law”

    As Dan points out, it is a smokescreen for “we need to be seen to be doing something”

    I’ve seen first hand how poor Police administration is and my other concern is that any information gained could be used for nefarious purposes. I fail to see how handing over classified information to angry, hurt and emotional people is going to help any person, least of all those who consider themselves to be in danger.

    Domestic violence is a crime as it currently stands and I in no way condone any person using violence against another, man, woman and child. But this has disaster bleeding from every pore. While I feel for Clare’s father, even he could not have known if his daughter would have left the budding relationship. Her loss is a tragedy and should never have happened and I certainly understand why her father would want to do something to highlight the dangers, but a “law” that only adds some weight to the problem. A lady who was in one of the pilot areas has just called into a show and she used the service, but she is still living with the partner. Right now, it being announced that the Home Office are stating that the man will not be told if his partner has requested a check on him. Well, in the heat of the moment, she may well fling it at him.

    This “law” doesn’t cover domestic abuse that hasn’t been reported. It is based on those which are. There is another campaign going on for another law which is also based on one woman’s experience an while I am not trained in law, I can see how flawed it is. “Attracting victims” and believing all that is said by a complainant who is now called a “victim” before any crime has been ascertained is dangerous.

    Reply
  4. Andrew

    Politicians’ syndrome:

    Something must be done.
    This is something.
    Therefore we must do this.

    Reply
  5. sisterhooduk

    The reasons why this law came about are quite clear to protect people, of either gender, from partners, of either gender, with a history of violence. If you do not have violent or abusive tendencies or are violent or abusive past you have nothing at all to worry about. If you are the abusive sort then you may find your love life severely curtailed but then the abuser will always blame someone else for that; the police, a spiteful ex (usually female), her mother, sister anyone other than themself for what they did. Plus did you know that if an enquiry is made under this law about you the police have to make the subject aware of it.

    Reply
    1. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

      Hello Sisterhood,

      The reasons why the scheme came about are clear. It’s a father who is trying to prevent the death of another woman and I wholly commend his actions in that battle.

      While it has the term attached to it. I don’t think it is a law as we know law. (Can someone confirm please as I am on a law blog?) is it not more of a scheme or service offered? In honour of Clare Wood?

      However, while it may save those who have been convicted of domestic violence convictions and give women a choice, it actually doesn’t solve the problem of those who haven’t been convicted of a domestic violence crime. Remember, domestic abuse is an umbrella term and that covers a range of acts. Domestic violence is currently a crime. Domestic abuse in terms of psychological abuse, financial abuse are not actually stand alone crimes, yet the if evidence of those are presented in a case, then they are certainly taken into consideration. Clare’s Law does not create a crime, it simply gives the enquirer an option to leave the relationship.

      I am so against it and I know you have said further down that men jump and down about this and if they have nothing to hide they have nothing to worry about, but would you like someone on the loose with your personal data? I wouldn’t. We know the problems we have in this country with data and the handling of such.

      There is always something to worry about when data and information is in the wrong hands and particularly of someone who is scared. It’s a bad move and even the most respected of Women’s Refuges are raising concerns.

      And what if someone has had a violent past? Is there no hope for people to change?

      We’ll soon be having kangaroo courts.

      Reply
  6. sisterhooduk

    Ian Huntley had at least nine allegations against him regarding sex with underage children and not one single conviction. And the rest is history…

    Reply
  7. Andrew

    So every unfounded bit of tittle-tattle, never put to the man in court, is to be treated as true?
    As for Huntley, no system is perfect.

    In any event, it’s a funny old relationship that either party will enter without getting Authority to check up first. What happened to love and trust?

    If this had been around in my single days and I found that any girlfriend – including the one I went on to marry – had exercised this right, I would have said “If that’s how much faith you have in me, we are through”.

    Reply
  8. sisterhooduk

    I am constantly asking myself why are men so defensive about this, where women aren’t, emotive words like “tittle-tattle”, “spiteful ex”, violent and abusive people are not victims they are the perpetrators why should they be protected. They victimise others why shouldn’t potential victims be forewarned and protected. I couldn’t care less if any past, or future (just don’t tell my husband), boyfriend or partner wants to look into my past. It might make his hair stand on end but at least he knows I’m not violent and he is unlikely to die or be seriously injured within my orbit.

    Reply
      1. sisterhooduk

        Tracey a victim is not a victim until a crime has been proven a victim secured. I disagree with this and suggest that you google Becky Godden Edwards and then come back, hand on your heart, and tell me that again.

  9. Andrew

    Because there *are* spiteful people of both sexes out there. Violence is as you rightly say usually male but all the other sorts of nasty things people can do are equal opps.

    A thought, sisterhood, and a serious one. If:

    Ann and Bill are in a relationship (or are married, come to that)
    have young children
    break up
    and then Ann forms a relationship (or marries) Charles
    and Bill meets Charles, perhaps when seeing his children, or already knows him, and is suspicious of his motives

    would you agree with me that Bill as father of the children should be entitled to make the same enquiries about Charles as Ann is under this law?

    Or would you regard that as “controlling”?

    You see the problem. Bill might be controlling; or he might be right; or even both. If he is right he ought to know so that he can launch civil proceedings to get the children away from Charles and if necessary from Ann too. Assume for present purposes that Bill has never been violent to Ann or the children and that she has never accused him of being violent; the marriage or relationship just did not work out.

    Reply
  10. sisterhooduk

    Partners and ex-partners can be very controlling, some are very bad at coping with rejection, and will do their best to ruin their exes chance of future happiness. On balance however, where there are so many terrible stories of children being hurt or killed by the step-father or current partner of the mother, I see no reason why Bill shouldn’t make enquiries about the other guy. I agree it is fraught with difficulties but it is preferable to learning that someone psycho, with history, has murdered your children.

    Reply
  11. Andrew

    I share your doubts and your conclusion. We must both be wrong!

    All the best to you, sisterhood, I’m really a very nice guy . . .

    Reply
  12. duncanheenan

    Let me understand this. If you want to marry or live with someone first you have to have a police check on them. Then you have to promise each that you will work it, out whatever happens. Then you have to sign prenuptial agreement in case it doesn’t work out. Then you have to get written consent (witnessed to show it was not done under duress), each time you want to make love, to avoid claims of ‘marital’ rape (preferably witnessed to prove that it was done in accordance with the contract.
    I’m glad I didn’t marry a lawyer. Or a militant feminist.
    Still 42 years of mutual trust, respect and love have been happy for me so far without any of that stuff. There’s no law that can make you love anyone, or stop you.

    Reply
  13. sisterhooduk

    This law is about protecting people from those who are abusive and or with a propensity to violence. There is no side tracking here. Forewarned is forearmed and if you are neither abusive or violence you can go through the world untroubled by it whether you pick a lawyer, feminist, militant or otherwise, as your partner of choice.

    Reply
    1. duncanheenan

      My real concern is the danger from untrue accusations which may be put on file for vindictive reasons, which are then carried through the system, and emerge to blight people’s lives and cause trouble for innocent people. If the records are confined to convictions I am not worried by the law. If records also contain rumour, suspicion and unproven accusations, I am worried.
      For every Ian Huntley there are lots of people against whom unfounded accusations could be made for malicious or mischievous reasons. Teachers are especially vulnerable to this from teenagers out for revenge or stupid mischief, who either don’t know, or don’t care, about the damage they may do.
      The Ian Huntleys of this world will find their way through any system.

      Reply
    2. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

      Sisterhood,

      A victim is not a victim until a crime has been proven. I’m sorry, regardless of your case above of Becky, in terms of the CJS.

      The law is about justice, not about victims. Sentencing is about justice. Those who are unjust must be brought to justice, yes, I agree. The sentence which is passed is indicative of the crime committed and it is that which serves the protection of the public. It is why those who commit heinous crimes are banged up for many years.

      I did have to smile at your last sentence though.

      There’s a crusader on the loose as we speak who’s trying to get another “law” passed and it’s crazy beyond insane. For those who are hauled before the civil courts, apparently Judges are forcing “victims” to disclose their flee address and victims are being placed in jeopardy. It’s about as leaky as the colander I use to drain my veg. Anyway, she’s off to the MOJ to tell them how judges should do it and wants a “law” to be passed for all victims, regardless of whether there has been a criminal court involved. The crusader also sends around a vigilante website of which she “supports” Nice and balanced. If the MOJ sanction this, it’s time to leave the country. I’m more disturbed they have given this the time of day.

      In other news, an innocent man is dead who vigilantes killed because they “thought” he was a paedophile.

      Reply
      1. sisterhooduk

        A girlfriend of Ian Watkins’ reported to the police in 2008 that he had told her he wanted to rape a baby, he said his fans would do anything for him. And the rest is history… again.

        Was this gossip, tittle-tattle, a spiteful ex. Or should something like this have been looked into and an alert or marker put somewhere just in case… That’s why I deplore the attitude which seeks to dismiss anything which cannot be proven as either untrue or not worthy of action not even a word of warning to the potential victim/prey.

  14. Andrew

    Of course it should have been followed up, sister, but if he had just plain denied it what then? Suppose he seemed more credible than she – whch given how horrible what she said he said is, he might well have done?

    And if the police believed he had said it – what then? it is not a crime to say such things in private, revolting as they are. Do you want a system by which every new relationship msut be reported to the police so that they can see if anything is known against either party which should be reported to the other? Without that, where could you put the “alert or marker” which you are suggesting? If we lived in the world of Orwell’s telescreens much d.v. and some rape and even worse (rape of a child and murder) would not happen, but I don’ think any of us would want it, and you seem to be suggesting something along those lines.

    When he said his fans would do anything for him . . . it seems that as regards two of them he was, alas, right.

    Reply
  15. duncanheenand

    There will always be deeply evil people and nut cases, and a few will always slip through the system however good it is. Unless, of course, everything is banned (as will be the case if the Antisocial Behaviour Crime & Police Bill 2013 gets passed without the ridiculous definition in s1 being changed.)

    Reply
  16. sisterhooduk

    Except that the word of women in society is of lower currency and value than that of men. Whenever a women makes an allegations about a man it is automatically treated with suspicion, he only has to say she’s being spiteful, vindictive ad nauseam for what she says to be dismissed by a misogynistic, patriarchal society as untrue. And that’s the problem and why abusers, who are predominantly (but not always) men get away with it. They know this and they exploit it.

    Reply
    1. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

      Sisterhood,

      I’m a woman. Unusually so, I tend to see the problems that men have. Probably because my word or “currency” in terms of the Family Law system as a mother was dismissed and it took me five years to fight that corner.

      Let’s take a look at the beds shall we in domestic violence refuges.

      1,200 country-wide beds for women.

      75 for men.

      Now, I don’t need a calculator to see this imbalance. In fact it’s plainer than the nose on my face.

      This is not a feminist issue, it’s a law issue and the “victims” voice is becoming louder. We’ve just had £29mill chucked at Restorative Justice which is victim-initiated. I do feel given the struggles the country has at the moment, that this latest pilot being rolled out across ten county courts is relying on RJ as a way forward to solve re-offending problems. But I am mixing up issues here and women’s voices are not lower in terms of domestic violence complaints. They very much rule the roost.

      Reply
      1. sisterhooduk

        Male violence doesn’t restrict itself solely to men if they want to go ahead and beat each other senseless and or to death I will stand on the sidelines, cheer them on and run an illegal betting syndicate. Sadly it extends to women, to our children, parents and other innocent bystanders too and until men are being picked off two per week by women, or better still until they stop picking women off at that rate and something is actually done to address the issue of male violence, I do not see how this can be anything but a feminist issue. The perpetrators, are in every walk of life in society, it is in their interests to play it down, to ridicule and attempt to silence those who speak out about what is an absolute scandal, while thy fiddle (deliberate choice of words there) and sit on their hands rather than do something about it.

  17. duncanheenan

    I think the opposite is true. Women’s complaints seem to me to be treated with greater sympathy and sensitivity than mens, which gives fertile ground for vindictive women to use made-up or exaggerated allegations as a weapon.

    Reply
  18. sisterhooduk

    Then explain Kirk Reid, John Worboys, Ian Watkins, Brian Witty, Ian Huntley, Michael Thomas, & Antoi Imelia (to name a few) proliferated and why despite convictions the rape victims of Mike Tyson and Ched Evans are accused of being liars, vindictive and in it for the money. It’s a man’s world. Woman aren’t safe in it.

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      In the UK there are two women per week slain on the frontline that is male violence against women (that’s a higher fatality rate than Afghanistan). Damn right I’m going to say that over and over it’s a scandal and men should be ashamed.

      Reply
      1. duncanheenan

        Wrong, ‘sisterhood’.
        If true, it is not ‘men’ who are doing it, it is evil people. You can not blame the evil on their sex alone any more than you can say all women are blameless because they are women. I do not deny that there are evil and violent people, or that more men than women are physically violent. But that does not mean that (as you proclaim) all men are evil and rapists and should be condemned because of their sex. Violence is the issue, not the sex of either perpetrator or victim.
        I agree with Andrew’s post, except his accusation that I am shutting my eyes. On the contrary, I am appealing to ‘sisterhood’ to open hers.

  19. Andrew

    How many young men are killed by other young men? I am sorry to say that the number is probably far greater.

    Sister, men are not a corporate body, we are not responsible one for the other any more than women or white people or black people or gay people or . . . well, you get the idea. It sounds a bit like Dr Heinz Kiosk and “We are all guilty” and even Dr Kiosk – whom you may not remember – applied that to the entire human species.

    Tell me that we have to find some way of teaching today’s boys and young men to treat women and girls as equals and with respect, and also that violence is not the way with other young men – and (at the risk of being misunderstood) I’m your man.

    We also have to teach the next generation of females a degree of self-respect and self-esteem which seems to be lacking in many of them; and I regret to say that whereas a generation ago cases of violence among young women were as common as hens’ teeth, now they are just unusual now and the world is getting worse.

    Tell me and the world just how you do it and you are a bloody miracle.

    Oh, and tell me that Duncan is shutting his eyes to [part of] the truth and I will entirely agree.

    Reply
  20. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

    Andrew here has given a good analogy of what would be a good way forward and I do agree.

    I do think young men should be taught how to treat women with respect and as equals. I also happen to think that young girls should be taught that dressing doesn’t mean showing flesh at every opportunity and to take responsibility for their own safety. One only has to look at TV shows that show how much of a problem alcohol is becoming and seeing young women face down in the gutter by 11pm is not a sight for sore eyes.

    Sisterhood,

    Why should men be ashamed? Why shouldn’t women be ashamed? I’ve once put my own safety at risk and I realised how close I came to being attacked. I took responsibility for those actions and stopped doing what I was doing. As a middle-aged woman, that only happened a few years ago. There are people out there who take advantage of situations, but we have to stop being victims and take some responsibility for our own actions. Violence is one thing, abuse has no clearly defined lines and it is down to what each person can cope with. Were I to feel as though I was in danger in my relationship, I wouldn’t be wasting time in going to a Police Station to get the information, I’d be out of there like a shot.

    I’m likely going to place my neck on the line here, but in my 45-years of life, as I age and some wisdom begins to permeate its way into my brain, contented and happy men do not go around slaying women and the same could be said for women. Most men know it is a criminal offence to hit another person be that man or woman or indeed, child.

    The cases you mention and we have been here before are quite rare. For each one of those, I can find you a person who has died or who has been accused of crimes by an embittered ex.

    Reply
  21. sisterhooduk

    Don’t wear that dress a man might rape you, you can’t wear that it’s a clear signal that you are rapable. How about men DON’T rape. That’s the message we should send to men. Unless we’re saying they’re animals who are unable to control themselves at the sight of a human female. Rape is the crime not the outfit.

    As for placing yourself in danger, exactly why is it that the streets – in the broadest sense of the term – are dangerous it’s not because of women. My reality, as it is for most women is walking around in a heightened state of alert as soon as the sun goes down or I round the corner and find a dark or deserted street. My fault for not being indoors before sunset or not knowing the geography of every single street or is it the fault of the people (men) who make the streets an unsafe place. I’m not appeasing them. Men need to address their behaviour it is feral.

    Reply
    1. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

      I can see your point clearly, Sisterhood. However, I see it differently to you.

      If I am plastered, scantily dressed and walking home at 3am alone because I have no money for taxi to get me home safely and I get attacked that does not suggest for a moment that I am at fault. However, had I been more responsible, ensured I had the money for a taxi home instead of blowing the last fiver on a drink, then the possibility of not being attacked is much higher and the odds are that I will be home safe and sound, by taking the responsibility for my safety. That’s taking my safety and placing it as a priority. As a responsible member of society (at least now) I take responsibility for my behaviour within the boundaries of the society I live in.

      By your theory, dressing in any manner, never taking any responsibility for their actions, women can behave and dress as they like? I like my clothes and no man will ever tell me what to wear. But attire is highly important in how one presents themselves. A man’s world it may be in your eyes and I have worked in the corporate world and come up against some right bastards, yet I have always managed to hold my own. I don’t strive to be equal and that’s because I don’t feel unequal. I never have done and I never will do. But I still don’t want to go out wearing clothes that are revealing and even 20-years ago, I would never have done so and I’m no prude.

      Men are not solely responsible for crimes committed against women as a gender. The men that are responsible for crimes of any nature should be brought to justice. Just as a woman should. You’re labelling men as a “one size fits all” Just as all men don’t go around raping women, all men don’t go around battering women.

      I could bore you senseless with how many women are convicted of more fraud crimes than men. How many more women are the culprits for infanticide than men. The list is endless. But these are cases that you will refuse to admit, because you’re absolutely certain that all men are beasts and I find that so impossibly disheartening to read.

      Men are not responsible for streets being unsafe. Society is and it is only by movement and addressing how we behave within society that those streets will be safer. Not just men addressing their “feral” behaviour.

      Reply
      1. sisterhooduk

        I’ve had a lovely bottle of Pinot Grigio so will respond fully when more lucid but lets me clear I don’t feel unequal to men either I know that women are far superior from conception and onwards.

      2. sisterhooduk

        Perhaps you can explain then why women dressed in Burkha’s are raped and or sexually assaulted, children; boys and girls of any age the same, elderly women, patients with senile dementia in nursing homes. Clothing has nothing to do with it or none of the foregoing people would be raped would they. And neither are they attacked solely by the mad man with a knife they are attacked by male family members, boyfriends, husbands, friends of the family, teachers, youth workers, coaches, nurse, doctors, care workers people who are known to them. That’s the bit that society finds hard to accept that it is seemingly ‘normal’ everyday guys carry out these horrendous crimes and that’s why it is easier to attempt to blame the victim. I will reiterate, scantily dressed, out at three, four, five six, seven am and or staggering home drunk is not a crime. Rape is the crime and the rapist is fairly and squarely to blame for what he (or she) did.

        About a week to ten days ago there was a huge outcry at the death of six cyclists in London and huge protests about the dangers of cycling in London. Today the Mayor of London’s Transport Commissioner is in front of a Select Committee discussing this. Two women per week are murdered by their partner and or ex partner year on year any Select Committees, any outcry in the press not at all women are expendable. And men ARE absolutely responsible for the streets not being safe they account for 93% of all violent crime (against either genders) and 98% plus of all sexual offences (against either gender).

        And while all men don’t go around doing this, they all have it within them to do so, even if they say they never would but more importantly how does one differentiate between the violent, the abusive and the sex offenders when the don’t wear a sign to helpfully allow us to identify them.

        To return to one other point the NSPCC say that children, in respect of infanticide, are equally at risk from either parent male or female and not solely the mother so I’m unsure where you got your data from unless the NSPCC are incorrect.

  22. Andrew

    I will not enter in a disagreement between two women but about this I cannot stay silent:

    “Male violence doesn’t restrict itself solely to men if they want to go ahead and beat each other senseless and or to death I will stand on the sidelines, cheer them on and run an illegal betting syndicate.”

    Sisterhood; when one human being kills another it is always a tragedy, regardless of the gender of either, and nothing to celebrate. In the rare case, and it is rare but it happens, of woman killing woman would you find that unimportant too, even if you would not cheer it on?

    In all honesty, sister, I think you could think better of that remark.

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      Men killing other men, preferably before, during and after a football match or other sporting occasion will cause me not one moment of lost sleep.

      Reply
  23. Andrew

    Let’s get away from the stereotypes. A gang of armed men attacking and killing an unarmed man for sport does not trouble you.

    Stephen Laurence, for example? He was male, so was he fair game for the gang who destroyed him?

    Enjoy the Pinot!

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      No clearly not he was waiting at a bus stop for a bus, same for Anthony Walker I take your point. I APOLOGISE and I agree that in a few rare instances male violence on other men is also not deserved.

      Reply
      1. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

        Sisterhood,

        Violence of any kind is unacceptable behaviour. Regardless of the gender.

        Look, I can see clearly you have a deep-rooted problem with men and I wouldn’t even dare to speculate why & whatever it is, I sincerely hope that you have had or are having some professional help for this, but I do see Andrew’s point here, that advocating the killing of men is not a balanced view and one that is very hard to accept.

  24. Andrew

    Duncan, there are many subjects on which I will joke; but the murder of Stephen Laurence is not one of them, and neither is any of the murders about which sisterhood writes. We are not responsible for them, because we did not commit them, but they are not to be made a subject of jest.

    Reply
  25. duncanheenan

    You misunderstand me Andrew. I was not implying that you were joking, I was drawing attention to Sisterhood’s admitted inebriated state. I hope (though doubt) that is the real reason for the reason she seems to approve of murder of men, except in…” a few rare instances “. In other words, even within her ‘apology’ she implies her approval of violence against men or even their murder, except in a few rare instances. I find that unacceptable.

    Reply
  26. Andrew

    Sisterhood – you are stereotyping again. Male-on-male violence takes all sorts of forms, from Laurence to – as you suggest – two gangs of drunks whose fight gets out of hand, and I share your lack of sympathy in that case, or rather I extend it to the terrified bystanders, female and male.

    But EVERY murder is a tragedy for the victim, the victim’s family, the perp’s family, and – as we are all human – the perp too.

    A year or two ago there was a horrible case where an apparently harmless young man was thrown into the Thames off one of the bridges in London – by a gang of three or four people, one of whom was female. What on earth am I to make of that and what do you make of it?

    Reply
  27. sisterhooduk

    Point one

    On the 1/12/13 at 5:15 I said: “Male violence doesn’t restrict itself solely to men if they want to go ahead and beat each other senseless and or to death I will stand on the sidelines, cheer them on and run an illegal betting syndicate. Sadly it extends to women, to our children, parents and other innocent bystanders too”

    When I said our children, parents and other innocent bystanders too I did not specify any gender, and I did not say our mothers, our daughters and innocent female bystanders, so you can all climb down off your high horses and read what I said properly. Waiting for at least three apologies in your own good time…

    Point 2 thank you Tracey I’ve been told before, usually by men but occasionally but women, that I should seek professional help because I don’t think men are wonderful, my answer to that has been always been spherical and in the plural.

    Glad we cleared that point up.

    Reply
  28. duncanheenan

    Your weasel words cut no ice. The fact is you approved of men beating each other to death. And that is based on the fact that they are men. You don’t just ‘don’t think men are wonderful’, you hate them simply on the basis of their sex, even to the point of wishing them dead apparently. You really should seek professional help.

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      Ah – the man who cannot apologise and admit he’s wrong. How refreshingly different, not. If you have a problem with male violence and men beating each other death blame your fellow men. I’m a woman we don’t do such things and that is a fact. Yours in Sisterhood.

      Reply
      1. duncanheenan

        And that from the woman who can not see she is wrong, let alone admit it and apologise!
        I think you’ll find there have been plenty of women convicted of violence and murder – and that IS a fact.
        Just as men are not all bad simply because they are men, so also not all women are good simply because they are women.

  29. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

    Sisterhood,

    As you and I are the women here, I shall talk to you from one woman to another. Yes?

    I have female friends who mean the world to me and we have, to coin your name, a “sisterhood” between us. We aren’t jealous of each other, we have a bit of a bitch about the men we have had in our lives at times, we moan about work and we meet up at times for all those lovely girly things we like to do. Shop, have lunch, try on clothes and ask if our bum looks big. Yep, I adore my girls and they have stood by me as I have them during the arduous times life chucks at us.

    Then, I look at another woman. Who entered my life uninvited, she had an affair with my husband, then he and her took my children. Now, I understand his doing this, but for another woman to take my children, turn them against me and then have a child of her own after I can no longer, I find this the biggest act of theft one person can do to another. More so that one woman could do this to another woman. Now many have said “Oh but it wasn’t her fault, it was his” He was a bastard to me without a doubt, but the driving force behind him was her. I’ve seen it with my father and his second wife who did exactly the same to my mother. My mother who is a schizophrenic, was estranged from me for twenty years due to another woman and her need to possess what her husband had with another woman. So lest us not be fooled by thinking that women are not devious don’t have the capacity to be emotionally violent. They can be and I’ve been on the receiving end of it. Now, I’ve come to terms with all of this and while I miss my children deeply, I can and have survived. Some women are devious, some are wonderful creatures, gentle but tough and I know I have it within me to be devious, sneaky and at times a danger to myself in how I have behaved. I simply curtail that streak in me and channel this into work. As a woman in business, I’m pretty ruthless and I am no walkover. I’m middle-aged and I have clever little things nipping at my heels and I try to keep one step ahead of the game in a cut throat industry. I’m fully aware of how women, as a gender can be just as dangerous as men. They may be physically weaker than men, but I have seen many a man brought to his knees by a woman.

    Men have the capacity to be violent and luckily for me, I have never come across a man who has been violent towards me apart from my own father who couldn’t stop hitting me as a child on one occasion and I know the morning after, he was a very broken man. My father today, would have been charged with domestic violence. However at 67-years old, he is no longer violent. There is violence and men have been violent of this there is no doubt. Rape is a crime and you’re correct, walking home at 3am, drunk, with a handkerchief for a skirt is not a crime. I choose not to do this and I hope to God, my husband and his wife have drummed into my 18-year old daughter also not to do this. Not because I lead a life of where I am worried, it’s just not how I behave and it’s called being a responsible woman. There are some wonderful people of both genders and there are some particularly nasty people of both genders.

    Despite your statement above about women being raped and brutalised, I’m well aware of what goes on the world. I’ve lived in a country where women are treated, what we in the west would call, second class citizens. This is a culture and one we in the west have no business interfering in.

    But it’s about balance I feel. In my life, the scales are evenly balanced when it comes to who is in my life and I am treated with respect by both genders as I respect back. You don’t have this balance and feel so very sure that women have no “currency” in society. I disagree. Women have power, we have Mother Nature, in the animal world which is savage and violent as they have to survive, we have Matriarchs that lead and care for their herds. If we look around us, the female is a powerful being. You’re undermining your gender with the statements you are making. You’re undermining your role in this world by shouting that men are responsible for the damage that is apparent and that women are quivering little wrecks in the corner who are terrified of men. That’s not what I see and have never seen. Yet, I have seen women who have been at the hands of some dreadful men and have come through stronger and survived. Trust me, I have. Your statements say more about where you see yourself in this jungle, not about the society we live in.

    Clare’s Law is a noble gesture. But it will not solve the problems you think it will. It might protect those who are scared to a degree. But to make out that women are victims at the hands of men blocks a system that prevents it from dealing with those who are the real victims that could be in danger at the hands of some deeply disturbed individuals and I fear this will be the case and for those women who can be devious, it’s almost a licence to do untold damage.

    Reply
  30. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

    Infanticide has been around for thousands of years, way before the NSPCC was thought up. Equally, I reported no data and never suggested anything of the sort, Sisterhood. While the NSPCC are a worthy cause, they don’t have the cornerstone on figures and are forgetting history. However, as you mentioned data, here’s some to chew over:

    “And just as infanticide was described as a crime that was committed by the mother in medieval times, such a likelihood remains true today. Although men are more likely to murder in general, statistical review of prosecutions show that infanticide is usually committed by the mother”

    Taken from here: http://www.infanticide.org/history.htm

    You want data, Sisterhood, I’ll give you data.

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      Smokescreen Tracey. What does this have to do with Clare’s law further what about details of mental illness of the perpetrator such as post natal depression it exists and it affects new mothers. Men don’t have that excuse. To be clear I am not condoning infanticide.

      Reply
      1. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

        What does your cheering two men who are brawling and advocating the murder of any man have to do with Clare’s Law?

        Let’s not talk mental health illness eh? I’ve lived with madness for most of my life with a mother who has schizophrenia.

        Let me make this real simple for you. It’s okay for a woman to behave in any way possible because of post-natal depression? To take your defence for her behaviour, an “excuse” but men are just savage bastards who kill, rape and are violent to women and they are not allowed an “excuse” Then you state women don’t have “currency” The law applies to all regardless of gender. It is not gender specific and nor should it be.

        Sisterhood – you’re a gem. You truly are. One on your own you are and I know a lot of ladies who fight for women’s causes but they don’t speak about men as you do.

        Have a glass of Pinot, love.

      2. duncanheenan

        ‘Sisterhood’ may think she speaks for a cause, but in fact she destroys its credibility by her hatefully extreme stance. She is more likely to provoke the behaviour she protests about than to educate it away. She is like a crusader imposing Christian Love by the sword.
        In other words she is a troll, and the kindest thing to her and the rest of the world is to ignore her.

  31. Andrew

    Actually, sisterhood, if you spent some time sitting in the back of your local magistrates’ court you would hear a surprising number of woman-on-woman assault cases – especially in the Youth Court where of course the public are not permitted. Not as common as male-on-male but more than you would expect – and often when it happens very violent. Let me add that the most savage fight I ever heard about (on the Bench) between two women began when one’s dog attacked the other’s dog. The defendant said that the other’s dog “attacked my little girl” and winger next to me (female) remarked under her breath that “there was a stupid bitch at both ends of the lead”.

    I have said before that Duncan is in denial; if you believe that women are never violent to each other or to men then you and he are both in good company, both denizens of denial country.

    Another story from the magistrates’ courts near here, about two years ago. Late one night in the park a woman was attacked by a man, A, who undoubtedly intended to rape her. But before he could achieve his intention another man, B, arrived from behind the bushes (where I think he had gone to be out of sight while he relieved himself) who grabbed A, pulled him off, gave him a kick which would have rendered him unfit for any sexual activity in the short term and possibly the long term too (and I would not be sorry in that case) and got him to the ground; I would have to assume that B was bigger than A, who was no more than average size and build – you will appreciate that I only saw A in the dock briefly and B not at all.

    The woman must have been terrified for a moment that B would now regard her as “lawful prize” but not so; he gave her his coat, on a cold February night, comforted her as best he could, and called the police on her mobile – he did not have his with him. And I saw A when we packed him off in custody to the Crown Court charged with attempted rape, and good riddance, and I don’t care what he got, and I expect you think that whatever it was it wasn’t enough, and I don’t suppose Duncan thinks he should have gone free either!

    But what about B, sisterhood? Where does he fit into your world of stereotypes? Even ruling aside taking advantage of the situation, he could have declined to “get involved” and gone on his way – but he did not. So what is he: an honorary woman?

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      Most people including men agree that men who grab complete strangers off the street and attempt to rape them are worthy of condemnation. Would this same man B coerce or his force himself on his wife, girlfriend, or woman knows from some other social context and consider his action okay as long as she appears to ‘consents’. And would he start to bleat on about “grey areas” and “buyer’s remorse” after such an encounter. Saving a woman from a stranger attempting to rape her does not render any man incapable of rape and or sexual offence so my question to you is how do women defend themselves given that this is the case.

      Reply
  32. Andrew

    Well, sister, and what if he wouldn’t do any such thing?

    In a sense, of course, no man capable of the sexual act is incapable of rape; but in that sense few human beings are incapable of murder. (The physical ability to commit an act is not the same thing as the desire to commit it; the desire is not the same thing as the decision.)

    So we don’t know whether B would do that. Perhaps B has never had intercourse with a woman who was not really consenting; perhaps he would if the occasion arose but it never has, perhaps he would not. We don’t know.

    All we know is that he could have walked and did not and deserves rather more credit for that than you seem willing to give him. Of course if one takes literally your metaphor of the “front line” on which women are dying he is guilty of treason to his own side – but I don’t and I hope you don’t either.

    I would hate to go through life loathing half my species which seems to be your fate.

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      My fate you say. If I go through life expecting the worst of men, and not without reason, and find I am wrong and that they are all wonderful and can be trusted without fear of harm or foul I can only be pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was. On the other hand if I go through this world blindly trusting men and discover I was wrong and men are not to be trusted and that plenty have malicious and violent intent why I’d in for a rude awakening, I’d be told I was foolish, (scantily dressed young lady what did you expect…) being a good example, and mocked for it.

      And again I find the accusation, man hater, levelled at me. It makes more sense to be a man hater than a man truster. I have no problem with the former accusation it causes me no concern at all and it is untrue. However I reiterate men do plenty to be hated. And they don’t like being held to account for it. I am not here to appease men.

      Reply
      1. Andrew

        You regard people how you like, sister.

        But I am not going to consider myself accountable for the crimes of other people because they and I are of the same species, gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation.

        I have never committed or contemplated rape or murder. I have never committed any act of violence on a female; nor on a male since the playground and that’s a long time ago. That others do is not my responsibility any more than it is yours. Good luck and goodnight.

  33. sisterhooduk

    Duncan, won’t silence me, he uses all the tactics that men use to silence women and without effect it is however enjoyable watching his attempts, and pompous outrage at the insubordinate woman who refuses to fall into line, when this fails he resorts to abuse Troll you say. Prick my response (little one).

    And then we move on to the handmaidens of the patriarchy and I wonder why women tied themselves to railings, were force fed, assaulted, and worse, and threw themselves in front of horses to win our emancipation. You can bet the handmaidens were making all the same noises as Tracey does and yet she now enjoys the freedoms that these women won, and continue you win for all women, even the ones like her. I will enjoy my Pinot not a crime except for the holier than thou. Although perhaps I’d better check that some fraudster hasn’t swapped it for something else first. Yeah back at ya love!

    Reply
    1. duncanheenan

      If you are so brave for your cause, ‘sisterhood’, go and campaign for it properly – to Parliament, the Police, the Education system. Join the street pastors. Become a Guardian Angel. Don’t just sit in the anonymous safety of a computer screen under the influence of late night booze, railing at the two or three people who bother to read your output, and who won’t be influenced anyway. Don’t just talk the talk – walk the walk; but do so to protect women, not to attack men. Or maybe you just live in your dreams? Maybe you are just another anonymous troll. Maybe you haven’t actually got the bottle, you’re just influenced by one.
      Womens’ rights and emancipation did not come about just because women made a fuss. They were given by men in power, who were persuaded that it was the right thing to do. And they were persuaded by the rational arguments of women, and men, who were prepared to stand up and be counted, not by anonymous screaming trolls. By simply condemning men, you will not persuade them of your cause. Don’t forget the old saying “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.” It is men you need to convince, and you are not going about it the right way.

      Reply
      1. sisterhooduk

        Feminism and woman’s liberation will survive without zero input from yourself Duncan or any other man for that matter. Women won their own emancipation. In the same way the slaves did from their slave owners and black people and other people of colour do in the realm of civil rights, people like Rosa Parks for example. India won release from British rule none of these things were granted magnimously they were won by struggle, blood, sweat and tears. Men will become like the dinosaurs extinct. Nature is already taking care of the Y Chromosome.

    2. Tracey McMahon (@MAFTC)

      Oh Sisterhood. You can say what you like about me. it’s a machine – with words that don’t hurt me. I’ve had inner-rage & I’ve done booze-fuelled rants myself, so I will end with saying, I hope you don’t feel too crap today. It’s not nice living in war zone in one’s mind & your rage is plain for all to see.

      Reply
      1. sisterhooduk

        Glad to hear from you Tracey, if that is your real name? Thank you for your concern about lies about boozed fuelled rants I must have a read about what the Attorney General has said about defemation and libel in social media… Any way handmaiden off you go to appease the patriarchy. Yours in sisterhood.

  34. duncanheenan

    I see ‘sisterhood’ carefully avoids telling us what she is actually doing in the struggle she says she feels so passionate about.
    She is just an angry fantasist, and can therefore safely be ignored.

    Reply
    1. sisterhooduk

      And behold, the angry misogynistic at work who will try to silence any woman who has an opinion which differs from his. Duncan is also a bully, and like most bullies, he cannot bear it when he is stood up because bullies are also cowards.

      I think we can safely say that Duncan is going to struggle to ignore me although he has promised to do so on numerous occasions and yet he continues to fail spectacularly. Personally I live in hope. But he’s a man, what can I say, the spirit is weak, the flesh is weak what does that leave why just a lot of hot air and noise. Well back to fantasy land now for me where the streets are safe, rape doesn’t exist and male violence isn’t killing two women per week.

      Reply
      1. duncanheenan

        If sisterhood was as keen on actually doing something about what she gripes over, as she is griping over it to a tiny audience and avoiding embarrassing questions, she might start to do some good.

  35. Andrew

    Emancipation of the slaves was won by Parliamentary struggle here and by the mainly white armies of the North in the USA. The Parliamentary vote for women here was largely won as a result of women’s work to support the male war effort in 1914-18 – they already ahd the vote for local authorities.

    Who was it who said “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts”, does anybody know?

    Reply
      1. Andrew

        There’s many a true word spoken in jest. After Britain stood alone for a year it was the USSR then the USA who bore the brunt of it.

    1. Andrew

      It was first recorded in 1954, twenty years before a supporter of Dick Nixon used it just before the vote on the impeachment.

      Reply
  36. sisterhooduk

    Well done to Duncan who managed to ignore me for all of er 21 minutes. That’s a VERY good start Duncan. Keep up the good work. Still not silenced. Yours in Sisterhood.

    Reply
  37. Andrew

    Sister: I know that HIS story (I don’t think you meant tory!) is not her story. And I know that the study of our past would be better and more fascinating if more were known about what women thought and said and did; you cannot, however, create information which was not kept at the time.

    But what has that got to do with the Second World War? Let me put what I said with more precision. After June 1941the people of both genders of the USSR and the USA did more to defeat the Nazis than those of the UK, or of what was then called the British Empire. The USSR had more casualties than any other belligerent; it also lost more women to the war than any other belligerent except, I think, Germany.

    I share your dream – you can believe it or not – of a world without rape or any other form of violence. The question is how we get there. And I don’t think the criminal justice system has all the answers. Why have I never (here follows another statement which I cannot in the nature of things prove) committed rape, planned it, contemplated it, or even fantasized about it? Not because of the c.j.s. Because I was brought up at home, at school, and among my peers to regard it as an act of supreme wickedness and evil, second only to murder as the saying goes, and just not on. I claim no special virtue for myself, my parents, my wider family, my teachers, the people amongst whom I grew up. I just wonder how the hell it happens that some men are not so brought up.

    And – for the avoidance of doubt, as we say in the law biz – let me add that the fact a man was not so brought up is not the faintest shadow of an excuse for him if he does it.

    Reply
  38. Pingback: Wesley Williams – life for murder of ex and son | UK Criminal Law Blog

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