…progress, that is. Sandra Lavelle interviews a battered woman:
Jenny Smith will never forget the phone call that saved her life.
It was May 1973, there was no law against marital rape in the UK, lone women could not apply for a mortgage, and domestic violence was rarely mentioned.
… Smith chronicles a time when society turned its back on women who were being attacked by their partners. Suffering from constant black eyes and bruises and painfully thin, her pleas for help were ignored, even as she was kicked and punched in a street in Hackney while heavily pregnant.
Thank goodness things are so much better today, and everyone acknowledges that the lives of women have improved and…
Smith eventually travelled with Pizzey to Holland, Germany, Belgium and France to publicise Chiswick and rail against the scale of violence against women.
And 41 years on from the day she entered the refuge, Smith is still railing. With levels of domestic violence at epidemic rates, nearly 58,000 women in England and Wales at high risk of homicide or serious harm, and two women dying a week on average, she feels little has really changed. A recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary highlighted alarming and and unacceptable weaknesses in the way the police service responds to domestic violence.
“Women are suffering more than ever and the government wrings its hands,” she says.
Seriously? You don’t think that the failure to recognise the huge improvements that have been made completely invalidates your argument?