Yesterday I read - unusually, because I have to admit to not being the world's biggest fan of this site, but The Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant had shared the post, and that means a fair bit - a post on MamaMia. It was written by Charlie Pickering, and I am a fan of his, so I settled back and thought 'well, the ups outweigh the downs'.
I am including the link here, because Charles P, you have written what I think so many intelligent and wonderful men in this country - and indeed around the world - think and feel and yet don't have the forum to express themselves on.
I am not going to talk about the other topics which he raised - as valid as they are, what I really want to concentrate on is his point about violence against women, and the way in which it seems to get lost on an every day basis, despite the huge strides that organisations such as White Ribbon are making to see consciousness raised.
According to a 2013 global review of available data, 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. However, some national violence studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner.
In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, intimate partner violence accounts for between 40 and 70 per cent of female murder victims. 40 AND 70 PERCENT. This is not in third world nations; this is here. This is in Australia. A 'civilised nation'.
I have been sexually and violently assaulted. And yes, by someone I know. To tell truth, by someone(s) I know, in the case of being physically hurt. And trusted. So many, many of my friends - wonderful, intelligent, gorgeous women have been too. It is an established fact that rapists (and I am sorry - I do not apologise for using the word rape) - are amongst the highest recidivists (61% in the UK as at 2000). I realise that sexual assault is not the only form of violence against women, but it is certainly one of the main ones, and one which holds a very large degree of power and shame - which means no reporting to police, and a burrowing down deep, deep inside of pain, and fear, and horror, and mistrust for women who certainly didn't ask for this violation, and now have to deal with the aftermath - for the rest of their lives.
So what is the solution?
There is no easy answer. I will emphasise this. There are many, many amazing men out there. Charlie Pickering proved that yesterday. I have an awesome partner who would no more raise a hand to me than cut said hand off. The fact that he shared this article out meant more to me than I can possibly say. Because it told me he understood something essential.
Women are being hurt. Badly. Women are dying. One woman a WEEK in this country is dying at the hands of a partner or someone she knows.
They are not dying in bar brawls, or (and please don't think I am trivialising this) in shark attacks. Sharks don't tend to come home drunk and think it's a good idea to smack the little woman around the face because dinner isn't on the table 20 seconds after they've stepped in the door, or because - well, because they're bored and they feel like taking out their boredom on someone weaker than themselves.
Only humans do that.
Funny how when people (and I use the term 'people' loosely) think about culling, they look to nature for predators.
Maybe they should start looking in suburban backyards.
Next time you hear a woman screaming 'please stop - just STOP', do one thing for yourself, and for her. Don't assume someone else will call the police, or deal with it.
Make the call. Take responsibility.
It may mean that this week... a woman doesn't die.
And someone who is used to instilling fear?