From today’s Observer:

Plan to warn women of violent men

Women who fall in love with violent men would be warned off the relationship by police, under controversial new proposals to be published by the home secretary tomorrow.

Jacqui Smith told the Observer that serial perpetrators of domestic violence could be monitored in a similar way to paedophiles, allowing police to identify and alert any new partners to their records in the hope of preventing future abuse. Wife batterers also face new conditions restricting their movements or habits, such as forcing them to seek treatment for drink problems, under a wide-ranging review of violence against women…….”

It will be interesting to see the reactions to these proposals once they’re formally announced tomorrow, but I’ve no doubt they’ll be widely condemned by some, and picked over and questioned endlessly by those who, for whatever dubious reasons, are only interested in minimising the importance of, and disputing the prevalence of, violence against women in this country.

In fact, I can already predict some of the responses we’re likely to hear over the next few days:

“Will men who fall in love with violent women also be warned by the police?”

“Is there going to be a review of violence against men?”

“Where’s the funding for men’s shelters?”

“The statistics are wrong: this isn’t Iran/the Congo/insert country of choice, gender specific violence is not an issue in the UK”

“What about the menz?”

And so on and so forth interminably and ad nauseum until women are once again entirely erased from the debate. Apart from straw women that is, you know the ones, the ones who go around beating up and raping men and who have made nationwide services for male victims an absolute necessity, even more of a necessity than services for female victims (who don’t actually exist ‘cos violence against women is all a myth perpetuated by the rad-fem-man-hating femnazis who have far too much influence over this govt)

Cynical? What me?

My only worry so far about these proposals is this: if a woman has been warned by the police about her new bloke’s previous violent behaviour towards women, but she goes ahead and stays with him anyway against all their advice, and she ends up getting battered by him, isn’t this going to prompt even more obnoxious victim blaming than we already get? I can just hear the judges and the defence lawyers now:

“But Ms X, you can’t say you weren’t warned that Mr Y was a violent, abusive drunken bastard. You’ve only yourself to blame you know.”