Senior Labour Harlow councillor expresses concern over “victim-blaming” in domestic murder story
Crime / Sun 12th Feb 2023 at 07:55am
A SENIOR Labour councillor has expressed her deep concern regarding the reporting in the Daily Mail of the murder of a woman by her husband.
Councillor Lanie Shears, who is the Women’s Officer for the Harlow Labour Party said:
“In reporting the death of Emma Pattison , Head of Epsom College, the Daily Mail acts as if the double murder of a mother and her seven-year-old daughter is a tragic consequence of a woman having a successful career.
“Did living in the shadow of his high achieving wife lead to unthinkable tragedy”
Maybe the next headline could be
“If Emma had stayed in the kitchen she would still be alive”
This is grim, misogynistic reporting of the worst kind. Reverse the genders and what would the headline say? Certainly not this.
How many times do we have to read this kind of reporting apportioning blame on the woman for her own murder, rape or abuse? Words matter. Murdered women are not to blame because they are successful, women who are raped are not to blame because of what they are wearing, abused women are not to blame because dinner is late or not to his liking.
How many times do we have to say this?
Murders are not excused because an ego may have been hurt, which is exactly what this article is alluding to. Anyone would think that the Mail is not aware that two women are murdered in the UK every week.
“It is long overdue that the press took the murder of women seriously enough to stop victim blaming and ensure the blame is placed with the murderer, I won’t hold my breath though”.
Exploring the reason behind a murder is absolutely not victim blaming. Without asking questions, we will never find answers. If you think it is really out of the realm of possibility that jealousy played a role then the author should perhaps go back to school and learn that feelings vs facts will always be an unwinnable battle.
Also - the author is assuming that all perpetrators of domestic violence are male and only male. Which is sexist. She is also assuming that by asking questions to find out an answer to a difficult question is the same as excusing a murder. This is absolutely false. Nobody is suggesting for even a second that murder is acceptable, instead - asking questions that are tough - will always be difficult, but is needed to get to the bottom of something. As the author asked - if the genders were reversed, we would be hearing about how abusive the man was and so on and so forth. Fact is, murder is bad. And, to investigate them we have to ask questions. What led to the perpetrator doing what they did? Were they jealous? Were they upset about something? And so on. And when we find one answer, we ask more questions.