A ground-breaking documentary on BBC 1 (‘Behind Closed Doors’, 14/03/2016) examines domestic abuse towards women and features three victims who have spoken out. The sad truth is that still, in the majority of such cases, the person attacked feels it impossible — and for many complex reasons — to challenge their abuser or ‘to go public’ with their experiences; thus they are unable to access the professional help which is available, and which could be a life-saver to them (both figuratively and actually). Much more publicity should be given to this under-the-radar outrage and any action which contributes to the help and support of those subjected to it is to be welcomed.
One invaluable step forward is the recent introduction of a law concerning emotional and psychological manifestations of abuse — until now very difficult to quantify — sometimes, but not always, a precursor to physical violence although perhaps more subtle as there are no physical bruises.
The women who with amazing bravery share their histories in the documentary are to be thanked and applauded for their strength.
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We know, and have written about, other women whom one of The Guardian country diarists, Jim Perrin, has abused during his ‘career’ yet who, for reasons of their own, have not felt able to face up to him… In our sister’s case, Jac was certainly a victim of his abuse, both emotional and psychological, throughout their time together and there was physical bullying, see Gone to ground for one example. It is also a fact (and was reported to and logged by the police), see Jim Perrin’s breaking point, that he seriously assaulted one of Jac’s sons in her presence; this when she was already desperately ill with her cancer. During the course of their relationship there were many incidents which we either witnessed ourselves or were told of by Jac (and, later, her friends) of his abusive treatment, and some of his behaviour— because it was in the last months, and in some cases, the last weeks of her life — was particularly vile.
We do urge all victims to report any cases of abuse. Their attackers should not be protected by a wall of silence: all too frequently they go on to repeat their patterns of offence with future partners. Leopards do not change their spots and abuse in any form should never be tolerated.
There are many more titles in the archive which show evidence of Jim Perrin’s despicable behaviour over the years.