Remedial victim blaming 101

Boganette has had a hell of a week and has decided to visit aggravation on the rest of us with a roundup of marvellously rage-inducing links. (Love ya, B!)

And one in particular gave me a massive sense of deja vu – back to this post on THM, which travelled back in time to steal the original title of this post.

Because yet again a police officer is saying that a man’s violent [and thankfully not fatal in this case] attack against a woman was somehow “preventable” had she acted differently.

And on Deborah’s post people swore up-and-down that this wasn’t victim blaming, the police were just frustrated, they can’t act if they don’t know what’s going on, and anyway women do need to act in a certain way and it totally is their fault because they chose to stay with an abuser I mean come on!

So now it’s happened again, let’s try to hammer some sense into those people’s brains.

First up?  Yeah, the police kinda knew something was up.

Mr Sneddon said police had been to previous domestic violence matters at the house and the victim was lucky not to have more serious injuries or worse.

The police are, in fact, familiar enough with the nature of this particular abusive relationship to know that it could have been worse.

Still, if we’re going to completely ignore basic facts of human psychology and the economic and social dependency women are placed in by a patriarchal society that pays us shit and demands we produce a new generation of GDP-creation units and refuses to support us even when we do everything right, and a history of treating women as the possessions of men and a culture with a deeply insecure, desperate attachment to promotion Manly Manly Masculinity … just, you know, putting all that to one side, maybe it’s just totally reasonable to point out that the victim could have gone somewhere for help.

And maybe it’s possible that someone could express that without coming off like  a judgemental asshat who is, in fact, blaming the victim for getting herself attacked.

“That help could come from family, police, Women’s Refuge or the multitude of other government and non-government organisations dedicated in helping people suffering from family violence.”

But clearly not in this case.

Hear that, silly little women?  There are a multitude of organisations out there to help you!  A multitude!  It’s amazing that anyone ever gets abused when there is just so much going on out there to help you!  Surely the only reason women are still dying every five weeks at the hands of their partners or former partners is because they’re just stupid and probably asking for it!

Which is obviously not to blame them, of course.  Just to say it’s their fault.

Oh, and just in case you weren’t convinced that this particular woman is totally the real villain here?  After Mr Sneddon is done touting the multitude of agencies out there, and the terrible statistics of the numbers of women and children killed in our country on a regular basis?

“There were young children at this address where the incident occurred.”

Now in an article that had spent as much time discussing the actions of the abuser, the guy who stabbed someone 14 times, the perpetrator of repeated violence according to the Police, as this one has on lecturing a hospitalised woman about Doing It Wrong?  I might buy that this quote has anything at all to do with concerns about the children being potential victims of a violent abuser.

In this case?  Yeah, if you’re not also getting a “she failed in her Sacred Duty to Protect Her Young, the bitch” vibe off this you should check the batteries on your fuckwittery detector.

Especially given his parting shot:

“we can’t do it alone and we can’t take action in relation to incidents we don’t know about, the key thing is to let someone know.”


police had been to previous domestic violence matters at the house

police had been to previous domestic violence matters at the house



I’m sorry your life is so fucking hard, Mr Sneddon.  I’m sorry that some woman lying in hospital with a punctured lung is making you feel bad because our entire fucking society has conspired against her and now you have to do some fucking paperwork on a known violent man.

And seriously?  I get that you find it frustrating and I get that the cops get a lot of flack when they don’t actually have the power to arrest people On Very Good Hunch Of Being A Dickwad.  I get that it pisses you, and a lot of other people, off when victimised women don’t act the way you think they should, the way you totally know you would act in a situation you’ve never fucking been in.

But that doesn’t excuse blaming a woman for a man’s decision to stab her, and that doesn’t make your victim-blaming magically Not Victim Blaming because you totally just feel exasperated and things are so difficult some times.

Principles:  they’re those things that don’t mean shit if you abandon them when they’re hard.


  1. Boganette

    This is just so right. Honestly. It’s just fucking INFURIATING! I am so glad you’ve blogged on this. But FUCK I can’t believe we still need to blog about this. It’s just wrong. It makes me want to drink until I pass out.

    You’re brilliant by the way. They should put your shit on billboards.

    • QoT

      *blushes, gets mistaken for a beetroot, smites the fool who tries to put her into a KiwiBurger because that’s just wrooooooong*

      Thank you! I do long for the day I don’t have to rant about really, really basic shit. But I’m not optimistic.

  2. Deborah

    Yeah. I saw that story, and the police officer’s words, and banged my head on the desk. Deja bloody vu.

    I’m wondering when police will start to think that they may need to work out a new way of responding to domestic violence. Because it’s horribly fucking obvious that the current approach is not working.

    • QoT

      You mean that reinforcing to those women currently IN abusive relationships that they will be treated like fools for “putting up with it” and demonised for “putting their kids through that” won’t encourage them to seek help?

      I am STUNNED.

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