The world through the eyes of a male domestic abuse victim, but its so much more than that !

Month: March, 2013

Who Killed Russell Joslin ?

When we wish understand how seriously society judges any incident, a good starting point is the sanctions placed upon the perpetrator. This idea of action and consequences runs through any legal system. It is something we grow up with, both in the home and at school. It governs what is found as acceptable behavior. We understand the difference between our parents “grounding” us for a week and or a month, and rightly would expect these two punishments to be incurred for vastly different offenses. We rightly expect society to ensure the punishment fits the crime. We would expect accidentally braking a test tube or a glass at school to be punished roughly the same (as they are both accidents of carelessness) perhaps with detention. We would expect willfully braking a window to incur a much more serious reprisal (as it is a deliberate act) for example suspension or possibly being expelled from the school. These are things we expect children to understand from the age of six or seven. Then we expect these children to bring these principles into the adult world and the workplace.

Given that we all understand this, what conclusions can we draw from two “incidents” that occurred, at roughly the same time involving female presenters at BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire in 2006/7.

There are two incidents around that time.

Case A resulted in a

A swift and rigorous investigation involving the Director General

The Perpetrator received a lengthy suspension.

The Perpetrator being named and shamed.

The BBC changing protocols.

The BBC was fined £115,000

Weeks of national headlines and saturation coverage.

The presenter herself stating “Everything I’d worked for for 20 years, my reputation was in tatters.”

Case B resulted in

A botched inquiry at local level.

The perpetrator continuing to work for the BBC.

The perpetrator had there identity concealed.

The BBC defending there processes.

The media coverage has been scant.

The Perpetrator is rumored to have said “there was no complaint about me”

There is no doubt the sanctions placed on Case A far outweigh those of Case B, therefore society sees Case A as more serious. We would then expect the effects on the victim to more serious in Case A than Case B would we not ? They are as follows.

In one of these cases a show was recorded and then broadcast as “live” This meant members of the public sent text messages and phoned the studio to enter contests they had no chance of winning, because a member of the production staff had perviously “won” the contest in a recorded phone call. Doubtless this caused a small cost to the people who entered, disappointment at not winning and perhaps some embarrassment when the truth came to light.

In the other case a presenter made sexual advances to a reporter. The reporter rebuffed these advances and the presenter continued with knowingly unwanted advances. The presenter told the reporter they should be “flattered” by the attention. It was common knowledge in the studio this was happening. The reporter complained to there superior. The reporter received a text message from Cath Hearne, BBC West Midlands’ head of programs, intended for the person conducting the investigation. This text apparently told the investigator not to contact the victim. Voice messages were played to the staff describing the victim as “flakey” or a “looser”. The victim suffered continued harassment, leading to them having to take time off work. The victim asked to be moved to a different location, and were told this would not be possible as they were not working “normal hours” despite the BBC knowing the reduced hours were a direct result of the sexual harassment they were suffering. The reporter eventually committed suicide.

Now, just to be clear on this, there are laws about this type of workplace harassment. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 any form of bullying/harassment must be treated as any other hazard. A risk assessment must be carried out under the guidelines set out in the Management of Health and Safety at work regulations 1999. There must be suitable and sufficient control measures put in place, these can include (but are not limited to) replacing the dangerous with the non dangerous/less dangerous, developing a coherent overall prevention strategy, which covers organisation of the work, working conditions and social relationships and the influencing factors and giving appropriate instructions to all employees.

These measures are Absolute Duties of Care, the Employer Must do these things, legally they have no choice. It would seam the BBC totally disregarded its duty of care in Case B.

In Case A Liz Kershaw had her name and face splashed across the media for what amounts to a scam that the producer, and probably people above her connived, consented and condoned.

While at the same time, in the same studios, a as yet unnamed female presenter who still works for the BBC and apparently has a high profile, continues to go unpunished to driving a person to there death.

I believe the punishment does not fit the crime. I believe one of the main reasons a experienced reporter could not make his voice heard or have the situation rectified is because he was a MAN. A person that should be “flattered” by the attention of a female. If we go back to my first point. When we wish understand how seriously society judges any incident, a good starting point is the sanctions placed upon the perpetrator. It would seam that society is perfectly happy to have women harass, bully, victimize men by whatever means they choose. I would say to all those that campaign for sexual equality, the starting point should be the one issue that has been left untouched. Equality in the consequences of actions !

One final question, apart from Liz Kershaw, who was the high profile female presenter at BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire in 2006/7 that continues to work at the BBC ?

Dedicated to Russell Joslin, and every other victim of abuse.

source material


The health and safety of my feet !

People will tell you the word has gone “health and safety” mad. They will site cases of “not being allowed to use step ladders at work” being “made” to wear safety glasses when none are required. They will tell of charity car washes, or car boot sales being banned, meaning the church roof does not get fixed. They will point there uneducated finger of blame at legislation, and the Health and Safety Nazis that enforce the regulations. This is simply another case of something we “know” not being so. I will set two reasons why you should think deferentially about Health and Safety, the Insurance industry and my feet.


The Insurance Industry.


As any of you who have had the misfortune of attempting to make a claim on your Household Insurance Policy will know, the umbrella protection you were promised is filled with holes, and whatever you have damaged has a clause attached and you breached it ! Yes, I’m very sorry Mr/Mrs Customer but you are not totally covered, our highly trained Loss Adjuster (that you as a non trained person will never beat in a argument ! ) found a way for us to cover only half of your loss. The very same companies that go to extreme lengths to reduce your personal pay outs also cover the Companies, Churches, Shops, City Councils that enforce these preventive measures we see as madness. Removing risks of incidents reduces the premium they pay.


A business gets a insurance quote. Lets say £ 10,000. The Company says “thats very expensive” the reply to that is “Sir, you had 100 eye injures last year, 40 people fell of stepladders and one person was run over while washing a car for charity. These incidents mean we have to pay out, reduce these incidents this year and your premium goes down next year. How much it goes down is dependent on how manny less incidents you have”  This is when and why the people running the organization suddenly remove the stepladders, make you wear glasses all the time and ban the activities. They are not going to say “it makes my insurance cheeper” oh no ! that is not in there interests. So they tell you “It breaches Health and Safety Regulations”


My Feet

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation requires your employer to provide, Free of charge any Item that is necessary to protect your person. It also states that where possible and practicable the employee should have a degree of choice in the equipment. The equipment must be replaced as necessary and suitable for the task the person is required to carry out. If you work in a factory this means providing footwear that has suitable grip on the sole, is waterproof and has toe protection for objects falling on the persons foot. The part of the regulation concerning replacement and personal choice is why most major employers will work with suppliers and produce a sheet with several types of work shoes or boots and let employees pick a set, typically this is done every 18 months. This is not the employers being “nice” or giving a “perk” the law compels them to do it. When a group of people are picking boots, inevitably there will be jokes flying about people wearing these “free shoes” out and about, like every day shoes. It is a joke because of two reasons

(a)although you have a choice, they all look exactly like what they are, Industrial WorkWare, they will not be mistaken.

  1. The employer checks you are wearing the boots they bought you, and it takes very little time for them to be serviceable, but in a condition that makes them look ten years old.

I join in the joking, there is little choice, but it is not that funny. I have found that opposed to 18 months i can get close to two and a half years out of the boots. That means every third pair are not necessary, and therefore every Four and a half years i get a pair of boots that

  1. keep my feet warm and dry
  2. Are officially owned by work and therefore my wife can not throw them away
  3. As my personal equipment given to protect me from hazards at all time on work premises totally legal for me to wear from the moment I arrive until the moment I go home, and the only way to do that is to wear them on the commute !

Obviously there is a downside, they are in no way stylish, and everyone that looks at them knows what they are but in a world where you are allowed one pair of trainers and one pair of dress shoes, and both of them replaced every four to five years, these boots are a godsend in the snow or rain.


When I escaped I made a decision, no more wearing work equipment as clothes. It may have been a rash decision as I did not rescue my “home” work boots when I went. This is how i came to find myself in the City Center recently in snow wearing shoes that were 6 years old and always going to leek in those conditions. In a moment of madness I bought a pair of socks, walked into the Timberland Shop and put a pair of boots on the Credit Card, changed my socks before putting them on and walked out with warm dry feet. I can not really afford to do this, but sometimes you have to realize that you are in debt or you are not, a little more is not going to change the big picture. What is changing the picture is having dry feet, realizing that there was no real reason I went without having proper shoes in the first place and there is no reason to soak the bottom of your jeans trying to hide a label that says “quality Work Ware” not when the heel of your boots say Timberland !