‘I will do all I can to raise awareness of misogyny’, says Dr Alan Billings

More than 20,000 women a week experience domestic abuse.
More than 20,000 women a week experience domestic abuse.
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Women have begun to say that enough is enough.

They will no longer tolerate male bullying or aggression but will speak out and seek help.

This is one of the steps necessary to take us out of a patriarchal or male dominated society to one where the two sexes are equal.

Of course, for centuries patriarchy has been hard wired into us, men and women. Men have dominated and women have been submissive.

You may remember the old wedding vow in which husband and wife promised to love and cherish the other, but the woman also promised ‘to obey’. That has gone.

Both parties now recognise from the start that if modern marriage is to work it has to be a partnership of equals, so the vows are now vows of equality.

Mind you, women can be equally domineering towards men. One of the most horrific incidents before the courts recently concerned an acid attack by a woman against her partner. He was so disfigured that he took his own life. She has gone to prison for a long time.

This is rare. Most of the violence is male on female - misogyny.

I have just produced a new Police and Crime Plan, which sets out for the police what I believe their priorities should be in the coming year. (You can read it on my website which can be found at www.southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.)

In it I have referenced misogyny and I shall do what I can through the year to help raise the general awareness of the seriousness of some of these incidents and crimes.

From stalking to rape, from harassment to domestic abuse, lives can be made miserable or destroyed.

We should not tolerate it.

In fairness, this is not new for the police. They have learnt to recognise this male behaviour - whether in the home or elsewhere - to take it seriously and deal with it, and where necessary to ensure that women get any help they need.

I have also set up in our area a centre to which any woman who has been seriously sexually assaulted (rape) can go to receive care but also be medically examined and speak to the police.

There is also a video link to the court so that it is possible for a whole case to go from first reporting to trial without the victim having to go to a police station or a court.

Misogyny has always been there. But now we are acknowledging it and saying enough is enough.

Dr Alan Billings is Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire. Visit www.southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk to read Dr Billing’s new Police and Crime Plan.