A male domestic abuse victim says he was blocked on Twitter by Vera Baird, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, after he complained about the sexism of a police campaign that focused solely on female victims.
The Northumbrian resident, who goes by the name “MahdDogg” on Twitter, sent a tweet to the police’s official account, telling them he was “appalled” by the sexism of their campaign, which aimed to publicise a new law that brings “coercive control,” including psychological and economic coercion, under the scope of domestic abuse laws.
— MahdDogg "King Dong" (@MahdDogg) December 25, 2015
Soon after, however, he discovered that he had been blocked on Twitter by Vera Baird, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.
If you are a male survivor of domestic abuse in Northumbria this is how the Commissioner responds to your complaint pic.twitter.com/ls8vP2OjHY
— MahdDogg "King Dong" (@MahdDogg) December 26, 2015
It’s not entirely surprising that Baird would block a local resident who complained about sexism against men. Baird is a former Labour MP and an ardent feminist. When she took on domestic abuse cases during her legal career, she almost exclusively represented female victims. She is also the chair of Eaves for Women, a charity that fights violence against women. Eaves proudly bears the slogan “putting women first.”
Of course, the problem with putting any gender first is that it’s the very definition of discrimination.
Breitbart Tech spoke with the Northumbrian resident who was blocked by Baird. He confirmed his identity to us in private, but did not want it publicised, due to fear of personal consequences.
The resident told us that he had spent 10 years with an abusive ex-partner. He described how she would stage emotional breakdowns around their friends, break presents bought for him by his son, and, at one stage, punch him with a closed fist while he was holding their one-year old baby. “The only time I felt safe was when she returned to her flat,” the resident said.
“When I saw that Vera Baird had blocked me with her MP and Police Commissioner Site I was mortified. Here was someone who was pushing a very important campaign for victims of abuse, someone who is on the boards of charities and affiliated with RESPECT who was point blank shutting herself off from the lived experiences and concerns of someone who she is supposed to be protecting.”
The resident also said he had lodged complaints on the Police Commissioner’s website, on the Northumbria Police’s website, and with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the UK’s national body for police complaints. He has been assisted by supporters on social media, who are also sending complaints.
Northumbria Police have since responded to the complaints, stressing that new offence of “coercive control” is not “limited to one gender or sexual orientation,” but adding that the victims of coercive control, as in the “vast majority of cases where domestic abuse is reported to the police” are mostly women.
“I fully stand behind the changes to the law on coercive control” he continued. “For someone like me this is a huge step for stopping abuse before it becomes potentially deadly violence. However as I, and many other people, are aware the gender of victims is almost evenly split. The Office of National Statistics puts the number of women who are victims of domestic abuse and violence at 60% of all victims. Yes this is a majority, but 40% of victims, me for example, are never discussed, or only discussed as an afterthought. Nortumbria police released a statement on their website today that they are targetting their posters at women because “in the vast majority of cases where domestic abuse is reported to the police – the victims are women”
“In my opinion this is an attempt by Northumbria Police to dodge the complaints of sexism without realising that they are actually revealing something incredibly important. Men aren’t reporting their abuse to police. Why aren’t they doing that? It’s simple, because they, like me, feel that because of campaigns only focussed on women as the victims and not perpetrators of abuse and violence, that if we come forward to the police we will not be believed. After all, from my experience, the first question people ask me when I talk about my abuse is “Well you must have done something to deserve that, right?” This is the reality of male victims of abuse.”