Justin Lee Collins verdict, and it’s fall out.

A verdict was reached in the case concerning Justin Lee Collins “campaign of abuse” against his former partner Anna Larke. A jury deliberated for 12 hours, and he was found guilty.

His punishment? 140 hours of unpaid community service, to be carried out within 18 months, and £3,500 in prosecution costs. The domestic violence charity Refuge called his sentence “derisory” and said it did not fit the crime. During their seven month relationship, Collins demanded Larke always sleep facing him, quit all social networking sites and compelled her to write down in graphic detail all of her previous sexual encounters. Was his sentence too lenient? I think so.

Collins could have been jailed for six months. So in comparison 140 hours of community service is little to nothing. What kind of message does this send? That abusing a partner, physically or emotionally, may be crime but it’s one you can get off lightly for.
Enough women are already at risk of suffering from domestic abuse, and a message like this only puts them further in harms way. Domestic violence kills two women a week in the UK, and aslong as meagre sentences such as this are being dished out, this figure will only increase.

The question I want answered, is why do men feel they can act this way towards women? What is it thats putting that idea into their heads?

Who do you blame? It would be simple to say the parents. If a young boy grows up understanding that it is normal for a woman to be hit, then he will grow up to do the same. If a boy hears his father frequently demean and insult his mother, then whats to stop him from doing the same?

You could of course blame the media and the way women are frequently depicted. From the third page of a certain newspaper to porn and everything in between, men are made to see women in a very particular light. Women are there for the taking, they want nothing more in life than a man to look after them, and it’s their role in life to serve men in whatever way a man sees fit.

When this is the idea men are dealing with, is it any wonder they feel women should be treated like second class citizens?

This culture also explains why men feel that making sexual advances towards women is just part of day to day life. And perhaps sheds some light on the male perspective of Homophobia.

When a hetro sexual man is confronted with a sexual advance from a homosexual man, he is in the same position as a woman. He is facing an unwanted sexual advance, from a person who has the physical ability to use force against him. The same position a woman is in every time a man tries to make a sexual advance.

So, is it time more men asked themselves if there advances are welcome? Is it time more men understood when they should walk away and accept the refusal?

If you ask me, it’s time that men are taught that all women are asking for, is to be treated fairly and kindly. It’s not too much to ask. In fact, it’s nothing to ask at all.

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