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Domestic abusers feed off crises Men will use the cost of living to coerce their partners

When will the government listen to women's groups? Credit: Diego Cupolo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When will the government listen to women's groups? Credit: Diego Cupolo/NurPhoto via Getty Images


October 14, 2022   6 mins

This winter is going to be the hardest in living memory. The cost of living has already spiralled so far out of control that poor families are talking about having to choose between eating and heating; just imagine being a woman who currently lives with an abusive man, knowing that her partner will wield the shortage of cash as yet another weapon to bully and humiliate her. Abusers often take complete control of the family finances, meaning their partners, even if they work, are often left without money for essentials such as food and heating. Now, with prices shooting up, the government has been warned that the cost-of-living crisis will have a disproportionate impact on victims of domestic abuse. But ministers don’t appear to be listening.

“It’s crisis upon crisis,” says Dr Shonagh Dillon, CEO of Aurora New Dawn, a charity that provides services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Hampshire and the Thames Valley. Organisations like hers have not yet fully recovered from having to deal with the increased demand caused by Covid, and now they are braced for a flood of new calls for help. Back in March 2020, government ministers were warned by MPs, charities and campaigners against domestic violence about the deadly impact lockdown was likely to have on vulnerable women and children. “Stay home” was a bitter message for women who suddenly found themselves shut up, 24 hours a day, with abusive partners. And lo and behold, calls to the national domestic violence helpline rose by 60%, some of them made by concerned neighbours who heard alarming noises from next door.

Dillon recalls the early days of lockdown, when staff trying to deal with a deluge of calls from desperate women had to wait weeks for the government even to designate them as key workers. I tell her about sitting in on remote meetings organised by City Hall in the spring of 2020, as charities and local authorities struggled to respond to the crisis: attempts to set up emergency accommodation to save women from injury and worse were being frustrated by government departments, each of whom — Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government — claimed it was someone else’s responsibility. Perpetrators fully exploited the situation, telling police officers summoned by a 999 call that they couldn’t enter the family home because someone inside had Covid. They put trackers on phones and cars in case a woman managed to escape on the rare occasions she was allowed to leave the house, to go shopping or take the kids to the park. Social workers moving women to emergency accommodation had to learn how to check for such devices to prevent the victim being followed.

Today it is not lockdown that is being exploited, but the high cost of living. Anxiety about making ends meet is creating ideal conditions for coercive control, a form of abuse that is not as widely understood as physical violence. Of course, the two often co-exist, with a history of financial abuse being revealed only when a victim is being treated for physical injuries. Money problems do not cause abuse but they make it worse, providing extra “leverage” for men who are already threatening and isolating their partners. “My abuser would check accounts when I had the debit card,” one survivor of financial abuse told Women’s Aid. “If I was food shopping, he would ask how much I’ve spent to see if I was truthful as he had already checked online. He would not top up the gas and electric meters so I had to spend all day with no gas or electric.”

Dillon is all too familiar with how coercive control operates. Survivors have told her about men who say: “You’re not feeding your kids. They’ve got holes in their shoes. I’m going to tell social services you’re a bad mother.” That is a terrifying threat to make to a woman who, through no fault of her own, is struggling to put food on the table or having to rely on charity shops to clothe their children. They already feel intense shame about their supposed shortcoming as mothers, something perpetrators understand very well and are eager to exploit. Women fear losing their children above all else — and abusive men can sound very plausible. How can a woman prove she’s not to blame — that money is being kept from her deliberately — when her partner sounds so reasonable to outsiders?

Shortage of money increases the pressures within relationships in other ways, as men who can’t afford to go to the pub or a football match spend more time at home. Researchers used to wonder why intimate partner abuse rises during big sporting occasions, such as the football World Cup, speculating that perpetrators were punishing women when their team lost. The answer turned out to be much simpler: domestic abuse increases whenever men spend more time at home, which is why the big rise during the Covid lockdowns came as no surprise to anyone. There were a spate of domestic homicides — 16 in three weeks — in the first month of lockdown.

Eventually, the government noticed. Covid “acted as an escalator and intensifier of existing abuse”, a joint report from the Home Office, National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing belatedly admits. “It seems to have been weaponised by some abusers as both a new tool of control over victims and
 as an excuse for domestic abuse and even homicide.” Two men, Anthony Williams and Hussein Egal, blamed stress caused by Covid when they were charged with killing their wives. Egal inflicted 70 injuries on his wife, Maryan Ismail, after (he claims) she had threatened to throw him out for having the virus. Williams strangled his wife to death, and then pleaded guilty to manslaughter, having told the police that lockdown restrictions had had a negative impact on his mental health. He received a reduced sentence of five years. It remains to be seen whether, in a few months times, men accused of murder will claim they were driven to it by anxiety about not being able to pay the mortgage.

Homicides were not the only deaths linked to domestic abuse: there were also 38 suspected suicides of victims in the first year of the pandemic, a phenomenon so under-researched that we do not have previous years’ figures to compare it with. It attests to the desperate circumstances some women found themselves in, locked in with their abusers, as well as important questions about whether the women’s actions were voluntary.

Surely, surely, ministers would never make the same mistake again? But that appears to be exactly what is happening. “The suicide rate will definitely increase,” Dillon predicts. “It will happen if women can’t flee safely.” She asks herself every day how she can help victims, knowing that her organisation is struggling with its own costs, including soaring heating bills. Some of her employees are single mothers and survivors of abuse, and the cost of living is already hitting them hard. “I’m worried about my staff,” she says. Most earn between ÂŁ24,000 and ÂŁ26,000 a year, when they could get more than ÂŁ30,000 in less stressful occupations. “We are going to lose staff hand over fist. We’re constantly fire-fighting,” Dillon says wearily.

Women’s Aid has addressed the looming crisis in an August report, offering a stark warning: “The cost of living is preventing women from fleeing domestic abuse.” Two-thirds of survivors told the organisation that abusers were using the cost of living increase as a tool for coercive control, “including to justify further restricting their access to money”. Almost three-quarters said that shortage of cash had prevented them from leaving. With private rents beyond the means of most victims, and mortgages prohibitively expensive, women feel trapped. “I feel like my only option to keep my kids is to go back to the marital home where he nearly killed me,” one survivor told the organisation.

Two months ago, a group of charities said they were “disappointed” by the lack of government action on tackling the cost of living crisis. Women’s Aid is calling for mortgage payment holidays for victims, an emergency domestic abuse fund, and discounts on energy bills for organisations that provide services for women and children. Refuge has asked for the ÂŁ20 universal credit uplift to be restored. The government says it is working across departments to ensure that victims, survivors and their families are fully supported, citing a ÂŁ230m investment in its Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan.

What the government did not say, however, is just as important. The plan was announced in March, under a different administration, and some of the money is earmarked for long-term projects such as training to recognise abuse. The vast scale of the economic crisis has since become clear, yet one of Liz Truss’s first actions as prime minister was to abolish the role of women’s minister. The decision has been criticised by some Conservative MPs, including the chair of the women and equalities select committee, Caroline Nokes. Having a dedicated women’s minister gives us a voice — and also acts as a brake, forcing government departments to think twice about the impact of policies on women and girls.

If the government is planning a substantive response to a situation many women regard as an emergency, it is keeping very quiet about it. This time round, with so much evidence of the disastrous consequences of its predecessor’s tardy action in lockdown, it has no excuse. Another crisis is playing into abusers’ hands — and there is very little time left to save their victims.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She was previously Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board. Her book Unfortunately, She Was A Nymphomaniac: A New History of Rome’s Imperial Women will be published in November 2024.

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Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

There are about 100 suicides per week in the U.K., far far more than the (admittedly appalling) rate of 1.5 murders of women per week in the U.K. And male suicides represent about 75% of these suicides.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/282203/suicide-rate-in-the-united-kingdom-uk-since-2000-by-gender/
So I’d say vulnerable men committing suicide is the far bigger issue in these recessionary times – but society just accepts this state of affairs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I’d love to see an article about this underreported issue. Almost nobody talks about this (with the notable exception of Jordan Peterson I suppose).

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

The system wants men to kill themselves. It wants men to feel vulnerable. It has no such desire to keep women weak and passive because they know women will never challenge the elites.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

These men are CHOOSING to commit suicide; women are not choosing to be brutally murdered.
I wish abusers would kill themselves instead of women and children. The world would be a better place.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Your compassion is noted, as is your partisanship. Thank you for your contribution.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Your view that serious mental illness leading to suicide is a choice is quite staggering, and rather revealing about yourself.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Thank you Penny. Have you ever wondered why so many men choose to kill themselves or is that a little deep?

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I don’t think Penny understands numbers.

Ian Wray
Ian Wray
1 year ago

A while ago I witnessed, in a local park, a young woman berating a young man about what she thought were his many faults (including the fault that he always agreed with her). There was no acknowledgement of anything positive about him, and nor did she confess to any faults of her own. A classic example of emotional abuse. How does an article such as this one, with no discussion of domestic abuse perpetrated by women, nor any acknowledgement of men’s positives, differ from that young woman’s behaviour, except that it has not one specific target, but men in general?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wray

While it is mostly men who commit violence it is mostly women who engage in controlling behaviour

Last edited 1 year ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

Didn’t we just read about a public service announcement encouraging women to withhold sex in order to force their partners to vote?
Apparently, when it suits their cause, the government and civic organisations are prepared to encourage controlling behaviour.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago

Evidence? Stats? Can you cite a study on this?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

See it all day every day

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wray

My husband and I were sitting with a group of parents at our son’s ball game. The mother of his teammate loudly scolded her husband and sent him off to the car for something. She turned to the rest of us and sneered, “He’s such an idiot”. My husband, right there in front of everyone, kissed me. He knew I’d never say anything like that about him.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago

Thank you. You sound a lot like my beloved.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wray

My mum used to try and wind up my dad, with those pointed verbal stilettos that some women know how to wield so well for maximum hurt. He’d then lose his temper – bingo! Job done. I felt sorry for him.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

You felt sorry for your dad for beating your mother? You are not a man at all.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Penny people can lose their tempers without resorting to physical violence.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

You just assumed he resorted to violence.
And wasn’t what she was doing violence?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Jeez Penny you make huge assumptions. I said he lost his temper – which meant he shouted back at her screaming insults. I was under 10 when she told me, repeatedly during these rows and in front of my dad, that the only reason she was staying with him was because of me. So in your world, you think this woman was virtuous in laying that on her kid?
Fortunately, despite the emotional torture of me as a child, I established respectful relationships with partners as an adult, and ensured my children weren’t exposed to such damaging comments. Your lack of balance on this issue is quite serious.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Scott McArthur
Scott McArthur
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Go swim in the North Sea.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

How dare you womansplain what being a man is

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wray

How many men are murdered by women every week? Every year? You make men look like pathetic infants when you make comments like this. I can stand up to emotional abuse, but I can’t stand up to a violent lunatic who threatens me with violence. Grow a spine and stop whining about how men are being picked on by women.
It’s the threat of physical violence that keeps women in emotionally abusive situations.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

So, in your book, there is no problem with psychological abuse? Why is wrongdoing ONLY in terms of predominantly male behaviours like violence? It’s because feminists know men will always be more violent than women and therrfore feminists will always be able to badger men on this basis. It’s pathetic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wray

Oh come on. Feminists don’t care about women abusing men. Feminism is all about psycholigically abusing males. It is a tool for the elites to bully men via women. The elites want weak, passive men and they want women to bully them into being weak and passive. Hence girlboss mentality and feminism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Galvatron Stephens
Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

“… just imagine being a woman who currently lives with an abusive man, knowing that her partner will wield the shortage of cash as yet another weapon to bully and humiliate her. “
Okay, if we’re playing the “just imagine” game, I’ll do you a deal – I’ll entertain the scenario you’re painting, if you’ll just imagine being a man who currently lives with a vindictive woman, knowing that his partner will wield his inability to pay for all the things she wants and expects as yet another weapon to bully and humiliate him.
I’m a great fan of this site, and enjoy reading a variety of writers taking a variety of positions – but I have to say I couldn’t even finish this article.
Blatant misandry seems to get a free pass, whilst any hint of misogyny gets jumped upon.
“The suicide rate will definitely increase,” …. even if true, it will still be a tiny fraction of the male suicide rate.
Perhaps if you demonstrated some empathy for anyone in an abusive relationship – regardless of gender?

Romi Elnagar
Romi Elnagar
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

It’s NOT a “just imagine” game. The author is citing a possible scenario, and asking for understanding and sympathy for women caught in terrible predicaments, but you have none to give. I shudder to think what it would be like to be trapped in a relationship with a man who has no empathy for women, only for men.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Romi Elnagar

My gut tells me that someone who lacks empathy will lack empathy for all.

Oliver Butt
Oliver Butt
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I seem to remember the somewhat ridiculous Labour MP Rosie Duffield emoting in parliament, surrounded by a doughnut (?!?) of fellow female MPS, and complaining, with copious lashings of unparliamentary tears, that she had been in an abusive relationship because the man she had been with kept spending her money.
So if a man restricts his woman’s income he is being abusive but if a woman tries to restrict her man’s income, he is being abusive. I am not sure that the requirement is not that all men submit to modern day slavery and just provide, provide, provide (as Truss might put it).

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Oliver Butt

Rosie Duffield is utterly clueless. She has garnered a wealth of sympathy from “right-wing” simps for her trans squabbles, yet she comes on camera and says “trans rights are human rights”. She should make her mind up, frankly.

Last edited 1 year ago by Galvatron Stephens
David Wildgoose
David Wildgoose
1 year ago

This article may have some good points to make, but I’m not interested in ploughing through all the man-hating in order to find them.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago

Just accept facts David.All men are abusers!!
What a bleak world for the man haters.
Real men do not abuse anyone.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

I skipped the article. Joan Smith is a bigot.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

I realise that some men abuse and control their wives or girlfriends but this is comic stuff. As if a bit of poverty – reverting to the 1970s norm – makes the difference. As many men as women will suffer from our little difficulty with national bankruptcy and social disintergration. And let us not forget that a large number of working class women are now effectively married to the benefits system, rather than to your cardboard cut out villain, and consequently have no real family to support them and their children from the “predatory male”. That’s right: It is families that support women, not a “Minister for Women”

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

They are not married to the system, but born of it. Big Daddy Government will destroy the nucelar family because to destroy men you need to destroy the family.

Will Rolf
Will Rolf
1 year ago

This article is completely false. Studies show again and again that in English speaking countries men are half of all intimate partner violence victims. In most violent relationships both partners are perpetrators. In those where only one partner is violent, 70% of the time it is the woman. Women are also 50% more likely to emotionally abuse their partners. Women are four times more likely to suffer serious injury in violent relationships due to differences in size and strength. It’s time we abandon the feminist nonsense of male only Intimate partner violence.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
1 year ago

“Domestic abusers feed off crises…Men will use the cost of living to coerce their partners”
Not to be flippant about this issue, but one could also change this headline slightly and it would accurately sum up what we are all living through now, an abusive relationship with the power structures that control the world (from above the level of national governments)…
“Domestic abusers feed off crises…The rapacious corporate oligarchs and their handmaidens in western governments will now use the cost of living crisis [they created] to further coerce and control formerly free citizens”
Coercive control is now a mode of governance, so a lot more people are being exposed to what it means to be treated in this way. Again, not trying to be glib about the theme of this article, just noting that it’s a wider issue as well.

Gary Cruse
Gary Cruse
1 year ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

I could not get through the article. It seemed to be a gusher of verbiage around a pencil thin center. A massive thesis over minutiae. But I guess that describes a lot of opinion journalism. Pay by the word, get a lot of words.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gary Cruse
Mikis Hasson
Mikis Hasson
1 year ago

A victim hood extravaganza! Don’t we get enough of the spiel “men are abusers women are victims”?

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
1 year ago
Reply to  Mikis Hasson

It goes beyond victimhood. Unaccountability is the core theme. As if the women involved could be instantly absolved from selecting the men in question for husbands in the first place. Or as if they were incapable of simply parting ways to escape this heinous beast (the “generalized man” as usual), instead of bitching about the consequences of their own miserable decisions.

Ron Bo
Ron Bo
1 year ago
Reply to  Andre Lower

Some women and men always seem to choose useless partners.
They enter serial relationships and repeat their mistakes.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Andre Lower

Feminism can never tolerate any notion of female accountability. Like all woke ideologies, it seeks to evade accountability.

J. Brelner
J. Brelner
1 year ago

Perhaps the most telling thing about this article is that it was written by a novelist. Strike two, she’s a woman. I can see how an imaginative, woman writer could “craft” a story to tell a tale of woe. “The poor women!”. Yes, I know I’m heartless, especially when dealing with someone who has such a myopic single-mindedness, who cannot see the other side of the coin.

Yes, I know statistically, men are the perpetrators. Maybe it’s because men have zero resources when they are a victim of abuse, there are no statistics of male victims. Most men are ashamed to report it and is it any wonder? In the U.K. there are no shelters, no crisis line (the last time I checked) and I’ve heard of men calling a crisis line help and being refused. In fact a woman can’t even be charged with rape — the law doesn’t even exist in the U.K. They call it sexual assault, but what do you call it when an adult woman, grooms a young boy and has sex with him? What do you call it when a woman takes advantage of a drunk man, an impaired man, a cognitively impaired man? It’s Rape! Then, in the RARE instance when a woman is charged for abuse, she’s coddled by the justice system. Usually a tap on the wrist and she walks. No wonder men don’t report and there are no statistics.

“Dillon is all too familiar with how coercive control operates. Survivors have told her about men who say: ‘You’re not feeding your kids. They’ve got holes in their shoes. I’m going to tell social services you’re a bad mother.’ That is a terrifying threat to make to a woman
” That is a terrifying threat to make to ANY parent but it’s only mothers that have the ability to weaponize Family Courts to take kids away from their fathers. In the rare instance that a father gets sole custody – it’s usually because the mother doesn’t want them. In many instances men stay with their spouses for the sake of their children. Even in abusive, loveless marriages.

I have empathy for women, I really do. I have a wife I love dearly and would do anything for. I care about women being abused and I condemn the men who abuse them. However, I’d like to point out that most men do not abuse their spouses. Most women don’t either, but both are human and we are all far from perfect.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

What an embarrassment to Unherd to have published this. There is no journalism here – just anecdotes and wild generalizations clearly designed to smear half of the human race and generate sympathy (and much more government funding). Does anyone doubt that the author will reap far more benefit than any of the victims when the politicians throw more money at the problem? I’d love to see some real investigative journalism that shows where all the money goes – bureaucracy and more advocacy – and how little impact they actually have in the real world.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago

Pretentious BS article trivializes a growing problem for both women and men. If it was in my paper, it would be lining the bottom of the birdcage.

Scott McArthur
Scott McArthur
1 year ago

Stats are pointless in Western Nations unless you differentiate between heritage citizens and new citizens. If that is too triggering for you I suggest you sort by religious affiliation or identity. Once the noise is sorted out .. the source of increased violence against women in the West becomes very very clear.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott McArthur

In Australia 90% of the offending is carried out by 5% of the population.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

Just came across this bio of Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of the woman who wrote Little House on the Prairie, and a founding mother of American libertarianism. This woman was certainly no victim of very hard times and believed it did her good – a fascinating life, and a brilliantly written bio too.
https://www.sdpb.org/blogs/arts-and-culture/the-other-wilder-rose-wilder-lane/

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
J. Brelner
J. Brelner
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

How is this pertinent to an article about domestic abuse in the U.K.?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  J. Brelner

I believe it refers to the ability of women to forge a life for themselves in good and bad times and to be masters of their fate. It’s difficult to imagine that life for women is harder now than it was then.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Gold star to you Brett! But J Brelner has a point that I was shoe-horning it into this discussion as I just had to share my late night discovery of this truly amazing woman with others.

Robert Carruthers
Robert Carruthers
1 year ago

Is it then men as males the problem? If a woman changes her gender identity does he join this problem? One wonders where this gender reductionism is leading? A cul de
sac.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

Just think how many men are now identifying as women because of the psychological abuse feminists have perpetrated on masculinity and men.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 year ago

We could talk about the fact that 75% of child abuse is performed by females. Or we could talk about most of those victims being male children. Or we could ignore both issues.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

I think Joan and her ilk think that breathing in and out makes men abusive. Also, why do women like Joan take such glee in the murder of defenceless unborn children? The feminist genocide of abortion has claimed over 70 million lives, yet they demand more blood sacrifice.

Joan and other feminists, however, do mean I will never pay to read Unherd.

Last edited 1 year ago by Galvatron Stephens
cara williams
cara williams
1 year ago

the ignorance and sheer bullshit of some of these male commenters is mind blowing. they sound bananas and no rational cool man or woman would want to have anything to do with them.

Last edited 1 year ago by cara williams
William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

Why do women continue to partner or marry? It makes no sense.
Advice to young women should be to stay single and avoid these issues.
Earn your own living and if you must have children get AI.
The government could help with this solution by legalising brothels; something they should have done years ago.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Brothels are effectively legal anyway. Police raids are rare and ineffective. For men, there is a very powerful argument to suggest realtionships with modern women are not worth the effort.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago

Thanks for publishing this unherd. I used to subscribe to FT for over 10 years and read dozens of feminism articles – but always on issues that only benefited upper middle class women & above. They almost totally ignored issues facing working class women. The cost of living crisis probably is substantially elevating the risk of abuse for at least hundreds of thousands of British women.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

FT is a leftist rag. Haven’t you got enough media outlets with feminist content? Unherd was a place where feminism could not rear its ugly head. Now it is a glorified Guardian.

Romi Elnagar
Romi Elnagar
1 year ago

Here’s an article about a serious problem for thousands of women, and all the misogynists come out of the woodwork to complain that it’s actually MEN who suffer as much from domestic violence as women, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah.
It would be pathetic if it weren’t so vicious. The statistics (what statistics governments DO keep, of course) clearly show that women are more likely to suffer rape and murder at the hands of men than vice versa, and that women are most likely the victims of domestic abuse, but this doesn’t stop men who–out of either self-pity or genuine hatred of women–want us all to quit thinking about women (and children) who are victims and focus on people who are, as a group, stronger and more likely to have access to money. These men want us to forget how vulnerable women are when they are pregnant or have small children to care for, and focus only on men.
Narcissism much?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Romi Elnagar

“men who–out of either self-pity or genuine hatred of women–want us all to quit thinking about women (and children)”
Nope, that’s not it. Some of them wonder why women get involved with these men in the first place. There are men out there that many men will have nothing to do with. There are men out there we would not talk to in a bar or look in the eye. There are men out there we just do not trust. But there are women out there who walk right into their arms and we don’t know why and no one will tell us.

Ian Wray
Ian Wray
1 year ago
Reply to  Romi Elnagar

A couple of quotes from past academic studies of domestic violence:
“Women were more likely than men to engage in any, as well as in severe, partner aggression and in any parent aggression…” from Slep, A. M. S., & O’Leary, S. G. (2005). Parent and Partner Violence in Families With Young Children: Rates, Patterns, and Connections. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(3), 435–444
“Given that Stets and Straus found that three times as many women as men used severe violence against a nonviolent partner, treatment for female batterers seems a necessity.” from chapter 2 (page 41) of ‘Family Interventions in Domestic Violence’ edited by John Hamel and Tonia Nicholls.
Do you think that using insults and unfounded accusations such as “all the misogynists”, “pathetic if it weren’t so vicious”” , “these men want us to forget how vulnerable women are” is an example of reasoned debate, or abusive behaviour?

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wray

Insults and unfounded arguments are all feminists have. They are evil.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Romi Elnagar

Why do you only focus on male wrongdoing? Any categories of wrongdoing that women predominate in?

Feminism can neve solve any problem it claims to care about. You are always going to have wrongdoing in a society and feminism will be no more effective than prescribing jelly to all infant boys.

Feminism makes men weak and passive. A man feeling weak and passive is much more likely to lash out than a confident male. As women are more masculinised than before, men will feel no ethical reason why they should not hit a woman if they would hit a man in the same situation. Feminism claims it can change men but it has nothing like the resonance of a belief system that would be required to change widespread behaviours.

Plus there is such a thing as free speech and thought. You cannot make people care about, or define their responses to, your arguments. Feminists despise this, but there it is.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
1 year ago
Reply to  Romi Elnagar

Nobody wants to stop thinking about women being abused. Women abusing children is 75% of the time. That is taboo. Most often against male children. That’s is taboo. Violence against men is taboo. Only one sector is not accountable. Just treat everyone according to their needs