27 occasions not enough

You know…if most of your police despise women, then your police are not going to be very good at pursuing cases of violence against women. They’re more likely to decide it was actually her fault, or a “sex game,” or a misunderstanding, or too trivial to bother with.

The father of a woman who died after being choked by her abusive partner has accused police of paying “lip service” to the protection of women and girls and called for a public inquiry into the culture of UK policing.

West Midlands police apologised last month for a number of failings in the case of Suzanne Van Hagen, 34, who suffered months of domestic abuse before she died in February 2013.

They were called nine times, but somehow they just couldn’t figure out what was going on.

A neighbour, who was asked by police to keep a log of suspected abusive incidents at Van Hagen’s flat, made a note of 27 occasions before she was found dead with bruising around her neck.

Officers said that bruising around her neck was the result of a sex game and ruled the cause of death was an accidental drug overdose.

Suppose it was indeed “a sex game” – why is it her neck that was bruised? Whose idea was it to play that particular “game”? Why are men never found dead as the result of a “sex game” i.e. choking? Why is it always women who are choked and men who explain to the police that they were playing a game?

On one occasion, a police family liaison officer told Van Hagen’s younger sister: “Your sister had two legs and she should have used them.”

Wayne Jones, the detective who led the failed investigation into Van Hagen’s death, was sacked two years later for sexually harassing four female colleagues.

There it is. You have your sexual harasser cops, so you put them in charge of investigations into violence against women. That will work out beautifully.

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