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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » New UK law to allow third parties to press domestic violence charges

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Author Topic: New UK law to allow third parties to press domestic violence charges
Dzuunmod
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This new UK law as the subject line indicates, will allow certain third party groups to press DV charges when they feel they're warranted. According to the article, the law will only apply when men are allegedly abusing women, and not vice-versa. The groups that will be allowed to press charges on behalf of women they believe are abused are police forces, domestic violence shelters and various other community groups.

This is bad on so many levels. First, why is it that only women are allowed this little loophole under the law? It's discrimination. Second, I think that, given that there are certain radical elements out there in the women's movement (many of whom I'd imagine work in some capacity for shelters), this sets up a dangerous situation. If someone, for instance, believes that all intercourse (regardless of consent) is abuse, don't you think that they might try and use this law to the best of their advantage? Basically, it gives radical feminists the opportunity to press charges against men, without (or at least with less) concern for legitimacy, methinks.

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Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Confused boy
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I hadn't heard anything about this! Oh well. I dont think its all that bad. The single gender loop hole is of course wrong but understandable. Furthermore, you would never get any judiciary or jury to convict a man of domestic abuse by having sexual intercourse (unless it was clearly rape) with the "victim." As far as I know, there are not many really radical feminists left in this country (the war for womans liberation is pretty much over and feminists have won). There are certainly no radical feminists anywhere near a powerful position, I would imagine even among the charities.

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Beppie
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Well, even though a jury might not convict a man of assult for having consensual intercourse, the fact is that the woman could still report him to the police, which could be harmful to him. However, I would imagine that (at least I would hope that) the police would have a fairly clear definition of what constitutes abuse, and as such, consensual sex of any kind would not be considered cause for arrest. So someone reporting this "crime" would have to lie in order to get the man in trouble, and then hopefully get in some pretty serious trouble themselves.

However, I do agree that only applying it to a single gender is plain wrong. Just because women might be abused more often, does not mean that the cases in which men are abused should be diminished.


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Confused boy
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Ah I did think of another problem and this problem would count for both genders with this law! I would not be surprised if the law has not taken this onto account. What about certain sado-masochistic sexual practices that would easily come under the definition of "abuse" if it was not consentual. Naturally, a victim of this "abuse" would not press charges since it is what they desired but that might not stop a misguided police department from doing so, not understanding the facts behind the case.
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Bobolink
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In Canada, an assault charge is not laid by the supposed victim but by the Crown in consultation with the police. If you are assualted with a baseball bat, you do not have the option of preferring charges. The Crown will prefer charges regardless of your wishes on the grounds that people should not go around assaulting others with baseball bats.

I think the UK law is designed to cover cases where a spouse does not prefer charges out of fear. I find it surprising that the UK Crown does not already have this right. However, I agree with you that only the constituted civil authority should have the privelege of preferring charges. This would be a dangerous power to grant to third parties.

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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
[BAccording to the article, the law will only apply when men are allegedly abusing women, and not vice-versa.[/B]

That one sentence sums up the inherent problem with this legislation. There is no room for blatantly biased laws of that sort, especially when women are just as capable of partaking in domestic violence as men are.

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Posts: 2727 | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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