On December the 29th, the Sun on Sunday launched a new campaign, in partnership with the charity Refuge.
The campaign will focus on tackling domestic violence in Britain and aims to fight the shocking fact that 88 women were killed last year by their current or previous partners. The launch of the campaign comes at a poignant time, as the numbers of attacks and killings increase by a third over the festive period alone.
Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of Refuge, confirmed that, “This shameful statistic has not changed in three decades”. This alarming fact means that, on average, over the last 30 years, 2 women a week have been killed as a direct result of domestic violence. The Sun on Sunday highlighted this appalling revelation by surrounding the campaign pages with photos of women who have experienced domestic violence, and sharing some of these experiences in print. Such experiences include that of Tracy, who was viciously attacked by her partner of several months, who bit her nose off, leaving her severely disfigured and in need of more than 8 operations.
Other stories shared by The Sun on Sunday include that of Charlotte and Carly, who both survived brutally violent encounters with their partners, as well as that of 17-year-old Emily who was strangled by her boyfriend and Jeanette who was stabbed by her ex-partner, who sadly did not survive their horrific ordeals. By sharing the stories of women who have experienced domestic violence, Refuge and The Sun on Sunday hope to show the horrifying things that so many women are dealing with everyday, and the lasting damage it causes to them and their families.
Through this campaign, Refuge is calling for a government inquiry in to the response of police and other state agencies to women and children experiencing domestic violence. In cases like that of Jeanette, and Maria Stubbings in 2008, and many more women, it was found that the women made repeated calls and complaints to the police before their death. Through various inquests it has been found that in cases such as these, the police made various failings that contributed to the tragic deaths of these women.
It is a very worrying fact that these statistics regarding domestic violence against women have not changed in 30 years, which suggests that there is a major flaw somewhere letting down thousands of women across the country. Sandra Horley said, “I commend The Sun on Sunday for shining a spotlight on this horrific toll. [...] How many more women and children must die before we see real change?”
To sign the petition calling for a public inquest in to police responses, visit the refuge website here.