Majorca Daily Bulletin

News | Balearics

Domestic violence claims as many as seven lives a week

With her legal partner Cherie Blair, the London-based Australian lawyer Margaret McCabe is leading the fight against domestic violence in the United Kingdom and across the world and yesterday addressed the congress on domestic violence in Calvia about how the problem is being dealt with in the UK and how women across Europe can join forces to drag the issue from behind the closed doors of the courts and out in to the public arena. McCabe first started dealing with domestic violence cases some 20 years ago, along with the Prime Minister's wife, but it was only some six years ago that they both fully recognised the severity of the situation. First and foremost McCabe is keen to stress that domestic violence is “not just a women's thing, it is a community problem,” and says that society as a whole has to confront the issue, starting with educating young children in schools to ensuring that the proper penalties are handed down by the courts. This is now the case in the UK, she says. The number of cases of domestic violence in the UK is alarming, but by no means the highest in Europe. Between three and seven women are killed each week and there are some 1'000 cases of assault of varying degrees. McCabe explained, before addressing the conference, that domestic violence is “set off” by drugs, poverty, financial problems or being unable to cope with family responsibilities, but it is often a male's personal inadequacies which make him hit his female partner which is the dividing line between one man hitting his wife or partner while another does not. McCabe confronts the issues from three different angles. The first as a lawyer, the second as an advisor to the Minister for Women, Baroness Jay, and thirdly as an advisor to the NSPCC's Justice for Children project which raises funds for undercover units which specialise in blowing the whistle on paedophiles.

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