Boris’s Big Plans
Kate Smurthwaite // 18 May 2009
Well I figured it was about time I went online and filled in the survey on the Mayor of London’s “consultation” on his violence against women strategy. I was just trundling through, ticking boxes and adding comments when I realised I was experiencing a growing sense of unease over the whole thing.
I mean for instance I’m ticking a box to say that I agree that a priority should be to:
“4. Respond to the needs of at risk and marginalised women.”
“3.Respond to the needs of children and young people experiencing violence.”
“2. Clamping down on traffickers”
They are seriously asking me whether or not these issues should be a priority. Did anyone log on and tick “no – don’t bother to help children”, “no – leave the traffickers alone”?
And here’s the thing – no-one would ever EVER do a survey asking Londoners what types of terrorism the Metropolitan police should be focusing on. Tick this box if you think we should try to prevent bombs on the tube, and this box if you’re opposed to terrorists spreading anthrax. The strategy has always quite rightly been to do everything possible to prevent all types of terrorism.
Domestic violence kills two women in the UK every week. Rape is so poorly dealt with by police and in courts that it might as well be legal most of the time. What Boris Johnson’s violence against women strategy should do is every single thing in its power to end violence against women. Obviously and immediately. A three month long “consultation” consisting of an online survey to find out whether or not Londoners think “at risk and marginalised women” should be protected is a waste of time and an insult to both the intelligence of people of London and more importantly the women suffering rape, violence, intimidation and harassment.