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'It's just a domestic ...'

The police are definitely in the news today!


I dont know about more bobbies on the beat, but theres definitely quite a lot of the boys and girls in blue on their give us more pay demo: over 18,000 theyre saying.

Cant resist repeating the hoary old joke - lets hope that the police providing security at the march dont underestimate the number of people who actually take part! (Not that they ever would at one of Amnestys always well-attended demos.).

Meanwhile, the police are also in the news for their interesting suggestion that the government should set up a register of domestic violence offenders modelled on the sex offenders list.

If its carefully done (as ever, the devil will be in the detail) this might be a step forward in dealing with the scourge of domestic violence in Britain. Dont forget - on average two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner.

People who beat their spouses or ex-partners are typically repeat offenders. It will all depend on who gets put on the register and how, but if women can access meaningful information on domestic violence that means they might be less likely to enter into a dangerous relationship. Its a long way off, and wed also need to see a lot more being done across the board on stopping all forms of violence against women in the UK, but its good that the police are showing concern on this.

Meanwhile, there have been worrying claims today that there may be thousands of young women often born and brought up in the UK of black and minority ethnic backgrounds being subjected to forced marriage (not to also mention rape and other abuses). At least this is what a Sheffield judge has been saying (listen to the 7.50 interview on Today.

Finally and yes, spot the theme today my eye was caught by a big story in the Guardian (Society) about how women who come to Britain from countries like Pakistan and India are particularly vulnerable when it comes to escaping violent relationships.

Why so? Well, if theyre trying to get away from a violent partner and into a refuge they wont be able to. Theyll almost certainly be turned away because local authority-run shelters arent allowed to use public money to pay to help the women. They might be escaping potentially lethal violence, but if theyve got a certain kind of visa (and often completely lawfully living in Britain) theyre excluded from help by a so-called No Recourse to Public Funds rule. Amnestys Stop Violence Against Women campaign is going to be publishing work on this issue in a few weeks - watch out for it.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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