Jul 292008

Last updated on December 1st, 2010

No, No, No I say to the proposed changes in the law early this morning. Changes in murder laws proposed piped up one report and initially I could see some sense to the change as a help to a few battered women who’ve suffered tremendous abuse.

  • But the Buddhist view is that all life is sacred.  Even abusers.  And in this country we have laws to protect people, not just to punish.
  • If someone chooses to ignore the law and the protection it gives is their fault.
  • If they say they are too fearful to leave the house and seek help but somehow mysteriously summon the courage to kill their abuser while they are asleep, what does that say about them?  It’s still their fault.

The rest of the proposed changes are so fuzzy and specific that their interpretation will be difficult and lead to some very serious case law judgements that will have ramifications for decades.  It’s better the whole idea is dropped and that more help and crucially, information, is provided so that battered women,

  • know their rights
  • know the kind of help and assistance available
  • are made to feel that they are not alone
  • can feel safe under the law

If they are imprisoned by their abuser, there are already laws against that, obviously.  And more importantly, under such conditions they have an absolute right to self defence.  But the fact is that in modern Britain, it’s very hard to live or even be imprisoned in a total news and information blackout.  This is why it’s critical to make as much information and knowledge widely available….

It’s not enough to just have leaflets in police stations!  Information should be in all the places where women go.  Information should be in all the languages that are spoken in our multi-cultural Britain.  So leaflets and posters should be on the telly and on the radio, in supermarkets and off-licences, in schools and public toilets, in hairdressers and mobile phone shops.  In all the places women go, not just police stations and libraries….It’s obvious really.

That way, we won’t have a charter to legally murder men in bed because of some perceived slight, because that’s what will happen.

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