Domestic Violence: Another woman and child murderedPosted: 9 December 2011
Trigger warning: domestic violence
Samantha and Genevieve Day died yesterday.
Genevieve was 7 years old. Her mother Samantha was 38, and was a nursery worker at Swallowdale Primary School. They lived in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. Samantha’s other two children, 15-year-old Kim and 13-year-old Adam, are in hospital with stab wounds. They are also now orphans, because after their father Toby had murdered his wife and youngest child he committed suicide.
There is an epidemic of domestic violence in this country and in every single country in the world. Internationally, one billion women have been raped, abused or beaten. In the UK, 2 women are killed every week by a current or former partner. Patriarchy is killing us. It’s killing our sisters, our daughters, our friends. How many more women and children are going to die before society takes this seriously? How many more children are going to be left without their mothers? How many more abusers are going to be let out on bail so that they can kill their former partners?
Samantha Day has been silenced twice. First by her husband. And now, less than 24 hours after her and her daughter’s death, by the patriarchy-controlled media. They are not naming these murders as domestic violence. They are not talking about two victims and one perpetrator. Male journalists instinctively empathise with the male murderer. They feel sorry for him because he’d just lost his job and was “depressed”. They quote his friend on what a “great character” he was. They talk about the bravery awards he won as a police officer. They even get the headline wrong: the story here is not “Former Rutland police officer, his wife and daughter die in tragic incident in Melton”, these 3 people did not die together as a family in some freak hurricane. In all these articles, Samantha and Genevieve barely get a mention – it’s all about him, his personality, his life, his possible motives. In death as in life, they like all women and girls are mere extensions of him, a wife and a daughter who exist only in relation to the man who owns and controls them.
Enough. We’ve had enough of male violence, enough of rape, enough of beating and burning and humiliation and silencing and killing. We know that things can be different, that the world we dream of where there is no violence or inequality or fear can be real and we can make it real. We need to demand changes in the law. We need to promise to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. We need to speak out for all the women who have been silenced, either by shame and stigma or silenced by murder at the hands of their own partners as Samantha Day was yesterday.
For domestic violence support, contact your local Women’s Aid or Refuge.