The acceptable face of domestic abuse
I bought the Belfast Telegraph this morning, not something I normally do however there was a story I was interested in. Yesterday two people were in court charged with attempted grievous bodily harm. The charge related to a incident where the pair arrived at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in a drunken state. They proceeded to the Intensive Care Unit where they attacked a patient. They punched and slapped the patient and attempted to pull out the life saving drips that were being used to treat the patient. Nursing staff lay across the patients head to protect them with there body. Doctors eventually managed to get the perpetrators out of the room, however in a bizarre twist they were left to roam the Hospital and regained and continued the attack. Again Doctors attempted to intervene however one of them got back into the Intensive Care Unit and was seen trying to pull the semi conscious patient out of the bed.
Having read this story you would probably expect wide coverage. You would expect background on those involved, and the incident in general. You may even question the charge of Attempted grievous bodily harm, as this sounded like successful grievous bodily harm to me. You may query, as the judge did would this not concontatute attempted murder. Even on a busy news day when a female member of the Irish Republican Army admitted being involved in the Murder of two Solders yet walked free from court and a previously convicted Irish Republican Army member who became a elected politician received a stern talking to for obstructing Police by clinging onto a Land rover and inviting others to do likewise (a offense that Protestants receive 3 months jail for) one would still expect substantial coverage of this story.
So, how was the story covered, how manny words did the Belfast Telegraph print about this ? NOT ONE WORD. There is only one plausible reason for this. The victim was unimportant. The reason this is not splashed all over the news is because the victim was a MAN and the perpetrator was his PARTNER and his SISTER. I ask how this story can be ignored. I as why in the “on line” reports not once are the words DOMESTIC ABUSE used. This is a person being attacked by their partner is it not. I ask why the organization that are now “imbedded” in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as the voice for victims, Woman’s Aid are not making sure this story is being covered properly and using this act of attempted murder to highlight the issues and show exactly how dangerous staying in a abusive relationship is. I found none of that, I did however find the picture above. I will state clearly, while women hitting men is still treated as a joke, and incidents like attempted murder in a hospital are not properly covered, this will continue.