Monday, 25 November 2013

Women policing it for themselves

So the wretchedly misguided Clare's Law is going ahead after all. A proposal so barmy it looked made up is actually going to become law in England and Wales.

Here were my thoughts at the time this was first mooted, and let me tell you, I haven't changed my mind.

It seems it's now accepted practice that if women want anything done at all they have to do it themselves - like second class citizens who are not fully entitled to the protection of the state. Hence the campaigns to take down violent misogynistic content on FB, or to fight back violent trolls on Twitter, hence the battle to force police to take rape seriously, to even record complaints made, to protect children against grooming  (with desperate families, in one recent case, told to sit it out and wait till the girls are too old to be of use to their groomers).

But asking women to consult a register to find out of their perspective boyfriend has a history of being a violent thug is a step too far. For one thing it seems to fully outsource the responsibility for women's protection to the potential victims themselves. For another, the logic of the initiative fails at the first hurdle: if enough were done to identify and neutralise violent men in the first place they'd be behind bars, where they cannot pose any risks, not out there luring new victims. Who, in other words, is going to be on this register?

And when are we going to go full circle, give women a gun and a pair of handcuffs and wish them good luck?

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