By Caitlin Kelly
And, of course, more depressing news about how many women are sexually and/or physically abused by their male partners, from a new report from the World Health Organization:
A new international study released today has come up with a global
number, and it’s a big one: around the world, 30 per cent of women are
victims of physical and sexual abuse by their partners. The paper,
published in the major scientific journal Science, is based on a
meta-analysis of 141 studies from 81 countries conducted by a team of
European and North American researchers – the lead author is Canadian
Karen Devries, a social epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene
and Tropical Medicine.
The research, done in collaboration with
the World Health Organization, found wide variations between regions of
the world, with the highest rates in Central sub-Saharan Africa, where
the rate of sexual and physical violence from a partner is 66 per cent.
In South Asia, the rate was 41 per cent. But, even in Western Europe and
North America, countries that celebrate the advancement of women in
society, the rate was disturbingly high. About one in five women in
those regions experience physical and sexual abuse from a husband or
For those of you who missed the story, which was recent front page news in Britain, cookbook author and television star Nigella Lawson was photographed in a restaurant — with her husband’s hand on her throat.
To which I say, with the greatest respect, fuck off.
Here’s a description of the event, from the Daily Mail:
The couple, who are thought to be
worth £128million, had just finished eating outdoors at their favourite
seafood restaurant Scott’s last Sunday when Mr Saatchi is reported to
have started a heated and angry exchange with his wife.
Miss Lawson, 53, looked tearful as he
grabbed her neck four times, first with his left hand and then both. As
he held her neck, they clutched hands across the table before Mr Saatchi
tweaked her nose and used both wrists to push her face.
Afterwards, Miss Lawson dabbed her tearful eyes in a napkin as he tapped his cigarettes impatiently upon the table.
She then gulped a whole glass of wine
before appearing to attempt to pacify him with a trembling voice. During
the attempted reconciliation, she leaned over the table and kissed his
Kissing your abuser?
Sounds about right, sadly.
And when a woman with the insane, gob-smacking wealth and social capital of a Nigella Lawson puts up with this bullshit, imagine all the women — broke, pregnant, breastfeeding, financially dependent on their husbands or partners — who can’t just move into Claridge’s while they find a terrific divorce attorney.
When I interviewed 104 men, women and teens for my 2004 book about American women and gun use, several told me how they had been beaten, threatened and stalked by their husbands or boyfriends, their children and pets threatened with harm. One woman told how her husband kept a loaded shotgun beneath his side of the bed, nor would her father allow her to return to her family home to recover and figure out what to do next.
One woman, so terrified of her husband she moved into a friend’s home and hid her car in her garage, was so fed up she went with her father to confront the SOB who was terrorizing her. Her father brought a handgun, which slipped from his pocket. She stepped on it as her husband lunged for her.
She shot and killed him, point-blank.
Domestic violence is no joke. It is common, widespread, destroying thousands of lives.
Three women die every day at the hands of someone who coos “I love you” when they aren’t beating the shit out of them.